Indiana Man Who Conspired with Former Wayne County
Assistant County Executive Pleads Guilty
Keith Monzelle Griffin, of Carmel, Indiana, pleaded guilty today to conspiring to commit wire fraud with former Wayne County Assistant County Executive Michael Demetrus Grundy, of Detroit, Michigan, United States Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced today.
Joining McQuade in the announcement was FBI Special Agent in Charge Andrew G. Arena.
Griffin's guilty plea follows the March 7, 2012 indictment against Grundy, in which he was charged with receiving kickbacks and extortion in connection with his position as Executive Director of HealthChoice of Michigan, also called Wayne County HealthChoice. HealthChoice is a municipal corporation designed to advance and promote the health and welfare of the residents of the County by providing access to reasonably priced health care to qualified individuals.
According to the Information that was filed on April 4, 2012 against Griffin and his plea agreement, Griffin and Grundy conspired to personally enrich themselves by bilking HealthChoice. In March of 2009, Griffin incorporated Advertise Me LLC in Michigan. Thereafter, from April 2009 until October 2011, Griffin invoiced HealthChoice for over $1,000,000.00, purportedly for advertising and services rendered by Advertise Me, when in fact the invoices were inflated and Grundy received a kickback from HealthChoice's payments to Advertise Me.
In April 2010, Griffin incorporated Medtrix LLC in Michigan. On October 19, 2011, Grundy caused the accountant of HealthChoice to wire transfer $400,000.00 to Medtrix, falsely representing that the payment was pursuant to a contract between HealthChoice and Medtrix executed on March 1, 2011 for Medtrix to develop and implement an electronic medical records ("EMR") system for HealthChoice medical providers. However, as Griffin knew, the contract was actually not executed until October of 2011, and he had not developed or implemented any EMR from March 1, 2011 until he received the payment from HealthChoice.
From March 29, 2011 until October 5, 2011, a company, identified as “Company A” in the charging documents, wire transferred $350,000 to Medtrix in seven $50,000 increments. Griffin knew that Company A was sending the payments to Medtrix at Grundy's direction, and that the payments were purportedly for EMR programming. However, Medtrix never created or obtained any EMR programs, and the payments that Company A made to Medtrix were used for Grundy's and Griffin's personal use and benefit.
If convicted, Griffin faces a maximum of twenty years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. The Information also seeks forfeiture of the unlawful payments received by Griffin.
United States Attorney McQuade said, "Federal investigators are making sure that no stone is unturned in this investigation. As a result, we are seeing a high level of cooperation and admission of guilt."
FBI Special Agent in Charge Andrew Arena said, "Those who work as public servants in Wayne County government and elsewhere are trusted to act with integrity and honor while representing the tax payers. We and our Detroit Area Public Corruption Task Force partners will remain vigilant in the pursuit and prosecution of anyone abusing the system for personal gain."
This case was investigated by the FBI led Public Corruption Task Force which includes the U.S. Attorney's Office, State Attorney General's office, IRS-CID, HUD-OIG, EPA-CID, DOT-OIG, Michigan State Police and Detroit Police Department. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Elizabeth A. Stafford, Gjon Juncaj and Chantale Fiebig.