Understanding Robert Klein’s Political Donations

Questionable Contributions Impacting the Legislative Process

This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series Safeguard Properties: Nazism At Its Best

The breadth of sophistication of, at minimum, unethical and worst case, illegal political contributions, by National Association of Mortgage Field Services (NAMFS) Offender Member Safeguard Properties (SGP) is staggering. In fact, SGP is merely a foreign national corporation based out of Ohio and set up in Delaware. Robert Klein — Dick as I like to use his hypocorism —  is the founder and Chairman of SGP. He is also the owner and Chairman of RIK Enterprises — RIK standing for Robert and Ita Klein. In addition to these two firms, Klein owns and/or controls a half dozen others scattered across the United States. Depending upon how you track his extremely questionable pattern of political donations, Dick Klein is a Chairman; a founder; and Self Employed. To pour fuel on the proverbial fire, Dick began trafficking in Internal Revenue Service (IRS) non profit status. His Robert and Ita Klein Foundation is set up under the auspices of an IRS 501(c)(3). The Robert & Ita Klein Charitable Foundation (RIK Charitable Foundation), formed in December, 2012, and flies well under the radar, with a minimal web presence and no clear avenues of contact. Its trustees are Robert Klein, as well as two family members, Ita Klein, Robert’s wife, and Robert’s son, Natan Klein. As of Fiscal Year 2015, the last reported IRS Form 990 — IRS Tax Return required under law to be filed by non profits — they had pocketed over TWENTY EIGHT MILLION DOLLARS! Curious where that jump start of revenue came from? So were we.

Of interest is the simple and salient fact that 200 Public Square Suite 2500, Cleveland, OH, is ground zero for the vast majority of Klein & Company’s business interests.

KJH Holdings, ran by Natan Klein, shot a whopping $28,562,799 to the RIK Charitable Foundation, ran by Natan Klein as well, in three, separate transactions between December 13th and December 31st of 2012. My best guess is that the KJH of KJH Holdings may stand for Klein, Jaffa and Halpern. Alan Jaffa is Klein’s son-in-law and current CEO of Safeguard Properties and Michael Halpern is Klein’s right hand henchman in business since Klein began the long road to what Safeguard Properties is today. Ah, yes. We were informed by one of Klein’s early subcontractors that he bought the company and then created it in his image. That rather shoots a hole in Klein’s contention that he is the founder, doesn’t it? You see, that is the deal with dear ‘ol Dick. Story after story of which everyone is afraid to question lest the Jew Card be played. Well, Dick, I am an Agnostic and give two shits about you or your two bit cloud people. More on young Natan and Dick later.

I like to think that Dick and his Jewish Mafia truly subscribed to the statement of Alan Jaffa, his son-in-law, whom recently told Crain’s Cleveland Business that their Empire was a family business. This didn’t strike me as simply being off the cuff. Jaffa was specific when he said in his interview with Jay Miller that, “My wife and my four children are not in the Family Business.” Miller, one of the most avid of Safeguard Properties’ cheerleaders, continues to demonstrate that there is no shame on pretending to be a journalist while on your hands and knees.

Ohio Republican Representative John Dever is a man known to Robert Klein. In fact, of the $82,700 given by only RIK Enterprises, over the past four years, $5,000 went to Dever in 2016 alone. Dever is the sponsor of Ohio HB 463 and had this to say,

House Bill 463 will help alleviate the strain that vacant and abandoned properties put on our local governments, schools, and communities,” said Rep. Jonathan Dever (R-Madeira), who sponsored the bill. “By modernizing Ohio’s foreclosure process, we are providing additional protections for homeowners, lifting our communities up, and ensuring a transparent process for all involved in a foreclosure lawsuit.

Foreclosurepedia reached out to Rep. Dever’s office and asked the following with respect to what may be used to replace plywood. We felt the question was both legitimate and asked of the proper party as Dever was the original sponsor of Ohio HB 463. Dever and his office have refused to comment. When taking into consideration that the timing of Klein’s donations to Dever occurred in the same legislative cycle as the spinning up of Ohio HB 463, the world becomes just a bit clouded for me. Moreover, though, the donation originates from RIK Enterprises. RIK Enterprises has a stake in both SecureView, the biggest financial beneficiary of Ohio HB 463, as well as Community Blight Solutions, a for profit entity with an enormous financial stake in legislative rulings at the municipal, county, state, and federal levels with respect to foreclosures.

