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The FBI is investigating Lindsey Hunter

Lindsey Hunter has bigger fish to fry than simply deciding if he's going play next year. From Crain's Detroit Business:

So far, Wayne County investigators consider him a victim, with someone else serving as what they describe as "a mastermind." The FBI, on the other hand, according to sources close to its investigation, has him as its main focus and as a leading participant in at least two possibly fraudulent deals that went awry.

To Bruce McClellan of Waterford Township, a boiler operator with the Pontiac Schools, there is no doubt about Hunter’s role.

McClellan said he is cooperating with the FBI investigation and told the agency that he was a willing but naïve straw buyer in the purchase in April 2007 of a home at 1718 Morningside Way in Bloomfield Hills for $1.25 million, a home that is back on the market now for $780,000.

McClellan thinks it started when his near-perfect credit became known to a lifelong friend, Iron Johnson. Not long after Johnson sold McClellan a car at Golling Chrysler Jeep Dodge in Bloomfield Township, Johnson approached him with a possible business deal.

In the deal, Johnson also involved his business partner, Hunter. The two are principals in Southfield-based L&I Enterprises, a limited liability corporation formed in 2006, according to the Michigan Department of Labor.

"They ran my credit through and were jumping up and down. They said ‘We’re going to make you a millionaire,’ and they’d get back to me. Two months later, they called and said, ‘We’ve got a great deal for you. Lindsey wants you to purchase a house for a friend.’ "

You really need to read the entire article, and even then it's a little confusing what happened and why. According to documents filed with the state of Michigan, L & I Enterprises is a "real estate investment company."

Hunter's attorney has responded by saying that Hunter was strictly a silent partner in L & I Enterprises, but that doesn't seem to jive with McClellan's recollections ... or the bank records. McClellan only makes $36,000 a year but was able to qualify for a $1.25 million mortgage through direct help from Hunter:

On March 30, 2007, Lindsey and his wife, Ivy, added McClellan to a bank account they had at LaSalle Bank, according to a bank document. Twelve days later, McClellan signed the loan-disclosure documents.

McClellan’s attorney, Michael Smith of Sterling Heights-based Michael J. Smith & Associates P.C., said he assumes McClellan was added to the account so a credit report would show more assets than he actually had.

I'm sure there's more to the story than what's been reported, and unfortunately for Hunter, I'm guessing we won't hear his side until this investigation is complete. That may take a while, because this isn't the only investment the FBI is looking at. From Crain's:

Anthony Barbour, owner of a Utica-based business, Fireside Heating & Cooling, is also cooperating with the FBI in another deal involving Hunter and Johnson. He told Crain’s he would discuss his case with the approval of his attorney, but the attorney declined.

Stay tuned -- I'm guessing this story won't be going away for a while.