Article Courtesy of The Tampa
By Susan Taylor Martin
May 30, 2016
Lawyer Constantine Kalogianis has been so successful
helping delinquent borrowers fight their lenders that there's no reason
for him to alter mortgage documents, an attorney representing him says.
"It appears that (the lenders) are looking for an excuse to embarrass
him in the court of public opinion and in the court of law and
discourage others who protect the interests of the economically weak,''
prominent Tampa attorney Barry Cohen said in an email.
In a pair of
motions, a loan servicing company has accused Kalogianis
of altering promissory notes in five Pasco County
mortgage foreclosure cases to make it appear that the
lenders trying to foreclose didn't have legal standing
to do so. The motions say he did that by stamping the
notes to indicate they had been endorsed to a lender
other then the ones filing the foreclosure suits.
This week, Bayview Loan Servicing, which is foreclosing
on a Kalogianis' client on behalf of Bank of America,
obtained a video of a man it says is Kalogianis looking
at court files in the Pasco clerk's office. The video
appears to show him removing a small object from an
accordion folder, stamping a page in a court file and
returning the object to the folder.
In the email received by the Tampa Bay Times late Wednesday, Cohen did
not mention the object or the man in the video's apparent use of it to
stamp a court record.
"I can't see anything incriminating other than a lawyer doing a diligent
search, going through files looking for mortgage fraud,'' Cohen said of
the video. "After all, it would not be unusual to find mortgage fraud on
the part of Bank of America and its legal agents in that they've already
stipulated to being responsible for tampering with evidence resulting in
payment of billions of dollars of fines to avoid a possible criminal
Cohen said that Kalogianis has won "many cases" in which promissory
notes had not been stamped or signed by any lender.
"Why in the world would he want to do something that could potentially
hurt his client by putting a stamp on a note?'' Cohen asked "Simply
stated, there was no need for Constantine to stamp anything to win the
Forging or altering public records, including court records, can be a
felony punishable by up to five years in prison.
The Tampa Bay Times called Kalogianis' office twice Wednesday seeking
comment about the video, once at 9 a.m. and again in mid afternoon, but
received no response. At 5:10 p.m., Cohen called to say he was
representing Kalogianis and would have a statement within 15 minutes (It
didn't arrived until 8:31 p.m. Wednesday).
"(Kalogianis') advisors conflicted him on whether or not to talk to the
press so he's finally got hold of a really good advisor who is sending
you this email on his behalf,'' Cohen wrote.
Cohen, one of Tampa Bay's best-known lawyers, has represented clients in
several high-profile cases. Among them were Clearwater chiropractor
William LaTorre, who was charged with vessel homicide on Memorial Day
weekend 1989 after his cigarette boat hit a boat full of teenagers,
killing four. LaTorre was acquitted; he committed suicide in 2014.
Cohen also represented Marlene and Steven Aisenberg, whose baby,
Sabrina, disappeared from her Valrico crib in 1997. The Aisenbergs, the
only suspects in the case, were indicted on federal charges of making
false statements but the charges were later dropped and the couple was
awarded $2.9 million in legal fees. Sabrina has never been found.
Pasco lawyer accused of
altering documents in foreclosure cases