President Donald Trump contends that there are members of the FBI, America’s top law enforcement agency, that are CORRUPT and POLITICALLY biased! Detroit, is President Trump right? Are there a select few in the FBI that are willing to overstep their bounds of propriety through misdeeds, manipulation, lies and wicked strategies to overreach and target politicians and businesses for their own personal political gain?
A tale of such corruption was evident in the 2012 case that was tried in U.S District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan against Bobby Ferguson of Ferguson Enterprises, A DETROIT based Minority Owned firm. Ferguson Enterprises’ Inc (FEI) was founded in 1968 from $2,000 saved by Annie R. Ferguson, funds she gave to her husband Homer W. Ferguson as a gift. Annie and Homer Ferguson’s vision evolved through their son, Bobby Ferguson, providing him and their community with a foundation of hope and generations of opportunity.
Then in 1987, Bobby Ferguson at the age of 18, started to manage and operate FEI, specializing in Water & Sewage installation and demolition as a Minority Contractor in the City of Detroit and abroad. FEI employed between 150-350 qualified employees comprised of over 51% of Detroit residents, before that select few in the FBI plotted to SHUT DOWN and destroy the community’s opportunities provided through FEI!
A collective effort by FBI and EPA agents lead to a criminal Indictment of Mr. Ferguson and he was charged with extortion and bribery offenses alongside former Detroit Mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick. Based on the false information provided by these agents, Mr. Ferguson was convicted on 9 Counts. Counts 2-5 and 7-9 are basically predicated on sub-contract work performed by FEI through negotiated terms with two private billion dollar contracting firms and one private multimillion dollar contracting firm.
The irony of those counts is that Ferguson Enterprise’s annual income hadn’t exceeded 25 Million dollars, yet the FBI agents took the stand on 23 separate occasions and testified at trial that seasoned and established Billionaire Tony Soave’s (INLAND WATERS), John Rakolta’s (WALBRIDGE ALDINGER), and Multimillionaire Avanish Rachmale’s (LAKESHORE ENGINEER) companies contacted FEI and approached Bobby Ferguson and negotiated sub-contract work for FEI to perform only based on THEIR fear of Economic Harm.
To complicate matters, the District Court failed to administer a Jury instruction explaining to the Juror’s that “Fear” needed to be prompted by Mr. Ferguson or that the “Fear” needed to be Intentionally exploited by him. To the Contrary the FBI Agents were allowed to TESTIFY at trial that the BELIEF of “FEAR” in itself was enough to Convict Bobby Ferguson despite not having provided any evidence of Fear prompted by him.
The facts of this case and extensive review of the trial transcript is what is important to look at, not the media’s exploitive spin from the government’s soundbites before, during and after the trial. For example, do the citizens of Detroit know that the agent from the IRS took the stand and testified after extensive questioning by Mr. Ferguson’s defense Attorney, Gerald Evelyn, and ADMITTED that the FBI DID NOT have evidence of a CORRELATION of money going from Bobby Ferguson to Mayor Kilpatrick? (Verify the facts contact IRS Agent Ronald Sauer and Carl Sells).
Post-trial, the U.S Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit wrote in their Opinion on 8/14/15, pgs. (28-31) that the Government had essentially CONCEDED that they have NO figures that represented an “actual loss” for the City of Detroit. And finally, the Sixth Circuit found that the prosecution DID NOT present ANY evidence that Mayor Kilpatrick agreed to perform an “official act ” at the time of any alleged “quid pro quo “.
Why? Because, the Jurors were told by the government during trial that official actions that are generally expected of a public official advocating for his Local Constituents were ALL illegal acts, and once again the court failed to properly administer Jury Instruction’s regarding an “official act “. A public official advocating for his local constituents to receive business is NOT considered an illegal act. Furthermore, FEI had been doing business with the city of Detroit and the County of Wayne long before Kilpatrick became Mayor.
Perhaps the most egregious action by the FBI was after they SEIZED FEI and Mr. Ferguson’s personal funds and property between the period of 2009-2011, on June 12, 2013, 3 years after Mr. Ferguson was convicted and incarcerated. The head prosecutor in this case, Assistant U.S Attorney Michael Bullotta, filed (in Birmingham, Alabama) a SEIZURE warrant on Annie Ferguson’s Pension funds (Bobby Ferguson’s 88 year old Mother). Annie Ferguson had been receiving her pension, by direct deposit since 1996, from her deceased husband (Homer Ferguson) who retired from 36 years of service at General Motors.
After the funds were seized, Mr. Ferguson’s Mother worried she wouldn’t be able to pay all of her house hold bills nor help her son with any funds to adequately prepare a proper appeal. Bobby Ferguson’s defense attorney fought tersely to retrieve his Mother’s retirement monies that were seized only to recover a small portion after his direct appeal had been submitted and prior to his Mother’s passing in October 2017 at her Godly Blessed age of 92 years old! SO, the question stands, have a select few in the FBI been willing to advance their careers by any means necessary?
Why would Michael Bullotta seize an 88-year-old Mother’s retirement funds? Need to check facts then look at the court documents (Mag No.13-255 filed under seal; T. MICHAEL PUTNAM. US Magistrate Judge) or call Attorney Gerald Evelyn, Bobby Ferguson’s defense attorney.
Mr. Ferguson was sentenced to the longest term of years for a non-public official in a public corruption case in the history of the United States. In a case where the Government did not prove “actual loss” to the City of Detroit, “quid pro quo”, or Ferguson “bribing” or taking bribes, this grossly disproportionate sentence does not represent Justice! Allowing this conviction to stand would criminalize every day negotiations in American businesses, such as business disputes in contract terms and or payments of work being performed from contractual agreements.
When reviewing counts 2-5 and 7-9 of Mr. Ferguson’s indictment and the trial transcript, the FBI’s theory of EXTORTION that was used to convict him is predicated on FBI agent’s testimonies that two BILLIONAIRE’S Tony Soave, John Rakolta and one Millionaire Avanish Rachmale “FEARED” ECONOMIC HARM! They The facts are the facts! The government provided no such evidence of any actions of Mr. Ferguson that prompted ANY kind of fear.
The FBI worked unbridled to convict Bobby Ferguson without evidence that justifies any sentence close to 20 years. A conviction of this magnitude requires more than mischaracterizing trial testimony, distorting past events, and ignoring truths. Indeed, the search for Justice must begin without a specific end in sight, and meander blindly towards the truth. Justice found any other way is NO Justice at all!
Bobby Ferguson and Mother, Annie Ferguson