User-agent: * Allow: / Legal news, political opinion, Satire, and lawyer thinking by Tim Paynter, Attorney at Law: 2010-03-14

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Saturday, March 20, 2010

March for Immigration America is Tomorrow

All fair minded people

Reform Immigration for Amercia and immigrant's rights advocates along with fair minded people will march on Washington DC tomorrow as citizens of the United States struggle with the dual problems of how to remain a secure nation while at the same time how to protect the principals of democracy and human rights this nation was founded upon.

For personal reasons, I will not be able to attend this historical event.  I strongly support those who fight for the rights of immigrants and undocumented workers.  I fondly remember my short trip on the Piolin Por La Manana Caravana to Washington D.C.  In the photo above, Eduardo Sotelo graciously posed next to me in Amarillo, Texas on his way to Washington.  While I ended up being 'el abogado expulsado' I wish the best for Eduardo and all those who seek fair immigration reform.  piolin por la manana, el ticket, el chapo, y el abogado falso

Reform Immigration for America, the organization supporting the March for America, is a united national effort that brings together individuals and grassroots organizations with the mission to build support for workable comprehensive immigration reform.

Most Americans have no idea how unjust our current immigration laws are, or why reform is critical. 

Imagine the suffering a child goes through when his undocumented father is deported and his mother does not have the means to support the family.  Welfare and other programs to protect the poor are not available to undocumented immigrants.  

Imagine being diagnosed with breast cancer and not being able to receive treatment until you are on your death bed, as is the law in the State of Colorado.

Imagine being afraid of going to the grocery store for fear of arrest and ripping apart the family unit?

Imagine not getting paid by an employer who knowingly hires  the undocumented worker.  The employer also knows the struggling immigrant will walk away without a cent for fear reporting the employer will also cause deportation.

Imgaine being afraid of the knock on the door in the middle of the night.  

Imagine being a US Citizen child of an undocumented farm worker and not being able to obtain a college education.

The March for America organizers say, "Today we are at a pivotal moment in the history of this nation. We are faced with a choice. We can do nothing, and watch as our families and communities continue to be torn apart by the broken immigration system; watch as profiteers continue to take advantage of people desperate for work; watch as due process is taken away from our understanding of justice; and watch as our leaders work on economic solutions that simply aren’t bold enough to turn this country around. Or we can stand up for our families and our communities"

We are fortunate the immigration reform proposal on the legislative table in 2007 did not pass.  It was a manifestly unjust piece of legislation designed to give Democrats a victory for passing immigration reform while allowing Republicans to effectively gut all prospects for fair and just immigration to the US.  A lot of work has gone into the proposed bill in front of the Congress now, called the Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill, or CIR.

A section by section look at the law can be found at the Amercian Immigration Lawyers Association Website and CIR.

There is an all-star line up planned for the march.  Of course, there will be leading politicians, including congresswoman Judy Chu and Senator Robert Menendez who, remarkably, is the only Latino member of the U.S. Senate.

There will also be other heavy hitters. 

Gustavo Torres from CASA de Maryland, which provides a wide range of direct service programs to the Montgomery County of Maryland including employment placement, vocational training, financial literacy, and citizenship classes.

Gustavo led the organization in demonstrations calling for comprehensive immigration reform during the one year anniversary of the President taking office.

Chung-Wha Hong, formerly the executive director of NAKASEC, has led the New York Immigration Coalition. In 2007, she not only turned out 300,000 people at immigration rallies in New York, but also won $700 million in state funds for local schools to help immigrant students who don’t speak English.

Eun Sook Lee

Eun Sook Lee, the executive director of NAKASEC (National Korean American Service & Education Consortium), which seeks to project a national progressive voice on critical civil rights issues and promote the full participation of Korean Americans.

Eun Sook was born in Hwasoon, South Korea and immigrated to Canada at a young age. She later immigrated to the United States in 1994. Recently, Lee spearheaded the Korean American and national AAPI community in fighting for coverage of immigrants in health care reform and comprehensive immigration reform.

^^^^ Senator Robert Menendez^^^^

If we are to remain a free nation we must learn how to treat all persons within our borders fairly.  Democratic ideals require that all people be treated equally, and not as 'those here legally and those who are not'. 

