Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Michigan School District Lost Thousands To Fake Nonprofit

Newly unsealed federal court records show that the Highland Park, Mich. school district lost $170,000 to a fake nonprofit set up by a now indicted school board member.

The Detroit Free Press reported today on the records, which provide a deeper look at the government's case against Robert Davis, 32, who is charged with stealing from the already cash-strapped school district. Davis used money from the phony nonprofit, called Citizens United to Save Highland Park Schools, on personal expenditures. Records show he allegedly spent $84,000 on perks such as custom-made clothes, hotel rooms, bar and restaurant tabs, and spending sprees at malls. He is also accused of withdrawing $86,711 in cash from the organization.

Citizens United was set up in 2005 by Davis, who used his home as the address for the fake nonprofit. According to an FBI search warrant affidavit filed in the U.S. District Court in Detroit, Davis was listed as the sole signatory for the organization's account. Highland Park school officials reportedly had no idea the account existed.

Davis was indicted on April 5 on charges that he stole more than $125,000 from the school district by submitting false invoices for advertising between 2004 and 2010. He faces up to 10 years in jail if he is convicted.

You can read the full story in The Detroit Free Press.

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