State Attorney General Bill Schuette wants Joel Wilson back in Michigan. The Bay City businessman and wanted fugitive is in Germany.
The attorney general's office has charged Wilson with running a ponzi scheme, saying Wilson used new investors' funds to pay returns to previous investors. Wilson is the owner of WR Rice Financial Services. That's an affiliate of both the Diversified Group and American Reality Funds corporation. They own 74 investment properties in Saginaw and Bay counties.
"If Mr. Wilson is innocent, come on home and face the music. I'm not going to turn my eye to someone who's ripped off individuals, has a ponzi scheme, has been charged with racketeering and nine felonies," Schuette said.
Wilson maintains his innocence. During a phone conversation that WNEM.com had with him last Friday, he told us he isn't sure if he'll return to the United States. He insists he's not running from the law. He says the investigation has tainted his name and that he has no interest in being part of any political gain for Schuette.
"Bill Schuette somehow seems to have found a ponzi scheme where all federal investigators have failed to. This is just the attorney general trying to grab headlines and ensure his re-election," Wilson said.
Meanwhile, Schuette says he'd love to settle this difference of opinion with Wilson, but only in a Michigan courtroom.
"Mr. Wilson, if you're so darn innocent, come on back and face the music. Apparently he doesn't want to face the music," Schuette said.
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