The destruction of civil rights since 911 has been unprecedented.  It is time we stand up for the rights of those who cannot stand up for themselves.  I will be praying for all of you who attend the Reform Immigration For America March on Washington, and for Senator Robert Menendez, Eun Sook Lee, Gustavo Torres, Congresswoman Judy Chu, and of course, my old friend Eduardo Sotelo, who is also known as Piolin Por La manana.


Comprehensive immigration reform can only be passed with your help!

Mortgage fraud rampant across the country

40 people indicted in 

Texas-Florida mortgage fraud scheme
Forty people have been arrested and charged in connection with a major mortgage fraud scheme in the Eastern District of Texas.  On March 10th, 2010, a 16-count indictment was returned by a federal grand jury.  The charges include one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, 12 counts of mail fraud, and three counts of money laundering. 
The 40 defendants are from Texas, Florida, Massachusetts, Tennessee, and Georgia, are charged with one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. Many of the defendants are also charged with various counts of mail fraud and money laundering.
Texas Mortgage Fraud Scheme Continued

John Barry, 41, of Windemere, Fla., owned and operated, TKI Group, Inc. and JAB Consulting, based in Florida.  Barry solicited real estate agents, property finders, mortgage brokers, title company attorneys or escrow officers, property appraisers, and straw buyers to facilitate his scheme. 

According to the indictment, Barry was able to convince lenders to approve mortgage loans for which the property values were inflated.  There were at least 114 properties, all residential.  The properties were located in the Texas cities of Allen, Arlington, Cedar Hill, Coppell, Corinth, Cypress, Dallas, Flower Mound, Fort Worth, Frisco, Granbury, Heath, Highland Village, Houston, Keller, Lantana, Lewisville, Little Elm, Lubbock, Magnolia, McKinney, Plano, Roanoke, Southlake, Spring, The Woodlands, and Willis.

U.S. Attorney Bales specifically noted the breadth of the financial scheme, 

“This indictment brings to light a criminal scheme that is quite breathtaking in its scope and beyond disturbing as far as the boldness of the fraud. The agents have done a remarkable job putting together this investigation and we look forward to presenting all of the evidence in court. Hopefully, others involved in mortgage fraud will be taking notice—we will be relentless in discovering, exposing and holding accountable those who have committed similar crimes.”

If convicted, the defendants face up to 20 years in federal prison for the conspiracy charge, up to 20 years in federal prison for each count of mail fraud charge, and up to 10 years in federal prison for each count of money laundering.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

How to stay out of mortgage loan fraud -- Hud 1, Mortgage fraud check list, loan closing information

Mortgage Loan Check List
Including the HUD-1, closing tips, mortgage fraud links, real estate closing trouble spots!

Stay out of trouble!  Spot loan fraud snakes!

The Federal Loan Fraud Task Force is hard at work looking for buyers, investors, real estate and loan brokers and others who have broken lending laws.  The indictments include federal judges, doctors and lots of buyers, sellers and real estate investors.

The following check list, while not all inclusive, will help you stay out of trouble!

Application process:
Are you self employed?  If so, have there been income changes which are not reflected on your tax return?

Have you had a job change since making your application?  If so you must report it, including changing employers, change in income, and loss of job.

Have you had any changes in debt?  If you have incurred more debt or paid off substantial debt you must report it.  The lender will obviously want to know if you owe more money.  But it is also your obligation to report a major shifting of assets.  If you have less debt but less cash on hand, for example, the integrity of the loan might be deemed to be compromised.

Are you making more money than you did before?  Some loans are based upon income as a percent of the poverty level.  Some bond loans, for example.  If you end up making too much money then you will be committing loan fraud if you fail to disclose your new income.

Down Payment:
Did you borrow it?  You must disclose all sources of down payment. 

Was it a gift?  A gift from your father in-law is one thing.  A gift from the office manager from the mortgage company whom you just met is another.

Did you sell assets to get it after you made your loan application?  Trading assets that the lender thinks you need to work, for example your work truck, is may make a difference in qualifying.  

Is the seller or broker or anyone involved in the transaction helping you? Disclose.  As long as the lender knows about the deal and it is disclosed in writing to the loan agent, you have a deal.

