Port Huron based accountant accused of embezzling more than $1 million

Suspect previously convicted of embezzlement

PORT HURON, Mich. – Michigan State Police in collaboration with the Port Huron Police Department's Major Crimes Unit, are investigating an embezzlement complaint involving a local charity. 

So far the investigation has revealed that an accountant for the Blue Water Center of Independent Living is responsible for embezzling over $1 million during his employment. 

Investigators learned the suspect had a prior embezzlement conviction from 2000. During that incident, the suspect embezzled more than $3 million from a Detroit-area auto supplier over the course of six years.

On Friday, MSP investigators and the Port Huron MCU executed a search warrant on the suspect's home in Okemos. The suspect, Richard Laurence Hartwick, was arrested and did admit to engaging in embezzlement activity, police said. 

On Sunday, Hartwick, 71, was arraigned on six felony charges that include racketeering, criminal enterprise-conducting, computer fraudulent access, computer used to commit a crime, credit card fraud and embezzlement over $100,000. 

Hartwick's bond was set at $1 million. A probable cause hearing has been scheduled for April 9 and a preliminary exam is scheduled for April 16 before judge Cynthia Platzer. 

MSP and MCU are still investigating the crimes. If you have any information call 810-664-2905.  

About the Authors: