|USA et al v. Dennis Christ and Kevin Christ, Plaintiff's Exhibit 12|
(Public record court filing, thus public domain)
In July 2012, a tenant at 3821 Russell Ave N brought a civil suit against Dennis Christ and Kevin Christ. But this isn’t any ol’ lawsuit, it’s a qui tam action wherein the tenant (via their attorney, Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid) asks the federal government to intervene on allegations that the landlords made fraudulent claims and demands relating to housing assistance payments. The Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota agreed to intervene, and one of the Christs was finally served the evening of December 18, 2013.
According to the original complaint and exhibits, a tenant was living in a subsidized housing unit that provided a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher at the end of her first year of tenancy. She started searching for apartments at the end of that period, and found 3821 Russell Ave N. She was allegedly told that rent was $1,050 per month, but that there was an additional $35 “laundry charge” for the washer and gas dryer. However, according to the tenant, that additional charge was not optional...
...She says she submitted a “Request for Tenancy Approval” as required by the government, and the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority purportedly sent Dennis Christ a packet of documents to complete to schedule an inspection of the property and complete the rental process. She eventually moved in on October 1, 2010. Fast forward a few months, and it appears the tenant found out that Mr. Christ had apparently executed documents with MPHA showing the rent was $1,050 a month (instead of $1,085).
Again according to the complaint, Christ allegedly continued to demand $35 a month for this “laundry charge” from the tenant, and then additionally demanded she pay $20.90 per month for a CenterPoint Home Service Plus repair plan for the landlord-owned appliances.
|Plaintiff's Exhibit 10|
(Public record court filing, thus public domain)
She vacated the following summer, and there were apparently additional disputes as to payment of utilities. According to the tenant, the move-out walk-through indicated no damage, cleaning, nor repairs would be necessary, yet she was charged for cleaning and damages, additional rent, and payment of utilities, which appears to have wiped out the entirety of the deposit.
According to the Housing Assistance Program contract (which is in the included exhibits above), the defendants allegedly agreed that, "[e]xcept for the rent to owner, the owner has not received payments or other consideration . . . from the family . . . for Defendants certified that and will not receive any rental of the contract unit during the HAP Contract term.” Defendants further agreed, according to the Complaint, to "not charge or accept from the family or from any other course, any payment for rent of the unit in addition to the rent to owner."
Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid filed the original complaint on behalf of the ex rel plaintiff tenant on July 25, 2012, which again is basically a request that the federal government bring the complaint on the plaintiffs’ behalf; the United States of America becomes the plaintiff.
The U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota, did elect to intervene on or about April 2, 2013, which effectively sealed the details of the case until the federal government could investigate and write up their own version of the complaint.
The United States filed their Complaint in Intervention on August 21, 2013, essentially re-writing the pleading for clarity, and bringing causes of action for presentment of false claims, reverse false claims, unjust enrichment, and payment by mistake. The federal government made a demand for relief in the amount of $34,884 for treble damages, and a penalty of $11,500 for each of the “twelve false claims,” or for other restitution.
The summons was finally served upon one of the defendants on December 18, 2013. Expect this case to get going a bit more quickly now. In fairness, recognize that the entirety of this post is based on the allegations in the complaint and included exhibits, and the Christs haven’t filed any answer or defenses… yet.
According to property records, the following are the North Minneapolis properties under their ownership or control.
DENNIS CHRIST (10984 228th St, Scandia, MN)
3906 Girard Ave N shows Dennis as the owner and rental license contact since at least 2008, and there’s a reference in the Webber-Camden Neighborhood Organization minutes and on the 4th Precinct CARE Task Force website of car repairs being done at the property, and cars being parked at the neighboring vacant lot.
3747 Oliver Ave N shows Dennis as the owner and rental license contact since at least 2009, and JNS highlighted in a previous post a search warrant being executed relating to DeWayne Day. MPD allegedly recovered 57.19 grams of crack cocaine, 6.6 grams of cocaine, a Remington 12-gauge shotgun, a confirmed stolen Redhawk .44 Magnum, a rack of cash, and a digital scale.
3647 Aldrich Ave N shows Dennis as the owner and rental license contact since at least 2009. When Malcolm Dashuan Peoples a/k/a Malcolm Dashuan Peoples was arrested on 10/12/2011 and 8/29/2011, he told police he resided there. He has convictions for assault, tampering with a motor vehicle, giving a peace officer a false name, and disorderly conduct. Also, when Wilmon Bryant was arrested on 7/31/2011, he gave the address as his home, too. His convictions include interference with an emergency call and domestic assault-fear, domestic assault-fear again, disorderly conduct, felony domestic assault that was reduced to a misdemeanor under a stay of imposition, and a felony violation of a no contact order, again a stay of imposition until his probation ends in October 2014.
3547 Girard Ave N shows Dennis as the owner and rental license contact since at least 2009. When James Mario Beard and Bobbie Joe Wagner were arrested, they gave this address as their home. Beard has convictions for disorderly conduct, receiving stolen property, domestic abuse, and driving after revocation. Wagner has convictions for obstructing legal force, disorderly conduct, and assault.
4000 Bryant Ave N shows Dennis as the owner and rental license contact since at least 2009. When Kynion Malik Love was arrested he provided the address as his home. He’s got convictions for *sigh* felony attempted aggravated robbery in the first degree, feeling a police officer, something relating to registration of predatory offenders, and domestic assault. He’s currently incarcerated.
3821 Russell Ave N shows Dennis as the owner and rental license contact since at least 2009. It's the property involved in the lawsuit above.
KEVIN G. CHRIST (5269 St. Mary’s Road, Minnetrista, MN)
3615 Emerson Ave N shows Kevin as the owner and rental license contact since at least 2009.
4135 Fremont Ave N shows Kevin as the owner and rental license contact since at least 2009. I found the home was advertised for rental on GoSection8.com at one point.
(And the following two are under the names Kevin Christ and DeeAnn Christ.)
4610 Bryant Ave N shows Kevin as the rental license contact since at least 2009.
3543 Dupont Ave N shows Kevin as the owner and rental license contact since at least 2009. There might be a business operating here called “God’s Garments of Praise.” Last month Finance & Commerce listed a public notice for someone at the address, although it’s not a court issue and I didn’t find any criminal charges. Interestingly, I recognized the address of the former rental license contact "3101 Old Highway 8 #101, Roseville, MN 55113” and… it was Ronnie C. Franklin, property manager for the slumlord-mortgage fraud TJ Waconia operation. I’m not saying there’s any negative connection, but I think it’s important to note when a home was a former TJ Waconia home. Which it is.
Sometimes Kevin is cited as Kevin Chirst [sic] during eviction proceedings.
Kevin also uses/used the business name “D K CUSTOM BUILDERS, INC.” at one point, bearing the same principal executive office as his home, but listing an additional office of 2815 Weston Ln N in Plymouth.
I couldn’t track down anything directly awful about Kevin’s homes or his tenants. Maybe he does a better job than Dennis does when it comes to picking tenants, eh?