You are here

Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, May 23, 2016

Muskegon Woman Sentenced To 24 Months In Federal Prison For Perjury

          GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN – Tunisia Phillips-Lark, also known as "Kesha" and "Nish Nish," of Muskegon, Michigan was sentenced to 24 months in federal prison for perjury, U.S. Attorney Patrick Miles announced today. In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Judge Robert Holmes Bell imposed a three-year term of supervised release that will commence once Phillips-Lark is released from imprisonment.

          Phillips-Lark pled guilty to one count of perjury on February 4, 2016. She admitted at the plea hearing that she knowingly lied when she testified in August of 2015 before a federal grand jury sitting in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She admitted that she had done so in an effort to prevent Larry Diggs, the target of the grand jury’s investigation, from getting into trouble. Diggs has since pleaded guilty to possessing "crack" cocaine with the intent to distribute, using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime, and witness tampering.

          In its sentencing memorandum, the U.S. Attorney’s Office wrote "[p]roviding false testimony and tampering with witnesses strikes at the heart of the judicial system and is affront to the Court and the community." The U.S. Attorney’s Office emphasized that Phillip-Lark’s "conduct was not merely the result of a momentary lapse in judgment. On the contrary, this is her second conviction for lying to law enforcement." Specifically, Phillips-Lark had previously been convicted for "falsely and deliberately claim[ing] that she had seen a police officer murder her brother in cold blood. The truth, of course, was quite the opposite." In light of Phillip-Lark’s conduct and history, the U.S. Attorney’s Office wrote that "[t]he need for deterrence – both specific and general – is acute in this case."

          The charges in this case are the result of a joint investigation by the Muskegon Township Police Department and the Muskegon Violent Crime Task Force, which includes the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Michigan State Police (MSP), and the Muskegon City Police Department. The U.S. Attorney's Office, the Muskegon County Prosecutor's Office, and federal, state, and local law enforcement are working closely together to combat violent crime and witness tampering in the Muskegon area.

END

Updated May 23, 2016