County Land Bank Problems Complaints Scams Waste Federal Funding Political Cronyism Scandal Fraud Corruption

Submitted by Gone Fishin on Sat, 04/27/2013 - 20:23.

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“Taxpayers are getting the short end of the stick when the county is supporting a new bureaucracy that engages in property speculation, cronyism and questionable legal practices.”
 
 

 

“In part because of the Land Bank’s purchase of these properties, county government is again looking at shortfalls and considering raising taxes,” said Steinport.
 

 

 

 

Land Banks are popping up in several different counties and complaints are sure to follow.

Numerous counties that once pimped the land bank have now figured out the cold hard truth.  Land Banks - which are basically political patronage jobs - are  money pits robbing counties of property taxes.

It is not wise to allow the government to pick and choose which connected person gets to purchase certain property. Cuyahoga County is now a communist county.

It is not wise to give the government more control over anything.

It is also not wise for HUD to continue pulling property from the free market and handing the property over to land banks- so the land banks can give property to out-of-state flippers.

 

 

The land bank property generates NO PROPERTY TAXES , while cash strapped and desperate counties begin selling out more long time homeowners to property tax lien predators to make up for the extensive loss of property taxes.

Folks that owe petty amounts of delinquent property taxes are going to get hit hard when they are sold out to predatory tax collectors to make up for the loss of tax revenue.  The sell out to tax lien predators will add fuel to the foreclosure crisis - as history has already proven.

 

Once the tax lien predators obtain the deed to hundreds of properties via tax lien foreclosures, the predators themselves DO NOT PAY PROPERTY TAXES on property they obtained from others for not paying property taxes.

 Numerous properties that were taken from decades long property owners for petty amounts of delinquent property taxes were 'donated'  to the county land bank by the predatory tax lien thieves- again generating NO PROPERTY TAXES.

  

Plymouth Park Tax Services , a delinquent property tax lien purchaser and one of the biggest thieves in town from 2004-2008 prior to criminal convictions for steering public bids, 'donated' several properties to the county land bank.   
 
Cuyahoga County officials , the exact same officials in charge of the county land bank, kicked the following long term property owners to the curb - sold them out to predatory tax collectors.  The following property was mostly owned for decades - some as far back as county fiscal records go 1975.  
 
The property owners lost their property via delinquent property tax foreclosures and Plymouth Park Tax Services failed to pay their OWN property taxes after transferring the deeds. 
 
Plymouth Park Tax Services donated all of the following property to the county land bank after they were busted for their criminal activity.  The property is in control of the county land bank - generating NO PROPERTY TAXES- and NO PROPERTY TAXES have been paid for years after foreclosing on property owners for delinquent property taxes.
 
And county officials are scratching their empty heads trying to figure out why there is a mass population loss in Cuyahoga County.
 
What sense does this make?
 
 Plymouth Park Tax Services donation to the county's land bank:
 
1.   3617 East 144 - prior to losing this property via delinquent property tax foreclosure, the property was owned by the previous owner since 1988
2.   1817 Denison -  prior to losing this property via delinquent property tax foreclosure, the property was owned by the previous owner since 2001
3.    3618 East 142 - prior to losing this property via delinquent property tax foreclosure, the property was owned by the previous owner since 2004
4.    13207 Bellaire - prior to losing this property via delinquent property tax foreclosure, the property was owned by the previous owner since at least 1975
5.    13721 North Drive - prior to losing this property via delinquent property tax foreclosure, the property was owned by the previous owner since 1989
6.    13718 North Drive - prior to losing this property via delinquent property tax foreclosure, the property was owned by the previous owner since at least 1975
7.    1652 Mitchell - prior to losing this property via delinquent property tax foreclosure, the property was owned by the previous owner since at least 1975
8.    1654 Delmont - prior to losing this property via delinquent property tax foreclosure, the property was owned by the previous owner since at least 1975
9.    Lot on E Antisdale & Revere - prior to losing this property via delinquent property tax foreclosure, the property was owned by the previous owner since 1989
10.    Lot on West 30 - prior to losing this property via delinquent property tax foreclosure, the property was owned by the previous owner since 1987
11.     Lot on Ingleside Road - prior to losing this property via delinquent property tax foreclosure, the property was owned by the previous owner since 1989

 

  

Land Banks are  money pits.  On top of the six figure salaries, there are also grass cutting fees, board-up fees, contractor fees, lost property taxes, winterization, safeguarding, and many other cost associated with each property for as long as the county land bank decides to hoard the property.

