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Resource ID: #13638
Subject: Fraud
Source: Pioneer Press (St. Paul, Minn.)
Date: 1996-04-14



The St. Paul Pioneer Press finds that the lure of the American dream, home ownership, was dangled before dozens of mostly working poor Minnesotans by a prominent St. Paul businessman, who collected rents, down payments and "closed" deals on homes and businesses he did not own or have authority over. "Buying Trouble" uncovered how Burnie Battle traded on his family's political connections and strong tires to African-American churches in the Twin Cities and across the nation to win the trust of his clients and investors, then convinced them to do business with his company, the BELS Corp. Many people he took advantage of complained to authorities, who turned a blind eye to Battle's activities.

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