Hot Links: Bank Card Empire, Biodiesel, and Dennis Numkena

Investigators raided several locations of local business Bank Card Empire, a work-from-home company that's been investigated for fraud allegations for the past year. According to police, Bank Card Empire scammed people by requiring them to pay thousands of dollars up-front to open a home-based telemarketing business. Some people have reportedly lost up to $50,000 in the alleged scheme... A man making biodiesel fuel in his Buckeye home on Tuesday accidentally set the fuel on fire, burning the upper parts of his body and damaging his house. The fire started about 3 p.m. near 299th Avenue and Thomas Road, and firefighters took the man to the hospital. He's currently in stable condition, with non-life-threatening injuries...A Phoenix man was arrested in a phone-fraud scheme in which almost $8,000 was stolen from an elderly Colorado woman. Sullivan Kizzee, 44, reportedly called the 86-year-old woman April 1. He told her he was a Chase Bank employee,  that the bank had set up a 9/11 memorial fund, and was sending money to citizens. He instructed her to send $8,000 to an address in Phoenix, and told her the bank would deposit $800,000 in her account. Kizzee was arrested and charged with forgery and fraudulent schemes after the woman's daughter learned of the attempted con and called police...

Dennis Numkena, a well-known Native-American architect and Valley artist, died after he was struck by a car near 7th Street and Portland this past weekend. Police say his death was accident. There will be a private funeral service for Numkena in his home village on the Hopi Indian Reservation...Glendale police and SWAT teams are looking for a suspect in a shooting Tuesday night at an apartment complex. The suspect reportedly shot a man in the upper torso, and the victim was taken to John C. Lincoln hospital. He's expected to be okay, but it is unclear at this time if police caught the suspect...Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman says he's not taking a position of Proposition 401, which would raise Tempe's sale tax to offset budget cuts. The proposition calls for a hike from 1.8 percent to 2 percent for four years, and Hallman wouldn't say how he will vote on the May 18 measure.

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Niki D'Andrea has covered subjects including drug culture, women's basketball, pirate radio stations, Scottsdale staycations, and fine wine. She has worked at both New Times and Phoenix Magazine, and is now a freelancer.
Contact: Niki D'Andrea