Guilty plea in mail fraud scheme

Dec. 12, 2012 at 6:01 PM

DETROIT, Dec. 12 (UPI) -- A Yale, Mich., man pleaded guilty to mail fraud after he was accused of running a $2.6 million scheme to defraud prisoners and relatives seeking legal aid.

John Wilson, 57, was indicted in 2010 on 66 counts of mail fraud for offering nationwide legal and appellate work. Victims were promised legal research and lawyers, but after payments were made no research was provided and no lawyer was assigned to appeal work, his indictment said.

Wilson faces up to 20 years in prison at his April 11 sentencing. He also pleaded guilty to a tax crime and agreed to a $2 million settlement, the Detroit News reported Wednesday.

"This fraud scheme preyed upon family members who were desperate to obtain help for loved ones. Not only did this scheme exploit people in need of legal services but it also denied them access to justice," U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said in a statement Tuesday.

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