Client claims Cushingberry stole nearly $30,000 from him - KMSP-TV

Client claims Cushingberry stole nearly $30,000 from him

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Allivas Kyles Allivas Kyles
Allivas Kyles (LEFT) with half brother Michael Henry (RIGHT) Allivas Kyles (LEFT) with half brother Michael Henry (RIGHT)
(WJBK) -

Allivas Kyles had a big check coming from the settlement of a lawsuit after his father's untimely death. However, he was in jail at the time. He asked Detroit City Councilman George Cushingberry Jr. to help him out - which turned out to be an even bigger problem.

Instead of helping Kyles get out of jail, Cushingberry apparently helped himself to Kyles' money.

VIDEO: Click on the video player above to watch the report from FOX 2's M.L. Elrick, or read it below
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Allivas Kyles has made his share of mistakes in his young life. The one he regrets the most is trusting George Cushingberry.
 
KYLES: You know I got conned. It's in black and white.

Kyles was waiting for a big check, the bitter harvest yielded by a lawsuit filed after his father's untimely death. Unfortunately for Kyles, the check arrived shortly after he landed in jail, creating an opportunity for Cushingberry, a trusted family friend.

ELRICK TO KYLES: Did he know you had that check waiting for you?  
KYLES: Yeah, he knew it.

Kyles says he asked Cushingberry to help get him out of jail. He says Cushingberry and Kyle's half brother picked up his check instead.

KYLES: they wanted all the money - greed.

It's a pretty bold caper, and here's how Kyles says it went down:

Cushingberry and Kyles' brother Michael Henry took a little trip to the bank. But it wasn't just any bank, it was a bank where Cushingberry had a connection.

KYLES: She knew George, did him a favor.

Kyles brother used Kyles' ID to open an account. Here's a couple pictures of Henry, and here's Kyles again (SEE PHOTO). Now I ask you, do these siblings look alike?

Into the new account went a tidy sum - more than 28 grand. By the time Kyles got out of jail the account he didn't open didn't have any of his money left.

So he went looking for Cushingberry.

KYLES: They had something about he getting the money with the bank. They had put it onto the house or something, they was about to get it out - something crazy George just told me. Went out of town, he about to get the money, don't even worry about it, give him two or three months he about to get the money. He just went out of town, something like that, my check. You know just talked some lawyer stuff to me above my head. So I fell for it.

He sued Cushingberry and his brother in 2012. His brother and Cushingberry defaulted, so in August a judge ordered them to pay Kyles more than $33,000.

But every story has at least two sides.

Unfortunately, Cushingberry hasn't been eager to give me his side.

CUSHINGBERRY TO ELRICK: I'm not talking any further about the stop.
ELRICK: I'm not here to talk about the traffic stop.
CUSHINGBERRY: And I'm not talking about anything in the bankruptcy court.
ELRICK: Not the bankruptcy.
CUSHINGBERRY: All right what is it?
ELRICK: This is the attorney discipline board.  
CUSHINGBERRY: Oh. I'm not talking about that either.

So we turned to his attorney, Todd Perkins, for an explanation.

PERKINS: I believe there's some other issues that will permeate, or that will come to the surface that would provide some defense or some mitigating circumstances to, sort of lessen the real effects that he breached an agreement with Mr. Kyles.

That didn't exactly clear things up so I decided to give Cushingberry one more chance to explain. By now you probably know that things didn't go as planned, as police interfered at the Council meeting before I had a chance to speak with Cushingberry.

Cushingberry still isn't returning my calls, and he hasn't returned all of Kyles' money.  

Cushingberry's new job pays more than $70,000. Kyles' lawyer wants to take a big bite out of that by garnishing Cushingberry's City Council wages.

Kyles wants the money, but he also wants answers.

KYLES: He shouldn't be leading our city. How ya'll going to let somebody lead the city who took, stole 30 thousand [dollars]?

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