Latrobe Leasing sues SU Greek organizations

Latrobe Leasing is one agency that many of us hate to love. Sorority and fraternity houses are iconic to their respective organizations.

No matter how many years the Greeks have fought the landlords over moldy basements or leaking pipes, the organizations have signed and re-signed their leases. Whether it was the burning fear of another organization moving in and destroying the legacy of a Greek house, one must consider whether the renewal was worth it to begin with.

A leading affiliate of Latrobe Leasing, Troy Beam, has been found guilty of violating IRS laws on each of the six counts that were presented against him.

He was originally set to be sentenced on Friday, Jan. 13, however, the sentencing was postponed until April. A superstitious Beam must have felt that odds were against him while he decided to take this time to apply for organizations that will offer him charity work. His crime was intentional. Beam did not simply forget to mention the millions of dollars in an off-shore account to his accountant. Now that the criminal is behind bars, he is given a second chance.

He has a second chance to think about his crime and how his family will suffer without him. That does not excuse him from his initial sentence. Only now is he showing remorse. He is serving each Shippensburg University Greek organization that resided on the convenient “Greek Row,” or Sunbeam Court during the two years, with minimal details and maximum fines. Elizabeth Adams of sorority Phi Sigma Sigma considers the validity of the suit, and said, “The letters (they sent home) said 45 Sunbeam but our address is 55, so how is this trustworthy?” The credibility of the leasing agency is one detail many people are focusing on, including Nick Chapa of Tau Kappa Epsilon. “Latrobe Leasing isn’t even a legitimate corporation,” said Chapa.

Fraternity and sorority houses represent more than just havens to drink in, but rather are foundations of tradition and memories. Erik Lesperance of Phi Delta Theta said “The house is in a good location— people know the street and I can find it easily.” Among many, Lesperance is finding himself blasting back to the past as he graduated in 2010 and must return to Shippensburg this Wednesday to plead his case against Latrobe Leasing. Lesperance said the fraternity is being sued for almost $5,000, while Delta Zeta members are being sued approximately that amount as well.

Seemingly every time Beam is charged, the company sues its prior, and current tenants. Call it irony, I call it intentional. The duo is suing each of the organizations for a variety of charges, including unpaid rent, trash removal, and “damages that exceed beyond normal wear and tear.” For houses that have not been legally inspected in nearly a decade, how does one have the right to challenge damages presented as such? Beam is also the owner of properties on King Street and Richard Avenue, which he seemingly denies by stating, “I’m just Troy Beam,” when questioned about the properties.

Reports claim that landlord Beam could face a sum of $900,000 in fines as well as total restitution to the IRS for all of the unpaid taxes. He may also be facing a maximum 12 years in Perry County Prison. Beam is the man behind Latrobe Leasing, a company in which Kassie Lawrence of Delta Zeta describes as “The most manipulative leasing company I have ever dealt with.” I have had my fair share of experiences with the agency.

The moment you believe the man behind the agency is behind bars, confined in a moldy, wet cell similar to the basements on Sunbeam Court, he serves you with court papers. Both Beam and Latrobe Leasing have disappointed these tenants of Sunbeam Court.

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