Are you doing repairs on the property to get it?  Some loan programs allow you to take part of your down payment in the form of the value of repairs to the property, others don't.  Don't fudge on this one!

Are you getting a credit back at closing?
You must disclose where the down payment came from.  Side deals are not allowed.  Be honest, tell the lender where the dough is coming from!

Closing costs: All of the above apply to closing costs.

Contract:  General principle:  If it is in the contract you have the right.  If it is not in the contract you may or may not have the right.

Put it in the contract!  What is it?
a.  Adequate time to inspect the property.
b.  Adequate time to review the appraisal, the title documents, matters which may not be of public record and other factors.
c.  Your earnest money comes back under what circimstances?
d.  Make sure any agreements you make with the seller, the Realtor the loan agent and all others in the process are specified.  For example, the seller is going to credit money to you at closing.
e.  Make sure you disclose special relationships, that you are an attorney, you are a Realtor, you have an interest in the property perhaps as a partner or the owner of the company that owns the property.
f.  Will you have a right to a walk through of the property on the day of closing or are you taking the seller's word he will leave it in good shape?
g.  If you are buying a rental property, be sure you have an agreement from the tenants about how much rent has been paid and how much the deposits are.  They call this an estoppel agreement because once signed, it usually 'stops' the tenant from making claims he paid the rent or deposits are due.  Don't rely on just the leases, as agreements may have been made between the time of leasing and the time of your buying the property. 
h.  If you are going to occupy the property have in writing the date certain the tenant is going to move out.
Day of closing: Insist you get a copy of the closing documents at least two days prior to the date of closing.  Put it in the contract.  If you are not sure about a figure, don't be afraid to stop the entire process to check things out.

Are there any credits, charges, loans, gifts or other not disclosed on the HUD-1 settlement statement?  Make them fix it or get an attorney.

Settlement documents:  Most come right off of the HUD-1, but check a few lines to be sure.

Promissory notes: 
a.  Make sure the note agrees with the rate you you were quoted.  
b.  Are there any balloon payments?
c.  Is this an adjustable rate mortgage?  If it is, be sure you understand how the adjustment will be made, when the adjustment will be made, and that you are prepared to make the payment when the adjustment is made.  If the note adjusts in less than a year walk away from the deal.

Special points:
It is time to get an attorney when:
  • The seller, the buyer, the broker, the loan agent, the lender or the attorney start talking about side agreements, essentially agreements the lender does not know about;
  • You have a problem with the deal and the seller or broker is hedging on your down payment;
  • A big problem is brought to your attention at the time of closing.  Usually, you can tell it is a BIG problem when someone comes to you and says, "By the way, we just have this little problem to figure out."  Big problems usually come in the form of interest rate changes, extra closing fees, unknown or undisclosed conditions of the property, and title issues.
  • There are charges on the settlement sheet which you did not agree to.  Be sure to compare the lender's good faith estimate to the charges on the HUD-1.  Watch for those hidden charges like doc prep fees, courier fees, special loan review fees, and extra points or origination fees.

     Are you involved in a real estate "fix and flip"?  Flipping Frenzy
will clue you into some of the illegal practices.  

     Have you been the victim of discrimination?  Discriminatory practices are illegal.

     The Federal Mortgage Fraud Task Force  will give you plenty of ideas about how to get into trouble fast, hence how to stay away from mortgage fraud problems!

     This list is hardly all inclusive.  It provides some of the known trouble spots in your loan closing.  However, nothing can take the place of a professional opinion.  Don't be afraid to bring your attorney to closing!

    Best of luck,

    Uncle Tim

Denver "Mortgage fraud" alledged -- Denver 'Owner Occupant' Shawn Tieskotter and Craig Patterson, actual charges wire fraud, mail fraud and money laundering

Shawn Tieskotter and
Craig Patterson
Live in a lot of houses!

Local Appraiser Phil Rice Calls Foul

Two Denver men arrested on Charges relating to
Mortgage Fraud

Let's see, I have my city house, then one in the country on acreage, and of course my mountain condo, and everyone needs a house in Castle Rock, and geez, let's have the next big party at my posh Denver pad!

