Friday, December 05, 2014

South Florida Feds Pinch Paralegal For Allegedly Looting $3.78 Million From Law Firm's Trust Account; Cash Meant For Real Estate Transactions, Loan Payoffs, Etc.; Suspect Continued To Make Lulling Payments To Banks In Attempt To Conceal Ripoff

In Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports:
  • A paralegal pleaded not guilty Wednesday to allegations that he stole more than $3.78 million from client trust accounts at the Hollywood law firm where he worked, court records show.

    Steven Sacks, 57, was released on bond after pleading not guilty to four counts of wire fraud in federal court in Fort Lauderdale.

    Sacks used his position at the Gilbert & Caddy law firm to embezzle from clients whose money was kept in the firm's trust accounts to pay for mortgages and other real estate transactions, according to a charging document filed by prosecutors.

    Sacks set up a corporation in Nevada and diverted clients' money to a related bank account between 2011 and March of this year, according to the charges. Prosecutors wrote that Sacks continued to make mortgage payments for some clients to conceal the missing funds but investigators gave no other information about what happened to the rest of the money.

    Efforts to contact Sacks' lawyer late Wednesday were unsuccessful. If convicted, Sacks faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each of the four charges.
Source: Broward paralegal stole $3.78M from clients, feds say (Paralegal set up Vegas corporation, stole millions from South Florida law firm clients, feds say).

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

35 Year-Old Woman Jilts, Then Sues Her Married, 59-Year Old Ex-Sugar Daddy For Trying To Give Her The Boot Out Of $1.3M Love Hideaway He Bought Her; Will Battle Dumped Beau's Attempted 'Snatch-Back' In Court To Hang Onto Condo, Other Loot He Showered Her With During Once-Sizzling, Now-Fizzled Fling

In New York City, the New York Daily News reports:
  • A beautiful blond songwriter’s relationship with an older, married multimillionaire ended on a sour note — she’s suing him for trying to kick her out of her apartment.

    In papers filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, Ayelet Argaman, an Israeli singer, songwriter and actress, says former beau Robert Rothenberg is a vindictive “scorned lover who has taken the break up badly.”

    Argaman, 35, says real estate investor Rothenberg, 59, tried to sweep her off her feet this spring by buying a $1.3 million Upper East Side apartment for her to live in. Now that they’ve broken up, he’s trying to give her the boot — and she says he has no legal right to do so.

    Argaman, a buxom beauty who has been photographed with everyone from Bill Clinton to Eliot Spitzer, says she and Rothenberg first met in September 2013, and he wooed her for two months until they started dating. By February, he had bought a one-bedroom unit for her to live in Trump Palace on E. 69th St.

    In April, he signed an agreement giving her a 60% share of the holding company that owns the apartment, and the right to buy out his 40% share if their relationship did not last until May 2015. She broke up with him in June because of “irreconcilable differences,” the filing says.

    He balked on their deal, threatened to sue her for $5 million and moved to evict her, filings say.

    Rothenberg, of Woodmere, L.I., contends he was used.

    His planned suit, included as an exhibit in Argaman’s filing, charges he only bought the apartment and signed the deal after she duped him into thinking she’d marry him. It also accuses her and her parents of trying to shake him down.

    Argaman says the “engagement” argument isn’t much of a defense, because Rothenberg was already married.

    Their lawyers declined to comment.
Source: Blond songwriter sues multimillionaire ex for trying to kick her out of $1.3M apartment (Ayelet Argaman, 35, says her married former flame Robert Rothenberg, 59, has no right to boot her out of the Upper East Side apartment he bought for her. Rothenburg claims that Argaman used him).

See also, New York Post: Actress suing married sugar daddy to keep $3M in gifts:
  • He also showered Argaman with $1.3 million in other gifts, including money to fund her entertainment career, luxury home furnishings and $100,000 a month for expenses, according to court papers.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Return Of The Robosigners In Fannie Mae's Pursuit Of Deficiency Judgments To Squeeze Foreclosed, Ex-Homeowners

The New York Times reports:
  • Remember the robo-signers, those mortgage loan automatons who authenticated thousands of foreclosure documents over the years without verifying the information they were swearing to?

    Well, they’re back, in a manner of speaking, at least in Florida. Their dubious documents are being used to hound former borrowers years after their homes went into foreclosure.

    Robo-signer redux, as it might be called, has come about because of an aggressive pursuit of former borrowers by debt collectors hired by Fannie Mae, the mortgage finance giant. What Fannie is trying to recoup from these borrowers is the difference between what the borrowers owed on the mortgages when they were foreclosed and the amount Fannie received when it resold the properties.

    These monetary amounts — and they can be significant — are known as deficiency judgments. It is legal in most states for lenders to pursue them. (California is one notable exception.) The time limit for debt collectors to go after former borrowers varies from state to state; Florida allows deficiencies to be pursued for 20 years, and borrowers must pay a compounded annual interest rate of 4.5 percent.

    The problem, experts say, arises when robo-signed documents enabled banks to foreclose even when they didn’t have legal standing to do so.


    “It’s bad enough that Fannie Mae and their collectors are pursuing consumers many years after they’ve lost their homes,” [attorney Chip] Parker said. “But the fact that these lawsuits may be built on a foundation of foreclosure fraud is galling.

    Amazing, isn’t it, how the effects of the foreclosure crisis go on and on?