MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. – William Weber pleaded guilty Friday and agreed to testify against former Macomb County prosecutor Eric Smith.
Weber admitted he created fake invoices that were paid with Macomb County forfeiture funds.
Smith had already pleaded guilty to federal obstruction of justice charges and is headed to prison, but there is a state embezzlement case pending against him and the men charged with him are trading guilty pleas for lesser charges.
Michigan State Police raided Smith’s home in May 2019 and seized a home security system. In court Friday, Weber -- who owns Weber Security Group located in Mount Clemens -- admitted he not only installed the system to help smith with the embezzlement scheme, but he also told the judge he falsified a receipt to make it look like the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office installed the system at Smith’s request.
Weber originally faced felony charges that included forgery, larceny by conversion, aiding and abetting embezzlement by a public official and receiving and concealing stolen property -- each charge comes with at least 10 years in prison if found guilty.
Friday, Weber pleaded guilty to the much lesser charge of conspiracy to commit a legal act in an illegal manner -- a misdemeanor. He also agreed to testify against Smith in the state’s case.
Former chief assistant Macomb County prosecutor Benjamin Liston pleaded guilty in fall 2020 to three counts of willful neglect of duty and will only serve 60 days in jail in exchange for testifying against smith.
Derek Miller, Macomb County’s then-assistant prosecutor and chief of operations ended up charged as well, along with Smith, and they both will have a preliminary exam July 9.
Weber paid more than $20,000 in restitution Friday. Liston had to give up his law license and pay about $16,000 in restitution.
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