I have spent more than 20 years as a rental property owner in the City of Los Angeles. I was also involved in a business of buying properties from owners who were facing foreclosure and/or bankruptcy at a mutually agreed upon price. This also helped them to save some of their investment dollars and not be left completely penniless after the foreclosure proceedings.
By 1995 I was one of the largest owners of rental property in the nation and I estimate that my net worth was in the neighborhood of two hundred million dollars. However, I must emphatically state that everything I did with respect to these endeavors was above board, ethical, and legal. I broke NO laws.
One of my employees, whose father worked for the FBI, asked me if I would hire her father for the position of accountant. Since I didn't need any more hired help, I told her, no. She continued to badger me to hire her father, and I continued to refuse.
Shortly after this, I was approached by a property owner with an offer to sell me a house that was under foreclosure proceedings. I went to see the house and agreed to purchase it from the owner. The documentation was drawn up and the transaction proceeded. A few days later I received a call from the U.S. Postmaster's Office and they requested that I come down to the office immediately. When I arrived, there were two policemen there with a warrant for my arrest. I was being accused of violating the bankruptcy laws by not sending a five-day rescission notice to the seller of the property. The law states that if the seller of a house that's in foreclosure lives in the house, then a five-day Notice to Rescind must be sent to that person. However, the owner of that particular property, DID NOT LIVE THERE. Tenants lived there, as I had been told by the seller and which was verified when I went to view the property.
At first I was so shocked at what was transpiring that I didn't know what to think. But after I had time to think about what happened, it became apparent to me that I had been set up to be arrested since none of the charges against me had anything whatever to do with the TRUTH! The two policemen handcuffed me and led me to the police car and, in the process of pushing my rather large frame into the car, the police broke my ankle.
I was booked and led to my cell. They denied my request for bail to be set, and I was left in the County Jail with a broken ankle that they refused to treat for the entire sixty days that they kept me incarcerated. But that wasn't even the worst that happened to me in jail. They put me in a vulnerable situation with other inmates and I was ultimately stabbed in the abdomen and beaten unconscious, injuries that left me with permanent brain damage, gave me a stroke and a heart attack, and left me in constant pain in my ankle and a bad scar from the stabbing. I wasn't treated for any of these injuries until I went to my doctor after I was released from jail sixty days later. For the entire sixty days that I was incarcerated I NEVER RECEIVED MEDICAL TREATMENT FOR THE INJURIES THAT I SUSTAINED WHILE IN THEIR CUSTODY. They ultimately released me and placed me on house arrest for my alleged crimes, from which I was released in July of 2001.
While I was in jail, several F.B.I. agents moved into one of my houses and set up computers so that, as I later discovered, they could find out where all of my properties were located, who held the mortgages, and other legal necessities for the theft that was about to occur. While I was in jail I couldn't collect rents, pay the mortgages or utilities or maintain my numerous properties and I was released to find out that my empire was in the process of collapsing. The Housing Task Force, directed by Deputy City Attorney RICHARD BOBB under the direction of then-City Attorney JAMES HAHN, had been sent to various properties and many, many citations were issued. I was unable to comply with the Orders to Comply since I then had no available cash due to the incarceration.
I ultimately ended up with nothing, having lost all of my assets through foreclosure, legal fees, fines, etc. I ended up with grave physical and mental damage. My children have permanent emotional scars because of this. And I almost lost my life.
There have been articles in the L.A. Times about me that have painted me as a dishonest person who has hurt others in order to expand my portfolio. This is not true. I have always dealt fairly with my clients and, in fact, could never think to do to anyone else one fraction of what the City and Federal Government have done to me. However, one such article truthfully stated that my whole criminal case boiled down to my inability to correctly answer in court certain questions regarding my properties while I was being tried. However, the truth is that THE CITY HAD PREVIOUSLY CONFISCATED ALL OF MY REAL ESTATE AND OTHER FILES AND TO THIS DAY HAS NOT RETURNED THEM TO ME. I repeat. I COULD NOT ANSWER BECAUSE THEY HAD ALL MY FILES, and on that basis they convicted me. My case is currently on appeal.