The FBI is investigating an investment broker, who handles the Mona Shores
school district’s funds, for investment fraud. According to the
complaint, Dante DeMiro, of Michigan, is being accused of operating a
Ponzi scheme for his own benefit.
Superintendent Terry L. Babbitt has stated that Mr. DeMiro was handling
about $3.7 million of the school district’s funds that were proceeds
of a 2009 bond passed by taxpayers. The superintendent has reported that
the district handed the money over to Mr. DeMiro, who is now under investigation
“Dante DeMiro used the intended investment funds for his own benefit,
to make payments to other investors in the same scheme and provide money
to a local jewelry store,” according to the complaint.
Mr. DeMiro operated his alleged Ponzi scheme through a Southfield firm
called Munivest. He is listed as the founder and managing director of the firm.
The school district was under the impression that its money was going
to be invested in secure, federally insured bank CDs. Mona Shores Public
Schools wired nearly $3.5 million into a Munivest account. It is unclear
as to how much of that money is currently missing.
The complaint also alleges that Comstock Township invested $1.75 million
with Mr. DeMiro’s firm. The township apparently received returns
on their investment from the money invested by Mona Shores Public Schools.
The school district has cleared any of its employees of any wrongdoing.
The investigation is ongoing.