SIGTARP - here's your evidence - #FRAUD #Corruption with Hardest Hit Funds

Submitted by lmcshane on Sun, 08/14/2016 - 10:12.
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 Please see the Cuyahoga County Land Bank press release --SPOONFED to Cleveland.com on the transfer of the former YMCA to CHN-Eden - please read the comments before they are deleted:

http://www.cleveland.com/business/index.ssf/2016/08/former_brooklyn_ymca_long_empt.html

 

ALSO NOTE: Cleveland.com "reporter" Michelle Jarboe had information on the TRANSFER more than a full year before she released this article claiming that there were no other interested parties in a tax-cleansed commercial property on a major 24/7 transit and state route (42).  Mitchell Paul has predicted that she is courting Forest City to be their in-house media spin-doctor.  Would not be surprised if this is true.

MICHELLE:  This is called COLLUSION:

Cleveland Housing Network has had its eye on the property for at least seven years, as part of a broad, multi-organization push to end chronic homelessness in Cuyahoga County. But real estate tangles made it impossible to pursue anything concrete before now.

 

SEE: http://realneo.us/content/massive-criminal-enterprise-using-opm

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Comments on YMCA building article

 

 

 

 

 


DiabloSandwich8 hours ago

What a success story. A homeless shelter. This new development will pay next to nothing in real estate taxes and increase crime in this neighborhood.   The cops will be there 24 hours.   Like welcoming a cancer into one's body.
 
I went to that Y as a kid.  learned to swim in that pool.   They had daily summer activities for kids in the neighborhood.   I'd rather see grass there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Michelle Jarboe, The Plain Dealer1 hour ago

@DiabloSandwich -
Thanks for commenting. A homeless shelter and permanent supportive housing are not the same thing. As I noted in the story, some critics of this project agree with you and would rather see something else on the property. Thanks for sharing your recollections about the Y.
Michelle

 

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LauraMcShaneCLE15 hours ago

What is not mentioned - no one wants the building "saved." Since taxpayers are paying through the Land Bank to demo the property and demo the commercial building too - then we deserve to have the property sit vacant and NOT transferred to CHN - Eden - which generates NO taxes for our city and county services. It will only tax us more in calls for overdoses and criminal activity. Full disclosure - I worked for TWDC at one time so I know how CHN operates, and it's not pretty.  Also, the Metroparks could and should be offered the primed and cleared real estate to manage until the commercial value and tax return is possible.
 
BTW - the warehouse listed in the article is current on their taxes and the sale is pending.  CHN-Eden must be planning to also use Land Bank funds (capped at 100,000 for commercial structures) to demo this building.  Your tax dollars - people.  Then, they will use federal OHFA funds to grease the wheels of Cuyahoga County corruption (no doubt hiring Marous) to contract steer the construction project and insure that the CDC - Detroit Shoreway - gets a fat development fee (avgs 1-2 million dollars).
 
CHN-Eden will pay no taxes and collect rent from disabled and drug addicted tenants.  While, providing NO treatment services.  After 10-15 years - the property will have depreciated and will no longer be worth the investors money on the tax credits sold through OHFA to finance the project.  Old Brooklyn-Brooklyn Centre will again be saddled with another eyesore.  But, by then, the crooks have made their money and skipped out.
 
See below - the warehouse will also come off the tax rolls.  Sales are pending around Metrohealth - there should be no problem finding real commercial developers - not parasites like the CDC Detroit Shoreway and CHN-Eden.

 

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Michelle Jarboe, The Plain Dealer1 hour ago

@LauraMcShaneCLE -
Thanks for commenting. Yes, the Kucharski/Selzer warehouse is current on its property taxes. It will pass through the Cuyahoga Land Bank and be demolished, using $100,000 in Cuyahoga County demolition funds. The purchase price, to be paid by the developers, is $250,000.
The total taxpayer cost for demolition on the block will be $200,000. The housing developers will cover the remaining demolition costs, an estimated $225,000 to $275,000 for the former Y.
Michelle

 

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LauraMcShaneCLE21 minutes ago

@Michelle Jarboe, The Plain Dealer  Wow - let me get this straight - now the "land bank" can take any privately purchased property and conduct the demo at taxpayer expense?  So, if Courtyard Marriott or Klimpton wants a commercial building demo'd, too - that is kosher?  Hope the Treasury is watching this neat little trick.
 
BTW - my comment regarding Ginmark was deleted.  Ginmark owns 3804 West 25th and is now 40K in tax arrears.  The partners behind Ginmark include the son of a former councilman.   I don't think that this buiding is slated for demo - but Councilman Cummins is well aware of this tax delinquency and thinks nothing of it.  He also is apparently looking the other way on the tax delinquency of commercial structure at 3025 West 25th. 
 
Funny, that 3025 property is slated for demo and I have a FOIA request in with the city to determine who is paying.  It, too, must be one of those "pass through" deals.  Cummins tried a bait and switch with the land contract owner of the historic firehouse awhile back.  That failed - due to diligent community watchdog Henry Senyak. Cummins was trying to float historic tax credits on the Carnegie South library and wanted to include the firehouse in his scheme.  It failed.  The community overwhelmingly supports reopening the historic library.  http://realneo.us/events/boza-hearing-relocate-w-25th-tire-shop-wdelinquent-taxes

 

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someveracity221 hours ago

You just can't beat low income housing to pick up the neighborhood.
 

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iceload21 hours ago

Leave the building as is. Plenty of opportunity as a meth lab. Good location, plenty of ventilation, easy access to highway. 

 

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fromtheoldschool1 day ago

Good spot for a LBGT center!

 

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I enjoyed the slideshow...and I see a lot of potential. This building (as it is) would be perfect for the proposed Cuyahoga County Democratic Party Museum. 

 

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jeremy1231 day ago

People are questioning the value of redeveloping the land to give home to homeless, a contradiction in terms.  But that's coming at it from the wrong direction.
 
The county is not about returning value  in its real estate deals.  Rather, it's about creating a narrative about how something will be used- how it will create 1000 or 20,000 jobs- hold your hand out for state and federal money, give taxpayer money to insider contractor buddies to develop the site- and then walk away.
 
The Medical Mart never had a chance in real life.  But it served its purpose, per the criteria above.
 
It's an old story and it's a Cuyahoga thang.
 
There's no accountability.  No one loses their jobs.   Taxpayers are recognized only at the point where they are expected to kick in more for yet another useless county project.
 
Incidentally, taxpayers are still paying an extra 1/2% sales tax passed in a secret backroom deal to fund the initial building of the Medical Mart, a building long since complete with the product slowly moldering back into the ground.  The Medical Mart is a distant memory, the tax whose purpose we forgot somehow endures.

 

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LauraMcShaneCLE1 day ago

Michelle - the Land Bank is witing out back taxes, and taxpayers are paying to demo this property.  You would think that there would be an attempt to find a buyer that would, at very least, compensate the Land Bank for the demo and then construct something - say a hotel?? or market rate housing - that would generate tax revenue for Cuyahoga County??  Instead, CHN has this deal rigged so they are partnered with EDEN for the non-profit - status. 
 
I was at the ONE and only community meeting to date at the South Point building when Ramsey and Kate Monter hemmed and hawed about depreciation and maintenance on the South Pointe building.   About half the people in attendance where against this proposal. Several in opposition left early. 

 

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Michelle Jarboe, The Plain Dealer17 hours ago

@LauraMcShaneCLE -
Thanks for commenting. There were several smaller community meetings but only one large meeting, at South Pointe Commons. Cleveland Housing Network and EDEN do plan to hold additional community meetings about their project, which was not part of the demolition package approved this week.
The housing developers will pay the land bank for part of the demolition. The taxpayers will end up covering $200,000 of the cost - $100,000 per building. And, yes, the taxes are a loss.
Michelle

 

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LauraMcShaneCLE15 hours ago

@Michelle Jarboe, The Plain Dealer @LauraMcShaneCLE why should we have to eat the Land Bank's decision to transfer this property to their special friends?  This whole project stinks to high heaven and your publication should be asking for an investigation on the Cuyahoga County Land Bank transfers.

 

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Michelle Jarboe, The Plain Dealer1 hour ago

@LauraMcShaneCLE -
Thanks for commenting and for the suggestion. I have been looking at property transfers and would be happy to chat with you anytime.
Michelle

 

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tomorrow1 day ago

Tax lien certificates

 

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LauraMcShaneCLE1 day ago

@tomorrow Cleveland suffers from the worst political leadership in Ohio. And, the crony politics here protects two of the region's biggest con artists - Jim Rokakis and Gus Frangos.  First, Frangos "invented" the city land bank to market Tremont where Rokakis' father ran the coffeeshop across from Annunciation Church.  This strategy, paired with arson and demolitions, made them seem to have the Midas touch. Rokakis held the council seat in Old Brooklyn- Brooklyn Centre where the YMCA building is located and Frangos (Land Bank) held Tremont and downtown.  See also: Frangos Group (Lou Frangos is Gus' brother).
 
As county treasurer and deputy treasurer - Rokakis and Frangos legislated the sale of tax liens.  Turns out the folks they sold to - Plymouth Park, Aeon Financial, Woods Cove - found it so much easier to just pick up the tax liens of African American families who owned their home outright, but who had fallen behind on property taxes due to hardship. NAACP investigated and concluded the same.  Nailah Byrd, County General Inspector at the time - you know, Barbara Byd-Bennett's daughter - promised to investigate and never did (She is still working for Budish - and surprise, surprise - while she was IG it was decided...Land Bank was outside the IG's oversight).. 
 
When Rokakis-Frangos lost their county gravy train positions - Frangos just reinvented the land bank at a larger level.  And, voila - they now drive the demolitions in Cuyahoga County (read all you want into who controls demolition companies) and Rokakis gets a sinecure at the bloated fake non-profit known as Western Reserve Land Conservancy, run by Rich Cochran who make $300,000 helping rich people find "investments" in the inner city (see Forgotten Triangle, East Cleveland, Euclid). 
 
BTW- Cuyahoga County is broke. (Despite the reality - Budish is on a hiring spree)  The County will sell more blight inducing liens this fall.  Karen Farkas wrote about it.http://www.cleveland.com/cuyahoga-county/index.ssf/2016/05/cuyahoga_county_prosecutors_office_hiring_staff_to_speed_up_foreclosures.html

 

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tomorrow1 day ago

Ohio has a program for properties with long time delinquent taxes. Anyone can take a lien against the property and they have six years to foreclose. It's a good chance the lien holder will have to pay only for the amount of the lien. So for instance...if a property appraised at $300,000, owed back taxes of $10000 and someone took a lien of $5000....in six years they foreclose and end up getting the property for $5000. They came up with this to get rid of abandoned properties and get some of the taxes owed.

 

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So, people busting their hump all week, living in $50,000 homes that they are proud of, are expected to pay taxes to provide $180,000 apartments for bums? What a country.


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mabeldog1 day ago

@rnagel Exactly! And the best part is ALL the rent which is 30% of the residents SSI checks, for which they are fast tracked by the men's shelter's eager staff, and then bumped up to "market rate" by our benevolent federal government to a total of $600 for a 400 square foot cubicle is free of all taxes. Including property taxes. That's why CHN in a losing battle of rent collection on the 3500 homes they own mostly on Cleveland's East side, is eager to partner with EDEN, whose director makes $185,000 for funneling federal funds from HUD because ANY property EDEN owns is classified as a private hospital by the county fiscal department and therefore property tax free. Isn't that fabulous. Including 1 bedroom condos in Rocky River. Private "hospitals" with nary a stethoscope in site. On those nine "permanent supportive housing" projects which CHN owns with their new BFF EDEN for which they jointly collect over $6 million in "rent" funneled from the federal government is completely tax free. There is absolutely no on site paid staff unlike Cogswell Hall which also provides housing for chronically homeless people BUT there is a huge difference. They have a community site meal option, paid on-site professional staff and many group activities. I could go on and on but I have submitted all of this information to the Ohio Attorney General's office. On behalf of ALL of us who pay property taxes

 

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DiabloSandwich8 hours ago

@rnagel the $50,000 homes are now worth $12,000.

 

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tomorrow1 day ago

If anyone is purchasing land of any kind it is smart to get a title search and if it is commercial property especially a Phase I environmental assessment to ID any environmental liabilities. Anything less than that I would suspect some kind of fraud.
I do understand why anyone would WASTE money building anything new in a place like that.

 

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LauraMcShaneCLE1 day ago

It has been shown that half-way houses and drug rehab facilities don't work. And, the funding has dried up for conventional treatment centers. Bridgeway and Fresh Start are all examples of well-intentioned efforts that have failed.  
 
Now, the new solution is just to warehouse drug dependent individuals in Cleveland Housing Network's "new" model.  Individuals aren't expected to stay off drugs or even try.  But, hey, Frank Jackson and friends get what they want (less panhandlers on Public Square), the CDCs get what they want (fat checks for developing the schemes with OHFA funds), 
 
Cleveland Housing Network gets OHFA funds and collects SSI "rent" payments, contractors like Marous make out on the construction of these CHN facilities,  and taxpayers lose - as these facilities quickly further depreciate the neighborhoods where they are sited.  
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
The Ohio Housing Finance Agency was recently slammed with reduced funding due to their application request for only funding demolitions.  The Inspector General for the TARP program - which directs federal Hardest Hit funds to states - declared Ohio's OHFA program ripe for fraud and corruption.  Cleveland Housing Network's former construction manager has also been indicted for contract steering and accepting bribes. Google these stories.  Jim Rokakis and Gus Frangos have been players in these schemes for years  - since their days in council.  And, they have groomed their successors - now Brian Cummins and Anthony Brancatelli.  Only little people pay taxes.  CHN-Eden have set up a partnership to allow them to collect rent and not pay taxes.  We all lose.

