Thursday, February 27, 2014

2818 Colfax Ave. N., Where Five Children Died In Fire, Was Sold In 2009 For A Mere $10,500 To Slumlord Paul Bertelson...

 
Contributed photo, blog post by John Hoff
 
 Asking for anonymity, a reader who is familiar with the real estate biz send this blog some information about the sale of 2818 Colfax Ave. N. to Mission Inn Minnesota, a rental property empire controlled by Paul "Slumlord Doing Good For Jesus" Bertelson.  The rental property was the site of a fatal fire that claimed the lives of five children on Valentine's Day...

Prior to the death of the children in the fire, incredibly, their mother had died and they were left by authorities in the care of their father, Troy Lewis, a convicted rapist and registered predatory offender from Cook County.
 
But in regard to 2818 Colfax Ave. N, it appears the property was originally listed at $39,900 but the last list price was $14,900. Even that price wasn't low enough for Bertelson, who snapped up the property for $10,500 in October of 2009.
 
Focusing in particular on the heat source in that house, MLS listed the heat source as "forced air."
 
Structure Information
Heat: Forced Air
Fuel: Natural Gas
Water: City Water/Connected
Sewer: City Sewer/Connected
Garage: 2
Parking Char: Detached Garage
No. of Ranges:
No. of Refrig:
Basement: Full
Exterior: Wood
Fencing: Chain Link
Roof: Asphalt Shingles

 
It's not clear why, if the house had forced air in 2009, the people who lived on the second and third floor were using electric baseboard heat supplemented with a space heater in 2014. One can't help but think whatever Bertelson did to the house, he did it on the cheap and threw renters inside as quickly as possible. Who cares how much utilities cost, after all, if the utilities are paid for with public assistance?
 
This behavior is typical of slumlords in North Minneapolis and the city makes no attempt to require cheaper, safer, more efficient heating sources in rental properties that slumlords fill with impoverished people dependent on public assistance. It is doubtful even the death of five children will spur anybody to crack down on slumlords the way decent people in North Minneapolis have been screaming about for decades.
 
JNS blog has heard further interesting rumors about the accidental cause of the fire but has no confirmation. Stay tuned.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

1) why didn't you buy the place?
2) if electric baseboard heat is so dangerous, then the electric space heaters they sell at Target and elsewhere must be REALLY dangerous.
3) I don't know whether the unfortunate tenant has to pay his own utilities, but part of the reason landlords feel compelled to use less-than-optimal heat systems is because they want to split the utilities. That's because tenants waste so much heat. I don't own any rental properties, but I know that a lot of tenants will crank the heat while keeping the windows open. So maybe having electric baseboard heat was an effort to hold the tenant accountable for their energy use.

You're trying really hard to blame the landlord. I've yet to hear any good reason for your doing so.

Anonymous said...

Cheap Bastard! Where are the permits required to bring this bargain up to the rating of DEATHTRAP!

Anonymous said...

Was this property insured?

Will the sacrifice of 5 children be a windfall for Bertelson or is God asking him to leave it to the community to clean up?

Anonymous said...

The ownership history of this property at 2818 Colfax before it was apparently foreclosed (according to Minneapolis property info) has some names of possible interest.

Before foreclosure the last sale shown at Minneapolis Property Info is

Date Mar 28, 2006
Seller Gregge K Johnson
Buyer Golden U Osagiede Price $260,000


There are some internet posts about the seller Gregge K Johnson, here is one at JNS: Gregge Johnson Rental Licenses Revoked! http://adventuresofjohnnynorthside.blogspot.com/2009/11/gregge-johnson-rental-licenses-revoked.html

Here is another JNS post: Gregge Johnson Properties - A Photo Tour
http://adventuresofjohnnynorthside.blogspot.com/2009/11/gregge-johnson-properties-photo-tour.html

The buyer in that transaction was apparently a landlord and not a homesteader, as a rental license was issued to a name almost matching (Gloden U. Osagiede(sic?) the buyer.

The name Golden U Osagiede is also somewhat similar to that of a person involved with and charged in a $50 million interstate bank identity theft fraud scheme.

http://www.justice.gov/usao/mn/downloads/MN USAO Annual Report 2011.pdf

BANK FRAUD
Dozens Charged for $50 Million Bank Fraud Conspiracy

People trust banks with their most sensitive personal information, but that trust was broken by a network of bank employees and others, operating locally and nationally, in a $50 million bank fraud conspiracy case, which began
working its way through federal court in the District of Minnesota in 2011. Through an organized crime network, stolen identification information was bought, sold, and used by the conspirators to acquire counterfeit identification. That identification was then used by others in the network to open fraudulent bank and credit card accounts, apply for loans, drain home equity loans, and obtain cash. The conspiracy used inside bankers to facilitate the fraud. The financial institutions victimized through the scheme included American Express, Associated Bank, Bank of America, Capital One, Guaranty Bank,
JP Morgan Chase Bank, TCF Bank, US Bank, Wachovia Bank, Washington Mutual, and Wells Fargo Bank. They have provided extensive cooperation
and assistance throughout the investigation. To date, 19 people have pleaded guilty to related charges, and prosecution continues against several others. Moreover, the investigation continues.