Millions and Millions of dollars are wasted in several counties and collectively the tab is over ONE BILLION DOLLARS.  Obama will need  to go back to the money printing machine if this trend continues.

Many of the land banks do not operate ethically and/or with common sense.

The land bank in Cuyahoga County is in full scam mode with a hypocrite con artist as it's president.   The county land bank president, Gus Frangos, hides property under the guise of numerous LLC's, fails to pay property taxes, fails to pay his mortgage, lost property via delinquent property tax foreclosure, and owns several dump properties that look like they are in a war zone.   The con artist's six figure salary is paid by the collection of delinquent property taxes.  And believe it or not, this same damn hypocrite wrote and passed legislation to target others for delinquent property taxes and worked to speed up the foreclosure process.

 

 Land Bank President Frangos' shell LLC property -  foreclosed upon for delinquent property taxes - was court ordered into the Cuyahoga County Land Bank.  Frangos failed to handle business in Round One with this property, so now he again gets control of his own shell LLC property in Round Two !!!    

Frangos signed for the over-inflated mortgage as "Gus Frangos, Member of 1158 East 61st LLC":

 

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 Although Frangos is in charge of saving us from the foreclosure crisis and blight, he is a major contributor to the exact same issues in which he is receiving a six figure salary in an alleged attempt to save us.

 

WHO WILL SAVE US FROM GUS FRANGOS??   http://realneo.us/content/cuyahoga-county-foreclosure-crisis-who-will-save-us-gus-frangos-president-cuyahoga-county-la

 

The shady Cuyahoga County Land Bank is selectively giving numerous properties to connected out-of-state flippers who have zero interest in our community.  The county land bank is handing property located in Cuyahoga County, Ohio to LLC investors / flippers located in Florida, California and Maryland  - courtesy of county taxpayers.  

The out-of-state flippers  immediately obtain mortgages for more than twice the value of the property and will automatically walk away with large profits if they do nothing further with the property.

The majority of out-of-state flippers use a county land bank 'middle man' - JASON BROOKS-  for their numerous land bank properties.  Jason Brooks and his connected crew meet in coffee shops discussing their next move.  Brooks and his connected out-of-state investors have received the majority of property from the county land bank.

 

The land bank breaks it's own rules by selling property to those that are property tax delinquent.  The land bank and community development groups sold several properties to a connected LLC buyer who owed the county nearly $10,000 in delinquent property taxes.  Two hours after the deed transferred for one property, the LLC sold the property for a profit of over $50,000 and failed to pay his delinquent property taxes.  Real smart.

 

Lots of complaints regarding land banks in Cuyahoga County and several other counties.  All of the complaints are regarding similar issues:

 

 

 

“We unfortunately have seen time and again that some Wayne County officials will abuse their positions as long as the law will allow it,” said Senator Hunter. “This bill will provide guidelines to clean up the Wayne County Land Bank's governance and activity to prevent any further political or financial abuse and restore it to its original intent of helping residents and improving our neighborhoods.”
The Wayne County Land Bank has been mired in controversy and is under federal investigation following the Turkia Mullin scandal that revealed she had secured five no-bid contracts for nearly $750,000 for her and Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano's friends and political contributors when she ran the Wayne County Land Bank. Mullin helped create the land bank and gave herself the ability to personally and singularly approve contracts up to $100,000 or 100 parcels of land. One board member wanted to lower the price of those contracts that could be approved without input from the Wayne County Land Bank board, but was overruled by the other members of the board.  
 

