What a Land Trust Agreement Has to Do With Two Motels Shutting Down

By: Jason Lanning
By: Jason Lanning

23 News requested police call records for Six Penny and Rockford Motel from the city of Rockford on Oct. 6, 2002.

It's some of the same information the city used to force the shut downs Friday. However, 23 News has uncovered additional information which points to ownership protection under land trust laws.

They are shady scenes, a taxicab leaving the Rockford Motel with his headlights out after talking to someone renting a room. A white van driving down 11th Street after picking up prostitutes at Rockford Motel. All activities now stopped after the city shut the facilities down using a public nuisance suit.

But the owners of the motels, Mahabulbul and Nilufar Kabir are well protected by Illinois land trust laws. The Kabir's signed a land trust agreement with Bank of Waukegan which stipulates identity protection and protection against lawsuits and liens on the properties.

23 News sent a letter to Bank of Waukegan President Fred Abdula on October 21st to request the bank revoke the land trust agreement based on our investigation. The bank's response dated Oct. 24 …" due to our privacy policy, we are unable to discuss customer accounts or relationships..."

But, Oct. 25 was a new day. The city cleared out the hotels on 11th Street using a temporary restraining order granted by a Winnebago County Judge. Managers of the hotels told 23 News they were unaware of the drug activity and say they will fight to re-open them.

The Six Penny Inn and Rockford Motel have to prove to a judge the properties are clean.

They also have to have a legitimate purpose of operation before they are re-opened. They have to plead their case by Nov. 4.


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