The state of Michigan is currently investigating fraud claims against the former CEO of Summit Pointe, a community organisation providing mental health services. Among the likely fraudulent expenses claims of Ervin Brinker that could run into the millions of dollars, he has claimed ‘psychic readings’ as an item he can demand as reimbursement from Summit Pointe while its chief executive officer.

The seventy-one year old was sentenced to thirty-two months to a decade behind bars in 2016 after he admitted embezzling funds that should have been used for the provision of mental health services to the general public.

‘Psychic readings’ fraudster report took over three years to compile

It is only now that the fraudulent claims of Brinker are coming to light, and that is because of the extent of his embezzling. The full report of his fraudulent claims has taken more than three years to produce.

The final report was released on October 6, and totals a staggering $13 million in fraudulent expense claims. In an email found by the investigations board Brinker – and other employees – said “Wow, I can’t believe we pulled this off!”

Public servant fraudulently claimed $500,000 on ‘psychic services’

In total, Brinker claimed around half a million dollars on ‘psychic services’, almost $87,000 in travel expenses, $65,000 on gifts and even $830 on a bobcat costume. The investigators have failed to uncover why the CEO of a community mental health organisation would need a bobcat costume in any capacity.

There was also another $25 million in expenses that seemed simply to be made up out of thin air and not supported by invoices or receipts.

Brinker has been forced to pay back more than $1 million as part of his sentencing. He has also had to give up the lucrative pension that would have been due to him post-retirement as a long-serving public official.


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