A nice Leverage plot – Using public data and network analysis to unmask a real estate conspiracy

Social graph analysis reveals criminal conspiracy of slumlords
[Via Boing Boing]

OrgNet, a data-mining consultancy, describes how it mined the social graph of the interlocking, every changing owners of several slum-buildings to show that they were all in a criminal conspiracy to avoid having to do the legally required maintenance necessary to keeping their buildings habitable and safe.


Heather (the names were changed for the post) was the matriarch who ran the conspiracy. With her first husband, she used her extended family to act as successive slumlords. When the city would cite the owners of the building, they would do nothing, eventually selling the building to another manager.

This would delay things substantially until another round, when the same thing happened.

This had happened 4 times and looked okay until the familial relationships became obvious. Heather is the only link between the two sets. Turns out the first set was done with her first husband and the second with her current one (Moe).

And guess what? Moe was on the board of the mortgage company that provided all the loans for each purchase.

Each sale pocketed Heather and her family money because the property price increased and they had little expenses – being slum lords and all.

Nice to have software that so accurately displays the conspiracy. Hope Heather and her family go away for a long time.

Now I want to see the writers at Leverage do this and scam the scammers. Hardison can gee us great graphics, Elliot can beat some of the slum lords muscle to a pulp, Parker can do some stealthy investigations in the rat trap building and Gina could be some sort of real estate broker.