Jan 6 Rioter Profits Off the Government He Tried to ‘Overthrow’

FILE - Insurrectionists loyal to President Donald Trump rally at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

By Sean Kitchen

August 22, 2023

Lowell Gates, who was arrested for assaulting police officers with a flagpole on Jan 6th, owns dozens of properties in South Central Pennsylvania—and three of those buildings are leased to US government agencies, earning Gates’ company millions of dollars. 

A Pennsylvania man charged with assaulting law enforcement officers with a flagpole during the Jan. 6 attack on the United States Capitol is profiting handsomely off the democratically-elected government he sought to undermine. 

Mechanicsburg resident Lowell Gates, who was arrested and charged earlier this month for his role in the Capitol riot, owns dozens of properties in South Central Pennsylvania through a property management company he co-owns with his wife, Linda Gates.

Following Gates’ arrest, social media posts appeared on X, formerly known as Twitter, revealing  that Gates’ company, Linlo Properties, owns a building that is leased to the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). 

The Keystone was able to confirm that Linlo Properties owns and manages a building that the Cumberland County Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic operates out of in Mechanicsburg, just outside of Harrisburg. 

Jan 6 Rioter Profits Off the Government He Tried to ‘Overthrow’

VA Outpatient Clinic owned by Linlo Properties

As reported by the Central Penn Business Journal, Linlo Properties developed the Mechanicsburg VA clinic that opened in 2018. The construction of the 25,000 square foot building cost over $6 million. The Keystone could not determine the length or financial terms of the lease.

Jim Sandoe, a Vietnam War veteran who served in the military and is currently a member of the progressive veterans organization Common Defense, called Gates a hypocrite for making money off of government contracts while trying to “overthrow” the government on Jan. 6, 2021. 

“You have to believe that it’s highly hypocritical to do business with somebody who you’re basically trying to overthrow. But I assume for him, it’s money above all,” Sandoe said in an interview. 

A second social media post claimed that Gates leases office space to the Social Security Administration in Lebanon. On their website, Linlo Properties includes the Lebanon address as one of its properties, and a search of the US Social Security Administration (SSA) website confirms the site serves as one of the agency’s offices. 

According to data from the US General Services Administration (GSA), Gates’ company is leasing the office space to the SSA for 15 years at a cost of roughly $169,000 per year. The lease, which began earlier this year, is set to run through mid-2038. 

A Keystone review of GSA records determined that Linlo is also leasing a third office space to US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in Mechanicsburg, at a cost of roughly $72,000 per year to the government over the 15-year lease term, which is set to end in 2035. 

Jan 6 Rioter Profits Off the Government He Tried to ‘Overthrow’

Linlo owned property with US Customs and Border Protections Office

That means Gates’ company is set to receive more than $3.6 million combined from the federal government for just the leases to the SSA and CBP. 

Gates’ links to the federal agencies aren’t his only business ties to the government.

The Keystone reported last week that Congressman Scott Perry (R-York) rents two of his congressional offices out of commercial buildings owned by Gates. The Philadelphia Inquirer followed up and reported that Perry will pay Gates nearly $68,000 in public funds for rent this year. 

Sandoe called on the government to reevaluate its leases to ensure there were no other January 6 insurrectionists profiting off government contracts. 

“Certainly for the government they should be checking all facilities—not just VA facilities—and make sure they aren’t working with contracts with any January 6th person who’s been arrested and convicted,” Sandoe said. “Those contracts should be canceled.”

The Keystone reached out to the US Department of Veterans Affairs, the Social Security Administration, and the US Customs and Border Protection for comment for this story. None of the agencies responded by the time this story was published. We will update this story if they return our requests for comment.

Author

  • Sean Kitchen

    Sean Kitchen is the Keystone’s political correspondent, based in Harrisburg. Sean is originally from Philadelphia and spent five years working as a writer and researcher for Pennsylvania Spotlight.

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