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Former U.P. attorney pleads guilty to perjury

Published: May. 6, 2021 at 1:57 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Perjury, or lying under oath, is a serious offense for anyone in the eyes of the law. It’s even more serious when the offender is aware of the court’s view on this, such as a police officer, a judge, or a lawyer. Thursday, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced that a former U.P. attorney pleaded guilty to doing just that.

Charles Malette, 40, is a former attorney in the Chippewa County area. His license was revoked following a trial conviction for aggravated stalking last year. Tuesday, Malette pleaded guilty to one count of perjury, a 15-year felony, as well as one count of felony false pretenses, a five-year felony.

The admission of guilt was part of a plea agreement in which the court dropped three embezzlement charges, with the stipulation that Malette agreed to pay over $50,000 in restitution related to those allegations. He had been accused by three former clients alleging they paid him to file complaints in legal matters, but he never completed the work.

The perjury charge stems from Mallet’s statements about his activity on a site called MyLife.com, which is described as a database to search people’s reputations. Detectives reviewed posts on the site during their investigation into the original aggravated stalking charges. Mallet testified under oath during a personal protection order termination hearing that he was unaware of the site.

Tuesday, Mallet admitted to perjuring himself when he claimed he was aware of the site and had not used the site previously.

“Licensed attorneys must adhere to the high standards set by both legal and ethical codes,” Nessel said. “I’m proud of the work done by my team to reach this plea agreement with Mr. Malette.”

A sentencing date is scheduled for June 29 in Chippewa County Circuit Court.

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