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Former Controller of the City of Ecorse, MI, Found Guilty on Bribery Charges

Detroit, MI-(ENEWSPF)- Erwin Hollenquest, 63, of West Bloomfield, Michigan was found guilty on January 21, 2011 by a federal jury in Detroit on bribery charges related to the federal investigation into corruption in the City of Ecorse, United States Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced today.

U.S. Attorney McQuade was joined in the announcement by Andrew G. Arena, Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The evidence presented at trial established that in November of 2007 Hollenquest, while Controller of the City of Ecorse, solicited and accepted a bribe in exchange for public works contracts with Michigan Municipal Services, LLC, a company owned and operated by Sheldon Divers and Stacey Tarockoff. Specifically, Hollenquest accepted a Lexus automobile in return for using his official position to assist Michigan Municipal Services in getting the city’s business and in getting paid on its invoices, which contained hundreds of thousands of dollars in false and fraudulent charges over the period from November, 2007 through December, 2008. During that time Michigan Municipal Services billed the City of Ecorse for more than $3.1 million.

United States Attorney McQuade stated, "I hope all public officials are paying attention to this case and see that public officials who abuse the public trust are held accountable," McQuade said. "Our citizens deserve honest government, and we will work hard to prosecute anyone who betrays that responsibility."

Special Agent in Charge Andrew G. Arena stated, "Public corruption is a top criminal priority of the FBI and will not be tolerated. This investigation demonstrates the FBI’s commitment in investigating public corruption and brings those who betray the public’s trust to justice."

Sheldon Divers and Stacey Tarockoff have both pleaded guilty for their roles in the conspiracy and are awaiting sentencing.

Herbert Worthy also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery and will be sentenced January 25, 2011 at 2 p.m. before United States District Judge Avern Cohn.

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