Best Of 2006

Shadiest Real Estate Tycoon: Kenny Rushing

Billing himself as Captain Save-A-House, a home rehabber extraordinaire, Rushing appears to be little more than a master property flipper who preys on the trust of low-income African-Americans. A top-shelf expos√© by the St. Petersburg Times in June laid bare myriad inconsistencies in Rushing’s personal mythology: He claimed to be a three-time Gold Glove boxing champion in Iowa. He wasn’t. He claimed to be a reformed low-level drug dealer. He was actually the crack kingpin for the Des Moines Crips gang. Worse than those lies, though, Rushing and his minions — recruited via his real estate seminars — duped little old ladies into selling their houses for peanuts, and then, when possible, flipped them in a few days for huge profits. Let’s hope the Times story put more than a crimp in Captain Save-a-House’s empire.