Tax Lien Sales Fraud Racism Scams Abuse NAACP takes Action- Cuyahoga County

Submitted by Gone Fishin on Tue, 03/11/2014 - 17:22.

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I have  repeatedly shown here unfair and abusive practices with tax liens sales, not only in Cuyahoga County , but across the country.

My  many years of research was picked up by the Washington Post and most recently by the NAACP Legal Defense whose attorney recently traveled here from Washington, DC to meet with me and others who have assisted me with stopping the fraud, particulary among property owners of color.

It is unfortunate that our elected leaders have decided to look the other way while tax lien companies and public officials robbed our property owners of the American Dream, and that two outsiders from Washington, DC had to address issues in an Ohio county that have long been ignored.

 

My blog from January, 2013 outlined serious flaws in our tax lien sales.  Despite attempts to reach out to our so called elected officials for assistance, the pleas were ignored and outsiders stepped up to the plate.

See my blog here:

Cuyahoga County Delinquent Property Tax Lien Sale - Flaw in System or Violation of Civil Rights - Fair Housing Act?

Submitted by Gone Fishin on Wed, 01/30/2013 - 20:34.   http://realneo.us/content/cuyahoga-county-delinquent-property-tax-lien-sale-flaw-system-or-violation-civil-rights-fair
 
 
 
The NAACP Legal Defense recently wroter a letter to public officials requesting an immediate moratorium on tax lien sales, a reform on tax lien sales, and an analysis of the tax lien sale process.
 
Please see the attached full letter at the bottom of this blog.
 
 
 

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If Cuyahoga County officials fail to address the issue, I am prepared to provide years of highly detailed documentation to the NAACP Legal Defense for a civil lawsuit.  
And we will win our case.
 
Our county officials sold out minorities as part of their 'cleansing' of our county.  The cleansing was meant to financially benefit their friends and partners in real estate.  While others were targeted for petty delinquent property taxes, the politically connected property owners got away without timely paying their property taxes for so long they were featured on the "Dirty Dozen" list of most owed in delinquent property taxes, or they got away with owing nearly as much in delinquent property taxes than the property is worth.
 
Friends and partners such as Forest City Enterprises and Safeguard Properties who are receiving 100's of FREE taxpayer's property from the county land bank via Slavic Village Recovery.  
 
Safeguard Properties has a pending federal racketeering charge, a  pending class action lawsuit filed by the Illinois Attorney General, and thousands and thousands of other complaints alleging illegal evictions, failure to pay contractors, theft, scams, etc.
Instead of our county avoiding any all contact with these thieves, our county gave them contracts to safeguard land bank property, and now they are giving them FREE property.
 
Safeguard Properties is also accused of discrimination and the National Fair Housing Alliance filed a complaint against Safeguard Properties.  The complaint alleges that Safeguard Properties has failed to properly maintain (safeguard) foreclosed property in minority neighborhoods, which further led to their decline.  Now our county is giving Safeguard Properties 100's of free properties in one of the areas which they most likely overlooked during their 'safeguarding' of foreclosed property.  http://www.nationalfairhousing.org/Portals/33/SafeguardAmendedComplaint.pdf
 
 
 
SCAM ALERT Safeguard Properties + Forest City = Slavic Village Recovery - First House 'donated' by the County Land Bank
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LINK http://realneo.us/content/safeguard-properties-forest-city-slavic-village-recovery-llc-first-house-donated-county-land
 
 
 
The letter from the NAACP specifically details the Slavic Village area.
 
 
Other land bank property has also been selectively given to other friends and partners running the land bank scam.
 
Cuyahoga County Land Bank - continues to give county taxpayer property to FLIPPERS
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LINK  http://realneo.us/content/cuyahoga-county-land-bank-continues-give-county-taxpayer-property-flippers
 
 
 
The president of the county land bank has committed MORTGAGE FRAUD and has numerous other highly suspicious real estate transactions.  Desptie my official complaint made to county officials, the FBI, and President Obama, this thief is still president of the county land bank collecting a six figure salary.
 
 
http://realneo.us/content/cuyahoga-county-land-bank-president-gus-frangos-con-artist-forges-documents-obtain-2nd-mortg
 
 
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April 23, 2013
 
Dear Ms. Miller:
 
 
Thank you for writing to President Obama.  The President appreciates your taking the time to share your views and concerns.  We received your correspondence and forwarded your information to the appropriate agency for further review. 
You may also find assistance by visiting www.USA.gov or calling 1-800-FED-INFO.
 
Sincerely,
 
The Office of Presidential Correspondence
 
 
 
 
 
Jim Rokakis appointed the land bank president, Gus Frangos, to his position.  Jim Rokakis also has highly suspicious real estate transactions and was partners with Nicholas Zarnas.  Zarnas is highly suspicious himself and Rokakis / Zarnas sold ONE of their MANY properties for 10 MILLION DOLLARS.
 
 
 
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One of the properties  sold for $ 10,300,000.
 
