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Topic: Shrine Temple whistleblower lawsuit
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Singelis spent $28,657.25 in internet listing charges to a 1&1.com. That was in addition to $91, 192 paid to WJR on behalf of a non-existent corporation, Shriners of Michigan. Thousands were spent on Facebook game credits.
Post Thu Aug 21, 2014 1:43 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Guss wrote the Shrine could prove embezzlement of $610, 025.15 and under Michgan law that amount can be trebled. Guss has requested a judgment of $1,830,075.45 plus court costs and attorney fees. The Court entered a default judgment on 4/13/14 against Nick Singelis.
Post Thu Aug 21, 2014 1:49 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Singelis did not want to discuss any earnings from the operation of the two bars from the Hatch contract, nor any earnings he received from employment with Hatch.
Singelis also did not want to disclose any rental income he may have received from a property on Mannhall he was purchasing on a land contract.

Singelis may have been involved in the pothole company operated by Hatch.
Post Thu Aug 21, 2014 1:53 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Flint man ordered to pay nearly $1.8 million in Shriners embezzlement lawsuit

Gary Ridley | gridley@mlive.com By Gary Ridley | gridley@mlive.com

on September 04, 2014 at 7:00 AM, updated September 04, 2014 at 9:23 AM



FLINT, MI -- A judge has ordered a Flint man to pay nearly $1.8 million over claims that he embezzled money from the Elf Khurafeh Shriners to buy thousands of dollars in personal items, including a bullet-proof vest, police uniform and Facebook credits for social games.

Genesee County Circuit Judge Geoffrey Neithercut entered a default judgment Tuesday, Sept. 2, against Nicholas Singelis after the Shriners sued Singelis over the alleged embezzlement.

Court records show the judgment was entered after Singelis failed to show up to Tuesday's court hearing. Singelis could not be reached for comment on the judgment.

Singelis has no attorney on file in the lawsuit. Bay City attorney Adam C. Reddick previously represented Singelis in the case. However, he withdrew after he claims Singelis failed to produce documents and provided evasive answers during deposition, according to court records.

The Shriners filed the complaint after Singelis filed a whistleblower lawsuit that accused the Clio-based Elf Khurafeh Shrine Temple of allowing illegal sexual activities to take place during an initiation ceremony held Nov. 3, 2012, at the organization's Circus Park facility in Vienna Township.

Shriners have denied the allegations. The case was closed after Neithercut entered the default judgment.

"The Shriners are extremely pleased with this outcome as the allegations against the Shriners were false, demeaning, insulting and not consistent with the long tradition of work and support that Shriners do for crippled and burned children," said the Shriners' attorney, Robert L. Swartwood of Clio.

Swartwood added Singelis' lawsuit was simply a smoke-screen to cover-up his embezzlement.

Genesee County Sheriff Robert Pickell said Singelis reported the allegations against the Shriners to his office, but Pickell forwarded it to the Federal Bureau of Investigation since the accusations involved acts that crossed state lines.

Swartwood said the Shriners organization would work with law enforcement officials to seek criminal charges against Singelis. No criminal charges have yet been filed and no active investigation is underway by any law enforcement agency, according to Swartwood's office.

Court records show Singelis, a former employee of the Shrine Temple, was accused in the lawsuit of embezzling nearly $590,000 from the organization. The judgment signed by Neithercut states that Singelis offered no evidence in opposition to the accusation.

Neithercut's order shows the judgment includes three times the actual damages, costs and attorney fees.

Court records show the Shriners claim Singelis spent the Shriners' money on a variety of items, including a bullet-proof vest, a Taser, a police uniform, televisions, cameras, video games, computers and 100 silver coins.

The Shriners allege he also spent more than $16,000 on Facebook credits that can be used to play games on the social network site and more than $2,300 on music downloads.

None of the items, except for a nearly $1,200 television, have been returned to the Shrine or otherwise accounted for, according to court records.

