One after another, homeowners who were swindled by Paramount Land Holdings in 2009, spoke before the Detroit Police and Fire Pension Board on Nov. 29. Paramount had gotten a $10 million loan from the board, failed to pay back taxes on properties it purchased, and failed to properly record the deeds. Paramount took payments from people, then went bankrupt; several corporate officers were later jailed for criminal fraud. The Pension Board is now in court trying to evict the victims of the swindle.
In a prepared statement read before allowing the homeowners their say, Pension Board chairperson Matt Gnatek denied any responsibility for the situation and attacked the homeowners and their attorneys.
Dana Hill appealed to the board: “This is for my children. I am a single parent. Why can’t we get a settlement? How can you ask us to give our money to someone without a deed, just on their say so?” Homeowner Steve Bynum summed up what everyone seemed to feel about the board’s position: “It’s a joke.”
The matter is expected to be heard in court later in December.