By ANDREA POTEET
Sunday Times Newspapers
ALLEN PARK– A 53-year-old resident was sentenced to eight years in prison and $1.3 million in restitution Wednesday after pleading guilty in March for wire fraud and money laundering.
The federal charges stem from Sparks’ involvement in a scheme which ran from 2006 through 2009, in which he gave his nephew, Stephen Sparks, 37, of Temperance, false information about investment opportunities that the nephew then used to solicit more than $1 million from investors, including friends, family and church members.
Among the information given to investors were false tips that Sparks’ business, Global Points, could sell in the United States a warehouse full of Chinese electronic equipment at more than five times the investment. A second scheme involved assorted CD and DVD players that Sparks told his nephew could net twice the invested amount.
According to court documents, Sparks spent the invested money gambling and gave his nephew false excuses when each deal fell through.
Sparks was also sentenced to three years of supervised release and $200 in special assessment before U.S. District Court Judge Denise Page Hood.
Stephen Sparks, who court records show knowingly failed to inform investors that he gave the money to his uncle, was sentenced to 24 months in prison and $1.3 million in restitution on Sept. 29.
The cases were investigated by the IRS and the FBI and Assistant U.S. Attorney Ross MacKenzie.