Former U.S. rep alleges aide sabotaged 2012 campaign to repay money he embezzled from CMU Sigma Pi chapter

An aide to former U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, R-Mich., allegedly accepted a bribe to "sabotage" the congressmen's 2012 re-election campaign in order to repay a Central Michigan University fraternity he allegedly embezzled.

According to a Sunday report by Chad Livengood of The Detroit News, former McCotter aide Don Yowchuang is alleged in a legal complaint filed by McCotter to have accepted cash from an unknown source to repay more than $20,000 he allegedly embezzled from CMU's Sigma Pi chapter in return for submitting fraudulent nominating petitions that kept his boss off the ballot.

McCotter was seeking a sixth term in the House of Representatives in what was considered one of the safest districts in the country last year before it was found he did not gather the minimum 1,000 valid voter signatures needed to be put on the 2012 primary ballot, despite turning in 2,000 to the Michigan Secretary of State.

Now an attorney at a Detroit law firm after resigning from the House in July 2012, McCotter filed the complaint against Yowchuang last month in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, contesting his former aide's personal Chapter 7 bankruptcy case.

McCotter did not specify who might have bribed Yowchuang, but he hopes to use the bankruptcy case to find evidence of the alleged bribery from his bank records.

Yowchuang, who worked for McCotter from 2000 until 2012, filed for bankruptcy in July after McCotter sued him in April seeking $175,000 in damages. It is unclear who allegedly bribed Yowchuang.

According to The Detroit News, Yowchuang, the former head of Sigma Pi housing governing board, allegedly embezzled the money from the fraternity's house bank account for unpaid insurance and property taxes between 2005 and 2007.

In the complaint, McCotter alleges Yowchuang went to him in November 2011 asking for a $20,000 loan from the campaign to help him fix a "misunderstanding" with the Sigma Pi board. McCotter denied the request.

According to The News, Yowchuang's bankruptcy filing finds that he paid $22,000 to the Delta Alpha Association, which owns Sigma Pi's Mount Pleasant house, in September 2012.

Yowchuang is currently on three years probation after pleading no contest to 10 felony and six misdemeanor counts stemming from the submission of the fraudulent signatures.

Sigma Pi, a social fraternity, had its status as a Registered Student Organization revoked for four years in 2008 for violating the university's policies on hazing and alcohol. Now colonized at CMU, the fraternity is currently working toward becoming an official chapter.

Keep checking back with and read Wednesday's edition of Central Michigan Life for more on this breaking story.


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