Shell Game Shows How Adam Corey Company Reaped 129% Return on City Property Deal

Shell Game Shows How Adam Corey Company Reaped 129% Return on City Property Deal

Tallahassee Reports has learned that a company affiliated with Adam Corey reaped a 129% return over a three-and-half year period on the sale of a piece of vacant property the company purchased from the City of Tallahassee.

The property. located on the corner of St. Michael Street and Gaines Street, was purchased by a Corey affiliated company for $225,000 on January 31, 2014 and sold for $515,000 on June 2, 2017. The sale price indicates a 129% return over 3.5 years or approximately 36.8% per year.

At the time of the purchase, Corey was a city vendor through his Edison Restaurant venture and was the campaign treasurer for City Commissioner Andrew Gillum, who was running for mayor of Tallahassee.

Adam Corey -City Vendor, Edison Owner

Adam Corey is a central player in the ongoing federal investigation of city hall.

But get this – the city commission never voted to sell the property to the Corey affiliated company.

So how did it happen?

The paper trail uncovered by Tallahassee Reports shows the actions Corey took to hide his affiliation with the property deal. TR’s research also shows how actions by City of Tallahassee officials -including former Mayor John Marks – ultimately resulted in Corey obtaining a financial interest in the deal.

On November 26, 2013, the city commission approved the purchase of the vacant lot for $225,000 to a company named Taking Schatz, LLC.

Staff told the city commission that Taking Schatz, LLC was the only bidder that responded to an advertisement placed in the Tallahassee Democrat.

Previously, the city staff indicated that there was “significant interest” in the property, and therefore, a request for bids was released in August of 2013.

In the end, only one bidder responded.

A review of the city commission meeting shows that the purchase was unanimously approved by Mayor John Marks, and City Commissioners Ziffer, Miller, Maddox, and Gillum. There was no discussion or public testimony.

State records show that the Taking Schatz, LLC was created in January 2013 by Adam Corey. However, in May 2013 Corey was removed as Manager and Edward Schatz was added.

So the vote on November 26, 2013 did not involve a Corey related business.

However, after the November 26, 2013 vote to sell the property to Taking Schatz,LLC, the City of Tallahassee actually sold the property to a different company.

The deed below – dated February 3, 2014 – shows that the City of Tallahassee sold the property to a company called Gaines 800, LLC.


Unlike the Taking Schatz LLC, records show that Gaines 800 LLC was indeed affiliated with Adam Corey. The Gaines 800, LLC was created in October 15, 2013 and the Manager was listed as the Schatz-Corey Holdings, LLC. The Schatz-Corey Holdings, LLC was also created on October 15, 2013.

The deed was executed by Mayor John Marks.

Further evidence of Corey’s affiliation with the property deal was found in emails uncovered by Tallahassee Reports.

The email chain below shows that City of Tallahassee employees – Mark Beaudoin and Robert Culverhouse – were included in emails addressing the property purchase that involved Edward Schatz and Adam Corey before the sale date of January 31, 2014.

On January 8th, 2014, Edward Schatz sent an email to City of Tallahassee employee Robert Culverhouse that said, “Danny Manausa who is handling our closing and will review the documents….”

Copied on the email were Mark Beaudoin, a city employee, and Adam Corey.

Five days later Manausa sends an email to Robert Culverhouse about the deeds.

Again, copied on the email were Mark Beaudoin, a city employee, and Adam Corey.

It appears that city staff were well aware that Adam Corey was involved with the deal.

But why did the staff execute the purchase of the property to a different company than was approved by the city commission vote on November 26, 2013?

Did someone tell city staff to move forward with the transaction despite the change in company?

Tallahassee Reports will continue to seek answers to these questions.

Property records show that on June 2, 2017, Gaines 800 LLC sold the property purchased in 2014 for $515,000. Records also show the property was vacant in 2014 and in 2017.

15 Responses to "Shell Game Shows How Adam Corey Company Reaped 129% Return on City Property Deal"

  1. Shame, shame, shame….they have none. When bids for services of less than $100k are manipulated & used to grease the palms of the greedy COT supervisors, managers and leaders with the full knowledge of COT employees, why wouldn’t they move on to larger bids & shady deals to reap even larger ill-gotten gains? Vendors who have been locked out completely or had some “strange” conversations with City Mangers Fernandez and Favors-Thompson during the bid process have tried to tell local media for years the entire bid process at COT was being run like a criminal enterprise. TR is the only media to really look into allegations of mismanagement and look what they are finding.
    Over they years there were some vendors who pushed back and questioned the legality of a bid statement or questioned numbers quoted in a bid. I think the COT realized those vendors would not keep quiet so they followed the rules for that bid. It really is a rats nest at COT. Sure hope the FBI comes out with the charges soon. Many tax payers are starting to feel like the bride waiting at the alter as the organist moves on the verse 2.

