I guess it’s not enough to be part of one of the most important families in the history of Gospel music. Nope, not for Michael Winans, Jr., son of The Winans member, Michael Winans (pictured above on the far left). He plead guilty last week in a Detroit court to federal charges that he was defrauding investors out of 8 million dollars in a Ponzi scheme.
The long and short of it is that 30 year old Michael represented Winans Trust, saying it was a company that invested in crude oil bonds in Saudia Arabia. He retained 11 “shareholders” and told them that to keep their place, they needed to recruit other investors and have them send their funds to Winans Trust. The “shareholders,” who knew nothing about this whole scheme, were collectively able to get over 1,000 investors involved who gave a total of over 8 million dollars to a company that didn’t exist. Michael then changed most of the “company money” into funds for himself using the rest to pay back initial investors. The problem was that the “pay back” money was really just money from new “clients” and not a real return on investment.
Michael will be sentenced in February 2013 and faces a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years.
Why?! Why must you be a rebel? Your daddy was a member of The Winans, for goodness sakes! Do something meaningful like becoming a teacher or nurse or doctor. Everybody in the entire Winans clan (and we all know its like 1,000 of them) can sing – put out an album!! What an embarrassment for such a legendary family.
Am I the only one too scared of prison to do something this dumb?