July2 , 2022

Government seeks property forfeiture in vape case


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On the first anniversary of a raid of Tibor’s Kosher Meats and houses associated with it, the U.S. Attorney’s Office received permission to sell several houses, including the Moreland Hills home of Eyton Senders, owner of Tibor’s.

Four homes and a vacant residential property in Greater Cleveland as well as a house in Los Angeles are to be sold by the U.S. Marshals Service as part of an ongoing civil forfeiture case related to a THC vape cartridge manufacturer and distributor.

A Porsche 911 and Nautique G25 boat and Extreme trailer might be auctioned as well.

The so-called “interlocutory sale” is being done in the midst of a civil forfeiture case involving Justen Balay and Senders, not necessarily as a means to settle it – or the parallel criminal investigation by the federal major drug crimes task force, according to language in the Sept. 22 motion filed by U.S. Assistant Attorney Henry F. DeBaggis in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.

“The parties agree that the requested … order will not affect any other aspect of this litigation …” DeBaggis’ motion reads.

READ: Motion to sell real estate

Senders and Balay are accused of laundering money from an interstate drug trafficking and money laundering operation called Dank Vapes and Dankwoods in the purchase of real estate, luxury items and in the purchase of Tibor’s Kosher Meats. No charges have been filed.

“Tibor’s Meats and its business bank account is a conduit to launder money for Senders,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Henry F. DeBaggis wrote in his March 10 civil forfeiture complaint.

The civil forfeiture case had been stayed, or paused, July 22 to allow the criminal investigation to move forward.

U.S. District Judge Christopher A. Boyko wrote that discovery in the civil forfeiture case “could compromise confidential law enforcement information including source information and allow claimants to prematurely and improperly ascertain details of the criminal investigation.”

Claimants of the property are Senders, who is listed as a butcher and owner of Tibor’s Kosher Meats; Corner Green LLC; N. Laurel Avenue Property Holdings, LLC; ES Global Real Estate Holdings, LLC; and 100 Mountain View, LLC.

“Corner Green LLC was created by Senders to facilitate purchases with drug proceeds,” DeBaggis wrote in his initial March 10 filing.

“In order to avoid continued maintenance, taxes, security and insurance on the … real properties, the parties have agreed it would be in their mutual best interest,” DeBaggis wrote in his Sept. 22 motion.

In the joint motion, which requests a temporary partial lift of Boyko’s July 22 stay order, DeBaggis wrote it was “by and through” both U.S. Attorney Bridget Brennan and lawyer Edmund Searby, counsel for Senders and other claimants.

Boyko allowed the sale of the six properties in a Sept. 23 order:

• 100 Mountain View Drive, Moreland Hills, purchased for $1.25 million and identified as a residence of Senders in legal filings. It was searched in the Sept. 22, 2020, raid. At the time, it was under a renovation estimated to cost more than $2 million at the time according to DeBaggis’s March 10 legal filing;

• 2664 S. Green Road, Shaker Heights, which was purchased for $210,000 by ES Global Real Estate Holdings LLC, June 14, 2019

• 2104 S. Green Road, South Euclid, which was purchased for $150,000 by Corner Green, LLC, Feb. 27, 2020

• 2110 S. Green Road, South Euclid, which was purchased for $155,000 by Corner Green, LLC, June 5, 2020

• A vacant residential lot on South Green Road in South Euclid, which was purchased for $31,000 by ES Global Real Estate Holdings, LLC, Sept. 11, 2019

• 952 N. Laurel Ave., Los Angeles, which was purchased for $1.72 million by N. Laurel Avenue Property Holdings, LLC, March 21, 2019.

A seventh property, 806 N. Vista St., Los Angeles, which was purchased for $1.9 million by 806 N. Vista Ave., LLC, June 14, 2019, is excluded from the request, according to the motion, because “it is claimed by Justen Balay,” according to DeBaggis’ motion.

In a separate Sept. 29 motion, DeBaggis is seeking to seize both a black 1996 Porsche 911 Turbo, which belongs to Cary Senders, and a 2019 Nautique G25 Boat, with a 2019 Extreme Boat Trailer, owned by Ilan Senders. Ilan Senders also is an owner of Tibor’s Kosher Meats in University Heights and Eyton Senders’ brother.

Cary Senders is Eyton Senders and Ilan Senders’ father.

DeBaggis is seeking a “judgment by default” against both Ilan and Cary Senders based on “their failure to file an answer,” DeBaggis wrote in the Sept. 29 motion.

Boyko had not ruled on that motion as of Oct. 6.

In the initial March 10 filing, DeBaggis also named for civil forfeiture $2,197,323 in cash as well as three Rolex  men’s wrist watches and a Patek Philippe men’s wrist watch and a Metalor kilogram gold bar. Those items are not mentioned in either the Sept. 22 or the Sept. 29 legal filings.

Janet Duncan, district asset forfeiture coordinator for the U.S. Marshals Services in Cleveland, said she had not yet been notified of the order to sell the real estate in this civil forfeiture from the U.S. Attorney as of Oct. 5.

“I’ve seen no order whatsoever so I cannot make any comments … on that particular case,” she told the Cleveland Jewish News.

Speaking generally, Duncan said, real estate is sold through a broker, with decisions about buyers made in a Washington, D.C., headquarters.

“If you were selling your home, it would be handled pretty much the same way,” Duncan said. “And I can’t even speak for my headquarters on what their process is because all of those decisions are made way above me.”

As to the car and boat, Duncan said, “Any vehicle would be auctioned off.”

Multiple attempts to reach Victor Sherman, PLC, of Los Angeles, Balay’s lawyer, and Eyton Senders’ lawyer, Edmund Searby of Searby LLP in Pepper Pike, were unsuccessful.

Multiple attempts to reach Cary Senders and Ilan Senders were unsuccessful.