Daily Briefs

Voters Not Politicians to host town hall events

Voters Not Politicians, the nonpartisan, grassroots group that led the drive to end partisan gerrymandering in Michigan, is hosting a series of town halls to discuss Michigan's last-in-the-nation integrity rating and how voters can work for policies that fight corruption, hold politicians accountable, and bring integrity to state government.

The first town hall was held Thursday, Dec. 5 at the Northwest Unitarian Universalist Church in Southfield.

Following overwhelming support for redistricting reform from Michigan voters in 2018, Voters Not Politicians gathered feedback from people across the state through surveys and town halls to learn more about what issues the organization can address next to make government more transparent, ethical, and accountable. At the town halls, Voters Not Politicians leadership will talk about the problems voters identified and how they could be addressed – through the Legislature or at the ballot box.

For more information, call (517) 225-1812 or send an e-mail to info@votersnotpoliticians.com.


AG charges ex-teller with embezzlement from elderly customer

A former teller at Michigan First Credit Union has been charged with two counts of Embezzlement from a Financial Institution – a 20-year felony – for allegedly withdrawing a total of $24,000 from the account of a 92-year-old customer.

Stephanie Joyce-Bennett Beauford, 52, of Redford was arraigned in Wayne County 36th District Court last month following an investigation by the Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) and the Department of Attorney General’s Financial Crimes Division.

Beauford had been a teller at Michigan First Credit Union since 2005. Michigan First terminated her employment following an interview in which she admitted withdrawing the funds from the account of an elderly customer, who was hospitalized at the time. 

“Our office will continue to prosecute those who prey on Michigan’s most vulnerable,” said Nessel.  “I am grateful for the diligent work of our investigators and prosecutors as we identify elder abuse – in this case financial abuse – and bring those abusers to justice.”

The alleged embezzlement was referred to the Michigan Attorney General by the state Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) in early 2018.  The issue came to DIFS’ attention following a complaint submitted by the victim’s family.  DIFS’ examination discovered irregularities and referred the case to the Attorney General for criminal prosecution.

“This year, the DIFS’ Fraud Investigation Unit was codified in law to investigate fraudulent and criminal activities in the financial and insurance markets,” said DIFS Director Anita Fox. “Investigating consumer complaints and stopping fraud is a high priority for DIFS. This case is another example of the great partnership between DIFS and Attorney General Dana Nessel to protect Michigan consumers.”

Beauford is scheduled for a Preliminary Examination Tuesday in front of Judge Kenyetta Jones of the Wayne County 36th District Court.

Anyone who suspects elder abuse of any kind is encouraged to report it to the Attorney General’s Elder Abuse tip line at mi.gov/elderabuse or 800-242-2873.


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