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Published: Friday, 5/7/2004

Creditors seeking Haukedahl's belongings

BY GARY T. PAKULSKI
BLADE BUSINESS WRITER

Judge Jed Rakoff, of U.S. District Court in New York, has authorized the U.S. Small Business Administration to "take possession, custody or control" of furniture and other personal belongings from the $360,000 house at 2838 Byrnwyck West in Springfield Township.

The judge's order allowed the SBA, which is acting as receiver for a defunct business that was harmed by what the judge earlier ruled was an insurance scam carried on by Mr. Haukedahl, to take previously secured records and documents belonging to firms operated by the local man from offices at 6912 Spring Valley Drive in the township.

The order was filed this week in U.S. District Court in Toledo as required for enforcement, although Judge Rakoff issued the ruling late last month in New York.

Mr. Haukedahl, 57, didn't respond to a message left yesterday at his home in the Dominican Republic.

Up to 1,600 real estate agents, appraisers, and inspectors nationwide scrambled to find professional liability insurance after Judge Rakoff in March shut down Mr. Haukedahl's American Real Estate Association, Noble Group, and Universal Real Estate Alliance.

The firms, which portrayed themselves as trade associations, claimed to arrange discounted insurance for members. The SBA, in suits against American Real Estate and Mr. Haukedahl, said the coverage was bogus. Lawyers said Mr. Haukedahl paid small claims to keep the scheme going while pocketing much of the premium money.

Judge Rakoff, following a civil trial in February, said: "...This was a flagrant, intentional, willful, and despicable fraud."

Mr. Haukedahl has not been charged criminally.

Lucas County records show the Brandywine house that is the object of collection efforts is owned by Alice Schmucker, widow of Toledo restaurateur and long-time Haukedahl business associate Allen Schmucker.

Douglas Schmucker, speaking for his mother, said Mr.. Haukedahl rented the residence. County records indicate that the house was owned until 1997 by Mr. Haukedahl's then-wife, Jacqueline. Allen and Alice Schmucker bought the property from her for $360,000 that year, records state.

Douglas Schmucker declined further comment on the situation.

Judge Rakoff's ruling deals with the contents of the residence but not the house itself. It was unclear yesterday if the SBA had moved to enforce the order.

In a related development, Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro last month pulled the plug on bingo games operated by a charity linked to Mr. Haukedahl and his family. Little of the proceeds collected by the Haukedahl Foundation were used to carry out the charity's avowed mission of helping people with and spinal cord injuries, Mr. Petro said.

Contact Gary Pakulski at:

gpakulski@theblade.com

or 419-724-6082.



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