Senior Police Officer
Atlanta Police Department, Georgia
End of Watch: Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Bio & Incident Details
Tour: 15 years
Badge # Not available
Cause: Vehicular assault
Incident Date: 1/24/2012
Weapon: Automobile; Alcohol involved
Suspect: Charged with vehicular homicide
Senior Police Officer Gail Thomas was struck and killed by a suspected drunk driver while assisting other officers with a traffic incident on the exit ramp from southbound I-75 to northbound I-85.
She had just exited her vehicle when she was struck. The drunk driver was arrested and charged with vehicular homicide, DUI, and reckless driving.
Officer Thomas had served with the Atlanta Police Department for 15 years.
Please contact the following agency to send condolences or to obtain funeral arrangements:
Chief George Turner
Atlanta Police Department
226 Peachtree Street SW
Atlanta, GA 30303
Phone: (404) 614-6544
Huntersville NC Jan 25 2012 Police said Tuesday they believe the principal of Northwest School of the Arts took his own life, days after parents had launched a public effort to protect him from an imminent dismissal from his job.
Barry Bowe, 54, was found dead in the garage area of his Huntersville home on Monday afternoon. Deputy Chief Michael Kee said all indications are that Bowe committed suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning.
News of Bowe’s passing stunned students and parents at Northwest, a performing arts magnet school on Beatties Ford Road in Charlotte. Many had rallied behind the principal in recent days when word spread that Bowe was being forced from his job in connection with a December incident in which someone pointed a gun at a student after a dance.
Parents said Bowe faced discipline because of allegations that security was insufficient.
Interim Superintendent Hugh Hattabaugh said there had been “no final determination” about whether Bowe would lose his job over the dance incident. But Hattabaugh said that late last week, Bowe had been told his options included resignation, retirement or “due process.”
Bowe told CMS officials that he wanted time to think, Hattabaugh said.
Grief counselors were sent to Northwest on Tuesday, and will remain at the school all week. Students wore black to school in memory of Bowe.
“Dr. Bowe’s death will be a profound loss, particularly to the children whom he took under his wing,” Ginny Brien, president of the Friends of Northwest School of the Arts wrote online. “I can hear his voice ringing in my ears – ‘I love my kids.’ “
A native of West Virginia, Bowe arrived at Northwest in 2008; he’d been principal of an arts magnet school in his home state.
Linda Kiser, a former CMS administrator who helped hire Bowe, said his background in arts education and ability to help students with special needs made Bowe stand out among other applicants. Bowe had degrees in music and photography, along with a doctorate in education administration, according to his resume.
Kiser said Bowe was “unbelievably dedicated” and fought hard for Northwest. She said Bowe wanted to make the school strong academically as well as artistically. She said he worked hard to enroll students who had a talent in the arts. The school serves students in grades six to 12.
Kimberly Helms’ daughter started at Northwest before longtime principal Charles LaBorde retired three years ago. Helms said she was worried that no one would be able to replace LaBorde. But she said Bowe had a great impact on the school.
Helms’ daughter has some learning disabilities, including having problems with writing. She said Bowe worked with CMS officials to allow her daughter to use an iPad for her coursework. She is doing better this school year.
For his efforts at Northwest, Bowe was honored in October with a Friends of the Arts Award for School Administration from the N.C. Art Education Association.
In recent days, however, word spread among Northwest parents that Bowe’s job was in jeopardy. They tried to rally support for Bowe via Facebook and other means Sunday and Monday after word began to spread that Bowe was given the choice to either resign or be fired by the district.
Security issues at dance
Parents said they believed the action stemmed from a Dec. 17 incident at the school, when someone allegedly pointed a gun at a teen outside the school after a dance. Some students said no security personnel oversaw the dance.
CMS normally requires security personnel at such events. The school system has said it was investigating the incident.
Hattabaugh said Bowe was told to follow up with employee relations on Monday. When he did not respond, Hattabaugh sent Bud Cesena, chief of CMS police, to Bowe’s home. Cesena contacted Huntersville police.
“I can tell you unequivocally no final determination had been made,” Hattabaugh said, calling Bowe’s death “very unfortunate, very tragic.”
On Tuesday, Hattabaugh appointed Mark Bosco, a former Northwest administrator and teacher who now works in the northeast administrative zone, as interim leader at Northwest.
Douglasville gA Jan 25 2012 Lesson to would-be bandits: If you’ve gotten together a disguise to stick up a jewelry store, don’t put it on in the parking lot where everyone can see you.
A 20-year-old man who bought his get-up at Party City so that he could allegedly pull off the heist of Empire Jewelers in Douglasville was arrested Wednesday after a witness spotted him putting on fake dreadlocks, gloves, glasses and a hat outside the store, Channel 2 Action News reported.
Denikko Becton, of College Park, also was armed with a pellet gun he had picked up an a local Walmart a few hours before the robbery attempt at the store, on the 6900 block of Douglas Boulevard, police said.
“Everything was purchased in Douglasville,” Police Chief Chris Womack told Channel 2.
The suspect also allegedly had stolen a car tag that day.
