By Diane Madigan
Independent Court Reporter
After months of investigation by Michigan State Police, on Dec. 18 another 15 felony charges were brought against disbarred attorney Thomas Andrew White, 46, of Van Buren Township.
In his new case, in Count One, White is accused of conducting a Criminal Enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activity.
Thirty-five instances were cited in the warrant for a total of more than $940,000. On this charge, if convicted, White could be sentenced to 20 years in prison and/or a $100,000 fine.
Also in this warrant, White is accused of 14 felony embezzlements, which are four charges of embezzlement over $100,000, five cases of embezzlement of $50,000-$100,000, two cases of embezzlement $20,000-$50,000, and three cases of embezzlement $1,000-$20,000.
If convicted, White could be looking at many, many years of prison time, and imposed fines of three times the value, some $2,820,000.
On Dec. 18, White was scheduled for a preliminary examination on a 2004 case in which he is accused of uttering and publishing, larceny by conversion ($20,000 or more), embezzlement – agent or trustee ($20,000 or more), and two counts of identity theft.
The victims in this case were Judith Ann and the late Leland Jordan, who White represented in a land sale. White is accused of taking $73,800 from them by counterfeiting their signatures. Michigan State Police filed this case before the others because the statute of limitations was about to expire.
Leland Jordan died in 2008 at the age of 72 but was alive at the time of the alleged crimes.
White could face 44 years in prison if convicted of all the charges in the Jordan case.
The preliminary examination on the Jordan case had been adjourned / postponed three times as the court waited for more warrants.
Wayne County Prosecutor Daniel Williams signed the warrant early the morning of Dec. 18 and White, his attorney Michael Vincent and Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Latoya Willis waited for the warrant to be electronically transferred to Romulus’ 34th District Court.
Once the warrant was transferred White stood with attorney Vincent before Judge Brian Oakley. Vincent asked to waive the reading of the new charges and asked to consolidate the new case with the current case on a personal recognizance (PR) bond, stating White is not a flight risk.
Vincent said this is the third or fourth time White has been to court on this case and, “He is not a threat to society.”
PR bonds do not require the defendant or a third party to pay money to the court, unless the defendant later fails to appear.
Assistant Prosecutor Willis, who was filling in for Assistant Prosecutor Daniel Williams, said she would leave the bond decision up to the court’s discretion.
Judge Oakley ordered White to swear if he failed to appear for future court proceedings he would he would forfeit $100,000.
Judge Oakley ordered White’s two cases to track together and his current $20,000/10% bond be converted to $50,000 PR bond, plus bond on the new file to be $50,000 PR.
Vincent said he and the Michigan State Police want to consolidate the files on both cases to be one case, to save the MSP time for fingerprinting and a mug shot again. Judge Oakley was reluctant to do so before checking with the court clerk to find out what that kind of move would do to the court.
White is scheduled to appear at 34th District Court in Romulus on Feb. 26 for preliminary examinations on both cases.
White was an attorney with offices at 35 Main Street, Belleville, for 20 years until he was disbarred July 15 for stealing from his clients. He declared Chapter 7 bankruptcy a few days later.
By Diane Madigan