Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Motion for Default Judgment Against Slumlord Keith Reitman In 1564 Hillside Civil Suit...

Contributed photo, (thanks for all the Jameson) and blog post by John Hoff

Today I was reviewing the civil file in the Melony Michaels and John Foster civil case, which is a lawsuit against North Minneapolis slumlord Keith Reitman and a number of other individuals and entities for alleged and/or documented involvement in the notorious mortgage fraud at 1564 Hillside Ave. N., as well as another address not nearly as famous but equally fraudulent. Reitman is not alleged to be involved in the other address but was the seller of 1564 Hillside Ave. N.

Good ol' Keith Reitman likes to characterize himself as "one of the victims" in that fraud, even though Reitman was the seller of the property and nobody I've interviewed is aware of Reitman giving back so much as a nickel from the lucrative deal.

In a flurry of recent paper filed in the civil case...

...attempts are being made to get a default judgment out of Keith Reitman and several other entities whose names didn't really catch my attention so much, oh well.

A hearing on the motion for default judgment is scheduled for April 8, 8:30 AM, before the Honorable Judge Mel Dickstein.

Michaels and Foster are represented by Matthew David Resch of Wagner, Falconer and Judd.

This blogger is watching the work of this lawyer closely, ready to heap praise or scathing criticism upon him depending on how it goes. Recently, it appears to be going very well.


Johnny Northside! said...

Troll comment rejected.

I think looking through court files and talking to lawyers is a great way to network and push my career forward. It's a tough economy out there. Gotta network.

eric z. said...

Did anyone look at the escrow instructions?

Usually the real estate agent picks the escrow company if neither side has preferences, and form instructions are usually used in small deals, and if HUD, or VA financing is involved.

Was the escrow company part of Maxwell's empire, is it still in business, etc.?

There had to be some kind of escrow instructions about pay-outs to anyone but the seller and mortgagee and lien holders. Were there liens on the property before Maxwell got involved in a "sale?"

Did the new lender write the escrow instructions, and if so, how did that lender get info about payouts besides to seller and mortgagee?

Was the lender's title policy an exhibit during the Maxwell trial?

With the "windows" thing, is Moore a licensed contractor, was he ever, has he ever filed a mechanics lien?

Were escrow and other papers from the closing subpoenaed, in discovery before the 11th hour change in representation just before trial? Was discovery largely ignored per a cost basis?

Perhaps all these questions have already been kicked around, perhaps some reader of JNS might shed light in a comment. I only ask a few obvious things, from the outside, while others might know more.

eric z. said...

Another simple question for an outsider to ask, has Reitman ever volunteered to show his file on that property to JNS, either John, or Jeff, who wrote the earlier item?

It seems that bona fide good faith goes beyond talk, to showing the papers. Has anyone ever asked him?

If he'd show offers, earnest money contract, [that's probably where an escrow agent is named, by the agent], that would be helpful for the community to know, especially if he has no paperwork on the payouts - and no written contract with Moore.

He had to have signed off on the escrow arrangements before there could have been legitimate disbursements, or am I wrong? He'd have kept the file, not thrown the papers away?

eric z. said...

Has anyone asked Freeman's office to have the opportunity to examine admitted trial exhibits the prosecution submitted in Maxwell's and TS's trials? Evidence at trial, the exhibit set, would be public data; and exhibits usually are returned to the parties when a matter's closed - a filing convenience for the courts, i.e., with less paper to store in archives.

Freeman's office ought to have a complete set of prosecution and defense exhibits.

Since the trial's closed, Minn. Stat. Chs. 13-13C apply, meaning that public data must be reasonably available for inspection w/o inspection fee charged; and copies are to be available at a "reasonable" cost. Freeman's office probably has a designated staff person named to be the agent for responding to public data disclosure requests.

Has there been any bird dogging that way, at that office?

Court files usually do not contain trial exhibits, (or do they, in Hennepin County - I don't know).

But the prosecutor does (or should) keep public record files.

Getting into files of ongoing investigations, that's probably not possible due to a privilege. But for closed public files, is there any data law exception barring having a look? I don't know and have not re-read the law. But it is online, here:


Reading that first and then calling Freeman's office may unlock a treasure trove. Signatures, negotiation stamping, etc., on the backside of the $5000 check might be in that evidence.

Given being sued, there's probably an extra heartbeat or two in the bird dog's breast, to sniff around beyond what's basic instinct.

NoMi Passenger said...

Eric Z, I think you are hitting on some questions that haven't been asked before, at least not publicly that I am aware of.

