Wednesday, January 4, 2012

What is this world coming to - Police: 6 Officers Wounded in Ogden Shooting - ABC News


Authorities say six police officers have been shot at a home in Ogden.

Lt. Tony Fox says the officers were serving a drug-related search warrant late Wednesday at a home on Jackson Avenue when the shootout occurred.

Fox says the officers have been hospitalized. He says one suspect was also in the hospital.

There have been no reports of any fatalities.

Police did not immediately release other details.

Teaming Up to Fight Short Sale Fraud - Freddie Mac

Teaming Up to Fight Short Sale Fraud

Vice President Single Family Mortgage Credit Risk Management Shelley PolandIn a short sale, Freddie Mac agrees to accept less than a full payoff of a mortgage when the borrower is unable to sell their home for enough to pay off their entire loan. Freddie Mac short sales have risen from about 4 percent of completed workouts in 2000 to nearly 14 percent in 2010.

Short sale fraud, also on the rise, enters the picture when real estate professionals fail to disclose affiliations with other parties involved in the transaction to rig sales at a low price and hide better offers from Freddie Mac and the distressed home seller. Then, after the house is sold, the fraudster can flip it a few hours later for the better price and walk away with the profitable difference.

By concealing the higher offer, short sale fraud worsens losses to home sellers, Freddie Mac, and taxpayers. It also throws another wrench into the housing recovery by undermining the trust and transparency at the core of any real estate transaction.

Today, short sale fraud is the top priority for our fraud investigation unit. By working closely with real estate professionals and law enforcement agencies, our fraud unit has identified and stopped a number of fraudulent deals before closing. They have also added the perpetrators to our Exclusionary List – firms and individuals barred from conducting business with Freddie Mac – and worked with law enforcement agencies to prosecute them.

Since short sale fraud requires the cooperation of one or more real estate professionals involved in the transactions, we have begun reaching out to Realtor associations in target markets to educate them about the latest trends in short sale fraud, the red flags to watch for, and what actions they can take to stop it. We strongly believe responsible Realtors are America’s natural first line of defense against such scams.

Trends we have been alerting Realtors about include:

  • Falsely indicating on a new short sale listing that there is an offer on a property in order to discourage legitimate offers and protect an accomplice’s planned low bid.
  • Manipulating the short sale listing price by making the house look more distressed than it really is (“reverse staging”), inflating repair estimates, or using similar tactics designed to obtain an artificially low home value on the Broker Price Opinion. (Our requirements prohibit the buyer, buyer’s agent, buyer’s attorney, or a third-party short sale negotiator to be the contact point for the agents preparing the BPO.)
  • “Flipping” schemes where the fraudster “buys” a house at a short sale without putting down any of his own money and then sells it a few hours (or days) later to a legitimate buyer at a much higher price. These are complex multi-step schemes that use falsified title and/or loan documents to fool a lender into approving the ultimate buyer’s mortgage, which the fraudster uses to settle the earlier closing on the house he “acquired” at the short sale for a much lower price.
  • Manipulating the HUD-1 settlement statement so the fraudster can skim away net proceeds from the sale for himself or other parties in the transaction without the seller’s or investor’s knowledge. (The HUD-1 is the document that itemizes all fees, charges, and other funds involved in a home sale.)

As a result of the uptick in short sale issues, Freddie Mac now requires all of the parties involved to sign an affidavit attesting that it is a true arms-length transaction. These affidavits not only deter individual participation but also give us a stronger legal path to enforce our rights.

Fortunately, we have allies in this fight. There are many conscientious real estate professionals who want to do the right thing. We often receive calls in our servicing, quality control, fraud investigation, outreach, and HomeSteps divisions from real estate agents who know they’ve seen something inappropriate and won’t look the other way. They understand that real estate fraud turns a shortsighted profit at the cost of the public’s long-term confidence in homeownership and the housing industry.

