By Francis Scarcella
The Daily Item
SHAMOKIN - Scott Binsack, the Something’s Smokin’ in Shamokin co-producer, remains at large, a day after agents raided his Shamokin home in their search for the fugitive who has been taunting law enforcement on YouTube videos.
On Wednesday, a man claiming to be Binsack called The Daily Item and in a phone interview said he is on the run because he fears for his life. He added that if U.S. Marshals want him, he’s in Costa Rica, where he has had a house for over a decade.
U.S. Marshals in Williamsport said Binsack is still wanted, though they did not indicate whether they believe he is actually in Costa Rica.
Binsack refused to comment on how he reached Costa Rica, but stressed he had no help from any Valley resident.
Binsack said he wanted to contact media to let them know that recent reports about him are false and that he will be surrendering soon.
“I admit I am taunting certain people,” he said. “It’s because I am mad. They have ripped my life apart.”
Binsack, formerly of Clarks Summit, is wanted on a parole violation.
Binsack was a homebuilder who said he was accused of alleged workmen’s compensation fraud and that charge was thrown out but he pleaded no contest in July 2010 to bad check charges stemming from his work in Lackawanna County as head of Mansions & Estates LLC, and sentenced to prison.
He was granted parole in April 2011 and moved to Shamokin.
“What you read is not all the truth about me,” he said. “There are reporters who have made stuff up and have not told the truth.”
Binsack has an ongoing feud with a Northeastern Pennsylvania reporter whom Binsack claims put him on the front page more than 60 times since 2007.
Binsack said he moved to Shamokin because he met a woman and that he wanted to move on with his life.
But he soon found himself involved in a project with a business associate in which the two men wanted to revitalize Shamokin, Binsack said.
Binsack and Steve Crone, of Florida, became friends. Crone hired Binsack as a consultant for S&S Capital LLC and Home Town Revitalization Group LLC, Binsack said.
The plan was to buy old buildings in Shamokin, raze them and build new structures, which would have included a movie theatre, hotel and new apartments, Binsack said.
The two men approached City Council with the plan.
Then things took a turn for the worse, he said.
Binsack said the plan was to put $13 million into revitalizing the city, but for some reason, council and other officials thought it was a scam for public stock offerings.
“This was never presented as that,” Binsack said. “We had private investors from other areas that were willing to invest, but these people didn’t want us here so they began to set me up.”
Binsack and Crone then went on a mission by creating an Internet television reality show, “Something’s Smokin’ in Shamokin.”
The two asked various public officials and residents what they thought was going on in the city.
YouTube videos went off the charts and had nearly 80,000 views each.
In the most recent video, Binsack and Crone are seen with District Judge John Gembic talking about Gembic’s recent issues with a Shamokin resident and whether Gembic had a conflict of interest by owning a towing business.
Gembic spoke with the pair and admitted he had an appearance of conflict of interest and got out of the business. Binsack then grilled Gembic about the dilapidated homes in Shamokin and if he thought something should be done.
Gembic agreed with Binsack and the two became friends, Binsack said.
“John will be testifying for me during all this,” Binsack said. “John knew they were planning on setting me up and arresting me at a council meeting for disturbing the peace because I was going to be at that meeting.”
Reached Wednesday night, Gembic refused to comment on the matter.
Binsack made himself unavailable for his parole supervisors in late October and was declared a parole absconder.
Binsack has since posted individual videos claiming he is in Narnia and will expose the truth soon while taunting those who are chasing him.
On Tuesday, U.S. Marshals went to Binsack’s home. Binsack posted it on his Facebook website page “Something’s Smokin’ in Shamokin.”
Binsack continues to taunt Shamokin Police Chief Ed Griffiths and city clerk Steve Bartos on the Facebook page.
Binsack claims the two city officials are much to blame for his fleeing.
Binsack said he is in the process of filing a federal lawsuit against several officials, including Griffiths and Bartos, and until he is granted an appearance before a federal judge, he will not be returning to the area.
“I fear for my life and until I am told by my lawyers to come back I will not be coming back,” he said.
“I don’t know any judge that will put me in jail after they see all the evidence I have.”
Binsack said he will be soon releasing more information on his Facebook website, “Something’s Smokin in Shamokin.”
The U.S. Marshal service was notified immediately of Binsack’s contact to The Daily Item, and Binsack was also notified the agents were contacted.