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Ponzi scheme in Lansing costs hundreds of investors $18 million

Shredded dollar
Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Two brothers have been found guilty of running a Ponzi scheme in Lansing that defrauded 250 people out of $18 million.

For years the Mulholland brothers, James and Thomas, were buying up rental houses in college towns in Michigan.

But after the recession hit, they struggled to stay afloat and started recruiting new investors, promising big returns.

But the Michigan Attorney General’s office says that in reality, the Mulhollands were losing money, and using new investor money to pay back previous investors.

Then, they filed for bankruptcy in 2010.

Still, there are efforts underway to help investors get some of their money back, says Andrea Bitely of Attorney General’s office.

“They pulled in a significant amount of money. And the investors will be, we hope, getting money back from this."

An attorney for Thomas Mulholland says he maintains his innocence. The attorney for James Mulholland did not return requests for comment.

The two brothers had their bond revoked after a jury found them guilty. They’ll remain in jail in Ingham County until they’re sentenced later this month. 

Kate Wells is a Peabody Award-winning journalist currently covering public health. She was a 2023 Pulitzer Prize finalist for her abortion coverage.