White Collar Crimes: Imposter Arrested Again 44 Years Later

Back in 1971, a Michigan man managed to con the Detroit Tigers into letting him try out for the team, pretending to be a well-known player from a team in another state. He was not selected for the team and then resorted to threatening the lives of a Tigers player's wife and children if the Tigers fail to pay him an amount of money. These antics led to an extortion charge. Though it's not clear if he was actually convicted, it was noted that the man has a substantial criminal record. Recently, the same man was charged with other white collar crimes, some 44 years after the prior extortion charge.

The man was pulled over by a Detroit officer in February. When asked for identification, he allegedly handed the officer a West Point alumni card. It was later discovered that he used the personal details of another man to obtain diplomas and transcripts from Duke and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. The officer reported that the man wore a West Point class ring at the time of the arrest.

Court documents also show that, upon searching the alleged imposter's car, ID cards from Duke University and Harvard were found. Also, a lab coat bearing his name and an embroidered logo of the University of Michigan was discovered. A search of his residence yielded falsified diplomas and transcripts. He recently appeared in a federal court on charges of mail fraud and identity theft, at which time he pleaded guilty to both counts.

Whenever an individual in Michigan is accused of white collar crimes, the services of an attorney who is experienced in defending the legal rights of those accused of such crimes may be invaluable. In this case, it was noted the the man's guilty plea was made pursuant to a plea agreement with federal prosecutors. The terms of the agreement were not disclosed, though plea deals are typically sought as a means of limiting the consequences that could come with a conviction after trial. He now faces a federal prison term of more than 28 years, and it remains to be seen whether his agreement to plead guilty to the stated charges will result in a shorter prison term when he is formally sentenced in Jan. 2016.

Source:, "Famed Detroit-area imposter pleads guilty to identity fraud", Ryan Felton, Sept. 24, 2015

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