(WXYZ) — In newly unsealed court documents, the feds reveal an arson-for-profit operation that was underway inside the Macomb County Jail while they were listening and participating undercover.
“This case was made based on the prison calls,” said Former Federal Prosecutor and now Criminal Defense Attorney Anjali Prasad,
That case was working up to what was supposed to be a $2 million payday.
The documents show it started in May with 61-year-old George Rider planning it on the phone and in hand-written notes to the outside. Rider was in jail on a murder and apparently wanted the money for a defense attorney.
In the documents is one note Rider wrote to his younger brother Lawrence on the outside:
Make sure you get the money today!
I need you to paint this house (MEANING ARSON)
This is a break for us to get the law firm
The house, it must look like an accident
Get an electrician out there to do it
The case started with a confidential informant inside the jail and then an undercover ATF Agent stepped in as the guy who wanted it done and would pay $200,000 to get it done.
Former federal prosecutor Anjali Prasad who now works as a criminal defense attorney says the feds could solve a lot of cases. George Rider told the informant he's been involved in numerous murders, arsons and fraud. 6pm @wxyzdetroit https://t.co/W9eqNwilxB pic.twitter.com/hEXwZrNVWx— Jim Kiertzner WXYZ (@kiertzner7) August 29, 2019
The feds also say in court documents that 49-year-old Robert White was the bagman and the ATF agent wired him $1,000 in good faith money earlier this month.
George Rider was sentenced to life in prison in the murder case that had him in jail. The feds also say he talked with their confidential informant about numerous murders, arsons and fraud.
“This means the feds are investigating, they need help, they’re giving these guys a chance to help,” Prasad said.
She says the feds have 30 days to indict and can use additional charges as leverage to get cooperation. There could be many cases out there they can solve.