Michigan Mayor Indicted! Committed Bribery and Wire Fraud, Say the Feds

“Public corruption at any level undermines the community’s faith in their elected officials and does long-term damage to government institutions.”

(Steven D’Antuono, Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit Field Office of the FBI)

 

The Mayor, along with his pals, allegedly used his elected office and campaign funds to enrich himself.

From the US Justice Department just before Christmas:

MAYOR OF TAYLOR AND TWO OTHERS INDICTED FOR BRIBERY AND FRAUD

A thirty-three count Indictment unsealed today charges City of Taylor Mayor Richard “Rick” Sollars, businessman Shady Awad, and Taylor Community Development Manager Jeffrey Baum with conspiracy to commit bribery in a scheme spanning from 2015 to 2019, United States Attorney Matthew Schneider announced. The Indictment also charges Sollars and Awad with seven counts of bribery each, and charges Sollars and Baum with 18 counts of Wire Fraud.

According to the Indictment, Sollars helped Awad’s real estate development company Realty Transition LLC obtain scores of tax-foreclosed properties owned by the City of Taylor. In return, Awad lavished Sollars with thousands of dollars in cash and over $30,000 in renovations to Sollars’s home, over $11,000 in renovations to Sollars’s lake house, and over $12,000 in new household appliances.

Alleged co-conspirator Shady Awad chit-chatting with Democrat Mayor Sollars. https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/wayne-county/2019/12/19/feds-indict-taylor-mayor-sollars-bribery-scandal/2698426001/

 

The appliances included a refrigerator, stove, microwave, dishwasher, a $1,600 cigar humidor, a vacuum cleaner, and a clothes washer and dryer. The free renovations provided to Sollars by Awad include hardwood floors on every level of Sollars’s Taylor residence, hardwood floors at the lake house, a garage door, a new front door, cabinets, and a refurbished lake house deck.

The Indictment also alleges that Jeffrey Baum received bribes from Awad and another developer, in exchange for Baum’s help in obtaining tax-foreclosed properties from the City.

Sollar’s vacation home!

Text messages between Sollars, Awad, and Baum cited throughout the Indictment document the bribe scheme. In one text, Awad states as follows: “My relationship with Rick is worth $1 million so whatever it takes I’ll pay for it” in telling a contractor to do free work on Sollars’s lake house.

The Indictment also charges Sollars and Baum with 18 counts of Wire Fraud, alleging that Sollars and Baum defrauded donors to Sollars’s campaign fund in three ways. First, Sollars would take checks from his campaign account and write them payable to a particular market, purporting to pay for catering for one of Sollars’s events. Instead, the market owner would cash the campaign checks and give the cash back to Sollars, with no catering provided. Second, Sollars and Baum would direct Sollars’s supporters to write checks directly to the market for events that never occurred. Sollars would get cash and scratch-off lottery tickets from the market owner. Third, Sollars and Baum would solicit and accept thousands of dollars in cash contributions to Sollars’s campaign. Instead of depositing the funds into his campaign account, Sollars would simply keep the cash and use it for personal expenses.

The Indictment also seeks forfeiture of $205,993 in cash seized from Sollars’s home on February 10, 2019.

FBI provides readers with contact information if you suspect fraud or corruption with your local elected officials!

“Any time an allegation of corruption is brought to our attention, the FBI’s Detroit Area Public Corruption Task Force will investigate it thoroughly. Public corruption at any level undermines the community’s faith in their elected officials and does long-term damage to government institutions,” said SAC D’Antuono. “With that in mind, we encourage anyone who believes they have information about corruption to contact the FBI at 313-965-4545 or tips.fbi.gov.”

More details here.

I know I haven’t done a scientific analysis, but heck it sure seems that a very high percentage of my ‘Frauds and Crooks’ stories originate in Michigan!

 

For new readers:  If you are interested in the issue of Refugee Resettlement (Michigan is a leading state that ‘welcomes’ more impoverished people), visit my other blog Refugee Resettlement Watch where I have been spending a lot of time in recent weeks.

Michigan: Afghanistan-born Surgeon Dubbed the “Greedy Butcher” to Spend Two Decades Behind Bars

A federal appeals court affirmed a lower court decision earlier this week that seeks to send a message to medical practitioners who are clearly seeking financial gain at the expense of their patients’ health.