The Elf Khurafeh Shriners represent nearly 2000 members in 26 Michigan counties. The organization houses and transports children and their family members free of charge to Shriner hospitals in Cincinnati and Chicago for medical treatment.

"When something like this happens, it puts our whole mission in jeopardy and the Shriners view this as stealing directly from our children," said Swartwood.

Singelis garnered attention recently after a failed attempt to recall Genesee County Sheriff Robert Pickell. Singelis withdrew the recall petition just hours prior to a hearing in front of the state Board of Canvassers.
Post Thu Sep 04, 2014 3:23 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Asking Shriners involved in the case and they say the case is in the hands of the FBI. Obviously there will be no repayment to the Shrine in either the Flint or Saginaw case.

FBI works very slow!
Post Wed Jul 08, 2015 1:18 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

FLINT NEWS
Flint man charged with stealing thousands of dollars from Shriners


By Dominic Adams dadams5@mlive.com
FLINT, MI - A Flint man is charged with stealing thousands of dollars from the Elf Khurafeh Shriners.

Federal prosecutors on July 21 charged Nicholas Singelis II in U.S. District Court in Flint with conspiracy to commit bank fraud.

The incident dates back to August 2012 when Singelis allegedly wrote a check to someone for $20,000 from a bank account belonging to the Elf Khurafeh Temple Association after fraudulently misrepresenting the intended use of the funds, court documents said.

Singelis has no attorney on file. MLive-The Flint Journal could not reach Singelis for comment on Tuesday, July 25.

A judge ordered Singelis to pay $1.8 million in 2014 following a lawsuit alleging he embezzled money from the Shriners to buy thousands of dollars in personal items that included a bullet proof vest, police uniform and Facebook credits for social games.

Flint man ordered to pay nearly $1.8 million in Shriners embezzlement lawsuit

A default judgment was entered against Singelis in Genesee County after he failed to show up to a court hearing.

The Shriners filed the complaint after Singelis filed a whistleblower lawsuit that accused the Clio-based Elf Khurafeh Shrine Temple of allowing illegal sexual activities to take place during an initiation ceremony held Nov. 3, 2012, at the organization's Circus Park facility in Vienna Township.


Shriners have denied the allegations. The case was closed after a judge entered the default judgment.

Genesee County Sheriff Robert Pickell previously said Singelis reported the allegations against the Shriners to his office, but Pickell forwarded it to the Federal Bureau of Investigation since the accusations involved acts that crossed state lines.

Circuit court records show the Shriners claim Singelis spent the Shriners' money on a variety of items, including a bullet-proof vest, a Taser, a police uniform, televisions, cameras, video games, computers and 100 silver coins.

The Shriners allege he also spent more than $16,000 on Facebook credits that can be used to play games on the social network site and more than $2,300 on music downloads.

The Elf Khurafeh Shriners represent nearly 2000 members in 26 Michigan counties. The organization houses and transports children and their family members free of charge to Shriner hospitals in Cincinnati and Chicago for medical treatment.
Post Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:11 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

The Daily Gazette


Click above to hear a promo for The Morning Gazette Radio Show which airs live every weekday at 8 am on CCN's FAME Radio.


An online newspaper with 24/7 breaking news


January 16, 2018



MY AM ADVANTAGE
CCN RADIO
BY MIKE KILLBREATH​​​​​​​​

Executive Editor

​The Daily Gazette

Posted 3:30 pm on January 16, 2018


​​​​​​Former Shriners official gets 2 years in prison for what judge describes as 'heinous' theft of thousands from sick kids

FLINT (CCN) A man who owes $1.8 million to the Elf Khurafeh Shriners after a civil judgment will now spend two years in federal prison. Nick Singelis II, 37, was sent to prison Tuesday afternoon by U.S. District Court Judge Linda Parker.

Singelis reached a plea bargain deal on Sept. 6 and faced up to five years. The plea deal included Singelis admitting he and a co-conspirator stole thousands of dollars from the Elf Khurafeh Shriners organization between December 2010 and March 2013 while operating circus events in Flint, Saginaw and Lansing for the Shriners.

