Shh! Fortuna Doesn’t Want to Talk about Delores Reeves

Delores Reeves

Delores Reeves

Tomorrow, Delores Reeves and her husband, Glenn  stand in a Humboldt County courtroom. They are there to begin the process of answering allegations that they perpetrated one of the biggest frauds in recent Humboldt history. And, there has been almost no coverage of this story.

One of their alleged victims is slender and fit, her cap of silky silver hair cups golden skin only lightly touched by wrinkles. She smiles shakily as she sits upright behind the long wooden table in the offices of the Janssen law firm near the Eureka Courthouse. The shakiness is emotional though,  not physical. She seems closer to middle-aged then elderly–the kind of woman who could grace an ad for vitamins, the kind of woman that makes growing older look easy. But on this day, her eyes are pink and swollen. When asked her name, she averts her head and half whispers that she’d rather not have it shared. She doesn’t want her name used.  She lives in a small community where many people already know and her name is a matter of public record because she has filed a complaint with law enforcement.  But, please don’t use it anyway, she asks.

She’s alleged to be a victim of what her lawyer Timothy Needham calls “an elaborate Ponzi scheme” by Delores Reeves and her husband, Glenn. And, in some ways, she’s a victim of a town that bills itself as the Friendly City of Fortuna.  Like the town of Hadleyburg in Mark Twain’s story (The Man that Corrupted Hadleyburg), Fortuna has a reputation as a town of very little crime, of solid citizens industriously working at the American Dream. And for the vast majority of its residents this is still true.  But its silence is part of the problem. This woman was drained of  around $400,000 and at least 7 other victims were similarly defrauded for a total of about $2 million. And there might be even more victims and more money stolen. But almost no one wants to talk about it publicly.

Fortuna and its neighbor, Ferndale, seem like modern-day Mayberrys–wholesome and safe. But recently both have been the scenes of crime which have shaken the towns to their cores.  Ferndale’s scandal involving the Humboldt Creamery reverberated across the nation landing splash dab on the pages of the New York Times.  Yet, Fortuna’s scandal where a prominent local couple, Delores and Glenn Reeves were arrested on charges of theft and embezzlement, has barely even touched the pages of its own newspaper let alone the larger Times Standard or national papers. Yet, as several people have privately insisted, the amount of money lost is  larger and the victims hurt more deeply than the Creamery crime. Why isn’t it being talked about?

The seventy-two year old victim who doesn’t want her name known says that she knows of one couple that had to sell their home to pay off their debt as the result of Delores Reeves and her husband, Glenn.  They now live in a small apartment.  Another victim, a teacher, lost half of her retirement savings. She herself lost over $400,000.  Her lawyer estimates that over two and half million dollars were taken. How did this happen? And why aren’t the front pages full of stories about the victims and the accused?

The one victim’s story begins when she came to this area and fell in love with the community.  At first she said, “I invested in Ferndale.  I was completely taken with the people.  They would say hello to you on the street.” She bought property near Fortuna with “my own vegetable garden and fruit trees.” This was all part of living the end of her life well.  “I hate the Bay Area.  Up here you can do things without going nuts. No traffic.  No smog.  Up here you get hugged…. I’ve got a lot of things on my bucket list,” she said and for a moment she grinned as though life were a tall glass of lemonade and she was going to drain it to the last drop.

Then she sagged remembering recent events and how her lemonade has been siphoned away.  “Delores Reeves was working at Humboldt Bank…I needed a loan and she handled my loan…then she decided to go out on her own.  She was pretty well aware of my finances by the time she went out on her own.”  The two became friends, sharing lunches and even family dinners. There were constant friendly emails. “I was included. I became close to her daughter,” she said sadly.  Needham, the lawyer says that Delores Reeves was very ingratiating with her victims who often were in their seventies, eighties and nineties. “[She] would tell me about loans,” explained the victim.  Then she would arrange for the victim to lend money to supposedly credible people with secure properties. “There were 12-14 that went the way they should,” the woman explained. “[But] she would know when I got a payoff or sold a piece of property.”  Then as one loan was paid off, she would suggest a new loan.  In this way, Reeves was able to use the money from one loan to keep afloat payments that needed to be made on others.

According to this victim and her lawyer, one of the ways Reeves defrauded people was that she arranged phony loans to real people who didn’t even know they were supposedly “borrowing” money. Their identifies were stolen.  She also leveraged properties far beyond what they were worth. One simple trailer was leveraged for close to $300,000. She also is alleged by the victim’s lawyer of having defrauded borrowers-once telling a veteran that he didn’t qualify for a V.A. loan so that she could reap the increased fees for a more conventional and bigger loan.