 

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They are better off keeping the historic building and not building apartments which would be far worse.
For most of these low income people if you gave them one million dollars and a new home in less than one month they would have the home damaged and filthy and within two months would have spent all the money on frivolous stuff like tatoos!

 

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Megalithic1 day ago

Poor neighbors.  Goodbye property values, welcome to the increased crime.

 

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straight_talk1 day ago

The vacant building will be better for the neighborhood than another projects...

 

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pgcleve1 day ago

With such a great economy, why do we need more housing projects?  I thought jobs, jobs, jobs, barry was getting everyone who wanted to work a job.

 

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Integrity played a show there back in the day if I recall....

 

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So sad, I remember hanging out there back in the 60s. Learned to swim in that pool, used to be one of the only places for the kids to go in winter. Kept us off the streets. And low income housing will just drag what's left of the neighbourhood down to the gutter. 

 

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gutty1 day ago

Yep,expected nothing else.Any land that becomes available will be used for democrat voters.

 

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troll.i.am1 day ago

I knew someone who lived at that Y about 30 years ago.

 

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NRWM1 day ago

How does "we have to clean up some of the messes around us to start attracting private development." fit in with an apartment building that will house chronically homeless people.

 

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Best in Cleveland1 day ago

@NRWM Ah yes, the real truth comes out about who runs CLE--developers.  Developers that transfer land with out paying taxes, get government handouts, tax abatement , TIFF's and historic tax credits....anything not to pay property and other taxes.    And the county does not enforce the tax code.

 

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LauraMcShaneCLE1 day ago

 

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LauraMcShaneCLE1 day ago

Michelle - you have known about this story for some time (email sent 5/10/2015) and would not publish the transfer to Land Bank which would have encouraged private development, not OHFA funds funneled through Detroit Shoreway for 2 million + in developers fees guaranteed. 
 
On the WCPN Sound of Ideas, Dr. Boutros noted he fielded a call from a hotel interested in the West 25th St. corridor.  It is not just "a few" residents opposed to the CHN network proposal.  You will delete this comment if I link to REALNEO - but I have notified SIGTARP about the possible collusion on this demolition and land transfer.  
 

 

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LauraMcShaneCLE1 day ago

@Best in Cleveland OHFA is under scrutiny for their funneling of Hardest Hit funds to Cuyahoga County Land Bank for demos - and no attempt to actually keep people from becoming homeless by losing their homes.  Rokakis recently went on the defensive writing an op-ed piece in cleveland dot com and getting his NPR buddies to write about East Cleveland - google it - because this media outlet will delete my comments.  The Treasury Department has contacted me and I will hope, beyond hope, that they are fully investigating this fraud. Rokakis has created a lot of jobs for his "special" friends and his brother is a federal prosecutor so he is obviously protected.

 

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bear raid1 day ago

@LauraMcShaneCLE @Best in Cleveland we see what they did to bic

 

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Michelle Jarboe, The Plain Dealer17 hours ago

@LauraMcShaneCLE -
Thanks for commenting. Feel free to link to any site here. I certainly won't delete your comment, and I doubt the moderators will unless the comment violates Cleveland.com's policies.
You're correct that I have known about the transfer to the land bank and the potential housing deal for quite a while, based on watching property records. And I have read the many emails you have sent. Thank you for keeping this on our radar.
The reason for writing this story now is that the Cleveland Landmarks Commission approved the certificate of appropriateness for demolition. As I noted above, the housing development must go through a separate approval process.
Michelle

 

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LauraMcShaneCLE15 hours ago

 

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Garry Kanter1 day ago

How do transfers get recorded without the past due taxes being paid?

 

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Michelle Jarboe, The Plain Dealer1 day ago

@Garry Kanter -
Thanks for commenting. Except for the 2010 transaction, which involved a deed correction, these were all quit claim deeds that showed a $0 sale price. In some cases, it appears, the acquiring entities didn't necessarily realize that there were overdue taxes that accompanied the real estate.
Michelle
 

 

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Garry Kanter1 day ago

Why does the county record them?
Weren't all the entities related - and therefor aware of the taxes?
Something similar happened with the University Square property in University Heights.
A sale and a subsequent partitioning were allowed, with no tax deficiencies being remedied.