Authorities credited an alert employee of a Moe’s Southwest Grill near the jewelry store with seeing a man adjusting his disguise outside and calling police.
Officers intercepted Becton in the store and took him into custody, police said. He was charged with armed robbery, possession of tools for an armed robbery and theft by taking.
“It was definitely bizarre,” said Glenn Easterwood, co-owner of Empire Jewelry. “We are very thankful someone saw what was happening. It could have saved many people’s lives –- there was no telling.”
ABINGDON, Md.Jan 25 2012 - In addition to adult DVDs for rent, just past the popcorn, snacks and ice cream treats, Bush River Books and Video in Abingdon has four dimly-lit movie theaters, but patrons are warned they must follow some simple rules.
“We recently hired a security guard to be here when we can’t… to help us… to make sure nothing illegal is going on in there,” said Pam Kuhl whose family has owned the business for 18 years.
But when Harford County Sheriff’s deputies stopped by to do some random checks, they got an eyeful.
“They went to the rear of the building where the movie theaters are and they located an adult who was in a state of undress exposing himself in a way that was visible to patrons of the establishment,” said Monica Worrell of the Harford County Sheriff’s Office.
The suspect, 47-year old Mark Stewart Bullock, was known as Father Stew Bullock at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Towson, but in a letter handed out to parishioners over the weekend, they learned the Archdiocese has removed him from the ministry.
“I in no way condone what he was doing, but he was probably a good person and he made a mistake, and they’re crucifying him,” said Kuhl.
The owners of the business say they, too, have been victimized—targeted by deputies wielding flashlights who show up late at night to shine light on patrons, while intruding upon their privacy.
“The police come in here anytime and we know that so we’re not going to allow illegal activity to go on here. But for a few bad people that break the law, what about the hundreds upon hundreds of other people that come in here that don’t break the law?”
According to the church’s letter, Bullock was on vacation at the time of the incident.
He’s been charged with indecent exposure and released from police custody.
WESTPORT, Conn. Jan 25 2012– A Bridgeport woman who worked as a security guard in Westport was arrested Friday on a warrant for allegedly stealing from her workplace, police said.
Katlyne Lauture, a former security guard at Bridgewater Associates, was spotted on camera in November taking an iPad out of an employee’s desk and then leaving the building, police said.
Lauture, 25, was later found to have taken two additional iPads and an exercise video set, all valued at approximately $2,724, police said. She was charged with third-degree larceny and released after posting a $10,000 bond. She is due in court on Jan. 30.
Source:the daily wesport
COOKEVILLE TN Jan 25 2012 – A woman was arrested Friday for allegedly stealing at her job in a Cookeville store.
Kacie Marie Mansell, 21, of Rose Garden Lane, Cookeville, is charged with theft of property in the case, according to a warrant taken by Cookeville Police Officer Justin Long.
The officer said he was called to the K-Mart store Friday on a complaint about employee theft.
“Upon arrival, I spoke with the loss prevention worker, who stated that Kacie Marie Mansell was an employee of K-Mart” and that she had confessed to theft in the store, the warrant says.
Allegedly, Mansell took a K-Mart gift card valued at $350, a prepaid Visa card valued at $400, and obtained a $5 gift card “for spending over fifty dollars on the K-Mart card,” the warrant says.
Allegedly, she also admitted to taking $100 out of the store’s lay-away register on two different occasions, the warrant says.
The total amount stolen in the case was $955, the warrant says.
Mansell was taken to the Putnam County jail, where her bond was set at $2,500. She has a March 5 court date.
EVANSTON OH Jan 25 2012 — Cincinnati Police Officer Ronald Kiner was arrested over the weekend after being accused of breaking into an Evanston woman’s house Saturday, choking her and dropping a gun on her chest.
Kiner, who has been a Cincinnati police officer for 12 years and works in District Three, has been charged with aggravated burglary.
The woman told police that Kiner, 42, entered the woman’s house in the 3000 block of Paul Street through an unlocked door, walked to her bedroom, began choking her and then placed a gun on her chest, according to court documents.
He was arrested Saturday and held in the Hamilton County Justice Center.
His bond was set at $50,000 at an arraignment hearing Monday.
Last November, Kiner was accused of threatening to kill the same woman and damaging her car, according to court documents. A temporary restraining order was issued against him.
A Hamilton County grand jury failed to indict him on a charge of menacing by stalking.
WILKES-BARRE PA Jan 25 2012 – A second lawsuit has been filed against a Nanticoke bar and its owner in which a Mountain Top man says he was injured in a New Year’s Eve incident that also resulted in the face of his friend being severely slashed.
Ricky Wells says Paul Halliday, owner of the Prospect Street Cafe, was negligent the night of the attacks in that a security guard was not properly trained and a list of barred patrons was not kept.
The suit, filed by Wells’ attorney, David Selingo, on Monday, seeks unspecified damages on two counts of negligence.
The suit mirrors that of Jennifer Mieczkowski, of Nanticoke, who claimed in a suit filed Jan. 13 that the bar and Halliday were negligent for allowing inside a person who Mieczkowski claims injured her, despite the fact the person was under the legal drinking age, and that employees did nothing to stop the attack.
