Friday, August 1, 2014

Heritage House Gangsters

John, an old friend and one of my commenters, wrote on a recent Heritage House post:

"There seems to be more than a conspiracy going on here. It is more like the old Greensboro in the 20s and 30s when crime bosses run the city. I halfway expect to see men hanging off runner boards flying through downtown with tommy guns blazing."

More than you know friend. For example, Sonny Vestal who owns Vestal Property Management and managed the Heritage House Homeowners Association-- his father Gloyd A Vestal, the first owner of Vestal's Florist which is still doing business despite the fact that the NC Secretary of State has dissolved the company, is serving a life sentence for murder and then tossing the body of Angelo S. Pennisi out of an airplane into Lake Gaston. Like father like Sonny?

That comes from yet another source that prefers to remain unidentified and will.

Fact is: crime bosses have always run Greensboro and most of them live in stately Irving Park and belong to the Greensboro Country Club.

Next we have NC § 14-100.  Obtaining property by false pretenses sent to us by Sal Leon who is looking out for your best interests even though Councilman Barber isn't:

"(a)        If any person shall knowingly and designedly by means of any kind of false pretense whatsoever, whether the false pretense is of a past or subsisting fact or of a future fulfillment or event, obtain or attempt to obtain from any person within this State any money, goods, property, services, chose in action, or other thing of value with intent to cheat or defraud any person of such money, goods, property, services, chose in action or other thing of value, such person shall be guilty of a felony: Provided, that if, on the trial of anyone indicted for such crime, it shall be proved that he obtained the property in such manner as to amount to larceny or embezzlement, the jury shall have submitted to them such other felony proved; and no person tried for such felony shall be liable to be afterwards prosecuted for larceny or embezzlement upon the same facts: Provided, further, that it shall be sufficient in any indictment for obtaining or attempting to obtain any such money, goods, property, services, chose in action, or other thing of value by false pretenses to allege that the party accused did the act with intent to defraud, without alleging an intent to defraud any particular person, and without alleging any ownership of the money, goods, property, services, chose in action or other thing of value; and upon the trial of any such indictment, it shall not be necessary to prove either an intent to defraud any particular person or that the person to whom the false pretense was made was the person defrauded, but it shall be sufficient to allege and prove that the party accused made the false pretense charged with an intent to defraud. If the value of the money, goods, property, services, chose in action, or other thing of value is one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) or more, a violation of this section is a Class C felony. If the value of the money, goods, property, services, chose in action, or other thing of value is less than one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000), a violation of this section is a Class H felony.

(b)        Evidence of nonfulfillment of a contract obligation standing alone shall not establish the essential element of intent to defraud.

(c)        For purposes of this section, "person" means person, association, consortium, corporation, body politic, partnership, or other group, entity, or organization.  (33 Hen. VIII, c. 1, ss. 1, 2; 30 Geo. II, c. 24, s. 1; 1811, c. 814, s. 2, P.R.; R.C., c. 34, s. 67; Code, s. 1025; Rev., s. 3432; C.S., s. 4277; 1975, c. 783; 1979, c. 760, s. 5; 1979, 2nd Sess., c. 1316, s. 47; 1981, c. 63, s. 1; c. 179, s. 14; 1997-443, s. 19.25(l).)"

Yesterday I sent the following e-mail to Mayor Vanghan, all 8 members of the City Council, City Manager Jim Hightower and Police Chief Ken Miller:

"Under NC 14-100  Obtaining Property by False Pretense, it's a crime to take money and not do with it what you were supposed to do with it. $59,000 plus should easily constitute a felony. The City of Greensboro has known for months that the Heritage House landlords were not paying their bills and that the Homeowners Association was not doing its part. Why has no one been taken to court and charged with these many multiple counts of fraud? It would appear to the public that the City is protecting someone-- who? Why?

I'll be posting this to my blog tomorrow with or without your answer.

-Billy Jones

PS. If you haven't already you'd do well to read everything I've uncovered and made public about Heritage House and Ben Holder to date

PPS. If you know any refugees of Heritage House I have contact information for the American Civil Liberties Union Rep in charge of the case and will be happy to put them together."

I got an honest and forthcoming reply from Councilwoman Sharon Hightower:

"I am aware of the issues at Heritage House and have been more concerned with getting the folks out.  We have also been exploring our legal options.  To prove fraud or any illegal intent, we must have proof and documentation in order to take folks to court and in order to make charges stick we also must determine those who have done so.  Too many owners to waste legal dollars, we have a different strategy to accomplish our goal and punish the owners at the same time.  Thanks for your concerns.

Sharon Hightower"

No one other than Ms Hightower replied.

It's really a shame Mayor Vaughan and Councilman Barber slipped Ben Holder the Heritage House story and allowed him to blow it all out of proportion before Councilwoman Hightower was given enough time to resolve the issues there. But then had Sharon been successful there would be no land grab and Irving Park's gangsters would have to go back to murder and robbery to make a living.