Thursday, February 14, 2008






  3 held in mortgage scam
Local residents indicted in $3 million fraud across 4 counties
Monitor Staff Reports
CORSICANA–Three Cedar Creek Lake residents have been indicted for engaging in a $3 million mortgage fraud spanning four counties.
A Navarro County grand jury delivered first-degree felony indictments Feb. 7 against Darrell L. Marriott, 54, and Kandace Y. Marriott, 51, of Gun Barrel City, as well as Karen Hayes, 56, of Kemp for engaging in criminal conspiracy involving the sale of manufactured homes.
Operating under the business name One Way Home & Land, the trio allegedly falsified residential loan applications in order to ensure that the buyers’ loans were approved by mortgage lenders.
The Attorney General’s Office is prosecuting the case with the assistance of district attorney offices from Navarro, Henderson, Ellis and Kaufman counties.
Corsicana police Cpl. Mark Nanny began to uncover the case in September, 2004, when an investor made allegations against the company. Then buyers started coming forward complaining about their payments and loan applications, Nanny told The Monitor.
One Way Home & Land opened offices at 625 N. Beaton St. in Corsicana near the end of 2002, or beginning of 2003, he said.
“We executed a search warrant for two places in February, 2005,” he said, along with agents from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
“We found evidence to support the allegations,” Nanny said.
The total number of home buyers involved was not yet known, but a large number have been identified, he added.
The scheme involved predominantly low-income purchasers, whose residential loans were guaranteed by HUD. As a result, when the unqualified buyers defaulted on their home loans, their mortgage lenders did not suffer financial losses. Instead, HUD had to cover the costs.
Investigators believe the defendants’ scheme cost the taxpayers more than $3 million.
After it became clear the conspiracy encompassed multiple counties, prosecutors with the Office of the Attorney General offered assistance to district attorneys in whose jurisdictions the criminal conduct occurred.
Last year, the Texas Legislature passed a law allowing the Attorney General to formally offer prosecutorial assistance to the counties, who otherwise retain exclusive original jurisdiction.
Previously, Texas law did not allow such assistance.
A first-degree felony conviction can result in five to 99 years or life in prison, and a maximum $10,000 fine.
In September, 2007, Attorney General Greg Abbott launched the Texas Residential Mortgage Fraud Task Force to take a proactive stance toward tracking and prosecuting mortgage fraud.


LCVFD gets 1st new truck
Monitor Staff Reports
LOG CABIN–In an historic occasion, the Log Cabin Volunteer Fire Department marked the dedication of the department’s first brand-new truck with a spaghetti fund-raiser Saturday.
The large brush truck spent part of Saturday afternoon’s come-and-go gathering at a grass fire, getting the new red paint a little dusty.

Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
Log Cabin Volunteer Fire Department members gather alongside the department’s new brush truck. Chief John Laywell and assistant chief Brian Hillyard (far right and second from right) head the 13-member department.

Built on a 2008 Ford F-750 Super Duty four-wheel-drive truck chassis, the large brush truck is the first brand-new apparatus the department has had in its 30-year history, Capt. T.J. Benefield said.
Wildfire Apparatus of Mansfield built the truck, which has a 750-gallon water tank and a 20-gallon condensed foam tank, along with a 200-gallon-per-minute pump.
The department received a grant from the Texas Forest Service to cover the $119,087.44 cost of the truck, and the 13-member department had to come up with funds for a 10 percent match to obtain the grant.
Organized in 1978, the department opened its fire station in 1984, Benefield said.
Fire chief John Laywell heads the department, with Brian Hillyard as assistant chief and T.C. Martin as lieutenant, Benefield reported.
Sean Kelsey is the department’s certification coordinator, and Virginia Sheets is the senior firefighter.
Additional firefighters are Neil Luster, Anite Lashley, Erika Mahltig, Amber Clark and Jerry Gregory, with Darrell Posey and Ashley Kelsay as auxiliary firefighters and Tim Bivins as medical officer.
Della Benefield is the department’s junior member, who handles rehabilitation during firefighting operations.
Lori Laywell, Arlene Salazar-Luster, Kat Benefield and Ruth Lashley are auxiliary support members.

Suspect sought after fleeing Hunt County home
By J.C. Jones
Monitor Correspondent

QUINLAN–Kaufman County Sheriff’s investigators launched a search last week for Brian Edward Manning Jr. at a home on Hunt County Road 3702.
The suspect was wanted on several outstanding felony warrants.
Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Bryan Francis said the suspect knew investigators were closing in on his location, fled to the rear of the home and was seen by the responding officers to be fleeing into a heavily wooded area.
Investigators said while Manning was running, he dropped a bag containing a pistol and a large amount of methamphetamine.
A pursuit began but the suspect evaded arrest in the heavy woods.
The sheriff’s office received consent from the homeowner to search the property.
A large amount of suspected stolen property was discovered that included trailers, rare coins, savings bonds, guns and other valuable property.
The investigators are in the process of inventory and investigation to locate the rightful owners of the suspected stolen property, which has an estimated value between $100,000 and $150,000.
Francis said Manning would be charged with an additional 17 counts of burglary.
The sheriff’s office asked for the assistance of the public in locating Manning, age 28, of Rockwall, who was described as a white male, height 6 feet, 1 inch tall and weighing about 170 pounds.
Any person with information on the suspect was asked to call the Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office at (972) 932-4337 or a local law enforcement agency.