However, as the financial downturn swept the real estate market, Reeves found it increasingly difficult to keep the loans she’d arranged afloat. Eventually, a  couple of years ago, says the victim, the payments started coming in erratically though they would get paid off eventually. One day, she needed a social security number off one of the loans for tax purposes.  She couldn’t find the loan document.  She called Reeves lamenting being “ditzy.”  How, she asked Reeves, “..could I lose a whole loan document?”  But, she hadn’t.  And Reeves knew it. At that point, the woman thinks Reeves realized that the fragile boat that she had been keeping afloat on her friends’ money was sinking.  Reeves wrote the victim a letter confessing what had happened. “She told me she would find a way to pay me back.  She would sell her jewelry…I was frozen.  I couldn’t believe this was happening.” Even after writing the letters, the victim alleges that Reeves continued to make more loans to others.

Still the victim hesitated. This was her friend. She didn’t want to have her arrested but eventually family members talked her into going to the Fortuna Police Department. To her surprise, even though she had a confessional letter, the department wasn’t confident that much could be done.  According to the victim, she was told that a woman of Delores Reeve’s age and standing in the community was not likely to do any jail term.  Compounding her surprise was that though the confession happened on March 11th and the victim went to the police March 17th, there was no immediate response.  In fact, Reeves apparently soon became aware of the victim’s attempt to engage the police because 5 days later Reeves called the victim and indicated that she expected to be arrested.  However,  she was not arrested until April 15th nearly a month later.  During that time, Reeves, according to information that the victim’s lawyer, Timothy Needham turned up, hired a document scrubbing firm to destroy many files in her business. She also had ample time to destroy any evidence on her computers.  The length of time seems surprising.  Certainly, others accused of crimes would love a month to clean house.

Erin Dunn, the CEO of the Fortuna Chamber of Commerce, is saddened by what has happened in her beautiful little town.  She confirmed that Reeves and her husband are long time residents.  A search on the internet turns up that Delores Reeves graduated in 1973 from Fortuna. Her husband, Glenn Reeves also graduated from there.  He  had been president of the Fortuna Downtown Merchant Assoc. Locals also revealed that he also dressed as Santa at the Electric Light Parade for many years. But Dunn says that people in Fortuna are not talking about the story. “This is not a hot topic.  It’s just tragic.  People are somewhat sympathetic to [Delores Reeves].”    She hurries on “People aren’t sympathetic for the deed but are compassionate for the reasons that lead up to it.  She’s a person, a friend, and a colleague  but [there is] a sense of ‘you can’t do that.'” Unlike Dunn, most people approached don’t want to even talk let alone be quoted.  It’s as if by not talking about the crime, it will disappear.  Glenn Reeves’ arrest can’t even be found noted in any of the newspapers or blogs online. People don’t want to offend neighbors, friends and business partners that might be sympathetic to the accused.  So they say nothing to outsiders and watch what they say to each other. The shiny red apple of their town’s reputation has a worm in it.  Like many of us, they’d rather pretend the worm isn’t there.

The story isn’t being discussed much, not in the town, not in the papers, not on the blogs–only in the homes of the victims and in hushed voices among those who worry they might offend someone by supporting the wrong person.  Here, at last, a victim has spoken out  hoping that by doing so the silence would be broken and more victims would come forward.

The Janssen law firm, to which Timothy Needham belongs, is well known for their role in forcing Skilled Healthcare to clean up their act. Needham is hoping that “this person who has committed so many despicable acts against so many seniors” is punished.  But more than that, restoring some of the money lost to his clients would be nice.  This looks difficult as the Reeves home is rumored to be sold in foreclosure (it is a short sale) and any money supposedly stolen is probably long gone. Perhaps other victims and people close to the alleged crime might be able to help piece together more of what happened, more of who benefited, more of whom has stolen the lemonade that was supposed to make a lovely older woman’s senior years comfortable.

You can call the Janssen law firm at (707) 445-2071 if you think you may have been a victim or may have information about others who may have been involved.

UPDATE 6/28:Victim’s suit names others besides the Reeves.

_________________

Photo from real estate listing.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail

85 comments

  • I hope Dolores and Glenn Reeves don’t get away with this, and I hope all the victims will be reimbursed. Seems unlikely, though. And I’m astonished that there has been nothing in the paper about this.

    • It was in the paper (Times Standard) when it first happened and stories ran for several days. However, to help insure that an impartial jury can be sepected, it is nessecary for the paper to cease reporing on the story once the accused are areested so that the prospective jurors can fairly answer the questions put to the by both the attorney for the defense and the presecuting attorney that they do not know the defendents ands have no knowledge or preconceived attitudes towards a specific verdict,

      • I searched the local media and here are the stories I could find.
        One in the Times Standard

        One in the Humboldt Beacon (Plus two letters touting Reeves’ good character) and very few comments.
        There was another story that had bearing on this one about the Reeves’ business Kozy Korner that has a one sentence reference to the issue. Everything else refers to the Reeves in a positive light. ie “Talks with Delores Reeves encouraged Cashman to open a new space on Main Street for local crafters, and together with the Reeves, the Kozy Korner was borne. “She didn’t want me to give up my business or my dream,” Cashman said. ” (Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a bad story. Reeves has a right to have her side of the story presented, too. She apparently helped many people over the years. But there needs to be more pieces put before the public.)

        I searched KIEM for stories and didn’t see any. As for blogs, there was a brief mention in the Lost Coast Outpost. And there was my post in April.

        Google Delores Reeves: My post of the press release in April is the only negative mention on the front page.

        Impartial juries were sought and found in many cases with lots of coverage–the Klamath murders in 2010 and the Skilled Healthcare civil case. Why should this be different?

      • What a crock! The Times Standard roasted PL and Debi August. Talk about ruining lives and prejudging the victim! Both cases were thrown out of court but not before the TS nearly ruined their lives.

  • Great report.

  • Please keep us posted Kym. A couple paragraphs into the story I thought I was reading a book.

  • For a moment there I thought I was reading Paul Harvey’s “The Rest of the Story…”

    This story hasn’t ended however. If there is any justice in the world these poor trusting people will get their money back.

    Now, that would be a great “Rest of the Story” ending…

    • That would be a great ending!

      • Sadly, these things end with: If there’s any money on the table, lawyers end up with it. But it’s all good, lawyers have to eat too. The moral of the story is don’t do anything that might end up being illegal. Or, don’t play games with those that might be engaging in anything illegal. Oh and… good luck.

  • Kym,
    Thank you so much for covering this story. I live in Fortuna and I am outraged at how this story has been buried. I feel for the victim because I know how many, many stories like this are buried in Fortuna’s history. The Reeves have done a terrible thing to the community and to their victims yet they are being protected by the press and the police department. It is despicable. The story is much more heinous than most know and I am hoping that justice is served. Fortuna is full of these types of “secrets” and I hope more come to light.
    Thanks again and keep on digging….

  • How exactly are the Reeves being protected by the town and the Police Dept?

    • P,
      the story of Hadleyberg that I reference is about a town that thinks it is squeaky clean but that ends up being dishonest simply because they rest on their laurels and believe they are the kind of people that don’t commit crimes. What I’m trying to say but apparently didn’t make clear, is that most of us think of the business community and our neighbors as not the kind of people who commit crimes. So we ignore evidence to the contrary. We think meth addicts and trailer trash cause most of the havoc in the world. But we keep our mouths shut about crime and misbehavior by folk that are our friends–folks that look like us. We don’t want to cause waves. But the reality is that folk in all walk of life can and do commit crimes. But, like those that defended the French banker recently saying that “economists don’t commit rapes,” we are blinding ourselves to the fact that those in the middle class and the wealthy class often don’t get charged with crime because we treat them differently than we treat other types of criminals. I don’t think Fortuna is particularly bad. I just think this case is an example of that very human impulse to deny that people like us do bad things.

      I do find it sad that Ms. Reeves had over a month to scrub her accounts, computers, and files. No one is going to give a pot grower a month to clear their garden before they come by and check it out. I hope that this doesn’t result in so much lost evidence that the DA is unable to prosecute.

      I also think our very human instinct to hide problems is contributing to some of the Reeves’ victims likely being ignorant of the situation. There is so little coverage of this story that many people have never heard of it before–and some of these people could be victims or people with information.

  • What Jackie and Mr. Sims said.

    I hope Mr. Needham is able to accomplish what the media and Fortuna Police seemingly couldn’t do and failed to perform : reporting the incident and informing the public, holding the alleged culprit accountable to the fullest extent of the law, and providing justice, restitution, and some semblance of resolve for the victim(s). This is atrocious. Unfortunately, we hear of this far too often as vulnerable seniors are taken advantage of– only happening elsewhere.

    If these circumstances are true, and I suspect they are, I hope the Reeves serve an appropriate jail term– not only finding the time to discover where their lack of morals and conscience fled to, but also the money they fleeced from innocent victims. Those victims undoubtably worked hard saving their money for a rainy day; meanwhile, the Reeves were recklessly spending it, a cool $2 million for jewelry, ‘loans,’ nice house(s), and who knows what else– in short order, until the money disappeared and the gig was up.

    (Kym, you have been on a tear lately. Get some rest. On second thought… never mind, please keep reporting the news.)

  • What I find very interesting is that the Fortuna Police Chief felt that he has the power/knowledge to just decide in his office whether a crime is a crime or whether it should be reported to the DA based on the age of the criminal. Perhaps he was also factoring in the reality that he was a friend of the Reeves? Or perhaps that he is best friends with DA investigator Mike Losey, who is now a Fortuna City Councilmember??? Fortuna Police have a long history of keeping things quiet in order to perpetuate the “Friendly City” moniker.