 

 

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Kent County's Land Bank won't get first dibs on foreclosed properties, leaders say

 

 

The Kent County Commission voted 18-1 on Thursday, March 28, to adopt the new policy in response to complaints from real estate developers last year that the county was cherry-picking properties before the general public had a chance to acquire them at the county’s annual tax auction.

 

http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2013/03/kent_countys_land_bank_wont_ge.html

 

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Land speculators who normally bid on the properties accused the land bank of “cherry picking” prime properties that would have fetched up to $1 million more for the county had they gone to auction.
“In part because of the Land Bank’s purchase of these properties, county government is again looking at shortfalls and considering raising taxes,” said Steinport.
“Taxpayers are getting the short end of the stick when the county is supporting a new bureaucracy that engages in property speculation, cronyism and questionable legal 
 
 
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The Kent County Land Bank is Crony Government Gone Wild
 
 
KCTA plans to run a social media campaign targeted at eductating the public about this crony government practice and highlighting the role that the Kent County Board of Commissioners had in violating their own policy for maximizing the taxpayers’ return on these properties. KCTA has begun a fund raising campaign to air a radio ad explaining the Land Bank and the reckless actions of the Board of Commissioners to the public.

 

 

http://www.kentcountytaxpayers.org/the-kent-county-land-bank-is-crony-government-gone-wild/

 

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The land bank is selling houses it should not even own. We are working on a federal suit for fraud and racketeering against numerous people who work for local municipalities, such as local assessors, people at the State Tax Commission, and the Tax Tribunal, as well as others, who have for years been involved in one of Michigan's largest frauds, over-taxing property. The sales record of land bank homes clearly show that every single house taken in Flint only sells for about 5 to 10 percent of the value Flint claimed it had. The land bank is involved in this conspiracy. Those who are buying these homes are contributing to the fraud. No One should do business with this corrupt entity. No one.
 
 
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Flint, Genesee County have spent $36.5 million for federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program
 
Flint, Genesee County have spent $36.5 million. 
 
It should say Flint, Genesee County have "wasted" $ 36.5 million.

 

 

http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2013/01/flint_genesee_county_have_spen.html

 

 

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Ficano wants to end Wayne County Land Bank 



County Executive Robert Ficano wants to eliminate the Wayne County Land Bank, which he touted when it was started in 2007 as a tool to rehabilitate vacant and dilapidated properties.



Instead, it generated mostly controversy, including a now-defunct horse racing track in Huron Township. 



Ficano made the proposal -- one of many cost-cutting suggestions -- in his budget released earlier this month. The County Commission is reviewing the plan and would have to sign off. 



"With plummeting property values over the past few years, the county's property taxcollections have dropped more than $100 million, striking a hard blow to the county's general fund," Ficano spokeswoman June West said. "This is a bare-bones budget that is focused on essential and mandated services." 



The county has poured more than $14.2 million into the Land Bank since 2008, and it received an additional $5 million in federal funds. The idea was to provide incentives to owners to rehabilitate their properties, to sell abandoned property cheaply and to clean up or tear down blighted buildings. 



Last year, the county's general fund contributed $2.8 million to the Land Bank. But facing a $189-million cumulative deficit, the county can't afford it anymore, said County Commissioner Laura Cox, R-Livonia. 



"When it was originally proposed, it was supposed to get a little bit of subsidy, but it was supposed to become self-sustaining, and they never got there," she said. "It can't continue." 



The Free Press reported last year that former chief development officer Turkia Awada Mullin awarded more than $750,000 in no-bid contracts from the Land Bank to politically connected people and firms during her tenure as executive director. 



Mullin used the Land Bank to spearhead the Pinnacle Race Course development, under which the county sold 320 acres of land in Huron Township for $1. The plan was supposed to generate 2,300 jobs, but an audit last year said shoddy record-keeping by the Land Bank made it impossible to tally the true number of jobs. The track closed in 2010. 



