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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Michigan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 7, 2019

Engineering Contractor Sentenced to Prison for Bribery in Macomb County Corruption Probe

A former civil engineering contractor in Macomb County, Paulin Modi, 50, of Troy, Michigan, was sentenced today to twelve months in prison followed by two years of supervised release based on his conviction for conspiracy to commit bribery, United States Attorney Matthew Schneider announced. 

Schneider was joined in the announcement by Timothy R. Slater, Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Manny Muriel, Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit Field Office of the Internal Revenue Service.

In September 2017, Modi pleaded guilty to conspiring to bribe Steven Hohensee, who was then the Superintendent of the Department of Public Works for Washington Township, Michigan.  Modi paid multiple cash bribes amounting to $5,000 to Hohensee in 2013 and 2014 in an effort to secure a $1 million per year engineering contract between Modi’s company and Washington Township.  In addition, Modi assisted two executives from another engineering firm to pay a $2,000 bribe to Hohensee with the hope of securing more business for this other engineering firm.  Unbeknownst to Modi, Hohensee was cooperating with the FBI at the time, and Hohensee recorded the bribe payment and related discussions.  Modi also provided a $25,000 “loan” to another Washington Township official in order to protect his firm’s contract with the township.

After being confronted by the FBI back in 2015, Modi has worked diligently to cooperate with the government’s investigation into cooperation in Macomb County.  His sentence was reduced based on that cooperation, including his June 2018 testimony at the trial of Clinton Township Trustee Dean Reynolds.  Reynolds, who failed to take responsibility for his actions and did not cooperate in the investigation, was sentenced to 17 years in prison on February 6, 2019, based on his convictions for multiple conspiracies to commit bribery. 

This case is part of the government’s wide-ranging corruption investigation centered in Macomb County, Michigan.  The investigation of this case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys David A. Gardey and R. Michael Bullotta.

Topic(s): 
Public Corruption
Updated February 8, 2019