The Index-Journal from Greenwood, South Carolina on July 8, 1986 · Page 17
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The Index-Journal from Greenwood, South Carolina · Page 17

Greenwood, South Carolina
Issue Date:
Tuesday, July 8, 1986
Page 17
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The IndeK-Joomal, QnwiwooJ, S C., Tue , July 8. 1966 1 7 Sentencing set in mobile home loan fraud scheme However, phone numbers listed on applications were for lines set up at Indigo, and addresses were for a company-rented post office box. The Wisconsin company would write or call to check on the credit references, which would be verified by Indigo employees. In all. the bank paid out $675,000 in fraudulent loans to 34 customers. The scheme worked because the people asking for loans were unaware about how to obtain credit, according to authorities. But by early 1985. the FBI and other authorities had caught on. After a probe, the Georgetown-based company owner and eight employees were indicted by a federal grand jury. Eight of nine were convicted or pleaded guilty in January and February. But the case is still in litigation, and some purchasers while fortunate to get loans are concerned they didn't receive merchandise spelled out in contracts or got faulty homes. "It's been a mess, I'll say that," William Passineau, assistant vice president of First Financial's manufactured housing division, said from his Stevens Point, Wis., office. "There's been a lot of victims," he said. GEORGETOWN (AP) The owner of a mobile home company and several employees are scheduled to be sentenced a week from today in connection with a scheme to falsify credit information for customers buying trailers. The principal defendants are Donald Ray Hardee. 44, of Georgetown, the owner of Indigo Mobile Homes Inc., Sheri R. Van Vlake, 34, of Georgetown, and Charles F. Youman Jr., 41. of Florence. Hardee pleaded guilty to wire fraud and conspiracy. Ms. Van Vlake was convicted on 10 wire fraud charges, two bank fraud charges and conspiracy. Youman was convicted of four wire fraud counts, two bank fraud charges and conspiracy. A bank official said there were many victims in the scheme. In fall 1984, Hardee and several employees began a plan to boost sales by falsifying credit information to ensure that customers obtained loans to buy trailers, officials said. People who needed loans would be given applications with credit references from two ficticious banks. Applications would then be sent to First Financial Corp a legitimate firm in Wisconsin. Litigation is pending for First Financial to recoup its losses. One already decided case involved money Indigo obtained by listing "a non-existent mobile home with a nun existent purchaser." Kenneth Mitchum. a Georgetown attorney representing Fust Financial, has said. Purchasers apparently benefitted by buying mobile homes with loans they otherwise may not have received They can keep the homes as long as they make scheduled payments to First Financial. However, customers interviewed by The News and Courier in Charleston say they also did not receive washers and dryers and other appliances, even though the merchandise was listed in contracts. Many purchasers don't have any recourse because Indigo is bankrupt and special funds used to pay claims have been depleted. "It's a defunct business. Who are you going to sue?" said Adriennc Youmans. director of the South Carolina Manufactured Housing Board. Options are slim, "unless there's something innovative I don't know about," she said. S.C briefly .... Freedom Weekend Aloft Record crowds attend festival GREENVILLE (AP) The fifth year of Freedom Weekend Aloft is being called "an unqualified success" by officials, and many of the record 225,000 people who attended the four-day event agree. "It grew in numbers, it grew in consistency and it grew in execution," said Harvey Schmitt, Greater Greenville Chamber of Commerce president. "This is by far our best-planned and operated event." Most of the cars in the parking lot were from South Carolina, but many were from North Carolina, Georgia and Florida, along with a smattering from more than a dozen other states. The crowd shattered last year's attendance record of 150,000. Buck Egcrton, his wife Louise and daughter Kristin came from Brevard, N.C., to spend a few days. It was their first time to visit the annual festival. "Louise and I sort of have the fever now," Egerton said. "This really is impressive. It really is." Bob Berben, one of three pilots of the "Sabena" who traveled from Belgium to participate in the festival, said, "Everyone is so kind; that is the highlight." "We came here three years ago and the change is just unbelievable," said Janet Kincade. She and her husband John came from Atlanta, where they said the festival was advertised on radio and television. The Kincades, like a few thousand others, stayed around for the last