Tag Archives: Bankruptcy

Joe Illuzzi: Deadbeat Tax Evader

8 Nov

Joe Illuzzi when he had more than $13 in the bank

Remember that guy Joe Illuzzi?  He’s got a sordid past filled with robbing banks, being a deadbeat, bankruptcies, and generally being a massive part of the WNY political problem.

Turns out, he hasn’t stopped his deadbeat ways. Just within the last week, Illuzzi has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection for almost $233,000 in debts against $19,000 in assets. He claims to be earning just $1,600 per month, and has tax liens from the feds and state of over $66,000 – a tax debt means there was income earned to incu

Lots of his debts seem health care related, so one could assume Mr. Illuzzi would begin to advocate for a different type of healthcare system, instead of saddling local medical and nursing providers with zero cents on the dollar.

You can read Illuzzi’s bankruptcy filing here.

Highlights of his filing include the revelation that Illuzzi has $13 in his checking account, and $950 cash on hand. That’s WNY F-You money! He owes $18k on a 2008 Buick that’s worth $13k.  There are federal tax liens for 2006, 2009, 2010, and 2011, and a 2009 state tax warrant.


He owes the Bon Ton $26,000+ from a 1996 judgment against him, we’ll cover the sordid details of that judgment in a future article. The Buffalo News judgment from 2001 is for $2,300. He maxed out his Capital One credit card to the tune of $25,000. He owes E-Trade $15,000. He even owes his dentist $90.


As much as Illuzzi has become some kind of Republican mouthpiece and a hateful holy roller, this is his second bankruptcy in 25 years, and it seems as if he has a hard time accepting and paying the debts he incurs. That local politicians continue to want to be associated with this homophobic spewer of hatred and rumors is astonishing.

Yes, it was absolutely worth coming out of blogging “retirement” to publish this article. Yes, there will be more details tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after that. Also, I’ll be at the courthouse to cover Mr. Illuzzi’s bankruptcy hearing on December 12th.

A few background posts on Mr. Illuzzi:

Joe Illuzzi, Shakedown Artist

Illuzzi, Lying As Usual



Remember Bashar Issa?

18 Nov

You know, wide right – whether we’re talking about 47 yards in 1991 or 47 yards last night – isn’t just the phrase that drives Bills fans insane. It’s also a metaphor for all the wonderous projects that have come Buffalo’s way over the last billion years and never came to fruition. Outer Harbor development, Peace Bridge expansion, Skyway removal, a Metro rail network – all of them live in the as-yet non-existent museum of abandoned or unrealized Buffalo plans. We are so used to going one step forward and two steps back that when we actually get the step forward (see Canalside), we go overboard in our gushing.

I have visions of the ECHDC demolishing the Aud and the Donovan building early next year, and we get a Fotomat, a Perry’s ice cream kiosk, and an Airport Plaza Jewelers hut on the property. In fact, I think everything built there should be named “shack”, “hut”, or “shanty” just for that extra bump of historical accuracy.

Buffalo. Where a really great project shouldn’t cost [pause] an arm and a leg.

The centerpieces of that Buffalo Museum of Abandoned Dreams (BMAD) are Bashar Issa’s promise to completely overhaul the Statler Towers into a mixed-use extravaganza, together with his pump & dump of a nearby property, which was inexplicably going to tower over the HSBC tower and offer Class A office space for a city that has a need for it, but probably not quite that much of it.

Issa ingloriously sold off the site for the office tower, and later agreed to sell the Statler to an investor group that includes Erie, PA’s Scott Enterprises of Splash Lagoon fame.

By happenstance, I googled Mr. Issa yesterday and found this article from Property Week in the UK. Evidently, Mr. Issa – who promised to completely self-fund all of his projects, and convinced a lot of people that he had the means and the know-how to get it done – is busy selling off just about everything. Issa’s companies went into bankrupcty earlier this year, and assets are being sold off:

It is thought that administrator KPMG and its adviser, Knight Frank, are assessing bids of between £2m and £4m, from as yet unnamed parties, for the site on Lena Street, where Issa planned to develop a 23-storey tower.

Sarah Tower was one of three Manchester residential sites put up for sale in August. The other two sites are Sarah Point on Great Ancoats Street, funded by Yorkshire Bank, and Issa Quay in the Piccadilly Basin, which is the only project near completion.

The three schemes were put on the market after KPMG took full control of three subsidiary companies of Issa’s BSC Group: BS Developments, Issa Developments and BS Construction.

One of Issa’s financing sources pulled out of a deal to loan £89 for Issa’s projects. But this is even more troubling:

Issa is also in advanced negotiations to sell another troubled development site, Statler Towers – in Buffalo, New York, in the US – to the Greystone Group for around $3.5m (£2m). Greystone is undertaking due diligence on the site and it is thought market conditions are hampering the progress of the deal.

So, we’re back to square one. The sale of the Statler is in doubt, and the fading, Class F structure is going to continue to fade for the foreseeable future.

Two steps back. Wide Right. [Insert metaphor here.]

Chapter 9

24 May

The City of Vallejo, California files for Chapter 9 Bankruptcy protection. The deets:

The Vallejo City Council unanimously agreed May 6 to begin bankruptcy filings after months of negotiations with city public employee union negotiators. Several meetings between city and union negotiators after the May 6 vote didn’t break the stalemate. City finance officials attribute Vallejo’s looming $16 million deficit for the coming year to a plummeting housing market and the cost of ballooning public safety employee contracts. Officials expect the city’s general fund to run out of money June 30 and hope Chapter 9 bankruptcy will protect the city from its creditors while it works out a long-term plan to pull out of debt and continue to pay its employees. City officials rejected a union proposal its representatives say offered a two-year plan to avoid bankruptcy and even build city reserves through assumed new revenue sources and union concessions.

Sometimes, it’s heartening just to get confirmation that we’re not the only place with problems.