COUNTY STEALS PROPERTY FROM STUNNED GRANDSON
Dr. Laurie Roth
June 24, 2011
Earlier this week Jeffrey Smiles and Rev. Lainie Dowell, political activist and commentator, came on my radio show and broke the unbelievable story that Jeffrey Smiles is currently living through. It all started when Jeffrey inherited a two bedroom home from his Grandmother after she passed away. She had wanted Jeffrey to use it for rental income.
Facts on the record
Jeffrey Smiles was the personal representative for his Grandmother’s estate and he inherited her home in August 2008. The home had been in their family since 1947. There were no other assets and Jeffrey spent nearly $8,000 in this process, $4,500 in legal fees alone. All taxes were paid in full by Jeffrey.
The place was transitioned to Jeffrey as he worked to fix it up so he could rent it out. More taxes came due, but since he was spending so much money fixing up things, he approached the Baltimore County Tax Office to make a partial payment of $500. He personally took a Certified check of the $500 to them in early April 2010.
Jeffrey states he received one tax bill (others were not received) and he explained to the tax office that he was in the middle of remodeling work and couldn’t afford to pay in full right then but wanted to pay in 3 installments. This was all up front in good faith. He was told that they weren’t accepting partial payments but he had until December 2010 to pay and the figure of the tax bill wouldn’t increase much. So, that is what Jeffrey planned to do since they wouldn’t accept a partial payment plan.
Then Jeffrey got a letter from Baltimore County dated August 1, 2010 saying a tax lien had been issued. He shared with me how stunned he was and that he called the number listed and was quoted a figure more than double the amount listed. When he dared to question this new, engorged figure, even quoting the representative on the phone the law, he was hung up on. Jeffrey immediately called back and no one would answer. He left a message and the phone call was not returned.
The crime against Jeffrey Smiles built from here
Jeffrey then contacted Councilman Joseph Bartenfelder’s Office and explained what had happened and offered his evidence. He received an email from Teresa Streb of this office saying an internal investigation would go on. Jeffrey reports making many calls but found no investigation to be happening. In fact, a person he was in contact with stated she was afraid of Keith Dorsey, OBF director. Bartenfelder’s office reportedly sent a few memos about this.
Then, Jeffrey got a call from Mr. Keith Dorsey, the OBF director. He said they would void the tax sale if he brought a certified bank check to the office. He was instructed to bring a check for $1,852.20. On November 22, 2010, Jeffrey went to the Baltimore County tax office and presented to Bob Franke, tax office manager, a Certified Check for $1,852.20. The check was verified, then he was handed a revalidation receipt #713026.
Jeffrey signed installment papers and he received a duplicate set of papers for the 2011 taxes. Yet, he received a very unfriendly and threatening message and unbelievably found that his property hadn’t been removed from tax sale status on the B.C. Website, contrary to Mr. Dorsey’s promise. He then said he sent a letter of complaint to Keith Dorsey with cc to Congressman Ruppersberger and State Attorney General. The duplicate signed papers were faxed to the tax office on December 7th and received.
Back a few months to the 2010 fight
On December 7, 2010, Malik J. Tuma, attorney of record for Capitol source/fbo Aeon/tax lien law group, (now under investigation and lawsuit by Peter Nickels, Attorney General for the District of Columbia) filed a complaint to foreclose on Jeffrey’s right to redeem his property, even though his property had already been redeemed and revalidated as declared in the receipt issued by Baltimore County. Jeffrey reported to me that he never received the receipt until February 12, 2011. Jeffrey says he then marched back into his Congressman’s office and showed them the refund check for the $1,852.20 he had paid.
As if this story of betrayal and theft against Jeffrey Smiles isn’t enough, Baltimore County has returned the same check three times, which is now worthless and wouldn’t be accepted by any bank. He has received no proper explanation for not receiving and keeping his payment, so not only have they swiped his original payment of $1,852.20 from Jeffrey but have now placed him in serious jeopardy.
When talking this madness through on air, Jeffrey stated that he believes there are criminal matters involved in this whole situation. He believes that Keith Dorsey is bearing a grudge against him due to Jeffrey seeking an investigation of his tax office (how dare Jeffrey try and keep his property and seek the truth).
The final stone thrown in Jeffrey’s face……so far
Along with Jeffrey’s check being endlessly returned, after he paid, per the agreement in good faith and his home, being still on the tax sale list, he is getting ‘come close go away’ games from the Commissioner of Financial Regulation. He told me he took all 25 pages of documents to the Commissioner’s office and was told in a call from her office that if he was a permanent resident she could help but since he was not, she couldn’t. Jeffrey, upon investigation found that this was not true. They were just blowing him off.
As it stands now, his home that he had signed a verified payment agreement and paid on, is still on the tax sale list. Why was his demanded payment, which he gladly paid, returned again and again. Why then the bogus, back and forth of potential investigation promises that have gone no where to right this bold theft?
In talking further with Jeffrey about the actions of Aeon Financial to foreclose and sell off his property in a tax sale, a sinister thought came to my mind. Are we looking at the potential of organized crime here, where payments and agreements are ignored, homes and properties seized, then resold. The record shows in 2010 that Aeon Financial sold 8500 homes in tax sales. How many of these people had made payments and signed contracts that had been ignored, manipulated or refunded??? That is called stealing in my book.
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In Jeffrey’s case it is most obvious to me that they are simply stealing his inherited home.
Jeffrey Smiles has a strong, legal case against all involved in this theft in my opinion. He needs our help. He told me he had seen an attorney but needed one who would work without charging him up front. He has no money to fight this, yet he must. If any attorney out there can offer him advice and/or help him please contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
This cannot stand!
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© 2011 Dr. Laurie Roth - All Rights Reserved