Fraud - Cuyahoga County Land Bank

Submitted by lmcshane on Sat, 03/04/2017 - 11:35.

West side CABAL is thick with loyalty dollars handed out through CDCs. Some of the deals don't involve direct cash - but, instead, valuable land parcels/properties held by the CDCs - the trail of Cuyahoga County Land Bank property hand-offs is camouflaged through the CDCs. 

Mitchell Paul  discovered this - LAND Studio (now director) Greg Peckham got two properties transferred through the Ohio City Development Corp 4204 - 4206 JOHN AVE. This has to be happening on the east side - even w/o CLE Council controlled CDCs. University Circle Inc is a CDC not directly controlled by CLE Council.

Also, Cleveland Housing Network is a great way to camouflage the loyalty network. Rokakis-Frangos pioneered this in Tremont. This is why CHN is such a fraud - it is a huge non-profit loyalty network where properties are flipped, demo'd, taxes wited out and so many other handy ways to inflate costs to keep the machine in operation.

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 (There is a long, sordid history of real estate racketeering associated with a commercial property on 3881 West 25th St.  Cleveland Housing Network capitalizes on federal monies to build Permanent Supportive Housing - but to make the low-income tax credit fraud scheme profitable, they need to get large properties "GIVEN" to them.  Enter the Cuyahoga County Land Bank.  Federal monies through Ohio Housing Finance Agency are expected to be restricted now with Trump administration and also federal investigation into misuse of Treasury Hardest Hit Funds.)

The transfer of the YMCA to the Cuyahoga County Land Bank also primes the transfer of the vacant YMCA building to the Cleveland Housing Network - primed to funnel federal monies back to contractors and the Detroit Shoreway Development Corporation in the form of a BIG fact developer fee.

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CHN Eden = Massive FRAUD

Fraud of the PSH fake philanthropy model - only housing INDIVIDUALS when the predominant homeless issue in CLE involves families. Cleveland Housing Network's original mission was to make affordable housing available to FAMILIES... there is only so much need for SRO Single Room Occupancy) model - but CHN has FAILED miserably at transitioning families to home ownership and their inventory of houses (the largest land lord in Cuy after CMHA) are the BLIGHTED properties now rented out and (loaded w/lead) that Frank Jackson talked about not citing in housing inspections.

Cleveland Housing Network was first beneficiary of the original "land bank" model - properties GIVEN to the Cleveland Housing Network in neighborhoods like Tremont - intended to transition folks to home ownership.  The CDCs were integral to the "flip" - with some money exchanged - or not exchanged- sometimes, on the books - most often NOT ON THE BOOKS.  In the case of the YMCA building - there is a commercial building needed to contruct the Cleveland Housing Networks' 80 units plus warehouse for homeless folks.  But, that property 3873 West 25th was privately owned and not delinquent on taxes and not condemnable.  What to do??

Kate Monter admitted at 3/2/2017 community meeting that the Cuyahoga County Land Bank BOUGHT 3873 West 25th St. for $250K - there is no sale transaction recorded at the Cuyahoga County Auditor site.  Now, the Cuyahoga County Land Bank proposes to demo 3873 and 3881 with County demolition funds capped at 100K/property.  The entire demolition of YMCA and now Kulcharski warehouse has gone up from 400K to 550K.  Cleveland Housing Network says they will apply for HOME funds to demo. These funds are also administered by the Ohio Housing Finance Agency - which administers the low-income tax credit funds CHN hopes to use to construct their now estimated $13M Emerald Alliance XI - originally estimated at $12M.


Letter sent to Ohio Housing Finance Agency: 


SRO Model: unaffordable

This model requires the end numbers to make sense after purchase, rehab, etc. based on demographic information available for generations... The median family income in CLE is $26,150 according to the census bureau. Yet, the agencies puport valuations, etc on their own incomes of usually upwards of 4 times this low income dynamic for turnaround of housing stock. Sadly; this means that the housing becomes unaffordable to the families in need. Ughs. It never ends. This is a proven unsustainable program. Until they modify the mentality; the people will continue to be used as pawns...and abused by the create high paying jobs for gentrified administrators who simply DO NOT GET IT! SMH. It's incomprehensible to the yuppies how low income families survive... perhaps they should all be expected to do a 6-12 month internship---LIVING with a LOW INCOME FAMILY so that they may see how the cycle goes.... SMH.. Interesting thoughts. 



 Always Appreciative, "ANGELnWard14"

From EJB - on HUD and Ben Carson

Eric J Brewer:'s almost impossible for the lay person to discern the slant of a news story or organization. You wouldn't follow newspaper publishers or broadcast owners. Warren Buffet buying 65 newspapers to you is a business deal. To me it's knowing he runs GEICO and has an interest in making sure mandated automobile insurance is legal in all states. We have 7.6 million or more drivers in Ohio. I read a Centers for Disease Control report a few years ago that showed the overall cost of accidents in Ohio was $1.3 billion. It dawned on me that for $200 a year from every licensed driver we could cover all drivers in a state run shared risk pool. An idea like that will never be discussed if an insurance company owner owns 65 newspapers and wants to protect his business by endorsing politicians who support his interests.

