Two of Michael Winans Jr.’s victims spoke in federal court, telling a judge that the scheme to sell Saudi Arabian oil bonds robbed some people of their life savings, caused divorces and fractured many families.
“I want to apologize to everyone. … These were decisions that were negligent and irresponsible,” said Winans, of Jessup, Md. He said he had no “malicious intent” but acknowledged that he continued to collect money even after he learned that the bonds were bogus.
U.S. District Judge Sean Cox read from some of the 50 letters written by victims. He said a young woman joined the Army because her family had lost money that was intended for her college education. He noted that Winans made his pitch from church pulpits. “Fraud on good, decent church-going people — that was very, very troubling to me.” Cox said.
Michael Winans Jr. is the son of Michael Winans Sr. of the famous Winans gospel music family.