Michigan tribe's computers sold by man

According to a federal information filed in U.S. District Court, a Michigan man stands accused of stealing around $233,000 from the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians. The information was filed on Nov. 23.

The man reportedly purchased computer equipment for the tribes and then sold it without their knowledge between 2008 and Sept. 12, 2012. He reportedly then pocketed the proceeds. The tribe was not aware of the sales and does not know the persons to whom the equipment was allegedly sold.

Since the man was not indicted but was rather charged by felony information, it appears likely that he is cooperating with law enforcement investigators and the U.S. Attorney prosecuting his case. The case, filed in Grand Rapids, reportedly occurred in Leelanau County. There is no information regarding any more court dates set. The Assistant U.S. Attorney who filed the information wrote in it that the total value of the computer equipment was $233,176.72.

Federal theft charges are especially serious, as federal cases often involve longer sentences than do state ones. Whether a theft case is filed in state or federal court, however, the defendant may benefit by seeking help from a criminal defense attorney early in the process. If a person learns that an investigation is ongoing, the attorney may be able to negotiate an agreement for full restitution in exchange for charges not being filed. If charges are filed, an attorney may work hard to try to get the client a plea to a lesser offense or one that does not involve imprisonment. In some cases, an attorney may spot a viable defense and work to get evidence against the client suppressed before or at trial.

Source: M LIVE, " Man secretly sold $233K of Michigan Indian tribe's computers, records say," John Agar, Nov. 24, 2015.