  • This woman has been very much in the news lately. I’ve been reading about her since at least April. However, this is the best article that I’ve read.

  • Ernie, the only articles I’ve read about Delores Reeves were based on the initial press release and came out two months ago. There hasn’t even been a mention of the husband’s arrest nor any followup stories in any media that I can find. And I searched. If somehow I missed one please point it out to me.

    • You’re right about the husband. This is the first that I recall hearing of his involvement. There has been the rumor mill, and a few articles in the news that referred back to the original press release.

      But, you are absolutely right about getting any kind of information at all about criminal activity in Humboldt County. Mendocino is much more open, you can even view the booking reports and see the mugshots.

      • I love Mendocino’s Sheriff site. I credit Tom Allman with making that happen and I wish we had it here!

        • Allman is a pretty clever guy. When I asked Humboldt Sheriff Downey why he didn’t have a website like Mendocino, his reply was that there was no way possible in this economy that Humboldt could afford a website like that. When I asked Allman, he said that he has to be careful that the Mendocino web site doesn’t make too much money. He has various advertisers that sponsor the site. He also says that anyway that you try to Google Mendocino Sheriff, it will take you to his site. Try it you will get there.

          I still don’t get why Humboldt can’t do this.

          • Wow! Too much money? That is enterprising.

            • Ernie, checking out the MCSO site you suggested above, you’re right; it’s far superior informing the public compared to our own HCSO site. Thanks.

              For readers wondering what Ernie is referring to, you can fnd the MCSO link here and look around for yourself– under ‘Media Room’, ‘County’s Most Wanted,’ and ‘Missing Persons’ on the left sidebar.

      • I’m glad to know other people have the same reaction to the lack of an informative Humboldt County SO website. I just checked out the Mendocino County site and it’s amazing! I don’t see the benefit in keeping the general public in the dark about ongoing investigations or missing/wanted persons. Wondering if pressure on HCSO would do any good…?

  • It’s always the way. For a historical parallel…:

    I have always found only positive comments on Joseph Russ, the 1st one in Humboldt, that is–prominent citizen and “wealthiest man in Humboldt County” in the 1880s. He was a fine man in many ways. But never a word of questioning his being an “entrepreneur with a capital E.” Nothing that’s come down in local history books, at least; i haven’t checked the archives of local newspapers from 1886– they may possibly have said something about a huge scandal written up in the New York Times involving fraudulent land claims filed with the US Gov’t.

    Russ was one of 8 members of the California Redwood Co. accused of bribing (somewhat) innocent citizens to sign up for 160 acres of public land for a $50 reward; acquiring title to the lands ($10 million worth of timber in 1880s dollars) for $2.50 an acre; then selling it to a Scottish syndicate (CRC’s cronies) for $20 an acre. Until i stumbled upon these articles in a national paper while researching another topic, i had no idea Russ had been implicated (he died before the issue was resolved) in this huge swindle involving 96,000 acres of prime coastal redwoods forestland.

    Keep bowing before the royalty lest they look upon you with disfavor!

  • When this story broke in April the talk among her fellow real estate people in Fortuna and thereabouts was that Delores just “got behind in her bills,” , that it “all just got away from her” and that she “didn’t mean any harm.” It’s my feeling that there’s a sort of closing of ranks among these people, because they all used her services themselves as well as referred their clients to her. In person she’s amazingly soft-spoken and trustworthy-seeming.

    • First, she WAS a loan agent NOT a real estate agent! Second, those of us that are in the real estate profession who are ethical and honest had our doubts about Delores and stayed FAR FAR away!

      • I understand that she was not a real-estate agent. By “fellow real estate people” I was referring to her particular real estate business connections, which among other people included certain real estate agents. And I’m glad to know not everyone thought her trustworthy. All I, as someone on a long-term search for the perfect piece of property, ever heard was great stuff about her, and was given her card several times. And then there were the excuses when she was arrested. Again, in person she was very harmless-seeming.

        Sorry to have riled you up…

      • That is exactly why people are told not to yell “Fraud”. No one will come. Yell “FIRE” instead. The staying away can be good sometimes and sometimes it leads to quiet silent soul killing harm of others. When good folk mind their own business too much it allows bad folk to work their evil. It can be a tough call to make.

        • Agreed. Sometimes when good folk speak up and try to stop the evil, they end up being shunned. Fortuna definitely has a “shoot the messenger” type of mentality.

  • Excellent reporting, Kym!

    I hope your coverage leads to someone in the local press finally devoting some significant attention to this story. It’s simply stunning that a fraud involving the theft of over $2 million dollars could be just swept under the rug this way.

    Heck, if someone broke into a local bank vault and stole even 10% of that amount, that would be HUGE news. And the cops would have been out there looking to make an arrest immediately, not a month later!

