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Warren, St. Clair Shores, Roseville

April 3, 2013

Attorney in trust fund embezzlement case waives hearing

By Brian Louwers
C & G Staff Writer

WARREN — A Roseville attorney accused of stealing $389,000 from a trust fund left for the children of his father’s deceased business acquaintance will stand trial in Macomb County Circuit Court after agreeing to forego a probable cause hearing.

Robert Buschmohle, 39, of St. Clair Shores, appeared in the 37th District Court before Judge Jennifer Faunce April 2 where he formally waived his right to a preliminary examination.

Buschmohle, who walked in silence past reporters and declined to comment on the case after the hearing was adjourned, was arraigned in February on a felony embezzlement charge that could put him in jail for 20 years.

Investigators allege Buschmohle was made the sole trustee of a $500,000 living trust established for the sons of his father’s longtime business acquaintance. The mother of two of the three boys told the Warren Weekly her late husband passed away in 2007 and that the family began to suspect something was wrong when their inquires about payments from the trust went unanswered last year.

The family eventually asked the Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission to investigate the case and Macomb County Prosecuting Attorney Eric Smith later said the commission turned the matter over to the Warren Police Department.  Investigators in Warren sought authorization of a criminal charge and alleged Buschmohle embezzled $389,000 from the trust, including $197,450 that was electronically transferred to his own personal account.

Warren Police Detective Danny Bradley, the officer in charge of the case, said evidence showed a total of 166 electronic transfers.

Bradley and Assistant Macomb County Prosecuting Attorney Sian Hengeveld said it was not clear how the money was spent.

However, Hengeveld said efforts would be made to secure restitution for the trust fund’s intended beneficiaries, who are now adults, upon successful prosecution of the case.

“One of the primary goals in this case is to make the victims financially whole again, to make it as if the crime never happened,” Hengeveld said. “Whether he’s found guilty after trial or he pleads guilty, there’s going to be a restitution order put in place.”

Buschmohle has repeatedly offered no comment on the case. He has reportedly closed his law office in Roseville and retained defense attorney Andrea Ferrara to represent him.

Ferrara has also declined opportunities to address the allegations on behalf of her client.

Judge John Chmura permitted Buschmohle to remain free on a $100,000 personal bond at his arraignment in February. However, Buschmohle was barred from leaving the state and ordered to surrender his U.S. passport to Warren police.

He was ordered to appear April 15 for arraignment in Macomb County Circuit Court.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Brian Louwers at brianlouwers@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1089.