Discover the Promise in Greece NY
Feds: Greece Taxpayers Duped !!!
Greece taxpayers were defrauded out of millions of dollars of tax revenue

And on 01/20/2012 it came back:
The total funds received by the Town are 
$1,902,477.00 and have been distributed 
to the taxing jurisdiction impacted as follows:

Town of Greece General Fund       $ 292,277.82 
Town of Greece Lighting Fund      $ 12,185.76
County of Monroe                  $ 368,524.40
Greece Central School District    $1,081,648.91
Ridge Road Fire District          $ 147,840.11

A representative from Greece told me the money is 
going into a trust fund. She said it would cost 
too much to refund the tax payers - - - 

Corporate Greed is all any of them care about !

Read the FBI affadavit

(June 22, 2005) Former assessor is indicted in conspiracy and bribery scandal Gary Craig, Steve Orr and Ben Rand Staff writers Democrat and Chronicle — Greece taxpayers were defrauded out of millions of dollars of tax revenue by a conspiracy to illegally lower Eastman Kodak's tax assessment in the town, federal prosecutors charged Tuesday. In a dramatic escalation of what had been a corporate kickback scandal, prosecutors Tuesday accused former Greece assessor Charles A. Schwab of a host of offenses, including accepting bribes to lower Kodak's tax bill. The scheme corrupted Greece's assessment system, victimizing taxpayers in Monroe County's largest town, according to a sweeping 28-page criminal complaint. "The other taxpayers in Greece have been required to make up the savings Kodak received from Kodak Park's tax assessment reduction either in an increase in taxes or a reduction in services," the complaint alleges. Prosecutors say they have not calculated the actual impact on Greece residents. "How it actually affected each taxpayer, that's something we don't know," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Resnick. Kodak could have saved roughly $8 million to $9 million in property tax payments over the last three years under two assessment deals that prosecutors say were part of the illegal conspiracy, Democrat and Chronicle calculations show. Nearly two-thirds of the money would have been paid to the Greece Central School District; the balance would have gone to ease town and Monroe County property taxes. Greece officials say they plan to discuss remedies with Kodak, should it turn out that the company's properties were illegally devalued. But Kodak contends its properties were assessed accurately. "We have no indications that our historical tax assessments were inappropriate," said Kodak spokesman David Lanzillo. He said Kodak and Greece are maintaining an "open line of communication." Prosecutors in May accused two men — Yates County appraiser John E. Nicolo, 72, and former Eastman Kodak Co. real estate executive Mark S. Camarata, 42 — of a kickback scheme. Authorities alleged that Camarata hired Nicolo on behalf of Kodak, and paid inflated costs for Nicolo's appraisals. Nicolo then funneled some of the money back to Camarata, authorities alleged. Both Nicolo and Camarata are charged with money-laundering and mail fraud. Schwab, a 58-year-old Victor resident, is accused of conspiring with Nicolo and Camarata to defraud Greece residents and Kodak. He faces bribery, conspiracy, money-laundering and mail fraud charges, which have a cumulative maximum prison penalty of 30 years, according to Resnick. Schwab is scheduled to appear in federal court Thursday. On its face, the criminal complaint challenges the integrity of property assessments throughout Greece because of the allegations that the assessor could be bought. Greece Supervisor John Auberger said he was disappointed about the allegations that Greece's former town assessor violated the public trust. "The town and the taxpayers have been victimized," he said. "Now we have to go back and untangle the mess that it appears someone else created." Beyond that, the charges raise questions about the oversight within Kodak's corporate tax division, where Camarata worked. But the allegations outlined in the criminal complaint reach even more broadly. For instance, prosecutors allege: ITT Industries Inc. and Rochester Gas and Electric Corp. were also victimized by criminal conspiracies. Schwab actually jacked up ITT's assessment on a Greece property so Camarata could then convince the company of the need to hire Nicolo as an appraiser to challenge the town's assessed value, the complaint alleges. Richard Ackerman, a former Yates County undersheriff who now works as an appraiser, received inflated contracts for Kodak and RG&E appraisal work and then made payments to various companies owned in part by Schwab. (Schwab, Greece's assessor from 1991 until 2004, also worked as an independent appraiser.) Ackerman, who previously worked with Nicolo, has not been criminally charged. Ackerman refused to comment. One of the companies receiving payments from Ackerman was Lakeshore Appraisals, which was co-owned by Schwab and an RG&E employee who is not named in the complaint. The RG&E worker and Schwab split the