Trish Duggan and the $114 Million in Clearwater Real Estate Purchases Made by Scientologists: Is There a Connection?

Osman Orhun Ozsan

Osman Ozsan is, in our opinion, one of the more notable Scientologists you’ve never heard of. Among other things, Ozsan is, according to our source, Trish Duggan’s money manager. His partner is Scientologist Maria Dolores Gregori Fuster. Fuster and Ozsan go back a long way to Altea Real Property Ltd. in London. Ozsan has had a residence in London since 2001. He has also lived in Hong Kong and South Korea.

Ozsan has other companies:


Osman Ozsan runs two funds in Clearwater:

    1. Ozsan, Gregori And Company LLC in Clearwater which is related to:
    2. Deuterium Capital LLC.  The locations for Ozsan are just where one would expect: Clearwater, London, and Zurich.

According to online records, Ozsan, Gregori And Company LLC has only two client accounts:

Osman Ozsan is on the Advisory Board of CA South Development, a firm founded by Scientologists Megan and Stephen Epstein. We previously reported on CA South Development. In her November 2021 article on Scientologists buying land in Clearwater, Tracey McManus wrote (emphasis ours):

The city received an informal inquiry last year related to vacant land at the southeast corner of Seminole Street and North Fort Harrison Avenue. Those six lots were bought in November 2020 by a limited liability company then-managed by an employee of CA South, a Nashville-based real estate firm founded by Megan Epstein and advised by her husband, Stephen Epstein, both members of Scientology.

Philip Kirkpatrick, Clearwater’s senior economic development coordinator, said Stephen Epstein spoke with city officials in December about a potential commercial and multifamily project on the site.

Through a spokesperson, Epstein said in an email that CA South looked into developing the properties on behalf of a client but walked away when the city did not relax a rule prohibiting a parking lot level facing North Fort Harrison Avenue.

Epstein declined to name his client but responded to questions from the Times with an affidavit declaring it was not the Church of Scientology. On Sept. 7, Epstein’s employee was removed from the corporate filings of the company that own the land. Hayes, the attorney and parishioner involved in the rest of the North Marina purchases, was added as manager on the companies’ filings.

Steven Epstein took the unusual step of preparing an affidavit to tell the Tampa Bay Times that his client was not the Church of Scientology. In the world of poker this is called a tell.

Epstein could have simply told the reporter his client was not the Church of Scientology and left it at that. Instead, Epstein took the formal step of using an affidavit to deny that the Church of Scientology is not the client. This is a big giveaway in our view. We interpret it as the Tampa Bay Times getting too close for Mr. Epstein’s comfort.

If Epstein’s client was not the Church of Scientology then who is his client? It has to be somebody with the money to invest in a real estate development deal. It also has to be someone who trusts the Epstein’s enough to invest with them.

Osman Ozsan has been a Scientologist since the 1990’s.

Osman Ozsan is of interest to us because he is connected to Rod Riley, a non-Scientologist realtor and real estate developer from Arizona.

Rodney Riley is the CEO of RSR Capital Advisors in Clearwater, Florida. According to his resume, he started the firm in 2003. The Florida Secretary of State records show the firm went dormant in 2012. Riley thereafter became a Regional Manager for CB Richard Ellis.  (CBRE) in April 2016. After his stint at CBRE, Riley worked for Caliber Wells in Scottsdale, Arizona and then left the firm.

After leaving Caliber Wells, Rodney Riley began working with Megan and Stephen Epstein. Coincident with this Riley-registered RSR Capital Advisors as an LLC in Florida on March 21, 2022.

In recent puff piece media coverage in Clearwater, we are told that Riley:

…is in the process of buying 15 tracts in the Clearwater Marina area to develop what he is calling the Clearwater Marina District– a connected walkable community with modern offices, retail, luxury condos and a boutique hotel, as well as affordable housing.

The headline:

Riley’s Clearwater Marina District development has a $350 million price tag on it. How Riley made the jump from a regional Coldwell Banker slot in Arizona to suddenly handling a proposed $350 million Clearwater Marina District development is certainly interesting and raises questions we are looking into.

More interesting is that the 15 parcels of land Riley plans acquire in Clearwater are owned by Scientologists. Riley is also working with Gensler on the development. Gensler does all the  architectural work for Scientology’s Ideal Orgs. It is all so convenient for Rodney that it appears to be scripted.

In the article cited, Riley makes an interesting comment (emphasis ours):

The opportunity Riley is pursuing to activate the 21 acres is similar to his project in Mesa, Arizona, where he acquired and developed nine properties.

“In both communities [comparing Mesa to Clearwater], there is a major presence of a church. In Mesa, it’s the Mormon Church that dominates the area and I was able to work in that environment. It’s important for me to communicate with the Scientologists in Clearwater and have that ability to work side-by-side,” Riley said, also noting he is now based in Clearwater.