On December 1, 2011, the first two defendants were sentenced for their roles in this scheme. Golden Osagiede, age 41, of Brooklyn Park, and Angelo Banks, age 48, of Minneapolis, were sentenced to 33 months in prison on one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. In addition, the defendants were ordered to pay $186,939.70 in restitution. At the same time, Iwabi Nephew Oyenowo, age 35, of
Bloomington, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. He faces a potential maximum penalty of 30 years in prison for the conspiracy to commit bank fraud count and 20 years for the conspiracy to commit money laundering count.

These three defendants admitted that as part of the scam, they deposited counterfeit checks into bank accounts they controlled
and then withdrew funds before the counterfeit nature of the checks was discovered. They also obtained access to victims’ bank accounts and transferred money from those accounts to the defendants’ accounts. Banks also admitted receiving from Osagiede a number of counterfeit checks drawn against the accounts of various Twin Cities-area health care facilities,

Anonymous said...

Seriously Johnny, Why haven't any mass media sources reported on his sex offender status? Even I found it on the first Google page I pulled up using his name & I'm just an old,computer dummy.

Anonymous said...

My guess (speculation, but based on what I've seen in low-end houses, and been told by HVAC specialists) is the property had an octopus furnace at least 25 years post its last servicing and was likely so obsolete a model virtually no one alive knows how to repair it.

Johnny Northside! said...

Why haven't mass media sources reported on his sex offender status?

Because political correctness turns their knees to jelly, that's why. But you watch. I predict in the month of March you will see mass media sources reporting on this topic and it will be in association with pleas that were made to DCFS to take those children out of the custody of Troy Lewis.

Johnny Northside! said...

I haven't seen Johnson's name come up in a while but, yeah, he was prominent in the pantheon of Slumlord Olympus back in the day and his name came up a few times in my blogging. It wouldn't be the least bit surprising if this house was passed from slumlord to slumlord. We see that all the time.

Johnny Northside! said...

I don't know, but maybe Bertelson can send me an email and tell me all about his side of the story and answer some questions like that.

Johnny Northside! said...

What? Tell me more about these permits or lack of?

Anonymous said...

I bet Bertelson isn't saying shit to anyone right now.

Anonymous said...

One probably shouldn't necessarily assume the Minneapolis Property info website is either complete or accurate, but viewing the information it shows for 2818 Colfax leads to a few obvious questions.

Here is some of what the most recent Truth In Sale of Housing Report (TISH) available for for 2818 Colfax Ave. N. shows:

Property Address: 2818 Colfax Ave N Minneapolis, MN 55411
Property ID: 0902924440126


Evaluation Reports are valid for 2 years or one owner. Buyers must obtain a new report in order to resell.

Note to Buyers: Buyers must complete the Truth in Sale of Housing required repairs and then contact the licensed TISH evaluator and the city inspector(s) for re-inspection and obtain any required safety checks. A rental license inspection DOES NOT resolve TISH repair items.

Truth in Sale of Housing History

Evaluation (PDF): Report 06/14/2009
Evaluator/Phone: Dennis Lash: (612)729-6973
Expiration: Expired
Property Owner: MN Homes, REO
COA Issued: NA
AR Signed: 12/07/2009
Buyer: Mission Inn Minnesota Inc.
COC Issued: Not Issued


The TISH report for 2818 Colfax Ave N. is divided to show work which does not require a permit, and work which requires a permit. Here are a few of the items at 2818 Colfax which were found deficient (apparently at the time of the Mission Inn Minnesota Inc. purchase) and which required a permit (and properly licensed workers apparently) to fix:

Permit Required Repair * (RRP)
Electrical work requires a State of MN permit. Homeowners can create and pay for Electrical Permits here: Online Permit System for Homeowners. Access the Electrical Permits City page for more information or call (651) 284-5026. Permitted work must be inspected by the City Inspector. Call the inspector listed on the back of the permit to schedule an inspection after the permit(s) has been pulled and the work has been completed. The permit number is need to schedule the inspections. There will be a charge for the permit.

