Judge calls businessman Robert Shumake 'a criminal'

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It took eight years but victims of what the Michigan Attorney General called a "mortgage assistance scheme" are finally getting a little money back - and a little justice.  

His name is Robert Shumake. He bills himself as an international business strategist, a philanthropist, a best-selling author. But today an Oakland County judge called him something else - a criminal.

"You are a criminal," Judge James Alexander said. "You have plead guilty to crimes and now you are a criminal."

Judge James Alexander had harsh words for disgraced businessman Robert Shumake. Shumake, who said in court he is an international business mogul and honorary consul to two African countries, was told at sentencing he's grounded.

"You must not leave the state of Michigan for any purpose whatsoever except for your pending criminal matter in California," Alexander said. 

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First, some background. In 2010,  FOX 2 investigated a company called Mortgage Auditors of America.  Victims told Rob Wolchek they had paid the company to help them save their homes from foreclosure. 

They paid thousands for forensic mortgage audits and then the company disappeared with their money.  
Wolchek found out, the man behind the business was Robert Shumake, a prominent Detroit businessman.

When Wolchek tried to talk to Robert Shumake about it, he ran from me and my cameras in 2010. 

Eventually Shumake sat down and admitted he was the boss, but claimed he did nothing wrong.

Last month, Shumake admitted he did do something wrong. He pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor violations of the credit services protection act while his business, Mortgage Auditors of America pleaded guilty to two felony counts of obtaining money by false pretenses and 13 misdemeanors.
While Shumake now claims to just be a "promoter" of the business, it was Shumake himself who entered the guilty pleas as a representative for the company.

State Attorney General Bill Schuette says what Shumake and the company did, was despicable. And now at Wednesday's sentencing, the judge added his own take.

"You preyed on people at their lowest possible moment," Alexander said. "You got all these people that will stand up and say you're a wonderful guy and humanitarian. And you preyed on people when they were losing their homes."

Shumake has been in jail for a week for violating his bond and the judge says the time served is enough.  

But his probation will keep Shumake close to home. The judge ordered Shumake to surrender his passport for the 18-month probation and not travel except for pending criminal counts he faces in California.  

"You violate my probation, Mr. Shumake, and you are going to do the 180 days," Alexander said.

That is the maximum jail time Shumake was facing. 

As part of the plea, Shumake also paid $28,000 in restitution to his victims.

As for his international work?  The judge is not impressed.

"While on probation, you must not leave the United States," he said. "I don't want you representing my country you're a criminal."

Shumake still has criminal charges pending in California. Deputies in Shasta County say they caught him with a suitcase full of cash shopping for marijuana.

He's facing one charge of possession of a controlled substance for sale and one count of possession of over a 100-thousand dollars for the unlawful purchase of a controlled substance.

Both of those charges started out as felony charges but over the nearly 2 years since he was arrested, those charges have been reduced to misdemeanors.