Thursday, August 12, 2010

Bounced Checks

Reporter Tim Novak at the Chicago Sun Times has this remarkable look at the "charmed life of Fred S. Latsko."  You're excused if you're thinking "Gatsby:" 

"Fred Latsko and a partner built [an] upscale luxury department store, Barney's New York, over an alley off Oak Street.  It took Fred Latsko 2 1/2 months to make good on this $837,500 bounced check he wrote to City Hall in 2009.

After some troubles as a 19-year-old left him with a criminal record, for instance, he turned to Rod Blagojevich. He'd never made any campaign contributions to Blagojevich, but, on the governor's last day in office, Jan. 29, 2009, he erased Latsko's criminal record -- without any explanation. Way back, Latsko, now 44, was a driver for Sid Luckman, the legendary Bears quarterback. Today, Latsko's a Gold Coast developer of high-end real estate who's well-known on the social circuit.

A few years ago, Latsko bought a farm for nearly $7 million -- from Oprah Winfrey. His wife, whom he's divorcing, is partners with Oprah's former chef, Art Smith, in the wildly popular Gold Coast restaurant Table 52. Latsko owns the restaurant's building.  Latsko -- who grew up in Hinsdale, the son of a General Motors Fisher Body plant supervisor -- is a regular at Chicago's top parties, mingling with movers and shakers including Mayor Daley and his family.  And Latsko has been generous with politicians, including Daley. He contributed $28,000 to the mayor's last re-election campaign.

Two weeks after [impeached former Govenor Rod] Blagojevich wiped out his criminal record, Latsko bounced the first of two checks to City Hall, city officials say -- for $47,009.50.

Altogether, the two checks to City Hall that he didn't have enough money in the bank to cover amounted to $884,509.50. They were for development fees for Barneys New York, a luxury department store that he and a partner built over an alley off Oak Street, and for a yet-to-be-built high-rise apartment building in River North, across from Gene & Georgetti, the popular restaurant.  Latsko previously had run afoul of City Hall. He has been caught working without building permits and ordered to stop. And the city has sued him to fix building code violations and to collect $1,020 in unpaid parking tickets.

But the Daley administration never sued Latsko over the nearly $900,000 in bad checks.  In fact, even as City Hall waited two years for Latsko to pay off the last of his bounced checks:

• The city's Zoning Board of Appeals, whose members are appointed by Daley, gave Latsko permission to build a house on the Gold Coast -- on a 19-foot-wide lot.

• And the mayor's son, Patrick R. Daley, moved in to a Gold Coast apartment building managed by Latsko.

It took Latsko 2½ months to make good on the bigger bounced check, for $837,500.

It took nearly two years for him to make good on the other one, records show. He paid that off July 28, after a Chicago Sun-Times reporter asked about Patrick Daley's apartment. Latsko walked in to City Hall and used two Visa cards to pay the $47,009.50 that he originally wrote the city a check for in August 2008 to cover permit fees over the high-rise he wanted to build on the site of what remains a parking lot at 225 W. Illinois, across Franklin from Gene & Georgetti.

He also had to pay an extra $34 -- the city's standard fee for anyone who bounces a check.   And even though the city never sued Latsko over the check, City Hall made him pay $500 in legal fees. 'He didn't get any special treatment,' says Jennifer Hoyle, spokeswoman for the city's Law Department. 'They were disputing who owed the money -- [Latsko's company] or Latsko. We were prepared to file a lawsuit. Legal action was always contemplated.'

Says Jacquelyn Heard, Daley's press secretary: 'As far as I'm aware, this guy doesn't really have a connection to the mayor other than campaign donations and that he's a developer who's crossed paths with Mayor Daley, which would put him in a category with many people in this town.'

Latsko agreed to talk with a Sun-Times reporter, but he never did."
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It strains credulity to say Latsko had no "direct" line to Mayor Daley.  This sort of thing is one of those scenarios where a big roller was caught short when the bottom fell out of real estate.  He's squeaking through the cracks, but soon enough he'll run head long into a door jamb.  Just watch.

38 comments:

  1. Good story of rotten Chicago politics.

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  2. This guy is a snake. Look into his business dealings in California!

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  3. Mr. Latsko is all SMOKE & MIRRORS. Look into his business dealings all over - he owes EVERYONE all over town, yet he likes to portray himself as a high roller, a man who donates to charity and is a big deal. He's a nice guy, but he's a very unethical businessman.

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  4. I would never dream of giving my name......but let's just say that this man...oh...did I say a man? I mean this snake...owes me and dozens of other small businesses money. I once spoke to someone else about Fred Latsko and the guy smashed his fist onto a stone counter so hard I thought he would break his hand.I have YET to hear anyone say a nice word about him. He hurt my company more than I can describe.

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    1. I will say something nice about him ! I am a single mom and started a business. Mr Latsko single handedly helped me and supported me during some of the hardest times , trials and tribulations of a business owner. He has always been nothing but a perfect gentleman around me and my children and I never will forget all his kindness. He is one of the sweetest , most generous soul ever !

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  5. Looking at these comments and I am owed money from Latsko as well but he always pays and keeps us informed on what's happening. Did your company complete the work he hired you too do? I would bet there is more to the story and these types of comments are usually just made out of jealousy.

    If Latskos company owes I am sure they will pay. we continue to work with him and his company and hope they survive this extremely difficult real estate market and continue to provide jobs and improve the neighborhoods

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  6. Latsko is worse than a snake. Remember Karma always catches up to you. I know someone who is due money and its taken her many months to recover.

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  7. I leased an apartment from Structure Management, and he was a total nightmare. He refused to give me receipts for my rent payment. The leasing agent was stoned, yes-stoned when she showed the apartment. Furthermore, I had to go an entire weekend with a broken toilet. When I called to complain, he left me a nasty voicemail.