Mieczkowski alleged a woman slashed her face after Mieczkowski went to the aid of a friend who fell off a bar stool.
Wells’ lawsuit says the tavern had been the site of nine incidents involving disturbances at or adjacent to the bar, and had received 16 citations over an unspecified period of time prior to the incident.
The suit says Halliday entered into an agreement with the state Liquor Control Board that called for him to employ a security guard, provide training and maintain a list of persons who were barred from the tavern.
Wells alleges in the suit that he and Mieczkowski were at the tavern to pick up beer to take out when they saw some friends and decided to sit down with them and order a drink.
Mieczkowski, the suit says, noticed a female friend get knocked off a bar stool, and went to her aid when she was assaulted by an attacker.
Wells says in the suit that he tried to intervene but was grabbed by a security guard and dragged outside, where he was beaten, causing several injuries.
A police report of the incident said Wells was beaten with a pool cue. The suit says Wells suffered a fractured jaw, pain, anxiety, loss of sleep and depression as a result of the attack.
The suit alleges negligence in that Halliday and the bar failed to have a security guard undergo proper training and wear proper clothing. The suit also alleges Halliday and the bar failed to enforce the barred patron list, allowed underage patrons into the bar, served those underage patrons and failed to keep the premises “under control.”
Nanticoke Detective Capt. William Shultz said Monday the police are continuing the investigation and there have been no new developments.
Halliday could not be reached for comment.
Michael Yelen, an attorney who has previously represented the bar regarding its liquor license, said Monday he had no comment on any personal injury action and was unaware of the newest lawsuit.
Middletown NJ Jan 25 2012
CVS security watched a female shopper as she strolled through the store filling up her shopping car and her purse with more than 45 items.
Police were called to the CVS on Main Street Extension and arrested Lisa Marshall, 56, of Main Street for the theft of the merchandise which was valued at $318.48.
Security told police that she left the store without paying.
She was apologetic and offered to pay for the items but was charged with larceny.
HATTIESBURG, MS Jan 25 2012 - The Forrest County Sheriff’s department made an arrest in connection to a shooting of a Camp Shelby military police officer Friday, January 20th.
Tiffany Wright, the wife of the MP, was arrested in Lamar county at an apartment complex Monday evening and charged with domestic assault.
The military police officer was shot during a security check on the post Friday night. Camp Shelby officials say the MP, who was wearing a ballistic vest, was making a routine security check at the north gate around midnight when he was shot.
They say the vest stopped the bullet and saved his life. He was taken to Forrest General Hospital for a precautionary evaluation and was released
Police did not disclose what prompted the shooting or what led them to the arrest of the wife.
Man sues Galveston Yacht Club for security breach after being shot on property www.privateofficer.com
GALVESTON TX Jan 25 2012 - Alleging a security breach at a Galveston yacht basin allowed someone to attack him two years ago, James P. Dillmon Jr. has filed a lawsuit.
In a lawsuit filed Jan. 5 in Galveston County District Court, Dillmon blames The Sealy & Smith Foundation for a hole in the fence line at the Galveston Yacht Club which enabled a man named Gregory Lee to approach and shoot him on Jan. 11, 2010, as he was performing maintenance work on his sailboat.
Recent court documents show Dillmon and The Sealy & Smith Foundation had a contract in which the plaintiff paid the respondent a monthly fee to store his vessel at The Yacht Club’s storage lot.
“The plaintiff stored his boat at the defendant’s storage lot in reliance on security provided on the premises, including, but not limited to, security guards and a chain link security fence with three rows of barbed wire affixed to the top,” the original petition says.
“However, on the date in question, a portion of the fence on the west side of the storage lot was broken, creating an opening in the fence line.”
Dillmon further explains that Lee, who is not a defendant in the case, went through the subject opening, came up to him and shot him with a Reck P8 6.35-mm handgun.
“One of the bullets struck the plaintiff in the stomach, causing him to suffer severe personal injuries,” the suit says.
Police subsequently arrived at the scene to watch the presumed gunman sit down on the ground in the middle of the lot and shoot himself in the head, according to the suit.
Dillmon insists the defendant failed to warn him about the supposedly unrepaired opening.
He consequently seeks unspecified monetary damages.
Midani, Hinkle & Cole LLP is representing Dillmon.
Galveston County 10th District Court Judge David Garner is presiding over the case.
Case No. 12-cv-0011
Washington DC Jan 25 2012 The Department of Veterans Affairs has found scores of misplaced headstones and at least eight cases of people buried in the wrong places at several military cemeteries across the country.
The review by the VA’s National Cemetery Administration follows the revelation of widespread burial problems at Arlington National Cemetery, which touched off congressional inquiries and a criminal investigation.
After the scandal at Arlington, which included mismarked and unmarked graves and people buried in the wrong spots, some veterans groups and members of Congress had called for the cemetery, which is run by the Army, to be transferred to the VA.
