This case reads like it could be a sequel to the classic film, The Sting, where a young con man teams up with a master of the big con to secure a fortune.
By Doug Parris
Okanogan County, WA - On June 19, 2015, Okanogan Sheriff Frank Rogers held a press conference to announce he had detained “squatters” who, after being confronted by the owner of a property in Tonasket, Washington, had intentionally run over a woman twice. That tale went viral in the drive-by media incriminating James Faire and Angela Nobilis as a public relations exercise; in Okanogan, all over Washington, in newspapers and TV, and nationally via the Southern Poverty Law Center.
And for 24 hours or so that story was believable for people ignorant of basic facts in the case — people like Sheriff Rogers. But, as evidence previously exposed here in the US~ Observer proves, there were no “squatters,” no one had been confronted by the property owner, and no one was run over twice.
Prosecutor Karl Sloan
But Sheriff Rogers erred, not only because the evidence from which he worked had already been bungled and distorted by the Okanogan County Prosecutor’s brother, Kreg Sloan, but also because the actual events were intimately tied to a back story of financial fraud and collusion the detectives did not know and never bothered to investigate even as prosecutor Karl Sloan’s narrative crumbled. The “Tale” seemed to make sense, but every bit of it had been spun by a professional con artist. Her sting, in this case, ended up accidentally killing herself.
Nevertheless, meticulous investigative reporting quickly uncovered the facts of a sloppy (and corrupt) police investigation that missed or distorted (and Prosecutor Sloan has covered up) the truth. Just this week blockbuster evidence surfaced further exposing the back-story of the scam.
Pawns in and perpetrators of Debra Long’s scam
Top: George Abrantes, Richard Finegold
Bottom: Michael St. Pierre, Ruth Brooks
In order to understand the events at 36 Sourdough Road East on June 18, you need to understand that Sheriff Rogers’ (and the Sloan brothers’) “Tale,” was drawn from a professionally concocted “Sting” staged with live actors by con artist Debra Lynn Long, AKA Stuart, AKA Emery, AKA James, and her partner.
No, Long did not work alone and the scam is ongoing. Although, while alive she was still married to Mr. Long, Debra was quietly “engaged” to her partner, Michael Fritch with whom she lived, in luxury accommodations, at 7665 Swampy Lane in Loomis, California. Between August 2014, when friends found a Sheriff’s Sale notice on Michele St. Pierre’s door, and June 18, 2105 when Debra lost her life, she and Fritch, by carefully spun deceptions, subordinated and used the four other players, George Abrantes, Michael St. Pierre, Ruth Brooks, and Richard Finegold to accomplish her purposes and secure complete control of everything Michele had. The violence at Sourdough Road that killed Debra is incomprehensible without the Setup to that Sting.
Debra and Michael Fritch, together, did a “land office” business in the wake of the U.S. foreclosure crisis of 2007–2008. They offered salvation to people who were losing their homes to bank foreclosures. The 2009 Quarter Three Publication of the Mortgage Bankers Association reported that by September of that year, 14.4% of all U.S. mortgages were either delinquent or in foreclosure. Among other things, there was an epidemic of fraudulent foreclosures by banks in financial trouble. According to Dan Santon of SeaTac Washington (whose home Debra sometimes used as a mailing address), Debra claimed she had saved “thousands” of people from foreclosure.
We found otherwise.
Banks and Fraud
We interviewed one person who faced fraudulent foreclosure tactics and found Michael Fritch, who offered “strategies” and eventually introduced him to Debra. This person ended up gradually paying out more than $25,000 to Fritch, Long, and their associates at Fritch and Long’s instruction. At their instruction, this homeowner followed complex, time-consuming and legally ineffectual procedures, including putting the property in a “trust” and eventually lost title to the home even though he could absolutely prove foreclosure fraud.
The plain fact of the matter is that putting your property “in trust” may successfully give away your control of it, but simply cannot protect it from a foreclosure already under way.
