On Feb. 28, AlwaysAList.com reported that Michael Winans Jr. of the famed Winans gospel family had been sentenced to nearly 14 years in prison for an $8 million financial scam that targeted church members.
Scheduled to begin his prison term on May 9, Michael – who remained quiet until now – has broken his silence and in a video released online, he’s soliciting prayers from people and declaring that his attorney “failed to do his job.”
The 30-year-old former member of the family quartet, Winans Phase 2 had requested the judge extend him a 60-day delay to report to prison, but his petition was denied. Michael wanted the additional two months for his new attorneys to clear up what he feels are “major errors” in the case.
On the video released online, Michael talks to the camera about the challenges of his case.
“There have been some things said about me that are just not true. I was charged with wire fraud and on Feb. 27, 2013 sentenced to nearly 14 years in prison. There are numerous stories out there that claim I stole millions of dollars from innocent people, that is not true,” he explained, before adding: “I’m not blameless and I’m willing to take responsibility for my mistakes, but I’m not willing to take responsibility for what others did in my name.”
Michael goes on to claim that he repaid 75-percent of the money to investors in the fraudulent scam and blames others for obtaining investment money in his name.
“Let it be clear that I did not start this investment. My name was used without my permission to solicit money by a lot of people, including Tim Hunt the creator of the fraudulent oil investment. Much of the money that was collected by others that was supposedly going to me, never even came to me. I didn’t even get the money,” he offered.
As far as his attorney is concerned, Michael has obtained new representation and believes he would not be in this predicament if his previous attorney had handled things better.
“If that’s not enough, to make matters worse, my attorney failed to do his job for me. He told me not to comment at all on the case even though I wanted to explain that I paid back a lot of people,” he said.
In a court filing, Michael said he should be held responsible for $1.2 million in losses, not $8 million.
Winans pled guilty to selling bogus Saudi Arabian oil bonds.
VIDEO: Watch Michael Winans Jr. speak about his sentence.