By BOB JACKSON
VINDICATOR COURTHOUSE REPORTER
YOUNGSTOWN -- Lenny Strollo's lawyer is appealing a judge's ruling that cleared the way for the home of the former mob boss to be seized to satisfy a tax debt.
Atty. Paul Lynch of New Castle, Pa., filed the notice of appeal Tuesday with the Ohio 7th District Court of Appeals. He represents Lenkin Inc., a company owned by Strollo. Lynch could not be reached to comment.
A separate motion detailing the reasons for Lynch's appeal will be filed at a later date.
Liens on house: The Ohio Department of Taxation holds liens against Strollo's home on Leffingwell Road because of some $250,000 owed by Lenkin in delinquent sales taxes. The state sued for the right to foreclose on the property and sell it at auction to recover the money.
In June, Judge Jack Durkin of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court ruled that the state can move forward with foreclosure. His decision validated the tax debt and requires Lenkin to pay it.
If the taxes are paid in full, Lenkin can retain ownership of the property.
According to court records, the taxes were originally owed by Ralph D. Lepley, a former business associate of Strollo's, who owned the property and transferred it to Lenkin in 1985.
Assumed taxes: When Lenkin took ownership of the property, it also assumed liability for the taxes, which Lepley owed for two businesses: Aaron Commercial Enterprises Inc. and Sorrentino's, a restaurant that is no longer in business.
Strollo is awaiting sentencing for racketeering charges, to which he pleaded guilty in February 1999. He has admitted being the head of the local mob for many years, and has been a witness for the government in cases against others charged with mob-related activities.
In exchange for his testimony, authorities did not seize his home, where Strollo's wife still lives.