Macomb bribery figure sentenced to federal prison
Fazullah Khan meets with Washington Twp. supervisor Dan O'Leary on Nov. 12, 2014 The Detroit News
Fazullah Khan, a businessman whose bribery conviction has provided insight into the ongoing corruption probe of former Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Anthony Marrocco, was sentenced to 11 years in federal prison Thursday.
Khan, 58, of Troy, was convicted in July of paying $11,000 in bribes to public officials, including the late Steven Hohensee, Washington Township’s superintendent of public works. Prosecutors wanted U.S. District Judge Robert Cleland to send Khan to prison for up to 15 1/2 years.
The sentence illustrates the wide latitude afforded federal judges in sentencing defendants. On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Victoria Roberts sentenced Detroit Metropolitan Airport manager James Warner to 10 years in prison for receiving more than $6 million in bribes.
The sentence leaves Marrocco and Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith as two of the last publicly identified elected leaders under investigation for wrongdoing in Macomb County. The long-running investigation has led to the federal convictions of 22 contractors and public officials, including former Clinton Township Trustee Dean Reynolds, trash mogul Chuck Rizzo and towing titan Gasper Fiore.
A chronology of events outlined in sealed FBI wiretap records obtained by The Detroit News shows that by late summer 2014, investigators had started tapping three phones so they could listen to conversations involving Marrocco.
Summaries of FBI interviews filed in federal court last week hint at a roadmap of potential crimes involving cash payoffs and campaign contributions.
Marrocco, 72, has not been charged with wrongdoing. His criminal defense lawyer, Steve Fishman, has declined comment.
Khan's trial last summer featured testimony about secret payoffs to public officials, some of whom were cooperating with federal agents.
Khan was accused of paying $11,000 in bribes to Washington Township public officials and fought the criminal case by alleging he was entrapped by the government.
What Khan didn't know was township Supervisor Dan O’Leary and the late public works superintendent Steven Hohensee were cooperating with federal agents.
In November 2014, O'Leary recorded a meeting with Khan and requested a $10,000 cash bribe, according to the government.
"Here’s what we’re going to do," Khan said in one recorded conversation, according to the government. "I’ll come to your office. This is how — trust me I’m an expert at this okay? I’ll come to you."
A week later, Khan arrived at O'Leary's office. An FBI video camera recorded the meeting.
In the video, Khan is shown dropping a thick envelope on O'Leary's desk. Prosecutors say the envelope contained $10,000.