WaterHt
Unit-Area: #20 Down x2

Item: Water Heater & Installation

Comment: Repair/Replace: - Missing water pipes

Permit Type: BTPA

Permit No: NA

Deadline: 03/07/2010

Resolved: No

Unit-Area: #21 Down x2

Item: Water Heater Venting

Comment: Water heater does not vent to exterior. Plumbing permit required for repair. - Missing flue

Permit Type: BTPA

Permit No: NA

Deadline: 03/07/2010

Resolved: No


Heating
Unit-Area: #22 Down

Item: Heating Plant Viewed in Operation

Comment: Repair/Replace: - Missing furnace/s

Permit Type: BTMA

Permit No: NA

Deadline: 03/07/2010

Resolved: No

Bedroom

Unit-Area: #66 Up northwest

Item: Electrical Outlets/Fixtures

Comment: Exposed wiring not in a junction box. State electric permit required to install a junction box. - Located at bathroom wall

Permit Type: Elec

Permit No: 2818

Deadline: 03/07/2010

Resolved: No


In referring to the permits issued for 2818 Colfax Ave N. only three permits show as issued after 2005.

*10/01/2013 BIRE 3087314 Done 1500.00 Findell Cement, Inc 01/28/2014 $79.25
Scope:This permit authorizes the installation of windows AT 2ND FLOOR OF DUPLEX
__1__ window(s) in existing rough opening(s);

*01/13/2010 BOTC 1084176 Done 1200.00 Mission Inn Minnesota Inc. N/A $70.38
Scope:

This permit authorizes the installation of windows.
____ window(s) in existing rough opening(s);
__3__ window(s) in existing frame opening(s);

*04/23/2010 BSU 1028378 Done Nitti Roll Off Service 06/07/2011 $71.80

Anonymous said...

In total what the City of Minneapolis Property Information website reports on the most recent Truth in Sale of Housing History evaluation for 2818 Colfax Ave. N. which is dated 06/14/2009 and shows "Mission Inn Minnesota Inc." as the buyer and "MN Homes, REO" the property owner concerning repairs requiring permits:


* Permit Required Repair * (RRP)
Electrical work requires a State of MN permit. Homeowners can create and pay for Electrical Permits here: Online Permit System for Homeowners. Access the Electrical Permits City page for more information or call (651) 284-5026. Permitted work must be inspected by the City Inspector. Call the inspector listed on the back of the permit to schedule an inspection after the permit(s) has been pulled and the work has been completed. The permit number is need to schedule the inspections. There will be a charge for the permit.

Plumbing
#17 Down Water Supply Piping Water piping removed/missing in areas. Plumbing permit required for repairs BTPA

WaterHt
#20 Down x2 Water Heater & Installation Repair/Replace: - Missing water pipes BTPA

#21 Down x2 Water Heater Venting Water heater does not vent to exterior. Plumbing permit required for repair. - Missing flue BTPA

Heating
#22 Down Heating Plant Viewed in Operation Repair/Replace: - Missing furnace/s BTMA

Kitchen
#35 Down Plumbing Fixtures Missing plumbing fixtures. Plumbing permit required BTPA

Bathroom
#51 Down Plumbing Fixtures Missing plumbing fixtures. Plumbing permit required - Missing sink BTPA

Kitchen
#35 Up Plumbing Fixtures Missing plumbing fixtures. Plumbing permit required BTPA

#36 Up Water Flow Repair/Replace: - Missing water pipe BTPA

Bathroom
#51 Up Plumbing Fixtures Missing plumbing fixtures. Plumbing permit required BTPA

#52 Up Water Flow Repair/Replace: - Missing water pipe and parts BTPA

Bedroom
#66 Up northwest Electrical Outlets/Fixtures Exposed wiring not in a junction box. State electric permit required to install a junction box. - Located at bathroom wall Elec


*All permitted work in all duplexes and non-owner occupied single family dwellings must be completed by licensed contractors.


All bolding is as at the city website.

It is not possible to know if these discrepancies are due to inaccuracies on the City website. It is certainly possible that all required work was in fact permitted, performed by properly licensed contractors, and then inspected by the city.

No doubt these discrepancies and other documentation are under review by the authorities and others.

Johnny Northside! said...

Riddle me this...

How come there were baseboard heaters in that house in 2014 but when the house was sold in 2009 the heating source was listed on the MLS as natural gas, forced air?

And there were no permits pulled to install electrical baseboard heat at any time after 2005? Which would certainly include every year it was owned by Bertelson after 2009?

