Freeman to 'aggressively prosecute' Twin Cities landlord charged with perjury

January 02, 2019 06:22 PM

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman Wednesday discussed the case of a Twin Cities landlord who has been charged with perjury.

Stephen Frenz was accused of fraud in 2016 after he took over nearly 60 properties in 2012 and deferred management decisions to the previous owner - identified as Spiros Zorbalas - and maintained Zorbalas' business interest in the properties, despite Zorbalas' rental license revocation.

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It was also determined Frenz was using shell corporations to operate the 60 properties he obtained.

The city of Minneapolis then revoked Frenz's rental licenses.


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Tenants living in the properties Frenz oversaw complained of cockroach infestations and a lack of heating, among other grievances.

During the news conference Wednesday, Freeman noted perjury cases are often difficult to prove.

"But this one was really blatant," Freeman said, regarding Frenz's case. "He not only lied about it in writing, he manufactured the evidence and went to great lengths to do this. And he has a history of doing this."

"We will aggressively prosecute," Freeman said.

Kristi Karels is new to the apartment building. She has only lived here for four months, but said she is already planning to move.

"I just had a feeling something wasn't right," she said. 

Security is just one of her concerns.

"I have been wanting a peep hole," she said. "I am the only one who lives here, and I don't have a safety thing, I have to open the door to see who it is."

She said the apartment building is now under new management.

Frenz has lost his rental license in the city of Minneapolis.

His first court appearance is scheduled for Feb. 8.

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Rebecca Omastiak and Jessica Miles

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