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Judge orders 11-year prison term in $19M embezzlement

Mar 24, 2017

A man who embezzled nearly $19 million from a suburban Detroit credit union has been sentenced to 11 years in prison.

Federal Judge Gershwin Drain followed the recommendation of prosecutors Thursday. He repeatedly said the amount of money stolen by Michael LaJoice was extraordinary.

LaJoice was chief financial officer at Clarkston Brandon Community Credit Union. He stole from the credit union over a dozen years, buying a luxurious home, fancy cars and commercial properties, and traveling by private jet.

LaJoice apologized in court and says he's learned that money doesn't buy happiness. Defense lawyer Michael Manley asked for a five-year prison sentence.

The credit union was ruined by LaJoice's greed and had to be taken over by Michigan State University Credit Union.