Monday, June 14, 2010

Trying To Track Down The Mysterious James Lang, Whose Name Came Up In Association With The Fraud At 1564 Hillside Ave. N.

Contributed photo, 1564 Hillside Ave. N., blog post by John Hoff

Some Northsiders just can't let go of the mortgage fraud scandal at 1564 Hillside Ave. N., and I'm probably right at the head at that hungry howling pack, thank you very much. If you haven't heard the story of this building and the conviction of master mortgage fraudster Larry Maxwell, well, you must be brand new to this blog. Here's the thumbnail version:

With the help of some bad actor who put the deal together, (who would THAT be?) the nondescript little blue house at 1564 Hillside Ave. N. was sold by prominent North Minneapolis slumlord Keith Reitman to Jon Foster, but not the REAL Jon Foster. It turned out Jon Foster was a crackhead no-account thug who was merely using Jon Foster's stolen identity. One of the individuals paid out in the deal (a name that appears on the HUD statement) was James Lang. And this name--James Lang--has been driving a small circle of Northsiders crazy. WHO IS THIS JAMES LANG AND WHAT WAS HIS ROLE IN THE DEAL AT 1564 HILLSIDE AVE. N.?

Here's a recent attempt by a North Minneapolis activist to track down more information about the mysterious James Lang, sent in an email and worded kinda as follows...

I Googled their names (Keith Reitman and James Lang) together and just a few hits come up, aside from the recent hennepin county tax forfeiture notices for that vacant lot on West Broadway, here's a couple more:'james+lang'+%2B+'keith+reitman'&cd=5&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

This is property info at 2111 4th St N. They're listed as co-owners. This would be right around 4th Street Saloon/Kemps area, correct?

(JNS says: I believe so, but I'm having a heck of a time making it come up on Google maps. It keeps coming up as 4th St. NORTHEAST on Google maps, even though the city website confirms 2111 4th St. NORTH is a good address and--to my way of reckoning--it sure would be back there near Kemps. Maybe somebody will need to drive there and photograph it. We are, after all, obsessed with this James Lang. The city property website, which is notorious for being out-of-date, lists a Noemi Van Gelder as the buyer and Reitman as the seller in a deal August 23, 2006, no mention of Lang)

and then...'james+lang'+%2B+'keith+reitman'&cd=6&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

The City of Minneapolis property website still lists Keith Reitman and James Lang as the owners at 1600 Golden Valley Rd, which is now a vacant lot, however way back in 1992 there was a rental license...issued to a Mrs. Smithrud!!!!

(JNS says: SMITHRUD? Of the Smithrud garden gnome political empire? The plot thickens! Or not. We don't know if that Smithrud is connected to the OTHER Smithrud, though one suspects North Minneapolis is a rather small place)

This vacant lot has an owner/master address of 2339 Penn Ave N.

(JNS says: I'll have to go look into that. Is that the Mississippi Hair Building? Where Reitman is rumored to live? The address doesn't turn up in a search of the city property website--of course, that site is known to freeze up and act stupid, sometimes--but it DOES turn up on Google maps as a valid address. Go figure)

Lots of special assessments at that vacant lot... such as $22K for demo on the 249 list... Wonder who paid that, Smithrud or Reitman?

(JNS says: what makes us assume ANYBODY paid it? I'd be interested to hear from Keith Reitman, but a little birdie tells me Keith might be doing a whole lot of keeping his mouth shut in the very near future)


The Hawthorne Hawkman said...
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Kevin said...

There was a James Lang years ago who owned a whole lot of problem properties in North and South Mpls. In fact, as I remember he made the Mpls Top 10 list of worst property owners at one point in time. I even remember going to his home in Minnetrista with a whole lot of other folks to protest how he managed his rental business.

Some how his name kind of disappeared as the years went by. I have no idea if this is the same person you're looking for, but it's kind of odd that name would resurface once again. I remember the address of one of his rental properties, but I won't post it here. Contact me if you want the info.