This is America. Rupert Murdoch is Australian and owns many of our newspapers: notably FOX and the Wall Street Journal. The people running our major media organizations under the Australian are Australians. So who's national view are we getting? Our's or there's? He's Vladmir Putin's friend and business associate. Who's interest was he pushing when the Wall Street Journal endorsed Trump? Media ownership is important and foreign influence is not good.

There may have been 4 commenters out of close to 200 comments from people who correctly focused on the real issue that HUD was about to be cut by $6 billion by Trump. Google search "HUD cut by $6 billion Trump" and the first story that popped up on my search engine was from PBS. The Washington Post published a story, but the other big media ignored it. Lots of little media sites. This "immigrant" bullshit is all over the internet. They even got Chelsea Clinton to comment and Samuel L. Jackson. Over this shit?

This is why we lose all the time. Distractions. Follow the money. Defend your civil rights. Whenever you read something don't just accept what's written. Ask why it was written and to what benefit is it to you, individually, and our community, as a whole.

Any money in Carson's use of the word "immigration?" Any violation of our civil rights? Any detriment to our community because he used the word immigrant and a bunch of immigrants who didn't want to be compared to our ancestors got pissed off about it? And more importantly, they somehow think they're better than us. Oh hell no. You and me ain't worried about ICE. I don't even own a passport. If I go anywhere in this mutha fuckin' nation I'm home.

Do you actually think in your wildest imagination that the directors of the Cleveland Housing Network, Cleveland Housing Solutions, the Ohio Housing Finance Agency and that whole white guy housing mafia that includes Jim Rokakis, Gus Frangos and the landbank managers want black people being waked up and hooked up by a brother from Detroit? Dr. Carson is predisposed towards "this" community. Y'all better get your plans together. We got four years if you want to take advantage of this relationship at HUD. Don't be distracted. 

And for the record, I've already share HUD's federal regulations and identified where to go for additional source information. If you want to access HUD funds, all the laws that allow you to do it are in the link I've already shared. The federal government has money for "us" if we ask for it.

Andrea Luvnme Freeman, the best I can tell you to do is question everything and use the media only as a light frame of reference. This shit we're dealing with is not to be trusted.

END LITC program - Massive Fraud


The low income housing tax credit should be ended.  It is a sweetheart deal for well-connected developers, attorneys, accountants and government regulators.  These players all get paid by so-called "soft-costs", which often may exceed 35% of overall deal cost.  

Housing supposedly intended for those with low incomes is dolled up with stacked stone facades, gated entrances, cameras, saunas, fitness centers, business centers, elaborate pools and other gimmicks such as bocce ball courts, dog runs, etc.  Sadly, when a new tax credit deal is built in a moderate income neighborhood, the competitive pressure often drives formerly viable apartment complexes into bankruptcy, foreclosure, and sometimes, abandonment.  Moreover, this program actually punishes those who would strive to increase their income above 80% of the median by denying them housing.

As one who operates more than 4,000 affordable units in Atlanta, I say this is a program with perverse consequences that should be ended.



@Richard James  Great points.  And the other dirty little secret is there's no incentive for a development to come in under budget, since there would be a penalty if all of the tax credits weren't delivered.  So, cost-overruns/change-orders are often built into the budget.  That's how you end up with the mega-sized community room, a second computer room, a bocce ball court (which I've seen at an affordable project!!).  And if a project does happen to run over-budget, they can get additional tax credits fairly easily (within reason). 
While the program has built some desperately needed, high-quality units in many areas which might have very run-down rental housing, the focus is often on the 60% median incomes in order to get sufficient cash flow.  In many rural areas, those 60% units are close to "market rate". 

Put Rokakis and Frangos in prison w/Russo-Dimora

  FBI, HUD and IRS raided City of Cleveland offices last night:



From Eric J Brewer: 