kickback proceeds from the Ackerman contracts, the complaint states. Federal investigators from the FBI, the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service are working with Greece police in the probe. FBI spokesman Paul Moskal said investigators were reaching out to residents and business people who may have knowledge about the plot alleged in the criminal complaint. "People can share that information with us on a confidential basis," he said. "The FBI's committed, as are the other law enforcement agencies, to root out corruption at any level," Moskal said. A history outlined Prosecutors allege that the kickback scheme between Nicolo and Camarata may have started in late 1999, when Nicolo paid Camarata $5,000. With each Kodak appraisal contract he received, Nicolo would pay "a portion of his fee to Camarata, generally one-half, or if Schwab was involved ... generally one-third," the complaint alleges. John Reed, Nicolo's Pennsylvania-based lawyer, would not comment Tuesday. He said he has yet to read the complaint against Schwab. The complaint outlines a scheme that prosecutors allege provided millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks for the conspirators. A company established by Schwab, IAC Corp., got almost $1.6 million from Nicolo, authorities allege. Nicolo also paid nearly $3.5 million in kickbacks to a dummy company, Strategic Asset Management, created by Camarata, prosecutors allege. In 2000, Kodak and Greece agreed to a six-year pact that significantly reduced Kodak's assessments. Kodak used Nicolo as its appraiser to value the company's Greece property. The contract with Nicolo was a standard "flat or hourly" fee agreement, the criminal complaint states. In January 2001, Nicolo received $150,000 as part of his payment, then paid Schwab $44,477, authorities allege. But, as the Democrat and Chronicle reported last week, Schwab scrapped that pact two years later and drafted a new one that lowered Kodak's assessments property values by tens of millions of dollars more. And Schwab in 2004 agreed to accelerate Kodak's lower assessments for the years 2004, 2005, and 2006, the complaint alleges. The federal criminal complaint alleges that the 2002 pact was engineered by Camarata, Nicolo and Schwab as part of the conspiracy. Camarata was able to award a "performance fee contract" to Nicolo that ensured the trio would receive much more in illicit rewards, authorities allege. "The scheme ... escalated when it was decided that Nicolo would be hired under a performance-fee contract, rather than a flat or hourly fee contract," the complaint says. "This contract provided that Nicolo would only be paid if Kodak Park's tax assessment was reduced by Schwab." Such contingency-based contracts typically violate appraisal standards because they could encourage appraisers to value property based on their possible financial returns. "You can't have contingent fees," said Gary Taylor, former president of the international appraisers organization, the Appraisal Institute. "The only time you can do that as an appraiser is if you are acting as a consultant and not doing the appraisal reports." The criminal complaint points to Camarata as the Kodak person in charge of drafting the contracts. Camarata's attorney, Lawrence Kasperek, would not answer questions about the contracts or the allegations against his client. And Resnick would not say whether other Kodak officials approved contingency-based contracts with Nicolo. Kodak also would not answer questions about the contracts. With the 2002 agreement Schwab knew "that the greater the tax assessment reduction, the more money he, Nicolo and Camarata would make under the scheme," the complaint states. The contract between Nicolo and Kodak stated that "the parties recognize that there will be difficulties in obtaining additional assessment reductions because of past agreements still in effect," according to the complaint. Schwab, however, sliced Kodak's value. That pact reduced Kodak's value in Greece by a total of $65.8 million more than the earlier agreement for the years 2003, 2004 and 2005, the complaint alleges. Responding to the allegations Tuesday, Kodak said in a statement that it has regular discussions with Greece on a variety of matters, "and any new information that we receive as a result of this investigation will be part of those discussions." The assessment matter comes about two months after Kodak completed a regulatory review that uncovered weaknesses in the company's income tax and pension accounting practices worldwide. As a result of that review, Kodak committed to a range of reforms, including new supervision and training. The company said the income tax and assessment cases are not connected in any way. The assessment case, in particular, is "not material" to Kodak's finances, the company said. A longtime Kodak observer said he does not believe the two cases suggest a problem with Kodak's financial controls. The amounts involved "don't amount to a hill of beans" in a $13 billion company, said Ulysses Yannas, broker with