    But it seems that in Fortuna, ripping off your friends and neighbors for millions of dollars is just passed off as no more than an embarassing little indiscretion that it would be impolite to even mention…at least as long as the perpetrator “was always such a nice lady” and was a longtime local who lunches with all the right people.

  • In person she’s amazingly soft-spoken and trustworthy-seeming.

    Successful swindlers always are…that’s a big part of why they’re so successful.

    • Exactly. The Reeves’ were involved in every organization they could think of in order to appear to be “good servants.” Rotary, Fortuna Business District, Church, etc. They volunteered and fundraised and earned the trust of many. But, they were not robbing from the rich and giving to the poor. They were robbing in order to live a life of luxury with extravagant homes and properties as well as jewelry. During the real estate boom it was a well known fact in Fortuna that if you wanted an easy loan, go to Delores Reeves. Many young families fell prey to her predatory mortgage practices. They got into unrealistic loans as she lined her pockets. I think there are many more involved in the Ponzi scheme and perhaps Delores is taking the fall. I cannot imagine that she was able to pull this whole scheme off without other professionals either aiding her or helping her by looking the other way. I am sure this story is way, way bigger than we can all imagine and that is why everyone in town is afraid of it.

  • Very good reporting Kym. Keep up the good work.

    I was listening on cable the other day to a discussion of how with the cutbacks at newspapers, reporting on local issues, especially investigative reporting, will suffer and how blogs and internet only outlets will not be able to make up this lack. This article/reporting totally negates this fear. Again, good work.

  • awesome job Kym 🙂 I like the length, it adds greatly to the context, much thanx for bringing this story into the light.

  • Just a few years ago one of the Fortuna Police dispatchers was caught siphoning thousands out of the Police Fund. I don’t recall that being in the paper, either. She was fired but I’m not sure if she faced any sort of legal consequence. I know of at least five other severe embezzlements that have taken place in Fortuna businesses and charity organizations. It keeps happening because the stories are not reported on and the culprits keep getting away with it. My personal opinion is that there are many more folks, most likely very prominent ones, who were swindled by Reeves and they are afraid to come forward.
    Thanks again for bringing this story to light.

  • It’s about time someone had the guts to research this and report on it. The Reeves’ deserve all they get, I never saw them as upstanding citizens, I always thought they put themselves out there for their own benefit, to make themselves look good and for the glory.
    Thank you Kym for the great report.

  • Quoting: It’s about time someone had the guts to research this and report on it. The Reeves’ deserve all they get, I never saw them as upstanding citizens, I always thought they put themselves out there for their own benefit, to make themselves look good and for the glory.
    Thank you Kym for the great report.”

    WOW! “put themselves out there for their own benefit, to make themselves look good and for the glory” – If that’s not what I just read in this post and comments… I had to put on my hip boots.

    “Answering allegations,” or even getting arrested doesn’t MAKE anyone guilty of anything, except here. I got half way through the post and began looking around to see who wrote that “fine piece of reporting.”

  • FortunaResident

    I think this article is great. I am tired of the people of Fortuna sticking up for Reeves. She made poor choices more than once, and needs to feel the ramifications of it! I have heard more numerous times that “she didn’t know what else to do to get out of her debt” I have debt too, but I’m definitely not going to steal money from elderly people…better yet..steal money PERIOD. I loved reading this article, and I hope that this woman, and any others that were affected by the Reeves’ get some of their money back

  • Fiance here:

    “What I’m trying to say but apparently didn’t make clear, is that most of us think of the business community and our neighbors as not the kind of people who commit crimes. So we ignore evidence to the contrary. We think meth addicts and trailer trash cause most of the havoc in the world. But we keep our mouths shut about crime and misbehavior by folk that are our friends–folks that look like us. We don’t want to cause waves.”

    This is just the kind of “Humboldt mentality” that we have been dealing with…..no one wants to admit that what happened to us is wrong, they don’t want to admit that they falsified documentation and lied to help HK’s wife steal his kid.

    “I do find it sad that Ms. Reeves had over a month to scrub her accounts, computers, and files. No one is going to give a pot grower a month to clear their garden before they come by and check it out. I hope that this doesn’t result in so much lost evidence that the DA is unable to prosecute.”

    Pot growers in general may not get a month but the chosen few get way more than that. Your judges, sheriff’s and CWS workes, mediators and DA’s office have no compunction in violating not only state but federal laws to protect them and cover for their illegal activity.

    I have lived it first hand for 5 years and have over 1000 pages of court documents to prove it. I have proof positive that even the court appointed therapist lied to the court to cover the “growers” violations of court orders and that she has done more damage to the childs psyche than good yet you all turn a blind eye. You think my step-daughter is doing fine and is better off without her father. You fail to acknowledge that her mother is abusive although more that one person has admitted to me that they know she is. You refuse to admit that she forces the child to lie for her using what ever means necessary.

    Because I know your court system and law enforcement so well I don’t see this poor woman or any of the others every getting any kind of justice in your community. I have seen too many time how your papers will slant thier stories in favor of the criminal because they are “well liked” in the community or should I say “well connected.”

    Kym, this is a very well written article and I myself wondered when I read a couple of blurbs about it why there was never anything else. When I say “you” in my comment, I don’t mean you personally, I mean “you” as a community. It makes me glad that my original opinion of you is what I thought it was. You do try to do your best to be fair and honest in what you report. You do try to do whats right in a world that does not.

  • I had only heard about this by word of mouth today.Thank you for writing this

  • Kym,
    Good job on a complicated topic. Huge problem in places like Fortuna where the local government, like the police, are way too familiar with local business persons. Like Chief Kitna and his staff. The other problem, which is also a mitigating factor in this instance I believe, is that a very complex financial or “white collar” crime is basically way out of the area of expertise for a podunk PD like Fortuna. Can you imagine the look on the poor high-school graduate 24 yr old cop’s face at the front counter when this nice lady wants to make that report? Sad, but true. They should have given her some tea, let her sit down, and call Pauly Gags for a forensic accountant to assist. The cops job is to investigate, whether it’s a “respected businessperson” or not.

  • Help me to understand why any of us should shop in or in any way support a community that covers up this kind of criminal behavior? I won’t be going anywhere near “The Friendly City” until it comes clean. The Reeves’ should be required to pay back every penny of what they stole and then do some serious prison time.

    Great job, Kym, dragging this ugly stuff out from under the rock where the powers that be down there would like to keep it.

  • I’m surprised the Feds are not involved in this. With the amount of money involved as well as it being loans and other financials and identity theft, it seems to me that perhaps the IRS would be a little interested, too. I wonder what happened today in court?

  • Hi There , My Name Is Greg Rumney and i own the Old Photo Guy , And i’m one , if not the Veteran the was Screwed by Delores and Glenn . I didnt know anything until i tried to get re-financed and was told to sit down…..You’re not going to believe this and was told about the twisted tale she weaved into our loan. I’m a 70% disabled Veteran and always wanted to get a V.A loan but was told by Delores that due to being self employed etc etc… that it would be near impossible to get. And was told by the new Loan agent that she put us in this shitty loan not because we were not qualified but because SHE would get a kick back from this lender. Now NO ONE will touch this loan with a 10 foot pole. There is so much more to this story that i dont have the time or energy to say here; and we use to think she was a friend and is so disheartening , to think that the folks of FRIENDLY Fortuna are afraid of stepping on some toes , they ought to come talk to me!! Sincerely Greg & Penny Rumney

    • Thank you for your comment and telling us what happened to you, Mr. and Mrs. Rumney. This is disheartening– and doesn’t go unnoticed. Please take care. We wish you the best.

    • well, do you think you are the only person in a bad loan. If you want to blame one particular person go ahead. but do yourself a favor and realize bad loans happened ALL OVER THE COUNTRY. THAT IS WHY THE COUNTRY HAS SO MANY DEBT PROBLEMS! they were once alright prior to property values dropping like hot rocks.

      • Being tricked into making a loan based on being given fraudulent information is wrong. If you are told that you aren’t eligible for a loan that what save you money just because the loan officer wants to make a profit off of higher fees then that loan officer is stealing from you. This is not bad luck! This is criminal.

  • Mr. Rumney, Thank you for having the courage to tell your story. You are a brave man! I hope that others will be inspired by your strength and courage and come forward with their stories. The only way to stop something like this from ever happening again is to make sure that the Reeves suffer the consequences they so justly deserve.

  • charlie two crows

    Kym, great reporting. Business friend from fortuna called me today and said he new someone that invested sixty thousand as investment with a guaranteed return from Ms Reeves. Does anyone know if Ms reeves has an Investment Brokers license? Kym, How come the FBI aren’t involved?

  • “Delores Reeves was working at Humboldt Bank…I needed a loan and she handled my loan…then she decided to go out on her own.”

    She was fired from Humboldt Bank after informing a client that due to her husband’s unpaid child support, they were not able to re-finance their home. Realizing her mistake, Reeves said, “Oh I’m sorry. I was looking at your husband’s brother’s information, not yours”. The client went home and called her mother-in-law and asked what does this mean?” and the dirty little family secret was no more.
    Reeves was fired after the client’s father-in-law called Humboldt Bank’s president. Within three hours since making the mistake of telling her client incorrect information, Reeves was no longer an employee of Humboldt Bank!

  • The Big Picture

    There’s no good ol’ boy network, this isn’t an example, or the papers would have covered it front page.

