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VOL. 123 | NO. 243 | Friday, December 12, 2008

Daily Digest

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Brookview Rehab Property Faces Foreclosure Sale

A foreclosure notice has been filed for the property at 574 N. Fourth St., which Las Vegas-based real estate investment company Blue Maple Investments LLC bought in March 2007 for $35,900.

A construction loan for $108,752 was taken out from Realty Title and Escrow Co. in conjunction with the sale. The owner and holder of the debt is Brookview Rehab Funding LLC, a subsidiary of Brookview Financial, according to the trust deed.

The property is scheduled to be sold at foreclosure sale Jan. 5 at 11 a.m. on the southwest steps of the Adams Avenue courthouse.

The building, constructed in 1953, is a 2,200-square-foot, two-story brick apartment building with four units. It sits on a 0.12-acre lot on the northeast corner of Fourth Street and Greenlaw Avenue. The Shelby County Assessor’s 2008 appraisal of the property is $58,900.

Hamden, Conn.-based Brookview Financial is a national rehab lending company whose “goal is to establish long-term relationships with growing clients with whom we can do repeat business,” according to the company’s Web site, www.brookviewfinancial.com. The site also says the company helps “fuel the growth” of affordable housing availability and that “a portion of our proceeds is allocated to selected situations of special housing needs.”

A representative of Brookview Financial directed calls to A. James Brooks, the substitute trustee of the sale. A message left for Brooks was not immediately returned.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

Motel Room Raid Leads to Theft Charges

Federal prosecutors say it is an identity theft scheme they haven’t seen.

Gabriel Cirlan, 32, is charged with attaching his own card reader to automatic teller machines to steal bank account information and cash. The elaborate scheme also involved Cirlan allegedly hiding computer cameras near the ATMs to steal personal identification numbers from people using them.

With the information, he would then allegedly use an encoder to turn Bass Pro Shops and AMEX gift cards into bank ATM cards.

Cirlan was arrested Dec. 1 after undercover drug agents noticed suspicious activity in Cirlan’s room at the Holiday Inn Select, 2240 Democrat Road. The agents from the West Tennessee Drug Task Force found Cirlan, his sister-in-law, Allison Osan, computer equipment and what appeared to be 54 credit cards, most with PINs written on the back. The drug agents called the U.S. Secret Service.

A Memphis federal grand jury indicted Cirlan this week on three counts of identity theft.

Investigators said 15 of the bank accounts he accessed belong to Washington Mutual Mastercard holders in Florida and Washington.

In an affidavit, Secret Service agent Nicholas Jameson said Osan told him she had watched as Cirlan built the ATM devices over a two-week period. She said he made bootleg ATM cards with the information he stored on his computer from the card reader he attached to at least one ATM in Deerfield Beach, Fla. Cirlan allegedly used some of the cards at ATM machines in Tunica casinos.

Jameson interviewed Cirlan separately.

“Cirlan admitted that all the equipment and plastic cards in the hotel room belonged to him, but he merely used them as a ‘hobby’ and did not steal people’s personal information,” the affidavit reads. “Cirlan had no excuse for why many of the assorted plastic cards with magnetic stripes had PINs written on the back of them.”

Bank of America officials tracked 11 more numbers on the bootleg cards in Cirlan’s motel room to an ATM in Deerfield Beach. The bank produced photos from the ATM camera showing Cirlan attaching and removing devices from the ATM, according to the affidavit.

Osan is not charged in the indictment.

Cirlan, a Romanian citizen, remains in federal custody because his visa expired two years ago.

Smith & Nephew To Launch Wound Product

Next year, Smith & Nephew will launch a new foam dressing kit for wounds, the company announced Thursday.

For the first time, the kit will allow health care professionals the freedom of selecting either a gauze or foam wound interface from a single negative pressure wound therapy device manufacturer, the company said.

Negative pressure wound therapy, or NPWT, requires fewer dressing changes than traditional wound therapies, according to company information.

The foam kits will be supplied sterile and will be available in four sizes. Some of the illnesses they will treat include pressure ulcers, diabetic or neuropathic ulcers, traumatic wounds, surgical wounds, skin grafts and others.

Fred’s Inc.’s Efird Elevated to CEO

Fred’s Inc. President Bruce Efird, 49, will become the company’s president, chief executive officer and director Feb. 1, according to a Thursday announcement.

