Gospel Singer Pleads Guilty in $8 Million Ponzi Scheme

Michael Winans of renowned gospel singing family submits plea in wire fraud case.


A Jessup man pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday to defrauding investors of $8 million, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Michael Winans Jr., 30, recruited more than 1,000 people to invest in the Winans Foundation Trust, which he claimed was a Saudi Arabian crude oil venture, said the FBI in an Oct. 3 statement.

Victims lived in Michigan, Arkansas, Georgia, Texas and other states, according to federal court filings, and were told they could make $1,000 to $8,000 in 60 days.

The U.S. Attorney's office charged Winans, listed as a resident of the 10000 block of Guilford Rd. in Jessup, with defrauding investors "in classic 'Ponzi scheme' fashion" between 2007 and 2008, according to charging documents.

Winans allegedly took some of the $8 million he obtained from investors for his own personal use and also used it to recruit more investors, according to the charges.

The FBI, Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office, and the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs collaborated on the investigation, according to an FBI statement.

Sentencing will take place Feb. 27 at federal court in Detroit, reports Detroit News.

Winans is a member of the famous Winans gospel singing family, which includes his aunt CeCe Winans and his grandfather "Pop" Winans.

Kimberly October 05, 2012 at 10:44 AM
Headline typo needs fixing. I work with deaf people; I'm a signer. He makes music with his voice; he is a singer.
Andrew Metcalf October 05, 2012 at 01:55 PM
That was this guy's fault, sorry, fixed.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »