Delinquent Property Tax Liens Fraud Cuyahoga County- Media finally reports

Submitted by Gone Fishin on Thu, 12/05/2013 - 15:15.

 Our local media is FINALLY reporting on this issue that has been ignored for many years.

 

Company that bought Cuyahoga County tax liens is gouging property owners, according to former attorneys

An out-of-state tax collection firm that has bought thousands of Ohio tax liens hoping to make a profit has violated state law by assessing high interest rates on property owners in Cuyahoga and other counties, according to two attorneys who once represented the firm.

Two attorneys, Mark Schwartz, of Chicago, and Kirk Liederbach, of Cleveland, made the allegations against Woods Cove II in a Nov. 26 letter to Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.

In the letter, which is also copied to county treasurers in Cuyahoga, Hamilton and Summit counties, the attorneys say that Woods Cove II sets up its payment plans to artificially assess interest after the principals are paid off.

The practice helps boost Woods Cove II's investors' rate of return, but also inflates the effective interest rates property owners end up paying to between 26 percent and 450 percent, breaking Ohio's legal limit of 18 percent, the attorneys say.

http://www.cleveland.com/cuyahoga-county/index.ssf/2013/12/company_that_bought_cuyahoga_county_tax_liens_illegally_gouged_property_owners_attorneys_alleges.html#incart_river_default

 

** PLEASE NOTE THAT THE PLAIN DEALER HAS BANNED ME FROM COMMENTING ON THIS STORY AT CLEVELAND.COM. **

THE PLAIN DEALER KNEW ABOUT THE ISSUE WITH TAX LIEN COMPANIES FOR MANY YEARS.

  I WAS ABLE TO POST COMMENTS TO CLEVELAND.COM YESTERDAY, 12/5/13, AND TODAY I AM BANNED.

The Plain Dealer is a worthless piece of shit newspaper.  No wonder they are going under.

One of MANY emails sent to the Plain Dealer on the issue with tax lien companies:

 

From: lily miller 

To: dasimmon [at] plaind [dot] com 

Cc: hgomez [at] plaind [dot] com 

Sent: Thursday, January 10, 2013 6:47 AM

Subject: County Corruption - Incompetent Leaders

 

 

 


Can you folks cover this issue that is happening in our own backyard and receiving national attention, but not one word from the PD?
 
Delinquent property tax liens being sold to companies under federal investigation.  Purchasing property tax liens from Cuyahoga County, filing thousands of foreclosures for delinquent property taxes, now owns 137 properties in Cuyahoga County and tax delinquent with every single property the company itself owns- for nearly two years.
 
County officials have allowed this company to foreclose on tax delinquent property, and then fail to pay their own property taxes after the deed transfers.
 
This has been going on for years.  Second company to do this under the county's watch and not one word from you folks.  Adding fuel to the foreclosure crisis- 1000's of county property owners victimized and NOT ONE WORD FROM THE PD.
 
People losing their homes over delinquent property taxes would be shocked to learn that the company that has victimized them is chronicallly tax delinquent themselves and owes the county more than what they original homeowner owed at the time of foreclosure.  Aeon owes the county more than $100,000 in delinquent property taxes.
 
A national reporter is working on this story with me and I told them that you folks have never written one single word on this issue.  Our one and only paper has NEVER addressed this issue.

 ***************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

Our local media  has been a problem for many years. Cuyahoga County is corrupt and the media cover-up is part of the problem here.

 

Comments that I made yesterday on Cleveland.com with no issue.  Today I am banned on purpose.

 

 
Looks like he can't even manage his own campaign finances:

OVERDRAFT FEE KEEP KEARNEY IN THE SENATE
OVERDRAFT FEE KEEP KEARNEY IN THE SENATE
DAILY OVERDRAFT FEES KEEP KEARNEY IN THE SENATE
http://www2.sos.state.oh.us/pls/cfonline/f?p=119:4...

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
** My blogs expressing my freedom of speech rights - especially on matters of public concern - are my opinion and not the opinion of my friends , family, or employer **
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Suck ass Plain Dealer writes two stories in one day

 

The suck ass Plain Dealer is all over this story now that they know they don't have a choice.

ANOTHER story. Two in one day... making up for lost time?

http://www.cleveland.com/cuyahoga-county/index.ssf/2013/12/county_inspector_general_to_investigate_allegations_against_tax_lien_buyer.html#incart_river_default

 

* My blogs expressing my Freedom of Speech Rights, especially on matters of public concern, are my opinion and not the opinion of my friends, family or employer*

Plain Dealer cover up for YEARS

Plain Dealer Bitches deleting my comments

I wish they would quit hiding this information from vulnerable property owners.  They deleted my comment above, so I posted another one:

lily_miller
Lily_Miller_520 September 26, 2011 at 7:43AM

 

Ms. Carr can also thank former Treasurer Jim Rokakis and Gus Frangos for selling out her family to Plymouth Park Tax Services, aka Xspand, subsidaries of J.P. Morgan Chase.

The majority of property tax liens that were sold to this company appears to have highly targeted minorities.

It is my understanding from an insider in the County Treasurer's office and several emails back and forth to the Plain Dealer, that the Plain Dealer is working on a story regarding Plymouth Park Tax Services.

This case continues to be under federal investigation and I believe it is part of the county corruption probe.

Plymouth Park recently admitted their illegal activity and has agreed to pay $211 million to over 30 states.

This same company that stole hundreds of properties and victimized thousands of families did not pay their own property taxes after taking houses from delinquent property owners, and in return this company did NOT pay their own property taxes- some for many years.

Rokakis and Frangos looked the other way when this company failed to pay their own property taxes.

*****************************************************************************************************************

Does the Plain Dealer not want Pinkey Carr to know that her family was targeted by these thieves that stold her childhood home?

I will call her myself and tell her.  I wish the PD would quit covering up this admitted crime.  Plymouth Park ADMITTED this crime.

PD deleting comments

And they just deleted the above comment too.

Plain Dealer comment before it disappears

Comment posted successfully!

Your comment is now publishing and will appear shortly.

lily_miller

 

From: llymiller 
Date: Sun, 28 Nov 2010 19:46:01 
To: HENRY GOMEZ<hgomez [at] plaind [dot] com>; GABRIEL BAIRD<GBAIRD [at] plaind [dot] com>; TED DIADIUN<TDIADIUN [at] plaind [dot] com>;
Reply-To:
Cc:JOHN KROLL<JKROLL [at] plaind [dot] com>
Subject: Re: Plain Dealer's failure to undercover corruption
Thank you for your response and excellent reporting, Mr. Gomez.  Our sense of urgency comes from the fact that thousands of people are indeed victims of corruption and the buddy system to plymouth park tax services.  People are losing their homes to this corrupt systyem including a mentally ill person that lost their home owned for 47 years.  This person was kicked to the curb Friday - the day after Thanksgiving.  He owed 2,000 and they refused to sell the home back to the victim owner.  However they did sell the home to someone that is working with the councilman and the county to maintain vacant properties.  No need to cover this story to protect victims, I will do it for you.  Stay tuned to realneo for my story with complete documentation.
 
From>>> <llymiller > 11/29/2010 6:38 AM >>>
Also as far as the comment, " what I have heard so far is suggestive", my response is, what exactly have you heard so far?  Not one single person from the pd has even bothered to contact me, so unless you folks have the ability to read my mind, the comment is confusing.   I have 100,s of hours invested in my investigation of plymouth park tax services and my research is far from being "suggestive".    I appreciate the stories uncovering corruption of yesteryear; however I am deeply concerned about the victims that are losing their homes Today.
 
Lily -

 

 

 
Lily -
I have talked about this quite a bit with LMcShane and Dianna Hill, both of whom I believe you are in contact with. Either way, I would like to talk to you about this more, especially if you have actual evidence of corruption. But as I have said, things are incredibly busy with the board of revision series and will be for the next few weeks.
What's a good number to reach you at? I can call you this week to hear more. In the meantime, if you have public records that show something, I would love to see them or at least get suggestions on what to ask for. Good reporters rely on good sources, and if I don't know what to look for, I can't look for it.
Henry
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
The Plain Dealer never contacted me and never exposed the corruption that they were well aware of.  Political cover up by the Plain Dealer

 

* My blogs expressing my Freedom of Speech Rights, especially on matters of public concern, are my opinion and not the opinion of my friends, family or employer*

Since I can't post on cleveland.com I am stealing their comments

The Plain Dealer has banned me from commenting, so I am stealing their comments before they do their usual and delete them:

 

 
 
Fitzgerald is a putz! What does he know? Leaving out abandoned properties? Oh thank you, jerk. As for allowing any one company to buy up tax liens, the entire council should have their collective heads examined. Another housing mess in the making.
 
 
 
 
 
WhoDoo is correct in that in Cuyahoga county these certificates are all sold to just one entity at a time. The Ohio Revised Code allows for either public auctions so that the certificates could be sold at interest rates between 0 and 18%, or allows the sale at "negotiated sales". Instead of allowing the market to work at all, the county sells the certificates in one giant block for the max interest rate allowed. No auction, no negotiating down from the max allowed interest, just a big windfall for these community killing tax certificate holders. How could the county ever have thought that this was a win-win? I am not a corruption nut smelling corruption in every deal, but I don't know how else this could be viewed. This system needs aired out immediately.

http://treasurer.cuyahogacounty.us/en-US/tax-

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

Plain dealer makes money printing delinquent tax sales

Why would they expose a story or the county when they are one of their major "ACCOUNTS" which keep them sustained? 

That's like biting the hand that feeds them.....isn't it? 

Always Appreciative, "ANGELnWard14"

Nailah Byrd contacted in 2011-EJB noted in 90s

In Facebook discussion with Eric Jonathon Brewer, he states: 
 
I wrote a letter for Emmanuel Onunwor when he was mayor and I was his chief of staff that encouraged other mayors to reject the law that Rokakis was pushing to allow for the third party tax lien sales. I saw it devastating towns like East Cleveland.



Serious candidates for elected local offices walk streets. I've been walking East Cleveland streets with candidates since the early 1990's. I've watched streets go from one empty home to 25 empty homes on a street with 37 houses in less than 10 years as a result of Rokakis tax lien sales.



He claimed the law supported the schools by giving them tax dollars but it was a ridiculous assertion. The reality is that that the schools only got paid "once." After the property was sold off, and the neighborhood devalued because of the vacancies, the flight drove property values down, which lessened the contribution to schools even more.



I'm serious. Rokakis should not escape scrutiny or investigation for what he did while in office. I think there's more to his relationship with the investors than meets the eye.
 
 
 
From: Laura McShane 
To: nbyrd [at] cuyahogacounty [dot] us; contacted [at] cuyahogacounty [dot] us 
Sent: Sunday, October 9, 2011 10:16 PM
Subject: RE: Investigation of Gus Frangos, Land Bank, GLS Capital
Hello Ms. Byrd--
The Land Bank is a scheme designed to benefit the wealthiest 1%--taking property, destroying property, so that investors can cash in on the future sale and development.
Demolitions at taxpayer cost--with no oversight or accountability. Be MAD, BE VERY MAD:
http://www.wkyc.com/news/article/209783/45/Cleveland-Neighbors-worry-about-debris-left-by-home-demolition
Rokakis and Frangos have known all along that there is a gaping loophole in Ohio law, which allows properties to transfer with outstanding liens unpaid.  This has provided a free-for-all for flippers aka "investors."  Rokakis never wrote legislation to stop flipping.  He only legislated the "Land Bank," so that the wealthiest 1% could continue to feed off the bloodbath.
The evil of this scheme is most apparent in East Cleveland and in the "Forgotten Triangle."  Cleveland Plain Dealer and GCP  are in collusion with Frangos/Rokakis--as they head the Bond Accountability Commission/Transformation Plan and Opportunity Corridor.
 
Are you investigating this matter?
 
Please let me know.
 
Respectfully,
Laura McShane

.

--- On Sun, 9/18/11, Laura McShane  wrote:

From: Laura McShane 
Subject: RE: Investigation of Gus Frangos, Land Bank, GLS Capital
To: nbyrd [at] cuyahogacounty [dot] us, contacted [at] cuyahogacounty [dot] us

Date: Sunday, September 18, 2011, 6:47 AM

Dear Ms. Byrd,

The civic journalism site REALNEO has posted content regarding the unethical, possibly illegal, conduct of the Land Bank Director Gus Frangos.

Please fully investigate this matter--
http://realneo.us/content/gus-frangos-president-and-general-counsel-cuyahoga-county-land-reutilization-corp-are-you-no

Regards,
Laura McShane

County Council & FBI were also contacted

County Council and the FBI were notified.  I need to look through the rest of my emails, but I know that I have several others.

In part,,,,,,,,

 

 

From: lily miller 
To: "cleveland [dot] cv [at] ic [dot] fbi [dot] gov" <cleveland [dot] cv [at] ic [dot] fbi [dot] gov>
Cc: "dgreenspan [at] cuyahogacounty [dot] us" <dgreenspan [at] cuyahogacounty [dot] us>
Sent: Friday, September 23, 2011 4:36 AM
Subject: Cuyahoga County Corruption complaint

Greetings,
 
My name is Lily Miller and I have either emailed, spoken with by phone, or met with in person FBI Agents Rick Mansfield and Bill Ging about possible collussion and corruption activity in Cuyahoga County.
 
I repeat most of my allegations with an additonal concerns regarding former Treasurer Jim Rokakis, President of Cuyahoga County Land Bank Gus Frangos, Councilman Joe Cimperman and Tremont West Development Corporation.
 
Last year I called the FBI's office in New York regarding the investigation of Plymouth Park Tax Services and the bid rigging they recently admitted to in over 30 states - including Ohio.  This company was given a $50,000 grant along with years of no bid contracts in Cuyahoga County.  The contract was from 2004-2008.  The former owner of Plymouth Park Tax Services, Jim Florio, appears to have a possible relative that worked in the Boards of Revision, Chris Florio.  Chris Florio was hired in 2004, the same year in which Jim Florio was given no bid contracts.  In my opinion, this is collussion and insider trading.
 
Plymouth Park Tax Services, a company that forecloses on tax delinquent property owners, was delinquent for well over one year with paying property taxes on 88 of their 89 properties obtained via tax foreclosures.  Rokakis and Frangos had to be aware of this issue since it was their job.
 
Their is also another suspicious deliquent property tax lien contract made between Cuyahoga County and Aeon Financial FBO CapitalSource Bank.  This company has filed thousands of delinquent property tax foreclosures in Cuyahoga County and is not paying their own property taxes on property obtained via tax delinquent foreclosures.   Again, not a word from county officials responsible for collecting property taxes that this company- that forecloses for delinquent property tax- is not paying their own property taxes for properties obtained via the tax foreclosure process.
 
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 From: Dave Greenspan <dgreenspan [at] cuyahogacounty [dot] us>
To: llymiller
Sent: Monday, October 10, 2011 12:47 AM
Subject: Re: Cuyahoga County Corruption complaint
Thank you for your email. 
Regards 

Councilman Dave Greenspan 
Cuyahoga County Council, District 1 
Dgreenspan [at] cuyahogacounty [dot] us 
216-640-6213 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* My blogs expressing my Freedom of Speech Rights, especially on matters of public concern, are my opinion and not the opinion of my friends, family or employer*

Lots of public officials and media were all put on notice

and they all looked the other way:

 

From:  
To: Brian Cummins <bcummins [at] clevelandcitycouncil [dot] org>
Cc: Mark Puente <mpuente [at] plaind [dot] com>; Gabriel Baird <gbaird [at] plaind [dot] com>; lily miller
Sent: Fri, September 3, 2010 11:08:14 AM
Subject: Local corruption

The sale of tax liens in NEO has allowed this nightmare to occur throughout Cleveland, displacing families to steal property.  

The perps don't live here.  Our County Treasurer is well aware of the game.  This is unconscionable and it has to stop now.

http://realneo.us/content/victims-cuyahoga-county-corruption-and-greedy-...

Councilman Cummins--you need to speak out now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* My blogs expressing my Freedom of Speech Rights, especially on matters of public concern, are my opinion and not the opinion of my friends, family or employer*

More from Eric Brewer on tax liens from 2010

According to former East Cleveland Mayor Eric Brewer, Mayor Frank Jackson requested that Rokakis stop selling tax liens.  From February 4, 2010:

 

 

 

 

 
 

Gus Frangoes never called me. I do, however, understand Jim Rokakis' oft-handed comments. 

 

  

 

I wrote him a letter in 2006 asking that he not sell anymore properties through third-party tax lien sales to GLS Capital and Plymouth Park Investments out of East Cleveland. Mayor Frank Jackson had also asked him not to sell tax liens from Cleveland. 

 

  

 

I was critical of Rokakis pushing this blight-causing deal in 1999 when I hosted a radio show on WERE. I think it's absolutely horrible how he, as an elected official, pushed for a tax lien sale state law that created blight in East Cleveland by letting third party investors sit on vacant properties without cutting the grass, boarding them up, maintaining or rehabilitating them. If Steve Litt wants to write a real story, investigate Rokakis' third party tax lien sales and the impact they've had on school district budgets. He claimed it helps the schools but empty houses don't generate property taxes. Rokakis' policies have done much to decimate the East Cleveland school district's budget and that of every other community in Cuyahoga County where he's been selling tax liens to third party investors.

 

  

 

I had some blocks with 37 properties and 25 delapidated vacancies. Every year we had to divert general fund and HUD dollars from other purposes just to take care of abandoned properties. Go to Rokakis' website. He won't update the "tax lien certificate sales" information past 2006 because it will show just how his policies have devasted the county. Through 2006 it shows he sold the tax liens to 22912 properties from East Cleveland, Cleveland and other cities throughout the county. How many tax liens has Rokakis sold over the past four years? That's the number he's hiding from the public. He has refused to allow the individual tax delinquent homeowner to buy their own tax lien at up to a 30 percent discount, but he sells their tax lien to a third-party for that amount. Steve Litt. This is the real story.

 

  

 

I did not automatically buy into Rokakis' countywide landbank program because by his own rules, it doesn't help East Cleveland. Additionally, he told me in 2006 during a meeting coordinated by Jimmy Dimora, Tim Hagan and Peter Lawson Jones, that he had $250,000 in demolition funds for East Cleveland that was to be funded through monies controlled by him and Bill Mason. Mason, however, had the final authority to say yes or no. When I followed-up with Rokakis, after I shared "his" promise with council and the residents, he said Mason decided to use the funds for another purpose and I ended up with egg on my face. From then on I viewed everything he told me with skepticism.

 

  

 

It's positions llike those described above that made some view me as abrasive. Anyone who fights for poor people or a predominantly Black city that has been disrespected, used and abused by everyone is always viewed as abrasive, and so is anyone who stands up to the Plain Dealer.

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* My blogs expressing my Freedom of Speech Rights, especially on matters of public concern, are my opinion and not the opinion of my friends, family or employer*

Everyone ignored the pleas for help except.............

From: Michael Sallah 
To: llymiller
Sent: Friday, November 16, 2012 4:35 PM
Subject: tax liens/Washington Post reporter
Lily: I have been reading your blogs on the tax lien crisis. We are embarking on a major project on tax lien sales and the growing impact they are having on communities around the country. Can you call me please? I would love to talk about what you have found. Feel free to call me on my cell or I can call you back.
I hope we can connect.
thanks,
Mike
 
Michael Sallah
Investigations
The Washington Post
1150 15th Street, NW
Washington, DC  20071
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

* My blogs expressing my Freedom of Speech Rights, especially on matters of public concern, are my opinion and not the opinion of my friends, family or employer*

Who's Hu?

 

 

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 Ya Jia Hu

 

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 Mark Schwartz

 
 
 
 

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* My blogs expressing my Freedom of Speech Rights, especially on matters of public concern, are my opinion and not the opinion of my friends, family or employer*