Michael Winans Jr., a member of a the famous Winans family of gospel musicians, has been sentenced by a Detroit federal judge to 13 years, nine months in prison for his role in an $8 million investment scheme. He has also been ordered to pay $4.8 million in restitution to his victims, reports UPI.
Before sentencing Winans, U.S. District Judge Sean Cox chastised Winans for taking advantage of “good, decent, church-going people.”
“This is very, very troubling to me … You used … churches to perpetuate this fraud,” Cox said at the sentencing.
Winans admitted that he had made mistakes and acknowledged the financial and emotional damage he caused for his victims. He said that was “no malicious intent on [his] part” and that he just “wanted people to have a good life.”
Prosecutors alleged Winans’ scam hurt over 1200 investors.
Winans is the son of Michael Winans Sr., the older brother to perhaps the most famous of the Winans family, Benjamin “Bebe” Winans and Priscilla “Cece” Winans