Malibu, CA – Harrison Barnes PLC continues to fiercely defend the rights of their clients by recently filing a lawsuit in a Los Angeles Federal District Court on behalf of a member of the Malibu community. Plaintiff contends his family was tricked and defrauded by sophisticated operators experienced in real estate transactions. View the Complaint filed in this lawsuit against David York and Mayer Separzadeh for RICO and Fraud.
In a 46 page lawsuit, Plaintiff alleges in detail how David York and Mayer Separzadeh, two experienced individuals in real estate transactions, fraudulently induced Plaintiff to enter into a real estate “option agreement” with them for a home and adjoining lot located at 32430 Pacific Coast Highway and 32434 Pacific Coast Highway (the “property”), respectively. The property is currently being leased out to Avalon Malibu, a mental health and addiction treatment center. Plaintiff contends that the agreement was not an “option,” but rather a residential purchase agreement under California law.
David York and Mayer Separzadeh then allegedly defrauded Plaintiff, as well as banks, through false representations, opinions and promises, and concealment of Plaintiff’s interest in the property by repeatedly thwarting title recording efforts of the agreement. Defendants’ conduct put Plaintiff in a position where he was unable to complete his installment purchase and was subsequently forced to resort to self-help and abandon the property in order to avoid catastrophic financial losses. As a result of York and Separzadeh’s fraudulent conduct, Plaintiff contends his family was left with nothing after pouring $8,343,022.09 into the property in four short years.
Harrison Barnes PLC argues that the $5,450,000 Plaintiff made in “option payments” were illegally kept by David York and Mayer Separzadeh as liquidated damages, penalties and/or forfeitures in violation of California’s liquidated damages law as applied to residential purchase contracts.
The complaint details allegations that both York and Separazadeh’s actions were not isolated incidences and that York and Separzadeh have “created an intricate web of corporations, limited liability partnerships, limited partnerships, and limited liability companies in order to conduct unlawful real estate transactions through these entities and avoid liability.” Plaintiff alleges that this complex web includes “Crown Jewels LLC, Kona Crown Holdings LLC, Republic Western Investments Co., Malibu Investment Group, York Enterprises Inc., and Action Investment Group Inc.” Believing these to be “shell” companies, Plaintiff, in addition to claiming fraud and other causes of action, has alleged that York and Separzadeh are liable civilly for violating the Federal Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”). Plaintiff alleges that York and Separzadeh have violated the RICO statute due to their roles as co-conspirators in an ongoing criminal enterprise designed to “make illegal profits through real estate transactions and the borrowing and lending of money to individuals, associations, and corporations.”
The lawsuit seeks damages of at least $8,000,000 and up to over $25,000,000 in treble damages if the RICO claim is decided in Plaintiff’s favor.
Harrison Barnes PLC is a Malibu-based firm founded in 2000 by Andrew Harrison Barnes. It focuses on providing top quality representation to the Malibu community and has won millions of dollars for its clients. Harrison Barnes will continue to file lawsuits of this kind and protect homebuyers from predatory lending, bad faith and unlawful business practices, unconscionable real estate transactions and fraud. For more details about the firm or a consultation, call (310) 598-1719 and check out Harrison Barnes PLC’s website at http://www.harrisonbarnes.com.
Here is a recent update to this case posted on Harrison Barnes PLC’s website: