Operator of Lake Bluff home church fa...

Operator of Lake Bluff home church faces more legal problems

There are 15 comments on the Chicago Tribune story from Dec 19, 2008, titled Operator of Lake Bluff home church faces more legal problems. In it, Chicago Tribune reports that:

A Lake Bluff man who gained notoriety when he got an $80,000 property-tax break on his North Shore mansion when he converted it into a church faces more legal woes as he fights to keep his tax exemption on the ...

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Chicago Tribune.

Sahin Karakaya

United States

#1 Dec 19, 2008
Armenian Prelacy never condoned and gave its permission to this corrupt realtor to use Armenian Church to benefit himself. This so called Armenian Church of Lake Bluff is the imagination of a tax evader. Throw bum out on his ear and clear the name of Decent Armenians and Armenian Apostolic Chuch!

Elgin, IL

#3 Dec 19, 2008
Why is this guy any less deserving of tax-exempt status than any other church? Why should any church be tax-exempt at all?

Waukegan, IL

#7 Dec 19, 2008
Royko wrote:
Interesting that this White Guy is having so much trouble over his "church" when Jesse Jackson has used his "church" to shakedown corporations for millions of dollars over the years. He has gotten son Noah a beer distributorship (great business for a "church" family) that brings in tons of cash getting sinners drunk. The Jackson Klan capitalizes on the fact that in America, dealing drugs gets you in jail while dealing alcohol gets you rich. Anybody challenges that financial antics of the Jackson Klan and Jesse plays the race card, or Jesse Jr. rats you out to the Feds. Ahhhhh...Chicago politics.
Ok, you've come out and saw the snow, go back to your cave. It's not abotu Blacks and Whites you knucklehead - it's about someone getting their home declared as a church in order not to pay taxes. You racists are something else.

Downers Grove, IL

#8 Dec 19, 2008
What's the address? We can all go to church services on Sundays. Wanna bet he doesn't let us in.
EJ from Palatine

Chicago, IL

#9 Dec 19, 2008
Ski wrote:
What's the address? We can all go to church services on Sundays. Wanna bet he doesn't let us in.
Good idea, this guy needs some jail time!

Chicago, IL

#12 Dec 19, 2008
"Village officials maintain that Michael needs a special permit to hold religious services in his home."

Attention Lake Bluff officials, there's this document called the Constitution that you need to read. Pay particular attention to Amendment I.

Chicago, IL

#13 Dec 19, 2008
Dear Ms. Kuczka,
Obviously if Mr. Friedman deposed the Michaels and bases his appeal simply on informal finances and a lack of minutes it would appear to me he has already lost. Your relentless reporting of this single Church clearly shows there must be some connection. The First Amendment allows for Freedom of Religion and the Right to Assemble, it does not make mention of orderly bookkeeping. I would like to know if minutes were taken to approve Mr. Friedman's legal fees which the Lake Bluff residents such as myself have to incur for his law firms benefit. As to the foreclosures, read the paper you are employed by, the entire country is in foreclosure. These desperate articles leaves me to believe the reason for the Tribune's bankruptcy.
Mary Jane

Chicago, IL

#15 Dec 19, 2008
I bet all the store front churches on the south side of Chicago or in north Chicago keep perfect books and records; get real.

Chicago, IL

#16 Dec 19, 2008
IronRick wrote:
This homeowner is claiming that he converted his home to a PUBLIC Church in a RESIDENTIAL area. He failed to even apply for permits, and I am sure he did that knowing full well that he would be denied.
He said in the beginning that the Church would be Public however in court he said it is only for his wife and friends. If he wants to hold mass in his own home for his wife and friends only then no special use permits would be required however he also does not qualify for the $80 K. tax break.
This man I do not believe is about religion however he is about Money.
<quoted text>
I agree that this is not a legitimate church and his tax break should be denied. However, village officials cannot require churches to have a permit. The constitution is quite clear about that. They need to stick to the issue of the tax break and go after him for that.

Woodstock, IL

#18 Dec 19, 2008
Iron Rick is right. This guy is all about money. Why not take a look at public records and see how much litigation is involved on his mansion/church and how many small contractors never got paid what they were due for the work they performed. He and his brother have made a practice of keeping as much money in their pockets as possible.

Tampa, FL

#19 Dec 21, 2008
Cyclone wrote:
Why is this guy any less deserving of tax-exempt status than any other church? Why should any church be tax-exempt at all?
....well if you dont know why then maybe you should go back to school and read what our Founding Fathers wrote about it.

Elgin, IL

#20 Dec 22, 2008
les wrote:
<quoted text>....well if you dont know why then maybe you should go back to school and read what our Founding Fathers wrote about it.
Yes, I know that. But then why should some churches be judged as less worthy than others?

The only reason that people are upset with this guy is because they didn't think of it first.
comes around

Chicago, IL

#22 Jan 5, 2009
Lake County will either get him on tax evasion or zoning violations (or both).

The foreclosure suits will continue to mount because the economy will not turn around in enough time to stop the slide.

Mysterious fires keep happening at properties that are in financial trouble.

The FDIC has finally caught on to them using their bank as a personal piggy bank for their own deals.

The IDFPR could shut them down overnight if it ever ran an audit of the real estate brokerage. With all his past violations he should not even have a current license.

Their own people (Armenians) most likely are not too happy with him turning his back on their official religion (good luck with any future baptisms, weddings, funerals, etc.).

The legal fees will be ridiculous for all of this. Either Michael will stiff them (like so many others) or be paying them off forever.

Maybe some Greek benefactor will bail him out...nope wait...George sexually harasses their women.

Sigh...the poor Michaels.
Blagos hair

Englewood, CO

#23 Jan 9, 2009
If either of these two guys were on fire in the street outside the sham of a bank or the Real Estate building that is now for sale, you would have a hard time finding anyone who woudl even stop to urinate on them. Poor guys need a hug...

Chicago, IL

#24 Apr 6, 2009
Hi Whatever happened with this crook? Did the city get the fine money for the illegal "church"

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