Posted on 23 November 2016.
Michael Skupin also pled guilty to a larceny charge
An Oakland County jury convicted Michael Skupin, 54, of Farmington Hills, of four counts of possession of child sexually abusive materials in front of Oakland County 6th Circuit Court Judge Wendy Potts last Friday, November 18.
“The children in these videos and images were exploited, and each time the images were shared and viewed continued their suffering,” said Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette. “My hope is that today’s conviction will bring some closure to the families and the children that are victims in this case.”
Skupin, a former contestant on the television reality show Survivor, was charged by Schuette in February 2016 with both the counts of possession of child sexually abusive materials and financial crimes of larceny by conversion and racketeering. He pled guilty to one count of Larceny by Conversion on Monday, November 21, and agreed to pay $30,000 in restitution to his victims. He entered his plea in front of Oakland County 6th Circuit Court Judge Wendy Potts.
Each charge could bring up to four years in prison. Sentencing will be held on December 27, 2016 at 8:30 am.
An investigation began into Skupin after victims from his alleged Ponzi scheme contacted a local news reporter. It is alleged that Michael Skupin recruited investors and friends to take part in his “gifting scheme” called Pay It Forward. Victims allegedly made $10,000 cash investments in the scheme. Their money would then cycle through a chart in which participants were eventually paid out of other new investors’ money. The scheme was discovered when eventually there were no new investors signing up and most people in the scheme lost all of their money.
Skupin’s laptop was searched in conjunction with the Ponzi scheme investigation. During the search, investigators discovered images of underage children in sexual situations. The images are alleged to belong to Skupin.
Skupin was on two seasons of Survivor—Survivor: Australian Outback (2001), and Survivor: Phillipines (2012). Many remember him as the man who passed out and fell into the fire on live TV and was medivaced by helicopter to a hospital in Australia.
Posted in News
Posted on 11 September 2015.
Michael Anthony Slater
A 26-year-old Ravenna man was arraigned on multiple charges this week for breaking into a Sparta business.
According to Sparta Police Chief Andrew Milanowski, the Sparta Police Department was dispatched to the Sparta Sport shop 169 N. State Street, last Friday, September 4, on a Breaking & Entering complaint. A door had been pried open at the back of the building, and at least one firearm was missing.
Police checked video surveillance footage and found that a white male appeared to enter the building alone and started casing the area. A short time later the interior alarm went off and the subject fled the building. While fleeing, the man grabbed a rifle.
The investigating officer put out a broadcast to area departments informing them of the incident and a short time later received a call from the Muskegon County Sheriff Department and the Kent County Sheriff Department. Both shared information on a possible suspect, who they were also looking at, in similar type incidents.
A search warrant was obtained for the subject’s residence and his vehicles. The firearm stolen from Sparta Sport Shop was recovered in the search. Police interviewed the suspect, and he was then arrested and lodged in the Kent County Correctional Facility.
The suspect, Michael Anthony Slater, 26, of Ravenna, was arraigned on Tuesday, September 8, on charges of Breaking & Entering a Building with Intent to Commit Larceny, Possession of Burglary Tools, Larceny of a Firearm, Felon in Possession of a Firearm & a Misdemeanor Warrant out of Muskegon County.
This case was a joint effort of the Muskegon County Sheriff Department, Kent County Sheriff Department and the Sparta Police Department.
Posted in Featured, News
Posted on 14 November 2013.
A man who was charged in February with stealing a credit card out of someone’s car last December, has been arrested again—this time for stealing blank checks.
According to Cedar Springs Police Chief Roger Parent, Officer Mandy Stahl took a complaint on October 22 that a book of blank checks had been stolen from a local business office, which resulted in some of them being forged and cashed at local banks.
Police arrested Anthony David Popielarz, on Friday, November 8, for the crime.
Popielarz reportedly had friends or acquaintances who cashed the checks in their own name instead of his. Reasons they gave for doing that was that he didn’t have identification and didn’t have a bank account of his own.
“Fortunately, the prosecutor decided that it appears they were in fact naive in their actions and did not charge those who assisted Anthony,” said Chief Parent.