PARCEL ID 543-19-048
OWNERS NAME STILLWATER THREE LLC
ADDRESS 12105 VALLEY LN
CITY GARFIELD HEIGHTS
ZIP 44125
Parcel Deed Type Vol / Page Sales Amt Convey. Fee Convey. No Multiple Sale / No. of Parcels
543-19-048 Warranty Deed / $10,300,000
 
 
 *****************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************
 
Archving PD comments:
 
 
 
 
When is the other shoe going to drop in regard to this county land bank? 
 
Rokakis isn't graciously facilitating all this demolition let alone reassigning property ownership out of the kindness of his heart. 
 
Who's profiting? And how? For how much? 
 
Then there's the troubling participation of former Cleveland City Council member Gus Frangos as the land bank's president and chief legal counsel. Apparently a very good case can be made that Frangos committed mortgage fraud? 
 
http://realneo.us/content/cuyahoga-county-land-ban... 
 
So why is Frangos the land bank prez and receiving a nice six-figure salary, Rokakis? This explanation should be hysterical. 
 
Also, Rokakis, you took office as Cuyahoga County treasurer in March 1997 after sitting on Cleveland sitting council for 19 years. 
 
During this time you were involved with Nicholas Zarnas in something called the Icaraus Development Group, LLC...which, in 1999, changed it's name to R&Z Development Group (did the R&Z stand for "Rokakis" and "Zarnas," by any wild chance?). 
 
In an amazing coincidence, incorporation records state: "The address to which interested parties may direct requests for copies of any operating agreement and any by-laws of the LLC is Gus Frangos" and lists a Hudson address for Frangos. 
 
http://smtp.realneo.us/content/cuyahoga-county-lan... 
 
So what exactly did you and your buddies Zarnas and Frangos DO under the guise of Icarus? And was it, say, ETHICAL, for a sitting county treasurer to have an interest in such a limited liability corporation while he's serving in an elected capacity as treasurer? 
 
Obviously the term "conflict of interest" doesn't exist in Cuyahoga County (every politician from George Forbes to Bill Mason have either run law firms or election "consultant" agencies while in elected office), but still -- wouldn't a sitting county treasurer possess some serious insider knowledge regarding the local real estate game? 
 
Talk about a fox guarding a hen house scheduled for demolition. 
 
And now we're supposed to take seriously whatever grand pronouncements you make regarding "saving" the region from "blight." 
 
Not to mention you were the ONLY elected official in Cuyahoga County who wasn't aware of the institutional corruption perpetrated by convicted felons Frank Russo and Jimmy Dimora? We're supposed to believe that and also believe you never warehoused any of their friends or relatives on the county treasurer office payroll? 
 
Lots of unanswered questions and dark implications plague the credibility of this county land bank situation. Big shame there isn't a local newspaper possessing the resources, interest or integrity to sort out the entire mess.
clevebaron7 likes this..
 
 
 
Rokakis & Zarnas - real estate PARTNERS:
7941 RAVENNA RD | HUDSON | OH | 44236
JAMES ROKAKIS | NICHOLAS ZARNAS
7941 RAVENNA RD | HUDSON | OH | 44236
JAMES ROKAKIS | NICHOLAS ZARNAS
7941 RAVENNA RD | HUDSON | OH | 44236
JAMES ROKAKIS | NICHOLAS ZARNAS
 
 
The plaintiffs in the underlying lawsuit - James Rokakis, Nicholas Zarnas, Terry
Driscoll and Florentine Driscoll - reside in Cleveland and Brecksville, Ohio and Schuler
argues that these individuals will testify that Schuler did not hold himself out to be
counsel to Hockman, Falor and TFC.   http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/USCOURTS-mied-2_07-cv-14268/pdf/USCOURTS-mied-2_07-cv-14268-0.pdf
 
 
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Cuyahoga County is a plaintiff against these thieving 'partners':    The Department of Development is a big fucking joke:
 
JL-11-459937
Case Title: COUNTY OF CUYAHOGA, OHIO vs. 1104 PROSPECT AVENUE PARK AND LOCK, LLC ET.AL.
Case Designation: JUDGMENT LIEN - CUYAHOGA CP
 
 
DEBTOR (1)
1104 PROSPECT AVENUE PARK AND LOCK, LLC C/O SSE, INC., STAT AGT
26600 DETROIT ROAD
CLEVELAND, OH 44145-0000
DEBTOR (2)
USA PARKING SYSTEMS, INC. C/O LOUIS A FRANGOS, STAT AGT
24225 STONEHEDGE DRIVE
WESTLAKE, OH 44145-0000
DEBTOR (3)
LOUIS FRANGOS
24225 STONEHEDGE DRIVE
WESTLAKE, OH 44145-0000
DEBTOR (4)
NICHOLAS ZARNAS
12655 CEDAR ROAD
CLEVELAND HTS, OH 44106-0000
DEBTOR (5)
GUS FRANGOS
CREDITOR (1)
COUNTY OF CUYAHOGA, OHIO C/O DEPARTMENT OF DEVELOPMENT
1701 EAST 12TH STREET, 1ST FLOOR
CLEVELAND, OH 44114-0000
ATTORNEY
DAVID T DOHNAL (0082701)
12434 CEDAR ROAD STE 3
CLEVELAND HTS, OH 44106-0000
Ph: 216-795-4117
Answer Filed: N/A
 
