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Minneapolis landlord Stephen Frenz sentenced to probation, 60 days in workhouse for perjury

Updated: December 20, 2019 06:23 PM

A Twin Cities landlord convicted of perjury in October was sentenced Friday.

KSTP Reporter Eric Chaloux reports Stephen Frenz, 56, was sentenced to three years of probation and 60 days in a Hennepin County workhouse.

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According to Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman, Frenz must also perform 200 hours of community service and pay a $1,000 fine. His jail time will be staggered, with the first 30 days being served in Jan. 2020 and the remaining 30 days will be served in Jan. 2021.

"I mean, my reaction is ... at first it's good that the justice system did its job," said Chloe Jackson, a former resident of one of Frenz's properties.

At the advice of his counsel, Frenz told the judge he did not want to speak ahead of sentencing. However, his one of his attorneys did.

"I'm counting on you to do justice in this case, which means doing justice in the perjury case, not looking at the other allegations and not deciding I don't like what Steve Frenz might have done in the civil case, I don't like what he did with the tenants, so I'm going to punish him,'" defense attorney Robert Sicoli said to the judge ahead of sentencing.

Minneapolis landlord Frenz convicted of perjury

The conviction centered on the actions Frenz took in 2016 at one of his properties, a 17-unit apartment building at 3057 14th Ave. S. A Minneapolis neighborhood organization, IX of Powderhorn Park, filed a tentants' remedies action against Frenz and two of his companies. However, the organization could only bring the court action with the written permission of a majority of the tenants in occupied units.

Frenz later filed a motion with the judge for summary judgment and included his sworn affidavit stating that three additional units were occupied at the time of the court filing and, therefore, IX of Powderhorn Park didn't have a majority of the tenants. But an investigation revealed that Frenz was lying about the three units being occupied, meaning his affidavit was perjury.

The Hennepin County Attorney's Office said a statement from a pest control worker who sprayed the apartments and noted they were vacant on the invoice. The worker told authorities Frenz asked him to submit a new invoice for the units and leave out the word vacant.

Frenz's attorneys said they plan to appeal his perjury conviction.

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