This Is our Village

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Recent Arrest In C.V.

The recent arrest of the Mark Phillips aka Marcus Steffan raises questions surrounding our investigation process and eligibility for residency in C.V.

If Mr. Phillips used his correct name, why didn't his "wanted" status show up during the investigation? Since he was recently returned to the same Judge who sentenced him some 30 yrs ago, his record would have been created here in Florida, not some distant state whose records are not available to our investigation.

In either case of whether the fugitive used his real name or his assumed name, he would have no credit transactions for the past 30 years. Such an absence of credit history, at a minimum, should have required some explanation. He could have been in prison for the past 30 years in a state that does not provide such information to our investigators.

Furthermore, our application calls for an employment history. As noted above, the use of his real or assumed name would reveal no employment history for the past 30 years. How did he support himself?

Whether it was Mark Phillips or Marcus Steffan, neither applicant had any work history, any credit history and, at best, a driver's license for 6 months.

It would seem that the absence of any such history in all these areas should have raised a "red flag" much the same as a negative report. Such a report would/should have raised questions of how an applicant supported himself for three decades without a job, credit or a driver's license.

With an overabundance of C.V. units for sale due to a flat real estate market and struggling economy, the likelihood of many more units becoming rental units is a distinct reality. If Boards begin approving individuals with no work history, no credit history and/or the applicants failing to have established a record of meeting their financial obligations, it will not be long until we begin to read about many other arrests taking place in C.V.

What is the sense of asking for all this information if we can't verify all of it, interpret the results and make a proper recommendation?


  1. Hi Ejs2283,

    We in UCO recognized this weakness in our Invetigation process some time ago. We agree with your assessment for the most part and have begun interviewing other Investigation firms.

    A number of points are in order as regards our Investigative process, Mark Steven Phillips (MSP) was a renter, typically, we do not investigate renters for credit background checks because they are not financially responsible to the Association for monthly assessments. In light of recent changes in FS-718, we are reconsidering this procedure, and we may seek a legal opinion.

    On the other hand, we do conduct a Crimininal background checks on all Occupants, including renters. The company tht we use is called CoreLogic Safe rent, and indeed they did not pick up MSP's sordid past.

    We have taken action in UCO to enhance our Investigation process, we are now running all applicants, for purchase, rental or any form of occupancy, through the Federal Court System by way of a system called PACER; Public Access Court Electronic Records; PACER provides access to all cases on the Federal Docket, Criminal, Civil and Bankruptcy. MSP of course shows up on PACER, as he was arrested in 1979 and charged in the Miami Federal Court for the Southern District, with four class 4 felonies related to drug trafficking, and if CoreLogic had taken this simple step of checking the PACER site they would have detected MSP's past.

    I have a number of other INTERNET sites provided by the Federal Government in addition to PACER, that UCO will implement in due course.

    Thanks for your Post on this matter.

    Dave Israel

  2. Thanks for the response, Dave. You always provide insight to any subject relating to C.V. Keep up the good work. I had hoped to see you about C.V. during our stay and introduce myself as well as thank you for all the hard work you do on behalf of all of us. Hopefully, I will meet you and share some of my thoughts on this and other subjects. Thanks, again.


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