His start date in the new position coincides with the beginning of the company’s fiscal year and is meant “to provide new leadership at Fred’s and lay the groundwork for an orderly transition over the next two months,” said Efird’s predecessor, Michael J. Hayes, in a statement.

Hayes, 67, will continue as chairman of the board.

“The (succession) program was designed to enhance sales growth, improve efficiencies and reduce costs,” Hayes said. “(Efird’s) efforts in this area, coupled with the naming of new leadership in other key areas of the company, such as in marketing and real estate, puts Fred’s on firm footing in today’s challenging retail climate and positions the company for growth in the years ahead.”

A call to the company was not immediately returned.

Before joining Fred’s, Efird was vice president-merchandising for Meijer Inc., a supercenter retailer in the Midwest. He also served previously in management positions at Bruno’s Supermarkets Inc. and Food Lion Inc.

As reported recently in The Daily News, Fred’s same-store sales fell 1.8 percent in November, hurt by fewer post-Thanksgiving shopping days. The company also is in the midst of restructuring by closing 75 underperforming stores and 22 pharmacies.

Fred’s operates 658 stores, including 24 franchised stores.

National Radiology Group Accredits West Clinic

The American College of Radiology has awarded a three-year accreditation to The West Clinic for using technology to help doctors in diagnosing cancer conditions.

The accreditation is for the use of magnetic resonance imaging, positron emission tomography/computed tomography and 64-slice computed tomography.

The organization awards accreditations for high practice standards after a peer-review evaluation. The evaluations are conducted by board-certified physicians and medical physicists and assess image quality, personnel qualifications, adequacy of facility equipment, quality control procedures and quality assurance programs.

The West Clinic has centers on Humphreys Boulevard, in Midtown, Batlett, Collierville, Covington and Southhaven and Corinth, Miss.

It is opening a new clinic in Brighton in January.

IRS Warns Of E-Mail Scam

The Internal Revenue Service is warning of a possible scam in which an e-mail that appears to originate from the IRS tells recipients to fill out an attachment, print and fax it. Another one asks recipients to click on a link and provide personal information.

However, IRS spokesman Dan Boone cautions people that the IRS never sends e-mails about personal taxes.

Anyone worried about having responded to either type of e-mail may contact the Federal Trade Commission via www.irs.gov or by forwarding suspicious e-mails to phishing@irs.gov.

For more information about tax or identity theft scams, visit www.irs.gov to view the current “Dirty Dozen” list.

The MED Foundation Awards Grant for Monitor

The fundraising arm of the Regional Medical Center at Memphis, The MED Foundation, has granted more than $29,000 to The MED for a Nerve Integrity Monitor.

The monitor allows a surgeon to map a patient’s nerves through complicated anatomy prior to surgery. The monitor is used during surgery for procedures on the head and neck. It reduces the risk of vocal cord paralysis. It is especially useful in procedures involving the seventh cranial nerve, which allows movement of the mouth and blinking of the eyes, and the 10th cranial nerve, which is used for swallowing and speaking.

Founded in 1986, the Foundation operates for the benefit of The MED with a volunteer board of directors. For more information, visit www.themedfoundation.org or call Tammie Ritchey at 545-8372.

Opera Memphis Wins National Grant

Opera Memphis Inc. has been awarded a $10,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, money that will be used to support the opera’s performance next month of “Scott Joplin and Treemonisha.”

Grants from the NEA, according to the office of U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Memphis, which announced the award, frequently generate as much as $7 from non-federal sources for each dollar awarded by the NEA, which often matches donations from private sources.

“Treemonisha” is the only opera by composer Scott Joplin, and it is set in Texarkana, Ark., after the U.S. Civil War.

Methodist University Transplant Program Recognized

OptumHealth has designated the Methodist University Hospital Transplant Institute as a Center of Excellence for adult liver and kidney transplants.

The transplant programs at the hospital are conducted in partnership with the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.

In 2007, 233 transplants were performed at the hospital. The transplant program in Memphis dates back to 1976 at UT Bowld Hospital. Methodist Healthcare assumed operation of UT Bowld in 2002. Two years, later the program was moved to Methodist University Hospital.

OptumHealth provides health coverage for 58 million people.

PROPERTY SALES 51 333 19,446
MORTGAGES 68 383 22,433
BUILDING PERMITS 138 688 40,004
BANKRUPTCIES 34 238 12,486