We don't know that is what Tieskotter and Patterson told people after Tieskotter bought 13 properties with Patterson's help including property in Aurora, Parker, Castle Rock and Centennial, Colorado. We do know the pair were indicted by the Grand Jury.  Harold Pankratz of the Denver Post said the two were charged with five counts of wire fraud; four counts of mail fraud; and two counts of money laundering surrounding the purchase of 13 Metro Denver, Colorado properties.

According to a press release by the FBI,  "Tieskotter and Patterson prepared (and) submitted applications for residential mortgage loans and related documents in Tieskotter’s name. The applications included a first mortgage and second mortgage for each of the 13 properties. Each of these applications contained materially false and fraudulent representations that Tieskotter intended to use the property as his primary residence."

Tieskotter's problems may have come to light as the result of a diligent home appraiser in the Denver area, Philip G. Rice  of  MKG Appraisal.  In a letter to Colorado Governor Owens, Mr. Rice outlines what he calls "a shopping spree".  He says:

"On Friday, April 15th, 2005, Shawn Tieskotter purchased the property 7273 Winter Ridge in Castle Rock, Colorado, “contract price” of $500,000. Mr. Tieskotter applied for and received 2 mortgage loans (80% first and 20% concurrent second) for a total loan of $500,000 which is 100% of the contract price."

So far, so good.  One can purchase a home and finance it 100% if he qualifies.  So what is the beef?

Rice continues:

" In support of this transaction, Adam Conner produced an appraisal report which states:

“The subject [7273 Winter Ridge] is listed at $500,000....”.

This is factually incorrect because the report is dated 3/31/05, and on that date, the MLS asking price (copy attached) was $419,650. This is even more troubling because the MLS information makes it clear the seller agreed to accept $410,00."

This could be a problem if the Rice accusation is correct.  As I understand it, Mr. Rice suggests the price on the Castle Rock home was inflated from $410,000 to $500,000.  The home was financed 100%, based upon the inflated purchase price, meaning no money was paid as a down payment.  The buyer over-mortgaged the house by $90,000!

Where did the difference in the purchase price go?  The Rice allegation suggests the money may have gone into the buyer's pocket!  That might be o.k. if the lender knew about it and the supporting documents disclosed all of the facts surrounding the deal, including the purchase price. 

There are not many lenders that would go along with such wild financing.  Phil Rice points to the page in the Multiple Listing Service MLS indicating the ask price and the sold price. 

Rice claims 7273 Winter Ridge in Castle Rock Colorado listed at $419,650, sold at $410,000 and was financed by Tieskotter at $500,000!

Phil Rice invites your emails at the following link.  phil.rice

"Honest and sincere intent is not enough"

I frequently advise young investors to use their bodies to make money by moving into their first home.  The idea is, they get better loan terms if they occupy the property than if they don't.  However, along with my advice comes a caveat:  The young investor must intend to move into the property and use it as his home. 

In today's mortgage climate, an honest and sincere intent is not enough.  The intent needs to be followed by action.  Move in.  Live in the property.  Make it your home.  After a few years you will have some equity and can look for your next home, or borrow on your equity and use the money for a down payment on an investment property. 

How long do you have to live in the home before you buy your next one?  The technical answer depends upon your intent.  All you have to do is intend to occupy the home.  Last minute changes do occur. 

     How do you demonstrate intent?  Let's just say, if you have rented the property before the end of the first year you better have a good explanation.  In the Shawn Tieskotter and Craig Patterson case I am not sure how they are going to explain 13 houses.  That is a lot of mind-changing.

Never claim you are going to occupy a home that you plan to rent.  It is illegal, and it can land you in the same kind of hot water that Tieskotter and Patterson are in. 

Rice claims 17578 East Baker Place was listed at $255k but mysteriously sold for $310K.  With 100% financing Tieskotter allegedly put $55K in his pocket!

When it comes to the movers and shakers, one lie may lead to another.  The FBI alleges:

"It was further part of the scheme for Tieskotter and Patterson to hide from lenders the extent of Tieskotter’s liabilities for the other mortgages."

