Attorney General’s Mortgage Fraud Task Force supports December housing workshops to help homeowners and reduce foreclosure fraud

The Attorney General’s Mortgage Fraud Task Force is supporting December workshops in Middletown, Claymont, New Castle, and Seaford to help homeowners who are worried about missing a mortgage payment, are facing foreclosure, or suspect a foreclosure scam. The FREE workshops are as follows:
Date Time Location Address
Saturday December 5
10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Appoquinimink Library
651 North Broad Street, Middletown
Wednesday December 9
12:00 – 1:30 p.m.
Claymont Community Center
3301 Green Street, Claymont
Saturday December 12
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Rose Hill Community Center
19 Lambsons Lane, New Castle
Wednesday December 16
4:00 – 8:00 p.m. Pizza King
300 West Stein Highway,Seaford
During these workshops representatives from the Attorney General’s Office, Office of the Bank
Commission, and Delaware State Housing Authority will lead informational presentations to provide
details about the Delaware Mortgage Assistance Program (DEMAP), mortgage refinancing options,
foreclosure, and foreclosure rescue scams. Walk-ins are encouraged.

For the first 10 months of 2009, Delaware foreclosure filings jumped 41 % to 5,178, versus
4,170 in the first 10 months of 2008. Moreover, Sheriff’s sales of foreclosed homes in New Castle
County have reached a record 300 homes for January, 2010. Sheriff’s sales have also risen sharply in
Kent and Sussex counties.

Borrowers who have missed mortgage payments and have been named in a foreclosure filing
are reminded that mortgage rescue companies and others who offer to help with mortgage
modifications are prohibited by law from receiving payment in advance of providing the service.
Homeowners facing foreclosure or who suspect foreclosure fraud are encouraged to call the Attorney
General’s Mortgage Hotline at 1-800-220-5424, visit the Attorney General’s website at,or visit the Delaware State Housing Authority’s Foreclosure Help website at These state resources provide information about government programs, access to FREE HUD-certified housing counseling services, as well as fraud-prevention and reporting tools.
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Biden shuts down Sussex County drug haven

Attorney General Beau Biden announced today that the Delaware Department of
Justice has secured the closure of a property under Delaware’s Nuisance Abatement Act. At the Department’s request a Superior Court judge closed 28565 Blueberry Lane, near Frankford.

“This property is a poster child for how drug crime and violence destabilizes neighborhoods and threatens the safety of our families,” Attorney General Biden stated. We will continue to take aggressive action against property owners anywhere in Delaware who allow crime to flourish and bring down the quality of life.”

At a hearing today in Sussex County Superior Court, the Department of Justice provided evidence that the property has been the site of constant drug trafficking, gambling activity, and violence over a period of several years. Among the activities at the property were an armed robbery during which shots were fired in the presence of an 8 year-old child, a stabbing, and a drive-by
shooting during which bullets entered the house and hit a couch in the presence of 6 month-old and 2 year-old children. Since October 2004, police have visited the property at least 18 times to apprehend fugitives believed to be on-site. Judge T. Henley Graves agreed that the property presented an
immediate threat to the public, health, safety, and welfare and issued a temporary abatement order shuttering the property and banning anyone from the premises.

The Department received active support and cooperation in this case from Delaware State Police, the Governor’s Task Force, residents, and Representative John Atkins, whose district includes this property.

In August, 2007 Attorney General Biden launched a statewide effort to combat crime in Delaware under the state’s Drug Nuisance and Social Vices Abatement Act. Under the Nuisance Abatement Act, enforcement actions can take a variety of forms, including closure of a property. The Delaware Department of Justice identifies nuisance properties up and down Delaware through its own
investigations and in cooperation with state and local police agencies, local authorities, civic associations, and neighborhood residents. Through its enforcement actions, the Department gives property owners the choice of voluntarily cooperating to clean up the illegal activity, or defending
themselves in court and being forced to clean up the crime by court order.
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Biden secures over $1 million in federal funding to expand the fight against child predators

Attorney General Beau Biden announced that the Delaware Child Predator
Task Force has been awarded $1.1 million in federal grant funding to continue and expand its fight against online child sexual exploitation. Nearly half of the award comes from the federal Recovery Act, also known as stimulus funds. The awards will be used to enhance Delaware’s ability to conduct proactive undercover online enticement and child pornography cases, increase its capacity to prosecute cases, and fund law enforcement training and public outreach.

“The significant new funding that we have received, with the strong support of the Obama Administration, will allow us to expand our fight against child predators despite the lack of additional state funding,” Attorney General Biden stated. “I believe we are building the best Child Predator Task Force in the country, and it will use these new resources to continue to proactively uncover the threats to our kids and take dangerous predators off the streets in every corner of our state.”

The Delaware’s Child Predator Task Force has been awarded $1,105,000 from the US Department of Justice through three separate grants, including:
• $437,000 in Federal Recovery Act funds (4-year grant)
• $200,000 in renewal Internet Crimes Against Children funds (1-year grant)
• $468,000 in Community-Oriented Policing Services funds (2-year grant)
Together, these grants will be used to:
• Hire additional staff to support child predator investigations
• Train first responders and other law enforcement on procedures for addressing 911 calls reporting child predator offenses
• Assist Delaware State Police in tracking down fugitives who use Delaware as a safe haven and/or have failed to register as sex offenders as required by law
• Pay equipment needs and operational expenses
Biden also reviewed the Task Force’s success to-date. Since its establishment in 2007 it has conducted over 100 investigations, and 70 cases have resulted in criminal sentences. Moreover, 55% of its cases in 2009 resulted from proactive investigations conducted by Task Force member agencies.
The Delaware Child Predator Task Force, established in June, 2007 by the Delaware Department of Justice and Delaware State Police, is responsible for coordinating online child exploitation investigations and prosecutions statewide. Its members include every local police agency in Delaware, along with federal law enforcement agencies.
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Attorney General’s Office secured indictment of Delaware photographer in child predator case

Attorney General Joseph R. Biden, III announced the indictment of 52
year-old Newark resident, Steven Hughes. Hughes is charged with 30 counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Child and 30 counts of Dealing in Child Pornography. He was arrested several weeks ago at his second home near Millsboro, Delaware.

“Child predators in Delaware should be on notice,” Attorney General Biden stated. “The Delaware Child Predator Task Force will track you down, prosecute you, and put you behind bars.”

This case is the direct result of a proactive child predator investigation initiated by the New Castle County Police Department and conducted jointly with the Delaware Child Predator Task Force, where prosecutors and investigators work side-by-side with Delaware State Police and other agencies to do nothing but investigate crimes against children. This collaborative effort targets, investigates, and prosecutes online sexual predators that may otherwise evade detection. Yesterday’s indictment alleges that Hughes possessed 18 images of a 6 year-old female exposing her genitalia in sexually explicit poses and numerous other images of toddler-age females forced into sex acts with adult men. Hughes is charged with distributing these images by publishing
them online to any interested party, including undercover law enforcement agents involved in the investigation. If convicted of all charges, Hughes faces a 120-year jail sentence. He is currently being held on $300,000 bail.
Members of the public who have information that might assist with this investigation, including information about physical offenses against children are urged to contact Detective Jason Wilson of the New Castle County Police Department at 302-395-8110.

The Delaware Department of Justice reminds the public that an indictment is merely an allegation and is not evidence of guilt. Defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a jury trial at which the state bears the burden of proving each charge beyond a reasonable doubt.

Biden applauds New Jersey for joining Delaware’s dredging lawsuit

The State of New Jersey has decided to join in the lawsuit Attorney General
Joseph R. Biden, III, filed recently in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware to halt the Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) from dredging the Delaware River.

“New Jersey’s decision demonstrates its shared commitment with Delaware to protect the territorial integrity of our states and our natural resources,” Attorney General Biden stated. “I applaud New Jersey’s swift action in this case and look forward to working with Attorney General Anne Milgram to ensure that the Corps follows state and federal law.”

On October 30, 2009, Attorney General Biden filed a complaint for injunctive and
declaratory relief to order the Corps to comply with Delaware law prior to dredging in Delaware waters. The Attorney General’s lawsuit requests that the court declare that the Corps’ decision to deepen Delaware waters violates state and federal law and issue a preliminary injunction to halt the Corps’ dredging activities until the Corps obtains the required Delaware permits and certifications.
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