The original court ruling against Dr.Aria Sabit was in 2017 (before I began writing ‘Frauds and Crooks‘ to highlight cases like this where ‘new Americans,’ supposedly here to follow the American dream ripped us off, or in some cases killed us). Hey, Michael Bloomberg, so much for immigrant entrepreneurs!

 

This is a screenshot. Visit the 2017 story here: https://www.clickondetroit.com/news/2017/01/06/sentence-for-accused-greedy-butcher-surgeon-truly-up-for-grabs/

 

From the Detroit Free Press:

A Birmingham neurosurgeon’s federal appeal failed, leaving him to serve nearly 20 years in prison because of his role in a $2.8 million insurance fraud scheme involving unnecessary spinal surgeries.

Aria Sabit also must deal with a lifetime of supervision and pay nearly $2 million in restitution because of the upheld sentence.

A three-judge U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed the 2017 sentence on Monday. Dec. 16.

“After recounting the facts underlying Sabit’s conviction, the district court discussed the … factors and then handed down the sentence,” the opinion read. “That shows the district court took a holistic approach to justifying the sentence.

“And that holistic approach didn’t lack an adequate explanation: the district court spoke at length about Sabit’s ‘horrific criminal acts upon vulnerable and defenseless human beings’ and then explained why the sentence was necessary (1) to protect the public and (2) to deter other criminal conduct.”

The 11-page opinion concludes by saying the lower district court did not commit “reversible” error during Sabit’s criminal proceedings or when imposing his sentence.

“Thus, we affirm,” the opinion concluded.

Prior to his guilty plea and sentencing, Sabit owned and operated the Michigan Brain and Spine Physicians Group with several metro Detroit locations.

Sabit admitted to convincing more than a dozen patients to undergo spinal fusion surgeries that he never performed, causing serious bodily harm in some cases.

“He told patients they needed spinal surgery,” the just-released opinion detailed. “Sabit then operated on the patients and told them (falsely) that he had inserted the agreed-upon medical device.

“Sabit also falsified his operative reports to make the patients think he had put the spinal devices in place.”

Go here for more on the sickening case.

The message to you, dear readers, please, please carefully check out your doctors.  We have American bad docs, but honestly based on cases I’ve been reading about (so many in Michigan!) a lot of foreign-born docs are not here to help you get well.

Endnote: I encourage those of you interested in the UN/US Refugee Admissions Program to go over to Refugee Resettlement Watch every few days, because a lot is going on following the President’s reform initiative launched in September.

Michigan (again) Charter School Employee Charged with Sexual Assault

I’m starting to see a pattern! Seems like most of the crime stories I’m seeing these days are coming from three states: Michigan, Maine and Minnesota.  What could the connection be?

I’m joking of course.  I have done no serious analysis of crimes in all fifty states and it might just be that I have some very watchful readers in those particular states sending me news on an almost daily basis!

This is from the Detroit News on Thursday, and look, it is Hamtramck again:

Hamtramck school worker charged with sex assault on student

Hamtramck — A student liaison at a charter school has been charged with sexually assaulting an 18-year-old male student, officials said.

Ibrahim Aljahim

Ibrahim Aljahim, 37, of Hamtramck, was arraigned Sunday in 34th District Court in Romulus on two counts of criminal sexual conduct, according to Hamtramck Police Chief Anne Moise and the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office.

Officials said Aljahim was charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct involving someone who is mentally disabled. If convicted, he faces up to life in prison.

A judge set his bond at $10,000, Moise said in a statement. A probable cause conference has been scheduled for next Thursday and a preliminary examination of the case against him was set for Oct. 10 in the 31st District Court in Hamtramck, according to court records.

Moise said Aljahim was released after posting bond and further facts and evidence will be presented in court during the preliminary examination.

The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office said police were called to the Oakland International Academy, a charter school, to investigate allegations that Aljahim had inappropriate sexual contact with a male student on school property during school hours.

No further information is being released at this time, officials said.

As usual, no information on nationality or immigration status for this ‘new American.’

 

Election Fraud Charges Brought in Michigan

I know that by now you might be thinking this blog could be renamed Michigan Frauds and Crooks.

Is it Michigan or is it that papers like the Detroit News are doing their jobs?

And, to one of my critics—you see I do write about American crooks when the news interests me!

