Couple accused of stealing from charity pays back $70K

Oralandar Brand-Williams
The Detroit News

The son of a retired Wayne County judge and his wife made restitution Thursday of more than $70,000 to a nonprofit from which the couple is accused of embezzling money.

Dalton Roberson Jr. and his wife, Jakeema, both 43, entered into a diversionary program and have paid back the funds they are accused of embezzling from Michigan Community Resources.

. The charges against them will be dismissed once Dalton Roberson has completed two years of his program, which includes 80 hours of community service. Jakeema Roberson must complete a year, her attorney said. Diversionary programs are usually offered to juveniles, first-time, non-violent, domestic and drug offenders and require community service.

According to court documents obtained by The Detroit News, the Robersons are charged with one count each of conspiracy to commit embezzlement of between $50,000 and $100,000 from a nonprofit or charitable organization and one count of embezzlement of $1,000 to $20,000 from a nonprofit or charitable organization. They also each face a conspiracy charge.

Robert Morgan, attorney for Jakeema Roberson, said an agreement for a diversionary program was agreed upon Thursday for the couple and that the money had been paid back. The agreement was announced before Third Circuit Judge David Groner.

The Robersons, both of Detroit, allegedly created and opened bank accounts for several non-existent nonprofit organizations, according to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office. The couple is accused of diverting more than $77,000 from Michigan Community Resources, formerly known as Community Legal Resources, 615 Griswold, and placing the money in the fraudulent accounts, according to the prosecutor’s office.

The alleged scheme occurred between 2012 through 2014 when Dalton Roberson Jr. worked for Michigan Community Resources.

Officials with the non-profit could not be reached for comment.

Formed in 1998, Michigan Community Resources has provided more than $12 million in free legal help to more than 1,200 nonprofit organizations in Michigan. It also has helped with property-related aid to over 200 community groups in Detroit, according to the nonprofit. The organization had about $1.3 million in annual revenues, according to its 2014 federal tax filing.

Dalton’s father, Dalton A Roberson Sr., is a visiting judge in Wayne Circuit Court after he retired and occasionally hears cases. Efforts to reach the judge Thursday were not successful.

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