Eastpointe mayor pleads no contest to misdemeanor fraud charge

By: Brian Wells | Roseville-Eastpointe Eastsider | Published September 28, 2023

 Eastpointe Mayor Monique Owens speaks during the 2023 State of the City address in March.

Eastpointe Mayor Monique Owens speaks during the 2023 State of the City address in March.

File photo by Patricia O'Blenes


EASTPOINTE — A significant episode in a long line of controversies involving the current mayor of Eastpointe is drawing to an end.

On Sept. 28, Eastpointe Mayor Monique Owens pleaded no contest to one count of making a false statement about her financial condition, a one-year misdemeanor, in the Macomb County Circuit Court.

In addition to the charge, Owens was ordered to pay $10,000 in restitution to the county. According to a press release from the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office, the office requires that every defendant pays restitution in advance of a plea to ensure that the victim is made financially whole.

“Monique Owens, like any other defendant, was held responsible for her actions and required to pay full restitution before today’s plea,” the press release states.

Owens was originally facing one charge of false pretenses of $1,000 or more but less than $20,000, a five-year felony, in connection to applying for a grant under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security, or CARES, Act. That charge was dismissed as part of the plea.

In April 2020, Macomb County received $152 million through the act, which was then spread throughout the county. In November of that year, Owens applied for a grant and received $10,000 from the money that the county had received.

The Prosecutor’s Office said in the press release that Owens, in applying for the grant, had falsely stated “her business was 51% veteran owned and had between 100-249 employees.”

“When a public figure acknowledges their guilt, takes responsibility for their actions and pays full restitution, it sends a powerful message that no one is above the law,” Macomb County Prosecutor Peter Lucido said in a prepared statement.

Owens’ attorney, Gerald Evelyn, did not immediately return a request for comment.

Owens is scheduled to be sentenced at 1:30 p.m. Oct. 10 in front of Macomb County Circuit Court Judge Jennifer Faunce.

Contact Staff Writer Brian Wells at (248) 291-7637.