Last week John Sims, celebrated man about town during the '90s, lauded by the media, gushed over by city officials, and business partner of River City bigwigs, was sentenced for up to 21 years in prison for defrauding investors out of $700,000 by peddling franchises to non-existent ATM's. (Not all were taken in during Sims's heyday, such as your insightful Executive Director, who had warned the media and the city of his dubious dealings. To no avail, unfortunately.) A reader reminded us via e-mail that we had something to say about Mr. Sims and his benefactors a while back.
Under "Birds of Feather" published on February 21, 2006, we wrote:
Thanks to a reader of ours who tipped me off yesterday that John Sims had been arrested on charges of fraud. The news was confirmed this morning on the radio.
You may remember Sims as Mike Webb's partner. Webb is presently serving a prison sentence for embezzlement. The two hucksters were front men in the Charlevoix Club scheme for Peter Cook, former used-car salesman, local bigwig, and friend of Rich DeVos. Cook set up Sims and Webb with $100,000 to act as public cover for a transaction that secretly funneled $3.6 million from the coffers of Butterworth Hospital (now Spectrum Health) to the benefit of a client of Warner Norcross honcho, Charlie McCallum a.k.a. the Fixer.
Unfortunately none of the culprits has had to pay any price for abusing Butterworth Hospital as their own private piggy bank, even if a couple of the small fry have been nabbed for other scams. Meanwhile, we the healthcare rate-payers continue to pick up the tab for their slush fund.
Webb and Sims aren't the only ones who should be in jail.