Joel Wilson arraigned, bond set at $9 million

After spending more than a year overseas the man accused of fraudulently taking millions from people is brought before a judge in Bay County Friday.

31-year-old Joel Wilson is facing nine felony charges for allegedly taking millions from Mid-Michigan investors but then using new investor funds to pay returns.

The state accuses him of taking more than $8 million from investors in Michigan.

"I think he is a significant flight risk,â?? said Judge Dawn Kilda, 74th District Court.

Wilson is back in Bay County now after recently being extradited from Germany.

The criminal charges against him include fraudulent sale of securities, and racketeering.

The Michigan Attorney General's office says Wilson's business, Diversified Group, took money from investors, told them he would use the funds to refurbish distressed properties in the Saginaw and Bay City area, and later offer them a return on their investment.

But instead, the Michigan Attorney Generalâ??s office says Wilson used new investor funds to pay returns to previous investors. Given the charges, and that authorities had to extradite him from overseas, Judge Dawn Kilda set bond at $9 million. In addition, Wilson has more than $2,000 in unpaid court costs.

"Which is another indication of your disrespect to the court system and the legal system,â?? said Judge Kilda.

The Michigan Attorney Generalâ??s office claims Wilson started this in 2009, and in total has taken $8.5 million from investors in several Michigan communities.