Michael Winans, member of the famed Winans gospel singing family, has pleaded guilty to defrauding investors in an $8 million Ponzi scheme.
The Michigan Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation issued a cease and desist order against Winans in 2010, saying he used his connections in Detroit churches to lure investors into the scheme.
Money from later investors was used to pay returns to earlier investors, the characteristic of a classic Ponzi scheme, the government said, and Winans put some of the money to his own use.
Winans is a third-generation member of one of gospel music’s most famous families. He is the grandson of Delores (Mom) Winans and David (Pop) Winans Sr., and son of Michaels Winans Sr., who was a member of the Winans, a quartet of brothers. Michael Winans Jr. is the nephew of Marvin Winans, the pastor of Perfecting Church in Detroit who gave the eulogy at Whitney Houston’s funeral and the nephew of singers BeBe Winans and CeCe Winans.