County Treasurer Raymond Wojtowicz chairs the board that runs the Land Bank corporation. He was critical of Mullin's tenure but said her successor, Janno Hanna, had done a good job. 



"We do need to stress that the problems we perceive are problems of the past," said David Szymanski, Wojtowicz's deputy. "But with the problems we have, we need to look at mandated services."

 

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The Genesee County Land bank has reached a level of politicalization, ineptitude and croneyism that has rendered it a prime candidate for elimination. 



I have spoken to countless individuals and potential business people who were denied the opportunity to purchase land because the Land Bank stated future development. The Land Bank was not created to be a developer and the auction system by the state allows investors into the system which is what the Land Bank puports they sre stiving to prevent. 



Dan Kildee, when he was in charge,criticized the nonprofits who were attempting (unsuccessfully) to accumulate large tracts of land for future development when they could not afford this luxury. The Genesee County Land bank is doing the very same thing. They cannot afford the maintenance of this land. 



They are accumulating huge tracts of land and holding for future purposes. Pastor Flynn of Foss Avenue, in one of his recent speeches, denounced the policies of developing ony downtown and accused officials of once again making the north end gardens and farmland. According to Highsmith, the north end was the last area in Flint to be fully developed. 



There are secretive land transactions taking place in the Metawanenee area . Individuals attempting to purchase home in this area are being denied and are being told by the Land Bank that all of the land is being held for Salem Housing. salem has houses that have been for sale for at least five years that remain unsold. But Salem has strong political allies, obviously within the land bank too. Even the City of Flint gave them more money for purchase, rehab and resale HUD programs after HUD criticized salem's failures in similar programs and warned the city about this participant. 



Remember the failed efforts of Salem in the Smith Village area? The media covered the stories of angry homeowners that dealt with Salem and Salem flagrantly broke HUD rules regarding policies and contractors.

 

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untanglingwebs schreef: 
Genesee County Land Bank says they are holding properties for future development.

We need those future tax revenues now!!!

http://www.flinttalk.com/viewtopic.php?p=66067

 

 

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The Michigan Legislature acted foolishly when it gave such broad powers to land banks.
Hopefully, work by groups like Kent County Taxpayers Alliance will at least bring some transparency to actions that have little to do with protecting taxpayers and end up hindering private development.

 

 

http://www.mackinac.org/17333?fb_comment_id=fbc_10150952207921619_22714372_10150960416196619#f19dead7b0885ba

 

 

 

Dave Gillie

LandBank research I've done (a lot) show them to be TAX money sucking machines, full of political payoff jobs, RE-routing grants, growing non stop and are EXEMPT from all local blight control laws - dispensing special favors to politically connected.

 

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Ficano wants to end Wayne County Land Bank
 
County Executive Robert Ficano wants to eliminate the Wayne CountyLand Bank, which he touted when it was started in 2007 as a tool to rehabilitate vacant and dilapidated properties.
Instead, it generated mostly controversy, including a now-defunct horse racing track in Huron Township.
Ficano made the proposal -- one of many cost-cutting suggestions -- in his budget released earlier this month. The County Commission is reviewing the plan and would have to sign off.
"With plummeting property values over the past few years, the county's property tax collections have dropped more than $100 million, striking a hard blow to the county's general fund," Ficano spokeswoman June West said. "This is a bare-bones budget that is focused on essential and mandated services."
The county has poured more than $14.2 million into the Land Bank since 2008, and it received an additional $5 million in federal funds. The idea was to provide incentives to owners to rehabilitate their properties, to sell abandoned property cheaply and to clean up or tear down blighted buildings.
Last year, the county's general fund contributed $2.8 million to the Land Bank. But facing a $189-million cumulative deficit, the county can't afford it anymore, said County Commissioner Laura Cox, R-Livonia.
"When it was originally proposed, it was supposed to get a little bit of subsidy, but it was supposed to become self-sustaining, and they never got there," she said. "It can't continue."
 
