Nearly $40 million has allegedly been stolen from the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy. The nonprofit’s former chief financial officer, William Smith, has been accused of stealing nearly $40 million from the organization and faces charges of bank fraud and wire fraud.  

The 20-year transformation of the Detroit Riverfront has been one of the largest public and civic engagement projects the city has seen in recent years. Annually, it serves approximately 300,000 visitors and has been named the best riverfront in America for the last three years by USA TODAY.  

One Detroit contributors Stephen Henderson of “American Black Journal,” Nolan Finley of The Detroit News, and Zoe Clark of Michigan Public examine the fallout from an embezzlement investigation surrounding the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy.

Henderson, Finley and Clark discuss what’s at stake for the community and the conservancy in wake of this scandal. They talk about Detroit’s history with financial corruption and mismanagement, the ripple effect it may have on future projects, and whether the conservancy may be able to recoup any of the money. 

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