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.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Dispute over reclining seat diverts flight, again

    Dispute over reclining seat diverts flight, again

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 8:21 AM EDT2014-09-02 12:21:27 GMT
    Delta photoDelta photo
    A Delta Air Lines flight from La Guardia Airport to West Palm Beach, Florida, was diverted to Jacksonville because of a dispute between passengers over a reclining seat. Delta reportedly says the flight was diverted Monday night when a woman got into an argument with a passenger behind her when the woman was trying to recline her seat while the other passenger was trying to sleep on the tray table.
    A Delta Air Lines flight from La Guardia Airport to West Palm Beach, Florida, was diverted to Jacksonville because of a dispute between passengers over a reclining seat. Delta reportedly says the flight was diverted Monday night when a woman got into an argument with a passenger behind her when the woman was trying to recline her seat while the other passenger was trying to sleep on the tray table.
  • High school football player dies

    High school football player dies

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 7:12 AM EDT2014-09-02 11:12:05 GMT
    A 16-year-old high school football player from Staten Island is dead after collapsing during practice Monday, officials said. The teen's father says Miles Kirkland-Thomas collapsed Monday morning during practice for Curtis High School. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.
    A 16-year-old high school football player from Staten Island is dead after collapsing during practice Monday, officials said. The teen's father says Miles Kirkland-Thomas collapsed Monday morning during practice for Curtis High School. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.

  • Bill Clinton to appear in New Haven for fundraiser

    Bill Clinton to appear in New Haven for fundraiser

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 6:24 AM EDT2014-09-02 10:24:23 GMT
    Former President Bill Clinton is scheduled to headline a rally in New Haven to raise money for Democrats running in elections across the country. Clinton is set to appear at the event at the Omni New Haven Hotel on Tuesday. He'll be joined by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman, who are seeking re-election in November.
    Former President Bill Clinton is scheduled to headline a rally in New Haven to raise money for Democrats running in elections across the country. Clinton is set to appear at the event at the Omni New Haven Hotel on Tuesday. He'll be joined by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman, who are seeking re-election in November.

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 | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices