Tax buyers' remorse is nil

Belleville News DemocratJanuary 30, 2014 

CORRECTION: This editorial incorrectly stated that three convicted tax buyers or their companies had applied to participate in the Feb. 13 Madison County delinquent property tax auction. Only two applied. Tax buyer Scott McLean did not try to participate.

Columbo's likely assessment: "The criminal always returns to the scene of the crime."

John Vassen, Scott McLean and Barrett Rochmann are property tax buyers who already pleaded guilty. They were part of the scheme to turn campaign contributions to former Madison County treasurer and current federal inmate Fred Bathon into very lucrative penalties against the delinquent taxpayers.

Guilty, but not sentenced, so they thought they'd get one more helping at the public trough? They or their companies were about to participate in the Madison County delinquent property tax auction Feb. 13 before current Treasurer Kurt Prenzler put the kibosh on them.

Those are some bold individuals, who sound neither shamed nor remorseful for victimizing people who were already down on their luck. They face sentences of from 10 months to 16 months at Vassen's and McLean's sentencings Feb. 19 and March 27 for Rochmann.

We hope the judge takes into consideration the fact that they intended to go about business as usual despite their guilt.

Sam Spade's likely assessment: "If you actually were as innocent as you pretend to be, we'd never get anywhere."

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