 
The 'partners' owe the county over 1/2 MILLION dollars:
 
 
07/06/2011 N/A JL JUDGMENT AMT: $558,080.00 RENDERED BY: CP CUYAHOGA ORIGINATING CASE NO.: CV11759057 JUDGMENT LIEN CASE#: JL11459937 CREDITOR: COUNTY OF CUYAHOGA, OHIO DEBTOR: 1104 PROSPECT AVENUE PARK AND LOCK, LLC ET.AL. INTEREST AT: 10% INTEREST FROM DATE: 07/05/2011 COSTS: 90 JUDGMENT DATE: 07/06/2011 DOCKET (JOURNAL): IMAGE PAGE: IMAGE TIME FILED: 07/06/2011 15:05:40 LIEN COST: 25 PAID BY: THE CHILCOTE LAW FIRM SERIAL NUMBER: ACCOUNT NUMBER:
 
 
 
 
 
Our elected officials have the local media trained to report only what they say to report.  They believe they have this county locked down with their corruption and that they rule this county.
 
I have twice proved them wrong by bringing officials from Washington, DC here to uncover their scams and fraud.  At some point, others will catch on to our land bank scam- perhaps the FBI whom I have also notified several times.
 
 
 
PLEASE take a moment to read my other blogs which detail decades of corruption - including several other politically connected property owners who get away without paying property taxes for years HERE     http://realneo.us/blogs/lmiller
 
 
Several years ago, I promised myself and my brother Freddie that I would never let these thieves get away with stealing his family home owned for over 50 years. http://realneo.us/content/plymouth-park-tax-services-aka-xspand-cuyahoga-county-victims-corruption-deserve-justice
 
Freddie, I did it!
 
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 ** The full letter has been added to this blog.  Please see the attachment link below**
 
Due to serious medical issues,  I intend for this blog to my last for awhile- possibly permanently.   However, if the scams and fraud continue, I will find a way to continue fighting these thieves.
 
 
 
* 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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NAACP.pdf202.08 KB
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READ the Letter from NAACP Legal Defense Fund

 
http://realneo.us/system/files/NAACP.pdf

 

Local media received this information directly from NAACP LDF - how long will it take them to respond?

PD reports on NAACP letter

The Plain Dealer reports on the NAACP's letter:

NAACP calls on Cuyahoga County to suspend tax lien sales

 

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The legal arm of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has called for Cuyahoga County to stop bundling and auctioning off its property tax liens to outside debt collection firms.
In a March 3 letter to county officials, two attorneys for the New York-based NAACP's Legal Defense Fund said the practice of selling tax liens "unfairly" deprives people of their property and has a disproportionate impact on black communities. They cited arecent investigative series by the Washington Post that criticized the business practices of Aeon Financial, a company that has purchased tax liens in Cuyahoga County. 

http://www.cleveland.com/cuyahoga-county/index.ssf/2014/03/naacp_calls_o...

 

 

The NAACP's letter has nothing to do with "Blacks getting away without paying their property taxes", per an ignorant comment left on this story.

The tax lien sale is flawed.    Upper middle class white guys, which is how Brian Stark refers to the targeted audience for his real estate radio show, get away without paying property taxes for years with no tax lien sale.

 

BRIAN STARK - Stark Group Real Estate Radio Show - does NOT pay property taxes - GUS FRANGOS appeared on Stark's radio show

http://realneo.us/content/brian-stark-stark-group-real-estate-radio-show...

 

 

Gus Frangos, President of the Cuyahoga County Land Bank, got away without paying his own property taxes for years on several properties- despite his six figure salary being paid by the collection of delinquent property taxes:

Cuyahoga County Land Bank - President Gus Frangos WORLD'S BIGGEST IDIOT land bank scam fraud waste conflict violation trust

http://realneo.us/content/cuyahoga-county-land-bank-president-gus-frango...

 

This owner got away without paying property taxes for years and owed over $40,000 prior to the new administration filing a tax foreclosure.  Despite not paying property taxes for years, Councilman Cummins was determined to help this property owner relocate to another property:

Cuyahoga County Property Taxes - some owners are forced to pay and others get a FREE RIDE - 3025 West 25th Street

http://realneo.us/content/cuyahoga-county-property-taxes-some-folks-are-...

 

The politically connected list goes on and on.

Jim Rokakis pushed for and filed a tax foreclosure because Frank Giglio owed $184.50 in delinquent property taxes in a successful attempt to steal his property.

 

Black neighborhoods were destroyed by the tax lien sales, despite former East Cleveland's Mayor Eric Brewer's attempt to stop the destruction:

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.

http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2010/02/new_mayor_gary_norton_hopes_to.h...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* 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*