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Top court takes case of foreclosure windfalls

DETROIT (AP) — A lawyer is warning that local governments in Michigan could face a financial calamity if forced to repay surplus cash from the sale of tax-foreclosed properties.

The Michigan Supreme Court heard arguments Thursday over a state law that allows treasurers to keep money left over after overdue property taxes are paid from a sale. Christina Martin, an attorney for two people in Oakland County, called it “stealing.”

Uri Rafaeli owed $8.41 on a rental property in Southfield. The bill grew to $285 with penalties and interest. Oakland County sold the house for $24,500 but refused to give him a dime, although the sale easily exceeded the overdue taxes.

John Bursch argued at the Supreme Court on behalf of the county. If the law seems unfair, he says the public can urge lawmakers to change it.


Engineer charged with sending trade secrets to Iran

DETROIT (AP) — Federal prosecutors in Detroit have charged an engineer with sending corporate trade secrets to a brother in Iran.

Amin Hasanzadeh, 42, of Ypsilanti is also accused of lying on immigration forms by failing to disclose his service in the Iranian military. He has permanent resident status in the U.S., commonly referred to as a green card.

The FBI says Hasanzadeh sent confidential documents to Iran while working at a Michigan company that serves the auto and aerospace industries. The government says his responsibilities included work on a supercomputer that had aerospace applications. The alleged scheme occurred in 2015 and 2016.

Hasanzadeh asked for an attorney when he appeared in court Wednesday. He says he works at the University of Michigan.

Another hearing was scheduled.


Krispy Kreme orders student to halt doughnut resale service

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — An enterprising Minnesota college student who drove to Iowa every weekend to buy hundreds of Krispy Kreme doughnuts that he then sold to his own customers has been warned by the confectionary giant to stop.

There have been no Krispy Kreme stores in Minnesota for 11 years.

Jayson Gonzalez, 21, of Champlin, Minnesota, would drive 270 miles to a Krispy Kreme store in Iowa, pack his car with up to 100 boxes, each carrying 12 doughnuts, then drive back to deliver them to customers in Minneapolis-St. Paul.

He charged $17 to $20 per box. He said some of his customers spent nearly $100 each time.

But less than a week after the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported on his money-making scheme, Gonzalez received a phone call from Krispy Kreme’s Nebraska office telling him to stop.

The senior studying accounting at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul said he was told his sales created a liability for the North Carolina-based company.

Gonzalez, also known as “The Donut Guy,” would have made his 20th run to Iowa last Saturday.

He told his Facebook followers two days earlier he had been told he has to shut down operations.

“Life happens, and it could be a sign that something else it meant to be,” Gonzalez posted.

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