Unless otherwise noted all scheduled hearings will take place in Theodore J. Levin United States District Court, 231 W. Lafayette, Detroit, MI 48226, before the Honorable Judge D. Borman. Due to on-going construction at the Court, the courtroom number of the scheduled hearing will be indicated in the announcement of the hearing, below. Any updates/courtroom changes will be posted to this website.
The top priority of the United States Attorney’s Office-Eastern District of Michigan, is to insure privacy, dignity and respect to the deceased love ones of those effected by the circumstances of this case.
March 25, 2019 - Pursuant to an Appeal of Defendant's Conviction filed by Arthur Rathburn, an Oral Argument has been scheduled by the Court of Appeals. This hearing will take place on May 8, 2019 before the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, Cincinnati, Ohio. Appeal hearings are held before a panel of judges whose decisions are rendered in the form of a written legal opinion weeks or months after the oral argument. This website will be updated with the decision of the Court.
May 22, 2018 - Defendant Arthur Rathburn was sentenced by the Honorable Paul D. Borman to a term of 108 months incarceration. Upon his release from prison, the defendant will serve a term of three years supervised release. Restitution for the victims' families will be considered. A restitution hearing has not yet been scheduled by the Court. Updates regarding this case and the date for the Restitution Hearing will be posted to this website.
March 13, 2018 - Defendant Elizabeth Rathburn was sentenced by the Honorable Paul D. Borman to a term of 2 years probation.
February 16, 2018 - The time for the sentencing hearing for defendant(s), Elizabeth Rathburn, has been re-set. The hearing is now scheduled to take place at 11:00 a.m. on March 13, 2018. This hearing will take place before the Honorable Paul D. Borman in Courtroom 737 of the United States District Courthouse.
January 25, 2018 - Due to the large number of victims identified in this case, and in an effort to assist victims more efficiently, this webpage has been developed to advise of information relating to the above case. This does not replace written notification to those identified as victims, it simply provides an additional resource from which to obtain information.
Charges were filed against defendants Arthur Rathburn and Elizabeth Rathburn. The lead prosecutor for this case is John K. Neal.
On March 21, 2016, defendant Elizabeth Rathburn pled guilty to one count of Fraud by Wire, Radio, or Television. Any remaining counts will be disposed of at the time of sentencing. As a result of the guilty plea, there will be no trial involving this defendant.
A sentencing hearing for this defendant has been scheduled for Tuesday, March 13, 2018 at 3:00 p.m., before the Honorable Paul D. Borman, United States District Court, 231 W. Lafayette, Courtroom 737, Detroit, MI 48226.
Defendant Arthur Rathburn elected to exercise his right to a jury trial. On January 22, 2018, the jury convicted Arthur Rathburn of one count of Illegal Transportation of Hazardous Materials and seven counts of Fraud by Wire, Radio, or Television. The defendant was acquitted of one count of False Statements and two counts of Fraud by Wire, Radio, or Television. Two counts of False Statements were dismissed. We recognize that the statutory language may be interpreted as generic and harsh. We want to emphasize and provide assurance to the victims identified in this case that the statutory language is in no way is it a reflection of how the prosecution and investigation team viewed the circumstances of this case. Respect to your loved ones continues to remain a priority with this team.
A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for Arthur Rathburn for Monday, May 21, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. before the Honorable Paul D. Borman, United States District Court, 231 W. Lafayette, Courtroom 737, Detroit, MI 48226.
It is helpful for the Court to know the impact of this crime on its victims. A victim impact statement is a narrative written by the victim and/or victim's family, explaining tot he Court the impact the offense(s) had on them. There is no required format for a completed victim impact statement. Victim impact submissions are limited to those who are identified as victims in this case. Written victim impact statements must be submitted to Sandy Palazzolo or Sherri Holloway, on or before Friday, March 2, 2018.
For a copy of the Victim Impact Statement form, please click HERE.
Victim impact statement submission may be mailed to :
Sandy Palazzolo / Sherri Holloway
U.S. Attorney’s Office – EDMI
211 West Fort Street, Suite 2001
Detroit, Michigan 48226
In addition, identifed victims also have the opportunity to provide a verbal statement to the Court at the sentencing hearing. For those wishing to provide a verbal statement, please contact Sandy Palazzolo (313-226-9633) or Sherri Holloway (313-226-9753) as soon as possible, so arrangements can be made with the Court.
****Should you have questions relating to your loved ones remains or about the investigation of this case, please contact the FBI Victim Specialist, Nicole McGee or Special Agent Paul Johnson, at 313-965-2323.****