balloon ascension Sunday. After taking off from the regular launch area, pilots headed toward a runway about a quarter-mile to the east. The target: a white line on the runway. They could go as low as possible to drop bags of grits on the line, but they couldn't touch the runway. Eldridge Fancher. a pilot from Cincinnati, wasn't worried about going in too low. He was worried about winds carrying him wide of the "If I miss that target, it would be worse than embarrassing," he said. The line, three feet wide, was 8,800 feet long. After dropping the bags, pilots could land beyond the runway, or keep flying. About 10 minutes after takeoff, Fancher's Indian Summer II dropped its bag from about three feet above the runway. It hit right in the middle of the line, then skidded about a foot past it. A few hundred feet beyond, the gondola bumped, stopped and keeled over. When it was over, six pilots had dropped bags right in the middle of the line, tying for first place. About 75 balloons flew Sunday night, though almost 200 were on hand for the whole festival. They came from more than 25 states; one came from Belgium. Tom Anderton came from Roanoke, Va., and he's taking a new balloon back with him. It's the one that's been hanging in the Hyatt Regency Greenville for the past month. Anderton won the $12,500 prize, made by Head Balloons at Donaldson, after finishing first in the festival competition. Just in time, too. He was going to place an order today for a new balloon, one with pink flamingos on a turquoise background. "I was supposed to write them a check tomorrow," Anderton said Sunday. His seventh-place finish in the morning's Key Grab put him in the top 10 for all scoring events. He didn't grab any keys, though. Nobody did. . Five people were arrested on disorderly conduct charges during the event, said Lt. Tommy Smith of the Greenville County Sheriff's Office. Two others were arrested on trespassing charges, he said. An inflatable Stroh Light beer can, about 25 feet high, was recovered Sunday morning from a home on South Estates Drive near Donaldson and three men were arrested. Smith said. It had been taken from the festival site early Saturday morning, he said. An anonymous caller to the Law Enforcement Center Sunday morning told officers where the $4,000 device was. Smith said. Tobacco market FLORENCE (AP) Members of the South Carolina Tobacco Ad visory Committee voted unani mously to ask for an opening market date of Aug. 5. Monday's vote follows recommendations by the South Caro lina Tobacco Warehouse Associa tion and the South Carolina Farm Bureau for an Aug. 5 opening Tobacco warehouseman Dick Lewis of Mullins said a survey of county agents indicated that 48 Cercent of the crop could be ready y then. Marion Fowler, secretary of the warehouse association, said the market opened too early last year. Much of the tobacco that sold early went under the loan program instead of to buyers. "Even the buyers think, we open too early," Fowler said. "Farm ers need optimum conditions on the market." Ben Kittrell, a tobacco expert with the Pee Dee Research and Education Center, said the con dition of the crop varies. Parts of Darlington, Lee and Sumter counties have been hard hit by drought, while tobacco in Marion, Georgetown and King-stree is in good shape. Almost all the tobacco got a later start than usual. Prolonged drought in many areas has meant slower development of the leaf, but some farmers tend to harvest their tobacco for the market whether it's ripe or not. Tobacco warehousemen and buyers are urging farmers to let their crop mature in the field before harvesting it. Unripe tobacco does not bring good prices. Market dates will be determined at a meeting of the Flue Cured Stabilization Board in Raleigh, N.C., on Tuesday. 'Listeria Hysteria' COLUMBIA (AP) The handle the calls. ''A lot of people are eon cerned." Dr. Brooks Metts, direc tor of the Poison Control Center, said Monday. "People are goint bonkers. We're running two to three hours behind." As of 4 p.m. Monday 216 people had called the center about the Polar B ars, a spokesman at the center said. "And I'm sure we've had about 1(H) more since then," he said Monday night. Metts called the increase in calls a "Listeria Hysteria." He said it would be awhile before anyone could confirm whether any of the people experiencing flu like symptoms were harmed because of the bacteria in the ice cream bars. "There are a lot of flus and in testinal viruses going around," he said. Uoutiup; n--il-iit COLUMBIA (AP) - A 23 year old Greer man was killed in a boating accident on Lake Hartwell during the Fourth ol July weekend, authorities said. John Charles Hahn Jr.. was pronounced dead at 6:50 p.m Sunday, a short time after the accident on Lake Hartwell near Sen eca, said John Kvans, a spokes man for the Department of Wildlife and Marine Resources. The accident happened near Swaney Landing as Hahn was finishing a ride on an inner tube being pulled behind a motorboat driven by Jack It. Moore, 37, also of Greer, Kvans said. The driver was attempting to release Hahn and the inner tube close to the bank, but he mis calculated and swung the lube into a stationary boat, Kvans said. Hahn hit the stern of the boat and the motor, which was raised from the water, and suffered trauma to the chest, he said. He was pronounced dead at Oconee County Hospital Man gets 10 years in fireworks factory case CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) An Ocoee man sentenced to 10 years in prison in a case stemming from a fatal 1983 explosion at an illegal fireworks factory was the brains behind the seven-state bootleg operation, a federal judge says. U.S. District Judge R. Allan Edgar said Monday that testimony during Howard Emmett Bramblett's trial last month showed he "was the person who made this whole operation work ... and start." He sentenced Bramblett, 54, to 10 years for taking part in the illegal manufacture of explosives and concurrent 10-year terms for each of 15 counts of causing illegal fireworks to be transported across state lines and one count of illegally dealing in explosives. THE JUDGE REJECTED arguments by John Henniss, Bramblett's attorney, that his client had no financial interest in the clandestine factory in Benton that exploded May 27, 1983, killing 11 workers. "He did not share in the business profits ... he didn't hire employees," Henniss said. Dan Lee Webb, who owned the factory, testified that Bramblett helped supply materials to make fireworks and helped set up fireworks sales. Webb is serving a 10-year sentence on 11 state counts of involuntary manslaughter and a federal count of manufacturing fireworks without a license. "If I had to make a scale of culpability of all the defendants in the case, I would say Mr. Bramblett is No. 1," Edgar said. The operation did business in Tennessee, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania, prosecutors said. Bramblett would not comment in court about his involvement in the Tennessee operation. Henniss said he planned to appeal the conviction. Bramblett was convicted June 25 with three other men indicted last August after a two-year federal investigation of the explosion. SIXTEEN OTHERS NAMED in the indictment previously pleaded guilty in arrangements with prosecutors and 12 were sentenced Monday with Bramblett. The other defendants in the case are to be sentenced later. Edgar ordered Bramblett's term to be served consecutively with another 10-year sentence for his conviction two years ago of conspiracy, manufacturing illegal fireworks and storing illegal explosives in connection with a May 24, 1983, blast that killed two people at a fireworks plant in Rowesville, S.C. The others sentenced were: Robert Samuel Day, 43, of Aiken, S.C, four years for conspiracy to manufacture, deal and transport illegal fireworks. Jack Robert Thompson, 42, of Hayesville, N.C., one year for conspiracy. Carrqll Lee Parker, 28, of Hayesville, N.C., one year for conspiracy. John Hunter Biddle, 50, of Dalton, Ga., three years with all but six months suspended plus a three-year probation for conspiracy. Bruce Allen Long, 30, of Grand Rapids. Mich., three-year Court upholds ban on state aid to students at profit -making colleges number of phone calls from people who believe they have been affected by the Listeria bacteria in ' some Kraft Polar B'ars is so high that a doctor at the Poison Control Center said ad ditional people were brought in to Film to he shown Durst Avenue Church of God will present "A Thief in the Night Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at the church. The film is a dra matic representation of the rap ture. grant application to help meet tuition fees at Rutledge College, a business institution from which he since has graduated. At least 1.500 students attend Rutledge's four campuses and Columbia Junior College, the only two profit-making colleges in South Carolina that have state-recognized accreditation and thus are affected by the ruling, said Edward Shannon, director of the tuition grants committee. However, only a small number of those students would have been eligible for the grants, which are awarded to the financially needy, he said. Shannon said about 70 students from the two money-making colleges applied for aid this year. The committee gets about 13,000 annual applications, of which roughly 7,000 are successful. The average payment is $2,000. Spartanburg lawyer Judson Chapin said of the high court's opinion. "I really think it's a shame." Chapin said he has not decided whether to seek a Supreme Court rehearing on behalf of his client. The Supreme Court found the distinction between the two groups of students was constitutional because it protected "a legitimate state interest." Quoting a Virginia Supreme Court decision, the justices said it was "commonplace ... for government to make distinctions between those in business for a profit and those who have eleemosynary (charitable) motives." Talley filed his lawsuit after the South Carolina Higher Education Tuition Grants Committee, which oversees a $16.1 million budget this year, refused to consider his SIZES I Mt JJil J Woo?" Wood Floor COLUMBIA (AP) The state Supreme Court has upheld a ban on state aid to students at private, profit-making colleges. The high court ruled on Monday that the exclusion of such students from the state's annual tuition grant fund does not violate the equal protection clauses of the federal and state constitutions. The students still will be eligible for federal grants, loans and work programs, which are not affected by the state decision. The ruling came in a dispute over whether the state should help students at all types of independent, post-secondary institutions. Spartanburg County student Joseph Talley took the dispute to the circuit court last year, challenging the state's policy of granting tuition aid only to higher education students attending nonprofit schools, and won his argument there. But the Supreme Court justices on Monday overturned the ruling by Special Judge Wade Weather-ford, who had decided the different treatment of students was unconstitutional . "Any student who wants to go to (a for-profit) school and ... wants to be trained to go into the job market, is barred from applying for tuition grant money," 300 Legals KSTATK NOTK K All persons having claims against the Estate of Robert Leroy Hughes, deceased, are herebv notified to file the same dulv verified with the undersigned Those indebted to the Kslale will please make pav ment Marv E Hughes Administratrix 218 Duncan Stn-et Greenwood. SC 2U4, 6 24 1 7 1 S i HK FACTORY men ON YOUR LOT L. T. KIRK 459-2004 lllgX 71 W., AMnvWn, .C. 7374 Crochet very warm pullover in a (iffy of 2 strands synthetic worsted in textured pat tern stitch Pattern 7374 Sies 36 46 incl Send $3.00 plus 65 postage, handling for each pattern nd to LOOKING FOR WORK? DO YOU -- Live in Abbeville, Edgefield, Greenwood, Laurens, McCormick, Newberry, or Saluda County? YOU MAY QUALIFY - For a federally funded Job Training Program that offers, at no charge Training in a variety of job skills Educational upgrading Assistance in finding a job TO APPLY -- Come to the JTPA Office at Piedmont Technical College Tuesdays at lO o'clock in the morning Thursdays at 4 o'clock in the afternoon JTPA at Piedmont Tech Building V (Kateway Drive below the National Guard Armory) Anna Mami Pattern Oeot 4tt The Intel Journal il 10 northern Bl . Woooiitt. II Y 1137; Print Mf ADORESS. ZIP, SIH arts' STYLE NUMBER suspended sentence, a three-year probation and a $1,000 fine for conspiracy. Thomas Walter Sable, 45, of Cleveland, Tenn., three years with all but six months suspended, a three-year probation and a $1,500 fine for conspiracy. Timothy Layne Scruggs, 26, of Dalton, Ga., three-year suspended sentence, three-year probation and a $1,000 fine for conspiracy. Walter Thomas Noeth, 25. of Chicago, three years with all but six months suspended, a five-year probation and a $2,000 fine for conspiracy and causing illegal fireworks to be transported across state lines. Robert Wayne Goins, 36, of Caryville. Tenn., three-year suspended sentence, a three-year probation and a $3,000 fine for conspiracy and illegally dealing in explosives. ESTATE NOTICE All persons having claims against the estate of Addie B Saltivan. deceased, are herebv notified to file the same, dulv verified with the undersigned Those indebted to the estate will please make payment R B Scurry. M D Administrator Post Office Box Greenwood. S C 24 6'3Qi7'B.i4'86 ESTATE NOTK E All persons having claims against the Estate of J Blanche Sevmour deceased are herebv notified to file the same dun verified with the undersigned Those indebted to '-he Estate will please make pav ment George E Tolbert and Robert S Tolbert Executors Route 1 Box 48S Greenwood S (' 24fc 6i30'7 8.14 '86 EST TE NOTK E All persons having claims against the Estate of Harold W Carsnn deceaed are h-rb notified to file . the same duly verified with the urm-r-igned Those indebted to the Estate wiii please rr.-iKe dmeni Willie Mae Carson Administratrix 1126 Spring Street Greenwood. S C 29646 6i3078.I4H6 85 Needlecraft Catalog 150 designs $2 65 Boot-32 50 65ph. 135 Colli a Clothst On Parada " 1?8 Envslops Patchwork OuMU 1?? Stulf n Putt Omits 1 13 Complen Gilt Book EH QUESTIONS? Call 223-571 5 Piedmont Technical College and JTPA want to help you find that job! Piedmont Technical College Emerald Road Post Office Drawer 1 467 Greenwood. South Carolina 29648 Alice Brooks CRAFTS ace color, sen, -national origin. Piedmont Technical College does noi'discrimmate in employment or admission on trie bests ot religion, age. or handicap

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