SIST facing financial problems

Fox News/February 11, 2009

By Lou Hillman

Shawano - The secretive Shawano group linked to an alleged threat list against 60 people is facing more financial problems.

Court documents show the Samanta Roy Institute of Science and Technology, or SIST, is facing foreclosure on four of its properties. The group also failed to pay its 2008 property taxes.

In November, Shawano law enforcement officials confirmed an FBI investigation into an implied threat list against mostly Shawano city and county officials. At the time, they said someone connected with SIST is believed to be responsible for the alleged list.

So far, no arrests have been made and the FBI said the investigation is still open.

Next month, SIST's Shawano gas stations (1381 E. Green Bay St., 1206 E. Green Bay St., 716 Main St.) will be auctioned off by the Shawano County Sheriff's Department. The auction is a result of the properties being foreclosed on.

Foreclosure activity also started late last year on the USA International Raceway (W5901 County Rd. BE), another SIST holding. Court documents show that more than $2 million is still owed on the racetrack's mortgage.

The group also missed the deadline to pay its 2008 property taxes. SIST and its subsidiaries now owe the city of Shawano in excess of $500,000.

The group's attorney, Alan Eisenberg, declined an interview for this story. In the past however, Eisenberg has admitted the group was having some financial problems. He also said the group did not pay its taxes because it was being harassed by Shawano law enforcement.

Shawano law enforcement officials deny any unfair treatment.

SIST claims to be a non-profit organization that funds educational programs in Shawano and at a school in India. The group also has millions of dollars in business holdings in the Shawano area.

On Tuesday, Shawano's City Clerk, Marlene Brath, said the group missed the deadline to pay its 2008 property taxes. Property taxes are due by January 31. Brath said more than $500,000 is owed by SIST from the last two years.

After a waiting period required by law, the county can begin taking action against SIST but that would likely take several years. As for what will happen next with SIST? That's a mystery much like the group itself.

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