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01/2006

Judge Imposes $1.77 million in Fines Against Far West Water & Sewer

(Phoenix, Ariz. – Jan. 27, 2006) A Yuma judge today imposed $1.77 million in criminal fines against Far West Water & Sewer in a case resulting in the death of James Gamble, a Yuma sewer worker, and injury to his colleague, Nathan Garrett, in 2001. The fine was broken down to $500,000 for the three convictions resulting from Mr. Gamble's death and $500,000 for the two convictions resulting from Mr. Garrett's injuries, plus a surcharge of $770,000. The judge also awarded over $150,000 in restitution to Mr. Garrett and Mr. Gamble's family, which will be paid from the fine.

Attorney General's Office Settles Fair Housing Rental Complaint

(Phoenix, Ariz. – Jan. 4, 2006) Attorney General Terry Goddard today announced the settlement of a fair housing complaint against Phoenix property management company Barrett-Eastman, LLC, and its client, GCB Real Estate Investments, LLC. The latter company owns a home managed by Barrett-Eastman.

The complaint, filed by a Glendale resident, alleged that Barrett-Eastman and its client refused to rent homes with pools to families with children, a practice that violates the Arizona Fair Housing Act.

Investment Scam Victims Getting Back More Than $20 Million

(Phoenix, Ariz. – Jan. 5, 2006) Attorney General Terry Goddard today announced that investors who were cheated by Benjamin Franklin Cook III and his Dennel Financial Ltd. "European bank trading program" will be getting some of their money back.

As a result of seizures for forfeiture made by the Attorney General's Office and the Department of Public Safety, Court-appointed receiver Lawrence Warfield will make a final distribution this month to victims, bringing the total recovered for investors to almost $21 million.

Attorney General Settles with Oracle School District Over Open Meeting Law Violations

(Phoenix, Ariz. – Jan. 12, 2006) Attorney General Terry Goddard today announced a consent agreement settling open meeting law violations with members of the Oracle School District Governing Board.

An investigation by the Attorney General’s Open Meeting Law Enforcement Team (OMLET) revealed that a quorum of the Governing Board members continued an executive session regarding Oracle School Superintendent John Clark’s evaluation via email. Specific violations include:

Woman Sentenced to Jail for Forgery in Real Estate Fraud

(Phoenix, Ariz. – Jan. 17, 2006) Victoria Marie Cervantes of Phoenix, a former escrow officer for First Financial Title Agency of Arizona, Inc., was sentenced today to three months in jail, four years of supervised probation, and 200 hours of community service. Restitution will be determined at a hearing on February 24.

Cervantes, 40, was sentenced by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Brian R. Hauser after pleading guilty to forgery. The Court also revoked her notary public license.

Goddard Applauds Richer Reward for Warren Jeffs

(Phoenix, Ariz. – Jan. 17, 2006) Attorney General Terry Goddard today commended the Federal Bureau of Investigation for significantly increasing the reward leading to the arrest and conviction of Warren Steed Jeffs, leader of the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints (FLDS) church.

The Phoenix FBI Special Agent in Charge, Jana Monroe, announced that FBI Headquarters has authorized a $50,000 reward for information leading to Jeffs’ arrest and conviction. This announcement enhances the $10,000 reward offered since last July by the Arizona and Utah State Attorneys General.

Terry Goddard to be Recognized by Children's Organization

(Phoenix, Ariz. – Jan. 19, 2006) The Arizona chapter of Prevent Child Abuse America will present Attorney General Terry Goddard with its Policy Award for his efforts to help victims of polygamy and child abuse in Colorado City.

The Hope for Arizona’s Children Awards will be presented Friday, Jan. 20, at the 17th Annual Statewide Child Abuse Prevention Conference. The awards luncheon will take place at 12:30p.m. at the Mesa Convention Center, 201 S. Center Street.

Phoenix Man Indicted on ID Theft Charges

 

(Phoenix, Ariz. – Jan. 20, 2006) A West Phoenix man was indicted on charges of aggravated ID theft and other charges stemming from an allegation that he used Green Bay Packers’ quarterback Brett Favre’s credit card account in Maricopa County.

William J. Joachim, 35, was indicted on one count of fraud, two counts of aggravated taking the identity of another, one count of theft and one count of misconduct involving weapons.

Terry Goddard Announces Settlement with Ameriquest Lender to Pay $325 Million and Reform its Lending Practices

(Los Angeles, Calif. – Jan. 23, 2006) Attorney General Terry Goddard today announced that Ameriquest Mortgage Company has agreed to pay $325 million to consumers and states and make sweeping reforms of practices the states alleged amounted to predatory lending.

The $325 million payment is the second-largest state or federal consumer protection settlement in history. The only one larger was the $484 million predatory lending agreement reached in 2002 between most states (including Arizona) and Household Finance Corporation.

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