Huntington Woods attorney pleads guilty to wire fraud

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published December 25, 2017

HUNTINGTON WOODS — A Huntington Woods attorney pleaded guilty to wire fraud after admitting to defrauding people of millions of dollars over a number of years.

The United States Attorney’s Office announced that Robert Gross, 48, pleaded guilty to the charge Dec. 7 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. Gross originally pleaded not guilty at his November arraignment.

The guilty plea and plea agreement made by both parties were taken by U.S. District Court Judge Avern Cohn under advisement, according to the court.

On Dec. 18, a court document stated the case had been transferred to Judge David M. Lawson to avoid a conflict of interest. Gross served as an unpaid intern at the court in 1991. Cohn has been a judge at the court since 1979. Lawson has been a judge at the court since 2000.

According to court documents, the maximum penalty that Gross faces is 20 years imprisonment with a maximum fine not to exceed $250,000. He also would have a supervised release up to three years and pay restitution to six individuals in the amount of $3,625,000.

Gross’ attorney, Todd Flood, could not be reached for comment by press time.

The court documents state that from around 2013 to at least June 2016, Gross “devised and intended to devise a scheme to defraud and to obtain money and property by means of materially false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, promises and omissions.”

One of the false representations that Gross allegedly made was asking an investor for money to the tune of $125,000 that would be used for a medical marijuana business. The money instead was used for gambling credit at the Caesars Palace casino in Las Vegas, according to the United States Attorney’s Office.

“As with all financial scams, the victims in this case received promises of hefty profits, but they were the ones who ended up paying the price,” Steve Francis, special agent in charge for Homeland Security Investigations Detroit, said in a statement. “As today’s plea agreement clearly demonstrates, HSI special agents and our partners are committed to holding perpetrators of financial crime accountable and making every effort to ensure victims receive justice.” 

Any other victims or people with information can contact the HSI tipline at (866) 347-2423 or visit www.ice.gov/tips.