Gospel Singer Michael Winans Sentenced To Prison

News

/ February 28, 2013

Michael Winans Jr. was sentenced to 14 years in prison for his role in a financial scam.

The member of the Winans gospel family was convicted for running a Ponzi scheme that bilked investors out of $8 million and left hundreds broke.

The 30-year-old is gospel royalty, the grandson of Mom and Pop Winans, and the son of Michael Sr., who was a member of The Winans gospel quartet. Uncle Marvin Winans gave the eulogy at the funeral of Whitney Houston.

The Detroit-based scheme involved investing in Saudi oil bonds, and Winans used friends to involve more investors before stiffing them for their money. It was not dissimilar to the Ponzi scheme run by Bernie Madoff, in that early investors were paid off and then used as bait to attract other investors. Winans then used the money from later investors for himself.

“I want to apologize to everyone. … These were decisions that were negligent and irresponsible,” said Winans.