​ Judge Parker said the maximum recommended under sentencing guidelines was between 18 months and 24 months because Singelis had no prior criminal convictions. "It's surprising how many times you have been arrested, yet have never been convicted," Judge Parker told Singelis. "You need to be in custody for this thuggery. What you did was a very heinous act."

The Daily Gazette was the only media at the sentencing when the federal judge also praised Shriners who packed her court room, saying, "This is the first time this court room has ever had all our seats filled. It sends a strong message. You need to learn a lesson because you have been arrested a number of times, yet have never been convicted of a felony. Your pattern has been to show no remorse for your actions. You need to be held accountable."

Judge Parker also ordered a $250,000 fine, $550,000 in restitution to the Elf Khurafeh Shriners and supervised release for three years after Singelis completes his two-year prison term. The judge said Singelis should not be allowed to work for himself or work as an independent contractor during the supervised release period, but required that he maintain employment 40 hours weekly at an hourly wage and to reveal his conviction to potential employers who should never permit him to handle their money at any job he's hired to perform.

Singelis had a letter of support about his earning potential from an automobile dealership owner who currenlty employs him in Ohio. Judge Parker said it didn't matter in her decision, however, because members of the Shriners had urged giving out the maximum prison sentence allowed under the law.

"They want you punished as evidenced by how they have packed this court room," Judge Parker said in praising all the Shriners holding red fezzes in their laps. "This is the most heinous act I've seen before me in this court, to steal money raised by this non-profit organization to help sick kids," Judge Parker added. "What's worst of all to me is how you've showed no remorse, going after people on social media, lawsuit threats and even lawsuits against people you stole from after they placed trust in you with their money. As far as I'm concerned, what you've done is no different than a thug who puts a gun to a person's head in a robbery."

​ Attorney Charles Hilliker read a powerful impact statement on behalf of the Elf Khurafeh Shriners. It was written by his uncle, Robert Swartwood of Clio. Swartwood and Mike Guss of Fenton are the lawyers who represented the Shriners in their civil lawsuits with SIngelis.

Hilliker said he was a member of the Shriners and said money stolen by Singelis was to be used for sick kids at hospitals. Hilliker said the theft almost caused the organization to go out of business after many decades of helping sick children in the mid-Michigan area from funds generated by their annual circus events in Flint, Saginaw and Lansing. He asked the judge to order restitution on what Singelis admitted to stealing in his plea deal, but also noted to the judge that not a single penny has been paid on a judgment obtained by the Shriners in 2014 when Genesee County Circuit Court Judge Geoffrey Neithercut ordered Singelis to pay them $1.8 million.

"You wrote to the court that you made $100,000 last year, yet you have not paid a penny to the Shriners (on the $1.8 million civil judgment) and the only time you seem to pay child support is when you are required to do it or go to jail," Judge Parker told Singelis. She cited a payment of more than $13,000 last week to avoid prison on a felony child support charge. He was also arrested last fall and paid more than $3,000 to get out of jail during a visit to Genesee County where he has three minor children. Two live with an ex-wife in Grand Blanc and one lives with a Linden woman Singelis is currently married to but legally separated from after he moved to Ohio.

The Morning Gazette Radio Show reported in 2014 that his current wife accused Singelis of rape when filing for a personal protection order, but later refused to press criminal charges. Court records show Singelis got his former mother-in-law pregnant during the same time that his ex-wife became pregnant.

Attorney Guss, who led the investigation that led to the $1.8 million civil judgment, has refrained from ever commenting on the Signelis case but he had a front row seat to Tuesday's proceeding and admitted in the hallway afterward that it was one of his "most proud moments as an attorney to see justice served."

Guss said, "The judge threw the book at him, which is what he deserved."

Attorney Hilliker said, "We got what we wanted. The Shriners want their money repaid, but more important was to make sure he went to prison for what he did."