    Ha Ha Ha

  • She also screwed Shannon Miranda of Miranda’s Animal Resuce when he obtained
    the place he lives now. He told me this himself a couple of months ago when all this
    came up.

  • Pingback: Alleged Victim of Ponzi $cheme Also Alleging Fraud by Others Affliated with the Reeves « REDHEADED BLACKBELT

  • “Martin Glenn Reeves pleaded not guilty Monday to charges of felony theft, identity theft and elder abuse in connection with an alleged Ponzi scheme run by his wife out of her mortgage office. Delores Reeves appeared before Judge Timothy Cissna Monday for an intervention hearing, but it was delayed until July 6 so she could appear alongside her husband. She was arrested in April and is also charged with felony theft, identity theft and elder abuse. “

    More of the story is covered in Jessica Cejnar’s Times-Standard article today:

    ‘Woman Files Lawsuit Against Fortuna Couple Over Alleged Ponzi Scheme’

  • The writer of this article is trying to say that the papers in the area (Times-Standard and Humboldt Beacon) did nothing about this story. Not true. Both papers had articles out shortly after Reeves was arrested. No follow up stories were written until this week because the legal system was researching the case. Had the media continued writing stories about the case, the information would have contained a lot of conjecture, and could have served to prejudice the case against potential jurors, should it go to trial. The writer suggests that this website is more on top of what’s going on than the daily paper – that attitude reveals an ignorance of local news reporting and legal procedure. In characterizing the people of Fortuna as being afraid to discuss the case, I don’t think that’s true, and I don’t think many cling to the “beautiful little town” image. Spend an afternoon on South Fortuna Broadway and that thought will soon melt. One has to understand the difference between Internet blogging and newspaper reporting. The legal system holds newspapers to a higher level of responsibility because anything printed has to be verified. Bloggers comments and blogger reportage is hopefully accurate, but there’s less of a guarantee it’s true. I could sound very convincing here and say that Reeves stole $90,000 from me, and you would readily believe it, but why should you? On the other hand, if I was quoted saying that in a newspaper, I would have to furnish proof. On interviewing Erin Dunn of the Fortuna Chamber: clearly you don’t understand how Chambers of Commerce function. The writer assumes because one person (Dunn) felt uneasy about talking about the subject, the whole town must be that way.

    • Delmar,
      If you read the comments following this story, you might notice that I link to the Times Standard and Humboldt Beacon articles (in fact, I link to the Beacon piece in my post.) I then pointed out that unlike the Humboldt Creamery story where multiple followup articles came out, there was none done on this story. As I pointed out above in the comments, many news stories have followups without worries about prejudicing juries–some I named included the Klamath murders and the Skilled Healthcare stories.

      Bloggers have consistently been held to the same standard as newspapers as far as truth and have to fight for their rights to protect their sources even more than traditional journalists. I checked my information as far as possible and, I checked it to what I believe is journalistic standards. What a commenter says on a blog is not the same as what the blogger herself says. I must be careful in what and how I say it. I did not say, believe or imply that Dunn represented all of Fortuna. (If so, they must be lovely, concerned citizens. I found her very kind and helpful.) In fact, I specifically say “Unlike Dunn, most people approached don’t want to even talk let alone be quoted. It’s as if by not talking about the crime, it will disappear.” I interviewed several people. Dunn is one of the few who would allow me to quote her.

      I think you have misread my intent. My intent was not to blast Fortuna which I find a beautiful little town but to blast the very human tendency to not want to believe that people like us do bad things. I’ll refer you to my comment earlier here–June 26th, 2011 at 22:23 for more if you are interested.

  • Fine reporting Kym…well written

  • O.k. article. Nice that you didn’t resort to using Polly’s name, but she wasn’t very smart either. I’m putting a name to the face to humanize this whole thing. I agree with Delmar somewhat on Dunn. Chamber of Commerce folk avoid intrigue at all cost. They’re about putting happy faces on everything – you should know that. Contact realtors, bankers instead. Delores has a sister at US Bank in Fortuna. Why didn’t you talk to her? You seem to want to characterize Fortuna as being this or that way, based on some random talks with folks there. That’s not necessary to include since you already had contact with Polly. There’s nothing special or unique in Fortuna proper, although some of the outlining areas toward Hydesville are rather nice. This could have happened anywhere and people will react about the same, no matter where it happens. The unbelief comes from the outward appearance they created of wealth, success and wholesomeness, but where stabbing their friends in the back all along. They sicken me.

    • Jack, I interviewed (or tried to interview) a variety of business folk in Fortuna some in the very businesses you mention. They either didn’t want to talk or didn’t want to be quoted. I did try to call the Reeves directly but the number I had was disconnected. I didn’t know about her sister though I would have hesitated to call her. There are always more people one could have called. More information that could be gathered. But I don’t get paid. My other work as a teacher still needs to be done. My husband wants clean socks and my littlest son feels blue if I don’t read him a story every night. I do the best I can while writing my blog for free. If you want to pay me however….