  2. A few years ago, the city bought a run down house, fixed it up with grant money, and sold it to a city employee. That was part of a program to help low income people (who could not actually afford to buy a house). City employees also ride the bus for free, even though there is no official benefit for that.

  3. Their games and corruption were all for naught as now their legal fees, bail, etc…will eat up their profits tenfold!

    One only has to refer back to the city commission meeting only weeks ago regarding the commissioners corrupt involvement in the city insurance contract to see that there is no legitimate bidding process at City Hall. The legitimate winner of the bid, Arthur Gallagher, was not the commissioners campaign donors, but Brown & Brown/Rogers, Gunter, Vaughn the losing bidder is. Bart Gunter was caught inappropriately interfering in the process because he made contact with Gil Ziffer during the bidding process which is not allowed. Scott Maddox and Andrew Gillum turned it around and admonished the winning bid rep from Arthur Gallagher and proceeded to award the bid to Brown & Brown/Rogers, Gunter, Vaughn. The new attorney and all commissioners sat there and let it happen.

    The new attorney failed her first test and paved the way for this irregular if not illegal bid process for commissioners to secure their campaign funding sources on large contracts. What is the point of a bidding process if it is so illegally manipulated by commissioners and the city attorney? Go watch the meeting video. The citizens of Tallahassee do not have a legitimate bid process at city hall. Corruption runs rampant.

    Scott Maddox, Andrew Gillum, Gill Ziffer, the new attorney, etc.were diabolical in (ill)legally securing the losing bidder at the last minute that just happened to be the commissioners largest campaign contributors.

    I hope the ethics board investigates Maddox’s/Gillum’s/Ziffer’s interference with the insurance contract and refers this to the FBI for further review.

    1. Hope, if what you say about the meeting video being a form of evidence of the illegal COT manipulation of the “bidding” process, then I sincerely hope the FBI is reading TR regularly and is asking (or better, issuing a subpoena) for not only that particular video, but others that involve any suspect land deals and/or corruption at COT. Could be very useful in court. All such videos could be classified as potential evidence, and destroying evidence is in itself a crime.

  4. Before disposal of ANY city held real estate, an impartial indepenrant fee appraisal of the property should be obtained so the city has a good idea of what the property is worth (it”s fair market value). This appraisal should be prepared by an MAI (Member Appraisal Institute) , which is the highest professional designation obtainable in the appraisal profession. Reason : Such a person has strict professional guidelines that require adherence to a Standards of Professional Practice —-in simple terms —-impartiality is a bedrock condition and violations can incur severe penalties that can mean, among other possible civil actions, losing the designation (try testifying in a court of law after having lost such an endorsement ! ) AND, therefore no one can influence said appraiser ! If high bid does not match or exceed appraisal, then do not sell said property —it is that simple !!

  5. If TR is able to unravel the paper trail on this (great work and no small feat to accomplish!), the FBI must also have found quite a bit more evidence on many other suspect COT transactions, possibly going back for a decade or so, involving past usual suspects in addition to the present ones.
    I hope that somewhere in the morass of corruption, there is an undiscovered source (or two) of information that is aiding the FBI. The more more solid the case and the wider the net of FBI indictments, the better.

  6. These are just the unethical and illegal dealings being uncovered by a single investigator (TR); how many total illegal dealings have there been FBI? How much money is involved? And who else specifically with the City has personally profited from these insider tradings? Who was/is in charge of these Real Estate transactions? COT Legal, correct?

    As Major Villum previously presented on a separate article commentary: A full and open disclosure by all City of Tallahassee employees is warranted – to the citizen’s of Tallahassee – specifically on what properties do City employees own (or are affiliated with), bought, sold or traded (in the last 20 years or during their professional tenure with COT) that are not their primary residence (excluding Maddox, of course). FBI – you will be amazed…; for instance just get on a few County tax appraiser web sites and review specific people and shell associated companies for current ownerships/rentals; and check on how these COT employees declared these property transactions – as required by COT policy – to COT (legal).

  7. This is why we need a clean slate when it comes to City leadership. All voted and appointed positions need to be wiped clean.

  8. The COT gets nine applications for the City Attorney job and says they want to relist it because that’s not enough.
    But they get one bid on a piece of land with lots of interest (allegedly) and it’s OK to green light it and not relist?
    Once again, The Usual Suspects put one over on We, the Taxpayers.

  9. Great job Tallahassee Reports. City corruption is so deep and wide. We need more than expected 24 criminal indictments!

  10. Adam Corey is about as cagey as Rocky Hanna. Hanna did the same with a notebook, his return on investment (with a little bit of help from a Tallahassee attorney and a middle school principal) was to dirty up his main opponent and then to demote the daughter in-law of his other opponent shortly after he was elected, who as a Principal improved her school grade from a D to a C. Ruthless Rocky Hanna as cunning as Mr. Corey. Corey made money, Hanna intended to destroy lives and the spirit of any one that got in his maniacal way.

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