Birmingham therapist accused of conning patients out of more than $1 million

By: Tiffany Esshaki | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published January 21, 2019

 Beth Jaslove

Beth Jaslove

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BIRMINGHAM — For a period of 26 years, Birmingham therapist Beth Jaslove allegedly conned her patients out of more than $1 million, according to Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel.

The AG’s office announced charges last week against the 67-year-old Jaslove, who is accused of operating a scheme to bilk money from her patients between 1991 and 2017 through her business, the Center for Growth and Enlightenment.

According to Nessel, the scheme had even been named by around 1999: the Community Money Program. From 2008 to 2016, Jaslove allegedly collected more than $1 million through that program. More than a dozen people reportedly lost everything they’d invested, according to the AG’s office.

The program also allegedly served as a vehicle for Jaslove to sell unlicensed securities to patients and clients, promising fixed return rates between 2 and 8 percent. According to a press release from Nessel’s office, Jaslove promoted the scheme by convincing her patients that investing in the program would aid their personal growth and enlightenment.

Jaslove was charged in the 48th District Court earlier this month on one count of conducting a criminal enterprise — also known as racketeering — and 27 counts of larceny by false pretenses, including one count of $100,000 or more, four counts of more than $20,000 but less than $50,000, and 22 counts of $1,000-$20,000. The charges, all felonies, carry up to 20 years behind bars and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.

“People shouldn’t have to worry about who they trusted with their investments,” Nessel said in a prepared statement dated Jan. 16. “Today’s charges should send a clear message: Those who seek to defraud our state residents will be held accountable.”

Jaslove’s bond was set at $250,000 cash only by Magistrate Howard Linden, and at press time she was lodged at the Oakland County Jail.

A representative for Nessel’s office, Dan Olsen, said the investigation was prompted by a complaint made to the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs’ Securities Division from one of Jaslove’s patients. LARA and the Birmingham Police Department assisted in the investigation.

Jaslove was due back in court Jan. 22 for a preliminary exam.

Her attorney, Mitchell Ribitwer, could not be reached for comment by press time.

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