When you sign a mortgage agreement you must disclose the debt you owe.  Even if the debt does not appear on your credit report, if you owe it the lender needs to know about it.  According to the allegations, Tieskotter and Patterson hid the existence of certain liabilities so Tieskotter could qualify for loans more easily.  

"When the high flyers come through town it is a good time to take a nap"

Real estate brokers see these schemes frequently.  As tough as it is to sell a house, it is foolish for any broker to participate in mortgage fraud like these two men are accused of doing.  To knowing allow this kind of financing to move forward puts the broker, the appraiser, the lender and anyone else who is in the chain in as much hot water as the investor is.  Sometimes, when the high flyers come through town it is a good time to take a nap.

Patterson was arrested by federal agents without incident. He appeared in U.S. District Court in Denver on March 12, 2010, and was arraigned today, March 17, 2010. Shawn Tieskotter received a summons to appear in U.S. District Court in Denver on March 25, 2010, where he will be advised of the charges pending against him.  In the event of conviction, Tieskotter and Patterson may forfeit any "fruits" of their activities like cash found in bank accounts and of course, the real property.  

Mortgage fraud is a major part of President Barack Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force.  Mortgage fraud undermines our financial system and puts the entire lending structure at risk.

Most mortgages are not kept by the company that originates the mortgage. Rather, the mortgage is packaged and sold with other mortgages to institutional investors. These investors rely upon the originating mortgage company to be honest in their dealings. While starting a mortgage company is relatively inexpensive, the institutional investor has millions of hard dollars on the line. Therefore, if the mortgage company goes out of business they can hang the institutional lender for big money.

For example, many of the lenders which appraiser Rice claims funded the Tieskotter-Patterson lenders, are out of business or not taking loans.  Fieldstone says they are not taking applications any longer.  Liberty American Mortgage has closed it's doors.  Lender's Direct Capital Mortgage has closed.  Stone Creek Funding closed.  Freemont Investment and Loan either failed or was bought out.  Bank of America has acquired the very troubled Country Wide lending.  This is not to say any of these companies h
ave done anything wrong but it is not a good sign.
Was your home loan legal? 


“The use of the Postal system to carry out or further any fraud is a crime which is investigated thoroughly by the United States Postal Inspectors,” said U.S. Postal Inspector in Charge Shawn Tiller.

"Claiming you are occupying a home when your real plan is to rent it out is illegal"

“IRS Criminal Investigation will work diligently with our law enforcement counterparts to insure mortgage fraud is vigorously investigated and brought to justice. Mortgage fraud directly threatens the financial health of the communities in which we live, said Christopher M. Sigerson, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation, Denver Field Office.”

Every person has the right to be presumed innocent unless and until they are judged guilty in a court of law. Tieskotter and Patterson have the right to make their case and defend themselves and we should give them the courtesy of the presumption.  At the very least, this is a lesson in what can happen in the world of real estate high finance. 

If you have been involved in one of these mortgage high finance deals you may want to consult an attorney immediately. I suspect there will be other arrests shortly.

Shawn Tieskotter and Craig Patterson have a lot of explaining to do.  Namely, why are so many of the houses purchased by Tieskotter occupied by someone else besides him?  If the allegations are true, why didn't he disclose all of his debts?  Claiming you are occupying a home when your real plan is to rent it is illegal.  Thanks to Phil Rice, the mortgage Fraud Task Force may have another case under it's belt.  Play these games and you might end up not only losing the investments but losing your freedom as well!

Law may require adult actors to cloak their members === Michael Weinstein of the Aids Healthcare Foundation petitions for wearing condoms in the adult film industry

Condoms may be required for actors in adult films

Erotic Arts Actors may not be allowed to perform naked anymore.  While they may appear without a stitch on, when it comes time to do the deed, they may be required to cover up a bit, they may be required to wear a condom.  That will be the case if the Las Angeles Aids Healthcare Foundation wins passage of a petition they filed with the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board according to the

Most adult porn actors do what they do best in the au natural. That is the stock in trade for an adult film star. Likely, he is blessed with certain physical attributes. He is probably young, attractive, height-weight proportionate, and he sports a healthy package below the belt.  If he is lucky, he has some acting talent to go along with his physical size and stamina. He gets paid the big bucks to show off what he has.