That’s why we are reaching out to educate real estate associations through special seminars and Freddie Mac’s web site, where we post the latest fraud prevention information and best practices. If you see fraud being committed – or aren’t sure and want clarification – we encourage you to call the Freddie Mac Fraud Hotline at 1-800-4FRAUD-8 or 1-800-437-2838, as well as your local FBI office, state attorney general, and Real Estate Board.

How fast your life can change when you make one mistake.....No turning back on this one. Couple arrested in crime spree surprised by potential charges


ELKO, Nev. — A tearful Angela Hill seemed shocked and confused when she was informed by an Elko Justice Court judge Wednesday that she had been arrested for investigation of attempted murder.

"I don't understand what's going on," she cried.

Hill, along with Logan McFarland, made their initial court appearances after being arrested Tuesday near the small town of Oasis, Nev., between Wendover and Wells. The two are accused of going on a crime spree that started in Utah and, according to investigators, included a carjacking in which the driver was shot in the head, a high speed chase and a possible double homicide in Mt. Pleasant, Sanpete County.

According to court documents, Hill fired the shot that struck a woman in the back of the head after the couple carjacked and kidnapped her in West Wendover on Dec. 31.

Both McFarland and Hill were booked in the Elko County Jail for investigation of robbery with use of a deadly weapon, kidnapping, conspiracy to commit kidnapping and/or robbery, and committing a crime in a stolen vehicle. Hill was also booked for investigation of attempted murder.

Couple arrested in connection with double homicide, crime spree
A pair of sharp eyes from an Elko County commissioner brought a three-day manhunt for a couple accused of going on a two-state crime spree — including a home burglary, violent carjacking and possible double homicide — to an end.

Hill's bail was set at $102,000 cash only. McFarland's bail was set at $52,000 cash only. But Elko Justice Court Senior Judge Barbara Nethery informed both inmates during a brief video hearing from the jail that they each had warrants out of Utah. She said McFarland had two no bail warrants out of Utah.

Nethery told McFarland that the Nevada charges would be "satisfied first" before extradition proceedings would take place. The judge said formal charges would likely be filed within 10 days.

Neither inmate wore handcuffs as they sat in a back room of the Elko County Jail during the video proceedings. Hill wore a blue jump suit and sat with her arms and legs folded as she waited for the judge to begin. She seemed genuinely surprised when Nethery informed her she was being held for investigation of attempted murder. She bent her chest into her knees while sitting, and cried.

McFarland seemed equally surprised by his booking charges, asking the judge at one point, "How am I being charged with kidnapping?"

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Logan McFarland is reported to have said "How am I being charged with kidnapping?" when his charges were explained to him before a judge.

According to the booking statement from the jail, Hill and McFarland carjacked a woman in the parking lot of the Red Garter Casino. Hill allegedly pushed the victim into the passenger seat at gunpoint and drove her vehicle while McFarland followed in a second car.

At one point, police say the women fought back, biting Hill and pushing her out of the car. After she regained control of her vehicle, the woman felt McFarland's vehicle strike her from behind, jail documents state. She then "heard a gunshot and felt an object strike her in the head."

The woman was able to drive herself to the police station and was at last word in stable condition at a Salt Lake hospital.

McFarland and Hill have not been charged in connection with the deaths of Woody and Ann Fullwood, but several court documents filed in both Utah and Nevada strongly suggest they are suspects in the double killing.

Police said individuals had come forward "and had provided information that they suspected the two individuals were involved in the deaths of the Fullwoods in Mount Pleasant," according to an Elko County Jail statement.

A vehicle stolen out of Santaquin was later found in Wells, Nev., where a Volkswagen Jetta left warming up in front of a Super 8 Motel was stolen. During a high speed chase on I-80 with police, personal items belonging to the Wendover carjacking victim, including her purse, were thrown out of the Jetta by McFarland and Hill, police said

The Jetta was recovered late Tuesday in a very remote, mountainous region in the area where McFarland and Hill were arrested. Police said the vehicle was no longer operable.

Buyers are still buying.... Now it the time to get your home on the Market!!

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