The FBI, U.S. Treasury Department and HUD's inspector general raided Cleveland city hall last night. This is big, folk. The only one who's name hasn't surfaced anywhere among my sources as a “player” in this latest corruption investigation is Mayor Frank Jackson's. Feds went into the construction and engineering office inside city hall last night to get records. City hall workers know who's in the departments, what they do and how their role connects to a multi-jurisdictional federal and possibly state investigation that's tied to the Cuyahoga County Land Bank among other agencies.
I am convinced Jim Rokakis and Gus Frangos are going down. The Cuyahgoa County land bank they conned the state's legislators into passing laws to create for them as an "after office" cash cow is going to be the source of their undoing and they deserve it. These fucking scumbags are in part behind that huge pile of deadly construction and demolition debris in the rear of homes on Noble Road in East Cleveland and across from Collinwood High School. All you folk who lost homes and property in "third party tax lien sales?" These are the two bitches behind that shit, too. Rokakis got the general assembly to push the law that allowed the third party sales in 1998, and then profited off the vacancies it created with his partner in office, business and crime ... Frangos. I'm convinced from the trail of records I've seen connected to them that these two are and have been dirty for a long time and in many ways.
Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish is covering his own azz by pulling the county's demolition money from Rokakis, Frangos and their “private” land bank at this time. He made that abrupt decision right before George Michael Riley's demolition company office was raided in East Cleveland. Budish also rushed to clean up the mess Rokakis and Frangos helped Riley create at the Noble Road dump. I've been told as many as or more than 1000 Cuyahoga County land bank homes were demolished and encouraged to be placed in East Cleveland for $7 a ton by Rokakis, Frangos and Cheryl Stephens; another land bank employee who's going to take a hit.
Here's why the $7 is important. A legitimate construction and demolition debris landfill like Boyas Excavating costs about $18 a ton or more. You can see the "spread" it's suspected that Rokakis and Frangos were working staring you right in the face. They dumped close to 2 million "tons" of debris behind homes in East Cleveland. I see another raid on its way.
Federal agents have the manifests of which demolition contractors dumped in East Cleveland. I'm hearing that some contractors have and are being contacted. No one's going to jail for Rokakis, Frangos or the city officials connected to the construction and engineering office the feds raided. I imagine any demolition contractor who's been contacted is cooperating.
I'm focusing on the county land bank. I don't have any direct knowledge about the federal investigation reaching beyond Rokakis, Frangos, the landbank, Riley and the contractors who dumped at the Arco Recycling Center in East Cleveland. The only reason I know about the dump with as much detail as I do have is because of my role with industrial hygienist Jim Riffle and Harry Drummond in trying to get it closed beginning last December. The late Jerry Strothers was thorough in his investigation of Riley's business activities.
It will be interesting to learn if the investigation is much larger and who it touches. Even the meeting the late Judge Ray Pianka had with agents before he died about a week or so later was connected to Rokakis and Frangos; and his role as Cleveland's housing court judge as it relates to land bank properties and those he ordered to be demolished. Now his bailiff, Miriam Maldonado-Rush, is dead.
Miriam's health took her. Nothing mysterious, but it is interesting that three city officials with intricate details of transactions between the housing court and Cuyahoga County land bank and the city's construction and engineering division are dead. Reflect on the fact that Rush was the Jackson administration's community development director who supervised the officials who's office was raided before he died and Cosgrove was appointed to replace him. So in “official” terms we've got a dead housing court judge who's dead bailiff was married to the Jackson administration's dead community development director who supervised the employees being investigated by federal authorities; and who may if he was still alive have been a part of the investigation.
I'm told acting housing Court Judge Ron O'Leary is cooperating. I'm wondering, however, what his role as the city's former building and housing director would be in connection with the investigation since the offices raided were construction and engineering?
I know for a fact O'Leary and Councilman Matt Zone were in collusion to harass a West 65th Street and Detroit renter out of his residence with threats of undercover police and inspectors. Many Cleveland council members do this shit. I use that example because my knowledge of it is intimate and shows the type of underhanded conspiratorial shit elected officials, city officials and workers are doing with public offices. Councilmen don't direct any city worker's activity but those who work for them. All these backdoor relationships between council members and Jackson's employees leaves the mayor with no accountability for what they're doing without his knowledge. This raid has been over two years in the making.
I'm not suggesting my next example is in any way connected to the investigation. I'm going to use it as an example of the type of shit scumbag politicians and public employees do.
Let's say Jackson's new community development director, Cosgrove, is funding “CDC's” for councilmen and working with developers who want certain parcels of property cleared for development. Adam Rosen of the Detroit Shoreway Corporation wanted a renter off W. 65th Street and Detroit and manufactured false information about him to create an interaction with the city with the help of Zone. They then used the created interaction to high pressure the renter's landlord, the owners of Pioneer Savings Bank. When the renter confronted Zone, Jeff Ramsey and Joe Tegreene in writing with their duty-exceeding conduct, and showed in over 185 incidents how Rosen was lying in reports Detroit Shoreway was submitted to HUD for reimbursement, Cosgrove and O'Leary defended and concealed his misconduct from Jackson instead of holding him and Detroit Shoreway accountable for it. When he showed that a commercial tenant made improvements without permits, Cosgrove and O'Leary ignored the violations.
