Plainfield Twp. supervisor charged again in flipping deal

Case against Jay Spencer was previously dismissed by judge

Plainfield Township supervisor Jay Spencer appears in Wyoming District Court on a larceny charge. (Feb. 5, 2016)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Plainfield Township Supervisor Jay Spencer has been charged again in connection to a real estate deal from before he took office.

Kent County Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Chris Becker told 24 Hour News 8 the prosecutor’s office disagreed with a judge’s decision in May to dismiss charges against Spencer, so they’re charging him again.

Spencer is charged with embezzlement, false pretenses and larceny by conversion — the charge faced in the original case — all for between $20,000 and $50,000.

The case is linked to a 2011 business arrangement in which a retiree gave Spencer $241,000 for a real estate deal. The money was supposed to pay for the flipping — or purchase and rehab — of six houses. But Spencer allegedly took the money and used it for his personal expenses.

After a Target 8 investigation and then a lawsuit, a judge last year ordered Spencer to pay $540,000 in damages to three investors.

Spencer also filed for bankruptcy in 2014 but held on to his job as supervisor, despite calls from at least one member of the township board to resign. His term ends in November.

He is expected to be in court for a probable cause hearing Aug. 10. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison.

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