Michael Winans Jr., a member of the gospel-singing Winans family, has pleaded guilty to a Ponzi scheme that stole more than $8 million from investors.
Winans Jr. is the nephew of Marvin Winans, who sang alongside family members at Whitney Houston's funeral and has made frequent cameo appearances on Tyler Perry's House of Payne.
Winans Jr., 30, told 11 shareholders that he represented Winans Trust, a company that supposedly invested in crude oil bonds in Saudi Arabia. He also required them to get other investors to send money to the company, promising a $1,000 to $8,000 return within 60 days.
In truth, Winans Jr. kept more than $8 million gathered for his fake company from over 1,000 investors and then paid back those initial investors who knew nothing about the dirty scheme.
Winans Jr. will be sentenced on Feb. 27, 2013, and faces a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.
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(Photo: Detroit News)