Popielarz is facing felony charges of Larceny in a Building and Uttering and Publishing. The Prosecutor’s Office added “Habitual Offender—Third Offence Notice.” Bond was set at $10,000.00 cash/surety and he was arraigned Tuesday, November 12, on the most recent charges.
His Probation Officer also added a Probation Violation Detainer. Popielarz was on probation through the 17th Circuit Court for felony charges in December, 2012. Those charges stemmed from the theft and use of another’s credit card. He is now in the Kent County Jail and serving his sentence for the probation violation.
Posted in News
Posted on 27 September 2013.
A Wyoming couple has been arrested and charged with larceny of a building on W. Stanton Road, in Sidney Township.
Montcalm County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a report of a larceny from a building on September 20, 2013. A neighbor contacted a relative of the homeowner after seeing a suspicious male and female on the property loading scrap metal into a vehicle. The relative then contacted the property owner and the Sheriff’s Office, who responded to the scene. The man and woman were attempting to leave the scene as Sheriff’s Deputies arrived and apprehended them.
The Deputies were able to determine, through witness interviews, that the couple had taken items from both the exterior and interior of the property. Connie Lynn Whitney, 37, and Gavier Madera Sanchez, 32, were arrested and lodged in the Montcalm County Jail. They were arraigned Wednesday in Montcalm County 64B District Court. Both have been charged with larceny under $200 and are currently out on bond.
Posted in News
Posted on 15 March 2012.
Three 15-year-old students from Godwin Heights High School are suspected of stealing items from the Cedar Springs High School locker room during a basketball game.
Cedar Springs Police Officer Chad Tucker investigated a complaint on February 29 that during the Cedar Springs-Godwin Heights High School basketball game the night before, someone entered the locker room area and stole money and items from gym bags and lockers.
According to Cedar Springs Police Roger Parent, security staff at the school provided quality video of the suspects entering and leaving the locker room. “Communications had already begun between the two schools and the Administration at Godwin Heights was very helpful with identifying the students involved,” he said.
Officer Tucker was able to recover a stolen computer (Galaxy Tablet). A set of headphones and some money is still missing. The three juvenile suspects have been referred to the Kent County Juvenile Prosecutor’s Office for charges of larceny in a building.
Posted in News
Posted on 08 July 2011.
Montcalm County Sheriff deputies received a call early Thursday morning, June 30, that a man was a man going in and out of the tents at the flea market in Trufant. The man also tried later to get into the caller’s car and caused damage. When Deputies arrived they investigated and found money was missing from the vendors at the flea market.
Meanwhile, homeowner Tony Sorenson was awakened by noises downstairs in his home, and thought it was his son. He went to check on him and found him still sleeping. He then noticed several patrol cars outside shining spotlights in the area of his home. Sorenson heard another noise and turned around to find a man standing behind him. He grabbed the man by the arm and took him outside to deputies. The intruder matched the description of the man police were looking for in the flea market break-ins and he was taken into custody.
A large amount of money was found on the man, and he was arrested on numerous charges, including larceny, illegal entry, malicious destruction of property, and disorderly conduct. The man was identified as a 37-year-old from White Pigeon, Michigan. The case is still under investigation.
Posted in News
Posted on 27 January 2011.
A Belding man was arrested last week after he illegally removed property from a vacant house southwest of downtown Greenville.
The Montcalm County Sheriff Department reported that a neighbor called and said they saw a man removing items from an unoccupied residence that was for sale at 10061 Fletcher Road. Deputies responded to the scene, and were in the process of interviewing the witness and property owner when the witness saw the suspect’s vehicle drive past the scene. Deputies initiated a traffic stop and identified the suspect as a 46-year-old Belding man.
The man told officers he was in the process of purchasing the home, and that the realtor told him he could begin cleaning up the property. Deputies contacted the realtor in charge of the property, and they refuted his claim. They said no one had made an offer on the property, nor had they given anyone permission to clean it up. The realtor did tell officers that the man had been speaking with them expressing interest in the property, however.
The man was arrested and lodged in the Montcalm County jail for larceny from a building and driving while license suspended. The incident remains under investigation.
Posted in News