Friday, July 3, 2020

Two former MSU women's basketball players among charged in healing fund fraud

May 20, 2019
Beaumont Tower on Jan. 10, 2019.
Beaumont Tower on Jan. 10, 2019. —
Photo by Annie Barker | The State News

Two former Michigan State women's basketball players — Maxann Reese of Dallas, Texas and Donita Johnson of New Baltimore — are among the seven people charged with fraud in connection with the university's Healing Assistance Fund set up to assist survivors of Larry Nassar's sexual abuse.

Reese and Johnson, who were teammates from 1997-2000, are charged with nine combined counts of false pretenses between $20,000 and $50,000. Johnson is charged with an additional two counts of false pretenses between $1,000 and $20,000.

The $10 million fund was created in January 2018 to assist survivors in gaining access to mental health services. The fund was shut down in July 2018 due to administrators flagging counts of fraud. An internal investigation conducted by the MSU Police Department resulted in these seven charges.

MSU Police Department spokesperson Captain Doug Monette did not respond to a request for comment Monday afternoon.

MSU spokesperson Emily Guerrant said Monday she was unaware of any link between the seven who were charged and Nassar, but said it was possible they could have chosen not to come forward with their stories of abuse.

"I can say that none of those charged are people who have sued the university as a Nassar survivor, nor have they come forward in a public setting like a Board meeting or a rally to disclose that they were abused," Guerrant wrote in an email.

A call placed by The State News to Thirty4, Johnson's Mount Clemens clothing retailer, was not responded to.

The five other people charged were:

  • Marcetta Johnson of Clinton Township, charged with two counts of false pretenses between $20,000 and $50,000.
  • Porter Johnson of Clinton Township, charged with two counts of false pretenses between $20,000 and $50,000.
  • Tammy Johnson of Clinton Township, charged with two counts of false pretenses between $20,000 and $50,000.
  • Corey Riley of Inkster, charged with one count of false pretenses between $20,000 and $50,000. Mr. Riley was arraigned Monday, the only one of the seven to have been arraigned, according to the Ingham County Prosecutor's Office.
  • Mary Riley of Inkster, charged with one count of false pretenses between $20,000 and $50,000 as well as three counts of false pretenses between $1,000 and $20,000.

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