Man pleads guilty in $2.6M prison legal aid scam

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

Detroit's U.S. attorney says a southeastern Michigan man has pleaded guilty to mail fraud, two years after being accused of stealing $2.6 million from thousands of prisoners and their family members nationwide.

The government says 57-year-old John Wilson of Yale faces up to 20 years in prison at his sentencing April 11. It says he also pleaded guilty to a tax crime and agreed to pay $2 million.

The Detroit News reports that U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade says Wilson preyed on prisoners and their families seeking legal assistance, talking their money and denying them justice.

She says Wilson's three businesses sent direct mailings to inmates offering to provide legal and appellate court work.

Co-defendant Lari Zeka of Macomb County's Macomb Township pleaded guilty in January and awaits sentencing.

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