 
 
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CUYAHOGA COUNTY LAND BANK HYPOCRITE CON ARTIST
 
 
Cuyahoga County Foreclosure Crisis - WHO WILL SAVE US FROM GUS FRANGOS - President of the Cuyahoga County Land Bank? KARMA
 
WHO WILL SAVE CUYAHOGA COUNTY FROM GUS FRANGOS- PRESIDENT OF THE CUYAHOGA COUNTY LAND BANK???
 
 
Gus Frangos is PRESIDENT OF THE CUYAHOGA COUNTY LAND BANK.   His six figure salary is paid by the collection of delinquent property taxes.
Frangos' shell LLC property has been tax delinquent for many years and one of his many shell properties was recently foreclosed upon for delinquent property taxes.
Frangos is supposed to save us from the foreclosure crisis and work to eliminate blight in our community.
 
Below are photographs of some of Gus Frangos' numerous shell LLC properties.  And Frangos is in charge of saving us?
 
 
 
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County stops property sales to land bank
 
 
“The end result of the resolution is we’re not allowing the county to give anything to the land bank. The municipalities can take all of it, if they want,” said County Commissioner Dick Vander Molen, who also served on the subcommittee.
 
 
 
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New option surfaces from land bank subcommittee
 
A group of realtors and property managers filed a lawsuit in the 17th Circuit Court last fall against the county, the land bank and County Treasurer Ken Parrish for selling tax-foreclosed properties to the land bank prior to the tax sale.
 
 
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Can flipping properties boost real estate market? Kent County Land Bank leader details plan
 
By state law, the land bank is first in line to acquire properties that will be listed for auction in the county’s tax sale later this summer. Their goal is to take critical properties out of the hands of land speculators who may not have the best interests of their neighbors in mind.
 
 
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Cuyahoga County Land Bank - President Gus Frangos WORLD'S BIGGEST IDIOT land bank scam fraud waste conflict violation trust
Gus Frangos shell LLC property - 1158 East 61st Street LLC- was tax delinquent for years with a tab of over $25,000 in delinquent taxes for 1154 &  1158 East 61st Street in Cleveland, Ohio.
The over-inflated mortgage  ( $175,000 )  that Gus Frangos signed for was never repaid.  Gus Frangos signed the mortgage as 'Gus Frangos, Member of 1158 East 61st LLC'.
Cuyahoga County filed a delinquent property tax foreclosure case against the shell LLC.  Judgment was granted and the second and final sheriff auction sale was yesterday, April 22, 2013.
There were no bidders.    Now Gus Frangos' shell LLC - 1158 East 61st Street LLC - will be ordered into the Cuyahoga County Land Bank.
Gus Frangos will again have control over the same exact property that he just walked away from and stuck taxpayers with the $25,000 bill.
Gus Frangos former employer- Cuyahoga County Treasurer's office , Jim Rokakis, ignored the delinquent property taxes for many years while Gus Frangos was employed.
 
 
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Cuyahoga County Land Bank - Creators dabble in TEN MILLION DOLLAR Property Jim Rokakis & Gus Frangos
 
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Cuyahoga County Land Bank - continues to give county taxpayer property to FLIPPERS
The Cuyahoga County Land Bank was created to keep property out of the hands of risky, out-of-state investors.  However, the land bank continues to give away property to these same risky investors that they were so concerned about.
The land bank is determined to keep giving Jason Brooks taxpayer property. 
The land bank is incompetent with a hypocrite con artist in control.
 
 
 
 
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Cuyahoga County Land Bank - county officials overlook delinquent property taxes Hypocrite Con Artist Gus Frangos Scam
I am not sure why the county has overlooked another one of Gus Frangos' shell properties which has been tax delinquent- for years.
I suppose the county is just picking on the little people that lack the ability to fight back and is still playing corrupt politcs. 
Gus Frangos county official friends know that Gus Frangos can not afford to lose another rental property.
 
 
 
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CUYAHOGA COUNTY LAND BANK - PHOTOS of President Gus Frangos shell LLC Property * new photos*
 

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