Although many of the errors at Arlington were caused by an antiquated paper-record system, VA officials said the problems at seven of its national cemeteries were largely the result of sloppy work during renovations. Headstones and markers were temporarily removed from the ground and reinserted in the wrong places.
Staff members at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio were testing the accuracy of a new cemetery map in July, for instance, and realized that 47 markers were one space over from where they were supposed to be.
The problem, they discovered, arose from a 2004 project to regrade the soil and realign the markers, which tend to shift as the ground moves. The markers were lifted and put back one plot away from the correct grave site.
The error resulted in four people being buried in the wrong places. To save space at sought-after national cemeteries, family members are typically buried in the same plot. Because the headstones were in the wrong spots, some people were not buried with their loved ones.
A similar problem was discovered in November at Houston National Cemetery. In 2002, after a similar renovation, 14 grave markers were put in the wrong places. No one noticed the error at the time. A person was then buried in what officials thought was a family member’s grave site; it was actually one plot over.
VA officials first publicly acknowledged the problems after The Washington Post asked about the cemetery audits. In an interview Monday, Glenn Powers, the National Cemetery Administration’s deputy undersecretary for field operations, said the VA is working to put all headstones in the right places and attempting to contact affected families to explain and apologize. But because the affected graves cover a long period — from decades ago to recent years — it might be impossible to locate all the next of kin, he said.
“We strive to operate the best cemetery system in the world, and if something like this happens, there is no excuse,” Powers said. “The amount of times this happens is rare. But there is no margin of error; there shouldn’t be any kind of error. . . . We need to learn and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
In addition to the cemeteries in Texas, he said, problems have been discovered at national burial grounds in Ohio, New Mexico, New Jersey, Maryland and Pennsylvania. The cemetery administration is waiting on reports from Golden Gate and San Francisco National Cemeteries.
The audit, which was ordered in October, included only sections of cemeteries that had undergone renovations in the past decade. In all, the VA checked 1.3 million grave sites in 85 of its 131 cemeteries. It also checked graves at Camp Chase Confederate Cemetery in Columbus, Ohio.
Powers said that once the initial survey is complete, he will order a more comprehensive review of every section of every cemetery. He said he could not rule out further problems.
We can’t be certain until we check them,” he said.
At Dayton National Cemetery in Ohio, officials found that 14 grave markers had been returned to the wrong spots after renovations in 2003 and 2004. They also discovered that in 1984, two veterans were buried in unmarked graves occupied by people who had died in 1894 and 1907.
At Santa Fe National Cemetery in New Mexico, 12 headstones and markers were put in the wrong spots after work in 2003 and 2009. One family member was buried in the wrong place.
At Beverly National Cemetery in New Jersey, Loudon Park National Cemetery in Baltimore and Philadelphia National Cemetery, officials discovered that a total of 28 headstones had been misplaced. At Beverly, officials also found an unmarked grave.
The four people buried in the wrong spots at Fort Sam Houston have been relocated to the correct grave sites, according to the National Cemetery Association.
The four re-interments at the other cemeteries have yet to happen.
Cemetery officials said many of the errors were caused by contractors. They said administrative penalties are possible, but no one has been disciplined so far. Officials said future contracts for projects that involve markers being moved would require the headstone to be kept at the grave site.
“It is very disappointing that after we finally turned a corner at Arlington National Cemetery, veterans’ families are today being informed that their loved ones have not been laid to rest where originally thought at VA cemeteries around the country,” Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.), chairman of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs, said in a statement to The Post. Miller is scheduled to receive a report on the problems Tuesday.
“Ensuring our veterans are buried with dignity and respect is one of the most important things we as a nation do to honor the men and women who have sacrificed on our behalf. I am committed to rectifying this problem as quickly as possible to give the families affected peace and assurance, and I will work with the VA to make sure this is done immediately.”
ROCK HILL SC Jan 25 2012 – A Rock Hill man is accused of trying to slash a bouncer Saturday at a Cherry Road club.
Bobby Lee Cloud, 52, was cited for disorderly conduct and unlawful weapon carrying, according to police documents.
About 2 a.m. Saturday a man identified as Cloud was seen stumbling down Cherry Road toward The Money, according to a Rock Hill police report. When the bouncer at The Money told him to leave, Cloud allegedly pulled a knife on him and tried to cut him.
A Swiss Army folding knife was found on Cloud, the report states. He was also “extremely intoxicated.” The knife was placed into evidence, and Cloud was cited.
A trespass warning for The Money was also issued to Cloud, the report states.
Las Vegas Metro Police will pay $1.7 million to settle the wrongful death lawsuit www.privateofficer.com
LAS VEGAS NV Jan 25 2012– The settlement deal for Metro Police to pay the family of an unarmed 21-year-old who was shot and killed during a botched drug raid was approved Monday.
Metro will pay $1.7 million to settle the wrongful death lawsuit. After attorney fees, 65 percent will go to Trevon Cole’s young daughter and the remaining 35 percent will be split between Cole’s mother and his fiancee.
Cole was killed in June 2010 by Officer Bryan Yant. Evidence showed that the police had incorrect information on the search warrant and had confused Cole with another suspect.