Buckman, Buckman and Reid in New York. What the cases show is "that in big companies, it is impossible to keep an eye on everyone," Yannas said. According to federal investigators, Kodak was the first to suspect a kickback plot and much of its internal investigation provided the information that led to Camarata's arrest. Widening scandal Rochester lawyer John Parrinello, who represents Schwab, said many manufacturing properties have secured lowered assessments through challenges, so the 2002 pact may well have been an honest account of the worth of Kodak's Greece property. "If you go to every town that has industrial taxpayers, you will not find it strange, particularly in these times, that those facilities go back to the towns" for assessment reductions, Parrinello said. "Circumstances change." Plus, he said, Greece officials other than Schwab must have known of the reduced assessments and there was no outcry or suspicions raised in 2002. "It seems to me that Mr. Schwab, with respect to Kodak and the town of Greece, would not go off by himself and make the changes they're claiming he made in a vacuum," Parrinello said. Greece officials have said that the assessor had largely unfettered control of assessments since laws try to prohibit intervention by elected officials. Auberger said Tuesday that he wants to push for reforms "to establish new guidelines for the assessment process that will prevent one person from having so much control over a process that affects so many people." Nicolo's contract with Kodak for the 2002 reassessment initially called for him to receive 25 percent of Kodak's tax savings over the 15-year duration of the assessment agreement, the complaint states. But in September 2004, Kodak amended the contract so it did not have to pay him over the full 15 years. Nicolo has already received about $3.9 million under the updated contract, and split the money with Schwab and Camarata, authorities allege. They say that he also was slated to receive another $3 million under the updated Kodak contract. Parrinello said he is sorting out the payments from Nicolo to Schwab. He said he is talking with Nicolo's lawyer to determine the reason for the payments. Nicolo had contracted Schwab as an independent appraiser before. "The government has to show that those payments were bribes," Parrinello said. What's clear from the criminal complaint is that the scandal is swelling in scope, encompassing more companies and more individuals. Asked about the path of the probe, Resnick would only say, "We'll see where the investigation goes."
For over 21 years, property taxes always went up for the Greece residents and small businesses in Greece. Recently, their assessments went up too. Jane Flasch WHAM TV (Greece, NY) 06/21/05 -- According to the FBI, while Charles Schwab was the Greece Town Assessor, he took bribes to lower property assessments for Eastman Kodak Company in a scheme involving former Kodak employee Mark Camarata. For over 21 years, property taxes always went up for the Ritondales who live in Greece. Recently, their assessments went up too. Angie Ritondale said, "It hurts...we just barely make ends meet." But for Kodak, over the same time period, assessments were lowered drastically and now allegedly illegally. According to court papers, Greece already had a legitimate six-year agreement to lower Kodak's assessment. The agreement was non changeable by any party. However, Schwab allegedly threw it out for a series of new deals that lowered Kodak's assessment by $65.8 million. Prosecutors allege that Schwab was working with Camarata, a former Kodak real estate agent whom the company later employed as a consultant. Camarata received $4 million in bonuses and kickbacks from this deal alone. The money was allegedly laundered through private companies set up by Yates County appraiser John Nicolo. The alleged scheme did not end there. Prosecutors say Schwab tried to influence the Gates Town assessor to lower assessments at the former Kodak Park and for Heidelberg Digital, but it didn't work. Prosecutors say Schwab was also working on similar deals to lower assessments at several RG&E properties, Eastman Savings and Loan, and other holdings. It is alleged that he was paid bribes of $1.5 million. During a raid, the FBI found hand written documents promising someone with the initials “CS” another million dollars in bribes, money out of taxpayers' pockets. Ritondale said, "It's awful. I think he should be punished for it." While it's believed none of the companies--including Kodak and RG&E-- were involved in the schemes, prosecutors questioned Kodak's oversight and noted that the company should have realized that the assessments Camarata was negotiating were too good to be true. Howevet, Kodak did first contact the FBI after receiving a tip. Schwab is charged with taking bribes, money laundering, and mail fraud. It does not appear that other public officials were involved; however, the investigation is continuing. Another Yates County appraiser has been named in court documents, but he has not been charged.

Read the FBI affadavit

Steve Orr and Ben Rand
Staff writers 
(July 25, 2005) — Eastman Kodak Co. filed a civil lawsuit 
today against two former Kodak executives, 
the former Greece town assessor and nearly two dozen other 
parties that the company claims defrauded it out of at least $14 million.

The firm, which filed suit in U.S. District Court in Rochester, 
said it was defrauded in a scheme to manipulate property values 
and appraisal contracts dating back to 1992.

Three people - former Kodak executive Mark S. Camarata, 
former Greece assessor Charles A. Schwab, and commercial 
appraiser John E. Nicolo - have been criminally charged 
in the case thus far. 

Kodak alleges in its civil suit that another former executive, 
David Finnman, also took part in the scheme. Finnman has 
not been criminally charged.

In its 127-page complaint, Kodak asserts that some of its 
purported $14 million loss was due to paying inflated rates 
for appraisals by Nicolo and others. The company also claims 
that Schwab kept the assessed value of Kodak’s property in 
Greece at artificially high levels as part of the scheme. 
The company says this caused Kodak to pay more taxes than it should have.

Kodak said it lost at least $14 million, and wants at least 
three times that amount in monetary damages. The company filed 
the civil action under racketeering statutes that allow the 
award of triple damages.

Russell Station, on Beach Avenue in northeast Greece, is the largest power plant owned by Rochester Gas and Electric Corp. Its coal-burning boilers are capable of producing 257 megawatts, enough electricity to satisfy the needs of thousands of homes. It is, a layman would think, a valuable piece of property. But RG&E argues that Russell Station is worthless and its property tax assessment should be set at $0. The rock-bottom sticker price, which RG&E has asserted in a series of still-pending lawsuits, is just the latest of many dollar values assigned to the sprawling plant in recent years. At one point, Russell Station was assessed at $85 million. After lobbying by RG&E, the value was dropped to $9 million. So who is the most crooked ? The RG$E of Kodak ??? And which one owes the citizens of Greece NY the most ??? And why does the RG$E have a spokesmen when they never let him comment ???
Dear Dave: I've been laughing since I read this article, another crew is going to meet the same fate after Sepetmber's sentencing. You have a very detailed and well thought out web page and your "independent" manner of thinking is certainly a refreshing change from the hum-drum "censored" main line TV and news coverage. I have always believed we were being manipulated and the debt and needless war in Iraq are 2 of my primary concerns. Best for the future ------------------------------------------------------ Dear Dave: This fiasco seems like the Internal audit controls were not working and our friends from PriceWaterhouseCoopers were sleeping at the switch. Hard to believe that with the magnitude of this occurring no one "internally" was aware of anything --- "require consultant" -- we've been downsized. Sounds like someone way way up must have known something. They are all a group of greedy pigs --- how much is P....coopers annual bill?? Bet's it's a pretty penny. What the hell --send out some young kids for the audit and the partner sits in the office and charges $800 per hour? What bonuses "performance" was Camarata receiving -- think --- "Hey, Mr. President, I should get a performance bonus this year for reducing our property taxes another x dollars!! "Oh, good boy, Mark, I'll give you a bonus since you are a value added employee!!" Still hot under the collar about what happened to me but thank my lucky stars that you have such a good website and I read it every night and enjoy your accurate assessment regarding these self-indulging swine. I am waiting for the sentencing and be patient. Give this some thought and keep confidential --- GWB could be taking some flak on my recent caper. Another question for you to follow up on is to insist the local assessing authority open their books and everyone has availability to see his assessment and those of similar properties -- keeps those clowns on their toes. I personally can't wait until they are sentenced. Take care Dave and when this is settled, I will buy you a beer on your birthday. Artie Andersen ------------------------------------------------------------ Board votes to double Kodak's property tax bill Rochester, NYUSA - GREECE, N.Y. (AP) - A review board has voted to double the property tax bill for the Eastman Kodak Company after local officials said the company profited from an alleged kick-back scheme involving former officials of the town and company. Under a ruling Friday, Kodak's property in Greece is now valued at 95-point-2 (m) million dollars, up from 47-point-6 (m) million dollars. A Kodak spokesman says the company won't speculate whether Kodak will appeal the ruling by the Greece Board of Assessment Review. The town's petition was based on a federal criminal investigation that has resulted in several arrests. The former town assessor, Charles Schwab, allegedly improperly lowered the assessment of Kodak Park in 2002 and 2004 in return for bribes from former Kodak executive Mark Camarata and the appraiser John Nicolo. All three have been criminally charged, and an F-B-I investigation is continuing. ================================================= It looks like you're going to get your f*****g money back -- sooner than later. Will these 3 be sentenced and share the same the same room with Bernard Ebbers?? Best Regards,