The following facts are taken from publicly available records, from Leelenau County Assessor and Register of Deeds, on October 6, 2013.
- According to the Leelenau County assessor’s office, Karen Wickstrom is still registered as the owner of the Sugar Loaf property, tax parcel #003-013-001-00, Cedar, Cleveland Township.
- According to the Leelenau County Register of Deeds, Wickstrom has an ownership interest of record since March, of 2005, when S L 2002 LLC quit claim to her.
- S L 2002 LLC establishes interest in the property as grantee in a quit claim deed from PACIFIC XIX INC, March 30, 2005.
- Since Wickstrom’s interest is a matter of record and is not contested, there’s no sense in trying to recreate the entire chain of title, but just for grins: Pacific XIX establishes some interest here, here and here.
- Wickstrom’s interest has not been conveyed of record, and in-fact there is no activity on Wickstrom’s name for this parcel, or any other, since April 12, 2013.
- The Register of Deeds is current through October 2, 2013.
Piecing things together, the purported email from Smith to Oscar Peters, published first by the Glen Arbor Sun and dated October 3, 2013 implies that Smith is not yet the owner of the property. In this correspondence, Smith asks for Peters’ assistance in “recovering” the property. The date on this email supports speculation that Smith does not in-fact own the Sugar Loaf property.
Based on the sum of all available information, it seems fair to conclude that Liko Smith, and/or related business entities, do not have an ownership interest in the Sugar Loaf property.
While it is always possible that documents exist which are not yet of record, and those documents could establish Smith’s interest in the property, so far Smith’s camp has refused to acknowledge requests to furnish this evidenceof an ownership claim (if it exists), and have dismissed these inquiries as “not important” or “not very interesting”.
I have sent another request, explaining the importance of this matter to those interested in the future of the Sugar Loaf property. As of October 6, I have not received any response.
Updated October 8: I have been informed yesterday that they are “unable to provide the type of information that you want regarding the ownership at this time.”
This is particularly ironic in light of Mr. Smith’s October 4 challenge:
Well, here I am. You have my number.
[If anyone] wants to check my sources, you have my number if you’re interested in the truth
I will update further as/if more information becomes available.
I will gladly retract denial of Smith’s ownership, upon receipt of satisfactory evidence to establish that claim.
Disclosure: I have not ordered a full title search, nor certified copies of the documents; I am drawing on my past experience as a land title examiner in the State of Michigan, and that information which is publicly available. No warranty is expressed or implied in the above information, and is subject to change based on new evidence or documents that may not yet be of record.