Another tell. As a general rule, when someone makes an unsolicited statement, as Riley did by mentioning Mormons and Scientologists, it suggests to us hidden connections. Riley had no reason to mention that he had worked with Mormons and will now work to communicate “with the Scientologists in Clearwater.” This reads like deliberately  premanufactured PR to us.

It is a big faux pas in business PR to bring up the subject of religion when it is absolutely unnecessary to do so. Our opinion is that Riley was instructed to get ahead of the story by bringing up Scientology before he was asked about it. However, this tactic can backfire when it comes across as answering a question no one has asked.

Here is a map showing the parcels in purple which Riley is acquiring:

We have previously offered our opinion that the $102 million in Downtown Clearwater land purchases made by Scientologists came from GPB Capital Holdings. Both the Church of Scientology and GPB Capital denied it.

Taking into account these denials, we now have a new opinion to offer our readers.

1. The 2017-2019 Downtown Clearwater land purchases made by Scientologists totaled $103 million.

2. Additional Clearwater real estate purchases began in 2019. The purchases totaled $11.8 million and were documented by the Tampa Bay Times in its November 2021 story:

…companies connected to the Church of Scientology are buying tracts of land within the 55-acre district and not disclosing what they plan to do with them. Since July 2019, eight limited liability companies managed or operated by members of the church have bought 45 properties in North Marina, including Chesney’s.

The companies paid a combined $11.8 million in cash for 28 undeveloped parcels, five empty commercial buildings and a dozen homes in the district, most of them dilapidated. The city has no record yet of redevelopment plans being submitted for any of the North Marina properties since the purchases began, according to planning and development director Gina Clayton.

The total of all Scientology-connected Clearwater real estate purchases $114.8 million. Where did all that money come from?

To reiterate our earlier point, Ozsan, Gregori And Company LLC has only two client accounts. One of these accounts shows discretionary assets of $134.77 million. If this is Trish Duggan’s money, and Scientologist Osman Ozsan manages her money, then that could very likely make Trish Duggan the Scientologist financier behind the scenes on the Clearwater land purchases.

We will continue research on our new Trish Duggan theory. However, we reserve our prior opinion and modify it by stating that some GPB Capital money may be in the Clearwater real estate purchases mix. David Gentile is creative with money and had hundreds of bank accounts and sub-funds when he ran GPB Capital. Gentile also purchased several Clearwater companies owned by Scientologists who may have invested the proceeds into land deals. This is a story for another time.

The Church of Scientology has done many things at a remove or by a ruse, feint, or stratagem. Indeed, Scientology used the name “The United Churches of Florida” to purchase the Fort Harrison in 1975 for $3 million in cash. This purchase was part of Project Normandy, a covert Scientology program to take over Clearwater. It appears that Project Normandy is still operational.

Based upon on our new hypothesis that Trish Duggan may be the financier of the land purchases, the logic of bringing in non-Scientologist Rod Riley to act as the frontman makes sense as it can serve to counter any accusation that Scientology is taking over Clearwater.

When asked by the Tampa Bay Times about the 2017-2018 land purchases totaling $103 million made by Scientologists, Church attorney Gary Soter wrote a letter in which he stated:

“The Church was unaware of the significant number of properties owned by Scientologists in the Clearwater area and are delighted you provided the information,” the letter continued.

The Church was unaware of the land purchases? Please! This is the Church of Hyper-Surveillance that knows everything about the private and business lives of its members; their social media activities; and even what they did in their past lives. Soter’s comment evokes for us what Captain Renault said in Casablanca: I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!”

The Florida Secretary of State’s record on Rod Riley’s RST Capital Advisors LLC:

8 replies »

  1. Re: “The companies paid a combined $11.8 million in cash for 28 undeveloped parcels, five empty commercial buildings and a dozen homes…”

    When I read that, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the English Christmas carol, “The Twelve Days of Christmas” (“On the third day of Christmas/
    My true love gave to me/Three French hens/Two turtle doves/And a partridge in a pear tree…”)

    In the world of scientology–where anything goes and all laws in the wog world by damned–it’s Christmas 24/7.

  2. This is a very interesting report.
    I would ask that you clarify the reference to CBRE.
    That company has had no connection to Coldwell Banker for decades.
    CBRE is an acronym for CB Richard Ellis.
    The origin story for the CB in CBRE does come from Coldwell Banker, but that was a very long time ago.

  3. Rodney Riley is an interesting character in this whole thing. He shows up in Clearwater from Arizona a few months ago. I would assume he’s a Scientologist or involved with them in some fashion. Scientologist normally don’t deal with outsiders in my experience.

  4. Scientologists deal with useful non-Scientologists quite often. For example, David Miscavige’s personal lawyer of 35 years Monique Yingling has never been a Scientologist. Rod Riley has no background in Scientology. His job appears to be one of a PR guy who can appeal to Clearwater City Government. Good luck on that. He is linked to the Church of Scientology via the Epstein’s and Trish Duggan.

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