DMV leader’s law firm disputes possession of creating qualified in prostitution raid

CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) – Although R.I. Division of Motor Vehicles administrator Walter “Bud” Craddock has…

CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) – Although R.I. Division of Motor Vehicles administrator Walter “Bud” Craddock has publicly described himself as the landlord of a residence busted previous thirty day period by police investigating prostitution, his attorney is now making an attempt to distance him from the developing and its tenants.

Cranston Police Col. Michael Winquist despatched letters on June 25 to the house owners of 6 houses raided previous thirty day period as portion of a sweeping investigation into unlawful sexual intercourse-for-shell out functions. A person of the letters — received by Goal 12 through a community information request — was addressed to Craddock, who has said he owns and rents 1 of the raided attributes: 1732 Broad St.

In the letter, Winquist in-depth how an unlawful spa business, Youna Foot Reflexology, had been illegally giving massages with no a license at his Wide Road residence and “engaging in prostitution action, possibly tied to human/labor trafficking.”  

“You are getting notified of the alleged exercise your tenants are engaged in on your residence,” Winquist wrote. “You may well be the subject matter of legal prices if these, or any, tenants continue to function illegally.”

Lawyer Charles “Chuck” Tamuleviz speedily responded on Craddock’s behalf, arguing it is inaccurate to propose Craddock owns the Wide Avenue assets.  

“Indeed, he has in no way owned the house,” Tamuleviz wrote in a July 1 letter to Winquist. “The house at the handle is owned by LUC Realty Holdings, LLC, of which Mr. Craddock is a member.”

“As this sort of, the tenants are not his possibly,” he extra.

Tamuleviz did not quickly react to a concern about why he believes the distinction of ownership is vital to convey. Typically speaking, serious estate businesses are usually established to shield owners’ personal property from the liability of their expenditure houses.  

In other text, if a rental property owned through a genuine estate organization gets caught up in a authorized jam, the owner’s personal finances and dwelling are superior shielded towards legal recourse. There are also tax rewards to location up serious estate businesses, primarily if a particular person or a group of persons individual many investment decision homes.

LUC Realty Holdings owns at the very least five qualities in Cranston, according to the community assessor’s database. Craddock registered the real estate holdings company in 2016 and he is the detailed principal, in accordance to the state’s database of corporations.  

House records also exhibit the enterprise shares an handle with the Cranston property of Craddock and his spouse, Lynne Urbani-Craddock, whose initials match the company’s title. Urbani-Craddock also functions for the condition, serving as the coverage director of the R.I. Dwelling of Reps. The pair earns a blended $300,000, according to payroll records.

For his section, Craddock has acknowledged in a number of interviews with news retailers that he owns and rents the Wide Road residence, confirming by a spokesperson that he gathered rent in money from the tenant each thirty day period. But the DMV administrator has denied any awareness of the alleged things to do going on within the residence.

Craddock, who served in the Cranston Police Section for 26 decades and retired as chief of law enforcement, promises no person ever notified him about what was going on, even immediately after the property was raided for the similar rationale in 2017 – a calendar year soon after he purchased it.

Also in 2017, the Cranston Metropolis Council rejected a organization license application at the Broad Road home, citing concerns of illegal activity, which means the spa enterprise has been illegally operating there ever since. Craddock claimed he didn’t know his tenant did not have a license — a point that was reiterated in Tamuleviz’s letter to Winquist.

“At the time LUC Realty Holdings, LLC purchased the house in 2016 it was comprehended that the tenant was in point accredited,” Tamuleviz argued.

Tamuleviz’s hard work to establish a buffer between Craddock and the property and tenants arrives amid an ongoing R.I. Point out Law enforcement investigation into the administrator and no matter if he has any direct ties to the Broad Avenue operation. Gov. Dan McKee final month directed the condition law enforcement to investigate whether or not Craddock had any awareness or involvement in the suspected sex-for-spend operation.

At the time, McKee expressed involved concerning the allegations of human trafficking. But he however chose to retain Craddock in his position at head of the DMV, pending the consequence of the investigation.

“You’re harmless right up until proven responsible,” McKee stated all through a June 22 news conference. “But we are getting it really serious and we are wanting at all the alternatives that revolve all over that condition.”

On Monday, Point out Police Col. James Manni explained to Focus on 12 the investigation is ongoing and there is no distinct timeline for when it will be accomplished. Winquist claimed his division has offered facts and substance from its nearby investigation to the state law enforcement.

“We are in interaction with the condition law enforcement,” Winquist said. “We have presented them files produced as a result of the raids.”

Cranston law enforcement noted seizing thousands of bucks in income, a cellphone and a enterprise ledger from the Broad Road residence final month, according to courtroom paperwork.

Craddock, in the meantime, has said he looks forward to the point out law enforcement investigation. His spokesperson Patti Doyle last month claimed the investigation “will demonstrate emphatically that he realized nothing at all about alleged illegal activities at a rental condominium he owns.”

The administrator has also taken actions to evict the tenant, who Craddock stated experienced been leasing the home given that he purchased the creating in 2016. He despatched a notice of termination letter very last thirty day period, detailing why the tenant has to get out of the house by July 15.

The letter, written on LUC Realty Holdings letterhead, was signed by Craddock.

Eli Sherman ([email protected]) is an investigative reporter for WPRI 12. Connect with him on Twitter and on Fb.

Tim White ([email protected]) is the Target 12 managing editor and main investigative reporter at 12 Information, and the host of Newsmakers. Hook up with him on Twitter and Fb