February 13, 2013

Foreclosure under way in Malone


---- — MALONE — The building at 395 West Main St. was purchased sight unseen for $1,700 at a Franklin County land auction in 2009 and sold for $10 a year later.

Foreclosure is under way by the County Treasurer’s Office for nonpayment of $4,092 in back taxes plus a $150 fee for legal expenses associated with the proceeding.

Village Code Enforcement Officer Jim Haley condemned the property on Jan. 28, 2010, following an engineering report from Beardsley Design Associates that the 90-foot-tall building is bowing out in front and to the east and will likely collapse within a year.

The building was purchased in 2009 by Diana Kara of the Transatlantic Orthopedic Foundation Corp. of Salisbury, Conn., according to the engineer’s report.

U.S. Internal Revenue Service documents online state the foundation provides crutches, canes, walkers, wheelchairs, braces and other rehabilitation equipment to poor communities worldwide.

Its 2012 revenue was listed at $314,900, its expenses were $57,629, and its net assets and fund balance for the year totaled $447,371, according to IRS Form 990, which all nonprofits must file annually.

The foundation has three members: Ev Kara is a director, Diana Kara is a director and office worker, and Lisa Lurane is listed as secretary, but there are no salaries given for any of them, according to the IRS form.

Village code-enforcement officials met with Diana Kara on Oct. 14, 2010, and five days later, the County Highway Department got an email from her representative, Evan Byron, asking for an inspection “to determine if the town is pouring water all over the building.”

On Nov. 5, Byron emailed the State Department of Transportation, blaming the water damage to the building on bridge and road runoff.

Kara sold the building for $10 on Dec. 6, 2010, to Aberle York Architectural Preservation Ltd., which was formed in London, England, on Dec. 6, listing Murat Kara, a 30-year-old scientist from Turkey, as the company’s director, according to a certificate of incorporation filed with the Registrar of Companies for England and Wales.

In a March 2011 letter to the village, officials with Aberle York said they are not responsible for the building damage and that the village should demolish it.

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