Back in February, the Free Press covered Metro Property Groups great success at revitalizing Detroit homes.
Beydoun’s Metro Property Group, founded in 2009, is getting a lot of notice for its up-tempo approach to renovating distressed houses. Buying in bulk from a variety of sources, Metro Property Group renovates dozens of houses each month, renting them to qualified renters who may one day turn into home buyers.
Many individuals, nonprofits and companies renovate homes in the city, but Beydoun may be among the few doing it on an industrial scale, refurbishing around 60 houses each month. Each house gets a new hot-water tank and furnace; floors are buffed; kitchens and baths redone.
If you know much about their target areas highlighted in the map – these are areas of high crime, high poverty, and haven’t seen as much investment from foundations and non-profits. The story was too good to be true.
Late last month another story hit the presses, “Metro Property Group turns investors into “unwitting and unintentional slumlords.” The Metro Property Group is called the top buyer of distressed homes, which matches the Free Press’ “60 houses each month” stat. Baydoun (sp Beydoun) who is a Dearborn City Council candidate allegedly intimidated investors and falsified legal records in order to cover up the scam.
Metro Property Group scammed hundreds of foreign investors. Not only did they fail to refurbish the houses as they claim they also failed to put tenants in them. Instead they paid investors fake rent and their attorney Tarek Baydpun faked evictions so the fake rental payments could stop. A drive past the houses Metro sold in 2011 shows dozens of them empty and in bad areas. When the scam was uncovered they threatened the investors in writing – the emails are exhibited as evidence along with forged leases etc. Why they are not in prison I don’t know.
“If you know much about their target areas highlighted in the map – these are areas of high crime, high poverty, and haven’t seen as much investment from foundations and non-profits. The story was too good to be true”.
That is absolutely accurate. Those of us who were conned by Metro have discovered that the areas they deal in are really poor. Many of the properties sold to investors are completely worthless. Not only that, they are in such poor condition that in October one of them was scheduled for demolition even though it had been sold to an investor as fully refurbished. The investor was paid a fake rent for nearly a year before they found out what was going on. The house was actually a death trap.
The scam is still running. In 2012 houses they had sold to investors as tenanted were still sitting empty months later, some have never rented at all and have sat empty into 2013.
Intimidating investors is standard practice for these con artists and Metro Property Group are well known in Detroit for their fraudulent practices.
Baydoun was bragging in the Dutch papers earlier this year that he had made $30 million selling these dumps and that he had an Irish sponsor, who presumably is funding this.