Yost arrested on theft charges

Property owner accused of taking tenants’ money but not paying the bills
Shawn Foucher
Oct 12, 2013
Accused scheister Joe Yost was in the county jail for a grand total of two hours Friday night.

It was a quick taste of what may lie in store for him, if he’s ultimately convicted of felony theft charges for allegedly bilking his former mobile home park tenants out of thousands of dollars.

An Erie County grand jury recently indicted Yost, 66, on two counts of fifth-degree felony theft. Erie County deputies tightened up the loose ends on the secret indictment Friday afternoon, asking Catawba Island police to arrest Yost at a home in the 4200 block of E. Trail St.

Police said they arrested him without incident and handed him off to deputies in a meet-up at the Bay View fire station. He was promptly booked into the Erie County jail, although within about two hours he secured a bondsman to post $10,000 bond, jail guards said.

Investigators and prosecutors settled on the two low-level felonies because only a few of the former tenants of Hoppers mobile home park could provide financial records to support their allegations against Yost.

Through his company Westgate Development, Yost owns the Hoppers mobile home park property at Venice Road and Tiffin Avenue.

He’s accused of collecting money from Hoppers tenants for water services, but failing to pay the city for those services. The situation festered for years — from about 2008 to 2013 — until this past summer, when city officials moved to shut off the water service.

Yost is about $260,000 delinquent on the water and sewer bills at the Hoppers property, city officials said.

When the city killed the property’s water service, it effectively displaced dozens of people who had lived at the mobile home park for years. Almost all those people have since scattered to the wind.    

Meanwhile, while the tenants were being ousted, Sandusky detectives began investigating Yost for collecting the water money but failing to pay the city. Their findings culminated in the grand jury indictment and Friday’s arrest.

“The victims are the tenants of Hoppers trailer court, who were paying rent and water bills to Mr. Yost,” Sandusky police Detective Dave West said. “Then, Mr. Yost was not paying the water bill at all. But he was taking money from the tenants.”

Many of the former tenants couldn’t provide financial records detailing their payments to Yost. The two theft charges represent just two tenants who could provide documentation showing they paid more than $1,000 to Yost, but less than $7,500. West said the names of the two tenants weren’t immediately available.

“The challenge with the whole thing was (finding) accurate and detailed records,” West said.

Medina County prosecutor Dean Holman was appointed as the special prosecutor in the case. Erie County prosecutor Kevin Baxter bowed out because of a conflict of interest.

Comments

starryeyes83

First thing I seen when I got my hard copy this morning.

Good.

Maybe Sandusky should check all the landlords out. So it doesn't happened again.

DickTracey

Great way to start my day! This dude owes me money, I'll never see.

Kharma, Joe, Kharma, coming after ya.

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xtensionofme

It's about time! Good deal!

Home Boy

The low of the lowest.

reading signs

did you mean the lowest of the low?

Home Boy

Yes, Reading Signs. Thank you>

FlyBoy86

That's what those sirens were for yesterday, lol. Never hear them up here.

Darwin's choice

Yost and Baxter......now there's a couple of CON'S for sure..!!!

samiam

What did he use as collateral to pay the bond? Couldn't the city seize whatever he used as collateral to pay his back taxes?

SoldOnAcorns

The first collar flip I've ever seen in a mugshot ....congrats !

DickTracey

Don Johnson made that sooo cool in the eighties. But poor Joe just isn't pulling it off.

starryeyes83

I recall David Soul pulling that look off in the '70's ahhh.. David and Don - both were so hot!

Poor Joe, oh so not!

:)

Julie R.

Why did Baxter bow out because of a conflict of interest? What's the conflict? As for Dean Holman ---- why does Baxter always bring HIM in?

The Answer Person

Take it all and see how he likes it. One would think his mother with all her money would step up to the plate and help her poor little Joey.

Centauri

"As for Dean Holman ---- why does Baxter always bring HIM in?"

For desired results. Holman's decision will be Baxter's decision.

deertracker

This is soooooooooo long overdue!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

West

Oh, I'm sure that good ole Deana will offer his pal diversion. So, no need to worry folks this case will be fixed!

dorothy gale

Boy, he sure looks smug. Everything he owns should be siezed to pay what he owes. What a lowlife.

AEversole

I can gaurentee that he doesn't get prison time for a felony 5.... I would be shocked if he even gets county time. 30 days Max. But more than likely he will get probation and have to try ti attempt to re pay some of the money that they can prove he stole, which doesn't appear to be very much. The city can send the bill to collections and he wont be able to get any water turned on in his name..WOW, that just doesn't seem right. He has con 'd so much money and there isn't really crape they can do about it....

deertracker

That's why he has that smug look. This guy is worst than a thug that actually robs you!

lugnut2511

Its kinda funny, the water department would cut your water off in two months time if you were a homeowner and hadnt paid the bill. Shame on the water department for letting this go for so long. I think thye faut the system all themselves as well....

tk

These people probably paid in cash and didn't keep records but why isn't the word of dozens of people good?

pavedparadise

Better yet, did Sandusky PD seize Yost's records? Based on the article it appears the PD relied only on paper work from the residents.

DickTracey

Someone should be able to come up with at least one of Yost's lease agreements, that says the water is included in the monthly lease payment.

Darkhorse

I have a different slant on things; and that is, where was the city when all this was going on for five years? The city has yet to come up with an explanation of why they left the water running. The city caused their own problems by not addressing the overdue water bill, plus, the county could have taken addressed the delinquent taxes and done something with the situation a lot sooner then they did. Both entities caused a great deal of hardship that didn't have to happen. It all could have been handled a lot differently before Yost even filed bankruptcy locking everything up for years. Does anyone know how long bankruptcy lasts? Seem like it has been going on for years.

pavedparadise

All part of the bigger plan.

bama

So exactly what is the conflict of interest in the Erie County prosecutor taking on this case? I'd like to know exactly why Baxter had to "bow out" of this case. Is he a partner of this guy? Did he represent him in another case? What's going on here?

reading signs

It may be that they know each other from growing up on the Cedar Point Chaussee.

Nor'easter

What did Ed Widman, the then city treasurer know and when did he know it? Have to wonder if there aren't charges of malfeasance are not proper.

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