One of genre that attracts a lot of attention in the adult industry is performing ‘bareback’. The term refers to those who have sex without condoms. Frequently, the practice is used in gay films in which actors engage in anal sex without the protection of the thin sheet of latex that most sane people consider a requisite in safe sex.

"'Bareback sex' is not limited to homosexual films"

“Bareback sex” is not limited to homosexual films, however. So called straight movie goers pay good money to see a flick in which the ‘babe’ takes it from the front and then the back ‘bareback’. The practice is specifically risky to women because of the potential for transfer of bacteria from the anus to the vagina.

Consumers like these films for a variety of reasons. First, of course, there is the view. Nothing impedes it, since one’s 'member' remains un-cloaked throughout the production. There is a certain ‘thrill’ in bareback sex, as well.  The fantasy is, throw caution to the wind, take your chances, you are invincible, maybe someone else will get the dreaded AIDS virus, but not you. Those who are not willing to take the risk in real life enjoy living it vicariously on the silver screen.

Others enjoy watching their actors do it without condoms because they themselves have sex without condoms. They already have the AIDS virus and seek others who are similarly infected.

Believing one is invincible because he or she is HIV positive is foolish thinking.  Most who have the death virus are encouraged to use a condom in their love making practices so they do not come into contact with more virulent strains of the virus and other infectious diseases like Hepatitus.

"Pornography represents a fantasy"

Finally, doing it ‘bareback’ represents the ultimate in the sexual experience. Pornography, as in all cinematic art, represents a fantasy of life. The viewer, at least through film, wants to enjoy the sexual experience to the fullest. Despite modern condom making techniques, many men believe condoms are nothing more than a wet noodle which impede sexual pleasure.

Unfortunately, the “Don’t try this at home, folks” warning falls flat on it’s face when it comes to most theatrical productions, and especially to adult films. If it works for the cat on stage, or for the stud in the bed in this case, then it ought to work for the fellow who is watching the flick, as well.

"An HIV Poz diagnosis means no children"

Not true.  Don't buy it.  The guy who pays his money for the adult DVD does not see what happens to the actors after the director yells 'cut'.  Those who contract AIDS on-screen have the same problems as those who contract it off-screen.  First, there is the panic with the bad news.  Then comes massive doses of prohibitively expensive medications.  The future become uncertain. 

Relationships are changed forever.  Adult film actors and actresses who want the benefit in real life of what they portray on screen are precluded from doing so.  Most HIV poz men and women do not want to pass the ugly disease on to their newborns.  So an HIV positive diagnosis usually means no children.

It is sad to say, the 'bareback' fantasy is being played out in adult dating circles with increasing frequency.  It was once considered taboo as a nation of public health workers and the gay community fought against the the spread of the AIDS virus.  Now, young gay men often advertise for multiple partners 'bareback' in the adult sections of Craigslist.  Others have 'bareback' parties.  Straight couples frequently advertise they are open for 'bareback only'.  They fail to make the leap from fantasy to reality as they watch adult actors engage in risky sexual practices on film.

From our point of view, advocating bare back sex is bad policy on the part of the adult film industry. It promotes risky sexual practices. It places actors and actresses at extreme risk for contracting sexually transmitted diseases, (STD's) some of which are fatal and others which have long lasting consequences.  It promotes the false belief if one has serial converted and is HIV poz, he has nothing to lose.  The reality is, everyone in society loses when STD's are traded.  The disease inevitably will be passed to unsuspecting third parties.

"Most people don't associate sex with pushing up daisies"

If you have AIDS and you engage in sex without telling your partner, you could be in serious trouble.  Passing a deadly disease to an unsuspecting person may result in civil suits and even criminal charges.  One rarely thinks about these things when watching adult films.  But then, most people don't associate sex with pushing up daisies, either.

That is why we encourage the California State Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board to adopt condoms-required standards for actors in the adult film industry. The issue comes in front of the Board today after a petition by The Las Angeles based Aids Healthcare Foundation was filed by the foundation's president, Micheael Weinstein with the California Board in November of 2009.

The petition requests the Board to require:
a.  Actors to wear condoms;
b.  Condom safe water-based lubricants
c.  Make available the Hepatitus B Vaccine
d.  Testing for those exposed to STD's and certain diseases
e.  Training for actors and actresses and others employed in the adult industry.