Thanks to reader Cathy for this story published yesterday:

Southfield city clerk charged with 6 felonies tied to November election

Detroit — Southfield City Clerk Sherikia L. Hawkins was charged Monday with six felony counts over “unauthorized and inaccurate” changes to absentee ballots in the November 2018 election.

Sherikia L. Hawkins

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson made a joint announcement of the charges in Detroit, calling it a “rare” case.

“Voting is fundamental to the very essence of our democracy,” Nessel said during a Monday news conference. “It is incumbent upon state governments to safeguard the electoral process and ensure that every voter’s right to cast a ballot is protected.”

Allegations that Hawkins altered 193 absentee voter records came to light during the 14-day canvass following the election. Benson said the Oakland County Clerk’s Office reported with the Bureau of Elections “the potential for these irregularities and from there we began our investigation.”

[….]

Hawkins, a Democrat who just a few months ago was honored by the state party with the Dingell/Levin Award at its Legacy Dinner in Detroit, could not be reached Monday at her office for comment or a number listed in public records. Her attorney also could not be reached.

[….]

After taking office in January, Benson and Nessel, both Democrats, wanted to make sure the state’s elections were protected from “every conceivable threat,” Nessel said.

“Every citizen must know that when they enter the ballot box, the vote that they cast will be counted and that the collective will of the voters will be carried out,” Nessel said.

Hawkins,38, was arraigned Monday in 46th District Court in Southfield on the charges, which include election law-falsifying returns or records, forgery of a public record, misconduct in office and multiple counts of using a computer to commit a crime.

Forgery of a public record is a 14-year offense, Nessel said.

[….]

“After the city has examined the underlying facts of this matter, we will explore all appropriate and legal avenues to protect the voting process and rights of the Southfield Citizenry,” the statement issued by [City Council] spokesman Michael Manion said. “Mrs. Hawkins will be on administrative leave with pay at this time.”

Hawkins is paid $101,500 per year in Southfield as the city’s clerk.

[….]

Hawkins made history in November 2017 as the first African-American elected as city clerk, according to the clerk’s page on the city’s website. She formerly served as Pontiac’s city clerk.

More here.

Just for fun, see my tag for ‘Michigan’ to see how often the state has been the scene of some criminal activity reported here at Frauds and Crooks.

Michigan: See List of Docs Illegally Pushing Opiods

There are some American-sounding names on the list, but gosh this looks like a list of names of UN delegates or something…

From the Detroit Free Press:

Michigan’s opioid pushers: Is your doctor on this list?

 

Michigan locks up more doctors and pharmacists for peddling pain pills than any other state except New York, the Department of Justice says.

A Free Press investigation focused on this trend and found that metro Detroit doctors in particular are among the leading culprits fueling the opioid crisis, with more than 100 area physicians facing criminal charges over the last decade for running painkiller schemes.

faridfata
See what Debbie Schlussel said about Dr. Farid Fata in 2013.  http://www.debbieschlussel.com/65069/farid-fata-mideast-cancer-doc-defrauded-medicare-told-patients-w-no-cancer-they-had-it-gave-em-chemo/

Dr. Obioma Agomuoh. Prison sentence: 5 years

Dr. Asm Akter Ahmed, 58, of Hamtramck. Prison sentence: Time served

Dr. Muhammad Ahmed, 65, of Ypsilanti. Prison sentence: 4 years

Dr. Abbey Akinwumi, 55, of Superior Township. Prison sentence: 7 years and 3 months.

Dr. Yasser Awaad, a Bloomfield Hills neurologist, is accused in civil suit of diagnosing hundreds of children with epilepsy who didn’t have. He fled the country in 2017.

Dr. Hussein “Sam” Awada, 46, of Royal Oak. Prison sentence: 7 years

Dr. Gavin Awerbuch of West Bloomfield. Prison sentence: 32 months

Dr. Mohamed Batayneh, 68, of Livonia. Prison sentence: 8 years and 1 month

The case of Lebanese born Doctor Farid Fata was front page news in Michigan for years.  He got 45 years, but his victims wanted even more!

Dr. Farid Fata, 50, of Oakland Township. Prison sentence: 45 years

Have a look at the whole list that wraps with this one:

Dr. Mohammed Zahoor, 51, of Novi. Charged in pending health care fraud case involving opioids.

I guess these are some of the ‘new American’ entrepreneurs the Open Borders propagandists are always telling us about.