In another recent election cycle, Robert Klein, in his position as CEO of Safeguard Properties, was the 11th highest contributor to Cuyahoga County executive-elect Armond Budish. Klein’s donation was ranked higher, while identical, to the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party. Budish’s position is the most powerful of all political positions in Cuyahoga County. Foreclosurepedia spent half the day attempting to get some clarification from the City of Cleveland with respect to HB 463. Only the Demolitions Department knew anything and only grunted about the fact they were tired of Klein attempting to force them to use his SecureView product exclusively.

The pattern and practice of Robert Klein meandering in and out of the political donation cycles, across all party lines and in multiple states for less than bipartisan reasons, is alarming.

Since 2014, Natan Klein has spun up 55 new companies in the State of Ohio alone. The vast majority of these all begin with the well known RIK — Robert and Ita Klein — acronym. This mind boggling number exponentially increases as you leave the boundaries of Ohio at such a rate that Archimedes himself would be dumbfounded. What does it mean, precisely? Only Natan and Robert Klein could tell you. Foreclosurepedia, though, is getting close to decoding much of the cryptic shorthand in the company nomenclature.

The reality is that there are hundreds of millions of dollars moving in and out of a series of cut out firms. We spoke with Joshua Eck, the Ohio Secretary of State’s Press Secretary, and discussed our findings with him. We posed the question as to whether or not there is a cap on the amount of monies which an individual may contribute. In the State of Ohio, there is a maximum amount of $12,532 for both the State House and State Senate positions. Incidentally, this is the highest in the Nation. That is ditto for the contributions to Political Action Committees (PAC). Now, when we began to break down precisely how much money Klein has donated and to which states whom were enacting or contemplating enactment of blight legislation we found significant spikes as opposed to states wherein there were none. We additionally found significant bipartisan, for want of better words, donations including to Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown.

Beginning in January 2015 at the start of the 114th Congress, Brown became the Ranking Democratic Member on the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. Brown’s legislative agenda on blight reads like a SecureView bumper sticker with 64 separate occurrences on his congressional website alone. In fact, thanks to Senator Brown,

The Cuyahoga County Land Reutilization Corporation received $31,263,999.55 through the Hardest Hit Fund Program, a portion of $191 million awarded to the Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA). The funding is part of a $2 billion investment that Brown secured in December to bolster the Hardest Hit Fund as part of the year-end government funding bill.

As many folks have already guessed, the CCLRC is an entity in which Klein and his business interests have played a pivotal role in spinning up for years.

Wells Fargo, Robert Klein of Safeguard Properties and REO CH [Clearinghouse] have been helping to keep servicers informed about the opportunities to work more closely with community based organizations like the Cuyahoga Land Bank. After introducing the Cuyahoga Land Bank to many of the servicers with distressed assets in the county’s neighborhoods, Wells Fargo asked REO CH to help negotiate and manage a program that would enable them to make low value properties available to the Cuyahoga Land Bank, even when the property is eligible for demolition. After agreeing to terms and conditions, Wells Fargo went on to donate 26 properties over the past several weeks, most with a contribution toward demolition.

Who and what precisely is the REO Clearinghouse (REO CH)? REO CH is the wet dream of former Citigroup executive, lobbyist and securities lawyer Heidi Coppola. Coppola and Klein lassoed in Cuyahoga County Treasurer Jim Rokakis at the beginning of formation of the Cuyahoga County Land Bank back in June, 2009. Here is what Cleveland.com had to say about the match made in hell,

The collaboration between the public, private and nonprofit sectors has a tremendous way to go,” said Coppola, who formed the clearinghouse with help from Robert Klein, chief executive officer of Safeguard Properties in Valley View. Safeguard works for major lenders and servicers to care for foreclosed homes across the country.

In Coppola’s vision, cities like Cleveland would get the benefit of bidding on properties in bulk, rather than making deals house-by-house and lender-by-lender. Servicers would have a one-stop shop to dispose of properties, plus access to information from communities about the conditions in neighborhoods and the prospects for a sale or demolition.

Klein and Coppola already have talked to Cuyahoga County Treasurer Jim Rokakis about roughly 550 bank-owned properties that might be good candidates for the county’s fledgling land bank. The land bank, set to open its doors June 1 at 323 Lakeside Ave., is a nonprofit government corporation designed to acquire, manage and dispose of thousands of vacant properties across the county.

The reality is that Foreclosurepedia is barely scratching the surface. We are expanding this into our Safeguard Property Series which you may follow by simply clicking the link at the beginning of the article. You donations make possible articles like this and others here on Foreclosurepedia. Please consider donating today!

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