Playing Monopoly...

I remember having lunch with Rob Palano, 12 maybe 13 years ago at Just Pasta. Really engaging guy who knows more about real estate than most. I remember him saying, "It's like monoply. Be prepared. You might just end up in jail." Most of Rob's real estate was here on Buffalo's East side.

The Buffalo News, carried the article this week about Rob's sentencing - Predatory Landlord Gets Jail. Seems like New York State Attorney General Elliot Spitzer has had Rob in his sites for some time. Here's a 2001 piece about the sentencing in an earlier case. Also try this [google search - Rob Palano Fraud].

If you are reading this because you are one of the dozens of people that Rob helped, I'd like to hear about your personal experience in dealing with him and especially how he may have helped you buy your first home. Does anyone know how many of these Palano houses are now demolished?

Adding another dimension to this prosecution, and never mentioned by the Buffalo News is the role that former BMHA attorney James Longa may have played in Rob's version of Monopoly. Dick Kern writes...

Incredibly, a major player in the Palano scams, but never named in the prosecution, is longtime #2 BMHA Atty, James Lagona, who served as Palano’s personal attorney during the entire engineering of the latest scams.

As if to underline his role, Lagona “purchased” 43 Palano houses simultaneous to Palano’s abandoning the 100 mortgages to”retire” to Florida (the whereabouts of Palano’s wealthy partner, sister Janet Bryant, also never-charged, are not known to me).

See the list of the Lagona (& wife) houses below.

BMHA (or HUD, who paid his BMHA salary of about $70K), of course, has no ethical rules forbidding stealing from the poor while working for City Hall’s major “welfare” agency. Lagona retired as the latest Palano scandal was breaking, so he now has a taxpayer-funded pension ($40,000 annually?) . . similar to former BMHA ED Sharon West when she “retired” to Fla with a $50,000 NYS pension, and with a new $90,000 job.

Lagona supplements his pension with rents from the poor living in his 43 Palano houses. At merely $1000 net rent per house per year, Lagona is likely getting (well over) $43,000 annually, plus the estimated $40,000 pension . . likely far exceeding $83,000 annually, all for “servicing the poor”.

It will be interesting to see how the Buffalo News reports this latest of a long series of inner-city Bflo housing scams.

Word is that Rob will most probably serve only 8 months of his one year sentence. Then back to Florida.
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