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Property owners outraged by Guthrie businessman's dealings

A businessman is buying tiny parcels of land so he can sell or lease them for inflated prices to people who need them to get into their homes and businesses.

BY JOHN ESTUS Modified: June 7, 2010 at 7:13 am •  Published: June 7, 2010
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Edwards could not remember the lease terms. Chelinos owner Marcelino Garcia could not be reached for comment.

Numerous property owners contacted by The Oklahoman never knew RJS Properties owned property neighboring theirs until they got letters from Edwards offering to lease or sell the property to them for inflated prices.

Further, none knew the properties had delinquent taxes or were for sale.

"When I got the letter, I went online trying to figure out what the heck was going on,” said Ken Wegner, president of Timberdale Estates Homeowners Association. "I don't hate anybody and I don't wish anybody ill, but I just don't understand behavior like this.”

Wegner suspects property owners aren't being properly notified of tax delinquencies and pending sales of those properties because of a 2008 change to state law.

It was the result of Senate Bill 1770, which changed notification requirements counties must make on tax delinquent properties and lessened property owners' protection from the unnotified sale of such properties.

Mixed results
The Timberdale Estates Homeowners Association went to court two years ago to have RJS Properties' purchase of the condo driveway nullified. The case is ongoing.


Summit Condominiums received notice from Edwards in July 2008 that RJS Properties had bought the road running through the condo complex and wanted to lease it to them. RJS Properties bought the road for $2,938 in June 2008, records show.

"I had no idea the driveway was even going to court or was behind in tax payments,” said Glenn Rubin, president of Summit Owners Association.

Edwards later retracted his offer to lease the driveway to the condos and instead offered to sell it to them for $25,000. Condo owners haven't paid, and Edwards hasn't pressed the issue.

"I just threw my money away on that deal,” Edwards said.

Rubin said he was shocked to learn Edwards was running a business in such a way.

"I think this guy should be sued and put out of business,” Rubin said.