Bray's Hamburgers owner accused of running loan shark operation - New York News

Bray's Hamburgers owner accused of running loan shark operation

Posted: Updated:
SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WJBK) -

You could call Tom Duhanaj a friend of the politicians.  Records show he's donated to the campaigns of Gary Peters and Carl Levin.  He's also posed with other political big wigs like Sander Levin and former President Bill Clinton.

The same man is now under arrest, charged with lying to federal investigators and accused of running a loan shark operation for fellow Albanians, including a candidate for the 13th Congressional District, John Goci of Westland.

"I'm kind of shocked about [the] charges," said Goci.  "Not the guy I know.  I've seen him around town.  He's been really good.  He helped me out in my time of need.  I'm a small business owner, and sometimes you have ideas and it takes money to make things happen."

Goci, who has been questioned by federal investigators, says he received a $30,000 loan and has a picture of the check to prove it, but he claims the money came from Oakland County businessman Randy Dzierzawski.  Duhanaj acted as the middle man.

How did Goci know to go to him as a middle man?

"I heard that in the community, that he knew a guy that was loaning out money, that had access to money, so that's what I did."

Sources say Duhanaj charged high interest on his loans up to 45 percent and threatened violence if he didn't get paid.

Goci said he was only charged 15 percent and never felt he was in danger when he accepted a loan to help his Wayne restaurant that was going through tough financial times.

"15 percent.  It was a little higher than the bank, but you know what, it's a little simpler to get."

On Thursday, federal agents raided Duhanaj's restaurants, Bray's Hamburgers in Westland and Capital Coney Island in Ferndale and his home in Troy,
sources say in search of financial records.

According to federal court documents, 42-year-old Duhanaj entered this country illegally in 2002 to escape the violence in the former Yugoslavia.  He was arrested a short time later and fought for political asylum, but lost.  He's been under investigation for months and because of his alleged crimes, he will be deported.

Goci claims he never knew of Duhanaj's past and hopes it won't impact his political future.

"I hope not.  I hope people will see through this.  I've done nothing wrong.  I'm just a small businessman trying to keep my door open."

It turns out Duhanaj even donated to Goci's campaign, but he told us he plans to return the $1,000.

Although he isn't considered a frontrunner, Goci said he has run a strong campaign and if elected plans to get people back to work and create equality in education.

We were unable to reach Dzierzawski for comment Monday evening.

  • Taryn AsherTaryn AsherMore>>

  • Man accused of calling taxi to move a body

    Man accused of calling taxi to move a body

    Monday, July 28 2014 10:20 PM EDT2014-07-29 02:20:50 GMT
    A mother is struggling with the fact that her 21-year-old daughter lost her battle with drug addiction, and then she learns the despicable lengths two people went to get rid of her child's body.
    A mother is struggling with the fact that her 21-year-old daughter lost her battle with drug addiction, and then she learns the despicable lengths two people went to get rid of her child's body.
  • Renisha McBride's family leaves courtroom as photos are shown

    Renisha McBride's family leaves courtroom as photos are shown

    Thursday, July 24 2014 6:29 PM EDT2014-07-24 22:29:16 GMT
    On day two of the trial for Renisha McBride's shooting death, the final hours of her life and the moments after her death were detailed in court. Thursday the jury heard what Ted Wafer, her accused killer, told police about the shooting that night.  
    On day two of the trial for Renisha McBride's shooting death, the final hours of her life and the moments after her death were detailed in court. Thursday the jury heard what Ted Wafer, her accused killer, told police about the shooting that night.  