I don't know the answers to the questions, but I do know that I myself have obtained the Maxwell and the Snoddy file from the B vault at the courthouse. Maxwell is 10 volumes and the first 9 are away somewhere at appeal. Snoddy file is being poured over by Johnny Northside himself as I type this.

Reitman is a regular blog reader here, so consider Reitman asked. But don't expect much in answers from Reitman.

Although, if he wants to make info available, or make a statement about the 1564 deal, he can always email John and arrange a publication of his statement. He's done that before.

Johnny Northside! said...

I know the exact date Reitman made his statement to the authorities. I can see it in the Tynessia Snoddy file.

If Reitman has a copy of his statement, I'd be very happy to publish it.

The Hawthorne Hawkman said...

Eric Z, the title company in the Maxwell cases was either negligent or complicit. I worked for Centennial Mortgage and Funding at the times when many Maxwell transactions happened (ironically, the same company that CM&F loan officer Trent Bowman worked for when he originated many deals with Maxwell. I wonder if anyone's ever going to get around to investigating THAT guy).

Anyhow, we had a training on how to spot the exact kind of fraudulent title actions that were present on the Maxwell transactions. It's not that hard for title companies and lenders to check up on construction companies to see if they are shell corporations, or to verify whether the appropriate work was done at a property to justify huge payouts.

I wouldn't expect an answer from Reitman though. And I wouldn't hold it against him for not answering, given that there's a lawsuit. But the outcome of that suit should be very telling for certain north Minneapolis players.

Johnny Northside! said...

Rumor has it the date for the motion for default judgment will get pushed back even though that is not yet reflected on the court's website. Don't expect a hearing to actually take place on the date noted in the article above.

Anonymous said...

Look at you guys! You are swimming around Reitman like sharks. Who do you think you are? Johnny Northside is not a real estate professional but, is quick to give his opinion. NoMi Passenger, I still can't figure out her role in this matter or why she seems to think she is owed any sort of explanation or answer.
Hawthorne Hawkman, you suggest someone should be investigated because they worked at Centennial Mortgage and Funding? Am I misreading what you said? You made a bold statement. Is that your opinion or do you know something factual about him that should be investigated? If you have that sort of information, why haven't you given it to investigators?

This is not news that is being discussed here. I don't see how this is revitalizing anything. What you are doing and saying on here would be like a plumber blogging away about some rocket scientist and their work.

Johnny Northside! said...

Swimming around Reitman like sharks...

I like it!

(Grins a toothy grin)

J&M said...

To answer all of eric z.'s questions, Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes ....
And Hawthorne Hawkman is correct that Trent Bowman and Centennial were both negligent and complicit! Hopefully neither of them will remain unscathed. Every licensed party in that transaction (or nearly every one) was negligent or complicit. Also, no-one willingly gave away or showed many of the documents because each party wanted to protect themselves, however, during the 7 week trial the majority of documents were exposed. The backs of the checks written at the closing are still being withheld but we will get those too.

Regarding this conversation not having anything to do with revitalization ... it's important that every member of a community do their part to expose dangerous activities whether it be humungous racketeering thieves making hundreds of thousands of dollars on delapitated houses next door, or sex offenders prowling the neighborhood, or snakes edging their way into positions of power making it easier for them to steal or harm that city.

I applaud all the hard work Johnny Northside and all the neighborhood residents do to make it safer for everyone. Pouring over documents, exposing criminals, writing, publishing, attaching PDF's, all these things are time consuming and done by the generosity of JN for the benefit of everyone, including those who never have and may never hear of Johnny Northside.

The County Attorney, Brad Johnson did an amazing job prosecuting some of the members of that racketeering ring, (hopefully more to follow) and during the 2 year investigation nearly every corner was probed. Reitman didn't offer to show anything because he helped to steal over 100,000. on the Hillside property. He showed no honor or sincerity in helping the victims of that fraud, in fact he probably put more hours into dodging the process server than he did working.

Moore to my knowledge has no license for anything that allowed him to make steal the 5000.00 (and Reitman did admit to bird dogging Moore (which is illegal in a real estate transaction to an unlicensed party.)

Hawthorne Hawkman did not say to investigate someone simply for working at Centennial, so you must have mis-read that statement.

Eric, thank you for the link that is one I didn't see before so I am going to hit it now and see what it holds!

Keep up the great work John!!

The Hawthorne Hawkman said...

Right, Anon. I said Trent Bowman should be investigated because he did a number of deals with Larry Maxwell. And some of those deals have been proven to be fraudulent. CM&F came into the comment only because I was aware of the type of training they gave me (and presumably Bowman) at the times relevant to when the fraud occurred.