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Seneca County faces lawsuit over auction sales

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  • Staff Report 

Seneca County and County Treasurer Les Marquart have been sued by two LLCs concerning the sale of tax-delinquent properties during auctions in 2020 and 2022. The legal action was initiated in U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York on March 12, by attorneys representing WCMGC LLC and Maxim Development Group LLC.

According to documents, lawsuit alleges that the properties, sold at county-sponsored tax auctions, were disposed of in a manner that retained surplus funds over the owed back taxes, which violates the 5th, 8th, and 14th Amendments of the U.S. Constitution. According to the summons, the county did not remit the excess money collected beyond the delinquent tax amounts to the property owners.

In response, the Seneca County Board of Supervisors approved the hiring of the law firm Harris Beach on April 23 to defend against the claims. The county and Marquart are required to respond within 60 days from the filing, potentially with a settlement offer or a motion to contest the allegations.