Guss and HIlliker refused invitations to talk about the judge's decision as guests on The Morning Gazette Radio Show. Swartout is out of the country for 10 days and unavailable for comment, but Hilliker said he likely won't comment on the case. "As you know, we still have several ongoing civil cases and most likely a criminal investigation regarding the co-conspirator," Hilliker said. "I do not want to jeopardize any of that at this time."

Hilliker did provide a copy of the powerful letter by Swartout that Hilliker read to the judge in court. It will be shared with listeners on Wednesday's program which airs live at 8 am on CCN RADIO.

Among the audience members Tuesday were a couple political figures and dozens of telephone calls were placed to The Morning Gazette Radio Show about the judge's decision before this story was published. Scott Kincaid, who served 32 years as the 9th Ward city councilman on the Flint City Council, celebrated in the hallway with Shriners after hearing the judge's decision. Arthur Woodson, who led the recent recall against Flint Mayor Dr. Karen Weaver, was also in attendance and forced to sit in the jury box because of the overflow crowd. "I think it made a difference with so many people showing up," Woodson said.

Judge Parker said she was "moved" by the packed house of Shriners seeking justice, and stressed that wanted to give Singelis the "maximum penalty possible for what he did to the dedicated members of the Shriners organization."

Singelis will not be allowed to appeal the sentence under terms of the plea bargain deal reached with the U.S. Attorney's Office. He has also agreed to testify against a co-conspirator.

Michael Wiggins, a special agent of the FBI, would not identify who the co-conspirator is in the charging document against Singelis. "The name will not be revealed until the individual is charged," Wiggins said.

The Morning Gazette Radio Show has reported that sources say Singelis used blackmail to keep board members from pressing charges against him earlier. Two sources say Singelis used the blackmail to keep them from stopping his scheme by threatening to show their wives pictures and/or videos of Shriners with naked strippers or prostitutes at parties.

Singelis once told The Morning Gazette Radio Show during an interview, "If I stole money as they allege in their lawsuit against me, it sure wasn't money earmarked for sick kids at hospitals. That's not where any of the money goes from the circus events I was in charge of for Flint, Saginaw and Lansing. All the money we made was money to finance booze and hookers for their parties because that's what the Shriners' organization is all about."

Attorneys Guss and Swartout have denied the accusations by Singelis that no money from the mid-Michigan circus events ever went to help sick children. The international Shrine's charitable arm is the Shriners Hospitals for Children which is a network of 22 hospitals in North America. The Shrine's Imperial Council Session voted in 1920 to establish the initial "Shriners Hospital for Crippled Children" to treat orthopedic injuries, diseases and birth defects. Until 2012, all care was provided free at Shriners Hospitals. The size of the Shrine's endowment had decreased due to stock market losses to force their hospitals to started billing patients' insurance companies, but they still offer free care to children without insurance and waive all out of pocket costs insurance does not cover.

The Shrine's annual budget for their hospitals in near $1 billion for more than 125,000 children every year. The Shriners is a society established in 1870 and is headquartered in Tampa, Florida, as an appendant body to Freemasonry. The Shriners International describes itself as a fraternity based on fun, fellowship, and the Masonic principles of brotherly love, relief, and truth. There are approximately 350,000 members from 195 temples (chapters) in the U.S., Canada, Brazil, Mexico, the Republic of Panama, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Europe and Australia
Post Wed Jan 17, 2018 7:07 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

The Daily Gazette


Click above to hear a promo for The Morning Gazette Radio Show which airs live every weekday at 8 am on CCN's FAME Radio.


An online newspaper with 24/7 breaking news


January 16, 2018



MY AM ADVANTAGE
CCN RADIO
BY MIKE KILLBREATH​​​​​​​​

Executive Editor

​The Daily Gazette

Posted 3:30 pm on January 16, 2018


​​​​​​Former Shriners official gets 2 years in prison for what judge describes as 'heinous' theft of thousands from sick kids

FLINT (CCN) A man who owes $1.8 million to the Elf Khurafeh Shriners after a civil judgment will now spend two years in federal prison. Nick Singelis II, 37, was sent to prison Tuesday afternoon by U.S. District Court Judge Linda Parker.