This is the largest payout in the history of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.
Somerville MA Jan 25 2012
A Somerville man was caught stealing several electronics items totaling almost $800 in Target last Wednesday.
Jamal Matthew Crews-Williams, 20, of 118 North St. was charged with larceny over $250 and shoplifting, according to a Somerville Police report.
On Jan. 11 at 1:10 a.m., police responded to Target, 180 Somerville Ave. for a report of a shoplifter detained. Staff told cops the suspect was seen on surveillance camera taking items from the store and putting them in a black and red backpack.
Police searched the backpack and retrieved several MP3 players, video games, a portable gaming system, a memory card and three ear bud-type headphones, all of which totaled $769.90. The suspect was arrested and taken to the police station.
ROCK HILL SC Jan 25 2012 – A shoplifter at the Galleria Belk shoved $870 in jeans into freezer bags before running out front door this weekend, police say.
Officers responded to the department store at the Rock Hill mall and learned the man, who was wearing an orange coat and khakis, was running toward Dave Lyle Boulevard, according to a Rock Hill police report.
The suspect, later identified as Michael Batts, 39, of Rock Hill, stopped running “because he knew what he did was stupid,” the report states.
The incident was captured on surveillance video. The merchandise will be returned to the shelves for resale.
Batts has eight other shoplifting convictions dating back to 1993, according to the report.
He remains booked at the Moss Justice Center on a $20,000 bond.
Frederick County MD Jan 25 2012 Two Baltimore men were arrested after police responded to a shoplifting complaint at the Kohl’s Department Store on Guilford Drive, according a press release from the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office.
Emergency Communications provided responding officers with descriptions of the two suspects. When police arrived, they observed the two suspects standing outside of the store. When they suspects saw the police, they fled on foot, according to the press release.
After a brief chase, officers caught up to and arrested Dante M. Drake, 39, and Doral W. Douglas, 41.
More than $2,000 of stolen merchandise, which included hats, jackets and gloves, were recovered, according to the press release.
Both men were arrested and initially transported to Frederick Memorial Hospital. While searching the suspects, police also found heroin in Drake’s possession.
After being released from the hospital, the two men were transported to the Frederick County Adult Detention Center’s central booking unit for processing.
Drake and Douglas were charged with theft over $1,000, obstructing and hindering and resisting arrest. Additionally, Drake was charged with possession of heroin.
Victor, N.Y. Jan 25 2012— A Rochester woman accused of having more $2,000 worth of alleged stolen merchandise from six stores at Eastview Mall is facing charges.
Brianna Ashley Fleming, 18, of 1239 Genesee Park Blvd., was charged Jan. 22 with third-degree burglary and fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property, according to Ontario County sheriff’s deputies.
Fleming had been banned from the mall, deputies said.
Fleming was taken to Ontario County Jail and held on $10,000 cash bail.
She is scheduled to appear in Victor Town Court at a later date.
RALEIGH, NC Jan 25 2012 – A Raleigh woman turned the tables on an alleged burglar when he broke into her home earlier this month.
According to court documents, Victoria Alexis Jones was in her Dorthea Dr. residence around 8 p.m. on January 13 with her two small children when 40-year-old Lucio Miranda allegedly broke in.
Jones said she asked Miranda to leave and when he didn’t, she said she sprang into action.
As Miranda closed in on her, she grabbed a wooden bed post.
“He’s still coming towards me,” she recounted. “And the only thing I knew to do was to protect and defend my family. It just so happened I have an old bed with a solid wood oak post, and it was loose.
She said she grabbed the post and started to beat Miranda.
“As he got in the living room he was about to run,” Jones said. “When I hit him that last time, I hit him in his head and he fell out.”
Miranda was still on scene when police arrived to arrest him. A booking photo showed him with his right eye swollen shut from the beating.
Miranda was charged with first-degree burglary and possession of stolen goods.
He was treated at WakeMed for a head injury and a broken ankle.
Charlotte NC Jan 25 2012 Federal prosecutors have filed charges against six Charlotte-area defendants over mortgage fraud-related offenses and a “builder kickback” scheme, the latest fallout from the housing market bust.
The defendants are accused of working with Charlotte homebuilder Tara Properties to sell houses by offering kickbacks to straw buyers. The kickbacks weren’t disclosed to lenders or included on loan applications, according to documents filed last week in federal court.
The scheme resulted in hundreds of sales between January 2005 and February 2008, with Tara paying more than $5 million in kickbacks, the filings say. The conspirators fraudulently caused lenders to provide more than $42 million in loans, prosecutors allege.
Tara specialized in building homes priced between $100,000 and $200,000 and the company offered kickbacks of 15 percent of the sales price.
Here is how prosecutors say the scheme worked: Organizers recruited straw buyers by promising kickbacks. “Word spread quickly. The promoters and mortgage brokers … heard about the scheme and joined the conspiracy,” prosecutors wrote.
