Detroit businessman Robert Carmack charged with defrauding city

Carmack out on bond

WAYNE COUNTY, Mich. – The Detroit businessman who hired private investigators to follow Mayor Mike Duggan is out on bond after being arraigned on four felony charges.

READDetroit businessman Robert Carmack to turn himself in after felony warrants issued

Robert Carmack appeared in court via video and a judge set his bond at $50,000. Carmack accused Duggan of having an affair.

Duggan held a press conference after the accusations surfaced and said Carmack was extorting him to try to settle property lawsuits with the city, including a plot of land on Melville Street that Carmack sold last year for $1 million.

Carmack said the city stole the property from him and then sent the deed to Melville to him as a consolation. He went to several public meetings trying to clear up the property dispute.

When Detroit police brought the case to Wayne County, Prosecutor Kym Worthy recused herself and referred the case to Genesee County. Prosecutors there reviewed the case and asked a judge to sign the arrest warrants, officials said.

On Thursday, Carmack faced a judge and was charged with three counts of uttering and publishing and one count of obtaining money under false pretenses. All the felonies are in connection to the sale of the Melville Street property.

"Our belief is that he did a million-dollar deal on a piece of real estate that he never had title to and we're missing a lot of money and right now the deed is frozen as far as I can tell," Genessee County Assistant District Attorney Patrick McCombs told the judge.

"If you push back or you challenge this administration, one of two things will happen. You end up charged with a crime or you're under criminal investigation. That's what's going on here. This is a retaliatory prosecution," Carmack's attorney, Mike Rataj, said.

Rataj said Carmack had a warranty deed for the property and committed no fraud.

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