      You are right that the unbelief comes from the Reeves apparent success and wholesomeness. That indeed is what I was hoping to point out.

  • I think the writer is making a lot of dumb assumptions. First, one of the main reasons why people don’t want to talk is because the average person isn’t that knowledgeable about the facts, and the facts couldn’t be knowable until the investigation was completed. Also, no one but the cops had access to these facts, and even they needed time to sift through a large body of evidence to reach a conclusion on a complex case. Folks that didn’t want to talk didn’t have the facts and knew they’d look stupid rambling on about something they couldn’t understand. Someone here called this bit investigative reporting. It is not. It’s a blog that’s riddled with assumptions and the reporter needs to learn some basics of reporting.

    • I am forced to agree with you frand d. for you are absolutely correct. As a fair person, you must know the facts prior to finger pointing. The opening article initially sounded to me like a manager triing to book a client for a pantene comercial. Or for senior vitamins.

  • Seems to me this case should of gone to the Feds in the beginning for an indictment for Mortgage Fraud, then the Feds would have arrived with warrants for arrest and search and seizure, by going to the local police it went right into the ” Good Ol’ Boys” system of local treatment based on who the person knows obviously. Many times the yocals have no-one trained in areas of forensic evidence gathering, and electronic record searches. The Police Chief, if what he did and said is true, should be placed on leave pending his termination. This is very shameful to mistreat elderly retirees and veterans and these people should be facing some serious time in lock-up.

  • The Reeves also own Kozy Korner gifts in Fortuna. The manager of the place lives in the big house in the picture above for free while the house is in foreclosure.

    A little story about Kozy Korner is that Glenn told the Downtown Fortuna Business group that it would be a nice gesture if they helped small business get started in the downtown area by paying the monthly rent for awhile and helped out with fees. So they actually duped the association into paying for their own business.

    And as stated earlier all the legit loan officers left Delores Reeves service years ago.

    • Before the Kozy Korner gal moved into the home pictured above, Delores and Glenn had a really good scam going where they moved in seventeen adult males from their “church school” and were using the place as a boarding house with no permits etc. Imagine this, moving seventeen men in a program that was definitely a half-way house, into a single family neighborhood all because you wanted to “save” your house. Absolutely no regard for the other families or homes in the neighborhood. Then, when neighbors complained to the city because of the traffic, as well as the men loitering around the neighborhood, the Reeves had the audacity to write the neighborhood a scathing letter, denouncing them for not being welcoming to the nice church men etc. The letter is truly unbelievable. This is the sense of entitlement the Reeves have and it makes me sick.

      • Would love to see a copy of that letter. I know Glenn used to have his brother who worked for the CCC clean and mow his property up there. I wonder how much he paid the state for that service or if he did at all.

  • Mnay of these scammers target friends and it even is seen they were involved in their local church and were involved in numerous other scams and zoning violations, this mortgage fraud case will be the tip of the iceburg from the looks of it. As long as thier lifestyle was maintained, they could care less who was victimized it seems.
    Reminds me of an old saying, something about “the louder he spoke of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons.” Here we have people who used every tool of community involvement and joining every group they could and probably sang in the church choir all the while spinning their wicked webs of deceit.

  • “the louder he spoke of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons.” — great wisdom!

  • Fiance here:
    Suzy,

    I always do, especially when dealing with certain people in SoHum.

    Great advice.

    • suzy blah blah

      -certain people yes.

      And they are not isolated, in groups the energy goes up exponentially.
      So especially beware the group who preaches love/peace,
      because when you point out their hypocrisy –they’ll hate you.
      And they are very good at hating.

      peace everybody, love heals all,
      s

  • Good work bringing this to the public’s attention.
    It should be on the front page of the T/S or the cover of the NCJ. These are the stories that help alert a vulnerable group of people that there are a few less than genuis individuals that if given a chance to earn you trust, will take everything they can.
    There are many cases of telephone fraud that has bilked local seniors out of there life savings, yet it goes unreported, and even worse, uninvestigated. Calls to Congressmen Thompsons office and to the DA’s office inform that the problem is so rampant and difficult to stop, that nothing can be done.
    A ponzi scheme by Capital Consultants in 2001 causing millions in pension losses went virtually unreported except for a dedicated reporter from the “Orgonian”.
    Thanks for bringing this to light, and please continue your freelancing. Perhaps our community would be better served if you started a new career in journalism.

  • Sorry for the typos of the above post, For some reason I could not backspace to proof read it. Normally I am not that careless.

    • You did fine. Don’t worry.

      I would love to have more time to write real stories but my family gets annoyed when I spend hours on the phone, working at the computer or gone on interviews.

  • “” “” “”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *