Michigan inmate ran porn business from cell

Wayne County Jail inmate had access to computer, phone

Published On: Nov 20 2012 05:49:33 PM CST
francis sharrak
DETROIT -

Francis Sharrak spent 18 months in the Wayne County Jail and used that time to operate his multi-million-dollar Internet porn and strip club business.

The 44-year-old resident of Farmington Hills was lodged in the county jail as he awaited sentencing on a federal tax evasion charge.

Sharrak was housed in the segregated cell where former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilptrick served a jail sentence.

Because Sharrak was acting as his own lawyer in his federal tax case, he asked for a computer to prepare his arguments. Wayne County undersheriff Dan Pfannes said a computer was provided.

"Because he's representing himself, we couldn't go through the traditional standpoint of him asking the law librarian for something because he has a right to keep his defense preparations secret from us," Pfannes said.

Court documents of transcribed phone calls from jail showed Sharrak bragged to a friend of being he first inmate ever in the jail to have a computer, but he complained about a lack of Internet access.

Sharrak got the computer because an unidentified jail employee convinced superiors that a court order demanded Sharrak have the device. That was a lie. Pfannes said that employee had been dealt with.

"This employee, although not fired for this specific incident, had other instances in which their credibility and truthfulness was called into question, and that employee no longer works here. So short term we solved that issue and on a more global long-term basis we are taking some steps that will prevent a recurrence of that nature," Pfannes said.

Sharrak is now serving his sentence in a federal facility.

No charges have been filed against him for his actions while in the Wayne County Jail.