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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, October 9, 2015

Petoskey Attorney, Michael Aho Kennedy, Indicted For Mail Fraud And False Tax Returns

Michael Aho Kennedy Allegedly Embezzled Over One Million Dollars from Client

          GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN — U.S. Attorney Patrick A. Miles, Jr., announced today that Michael Aho Kennedy, age 67, of Petoskey, Michigan, was indicted by a federal grand jury for carrying out a mail fraud scheme and filing false federal income tax returns. Counts 1 to 6 of the indictment allege that Kennedy served as the trustee of a trust that he drafted for his client, Virginia Weber. According to the indictment, Kennedy allegedly embezzled over one million dollars from Ms. Weber’s trust between 2006 and 2012 and concealed his embezzlement by sending her false periodic statements of account that made it appear as if the trust assets still existed.

          Counts 7 to 9 of the indictment allege that Kennedy filed false amended tax returns for tax years 2007, 2008 and 2009. Kennedy initially reported the embezzled funds as income on his federal income tax returns for those years and paid the 2007 income taxes with money he embezzled from the victim. However, when the Internal Revenue Service attempted to collect the income taxes owed for tax years 2008 and 2009, Kennedy amended his federal income tax returns for all years by falsely claiming that the embezzled funds were loans or investments not subject to income tax.

          Kennedy is currently lodged at the Emmet County Jail on charges brought by the Michigan Attorney General’s Office relating to his embezzlement from the same victim from October 8, 2009 to February 22, 2010.

          The charges in an indictment are merely accusations, and a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.

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Updated January 8, 2016