UPDATE: AG files criminal charges on Macomb County prosecutor and three others

The Court of Appeals vacancy will be created by the departure of Judge Charles D. Susano Jr. / (MGN)
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MOUNT CLEMENS, MI (WILX) -- The attorney general's office has charged Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith and three others with multiple felony crimes including embezzlement, misconduct in office and conducting a criminal enterprise.

Retired Macomb County Assistant Prosecutor and former Chief of Operations Benjamin Liston and current Assistant Prosecutor and Chief of Operations Derek Miller and businessman William Webber are also facing charges, Attorney General Dana Nessel's office said.

“In order for citizens to maintain trust in the institutions of government, public officials must, at all times, conduct themselves in accordance with the laws of our state,” Nessel said. “When public officials fail to do so, the people must have confidence that they will be held to account, fairly, and without any special treatment based upon their status as a public official. The Department of Attorney General will continue to work to protect this fundamental principle, that no one is above the law.”

Smith faces the following 10 charges:
• 1 count official misconduct in office – a five-year felony;
• 1 count tampering with evidence in a civil proceeding – a four-year felony;
• 1 count accessory after the fact to Liston’s embezzlement by a public official – a five-year felony;
• 1 count conducting a criminal enterprise – a 20-year felony;
• 5 counts embezzlement by a public official – a 10-year felony – one count each for years 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018; and
• 1 count of conspiracy to commit forgery – a 14-year felony and a $10,000 additional fine.

Liston faces the following four charges:
• 1 count official misconduct in office – a five-year felony;
• 1 count conducting a criminal enterprise – a 20-year felony; and
• 2 counts embezzlement by a public official – a 10-year felony – one count each for 2016 and 2017.

Miller faces the following two charges:
• 1 count official misconduct in office – a five-year felony; and
• 1 count conspiracy to commit a legal act in an illegal manner – a five-year felony;

Weber, the owner of Weber Security Group, faces the following four charges:
• 1 count forgery – a 14-year felony;
• 1 count larceny by conversion, $20,000 or more – a 10-year felony;
• 1 count aiding and abetting Smith’s embezzlement by a public official – a 10-year felony; and
• 1 count receiving and concealing stolen property – a 10-year felony.

The investigation began after Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel filed a complaint of inappropriate use of forfeiture accounts.

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