Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Violating a Public Trust

Update:  Jan, 2011  Latest news on Dante DeMiro

A Columbia Township investment of $100,000 for ten years, a Mona Shores Public Schools investment of $3.5 million from the school improvement bond fund, a Comstock Township investment of $1.75 million in certificate of deposits and a Lapeer County investment of $750,000. 

Unless you live on the west side of the state or follow financial news in the municipal world, you may have missed the news of the FBI criminal complaint against Dante DeMiro of MuniVest Financial Group in Southfield. 

I have listed the FBI complaint below, but as a former financial professional, I can say this:  If you are dealing with a broker, make sure you are holding your municipal certificates and securities in a third party safekeeping account in your name.  And if you don't understand what I just said, then you probably should not be investing public money.


March 9, 2009

• Lapeer County transfers $750,000 to Dante DeMiro’s MuniVest Financial Group for the purchase of CDs from three banks.

March 11, 2009

• MuniVest check for $600,000 sent to Universal Jewelry & Watch Repair in Birmingham. FBI later determines MuniVest account couldn’t cover the check until the Lapeer County funds had been deposited.

April 2009

• Comstock Township transfers $1.75 million to MuniVest for the purchase of CDs from seven banks.

• United Service Credit Union in Des Moines, Iowa, transfers $396,000 to MuniVest for the purchase of CDs from four banks.

• Lapeer County transfers another $250,000 to MuniVest for purchase of one CD.

• DeMiro sends $1.16 million check to Boiler Makers Local 169 in Allen Park with “refunding principal and interest” in the memo line. FBI alleges account the check was drawn from had only $187,000 prior to the transfers from Comstock Township, Lapeer County and United Service Credit Union.

August 2009

• Mona Shores transfers $3.48 million to MuniVest for the purchase of CDs.

January 2010

• DeMiro tells Comstock Township that one of its CDs had matured and sends it $255,122 as principal and interest. FBI alleges the money came from funds transferred by Mona Shores.

May 2010

• DeMiro sends $250,000 to Comstock Township for a second CD he says has matured. DeMiro also sends $260,323 to Lapeer County for a CD he says has matured. FBI alleges those payments came from Mona Shores’ funds.

Sept. 9, 2010

• FBI informs Mona Shores officials of its investigation of DeMiro.

Sept. 15, 2010

• FBI files criminal complaint against DeMiro in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan alleging he violated federal bank fraud statute and federal wire fraud statute.

Sept. 16, 2010

• DeMiro appears in U.S. District Court on FBI criminal complaint and is released on $10,000 bond.

Source: U.S. District Court filing

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