Kwame Kilpatrick’s Cousin To Stand Trial

DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – A cousin of ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick will stand trial for embezzlement in the theft of nearly $20,000 from the Manoogian Mansion restoration fund.

The Detroit News reports that 40-year-old Nneka Cheeks waived a district court preliminary examination on felony charges of racketeering and eight counts of embezzlement.

The 40-year-old Cheeks, of Livonia, was Kilpatrick’s liaison to the Manoogian Mansion Restoration Society Fund starting in 2007.

Investigators said Cheeks used her position to access the fund to pay $3,600 toward her wedding reception at the Roostertail, $2,619 to the Jewelry Factory for a 1.25 carat loose diamond and her husband’ wedding band, $3,943 to pay off debt for an unnamed relative,  $1,140 to ‘Brides Made Fit’ for personal training, $450 to Allure Medical Spa for mesotherapy cosmetic injections, $4,025 in cash withdrawals, and $1,300 to Michigan Veterinary Specialists for care of her dog, “Trouble.”

An Ingham County judge ruled in September that Cheeks was in default of a civil lawsuit claiming she took $25,000 from the fund.

Cheeks’ circuit court arraignment is set for Sept. 2.

She faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted on a racketeering charge.

Kilpatrick resigned as mayor in 2008 as part of a plea in a criminal case.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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