It is ironic that her scams ended up killing her, because Debra had perfected a “witchcraft” that both destroyed her victims, and controlled her accomplices with poisonous lies. Why would four people falsely accuse James and Angela of theft?… of “squatting”? Why would anyone swing a weighted chain, help surround their truck, or violently attack them? Debra’s lies, in this case about James and Angela, got people to do things that in other circumstances might seem unbelievable.
THE SET UP
Some of the final pieces of evidence of what Debra and Michael were doing just fell into place.
Michele St. Pierre
We said it in “The Conspiracy to Frame James Faire ~ The Power of ‘Trust’” (US~Observer vol. 2, ed. 35): “… dying people… can frequently be induced to give away all they have…” No one knew this better than con artist Debra Long. Before her death, but after cancer and drug use had made her incompetent to do so, persuaded by Debra that she was protecting those assets, Michele St. Pierre, gave control of all her real estate to Debra’s partner, Michael Fritch. Then — on the day Michele actually passed away, just before Debra led her “James gang” members to Tonasket to frame James Faire for theft and trespass, Debra told them — curiously — to keep Michele’s death secret.
We know why. We have the smoking gun.
You see, after Michele passed on, the executor of Michele’s estate inevitably became required, by law, to determine Michele’s interest in those real property assets she had put in publicly recorded trusts and had claimed as having income. As a matter of statutory duty, Michele’s executor petitioned the Snohomish County Superior Court to open the private trust contracts to public examination.
This forced Debra’s partner, Michael Fritch out of the shadows.
When he was served with the petition to expose the trusts to light, Fritch recognized the whole sting was threatened by the loss of his secrecy. He panicked and began to respond irrationally. In a letter obtained by the US~Observer, Michael Fritch, makes wild threats to intimidate the executor to withdraw the motion to open the trusts and discloses documents that he would have been better advised to keep secret.
Who is this Michael Fritch and why would he be driven to such panic?
Another Trust Scam?
There seems to be little doubt that Michael Fritch and four alleged confederates were charged with some Federal crimes circa 2001, before he met Debra Long. Fritch admits as much. But that is where his story conflicts with court records. Fritch claims that he was charged with refusing to be a “tax collector” for IRS employee withholding and that he was the only one who got off because (in his own explanation) he was the only one who stood his ground on the legality of his actions.
Court records tell a different story. The U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California criminal docket for case number: 2:97-mj-00173-JFM says that Fritch and four others were charged with conspiriacy, mail fraud and equity skimming in a real estate case, where the defendants were alleged “to have promised eleven home owners facing mortgage difficulties that they could stop foreclosures by transferring their homes to trusts set up by the defendants” and that the homeowners lost the money they paid the defendants, lost their homes and ruined their credit ratings.
Apparently to avoid a similar indictment, Fritch made serious sounding threats. But the first thing Fritch’s threatening letter did was inadvertently disclose the reason Debra told her “James gang” members to keep Michele’s death secret.
On April 13 Michele (also after cancer and drugs had made her incompetent to do so) executed a “General and Durable Power of Attorney” (P.O.A.) document explicitly giving every power conceivable to Debra Long. This is the “holy grail” of con artists. Our initial investigation uncovered that this P.O.A. had been recorded, but Snohomish County’s website blocked opening it and said, “You do not have permission to view this document.” Thanks to Michael Fritch we now have that document. We know Michele was not in her right mind, but NO ONE, in their right mind would have signed such a document.
In direct contradiction of standard P.O.A. language, the P.O.A. Debra wrote explicitly relieves her of any fiduciary responsibility and ALL accountability. With it, Debra could sign any document as if she were Michele, but for her own benefit, not Michele’s. She could give away Michele’s personal property to anyone as she saw fit. She had everything. Michele’s fine art paintings (now missing) or her precious metals (also missing) could be given away or sold as Debra designated — her cash, her accounts, etc. Debra controlled everything.
There was just one problem.
