(WXYZ) — Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel sentenced a former 36th District Court officer who displayed his badge and gun to coerce defendants to pay civil judgment collections and then kept the money for himself.
Officials say 47-year-old William Blake was sentenced on March 22 to one year in Wayne County Jail as part of two-year probation by the Third Circuit Court.
Between 2013 and 2015, Blake collected payments from the defendants and was supposed to turn them over the plantiffs, but instead deposited the money into his personal bank accounts.
Blake was able to pocket the payments while keeping court officials unaware by not filing the proper paperwork with the courts.
The Attorney General's Office filed charges against Blake in February 2018 after an investigation by the FBI's Detroit Area Public Corruption Task Force. He pleaded guilty to two counts of felony embezzlement by a public official over $50 or more in September, "he embezzled more than $20,000 from defendants, including East Lake Baptist Church and A Nu Automotive."
“It’s a huge betrayal of public trust when someone who is tasked with maintaining law and order uses his position to threaten and coerce people to line his own pockets,” Nessel said. “This office will always take action against anyone who abuses their position for personal enrichment.”