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Milwaukee landlord faces 18 charges of fraud, forgery and theft

By Frank Healy

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    MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin (WDJT) — Imagine if a former landlord was asking your employer for part of your paycheck, but you found out later that it was not legal.

That happened in Milwaukee to two people.

The landlord now faces charges for forging documents, among other things.

Simulating legal process, forgery, fraudulent writings, mail fraud, and theft by fraud — 18 counts in all make up the charges Milwaukee landlord George Sessler of Waukesha and DLS Investment Properties faces.

“He has a reputation in the city,” said staff attorney with the Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee, Riad El-Azem.

He says he’s represented many people fighting evictions and other types of complaints, like living conditions, against Sessler in the past.

For two more recent tenants, things didn’t end after the eviction.

“After I’d represented them, they contacted me after the fact about another eviction action that he had filed against them,” said El-Azem.

He says both of his clients’ places of work had paperwork seeking to garnish their wages delivered by Sessler, seeking nearly around $7,500 combined for back rent.

“[They told them that their paychecks would be garnished because of paperwork they received from Mr. Sessler. When I started looking into it, I noticed some inconsistencies,” said El-Azem.

Those inconsistencies, detailed in the criminal complaint, included old versions of garnishment forms that appeared to have sections whited out and written over.

El-Azem says he gave them to the district attorney’s office.

He says until now, the cases he’s had against Sessler have been civil rather than criminal.

“He tends to go right up to the line,” said El-Azem.

This will now be decided in a criminal court.

A landlord can garnish wages but must go through the proper channels.

El-Azem says if you think you’re facing wrongdoing while renting, reach out to organizations like the Legal Aid Society for help.

“Or if it’s just they’re facing hard times, we can provide that assistance,” said El-Azem.

CBS 58 News tried to reach out to Mr. Sessler Monday, but we were unable to get in touch with him.

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