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Press Release

Former City of Detroit Employee Pleads Guilty to Embezzling $265,000 From The City

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Michigan

A former City of Detroit employee, Masharn Franklin, 53, of Detroit, pleaded guilty today to embezzling $265,000 from the city, announced United States Attorney Matthew Schneider. 

Franklin was employed by the City of Detroit in its audit and payroll department in 2016 and 2017.  During that time, Franklin was responsible for overseeing the execution of garnishment orders for the salaries of Detroit city employees.  While so employed, Franklin concocted a scheme to embezzle hundreds of thousands of dollars from the city by causing money to be “garnished” from city funds in the names of Franklin’s relatives.  Once the city had issued checks in the names of Franklin’s relatives in the amounts dictated by Franklin, Franklin then deposited the checks into bank accounts held jointly by her and her relatives.  As a result of her embezzlement scheme, Franklin stole approximately $265,573 from the City of Detroit.  The FBI has already seized $58,000 in criminal proceeds from Franklin’s bank accounts.      

Schneider was joined in the announcement by Timothy Slater, Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

“Defendant Franklin abused her position of trust as an employee in order to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from the City of Detroit.  Today’s conviction demonstrates that the federal authorities will continue to assist the City of Detroit to ensure that such behavior will not be tolerated as the city continues its comeback,” U.S. Attorney Schneider said.

“Masharn Franklin attempted to weaken the successful efforts of Detroit city officials committed to rebuilding faith in the city government by stealing from the residents,” said Timothy R. Slater, Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit FBI.  “The FBI will not tolerate those behaviors and remains committed, along with all our Detroit law enforcement partners, to work collectively, bringing those responsible for such acts to justice.”      

The embezzlement count for theft from a program receiving federal funds carries a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000.  Franklin will also be required to pay back all of the $265,573 that she stole from the city.           

Franklin is scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Judge Arthur J. Tarnow on August 15, 2018 at 11:00 a.m.

The investigation of this case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David A. Gardey.

Updated May 15, 2018

Public Corruption