2014-01-30 / Front Page

Man charged for scam

Windmill fraud case affected many in U.P.

ESCANABA – A Kincheloe man has been charged with 11 counts of felony fraud for alleged incidents occurring in Delta County in 2011. The charges were a result of a two year joint investigation between the Michigan State Police Gladstone Post and Delta County Sheriff’s Department.

Billy Lee Parish, 57, was formally charged in the 94th District Court of Delta County on Jan. 23.

The incidents occurred throughout Delta County from May through November of 2011. During the incidents, Parish would allegedly solicit home owners and ask if they were interested in purchasing electricity generating windmills.

Law enforcement officials said Parish would then take a minimum $2,000 down payment and only partially complete the work. In some instances, he allegedly took money from his victims and never returned to their homes.

Approximately 45 victims have been identified across the Upper Peninsula. The total amount of fraud is nearly $100,000.

After being questioned by police, Parish fled the area in late 2011 and has been on the run ever since.

With the assistance of the Michigan State Police Fugitive Team and the U.S. Marshals, Parish was arrested in Pittsburgh, Penn. on Dec. 23, 2013.

He was living under an alias name at the time of his arrest.

A cooperative effort between the MSP Gladstone Post and Delta County Sheriff’s Department allowed Parish to be transported from Pennsylvania back to Michigan.

Parish is currently lodged at the Delta County Jail on a $15,000 cash bond. Additional fraud cases are pending in Menominee and Iron counties.

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