KISSIMMEE, Fla. - WFTV has found out about a
multimillion dollar foreclosure on the property of a state representative candidate.
Matt Falconer has made a name for himself by pitching big cost-cutting for government, but investigative reporter George Spencer found that just last year, one of Falconer's own business ventures fell through.
Nowadays, a "property available" sign sits out front of a Kissimmee strip mall.
Until September, the foreclosed property was run by Kissimmee Equities, a company owned by
Falconer, a state representative candidate.
Falconer is calling himself the "taxpayer's voice" as he runs for a position that would give him a role in allocating billions of taxpayer dollars.
Real estate investor Divya Kasara believes foreclosures have lost much of their stigma.
"It raises some flags, but it doesn't shut the door completely," Kasara said.
Falconer markets himself as a savvy business
man. He proposed consolidation in Orange County and now sits on the governor's cost-cutting board.
But as renters missed payments, Falconer's own company stopped making mortgage and tax payments.
Records show the foreclosure totaled $4.6 million, and attorneys alleged Falconer and his wife have both knowingly run or driven away from a process server, and an employee refused to open the office door once she knew the process server was on the other side.
But Falconer said this foreclosed property really is not representative of his overall portfolio. In fact, he points to a strip mall right next door, which he also developed. It has almost 100 percent occupancy.
The candidate said a strip mall near Orlando International Airport
is another example of his successful ventures.
Out of about 20 properties nationwide, he said three have gone into foreclosure, and Falconer said that's often because he's given struggling renters rent concessions totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Falconer eventually paid $100,000 for the right to give that Kissimmee property back to its original owner.
He denied the allegations of the process
servers but said he didn't have time for an on-camera interview.
We've posted his full statement here.