Posted on 05 January 2017.
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announced that Michael Skupin, 54, of Farmington Hills, was sentenced to one to four years in prison by Oakland County 6th Circuit Court Judge Wendy Potts following his conviction of four counts of possession of child sexually abusive materials in November.
Once out of prison, he will have to register as a sex offender on SORA and is restricted from using a computer outside of work purposes.
He was also sentenced to pay restitution of $31,800 and probation for his financial crimes, with the first payments going to restitution.
“Today’s sentencing is a strong message to those who prey on children: no matter who you are or what you do, we will find you,” said Schuette. “The act of downloading and viewing images of children in sexually abusive situations is reprehensible. This behavior re-victimizes the child victims over and over.”
Skupin, a former contestant on the television reality show Survivor, was charged by Schuette in February 2016 with the counts of financial crimes of Larceny by Conversion and Racketeering as well as Possession of Child Sexually Abusive Materials.
An investigation began into Skupin after victims from his alleged Ponzi scheme contacted a local news reporter. Michael Skupin recruited investors and friends to take part in his “gifting scheme” called Pay It Forward. Victims made 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 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.
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Posted on 17 March 2016.
Troopers from the Michigan State Police, Mt. Pleasant Post have arrested Christopher Clair Corsello, 33, in connection with an investigation into Criminal Sexual Conduct 1ST Degree involving a minor under the age of 13 in Grant Township.
During the initial investigation, which began on February 16, troopers discovered that Corsello is on the Sex Offender Registry for a prior conviction involving a minor under 13, for which he spent 10-1/2 years in prison. He was discharged in 2014. Troopers also learned that Corsello was not staying at the address listed for him on the Sex Offender Registry.
On February 23, Troopers made contact with Corsello and arrested him for the Sex Offender Registration violation. After further investigation into the new incident, the Mecosta County Prosecutor’s Office issued a four-count felony warrant for Criminal Sexual Conduct 1st degree (minor under 13 years of age), Criminal Sexual Conduct 2nd Degree (minor under 13 years of age), Accosting a Child for Immoral Purposes, and Distributing Sexually Explicit Material to a minor.
Corsello was arrested on March 7 and arraigned on the additional charges in the 77th District County in Big Rapids. He is currently being held at the Mecosta County Jail on a $1,000,000 bond.
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Posted on 16 July 2015.
Eric Louis Johnson
By Judy Reed
A man sought by the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force was arrested Wednesday, July 15, at the corner of 18 Mile and N. Main Street in Cedar Springs.
According to Sgt. Jason Kelley, of the Kent County Sheriff Department, Cedar Springs Unit, the U. S. Marshals contacted them and told them they had a visual on the suspect and gave them a description of the vehicle.
“Deputy Potts conducted a traffic stop at 18 Mile and N. Main. The passenger in the vehicle was identified as Eric Louis Johnson, 51, and he was arrested without incident and lodged in the Kent County Correctional Facility on outstanding warrants,” said Kelley.
He is currently being held on a sex offender charge of failure to comply with reporting, and a failure to appear for another charge in Lake County. Bond was set at $5,325.
Johnson was convicted in 2002 of third degree criminal sexual conduct in 49th District Court in Big Rapids, and is on the sex offender registry for life. Under Michigan law, a Tier 3 sex offender must report his address to law enforcement four times a year. The last time he verified his whereabouts was in April 2013.
Johnson was one of three men profiled last month in a story on Fox 17. The story said the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force was asking for tips from the public to track the three men down. The story noted that Johnson’s criminal record included sexual assault, burglary, and resisting and obstructing police.
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Posted on 27 October 2011.
From Oct. 17-28, law enforcement agencies across Michigan will join together to focus investigative efforts on finding individuals in violation of the Michigan Sex Offenders Registration Act (P A 295 of 1994). The effort, dubbed Operation Verify, is the states eighth annual statewide sex offender sweep.
This sweep occurs following the October quarterly verification period because that allows for a more accurate list of noncompliant offenders, stated Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the Michigan State Police (MSP). This means any registered offender who wants to spare themselves a visit from troopers should verify their address with law enforcement as soon as possible.
The Michigan Sex Offenders Registration Act requires registered sex offenders to regularly report to their local law enforcement agency, sheriff’s office, or nearest state police post to verify their address. Tier 1 offenders must verify their address annually, during the first 15 days of January. Tier 2 offenders must verify their address semi-annually, during the first 15 days of January and July. Tier 3 offenders must verify their address quarterly, during the first 15 days of January, April, July and October. Failure to do so carries a penalty of up to two years of incarceration.
All registered sex offenders must also report a change of name, address, employment, campus enrollment, Internet identifiers and vehicle within three business days of any change. Failure to do so is four-year felony.
This statewide sweep comes on the heels of an effort over the past 12 months in which officers from 120 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies conducted residence checks of compliant offenders at the registered residences of nearly 22,000 offenders. This effort resulted in 252 arrests and 981 requests for arrest warrants for violations of the Michigan Sex Offenders Registration Act (MCL 28.723 – 28.732).
In addition to Operation Verify, the MSP participates in several local and regional sweeps each year. The department also maintains a list of the most wanted sex offenders at www.michigan.gov/absconders. Fourteen most wanted offenders were arrested in 2010, and so far this year, three most wanted offenders have been located or arrested.
As of September, there were 39,930 offenders on the Michigan Sex Offender Registry; 37,321 offenders were in compliance with the registry’s requirements.
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