Defendants lied on mortgage applications about income and assets, employment, debts and anticipated debts, and intent to occupy the home as a primary residence, court documents say. Some applications also contained false or forged documents such as bogus payroll stubs and bank statements.
Majority end in foreclosure
The straw buyers recruited by the promoters and mortgage brokers generally were unqualified to obtain the loans, and the “vast majority” of homes lapsed into foreclosure, according to prosecutors.
More mortgage-fraud cases have surfaced since the once-high-flying real estate market started to fizzle in the mid-2000s. Fraud helped fuel the nation’s foreclosure crisis, artificially inflating demand and home prices. Defendants convicted in recent cases include attorneys, loan officers, bankers, builders, appraisers and real estate agents.
In a separate mortgage fraud investigation called Operation Wax House, prosecutors have charged more than three dozen defendants and expect the number to reach 70. Carried out mostly in 2006 and 2007, the crimes targeted in Operation Wax House involved some 80 homes and $100 million in loans in pricey subdivisions in south Charlotte and Waxhaw.
In Operation Wax House, the people involved agreed to buy homes at their true price and then arranged buyers who would pretend to have the assets to buy the homes at an inflated value, generally $200,000 to $500,000 higher than the actual price. At closing, the participants would split the difference.
The six defendants indicted last week in connection with the builder-kickback scheme are charged with mortgage fraud conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy.
According to court filings, defendants include:
Sean Dalton Williams, a certified public accountant, who prosecutors say served as a promoter recruiting buyers and was a mortgage broker. Williams owned SW Mortgage Group, LLC, which processed fraudulent loans.
Roderick D. Williams, a licensed real estate agent who served as a promoter and recruited buyers by promising a kickback, prosecutors say. Roderick Williams is not related to Sean Williams.
Alfred Samuels, a licensed real estate agent and licensed mortgage broker who served as a promoter and mortgage broker. Samuels owned Infinity Acquisitions, a property management business that was used to manage some kickbacks, court papers say.
Channing Holit, a former licensed loan officer who served as a promoter. Holit’s license lapsed while he was serving a jail term on state drug charges, prosecutors say. Holit owned 1st Priority Group Consultants, which prosecutors say managed kickbacks for the conspiracy.
Licensed loan officer Elena Z. Karadzhova, an employee of SW Mortgage Group who served the conspiracy as a promoter and buyer.
Licensed loan officer William Chad Hadden, who served as a buyer.
Tara Properties’ owner, Duve W. “D.W.” Miles, is mentioned in the indictment as the source of the kickback payments and named as an unindicted co-conspirator.
Two real estate agents are also named as unindicted co-conspirators, according to court documents. They are Michael J. Foley, owner of Mike Foley, Inc., doing business as “Builder’s Resource Group,” and Foley’s son, Brandon Stewart Foley, who operated Smart Choice Realty, LLC.
Prosecutors allege the two men facilitated sales of Tara homes through the payment of hidden kickbacks.
Mike Foley of Mint Hill was charged in August 2010 by prosecutors in connection with a mortgage fraud conspiracy that involved a “builder kickback” scheme and a home that later entered foreclosure. Prosecutors did not name the homebuilder.
Attorneys for the defendants either declined to comment or were unavailable. A message left for Holit was not returned. Efforts to reach the other defendants and Miles, Mike Foley and Brandon Foley were unsuccessful.
Alabama convenience store owner pleads not guilty in embezzlement of more than $350,000 worth of government funds www.privateofficer.com
MOBILE, Alabama Jan 25 2012 – A local convenience store owner pleaded not guilty last week to charges that he embezzled more than $350,000 worth of government funds used to pay for milk, baby formula and other products for low-income pregnant women and young children.
Jamil Jamal Kayed, who lives in Mobile, faces a maximum of 5 years in prison if convicted of theft of public money.
Authorities allege that from January 2007 to December 2010, Kayed abused the Women, Infant and Children program run by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and administered by the Alabama Department of Public Health.
Authorities contend that Kayed traded cash for WIC vouchers for less than the face value and then turned them in for the full amount. He illegally collected $351,163, the indictment alleges.
U.S. Magistrate Judge William Cassady set Kayed’s trial for March, and allowed him to remain out of jail pending trial.
Douglas Dunning, an attorney for Kayed, said it was too early to comment on the facts of the case.
“It’s just an allegation, at this stage,” he said. “At this stage, all we have is the indictment.”
NEWBERN, Tenn. Jan 25 2012(AP) — A Tennessee police department says it has fired an officer after 17 years on the force because he repeatedly smoked cigarettes inside the precinct in violation of the city’s no smoking policy.
Newbern police Sgt. James Bishop was terminated last week. A 2007 city policy prohibits smoking inside all municipal offices and buildings.
According to the termination letter obtained by the State Gazette, Police Chief Harold Dunivant said he had complaints that his employees were smoking inside their offices and issued a warning that disciplinary action could be taken.
Dunivant said he continued to get complaints about Bishop smoking indoors and was forced to fire him.
A phone number that the city of Newbern had on record Bishop him was disconnected, and messages left by The Associated Press at other listings for James Bishop weren’t immediately returned.
