Michigan Woman Charged With Racketeering In Alleged Real-Estate Ponzi Scheme; Rita Gosselin Arrested, Jailed Early This Morning In Greater Detroit

Rita Gosselin: Source: Michigan AG Office

Rita Gosselin: Source: Michigan AG Office

Just hours after news broke of a racketeering indictment by Colorado prosecutors against a Denver-area man in an alleged Ponzi scheme, Michigan prosecutors announced the racketeering indictment of a Greater Detroit woman in what was described as a real-estate Ponzi scheme.

In the past two days, prosecutors from different agencies in different regions of the United States have announced three major Ponzi indictments brought under state or federal racketeering statutes.

On Tuesday,the FBI arrested former Fort Lauderdale attorney Scott Rothstein, 47, on federal racketeering charges in Florida.

Yesterday, Mark J. Jackson, 55, was indicted on state racketeering charges in Colorado by Denver District Attorney Mitchell Morrissey.

Early this morning Rita Gosselin of Grosse Ile, Mich., was arrested by investigators from the Southgate Police Department and the office of Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox.

Gosselin, 58, was charged under Michigan law with one count of continuing criminal enterprise (racketeering), and three counts of false pretenses over $20,000. In unrelated cases, Michigan prosecutors brought racketeering charges against Michael J. Morris and William T. Perkins in October in an alleged fraud scheme that targeted churches.

Bail for Gosselin was set at $300,000 cash. She was unable to post it, and was taken to the Wayne County Jail. A hearing for Gosselin is scheduled Dec. 15.

“Taking advantage of Michigan families, especially in today’s economy, will not be tolerated,” said Cox.

Prosecutors said Gosselin was at the helm of a Ponzi scheme “involving fraudulent real estate investments and stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from Michigan families.”

To pull off the scheme, prosecutors said, Gosselin “enticed investors with claims she was able to purchase foreclosed and distressed properties in bulk and renovate the homes to sell at a profit.”

Investors were given promissory notes and promised regular returns on the money they entrusted to Gosselin.

“Few investors received any of the payments promised and all lost some, if not all the money they invested,” prosecutors said.

The alleged scheme fleeced at least 20 investors out of at least $500,000, prosecutors said.

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