  • 1 dead when car crashes into house after driver, passenger shot

    1 dead when car crashes into house after driver, passenger shot

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 10:30 PM EDT2014-07-24 02:30:13 GMT
    One person is dead and another is injured after a shooting on Detroit's west side. The two victims were riding in the same vehicle, which lost control and crashed into the side of a house after the shooting.
    One person is dead and another is injured after a shooting on Detroit's west side. The two victims were riding in the same vehicle, which lost control and crashed into the side of a house after the shooting.
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Firefighters rescue crane operator

    Firefighters rescue crane operator

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 6:12 AM EDT2014-07-30 10:12:48 GMT
    Firefighters in northern New Jersey rescued an Iowa man when his bucket crane buckled. Josh Lovell of Melcher, Iowa, was working on lights when the crane broke Tuesday.
    Firefighters in northern New Jersey rescued an Iowa man when his bucket crane buckled. Josh Lovell of Melcher, Iowa, was working on lights when the crane broke Tuesday.

  • Police: Man drives off NY bridge, dies

    Police: Man drives off NY bridge, dies

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 6:10 AM EDT2014-07-30 10:10:33 GMT
    New York State NewsNew York State News
    Police in Westchester County are investigating whether a man who died was drag racing when he drove off a bridge. They say the victim was driving northbound on the Saw Mill River Parkway when he exited and drove off the Ashford Avenue Bridge in Dobbs Ferry around 12:30 a.m. Wednesday. The man was alone in the car.
    Police in Westchester County are investigating whether a man who died was drag racing when he drove off a bridge. They say the victim was driving northbound on the Saw Mill River Parkway when he exited and drove off the Ashford Avenue Bridge in Dobbs Ferry around 12:30 a.m. Wednesday. The man was alone in the car.

  • Aire Ancient Baths

    A relaxing bathhouse in busy Tribeca

    A relaxing bathhouse in busy Tribeca

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 10:29 PM EDT2014-07-30 02:29:51 GMT
    Deep beneath the hustle and bustle of Tribeca lies a modern-day oasis brimming with old world charm: Aire Ancient Baths, my new favorite city escape. The breathtaking spa is illuminated by hundreds of candles and smells of invigorating eucalyptus. For around $80 you can bathe in the tranquil blue pools for 90 minutes and find the temperature that's right for you.
    Deep beneath the hustle and bustle of Tribeca lies a modern-day oasis brimming with old world charm: Aire Ancient Baths, my new favorite city escape. The breathtaking spa is illuminated by hundreds of candles and smells of invigorating eucalyptus. For around $80 you can bathe in the tranquil blue pools for 90 minutes and find the temperature that's right for you.
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Attorney wants investigation of city clerk over Arab-American voter suppression

    Attorney wants investigation of city clerk over Arab-American voter suppression

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 11:43 PM EDT2014-07-30 03:43:20 GMT
    It is the tale of two cities. one paints a picture of a meticulous Dearborn Heights city clerk, following the law and fighting for a fair election. The other a story of abuse of power, mishandled ballots and voter suppression.Fatima Abdrabboh is an attorney and Michigan's director of the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee the largest chapter in the country. She is calling for a full-scale investigation into claims that Walter Prusiewicz mishandled ballots from Arab-American voters fo...
    It is the tale of two cities. one paints a picture of a meticulous Dearborn Heights city clerk, following the law and fighting for a fair election. The other a story of abuse of power, mishandled ballots and voter suppression.Fatima Abdrabboh is an attorney and Michigan's director of the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee the largest chapter in the country. She is calling for a full-scale investigation into claims that Walter Prusiewicz mishandled ballots from Arab-American voters fo...
  • Warren grandparents upset after grandchildren see racist graffiti at park

    Warren grandparents upset after grandchildren see racist graffiti at park

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 11:15 PM EDT2014-07-30 03:15:40 GMT
    Tuesday afternoon Bruce and Lubertha Callaway took their grandchildren to Shaw Park in Warren when they saw something they couldn't believe.
    Tuesday afternoon Bruce and Lubertha Callaway took their grandchildren to Shaw Park in Warren when they saw something they couldn't believe.
  • 3-year-old shocked, downed power lines electrify fence

    3-year-old shocked, downed power lines electrify fence

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 10:51 PM EDT2014-07-30 02:51:19 GMT
    A 3-year-old boy is in the hospital after getting shocked by an electrical charge.
    A 3-year-old boy is in the hospital after getting shocked by an electrical charge.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices