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Sat., Sept. 17, 2011

Home foreclosures rise in Kootenai County

August produced a 50 percent increase in the number of homes being foreclosed in Kootenai County, a national real estate tracking company said.

That company, RealtyTrac, reported Kootenai County’s foreclosures grew from 74 in July to 112 in August. In June Kootenai County had 98 foreclosures.

RealtyTrac includes bank repossessions and homes assigned for auction in its foreclosure total.

In Spokane County RealtyTrac reported 91 foreclosures in August, compared with 88 in July and 178 in June.

Rick Vernon, executive officer of the Coeur d’Alene Association of Realtors, said foreclosure sales make up roughly 20 percent of all home sales in Kootenai County.

Rob Higgins, of the Spokane Association of Realtors, said Spokane County’s foreclosures have been averaging 22 percent of all homes sold this year.

Staff reports

Boeing freighter delivery delayed

Boeing said the delivery of the first of its new 747-8 freighters is on hold because of issues with the plane’s first customer.

Boeing was set to deliver the first of the revamped 747 freighters on Monday to Cargolux, a cargo hauler based in Luxembourg. But Boeing spokesman Jim Proulx said on Friday that the delivery won’t happen on Monday “due to unresolved issues with our customer Cargolux.” He said Boeing is continuing to work with Cargolux to determine a delivery date.

The cargo hauler recently reshuffled its board after Qatar Airways took a 43 percent stake. On Friday it said the new board used its first meeting to review the company’s financial and business situation, although it didn’t say anything about the 747. A Cargolux spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Associated Press

Amish man sued over Ponzi scheme

An Amish man who promised guaranteed investment returns to thousands of Amish families actually lost half the money, and covered up the losses using a Ponzi scheme that ran for more than a decade, according to a lawsuit filed this week in federal court.

The man, Monroe L. Beachy, 77, allegedly raised $33 million from 2,698 Amish families, nonprofit groups and businesses. He lost $16.8 million of it, but used money from new investors to continue paying dividends to existing ones.

That’s the classic definition of a Ponzi scheme, as perfected by Bernard Madoff, the former chairman of the Nasdaq stock exchange whose scam defrauded investors of $18 billion.

In Beachy’s case, the victims include widows, children, a school cookbook fund and a Mennonite church.

“This is fraud on a massive scale,” Steven M. Dettelbach, U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, said in a press release. “This defendant took advantage of people’s trust in him and squandered the life savings of hundreds upon hundreds of families.”

Associated Press


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