Thursday, December 3, 2020

Wooster Lake in Consideration

I posted a story here about a Wooster Lake homeowners association, Wooster Lake, and the story attracted many comments. Some of the commenters used the word "fraud".

I can see if a homeowners association does not have the legal authorization (whatever that may be) to call it one, then it would be easy to call it fraudulent. But does this rise to the level of criminal fraud?

The homeowners association has documents posted on a website. Is this cause for a criminal prosecution for fraud? If anyone who ever posted a lie on the on the Internet broke the law, then everyone would be in jail.

I think there would have to be an actual monetary loss for a fraud to have been committed.  If someone bought a house and was falsely led to believe their home was bound by the rules of a homeowners covenant, I think they would be the victim of fraud.  Has this happened to anyone?  Did they press charges?


Devil’s Advocate said...

Eye On Lake County wrote this piece at the above link a year ago in 2019, exhibiting just 2 examples of real estate listings with highlighting access on Wooster Lake. For clarity there is only 1 Wooster Lake. 1 listing was selling that the property has access to an unrestricted lake. Conflicting, the other listing was selling - and actually did since sell - the property has access to a restricted lake. Both cannot be true. 1 listing has to be fraudulent since there is only 1 Wooster Lake.

If the attorneys writing cease and desist letters to associations are correct and a subdivision association must have 100% of a private lake within its borders to legally govern and place restrictions on the use of the waters of the lake, that listing of property that sold with lake water use restrictions while not meeting such jurisdictional requirements sold under false pretenses. Fraud. The buyer bought into filed recordings of its subdivision’s association claimed restrictions - filed recordings- when the seller and the seller’s association never had and still does not have authority to adopt any restrictions over the use of the lake’s waters in the first place. The restrictions that sold attached to the property do not hold legal water.

Eye on Lake County is correct, however. Every buyer cheated by a seller and her/his association would need to file a civil suit to obtain a judge’s ruling so as to be made whole and obtain compensation for damages from the association. Why wouldn’t a buyer do this? First, attorneys cost money. Further, the associations around Wooster have over the years earned the reputation of ruling with an iron fist. Some people within associations do not tolerate dissenters and use its power to retaliate against such rabblerousers. This association has that reputation. Evidence of ‘might makes right’ on Wooster has been exhibited in the Lake County Circuit Court including in police reports presented to the court.

Civil court is not appropriate when so many have bought into the same deception over so many years. Potentially 100’s of fraudulent transactions as multiple subdivisions with lake access each have 100’s of properties and those subdivisions’ (pl.) associations have filed recordings claiming restrictions. There are 3 known association recordings, all claiming restricted use of Wooster Lake’s waters. Yet 100% of Wooster is and never has been within the borders of these associations, either individually or collectively.

The Lake County State’s attorney years ago should have put a stop to this “fraud”, He chose not to do anything. Criminal charges should be pursued because the fraudulent transactions shamefully persist, every year, within every one of these subdivisions.

Devil’s Advocate said...

A better question to ask:
How many court judges have ruled in favor of a seller’s association’s filed recordings claiming restricted use of Wooster’s waters?

Answer: 0

On the contrary, Judge Simonian of the Lake County Circuit Court has heard a small claims complaint from some Wooster owners claiming multiple counts of fraud, clouding of title, damages etc because of alleged fraudulent restrictions. That association that was sued submitted evidence it had no one interested in defending the association’s restrictions it claimed of Wooster. Lots of talk outside the court, but no walk in court. Court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, against the association. The association is no longer in good standing with the Illinois Secretary of State.

Anonymous said...

The IDNR - which is the controlling entity of Wooster Lake - 7 years ago provided this letter (now at this website) and sent it directly to the various association leaders. The IDNR letter clearly states that only a unit of local government (ex. municipality, association) that has jurisdiction over the lake can legally adopt restrictions. Since that has never been done legally, the IDNR does not recognize as legal any adopted and association claimed restrictions filed at the county recorder’s office. Yes, 3 sets of association restrictions are still today filed at and disseminating from the county and selling with ever property sale at these developments. Years and years of properties at 3 subdivisions selling with attached, association filed, said-restrictions of Wooster Lake.

The fraud is now known by some on Wooster. But new, unsuspecting buyers who buy into what’s written and filed at the county still get taken in the grift. Sales in the winter are the most deceptive. A winter buyer who buys in with restrictions doesn’t know he has been cheated until the following spring/summer when speed boats, jet skis, tubers, and the like recreate on the lake. Quite a scam these associations have going.

Anonymous said...

Association officials blew off the lawsuit refusing to show up in court. Did association officials ever respond to either the attorney cease & desist letters or to the IDNR letter? Or did association officials simply disregard and get back to their “business as usual”? Did the State’s Attorney also ignore all this allowing it to keep going?

Barney Baxter should reach out to the association officials and directly ask them under what authority do they think they have so as to adopt and file at the county their restrictions of the lake’s waters not located completely within their corporate borders. How was jurisdiction established when the vast majority of the lake is outside their corporate borders? Or wasn’t jurisdiction established, like the IDNR confirmed in its letter, consistent with the cease & desist letters from attorney Nakon’s office?

Barney could also reach out to the State’s Attorney and ask if he agrees or disagrees with the IDNR letter and their requirements for any local unit of government to establish jurisdiction over the lake before adopting valid restrictions.

Barney, Be sure to ask specifically about jurisdiction over the use of the private lake’s waters. No one disputes jurisdiction of the land inside their borders. It’s the use of the water in dispute, not the land. Associations and their lawyers love to only respond verbally and ambiguously to perpetuate their disinformation of their lake restrictions. Talk is cheap. Ask them to walk the walk with a written response. Thank You.

Fraud? said...

If recordings falsely placing restrictions are filed at Lake County, filed against properties within an association, where the association is without jurisdiction over the privately owned lake, “clouding of title” may be a more accurate offense, despite the extensive deception. Clouding is also not legal in Illinois.

In EOLC’s “Tale of 2 Wooster Lakes” article, the listing that did NOT sell is just as interesting as the one that did sell. The listing of property unsold to date and absent of restrictive use on the listing is also a part of an association: Cambridge at Holiday Park Association. That association is one of the associations that has restrictions filed at the county. This lake owner in that association may be unable to sell his property because his unrestricted-lake listing conflicts with the property’s actual filed paperwork claiming the opposite: restricted-lake.

What buyer would knowingly buy into title of property that is clouded with restrictions detailed in the paperwork and conflicts with the sale listing of that same property?

Anonymous said...

The passion for chronic lying is remarkable, almost as much as the county’s tolerance and facilitation of it. For the county too defies the cease and desist letters from the attorneys as bogus documents today disseminate from Recorder VanderVetter’s department.

Most remarkable is the fact this decades old con persists though can be easily remedied. All the recordings claiming lake usage rules can be repealed by associations by vote. Associations can then by vote adopt legally binding rules aimed at regulating the upland property, not the water. For example, “The association owned boat launch and upland properties can only be used to launch boats not exceeding 75 HP and not exceeding 23’ in length.” Whatever the rule, apply it against the use of the land where the association does have jurisdictional authority.

The associations refusing to do this simple fix reveal their true malintent. They insist on continuing to defraud people about who governs Wooster Lake waters and how it is legally used once on the lake.

Anonymous said...

Tanneron Bay board members are bigger superspreaders of disinformation than the babbling bully in the White House.