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Federal agents seize Kansas City-area businessman's property

Cars seized by federal agents
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Posted at 7:29 PM, Oct 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-19 23:40:48-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Federal agents seized the property of a Kansas City-area businessman.

The agents took two vehicles from the property of Joseph Campbell, who operates several real estate companies under the name Titan Fish, in May.

The U.S. Attorney's Office filed the complaint, which shows Campbell submitted 20 applications for COVID-19 relief funds under the CARES Act in March 2020.

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Most of the applications were duplicates. Five of the applications, totaling $936,000, were granted.

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The money was supposed to be used to cover additional business expenses incurred by the pandemic.

An affidavit filed by Richard Littrell, a special agent with the Internal Revenue Service, revealed Campbell's applications contained false information. According to Littrell, Campbell purchased a pickup truck, an SUV and a lake house in Morgan County, Missouri.

While the court documents show the vehicles were seized, it does not appear Campbell's house was seized.

According to the affidavit, Campbell committed wire fraud and money laundering.

Campbell at center of previous KSHB 41 I-Team investigation

In 2018, Campbell was at the center of a KSHB 41 I-Team investigation into the purchase of the Rockwood golf course in Independence.

The I-Team first exposed Campbell purchased the property for $550,000 in September 2017.

Two months later, the City of Independence purchased the property for $985,000.

The original owner of the property told the I-Team he tried selling the land to the city for the same price he sold it to Campbell for, but that the city wouldn't buy it from him.

Campbell was also tied to two other high-dollar and controversial projects with the city, including the demolition of the Missouri City power plant.

Independence City Council was scrutinized for awarding the contract to the high bidder for nearly $10 million, even though another company deemed qualified for the job, offered to do the demolition for half the price.

A lunch receipt, obtained by the I-Team shows Curt Dougherty, former city council member, met with Campbell to discuss the project.

Dougherty told the I-Team that Campbell wanted to finance the demolition of the power plant. However, no one with the city, including the city manager, had any knowledge of the meeting. Campbell declined to comment on the matter when called by the I-Team.

Karen Deluccie, Independence City Council member, was also unaware of Dougherty's claim that Campbell wanted to finance the project.

“Assume that’s true. Why are we meeting with Joe Campbell to finance Missouri City?” DeLuccie said. “We don’t do that. We have people on staff in the finance department who have established relationships with reputable lenders.”

After the I-Team published the stories, the FBI began an investigation into the Independence City Council. It's not clear where the investigation stands.