Santa Cruz CA Jan 25 2012 A 36-year-old transient was arrested Sunday after fighting with a store security guard who was trying to detain him after he allegedly stole alcohol from a downtown store, police said.
Officers were called to the 600 block of Front Street after the guard reported that a shoplifting suspect was running from him, police spokesman Zach Friend said.
The suspect, Tommy Lee Baca, ran down Pacific Avenue and then on to Plaza Lane when he wheeled around to face the guard, Friend said. When officers arrived, the two were struggling on the ground. Officers helped subdue Baca, Friend said.
A witness reported that Baca had threatened to stab the guard, Friend said, though no knife was found. The 26-year-old security guard suffered minor injuries, Friend said.
Baca booked into County Jail Monday with bail set at $50,000.
Miramar Fla Jan 25 2012 The former treasurer of the Silver Lakes Elementary School Parent Teacher Association was busted for stealing more than $32,000 made during school events and other fundraising activities during a 15-month period between 2010 and 2011, authorities said.
According to documents released by the Miramar Police Department, Janet Hanson Gamory falsified documents to conceal her theft of monies meant to go into an account for the school’s PTSA when she was the volunteer treasurer of the organization.
“It’s shocking, it’s beyond me. I couldn’t even fathom how to go about doing something like that. It’s not only stealing from the kids, it’s stealing from her own children,” said Rita Stephan, a parent who was former president of the PTSA at the school.
In September of last year, the members of the PTSA Board held a meeting and confronted Gamory with theft allegations, requesting financial documents.
According to the police records, when confronted Gamory admitted to the crimes and signed a document promising to repay the stolen money.
“That’s a crying shame, it’s appalling, especially as a parent, you’re supposed to be here to help the students and help the faculty,” said another parent, Steven Williams.
Gamory provided false statements using a software program to show that the PTSA’s bank account balance was higher than it actually was. She kept the actual bank statements to herself, not even opening most of them, in an effort to conceal the crime, according to the complaint affidavit.
Authorities say they met with a former treasurer who reviewed financial records and found that Gamory stole $32,859.35 from the PTSA over the 15-month period she was treasurer.
In December police showed up at Gamory’s Miramar residence to ask her questions but she refused to give a statement, referring questions to her attorney.
Union City CA Jan 25 2012 A James Logan High School teacher arrested on suspicion of having sex with a minor is scheduled to return to court Tuesday so that the court may review his bail paperwork. He is also scheduled to enter a plea.
Peter Kolesnikov, 38, still in custody, appeared briefly at a Fremont Hall of Justice courtroom Monday morning. His attorney had prepared to turn in paperwork so that Kolesnikov may be released on reduced bail, but Judge Dennis McLaughlin pushed the matter over to Tuesday.
Kolesnikov faces 22 counts of sexual assault, including charges of statutory rape, oral copulation of a minor and communicating with a minor with criminal intent, according to court records. He also faces one charge of possession of marijuana with intent to sell.
Kolesnikov, who was originally held on a $1 million bail, had his bail reduced last Thursday to $500,000 on conditions that he surrenders his passport and does not have unsupervised communications with minors.
The motion to reduce Kolesnikov’s bail was granted despite Deputy District Attorney Jimmie Wilson’s assertion that Kolesnikov is “a danger to the community.”
“I think that the defendant has access to young girls, and my concern is that if put out on bail, there’s an opportunity he would resume what he’s done in this case,” Wilson said last Thursday.
Kolesnikov was arrested Jan. 12 by Union City police after authorities received information that Kolesnikov had engaged in sexual relations with a 16-year-old girl over a nine-month period from March to November of last year. He was on his way to meet with the juvenile victim at an undisclosed location in Hayward during the time of his arrest, police said.
The victim, now 17, told police the relationship began with kissing and grew into sexual encounters in private homes and motels in Alameda County.
Police believe there may be additional victims.
According to co-workers and district staff, Kolesnikov taught English and some art classes at James Logan High School for 12 years until he was placed on leave at the end of the 2010-11 school year. The district would not comment on the nature of his leave but police said it was unrelated to criminal charges.
He was well-liked among both students and staff, according to co-workers and former students who attended Kolesnikov’s Tuesday arraignment, though some online reviews were mixed, with posters calling him “brilliant” but “lacking in enthusiasm” for teaching.
Kolesnikov’s supporters have also created an email address, email@example.com, where students can send statement of character letters to aide in his case.
Kolesnikov is scheduled to return to Tuesday at 9 a.m. in Dept. 605 at the Fremont Hall of Justice.
Paris KY Elementary school teacher arrested after exposing himself at restaurant www.privateofficer.com
Paris KY Jan 25 2012 A teacher at Paris Elementary school has been arrested after he allegedly exposed himself at a fast food restaurant Monday.
Barton D. Short, 24, of Lexington is charged with first-degree indecent exposure following an incident that happened at a Sonic restaurant in Paris at about 4 p.m. Monday.
The Paris School District supervisor, Clay Good, confirmed that Short is a teacher at Paris Elementary. “We are fully cooperating with investigators,” said Good.
