By Rosemary K. Otzman
Attorney Michael J. Vincent of Ypsilanti has been hired by former Belleville attorney Thomas A. White to represent White during the Michigan State Police’s current investigation of what Vincent said was “Embezzlement.”
Vincent said Friday that he has contacted the State Police on White’s behalf.
“People are innocent until proven guilty,” Vincent said, adding that everyone should be patient and let the legal process proceed.
“It will be a long while,” Vincent said of the time until the issue is resolved.
White, who practiced law on Main Street in the City of Belleville for 20 years, was disbarred on July 15 for stealing money from clients. On July 19 he filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection.
Michigan State Police reportedly started an investigation of White in May.
More than 40 people claiming to be White’s victims gathered at Victory Station in Belleville on Aug. 1 to consider what could be done.
Royal Oak attorney Steven Z. Cohen, who already had a client who sued White, called the meeting and six other attorneys were present. They invited victims to join together in a general adversary proceeding against White, which would be less expensive than each one hiring an individual lawyer.
White’s 341(a) meeting of creditors is set for 11 a.m., Aug. 28, before Bankruptcy Trustee Wendy Turner Lewis at Room 315, 211 W. Fort St. Building in Detroit.
In his bankruptcy filing, White stated he had 1-49 creditors, had estimated assets of $100,000 to $200,000, and estimated liabilities of $1 million to $10 million.
White paid a retainer of $2,500 to the law firm of Gold, Lange & Majoros of Southfield to assist him in the bankruptcy filing and represent him at the meeting of creditors and confirmation hearing of the bankruptcy proceedings. White agreed to pay all court-approved fees and expenses exceeding the amount of the retainer.
White is expected to take the Fifth Amendment and not testify in the Aug. 28 meeting.
The Michigan Attorney Discipline Board ordered White to pay restitution in the aggregate amount of $333,604.67, plus costs of $1,801.53. The notice was issued July 18 and he filed bankruptcy on July 19.
By Rosemary K. Otzman