Friday, December 26, 2014

Michigan Man Sentenced For Embezzling $200K From School District

From the Lansing State Journal on 12/20/2014:

Robert Davis, a self-proclaimed reformer who rallied against corruption in government in a series of lawsuits, is going to prison for 18 months for the same types of crimes he railed against.

U.S. District Judge Arthur Tarnow handed down the sentence after concluding that Davis abused the public trust and acted out of greed by embezzling $200,000 from the financially strapped Highland Park public school district while serving on the school board.

Tarnow stressed that he punished Davis not for filing lawsuits, but for stealing from the public while in a position of trust.

“That’s really the crime here ... it’s not like Robin Hood where you’re robbing from the rich. It’s robbing from the poor. It’s Highland Park. I drive through there everyday,” said Tarnow, who admonished Davis for his actions. “It’s public property that you took. You took it from a system that couldn’t afford it, and you took it because of your standing in the community. ... Selfishness is a good reason to describe why you’re here. Greed is another. It was easy.”

Moreover, Tarnow said, Davis should have known better.

Davis was well-educated, raised by a supportive mother who taught him to be honest, had a loyal following and was on his “way to greatness,” Tarnow said.

Davis, who got choked up when he spoke and needed a tissue at one point to wipe his face, admitted he messed up and apologized to many — his family, the public and the court.

“I stand before you today a changed and humbled man,” Davis told the judge. “I am ashamed, embarrassed and remorseful for the mistakes I made. ... I abused the public trust and for that I sincerely apologize to the city of Highland Park.”

Davis added: “I have no one to blame but myself.”

Tarnow asked him why he did what he did.

“I did it because I was selfish and I was trying to be the political star on the rise,” Davis answered.
Davis pleaded guilty in September to embezzlement and fraud.

He admitted that he used his position as a school board member and president to have school checks written to two companies, which then funneled the money to Davis, who used the funds for personal expenses.

In addition to prison time, Davis also has to pay restitution to the Highland Park School District. An exact amount has not yet been determined.


Read the whole story here.

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