Judge tells Bravata to let lawyers ask questions

DETROIT (AP) -- A Brighton man accused of using his marketing skills to fool investors out of millions won't be allowed to personally question them at his fraud trial.

A federal judge has denied John Bravata's request to cross-examine witnesses. Judge Paul Borman says Bravata has excellent attorneys who can handle the job.

Bravata is charged with conspiracy to commit fraud while collecting $53 million from investors. Bravata denies any fraud and says he invested the money in real estate that simply turned sour during the Great Recession.

The government opposed Bravata's effort to question witnesses. Prosecutors said he has "loquacious tendencies" and shouldn't be given a "soapbox" in front of jurors.

Trial starts Jan. 28 in Detroit federal court.

Published: Tue, Jan 1, 2013