Winans Relative Charged in Ponzi Scheme

Michael Winans Jr. (WDIV-TV, Detroit)

This just goes to show that just about everyone — even black America's most famous gospel family — has at least one relative engaging in some not-so-holy activities. The Associated Press reports that a member of the Winans family has been charged with fraud after authorities uncovered his involvement in a scam involving more than $8 million and bogus oil bonds.

Michael Winans Jr. is the grandson of Delores "Mom" Winans and David "Pop" Winans Sr. and the son of Michael Winans Sr., a member of the Winans quartet. He plans to plead guilty, defense attorney William Hatchett told the Associated Press. 

Winans knew the Saudi Arabian oil bonds weren’t real, but he continued to accept money from more than 1,000 investors in 2007 and 2008, according to a filing this week in Detroit federal court.

Michigan regulators in 2010 said Winans Jr. used connections in Detroit churches to lure investors.

"There are no other members of this great family implicated or involved in any fashion," Hatchett said. "This is a very difficult time for this very bright and gifted young man. His family stands beside him and they intend to see him through this."


Hatchett added that it is his client's "full intention to repay or somehow put these people back to where they were before they became involved." It's unclear how that will work, since the bonds he was selling to investors weren't real, and the government alleges that he spent the cash himself as well as recycling it among investors.

Read more at BlackAmericaWeb.

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