As with all Power of Attorney documents, the powers expired on Michele’s death. When, at Debra’s direction, on the day of her death, the James gang went through Michele’s belongings, dividing them up; moreover, when, on June 17 at Debra’s direction they stole Michele’s SUV and illegally took from her possessions and traveled to Tonasket, Debra could show a legal authority to do so — unless it became known that Michele was dead. And any of Michele’s property that Debra wanted to sell or seize was fair game until the news got out that Michele was dead.
Her death was kept secret to facilitate fraud.
But there’s more.
THE SHUT OUT
In his attempt to intimidate the executor and shut out judicial review of the trusts, Fritch, amid a fountain of errors of grammar and diction, emits a cascading rainbow of falsehoods about the executor and exposes damaging truths about his own actions.
In one fell swoop, Fritch’s letter seems to accidentally address several questions with a single answer.
For what purpose did someone from out of state, who did not know Michele, who had indeed met her only briefly, decide to become the trustee to whom Michele GAVE control of all of her real property?
What did he stand to gain?
What interest does Michael Fritch have controlling (and hiding) the bulk of Michele St. Pierre’s estate?
In short, what was in it for Fritch to be the trustee?
The letter says that exposing the trusts “…will cause me a personal financial damage of one million ($1,000,000.00) United States Silver dollars…” So Fritch admits a personal interest in the trusts he received from Debra totaling a million dollars. This is over and above the $25,000 in GOLD he got from a California rare coin dealer using an illegal Deed of Trust document previously reported in the US~Observer.
Prosecutor Karl Sloan and Michael Fritch Tied at the Hip?
What’s even more interesting is that he purports to speak for Okanogan Prosecutor Karl Sloan, joining him in the Big Con Prosecutions, threatening to add the executor to Sloan’s list of innocent prosecutorial victims. The letter repeatedly asserts James Faire’s guilt of the false murder charges and makes railing accusations to the executor “… my fiancé has been murdered by individuals that you introduced to her…”. It says (to the executor) “…it was you who introduced Debra to FAIRE,” suggests that “it was you… who sent those murderers out there to squat on the land and slay my fiancé” and absolutely guarantees the executor will “become a party of interest in the murder trial…” unless the motion to open the trusts is withdrawn.
Then Fritch suggests a litany of false accusations that could be added, Sloan-like, to a prosecution.
He accuses the executor of “filing a counterfeit security in a public repository,” criminal extortion, violations of both federal mail/wire fraud statues and the federal Real I.D. Act, slander, libel and “other high crimes and misdemeanors,” and clearly states that the executor may go to prison, along with James Faire… unless the motion to open the trusts is withdrawn.
Just what is the connection between Prosecutor Sloan and the only one of five confederates who apparently walked free from a US District attorney trust fraud investigation? We find no evidence that Michael Fritch was exonerated. Did he cut a deal? Did he do so by becoming a Federal informant and incriminating his alleged confederates?
Do you get the idea that Fritch doesn’t want to reveal what is in those trusts?
And that makes a lot of sense. They were fraudulently drawn and foisted on a weakened Michele St. Pierre by known manipulative misrepresentations put forward by the “love of his life,” his partner in crime, Mrs. Debra Lynn (nee Stuart) Emery James Long.
These are Karl Sloan’s prosecutorial allies, the admittedly suicidal thug George Abrantes and the conman Michael Fritch.
And it is an innocent James Faire that sits in jail.
Eventually, the severe abuse being committed by Okanogan County Prosecutor Karl Sloan is going to destroy his reputation with his constituents. Then, Okanogan County will clean house and it will destroy his career, too.
Editor’s Note: Anyone with information about this case, Prosecutor Karl Sloan, Detective Kreg Sloan, George Abrantes, Ruth Brooks, Michael St. Pierre, Richard Finegold, Debra Long or Michael Fritch is urged to contact Edward Snook at 541-474-7885 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We also need pictures of all of the above-mentioned people.
This is a continuing investigation. Previous articles include: