Michael Winans Jr., 32, of the Winans family, was sentenced to 165 months in prison, the equivalent of 13 plus years, at the Federal Courthouse downtown, for scamming investors in a Ponzi scheme, according to Click on Detroit, Wednesday, Feb. 27.
Michael Winans, Jr., scammed over 1,000 investors out of $8 million in a ponzi scheme during 2007 and 2008, which left victims devastated, financially damaged and totally distraught.
Marvin Winans, the uncle of Michael Winans, Jr., appeared in court for the sentencing today; a reporter stated that he just sat and shook his head. Winans’ mother, father and wife were also present. Winans is a father and has a one-year-old baby, sad for the family.
Some of the victims presented statements to the judge at the sentencing and called him a “silver-tongued con man.”
Winans apparently used his good family name and the religious community to defraud people out of their hard earned money to make investments in the scheme. Investors thought they were investing in crude oil. Nearly all of the investors never saw a dime of their investment returned.
At the beginning of the scheme Winans learned that there was no real investment, but continued to collect from victims. One investor gave $30,000, another $7,000 and another $1000, and so forth.
A representative of the Winans family suggested that the good name of the Winans family should not be affected by this unfortunate incident and informed viewers that the family name is still respected because of the fine work that they have done in the community.
Winans will turn himself in at a later date to begin serving his prison sentence of almost 14 years.