Summit County Files Complaint Against 'Freddie Mac'
The county is looking for restitution for allegedly neglecting to pay fees and taxes over a six-year period.
Summit County Prosecuting Attorney Sherri Bevan Walsh said a complaint was filed in Summit County's Court of Common Pleas against Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, widely known as “Freddie Mac,” on behalf of Russell M. Pry, executive of Summit County, and Fiscal Officer Kristen M. Scalise.
The complaint requests that Freddie Mac be ordered to pay restitution to Summit County for allegedly neglecting to pay fees and taxes over a six-year period.
From 2002 through December 31, 2008, Freddie Mac failed to pay the fees or transfer taxes on more than 3,500 real estate transactions, according to the prosecutor. She added that Freddie Mac claimed to be exempt from those payments because it is a government entity.
However, the county disagrees with that claim.
The prosecutor contends that Freddie Mac was fraudulent in this claim, as Freddie Mac is not a government entity, but rather it is a federally-chartered private corporation.
“Freddie Mac’s failure to pay fees and transfer taxes on these properties amounts to nothing less than fraud,” said Walsh. “That fraud came at significant expense to Summit County taxpayers, and I fully expect that the Court will order Freddie Mac to repay the money it owes to the citizens of Summit County.”
Summit County is asking the court to find that Freddie Mac committed fraud when it claimed to be exempt from real estate transfer fees and transfer taxes.
The county is seeking repayment of all unpaid fees and transfer taxes plus interest and penalties.
Assistant Prosecutor Joe Fantozzi told Record Publishing Co. that Freddie Mac has 21 days (as of July 10) to submit to the court a written response to the complaint. Once that response is submitted, an initial court hearing will be scheduled.