(Cleveland) - Cuyahoga County's law director has filed a lawsuit seeking to recover taxpayer money he contends was lost to fraud, in the purchase of the Ameritrust Complex.
Majeed Makhlouf says the county is going after 10 defendants, including Vince Russo, who served 18 months in prison for corruption.
He's the son of former Cuyahoga County Auditor Frank Russo, who was at the center of the Cuyahoga County corruption probe.
Also named in the lawsuit is the company that supposedly helped put the deal together, Great Lakes Corporate Real Estate Partners, LLC.
Makhlouf says the county is hoping to collect $3 million dollars, which were dubiously billed as "government relations".
Makhlouf explains that when the county was looking for a new headquarters, Ameritrust was 4th on the list, but mysteriously rose to become the top choice.
Cuyahoga County bought the Ameritrust Complex in 2005 for $22 million dollars, but had to spend $10 million removing asbestos from the building.
Makhlouf admits that the county corruption convictions cleared the way for the filing of this civil lawsuit.
(Photos by Ken Robinson/WTAM)