 

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Michelle Jarboe, The Plain Dealer1 day ago

@Garry Kanter -
Thanks for commenting. Some of the entities had overt connections. Others appear to have involved people who knew each other, but the links aren't as clear. I have seen property owners do creative things to hang on to real estate.
Michelle

 

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Garry Kanter1 day ago

I hope you will ask the county treasurer or recorder why they allow these related (or any) transfers when taxes are outstanding.

 

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Garry Kanter1 day ago

Does the county attempt to collect taxes from the previous owners when the taxes are wiped clean by the land bank?

 

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Michelle Jarboe, The Plain Dealer1 day ago

@Garry Kanter -
Thanks for commenting. It looks like the taxes on this property are a loss.
Michelle

 

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Garry Kanter1 day ago

The county has no reservations about selling residential receivables to Woods Cove or Aon, or whoever.
Why don't they do that for the $85,000 here?
Or that crazy large $ amount that investor owes in Cleveland Heights?

 

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3117 [at] advancedigital [dot] fyre [dot] co"> 


Michelle Jarboe, The Plain Dealer1 day ago

@Garry Kanter -
Thanks for commenting. Rather than going back and forth here on a Friday night, feel free to send me an email with all of your questions and I can try to get them answered or forward them to someone at the county. My email address is mjarboe(at)plaind.com.
Michelle

 

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Garry Kanter1 day ago

I appreciate your replies, Ms. Jarboe.
I think the county recorders office issues I've raised are a good start.
As to the property and its disposition, that's a whole other can of dirty worms.

 

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Common Sense Isn't Common10 hours ago

@Garry Kanter  Woods Cove is the worst! Always trying to get property values lowered so they can pay less in property taxes. They also get foreclosed on...a lot.

 

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@Michelle Jarboe, The Plain Dealer @Garry Kanter Iv'e sold a number of houses, and have to pay up property taxes, city water, etc..... how do these people get away with this. ??

 

 

 

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pjrlab23 hours ago

@Michelle Jarboe, The Plain Dealer What happened to reading a title report, or doing the research oneself because the information is plainly on line?  I don't buy it that acquiring entities "didn't necessarily realize that there were overdue taxes that accompanied the real estate."  With all of the information readily available at one's fingertips without a trip to a courthouse, acquiring entities who have no wherewithal to research the properties they intend to purchase deserve any headaches they get.  Relations of whatever kind among flippers notwithstanding, those taxes should inure to the next buyer if the seller doesn't pay, just like unpaid utilities. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Complaint filed with SIGTARP and HUD Inspector General

  
Good morning - I am writing to alert you to fraud on part of the HUD funded CDC Detroit-Shoreway Development Corp.
 
 
The CDC claims to represent the Brooklyn Centre, Stockyards Clark-Fulton neighborhoods and is brokering a possibly criminal transfer of property to the Cleveland Housing Network (CHN) using federal funds to demo a commercial property that is scheduled to be purchased by CHN then flipped to the Land Bank - and flipped back to CHN after using public funds to demo the building.
 
To compound the criminal intent - the Detroit Shoreway CDC has no voting board member representation from the Brooklyn Centre neighborhood.  
 
Please investigate this misuse of public funds.

Land Bank plans similar flip and use of demo monies east side

http://realestate.cleveland.com/realestate-news/2016/10/levi_scofields_cleveland_mansi.html

My allegation? The Land Bank will fraudulently use county demo funds to get rid of the nursing home. Most likely, NRP Group (long time WRLC Rokakis go-to developer on low-income tax credits) will be able to put in tax-abated housing related to the property with views overlooking downtown. This is a real estate play. 65K in back taxes are wited out by the "land bank." This is similar to the play on west side with the YMCA - 118K in back taxes wited out and shady transfer to the "buyer in-the-wings" CHN-Eden deal that means a cool million in OHFA developer fees for Detroit Shoreway.

NOTE: I also believe that this same pattern of strawbuyer, neglect, and City of Cleveland incompetence lead to demolition of the historic Fifth Church of Christ on border of West 117th and Lake Ave.  I believe the councilman, there, first WRLC's Jay Westbrook, now  Matt Zone, was fully aware of the plan to depreciate the property for a favored developer - in this case Brickman.