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Ann Arbor Criminal Defense Blog

Man faces up to 187 years in federal credit card skimming case

Credit card skimmers are electronic devices often placed over the card-swipe mechanisms on gas pumps. When a person purchases gas with a card, the skimmer captures and records the card’s information stored in its magnetic strip. That data is later downloaded and exploited fraudulent purchases or to manufacture a counterfeit credit card.

A recent set of indictments reveal just how seriously authorities are taking this particular act. The seven defendants are facing charges of bank fraud, conspiracy and aggravated identity theft.

Canton Township brothers’ businesses are focus of lawsuit

Just a few minutes east of Ann Arbor, two brothers and their businesses have received national attention after they were allegedly targeted for harassment by Canton Township officials. The brothers were fined $450,000 last year by Canton Township for removing trees from their property without permission.

The brothers publicly complained about the ordinance and the fine. And that is when the harassment of them and their businesses began, according to a lawsuit.

ATF agents seize weapons, drugs in Detroit-area home

If you drive east of Ann Arbor for a few minutes, you will arrive in Wyandotte. The Downriver community was recently the site of a raid by federal law enforcement agents on a house.

According to a news report, agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives executed a search warrant at a residence. They reportedly seized guns, ammunition and a controlled substance at the home, but made no arrests.

FBI makes drug-trafficking arrests in Pontiac

According to the FBI and federal prosecutors, the evidence in a recent investigation just northeast of Ann Arbor involved conversations about customers angry about a drop-off in product quality.

Federal agents recently arrested four people on drug-trafficking charges, claiming that they are part of a Pontiac-based operation that sells large amounts of fentanyl, heroin, cocaine and methamphetamines.

ACLU challenges Detroit’s cash bail system’s inequities

When a person is arrested in Ann Arbor or Detroit or anywhere else in Michigan, the criminal justice system is supposed to have a presumption of innocence. In other words, you are supposed to be considered innocent until you are proven guilty.

But the ACLU of Michigan recently filed a federal class-action lawsuit that argues that the 36th District Court in Detroit is violating the constitutional rights of those who are arrested and then confined to jail because they cannot afford bail. The lawsuit argues that the cash bail system is presuming that those who cannot come up with bail are guilty, not innocent.

Former exec and former detective arrested on fraud charges

The couple was living the American dream. She was the chief operating officer of a respected health care provider. He was a long-time detective who investigated fraud cases for the district attorney’s office.

Now the two face federal charges that include mail fraud, money laundering and embezzlement.

Doctors, executives and others charged with health care fraud

Federal authorities recently announced that they have uncovered a $1.2 billion Medicare scam that targeted seniors and the disabled across the nation, including here in Michigan. Officials said 24 people have been arrested on federal health care fraud charges in what they described as a far-flung operation that included doctors, corporate executives and telemarketers working out of foreign call centers.

The Justice Department accuses the defendants of peddling orthopedic braces to seniors who did not need them. The doctors who allegedly participated wrote hundreds of thousands of prescriptions for unneeded back, wrist, knee and shoulder braces.

Michigan State Police arrest woman in far-ranging alleged scam

Michigan State Police recently arrested a woman who they believe is part of a scam that ranges from Detroit to Pennsylvania, Georgia, Syria and Poland. The 59-year-old was taken into custody on nine counts of criminal conspiracy to commit theft by deception and receiving stolen property, a news source reported.

She is being held in a Detroit-area jail until she can be extradited to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, where she allegedly helped scam more than $110,000 from a woman there.

Federal college admissions bribery charges announced

News outlets across Michigan and the nation buzzed yesterday with news of a college admissions scandal that has ensnared actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin. The two are among the 50 individuals charged with participation in a scheme in which wealthy parents bribed university coaches and insiders to get their children into prestigious schools.

According to federal prosecutors, those currently under arrest face racketeering conspiracy charges, though additional charges and defendants might be added later.

Pair of Michigan men facing credit card fraud, larceny charges

If you drive northeast of Ann Arbor for about 50 miles, you will come to the Detroit northern suburb of Troy. The city of about 80,000 residents prides itself as a business and shopping destination for the metro area, but also features a pair of LA Fitness workout clubs.

The Special Investigations Unit of the city’s police department recently arrested two 19-year-old men on charges of credit card fraud and larceny. Law enforcement officials say the men had been spotted entering locker rooms at various LA Fitness outlets and stealing items from lockers.

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