Oh, my word, could it be Bertelson would "rather pull a curtain than pull a permit"?

Anonymous said...

Who knows about the applicability of that quote from another landlord to this tragic circumstance?

There certainly could be some sort of confusion and/or inaccuracies on the Minneapolis property information website.

Based on the TISH report it appears that the scrappers got to 2818 Colfax prior to the TISH inspection. There was an assessment for boarding in 2009.

08-0666165 1099 2009 Dot Dwelling Open To Trespass Dwelling Open To Trespass - Front And Back Door Open.(--board--) Paid $190.00

Then at some point after the June 14, 2009 TISH report (maybe the condition in the TISH report explains the low sale price?) 2818 Colfax must have been repaired and renovated. That would have apparently (according to the referenced TISH report) required some permits. Were any issued and closed out by final inspection?

Was a physical inspection at 2818 performed prior to the rental license being issued to Mission Inn Minnesota Inc.?
One might think these type of questions are already being explored by the city and the landlord.

As to why use electric base board heaters in a rental? Could be the low up front cost. Could be the ability to split the thermostats without two expensive forced air units. Could be something else. Wonder if any of the baseboard heaters ended up on the third floor? That third floor might not be city approved occupied sleeping rooms.

Maybe someone will be checking for comment from the appropriate city officials and from Bertelson.

Maybe your anonymous source in the real estate biz has some additional addresses which were recent REO purchases by the Bertelson entities. These addresses might be checked in similar fashion.

One other recent item: Was the power mast for the electric service repaired? Who did that work and was a permit required and/or issued?

Both complaints for 2818 Colfax Av. N., the duplex where Lewis lived, were filed before the family moved in last fall. One was related to drywall, a broken kitchen window and a rotting balcony.

The other, from August 2013, said: “Electricity Has Been Turned Off. There Are 3 Meters At The Building But Everything Runs Off Of The Tenants Meter And There Are Additional Electrical Problems.” Bertelson said that a previous tenant did not pay their bills, prompting the energy company to stop service and subsequently something — possibly a storm — pulled the power mast away from the building.

He said he wasn’t sure what “additional electrical problems” referred to, except possibly the power mast problem. The city declared the building unfit for habitation until the electricity issue was resolved on Sept. 24. The Lewis family moved into the unit in October, occupying the second floor and rooms on the third.
http://www.startribune.com/local/north/247337121.html

Anonymous said...

John, once again you show your ignorance, especially regarding the MLS. You'd rather write SOMETHING, than write something accurate and researched. What a dummy!

justin mccarthy said...

The rental licensing department needs to address these code violations, no shot cuts allowed. Rental license holders should Be forced to bring their properties up to code. If it requires a complete electrical up grade to include new services, with new meter boxes. Higher amp panels, new wire runs to bathrooms and kitchens, so be it. If it requires removal of unlicensed and below code plumbing work done by previous owners so be it. Hiring a licensed HVAC contractor to do an load calculation and provide the property with an adequate heating system so be it. That should be the cost of business to run a rental property in Minneapolis.

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't there be an expectation of accuracy by the Minneapolis Property Info site that the City of Mpls. hosts?

I mean, are there really two sets of records - One official file that is maintained and accurate and another less accurate public information site? How does this city expect to convey public trust if it is remiss in it's obligation to inform the public regarding something as simple as housing conditions?

I am offended that local community members must scratch and dig to get to the truth!

Anonymous said...

Is City inspections really this inept or does a "Wink and Nod" buddy system exist between our City and these slumlords as they victimize low income (potentially mentally diminished) tenants and their children?

Is our new Mayor going to reform this?

Anonymous said...

Mine was the first comment here. If electrical work was done without a permit (and not to code) Bertelson's goose is cooked and should be.

Anonymous said...

Really? You are going to believe the sex offender with an extensive criminal record and no documentation?

Johnny Northside! said...

Kindly tell me what, specifically, you think is incorrect.

Oh, wait, if you had anything particular in mind you would have already told me.

Anonymous said...

Mission Inn Minnesota uses another Bertelson company to do the background checks. So, he has know one to blame but himself no matter how the fire started!

Anonymous said...

I hope this isn't connected to Mission Farms on Medicine Lake Road because then I will feel deceived that people who are in the treatment field may profit off of the carnage of relapse...and I am kidding like a motherfucker because that is the reality.
I hope, in this particular case, that it is wrong. Corporation's change their names when they get called on their shit just like criminal's who hide their real identity when incarcerated for their respective bullshit.

Anonymous said...

cant wait till lewis pays the piper

Anonymous said...

There are a number of non profits and for profits. This is being researched in depth.