Why is the Lakewood Township Committee giving away very valuable commercially-zoned land to Charlie “Chatz” Schwab for bupkes ?? Is America’s most prolific land-swapper residing right here in our own little town?!? This just proves the age-old adage that it’s “who you know” that counts….
Mr Schwab is the silent partner of Lakewood Committeeman Menashe Miller. Mr. Miller arranges a free land swap for himself while giving the town a dinky lot in exchange for prime real estate.
The way Schwab & Miller operate is simple. The N.J. law is that if you own a property next to a township property, the township can sell it to you in a private sale for the assessed value which is much cheaper than the real value. Schwab goes ahead and purchases a scrap of land next to township land, Miller gets the township to the sell the township land in a private sale, Township Committee sells it for the assessed value to Schwab, Schwab sells the land for full price and splits the profit with Miller.
Take a look at this Thursday (8/16) evening’s agenda; Up for second reading is an Ordinance where Charlie Schwab, via Diamond Triumph Properties LLC, is exchanging his dinky little worthless parcel, which he can’t do anything with (and the township professionals admitted that we don’t even need), for prime real estate right off of Route 70 between Costco and Home Depot (Block 1264 Lot 1). This parcel of land is zoned for commercial use. Prime prime real estate. The Township also owns several contiguous parcels (totaling a few acres) in that area and as soon as he gets control of one of the parcels, he can go ahead and conduct a private sale via his friends on the committee for the adjacent parcels. At that point he can turn around and sell the whole shebang for millions. The plan is to sell it to CHEMED so CHEMED can open a South Lakewood/ Toms River branch. Keep in mind that Miller is a full time employee at CHEMED. Therefore, everyone makes good money – Schwab & Miller and also the individual who behind the scenes controls CHEMED …
Any real estate maven knows the high value these lots can get on the open market, but Charlie has already arranged to pay the tax assessor value – which is way below true market value. This is another example of how the taxpayers are being screwed and cheated out of that which rightfully belongs to them.
Playing With The Numbers
This is not the first time Schwab & Miller is getting free land from the township so he can split the spoils with Committeeman Menashe Miller. In fact, he’s almost up to the tenth land swap deal with the Township of Lakewood. That’s quite impressive. He should probably be placed in the Guinness Book of World Records for his unmatched prowess of going this far without getting caught!Lakewood Township Exchange of Land Report new
In most of his swaps he used Starmark Appraisals to appraise the land and come up with fake numbers. In the last township meeting the Mayor of Lakewood mocked an individual who mentioned he has an appraisel from Starmark because everyone in town knows that Starmark Appraisals can get you any number you like.
You may ask, where is the township attorney? Maybe all this is somewhat legal? Well, in 2008 Rabbi Yidel Shain sued the Township of Lakewood for exchanging land for Schwab & Miller and he won! The judge ruled that this is all illegal. So the Township of Lakewood and it’s attorney know very well that this is as illegal but continue to hope there won’t be repercussions.
In 2014 the Township of Lakewood made a land swap ( Ordinance 2014-62),and you will notice that the Township Attorney felt it necessary to add a clause (para. 4) stating that the Twp lot “is not located in close proximity to other Township owned properties”, as this would pose a real concern that the swapper will take unfair advantage of his newfound position to gain control of the other lots. So, why is this concern being IGNORED in the latest 2018 deal – when there are ELEVEN neighboring lots owned by the Township??Public Notice for Diamond Triumph Properties
Ordinance re the Exchange of Lands B1264 L1 for B445 L6