A government witness described a series of checks showing how Ferguson’s group Detroit 3D spent grant money steered to the contractor by his close friend Kwame Kilpatrick.
In 2001, Ferguson’s group spent more than $68,000 renovating his Detroit office building, buying a security system and on accounting services, according to state
budget official Lisa Shoemaker. The money was supposed to be spent helping children and senior citizens.
Some of the receipts were incomprehensible, Shoemaker testified.
“We were struggling to determine what type of work was being done,” Shoemaker testified.
It’s unclear so far which office building was renovated, but Detroit 3D’s address was on Wyoming in Detroit. That’s the same building that houses offices of Ferguson’s construction company, Ferguson Enterprises Inc.
Inside, Ferguson’s two-story private office had a security system, two hidden safes and a spiral staircase — like the one from “Diff’rent Strokes.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Bullotta asked Shoemaker if refurbishing a private office was an appropriate expense.
“The grant was not intended to benefit a private entity,” Shoemaker testified.
Ferguson’s group suggested the money was spent, in part, buying a house for runaways and homeless seniors.
Ferguson’s group Detroit 3D, a purported nonprofit, also spent the money paying a tax professional, according to testimony Friday.
“Aren’t nonprofits tax exempt?” Bullotta said to Shoemaker.