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April 2, 07

NEWS / Local Police Chief Accused Of Stealing House

ATLANTA -- A local police chief will face possible criminal charges Thursday in connection with alleged mortgage fraud.

Carver Bible College Police Chief Joseph Woods is accused of stealing the home of a deceased Fulton County grandmother after claiming he wanted to buy it from her heirs.

Joseph Woods is the leader of a local police department Channel 2 told you about last week. They employ a number of officers facing criminal charges such as murder and assault.

Woods was already accused of theft by deception. And now a new warrant application, if approved, could add another charge.

“I can remember the days when she would clean other people’s houses just to pay for this house,” Denise Washington said.

The house that belonged to Veorie Ezell became the gift that she left to her grandchildren. But 3 years after Ms. Ezell passed away, the kids claim the house has been stolen.

“A couple months ago, we met a man named Joseph Woods who approached us about buying the home, so we called a family meeting to sit down to see what he had to say,” described Washington.

Washington said Woods claimed impressive credentials, as the chief of the Carver Bible College police force.

“We trusted this person, so we agreed on selling the house to him,” said Washington.

But that’s when Washington said the nightmare began.

“A couple of weeks after we had that meeting with Mr. Woods, my sister gets a letter in the mail stating that a copy of the warranty deed, which his name is now on, stating that he bought the house over 4 years ago from my grandmother,” said Washington.

A purchase the family called simply impossible because that’s when their grandmother was dying in the hospital.

“So obviously, it is fraud. He forged her name and took the house from us,” said Washington.

After several refusals to talk about the matter, we found Woods at his job directing traffic. We asked him to explain how the home became his for what appears to be, nothing at all.

“I’m not familiar with that document, I can only speak for myself. This is as much a surprise to me as it is to you, I’m working to get to the bottom of it,” Woods told Channel 2.

So is Fulton County D.A. Paul Howard who says he doubts Chief Woods’ explanation.

“And I would ask that if other would-be property owners are owners familiar with this gentleman and this kind of practice, I would hope that they would call the D.A.’s office so we can find out if he’s done this kind of thing before,” said Howard.

Since our interview, Woods has told the family he wants to give the house back.

But experts tell us, there may be a problem.

The warranty deed which made Woods the owner, appears to be fraud. The notary whose stamp appears on the document, was not a notary at the time the document was dated. That is why Washington plans to push for Woods’ arrest Thursday in court.
by WSBTV.com.

Tags: notary, document,


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