DETROIT (WXYZ) - The former head of Homicide for the Detroit Police Department faced a judge today – but this time he was in the defendant’s chair.
Bill Rice used to spend his days putting the bad guys behind bars. Now he’s facing a possible prison sentence if he’s convicted of these fraud and drug charges.
Rice and his girlfriend Cheryl Sanford are facing 16 felony counts, including mortgage fraud, running a criminal enterprise, and possession of drugs with intent to deliver.
They are both also accused of giving false information to get federal funds for mortgages.
Rice and Sanford’s attorneys battled it out with prosecutors during their preliminary hearing at 36th District court today, to determine if the case should go to trial.
Today’s questioning focused on the mortgage fraud allegations.
A witness from the Wayne County register of deeds mortgage fraud task force testified. A notary public also testified, saying she illegally back-dated a Deed as a favor to William Rice.
“I did it as a favor to William,” said Julia Ross.
“But no one asked you to do it,” asked Rice’s defense attorney, Tiffany McEvans.
“No,” said Ross.
“Were you aware, as a notary public, that it was illegal,” asked McEvans.
“Yes,” said Ross.
“And you did it anyway,” asked McEvans.
“As a favor, yes,” said Ross.
That notary public also testified that after federal agents contacted her, she told Rice that she wanted to do an addendum to the deed to change the dates back to what they should have been – but she said Rice told her not to because he had already been interviewed, and that would have meant perjury.
The notary public was given immunity to testify, and Rice is now also charged with lying under oath.
The preliminary hearing continues on Wednesday.
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