Monday, February 16, 2015

36th district court officer charged with extortion

An indictment was unsealed last week charging a former court officer for the 36th District Court in Detroit with extortion, mail fraud and theft, said U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade in a prepared statement.

Joining in the announcement was Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette and Paul M. Abbate, Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Marlon Cleveland, 33, of Westland, was charged with misusing his position as a Court Officer for the 36th District Court to steal and extort thousands of dollars from defendants in civil cases over the course of more than a year. The crimes are alleged to have occurred in 2013 and 2014.

McQuade added, “Anyone who abuses a position of trust to steal from our courts or to extort money from members of the public should expect to face serious penalties under the law.”

“We must weed out corruption at all levels of government to ensure the public is served,” said Schuette. “Nobody will get a free pass when they break the law.”

“Preventing the abuse of power to conduct criminal activity remains among the highest priorities of the FBI,” added Abbate. “FBI Detroit, in concert with the Michigan Attorney General’s Public Integrity Unit and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, will continue to investigate these types of crimes and bring to justice those who abuse the public’s trust.”

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in collaboration with the Michigan Attorney General’s Public Integrity Unit.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. Every defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

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