HUD's inspector general should look at Jorgelle Lawson's conduct in any activity where local federal oversight has been lax. Jackson doesn't know CDC's under his community development directors aren't being monitored annually before getting new contracts as sub-recipients of HUD funds. So I know, without any hesitation, Cosgrove and O'Leary engage in the type of activity that would have city departments under their current and former supervision raided by federal agents. HUD's inspector general's investigation doesn't have to be limited. Lax and improper oversight from HUD's Columbus field office is one of the biggest contributing factors to the misuse of local federal block grant funds and the mayors don't know. They actually "think" HUD's Columbus office is competent and that Cosgrove and O'Leary were running the departments they supervised in accordance with laws and contracts.
The local corruption possibilities for this investigation could be endless. Maybe a councilman, like a Zone, has a backdoor relationship with a developer or builder who wants property on or around Detroit. Maybe there's some Tremont properties being sought and Cosgrove tells O'Leary to create a problem for low-income property owners or tenants in a struggling property along West 14th Street as a favor for Councilman Kerry McCormack who's got a side deal with the developer.
Hell. The current federal investigation could in part be as simple as Pianka getting a piece off every Cleveland property owner who's home or building he used the court to push into the county landbank for demolition. There's a Facebook friend who Pianka simply gave a Hough property to run through his non-profit. I'm not accusing the named parties of the dastardly deeds I've described above, except the Pianka Hough transfer. I'm simply indicating that this is the type of shit the named parties could be involved in that federal agents are investigating.
We know from past history that in this city and county scumbags do the type of shit I'm describing as an example of the type of shit scumbags do. Ward 1 just elected a man convicted of bribery while in office and sent him back to city council. SEIU spent hundreds of thousands of union dollars backing a Cleveland mayoral candidate who was federal convicted of extortion while in office. A South Euclid resident lied about being a Cleveland resident to run for council in Ward 7. Federal raids of city hall is generally a good indication that they believe scumbags are inside doing scumbag shit.
Frank is lucky the raid didn't come during the mayoral campaign. I hope he understands it's an indication that his high paid administrative team ain't watching his back or that of Cleveland's taxpayers. It's bad enough to lose the taxpayers' money from mismanagement. It's worse when elected and appointed public officials are thieves abusing a city's charter, ordinances, Ohio laws and constitutional rights to create a side hustle for themselves.
Frank should look at it this way. Had Natoya Walker-Minor and Merle Gordon read the U.S. EPA's website to learn that construction and demolition debris landfills don't get licensed behind homes on Noble Road, and across the street from Collinwood High School; and if they'd told Ohio EPA director Craig Butler “no” when he connected with Cleveland before issuing the license, none of this shit he's now dealing with would be happening.
There were 26 inspections of the Noble Road dump, Frank, by city officials under your administrative supervision. Your employees found “fugitive dust” and never tested it. They never instructed Arco's operators to stop accepting construction and demolition debris. Had everyone from his chief of staff, to Natoya to Merle to even the city council committee led by Kerry McCormack simply said “no” to Arco and the idiots in East Cleveland, there'd be no George Michael Riley doing shit with Rokakis and Frangos that corrupted Cleveland city employees.
Internal controls of governmental employees by mayors is a full-time job.
Here's a tip to you new councilmen. This investigation is a result of bad habits at city hall and Cleveland politics in general. You're walking into a city hall that's under a federal investigation, but the beauty is none of you were involved. You're clean, but one raid leads to another. Investigations like this one don't stay small. There are individuals you're dealing with in city hall right now who you'll later learn were involved.
You do not know the mayor or any of the current members of council. You don't know the directors or employees and have no idea what any of them has done that would cause federal officials to enter city hall at night to remove records. You don't know what's in the removed records or how they apply to those removed from Riley's office in East Cleveland.
There were more than 400 names associated with the Cuyahoga County corruption investigation. Mine was not among them. I will tell you that the politician and public employee always goes to jail. Those passing out bribes don't go to jail, traditionally, in this city and county.
If you pick up this leadership team's bad habits you're going to make yourselves a target of this investigation or perhaps one that might come from its expansion. The FBI began investigating Emmanuel Onunwor as East Cleveland's mayor in 1999. He was indicted in 2003. They kept digging until he was jailed in 2004.
It was their investigation of Emmanuel that led them to Nate Gray's office that led them to Fred Perkins and Choice Construction that led to Jimmy Dimora and Frank Russo. If this investigation has been underway for two years it could be another two or three years before it's completed. It could be winding up now as an investigation that's gone on for the last four years instead of two. I don't know. What I do know is you're going into a new experience and you'd be a fool to trust any of the "new friends" you're making. They are not your friends. They do a lot of wrong shit in Cleveland city hall and a federal raid is evidence of it.
If I have any advice to offer it's to trust no one. Be independent. Master your two constitutions, charter and ordinances and live by them like they're your bible. No shortcuts. No deals. No cash. No gifts. Fuck your new friends because they are not your friends. Decide today whether you're going to be an honest and straightforward public servant or the next political jailbird.