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More than 2 years later, feds return money to man in marriage probe

Posted at 9:22 AM, Feb 07, 2016

WALLED LAKE, Mich. (AP) — Federal prosecutors have dropped criminal charges against a Detroit-area man and returned more than $200,000 in an investigation of suspicious marriages among immigrants.

John Gutowski of Northville was accused of conspiring to commit marriage fraud among Europeans who were living at his apartment buildings. The government also confiscated about $250,000.

Now, more than two years later, prosecutors have closed the case. Charges have been dropped, and the government is returning all but $15,000.

Gutowski agreed to give up a portion to settle the matter. But he says he’s innocent and he resents how his life was put in knots.

U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade declined to discuss why the criminal case was dropped. But she says negotiating to keep part of the money was appropriate.