Laws regulating adult actors and actresses are not new. Currently, adult actors are required to provide test results showing they are HIV negative and free of certain other STD’s before they can do their thing for the camera. The problem is, while the test must be current within 30 days, there are no guarantees. The actors and actresses can easily contract STD’s including AIDS during the 30 days prior to the film shoot.

While it is considered un-professional in the industry to place un-witting co-workers at risk, it is an occupational hazzard. Chris Parry with efilmcritic writes about one AIDS outbreak.  Those who lose the bet will surely regret trading the few dollars they made for stripping down and strutting their stuff when all they needed to do was suit up when they showed up.  Let's hope Weinstein's Aids Healtcare Foundation Petition to the Division of Occupational Safety and Health, also known as DOSH, is a success!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Utah Republican Majority Leader Kevin Garn Accused of Molesting 15 year old

Former LDS sunday school teacher
accused of molesting girl
while naked in a hot tub

Utah Republican House Majority Leader, Kevin Garn, disgraced the Republican Party and may have dodged a lengthy prison sentence by his late admission of exploits in a hot tub 25 years ago with an under-age girl.
An arrogant Kevin Garn in last minutes of 2010 session from Desert News photo

If allegations by victim Cheryl Maher are true, Garn might be getting out of prison about now for child molestation, rather than merely resigning as Utah’s most powerful party leader.

Garn used the closing minutes of the 2010 legislative session in an attempt to garner sympathy for himself. He announced he had paid Cheryl $150,000 smacks to shut up about the facts during his 2002 bid for Congress.  Despite his large investment, Maher came forward anyway.

If Garn’s story is true, he used as little judgment invoking his powerful position in the Republican Congress to make his cry for pity as he did 25 years ago by sitting naked in a hot tub with a little girl who also just happened to be naked. In the alternative, his pretended regrets about the event were as deceitful as were his claims ‘nothing happened.”  Desert News
Cheryl Maher as she
supplied to Desert News

"It usually is an adult's fault when preacher and student get naked and go hot tubbing"
Garn said, “Although no sexual contact happened, it was clearly inappropriate and it was all my fault.”

This must have been a revelation to someone besides Garn, though one wonders whom. It usually is an adult’s fault when preacher and student get naked together and go hot tubbing.

According to Cheryl, Majority Leader Garn is lying about just sitting together naked.  In interviews with various Salt Lake City newspapers, Cheryl said she and millionaire Garn had a long term relationship that started when she was working for Garn at the Pegasus record store which he owned. Pegasus sells books on tapes and other products to truck stops. Worse, Cheryl said she first knew legislator Garn when he was her fourth grade LDS Sunday school teacher!

"I remember one night before the Pegasus store was having its grand opening, we were working late to get ready, and Kevin was there and kept watching me," she said.

Apparently, Garn had a fancy for kids, if what Cheryl says is true.

“(He would) stare at me and talk to me.“

Next came lunches and shopping trips a common ploy with sexual predators.

"'I don't have a suit'  he said 'You don't need one'"

"Then there was a day when he took me to Salt Lake, and he stopped and got alcohol, and we ended up at this hot-tub place on State Street. I was scared. I said, 'I don't have a suit.'

He said, 'You don't need one,' "

We don’t know what went on at the hot tub place and Cheryl prefers to leave out the gory details of her alleged sexual relationship. Suffice it to say, if Garn didn’t put the moves on Cheryl at the hot tub joint, then he did as the affair grew over time, according to Cheryl.

"I remember when we left (the hot tub joint) feeling very weird, and I wasn't sure if I was having an affair or what was going on. I was confused,"         
  She is not clapping

Later, her co-workers teased her about having an affair.

Desert News

According to reports, Cheryl said "He and I had a relationship for months. I fell head over heels for him. I did love him. He wrapped me up and infected me."

At the very least, Garn has not shown the back bone he pretends to possess. If the victim had not come forward, Garn would be all grins during the legislative session wind-up. No one would know the difference.

