Judge Delays Ruling Against Landlord Accused Of Violating Probat - WCMH: News, Weather, and Sports for Columbus, Ohio

Judge Delays Ruling Against Landlord Accused Of Violating Probation

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COLUMBUS, Ohio -

The landlord who spent 30 days in jail for dozens of code violations appeared in court Wednesday, accused of violating his probation.

Sam Vazirani has been in court many times since he pleaded no contest to housing code violations in the death of three people on Christmas Eve in 2011.

He agreed to sell his homes as part of a plea deal, but investigators are now trying to prove that he still owns homes through an elaborate shell game.

Vazirani took notes as court investigators laid out evidence in a hearing Wednesday.

The evidence claims Vazirani owned eight properties when he pleaded no contest in April, and instead of selling them, he allegedly shuffled homes around under other family members, friends and corporations in which he had ownership.

Community members who want to testify about what Vazirani's alleged actions caused in their neighborhoods were disappointed because the case was continued.

"I think the justice system shouldn't be afraid to rule on the wrongs that he has committed because they are not faceless victims. They are our neighbors and friends," said Jed Dearing, a resident.  "He preys upon our neighbors that struggle with mental illness and addictions, and takes advantage of that, so he should be punished for his crimes."

Dearing is part of a grassroots group in Franklinton that is trying to highlight the poor conditions of Vazirani's suspected rental properties.

"It's sad that he would continue to work to exploit our neighborhood for his own gain," Dearing said.

Vazirani's probation officer said he used shell companies known as CB Contractors, and Vaz Properties, to hide his ownership of at least nine homes.

"He has continually denied having any ownership or control over these three limited liability corporations until recently," said Deputy Chief Probation Officer Kevin Clark.

Two tenants on Guilford Avenue told a probation officer in July, and NBC4 last month, that Vazirani was still their landlord.

"When they moved in, Mr. Vazirani signed the lease as CB Contractors," Clark said.

Franklin County Judge Harland Hale will have Vazirani back in court on Feb. 19 to rule on whether he violated his probation by owning rental homes.

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