Schlussel Files Fed Racketeering Suit Against Largest Buyer of Foreclosed Detroit Homes; Hezbollah Scam Involving FOX News Personality, Dearborn Candidate; Took Christians’, Muslim’s Life SavingsBy Debbie Schlussel
As a publisher, I am posting this press release, below, which I think should be of interest to you, my dear readers. You can also read more about this case here in Courthouse News Service.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – May 14, 2013
Contact: Debbie Schlussel, Law Offices of Debbie Schlussel
LARGEST BUYER OF FORECLOSED DETROIT HOMES SUED FOR FRAUD, RACKETEERING AGAINST INVESTORS;
LIFE SAVINGS, RETIREMENT MONEY TAKEN IN INTERNATIONAL PONZI SCHEME; HEZBOLLAH CONNECTION
FOX News Personality, Candidate for Dearborn Public Office Among Defendants Accused of Fraud, Forgery, Conspiracy, Racketeering
DETROIT, MI – The Law Offices of Debbie Schlussel, a Detroit-area law firm, today, announced the filing of a federal fraud and racketeering lawsuit against Metro Property Group, LLC, the largest buyer of foreclosed homes in the City of Detroit.
The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Michigan in Detroit, describes a “Madoff-like,” large Ponzi scheme perpetrated by the company, its sister entities, and the companies’ primary shareholders and officers, Sameer Beydoun, Ali Beydoun, David Makki, Mike Alaweih, and their lawyer, Tarek Baydoun, to defraud many investors from around the world (and in the United States) of their life savings and retirement money. (A copy of the lawsuit complaint can be read here.)
The lawsuit, Llewellyn-Jones et al v. Metro Property Group et al, Case 2:13-cv-11977, involves victims from all over the world and varying backgrounds, including citizens of the United Kingdom, Australia, and Yemen, and victims who are Christian and Muslim. As described in the complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Detroit, several of the key defendants are open supporters of the Hezbollah terrorist group, which is second only to Al-Qaeda in the number of Americans it murdered. And one of them was a FOX News personality who also worked for a Hezbollah charity raided by the FBI, as well as recently tweeting in support of HAMAS murders of Jews.
The lawsuit alleges that Metro Property Group and its related entities conspired with the Beydouns, Makki, attorney Baydoun, and others, to market homes in Detroit to investors all over the world as money-making investments. The homes were marketed as refurbished, tenanted, and occupied by “Section 8” government-subsidized tenants. They presented fake leases with the names bearing forged signatures of non-existent individuals, phony Section 8 Audit documents, and other false documents to induce investors to purchase homes in Detroit from them and to continue to cover up the Ponzi scheme. The homes were sold to these foreign investors for amounts ranging from $40,000 to $50,000, when they were, in fact, virtually worthless, in complete disrepair, uninhabitable, and untenanted in most cases.
Initially, Defendants pay the investors the fake amount of rent specified on the forged leases, in order to keep the scam going. Then, they inform them that the tenant has been evicted or has simply walked out and no more money is forthcoming, when there never was a tenant in the first place in many cases.
Defendants never refurbished the homes and in several cases the properties have never had tenants living in them and remain entirely uninhabitable. In the few cases in which tenants were actually living on the properties, they were paying far less than the amounts listed by the predatory Defendants in the fraudulent marketing materials and forged leases they furnished to those that they targeted as victims to invest in the Ponzi scheme. The investors were fined thousands of dollars by the City of Detroit and by the Department of Housing and Urban Development for the massive defects in the home, which make them uninhabitable. Many of the investors have lost their life savings. They are left with worthless properties that are costing them thousands of dollars in fines, taxes and repairs, the involuntary status as slumlords against their will, and the City of Detroit is left with more bad publicity.
The perpetrators of the Ponzi scheme, Metro Property Group and its principal shareholders and officers, Sameer Beydoun, and Ali Beydoun, have formed a partnership with Irish investment company, Brendan Investments, which has reportedly paid the Ponzi schemers 15 million Euros for a joint venture, Woodward Capital, involving the shabby Detroit homes (and enabling the Defendants to purchase the homes). The non-executive Director of Brendan Investments is the well known Irish celebrity financial adviser, Eddie Hobbs. Since the recent filing of this lawsuit, Hobbs and his Brendan Investments first claimed they never had any partnership and scrubbed a website detailing their very extensive partnership (the website contents, through the “magic” of Google’s cached links, can be viewed here). And a screen capture of the page is viewable below. Later, Hobbs and Brendan Investments changed their story and admitted a partnership with the Defendants for the last 18 months, endorsing the company and Defendants alleged to have engaged in a giant Ponzi scheme, apparently enabled with Brendan Investment funds whether wittingly or unwittingly.
One of the perpetrators of the scheme, Tarek Baydoun, engaged in phony evictions of non-existent individuals to carry out the scheme. As alleged in the complaint, he used Detroit courts to repeatedly file fake evictions against non-existent tenants of the properties in order to defraud investors and carry on the Ponzi scheme. As noted in the complaint, in 2007, Tarek M. Baydoun was an employee of Al-Mabarat Charitable Organization, a Dearborn, Michigan charity which is the United States affiliate of Lebanon-based Hezbollah charity, Al-Mabarrat, when the charity was raided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for allegedly sending money to Hezbollah. In 2012, Tarek Mahmoud Baydoun, an attorney and real estate agent, was a paid FOX News personality and exclusive “pollster” for Detroit’s FOX 2 News, which is owned and operated by FOX News Channel and its parent company, News Corp. Tarek Baydoun is currently a candidate for the Dearborn, Michigan City Council. He recently sent out tweets from his Twitter account in support of HAMAS terrorist group murders of Jews. Baydoun is a past participant in the “Children of Abraham” “interfaith” project funded by Detroit’s Jewish Welfare Federation and Jewish Community Relations Council.
In preparation for this lawsuit, the Defendants, presumably with Brendan Investment funds, hired publicist Darci McConnell, a former Detroit reporter, to get her former colleagues, John Gallagher of the Detroit Free Press, and Chris Christoff of Bloomberg News Services to do gushing puff pieces without any investigation into the actual business dealings of Defendants. Ms. McConnell, who has since resorted into personally attacking the Plaintiffs’ attorney in this case to unfairly prejudice the Plaintiffs in this case, was also the publicist for Synagro, a company whose executives and officials paid bribes to Detroit officials in a billion dollar sludge hauling scandal, which resulted in several convictions in the recent FBI Detroit public corruption investigations involving Monica Conyers and former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. This included the conviction of Synagro official and admitted bribery perpetrator Rayford Jackson, a top Detroit Nation of Islam official.
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