SAINT PETERSBURG, Fla. – A piece of Pinellas County Clerk of Court mail, sent to an outdated address, has prompted multiple lawsuits over a convenience gas station business located at 2753 Fifth Avenue South in St. Petersburg. The commercial enterprise is located on land auctioned off in February to new owners, due to non-payment of property taxes by a landlord who did not own the business on it.
In the latest lawsuit, the new owners claim the gas station and its convenience store have been virtually destroyed at this juncture, because the former owner, whom they booted out, has allegedly poured cement into the underground gas tanks and stolen $51,000 in equipment. But a different story has emerged after speaking with the evicted business owner.
Lazyu Petroleum is owned by MD. Moshiur Rahman who originally owned and operated the convenience gas station business. The new owner, Kolin Kajy who owns Kennedy Manhattan LLC known as Icon Fuel and Beverage, allegedly has still photos and video proving that on July 7 and 8, Rahman and cohorts stole a “Ruby 2” Point-of-Sale system including a Veeder Root, a cigarette machine and various fixtures and miscellaneous items. His lawsuit against Rahman’s business proceeds a lawsuit filed by the delinquent taxpayer, Pergam Begam who owns Raisa Petroleum out of Boca Raton.
In his lawsuit, Begam complains he never received a notice from the Pinellas County Clerk of Court that the convenience gas station’s property was to be sold at auction for non-payment of property taxes. But he only reported an address change to the Florida Secretary of State and changed the address in his annual report. He failed in his legal attempt to reverse the results of the auction because the Clerk of the Court’s office stated it is not liable to conduct searches to verify current addresses. They also reminded the judge in this case that people know when they haven’t paid their taxes.
In the meantime, Rahman has been willing to talk. “I don’t know anything about somebody pouring cement in the tanks. That would be impossible within the 24-hour eviction notice I got on July 7th. I did have two people help me remove equipment that was mine. The landlord didn’t provide the shelving and other things needed to operate the business, so I purchased those items myself, including inventory, and I have the documents to prove what I own. The new owners are making up this story.”
“Originally, they said they would rent the location back to me. I even gave them a check for future rent. But then we went into a back and forth and they verbally evicted me. They went out and got a license to operate a business (on the property) while telling me I could stay. They didn’t keep their promise to me. Then they called the police when I had two people moving out my equipment during the 24-hour eviction. The police asked the new owners who were there at the property to leave because it was my right to remove my property,” said Rahman.
When Rahman was asked why he hadn’t filed a lawsuit against the landlord for not paying his taxes, he said, “I never thought of it.” When pressed he explained, “He used to do business with my uncle.”
The Plaintiff’s attorney is Jennifer Ford, Ft. Lauderdale.