Pretoriusstraat 28
squatted since feb2001
Social revolution at street level

The owner before the court!

Article translated from:

[am*dam] Criminal trial against owner squat PS28
Steve Biko - 18.02.2007 03:13

In 2007 the owner of the squatting stronghold Pretoriusstraat 28 in East Amsterdam must
appear before the criminal court. Joseph Cyrus McCarthy and 17 others are suspects of (amongst
other things) mortgage fraud and falsifying documentation. For this reason the squatting group
will go to the local council (in East Amsterdam) on monday 19th February to once again
emphatically demand that the building permit for the property be immediately withdrawn.

Since he became owner of PS28 in 1996 McCarthy has used the property (and other real estate)
in a series of "pyramid-scheme"-like mortgage constructions. By utilising repeated
sales transactions the prices of houses were driven up as a method to obtain higher
and higher mortgage loans from various financial institutions. Many of the buyers and sellers
were front-men, armed with false income declarations, operating on behalf of the leading figures
in McCarthy's network.

The squatting group has, ever since the property was squatted in 2001, repeatedly pointed to
the malpractices of McCarthy and his network. The report 'Waar rook is...' ("Where smoke is...")
was published in 2003 in collaboration with the SPOK (the Speculation Research Collective.) In January
2006 the local council in Oost-Watergraafsmeer withdrew an earlier building permit for PS28
on the basis of the law BIBOB: given recent developments a correct decision! After all, pretty much
everybody that has been pointed out as belonging to the gang of speculators must now appear in this 
criminal case. Also the miraculous rise in price of PS28 can suddenly be explained...

The aforementioned malpractices and the research conducted as part of this criminal lawcase
led in 2006 to an "almost"-auction of PS28. Because of this the mortgagebank ING had to wave
goodbye to several hundred thousand euros. The so-called "new owners" - Pepijn Koch, Robert Leon
Segaar, Gerardus Albertus van de Laar and Antonius Klomp - are however business partners of
McCarthy and his book-keeper Johannes van den Elshout, also a chief suspect in this case. It
turns out that Koch has worked together with McCarthy and Van den Elshout since at least 1998
and has carried out work for McCarthy up until at least april 2006. Evidently Robert Leon Segaar
is also not so far away from McCarthy: both Koch and Segaar are, after all, on the witness-list for the
criminal case.

The connections between McCarthy and his front-men has also been repeatedly highlighted by the squatting
group. There has even been an extension report published: "Waar stro is" (Where Straw Is). This
influenced the local council to reject the complaint of the owners against the withdrawal of the first
building permit. Despite all this the same building permit (again requested by the same owners) was granted
by the local council in October 2006. Protests from the squatting group against this decision have indeed led 
to concern and unease inside the local council, but the "new" building permit nevertheless continues to this 
very day to be valid. The local council has also promised thorough and deep research into the case.

On 19 februari the squatting group is going to the local council to tell the housing comission 
about the latest developments, and to demand once again from the local minister of housing that
the building permit be immediately revoked.

Come all!
Maandag 19 februari 2007

19.00 Joes Garage, pretoriusstraat 28, voor uitleg en achtergronden
20.00 Deelraadskantoor Oost-Watergraafsmeer, Linneausstraat 89, Raadzaal