Singelis reached a plea bargain deal on Sept. 6 and faced up to five years. The plea deal included Singelis admitting he and a co-conspirator stole thousands of dollars from the Elf Khurafeh Shriners organization between December 2010 and March 2013 while operating circus events in Flint, Saginaw and Lansing for the Shriners.

​ Judge Parker said the maximum recommended under sentencing guidelines was between 18 months and 24 months because Singelis had no prior criminal convictions. "It's surprising how many times you have been arrested, yet have never been convicted," Judge Parker told Singelis. "You need to be in custody for this thuggery. What you did was a very heinous act."

The Daily Gazette was the only media at the sentencing when the federal judge also praised Shriners who packed her court room, saying, "This is the first time this court room has ever had all our seats filled. It sends a strong message. You need to learn a lesson because you have been arrested a number of times, yet have never been convicted of a felony. Your pattern has been to show no remorse for your actions. You need to be held accountable."

Judge Parker also ordered a $250,000 fine, $550,000 in restitution to the Elf Khurafeh Shriners and supervised release for three years after Singelis completes his two-year prison term. The judge said Singelis should not be allowed to work for himself or work as an independent contractor during the supervised release period, but required that he maintain employment 40 hours weekly at an hourly wage and to reveal his conviction to potential employers who should never permit him to handle their money at any job he's hired to perform.

Singelis had a letter of support about his earning potential from an automobile dealership owner who currenlty employs him in Ohio. Judge Parker said it didn't matter in her decision, however, because members of the Shriners had urged giving out the maximum prison sentence allowed under the law.

"They want you punished as evidenced by how they have packed this court room," Judge Parker said in praising all the Shriners holding red fezzes in their laps. "This is the most heinous act I've seen before me in this court, to steal money raised by this non-profit organization to help sick kids," Judge Parker added. "What's worst of all to me is how you've showed no remorse, going after people on social media, lawsuit threats and even lawsuits against people you stole from after they placed trust in you with their money. As far as I'm concerned, what you've done is no different than a thug who puts a gun to a person's head in a robbery."

​ Attorney Charles Hilliker read a powerful impact statement on behalf of the Elf Khurafeh Shriners. It was written by his uncle, Robert Swartwood of Clio. Swartwood and Mike Guss of Fenton are the lawyers who represented the Shriners in their civil lawsuits with SIngelis.

Hilliker said he was a member of the Shriners and said money stolen by Singelis was to be used for sick kids at hospitals. Hilliker said the theft almost caused the organization to go out of business after many decades of helping sick children in the mid-Michigan area from funds generated by their annual circus events in Flint, Saginaw and Lansing. He asked the judge to order restitution on what Singelis admitted to stealing in his plea deal, but also noted to the judge that not a single penny has been paid on a judgment obtained by the Shriners in 2014 when Genesee County Circuit Court Judge Geoffrey Neithercut ordered Singelis to pay them $1.8 million.

"You wrote to the court that you made $100,000 last year, yet you have not paid a penny to the Shriners (on the $1.8 million civil judgment) and the only time you seem to pay child support is when you are required to do it or go to jail," Judge Parker told Singelis. She cited a payment of more than $13,000 last week to avoid prison on a felony child support charge. He was also arrested last fall and paid more than $3,000 to get out of jail during a visit to Genesee County where he has three minor children. Two live with an ex-wife in Grand Blanc and one lives with a Linden woman Singelis is currently married to but legally separated from after he moved to Ohio.

The Morning Gazette Radio Show reported in 2014 that his current wife accused Singelis of rape when filing for a personal protection order, but later refused to press criminal charges. Court records show Singelis got his former mother-in-law pregnant during the same time that his ex-wife became pregnant.

