Lake Square Mall buyer has controversial record trying to save sinking malls

LEESBURG — The winner of an auction to buy the Lake Square Mall is a self-described savior of sinking malls, but his efforts don't always succeed, and his record is haunted by controversy.

The buyer is Mehran Kohansieh, whose niche is purchasing distressed and aging malls, often out of foreclosure or bankruptcy. Kohansieh, who also goes by Mike Kohan or Mike Kohen, owns 13 of them across the U.S., including two in Florida, according to his website. The closest to Lake County is the Crystal River Mall.

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