Nasty notary's plea comes as surprise after deed stealing scheme with ex-lawyer

Cordia Pennington is now a convicted felon after a plea stemming from a deed scheme she is accused of running with a lawyer.

Before Judge Wanda Evans, Cordia entered no-contest pleas to two counts of forgery and two counts of notary public violations involving real property. This was supposed to be the start of a jury trial with both Jack B. Wolfe and Cordia Pennington as defendants.

Prosecutors says they ran a scheme to steal two houses from Donna Alford by forging quit claim deeds to homes she'd inherited from family members.

"Jack is still playing games," Donna said.

Rob Wolchek introduced Donna to you two years ago in a Problem Solvers investigation. Donna was left a Detroit house from her father George Booth when he died in 2015.  But as they worked to renovate and sell the house, Donna found out she no longer owned it. A quit claim deed had been filed in 2017 to a company set up by someone named Jack B. Wolfe.  The deed was notarized by Cordia Pennington.

"The deed had been changed, and they said my dad signed the deed," Donna said.

But that was impossible since George Booth died two years before the deed had been signed and notarized. Another inherited home was quitclaimed to another company set up by Jack Wolfe as well, this one supposedly signed by Donna herself.

"That's not my signature and I did not sign it," Donna said.

Donna says she never even heard of Jack Wolfe nor Cordia Pennington.  So, Wolchek tracked them down and confronted them both.

"They told me not to say anything," Cordia said.

Cordia claimed she was scared and admitted she didn't remember meeting George Booth nor Donna, but…

Wolchek: "That's your notary stamp right and that's your signature?"

Cordia: "Yes."

Jack Wolfe denied he was part of a scheme to steal the houses.

Wolchek: "So you're just an innocent party here?"

Wolfe: "I didn't say that."

Cordia's no-contest pleas came as a surprise as the jury trial was set to begin. Cordia's sentencing is now in July.

"She hadn't seen my father. My father was dead two, three years before she said he signed in front of her," Donna said.

Jack Wolfe and his attorney asked for more time to prepare with Cordia Pennington's four-count conviction. He's facing multiple felony counts for counterfeiting documents to affect property and uttering and publishing.

Immediately after facing the judge Jack marched over to Wolchek and said, "Rob, this will not end well for you." Whether that was a threat or not, I'm not sure.

"He's a scumbum, strictly scumbum," Donna said.

Wolfe is out on bond after entering a not-guilty plea, but Donna says his guilt is a no-brainer.

"He thinks he can get away with it. He thinks he's Teflon. And I guess he thinks it's going to roll off.  But it's not," Donna said.

Now both the prosecution and defense are anticipating Cordia Pennington testifying, and because of that, the trial of the people versus Jack B. Wolfe has been adjourned until February 2024.