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.



The Federal RICO statute was originally intended to pursue corrupt activity involving organized crime or AKA the "Mob". The Feds had so much success with it that they effectively dismantled old time organized crime.

An FBI agent involved in the original prosecutions in Cleveland employing RICO to attack organized crime in large metropolitan areas like Cleveland explained that the success of RICO led organized crime to relocate to areas like Ottawa and Erie Counties and developed a new hybrid involving companies and government officials what some call GOB (Government officials, Organized Corrupt activity, Business/Bar)

GOB prospers in environments where: 1) Law enforcement, justice, and political infrastructures are easy to co-opt; 2) small media market including a newspaper which is easily controlled; and, 3) small bank or banks which are easily controlled. The system protects itself by ensuring members are placed in agencies that have the ability to investigate allegations of corruption or misconduct such as Bar Associations, Police Departments, Prosecutors offices etc. You'll see bogus prosecutions to eliminate honest persons that pose a threat to the system.

The result is one cannot complain to authorities, obtain an investigation or publicize the issue because the system is interlocked and codependent. At some point it may become so obvious as in Cuyahoga County, that a prosecution is launched and some members are sacrificed but the larger system remains in place. For example, the Plain Dealer has never called for investigation of the eight other judges named by Frank Russo as allegedly involved in corrupt activity.

If one examines the Board of Directors for Citizens Bank, and major shareholders there will likely be a lot of interconnections with elected officials, attorneys/law firms, and major corporate players including a media company.


It is possible that Yost's financial problems may be due to high property tax valuations, high taxes and the decisions of those in Sandusky (OHIO) city government. Notice that I did say possible. I am still looking for public documents.

$350,000 2/9/2005 Sale Price Buyer: HAYES AVENUE DEVELOPMENT (Yost)
$1,461,750 2006/01/01 Valuation

How does property bought for $350,000 (2/9/2005) jump to $1,461,750 (1/1/2006)? After a BOR hearing, the valuation dropped to $385,540.

Property was sold to BORN AGAIN SALVAGE LLC for $51,000 (6/8/2012)

"Sandusky to demolish former American Crayon Building"

(Published: 9/27/2008)
"SANDUSKY The owner of the former Dixon Ticonderoga crayon factory has filed for protection from creditors in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Toledo."

"Hayes Avenue Development Co. LLC is one of three firms linked to Sandusky developer Joseph Yost III that is seeking to reorganize under Chapter 11 of the bankruptcy code. The largest of the firms, Westgate Properties Ltd., listed between $1 million and $10 million in debt. The firm owns a Sandusky shopping center, according to Jonathan Blakely, an Akron attorney who represents the businesses."


Scheister. That's a great name for him. Does he vote?

God Of Thunder

I still think that his Yost's office manager, Tami Rapp should be checked out as well. How can you NOT know what was going on. Money coming in and nothing going out huh.. If that's the way a business is run, then I want in.

Julie R.



How come he can post a bond for bail but not pay his bills. I think he ought to stay in the clink until the over due bills are paid.