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    1. I know very certain that Mr Latsko is not the person in charge of your stupid broken toilet. You sound like an idiot.

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  8. this last post is very funny i can't imagine mr latsko personally in the office accepting money from a tenant!! I have been stopping in to meet mr latsko but he never goes into the management office. Structure always carries a balance with our company and continuely makes monthly payments and we have been working with their company for 15 years. reading the above posts there seems to be only one that says they have first hand negative experience dealing with structure/latsko the rest all seem to be posting the rants of others. stop being hatters and use your energy for something positive.

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  9. There's a reason why Fred Latsko's wife is divorcing him for a second time and all of his friends are dropping like flies.. I am just waiting for the day of her Perp Walk when they put him in the back seat of a federal squad car and he heads to the pokey for tax evasion and more. Careful to all those who do business with him but get in line behind my lien and judgement. We're all going to be fighting for what assets he really has.

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  10. the guy is not stable. i met him at a bar with his insane girlfriend. the two of them spouted more lies and negative energy in 5 minutes than the ayatollah khomeni in his whole life. just yucky, honey.

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  11. the man is a snake, ran around on his wife for years before she wised up and took what cash he had plus a townhouse above oak and state. Won't be long before the bottom really falls out on this con man . Selfish, narcissistic, PR charity fraud, money grubbing phony of a "man". No integrity or substance! Staged like a bad movie!
    He preaches family values, charity, etc. but is involved with multiple young woman of the rush street airhead variety, expressing his true love to each and parading them to his Dewes Mansion and "the farm" to impress these gold digging bimbos! Both properties deep underwater! They won't be around long to overlook his fat belly, buck teeth and nasty breadth when the IRS finally ensnares him

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  12. So you guys are a little pissed at Fred!

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    1. Latsko's a Loser and a Joke! He's playing another joke by posting Positive things about himself! Anything that is posted that has something positive to say about Latsko is written by Latsko NOTICE all the positive post are from "ANONYMOUS"
      FRED "ANONYMOUS" LATSKO
      IF YOU LIKE THE GUY AND DIDNT GET SCAMMED BY HIM WHY DONT YOU POST YOUR NAME!!!!!
      Im sure Patrick Fitzgerald has your name!

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  13. my brother contracted for him at'the farm' in Indiana updating surveillance equipment and that was a 2-3 man job. I met him once myself when we were there and has yet to pay him--i say this to you,Fred if you ever read this-just pay my brother whats owed to him-his kids are seeing him depressed at times over this ordeal..i wont rest in legal pursuit of this til you do so..

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  14. So many are intrigued by Mr. Latsko. Smoke and mirrors only last so long..... he is still living well and increasing his empire. I think he has more talent and success than you care to admit.

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  15. Nice Article with wonderful information.every body like it.Thanks.

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  16. To reference to an earlier post(M. Green);please disregard message and I am now hereby retracting all intent from said message. All is better now at this time-thank you..

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  17. piece of shit!girlfriend amy leonard just as bad if not worse.no morals or values at all.terrible,neglecting and abusive parents to kids they do not deserve.scammers and only care about there own glory.truly a balless man.truly disgusting when someone else raises your kids so you can whore around rush st.do not trust either one.irresponsible and neither one is responsible for thier actions.its always someone elses fault.fred fat buck toothed scamming ripoff piece of shit.amy surgically enhanced lipo sucked slut who has three children by different men has no clue where her kids are!mom of the century in my book.they definitely deserve each other.can you 2 say straight jacket nuthouse resident.we know amy can.

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    1. Googled Fred Latsko girlfriend. HOLY CRAP. Who is the Kim Basinger looker with legs??!!

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    2. At least Amy had the decency to keep her children out of it, John. You're bringing whore after whore home to meet the kids and screw while they're asleep. Having Amber move in-dad of the year!

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    3. At least Amy had the decency to keep her children out of it, John. You're bringing whore after whore home to meet the kids and screw while they're asleep. Having Amber Gibson move in-dad of the year!

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    4. Amber did not stay long.

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  18. I'm so glad to read all this negative press about Fred Latsko who I dealt with 20 years ago. When the apartment we were renting was not finished and we complained, Latsko sent a 6'4" man over to take the bars off my garden apartment windows. City of Chicago did nothing to hel pus. We had water coming thru the door jams, his apartment was so poorly constructed and the poor people who bought the building while we were in it, winded up suing him. He's a really bad news crook.

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    1. 20 YRS AGO HMMMM.

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    2. LOL ! I love the comment above as well. Sounds like a real winner who still googles Fred after 20 years - Needs to get a life ! I am almost certain that Fred is not googling your name looser.

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  19. they are users here I am another victim of fred latsko and amy leonard piece of shit people could really use help she is a stone pill popper she loves zanies and fred fucks everything with a skirt really great people......SIKE

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  20. John its so thin its a joke . just need to read between the lines. sick prick.
    you know who . see you in dec

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    1. Thin yeah. What as thin as Barbie - Barbie likes easy and Ken likes Barbie's thin

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  21. What spell does freddy have over AMY
    is it his charm

    WAKE UP AMY
    YOU ARE THE BOMB AND SEXY & SWEET A HEART OF GOLD AND A FACE AS PURE AS SNOW

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  22. Saving contact of a lawyer and people on the environtment is a must. You are able to contact him for asking about fees, payment terms and etc. debby - Davoren.com.au

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  25. This guy is a Criminal. Rotten, No Good, Liar and a Cheat. People have long memories of your unethical, underhanded behavior. Nothing but a Weasel and a Con Man. Good Luck if you engage any business with this Dirt Bag Low Life

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  26. John Leonard needs to move on already

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  27. Who is John Leonard?

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