Attorney Guss, who led the investigation that led to the $1.8 million civil judgment, has refrained from ever commenting on the Signelis case but he had a front row seat to Tuesday's proceeding and admitted in the hallway afterward that it was one of his "most proud moments as an attorney to see justice served."

Guss said, "The judge threw the book at him, which is what he deserved."

Attorney Hilliker said, "We got what we wanted. The Shriners want their money repaid, but more important was to make sure he went to prison for what he did."

Guss and HIlliker refused invitations to talk about the judge's decision as guests on The Morning Gazette Radio Show. Swartout is out of the country for 10 days and unavailable for comment, but Hilliker said he likely won't comment on the case. "As you know, we still have several ongoing civil cases and most likely a criminal investigation regarding the co-conspirator," Hilliker said. "I do not want to jeopardize any of that at this time."

Hilliker did provide a copy of the powerful letter by Swartout that Hilliker read to the judge in court. It will be shared with listeners on Wednesday's program which airs live at 8 am on CCN RADIO.

Among the audience members Tuesday were a couple political figures and dozens of telephone calls were placed to The Morning Gazette Radio Show about the judge's decision before this story was published. Scott Kincaid, who served 32 years as the 9th Ward city councilman on the Flint City Council, celebrated in the hallway with Shriners after hearing the judge's decision. Arthur Woodson, who led the recent recall against Flint Mayor Dr. Karen Weaver, was also in attendance and forced to sit in the jury box because of the overflow crowd. "I think it made a difference with so many people showing up," Woodson said.

Judge Parker said she was "moved" by the packed house of Shriners seeking justice, and stressed that wanted to give Singelis the "maximum penalty possible for what he did to the dedicated members of the Shriners organization."

Singelis will not be allowed to appeal the sentence under terms of the plea bargain deal reached with the U.S. Attorney's Office. He has also agreed to testify against a co-conspirator.

Michael Wiggins, a special agent of the FBI, would not identify who the co-conspirator is in the charging document against Singelis. "The name will not be revealed until the individual is charged," Wiggins said.

The Morning Gazette Radio Show has reported that sources say Singelis used blackmail to keep board members from pressing charges against him earlier. Two sources say Singelis used the blackmail to keep them from stopping his scheme by threatening to show their wives pictures and/or videos of Shriners with naked strippers or prostitutes at parties.

Singelis once told The Morning Gazette Radio Show during an interview, "If I stole money as they allege in their lawsuit against me, it sure wasn't money earmarked for sick kids at hospitals. That's not where any of the money goes from the circus events I was in charge of for Flint, Saginaw and Lansing. All the money we made was money to finance booze and hookers for their parties because that's what the Shriners' organization is all about."

Attorneys Guss and Swartout have denied the accusations by Singelis that no money from the mid-Michigan circus events ever went to help sick children. The international Shrine's charitable arm is the Shriners Hospitals for Children which is a network of 22 hospitals in North America. The Shrine's Imperial Council Session voted in 1920 to establish the initial "Shriners Hospital for Crippled Children" to treat orthopedic injuries, diseases and birth defects. Until 2012, all care was provided free at Shriners Hospitals. The size of the Shrine's endowment had decreased due to stock market losses to force their hospitals to started billing patients' insurance companies, but they still offer free care to children without insurance and waive all out of pocket costs insurance does not cover.

The Shrine's annual budget for their hospitals in near $1 billion for more than 125,000 children every year. The Shriners is a society established in 1870 and is headquartered in Tampa, Florida, as an appendant body to Freemasonry. The Shriners International describes itself as a fraternity based on fun, fellowship, and the Masonic principles of brotherly love, relief, and truth. There are approximately 350,000 members from 195 temples (chapters) in the U.S., Canada, Brazil, Mexico, the Republic of Panama, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Europe and Australia
Post Wed Jan 17, 2018 7:07 pm 
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