Garn says in his statement,

“When I was running for Congress (in 2002), (Cheryl) decided to bring this incident to the attention of the media…at her demand, I paid her $150, that this issue is coming up again, it is apparent to me that this payment was also a mistake.”

The truth is, according to Garn himself, when Cheryl started speaking to the media Garn approached her. The original offer was $20,000. They finally settled on $150 big one’s.

========== Not clapping very hard

Garn says he made a mistake paying Cheryl the dough. The question is, what was the mistake? Was it the payment of hush money as a sort of bribe? Or was it the girl squealed anyway, even after paying out $150,000?

“Today, she went to the press and reported all of these events.” Garn said in his statement.

There was plenty of double talk to be sure. First, Garn said he paid the girl the $150,000 hush money to ‘help her heal’. Then Garn insists he would have made the same decision even if it were not an election year. He also said he got into a hot tub naked with a girl half his age. An honest statement is, no matter the half life, he got into the hot tub naked with an under aged girl.

"This is something I should have done back in 2002"

Meanwhile, nothing in the Garn statement was designed to help Cheryl heal. Instead, it was all poor Garn.

“There will be a story. I expect to suffer public humiliation and embarrassment, but I also want you to know that I cannot allow one foolish mistake to continue to shadow my life. At this point, I would rather be open and honest about this than continue to live in fear…this is something I should have done back in 2002.”

The Majority Leader stated further, “I also wish to publicly apologize to this young lady for this incident.”

If the apology is sincere, one must wonder why Garn regrets paying the $150 G’s to a person he damaged and why she had to make the announcement he should have made, by his own admission, in 2002.

"It is hard to believe the mere 'sitting naked' is enough to warrant payment of $150,000"

Speaking of $150K, that is a lot of bread! How many legislators, pastors and perhaps even presidents have sat naked in a natural hot spring next to an under-aged youth in the process of bathing? Yet, as far as anyone knows, nothing was paid. It is hard to believe the mere ‘sitting naked’ is enough to warrant such a healthy sum. Isn’t it more likely, Garn was afraid the rest of the story would come out if he made the ’nothing happened’ claim? Isn’t that why he paid the big bucks to a person he made feel so small?
I guess he is clapping
Garn finishes up his confession, “I have tried my best to serve my constituents in a way that brings honor to them and makes this great State better than the way I found it. I hope to continue to do that.”

Cheryl Maher said, "I hope Kevin knows I never meant to hurt anyone, but the truth had to come out," in a Saturday morning phone interview with the Salt Lake Tribune.  If he will work with women in crisis or the mentally ill "he can turn this thing around to something positive. ... He could really help a lot of people," she said.
Hot tub for rent
$150,000 for two hours!
Includes 15 Year Old Naked Model
No Suit=No Touching=No Ask=No Tell

Model in pic is not the one you get, Vern.

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert indicated this resignation should not take away from the good done by this year's legislative session, according to the Tribune. 

Republican Party Chairman Dave Hansen heard Garn was to be a quitter before the anouncement was made, according to the Tribune. 

"It's very said that these things happen," Hansen said.   "It's a tragedy, not only for him, but for the girl and for the political system."

Anyone can make a mistake, although sex with an under-age youth, if it happened, is a pretty big mistake.  Kev is getting crucified because not only did he sit in a hot tub naked with a naked 15 year old, he paid her to shut up about it 20 years later.  Then he dissed her by saying he should not have paid it in the first place! 

This year’s Utah legislature championed law-maker ethics and Garn was often a leader of the cause. All the while, who could have known, Utah Republican Senate Majority Leader Kevin Garn was covering up sexual molestation with a 15 year old girl?  Garn denies it, of course.  If Garn had been prosecuted before the statute of limitations expired and found guilty he would probably be required to register as a sexual offender. That is something most voters would definitely not favor.

Justice may be done anyway. Kevin Garn failed to disclose the $150K payment he made to Cheryl Maher on his Federal Election Commission Report. He may have violated the law, and if so, justice may still prevail in the case of an alleged child molester turned Utah State Republican Senate Majority Leader.

Maybe this kid has it right...  Let's hope Kevin's political career is exterminated and he goes back to life as an ordinary millionaire, between 20M and 90M.  We need to regenerate politicians with ethics!