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Man accused of swindling $700 thousand

(12/13/09 5:54pm)

Fraud suspect arraigned Robert George appeared for arraignment on Thursday for a 25-count felony warrant for swindling $700,000 out of Ypsilanti Township residents alone. Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Detective Kevin Parviz alleges George was selling condominiums in the Crystal Ponds Condominiums development, but pocketing deposits, construction payments and other fees for personal use. The investigation began in 2005 and the charges include obtaining money under false pretenses in excess of $20,000, larceny by conversion and fraudulent use of building contract funds. Parviz named 30 people who have lost their life savings because of the scheme. George has sought the protection of the U.S.

Families visit Santa

(12/13/09 5:56pm)

Youngsters gathered at Frenchie’s and the Enchanted Florist this morning for a chance to have breakfast with Santa Claus and present him with their wish lists. About 100 kids and their families came for the event, which started off with brunch at Frenchie’s before moving to the Enchanted Florist where they got to sit on Santa’s lap, tell him their Christmas wishes and receive an early present. While the event is geared to bring smiles to kids’ faces, it’s also a food and blanket drive for Blanket Express and S.O.S.

Chicago's Headley tied to more terror plots

(12/13/09 7:36pm)

WASHINGTON – The al-Qaida-affiliated militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba has been actively planning one or more additional Mumbai-style attacks in India, based in part on scouting by a Chicago man recently charged with being a longtime clandestine operative of the group, according to current and former U.S., Indian and European counterterrorism officials. FBI and Justice Department officials spent last week in India and Pakistan as part of an urgent effort to head off such an attack, sharing a wealth of information from their investigation into the activities of David Coleman Headley, the officials said. The new plots, believed to be in the works for months, are most likely against “soft” civilian targets such as hotels or synagogues frequented by Americans, Israelis and other Westerners, the officials said.

Obama blasts Wall Street for economic crisis

(12/13/09 7:43pm)

SAN FRANCISCO – President Barack Obama on Saturday blasted Wall Street for worsening the economy’s downturn and promised to make financial markets more transparent and accountable. In his weekly radio and Internet address Saturday, the president applauded the House of Representatives for passing sweeping financial reform legislation on Friday and said the economy is recovering from the “irresponsibility” of Wall Street firms that “gambled on risky loans and complex financial products, seeking short-term profits and big bonuses.” It was “risk management without the management,” Obama said.