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Former executive faces sentencing for embezzling millions from credit union

mug shot of michael lajoice
Oakland County Sheriff's Office
Michael LaJoice admits to embezzling millions of dollars while CFO at Clarkston Brandon Credit Union

A former Oakland County credit union executive who embezzled millions of dollars will be sentenced in federal court Thursday.

Prosecutors say Michael LaJoice paid for a “luxurious home and expensive vehicles” by embezzling from Clarkston Brandon Credit Union, where he was the CFO. He allegedly skimmed more than $18 million over 12 years. LaJoice used the money to run a Latin dance studio in Fenton, among other things.

TV commercials for the studio—the Chasse Ballroom—were a fixture on Flint area television stations. The ads often included the tag line: “Remember life is too short not to dance.”

The Latin dance studio is closed.  The credit union is gone too,absorbed by another credit union.

LaJoice pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud.

His defense attorney says LaJoice's life has been “destroyed." He is asking the federal judge for a five-year sentence. 

Prosecutors want a much longer sentence. They are asking the judge to put LaJoice behind bars for 11 years.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.