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Winans scion gets nearly 14 years in prison

Updated: Wednesday, February 27 2013, 03:59 PM EST
Winans scion gets nearly 14 years in prison story image
DETROIT (AP) - A member of the gospel music Winans family has been sentenced to nearly 14 years in prison for an $8 million financial scam.

Two of Michael Winans Jr.'s victims spoke in Detroit federal court Wednesday, saying the scheme devastated families.

Winans sold oil bonds to more than 1,000 investors in 2007 and 2008. He promised 100 percent returns in two months then used the money for personal expenses or to pay off earlier investors. About 600 people are still owed nearly $5 million.

Winans eventually learned the bonds were phony but didn't tell investors and kept collecting money.

Winans is a third-generation member of one of gospel music's first families. His uncle, Marvin Winans, gave the eulogy at Whitney Houston's funeral.
Winans scion gets nearly 14 years in prison
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Last Update on December 22, 2014 08:06 GMT

SONY HACK - ADMINISTRATION RESPONSE

HONOLULU (AP) -- Is the hacking of Sony an act of terrorism? It's a decision the White House has to make as it tries to figure out what to do in response to the attack, which it has blamed on North Korea. President Barack Obama says the United States is reviewing whether to put North Korea back on its list of state sponsors of terrorism. The president calls the hacking of the movie studio an "act of cybervandalism" -- as opposed to an act of war. Meanwhile, Sony is promising to release "The Interview" -- the movie that launched the entire international incident. The comedy involves a plot to assassinate North Korea's leader.

SONY HACK - CELEB REAX

NEW YORK (AP) -- Roselyn Sanchez says she understands how some people feel Sony's cancellation of the release of "The Interview" makes it look like the company and the country is "giving in" to a cyberattack. But the actress feels the most important thing is "safety first." As for those who feel that "The Interview" should be released no matter what to defy demands by the hackers, she says people should remember "this is just a movie, guys." Ryan Guzman says the invasion of privacy the Sony hacking caused "is a little bit crazy." But he says he doesn't have much to say on the subject except that he wishes "the hackers wouldn't do what they are doing."

SONY HACK - GOP REACTION

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The GOP says the best way to respond to the Sony hack -- is to buy a ticket to the movie "The Interview." The Republican party says supporters should buy a ticket to the movie -- if theater owners decide to show the film. In a letter to theater chain executives, GOP chief Reince Priebus (ryns PREE'-bus) says he's worried that a foreign government like North Korea is being allowed to decide which movies Americans can and can't watch. Priebus says while Hollywood and the Republican party have had their differences, the situation over "The Interview" is a matter of freedom and free enterprise.

SONY HACK - OTHER PLOTS

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- It isn't just Kim Jong Un. The North Korean leader is not the only world figure who has been targeted for being bumped off in some kind of crazy Hollywood plot. Others who have been targeted by Hollywood films include Queen Elizabeth II, Saddam Hussein and Pope Pius XIII. But unlike "The Interview," those other movies actually made it to the big screen. Sony has pulled "The Interview" in the face of threats by hackers. The White House has blamed the attack on North Korea.

SONY HACK - TOO SOON?

UNDATED (AP) -- It was a comedy that led to the whole Sony hacking to begin with. So is it poor taste to be cracking wise about the situation? So far, the answer seems to be "no." One of the first to mine the situation for comedy is Chris Rock. In promoting his movie "Top Five," Rock noted his movie was "very Korean-friendly" -- and that "there are no jokes about North Korea." It was Rock who, during an appearance on "Saturday Night Live" this fall, took pokes at making jokes about the 9/11 attacks and the Boston Marathon bombing. And this past weekend, SNL did a bit on "The Interview" controversy. One expert on the way the entertainment industry works suggests that some comedians are shying away from the issue because they don't want to become targets themselves.

Bobby Moynihan portrayed North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on a Saturday Night Live skit. COURTESY: NBC's "Saturday Night Live" ((mandatory on-air credit))

<<CUT ..006 (12/22/14)>> 00:14 "out of here"

Bobby Moynihan

Bobby Moynihan portrayed Kim Jong-un on a Saturday Night Live skit, saying he wasn't going to bow to North Korean threats, as fake lazer targets trained on his chest. COURTESY: NBC's "Saturday Night Live" ((mandatory on-air credit))

<<CUT ..007 (12/22/14)>> 00:12 "it to January"

Mike Myers

Mike Myers reprised the role of "Austin Powers" villain Dr. Evil, joking that the leader of North Korea should have something better to do than try to kill a movie that poked fun at him. COURTESY: NBC's "Saturday Night Live" ((mandatory on-air credit))

BOX OFFICE

NEW YORK (AP) -- With Sony putting "The Interview" on the shelf for now, the attention turns to the movies that are actually being released. The top one this past weekend -- "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." It took in $56.2 million over the weekend. It has pulled in $90 million plus opening on Wednesday. Number two is "Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb." It took in just $17.3 million, well off the debut pace of previous versions of the movie franchise. Last week's top movie, "Exodus: Gods and Kings" was bumped all the way down to fourth, with just $8.1 million. The Fox release saw 67 percent of its week-one take burn off during week two.

There's no North Korea in Middle Earth. The AP's Jamie Friar reports movie-goers aren't staying home in the wake of terrorist threats against movie theaters.

<<CUT ..003 (12/22/14)>> 00:10 "no they won't"

Sound of Martin Freeman and Ian McKellan

Sound of Martin Freeman and Ian McKellan in a scene from "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies," the number-one movie at the box office this weekend.

BILL COSBY - RADIO SILENCE

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- He portrayed a person revered as America's dad. But these days, for Bill Cosby -- mum's the word. He has gone silent in the face of numerous allegations of sexual assault. And legal experts suggest that may be the best he can do at this point. While the public may be clamoring for Cosby to defend himself, Eugene Volokh of UCLA says speaking out may be the only thing to keep him from saying something that might be libelous. If that happens, Cosby could open himself up to new legal problems .

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