Good said school officials found out Monday night about the alleged incident. Good says that Short will not be allowed back on campus until the case is fully resolved. Good could not comment on if Short’s leave will be paid or not.
Short taught third grade, and this is his first year as a teacher at Paris Elementary.
East Haven, Conn. Jan 25 2012- The FBI has arrested four East Haven police officers on conspiracy and obstruction of justice charges following an investigation into alleged civil rights violations.
“In simple terms, these defendants behaved like bullies with badges,” said Janice Fedarcyk, assistant director of the New York office of the FBI.
The officers are being held by authorities in Bridgeport and will appear in federal court there at 2 p.m.
A union spokesperson says they believe the officers will be exonerated. The union says the four officers had been suspended with pay.
The East Haven officers assaulted individuals while they were handcuffed, unlawfully searched Latino businesses, and harassed and intimidated individuals, including advocates, witnesses and other officers who tried to investigate or report misconduct or abuse the officers committed, according to the federal indictment.
Federal law enforcement officials said in indictment papers that Officer Dennis Spaulding, Officer David Cari Officer Jason Zullo and Sgt. John Miller executed unreasonable searches and seizures and used unreasonable force and concealed their actions.
Miller is the president of the police union.
“At its core, this is an abuse of power case,” said Assistant US Attorney General Thomas Perez.
Mayor Maturo said the four men were arrested at about 6 a.m. Tuesday.
The officers are linked to the 2009 arrest of Father James Manship, who videotaped officers inside a store owned by Hispanics . Father Manship was arrested, but the charged were later dropped.
“These officers have damaged the reputation of their department,” said Fedarcyk.
The federal government had been investigating allegations of racial profiling in the town.
Donald Cretella, Miller’s lawyer, said his client has been honored with awards and risked his life in shootouts.
“John Miller is a hero in East Haven,” he said. “He’s decorated. He’s a wonderful family man. Hopefully, we’ll clear his name.”
Frank Riccio Jr., Spaulding’s attorney, said his client is an exemplary police officer.
“At this early stage it’s our position Mr. Spaulding is not guilty of the charges. He’s been nothing but an exemplary police officer. That’s why this is shocking.”
It wasn’t immediately clear who was representing Cari and Zullo.
The indictment says Miller reported to a police department leader described as a co-conspirator who blocked efforts by the police commission to investigate Miller’s misconduct. That refers to Chief Leonard Gallo, according to his attorney, Jon Einhorn, who denied that Gallo blocked the investigation.
“It’s unfair that he is mentioned in this regard when he isn’t even indicted,” Einhorn said.
The investigation is ongoing and officers are continuing to look into additional incidents, said U.S. Attorney David Fein.
Anyone with information is encouraged to call the FBI Tips Line at 212-384-1000.
LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. Jan 25 2012- Loudoun County Police have arrested 21-year-old Virginia man for holding a 16-year-old girl against her will while claiming he was a police officer.
Jose L. Rivera-Laboy has been charged with kidnapping, use of a firearm during the commission of a felony, brandishing a firearm and two counts of impersonating a police officer.
According to police, the incident happened on December 14, 2011 when the 16-year-old female victim was walking in the area of East Dartmouth Drive around 4 p.m. She and a friend were approached by two known teenaged females and Rivera-Laboy, who she did not know.
Police say the female victim had been involved previously in an altercation with one of the two teenaged females. During the encounter, Rivera-Laboy indicated he was a cop and at one point exposed a firearm that he was carrying in his waistband.
Later, Rivera-Laboy went into the residence with the victim’s friend and also claimed to her mother that he was a police officer from Maryland.
During the investigation, Rivera-Laboy was identified as a boyfriend of one of the two known teenaged females.
Rivera-Laboy was apprehended near his home last Thursday and remains at the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center without bond.
Dallas TX Jan 25 2012 Two people still on the run following an armored car robbery in Dallas Tuesday afternoon.
The robbery took place along the 8100-block of Lake June Road, Dallas police said, when the Dunbar Armored Car stopped to drop off cash at PLS Check Cashing at 12:40 p.m.
As the guard approached the door to the business, a white, Nissan Altima pulled up next to the armored car with two men inside wearing masks and hoodies.
The passenger in the Altima exited the car with a gun and ordered the guard to hand over the bag of cash. The guard complied and the men then drove off, leaving the guard uninjured.
The getaway car, which turned out to be stolen out of Duncanville, was found a short time later abandoned on the 1400-block of Conner Drive.
Officers began to search the area for the two men using K-9 units and the Dallas police helicopter. While the search continued through abandoned buildings and residential backyards, the Dallas Independent School District responded by locking down nearby John Quincy Adams Elementary School.
Though officers were spotted talking to two people during the course of the neighborhood search, they said they have made no arrests in connection with the heist and that they are actively looking for the men involved in the robbery.
Police have not said how much cash was stolen. Additionally, since the armed robbers were wearing masks, investigators have not been able to share a description of the two men.
The robbery is now being investigated by Dallas Police Robbery Detectives and the FBI Task Force.