Saturday

Downtown Oklahoma City First National Center sale is in limbo- Yashouafar back to Prison in 2015? Robert Paisola Reports 2014, Sky Las Vegas

Massoud Aaron Yashouafar
LVMPD Booking Photo



December 6, 2014  Robert Paisola Reports 
Downtown Oklahoma City First National Center sale is in limbo- Yashouafar back to Prison in 2015? (Video Below)
New York resident Howard Abselet is attempting to file a lien on downtown Oklahoma City First National Center, which would allow him to collect proceeds from any sale of the property.


Massoud Aaron Yashouafar, part-owner of Oklahoma City's First National Center, and SKY LAS VEGAS is serving a 30-day sentence after admitting theft of insurance money in LAS VEGAS, Nevada.


A potential sale of downtown Oklahoma City’s First National Center could be thrown into question by a New York man who claims he is owed $6 million by former building owner Aaron Yashouafar and Yashouafar’s brother.
New York resident Howard Abselet is attempting to file a lien on First National Center, which would allow him to collect proceeds from any sale of the property.
First National Center’s 33-story historic art deco tower is in dire need of restoration, and less than half of the building is occupied.
The property’s California-based owners, the Neman family, who run Neman Brothers & Associates, a textile company with offices in Los Angeles and New York, have controlled the property since 2012. But Abselet claims that Aaron Yashouafar, who was convicted in Nevada of embezzlement charges in 2013, is still at least a partial owner of the First National Center. Yashouafar, once a prominent Los Angeles real estate developer, vowed to renovate First National Center after purchasing it in 2006 for $21 million, but later defaulted on that promise, as well as the mortgage on the property.
In 2012, Abselet won a $6 million judgment in a California federal court against Aaron Yashouafar, his brother Solyman Yashouafar and their company, Alliance Lending Group Inc. Abselet claimed in his lawsuit that the Yashouafars owe him $6 million on a loan to invest in the purchase of real estate in Beverly Hills, Calif. that was never repaid. Abselet invested money with the Yashouafars that he received from a legal settlement after he contracted bacterial meningitis while undergoing a minor surgical procedure, according to the lawsuit.
“He’s a dying man and this guy basically took money from him,” said Tony Gould, an attorney for Abselet.
Abselet claims that Aaron Yashouafar still has an ownership interest in First National Center, and he transferred the property to the Neman family to refinance the property in 2012.  (Proof of this fraudulent transfer could easily return Aaron Yashouafar to Prison in Nevada. Also he could be charged criminally for his involvement in the Beverly Hills Land Deal.)
“It wasn't bona fide sale,” Gould said.
According to corporate disclosure statements filed with the court, at least one of the partnerships that now owns First National Center, called First National Building I, LLC, is partially controlled by the California company Alliance Property Investments Inc. Several online business directories list Aaron Yashouafar as the president of Alliance Property Investments. (This is Fraud)
In November, Abselet filed papers with the Oklahoma County Clerk’s office to alert potential buyers of the First National Center that he was attempting to place a lien on the property.
Leif Swedlow, an attorney representing Yashouafar, declined to address the filing, saying “my clients do not comment on pending litigation.”
Amy Dunn, who is representing the Neman Brothers in selling the property, also declined to comment.
Dunn previously told The Oklahoman that she was hopeful that the property would sell by year’s end. On Friday, she said no closing of a sale had yet occurred.
##
The Back story:
The First National Center, 120 N Robinson, in downtown Oklahoma City is shown. 
The Village Voice called Aaron Yashouafar one of New York City's “ten worst slumlords.” Tenants staged a revolt against Yashouafar in an upscale high-rise condominium he developed in Las Vegas.

In Oklahoma City, he's viewed with suspicion after city officials discovered what they believed to be fraudulently submitted check copies for reimbursement. And coast to coast, the man best known locally as the owner of First National Center has a history of bankruptcies and foreclosures.

But as Yashouafar faces sentencing on a self-admitted fraud charge over his handling of insurance proceeds for fire-damaged condominiums in Las Vegas, friends and acquaintances have submitted letters to Clark County Judge Carolyn Ellsworth asking for leniency and providing a sharply different portrayal.

In a letter by his bankruptcy attorney David Neale, Yashouafar is portrayed as a businessman honestly striving to arrange successful resolutions to bankruptcies involving Figueroa Tower in Los Angeles and First National Center in Oklahoma City.

The Oct. 30 letter by Neale suggests that despite the payoff of $12 million to Capmark Group that prevented the Oklahoma City landmark from being turned over to a receiver, the property's refinancing is still in question.

“We are trying to refinance the property located in Oklahoma City, and Yashouafar has been integral to those efforts,” Neale wrote. “There are other owners of that project whose financial interests will be placed at risk if Yashouafar is unable to arrange the refinancing necessary for that property.”

Almost all of the character references were written by individuals who are working with or once worked for Yashouafar.

Bea Goodwin Aikens, who once worked as a sales agent at the 45-story Sky Condominiums where Yashouafar faced a tenant protest, wrote that Yashouafar is “a man of integrity and a man of his word.”

“The claims are not reflective of Mr. Yashouafar's moral beliefs and his conduct in this case are not reflective of the kind and ethical man I have come to know over the past eight years,” Aikens wrote.

Another letter, by Yashouafar's attorney H. Joseph Nourmand, speaks of the 20 years they both attended the same synagogue. Nourmand described Yashouafar as “an honest, selfless, caring, generous, humble and kind soul.”

Holly Fathi, controller of Yashouafar's company, Milbank Realty Group, wrote pleading that incarceration will jeopardize his ongoing contributions to charitable organizations and the livelihood of his employees.

“At this time, there are a number of ongoing matters which demands daily and constant involvement of Mr. Yashouafar,” Fathi wrote. “These matters, if not handled properly, will have a devastating effect on many of the investors who have their life savings invested with Mr. Yashouafar.”

Bill O'Donnell is hoping Judge Ellsworth will ignore the character references.

As a resident of the Paradise Spa condominiums in Las Vegas, O'Donnell witnessed a series of fires that left residents homeless. The Nevada attorney general accused Yashouafar of diverting about $1 million of insurance proceeds, which led Yashouafar to enter a guilty plea for embezzlement.

In the latest court filings asking for leniency, Yashouafar's rabbi, David Shofet, noted Yashouafar is in mourning over the recent loss of his mother and is observing twice daily religious services in accordance with the Jewish faith.

O'Donnell wants Ellsworth to ponder what role Yashouafar's faith and integrity played in leaving an 84-year-old Paradise Spa resident, Iris Hokanson, without her home while he diverted the insurance proceeds for her condominium.

“I find it hypocritical he would be praying for his mother at the same time he's putting somebody else's mother out on the streets,” O'Donnell said. “Iris Hokanson to this day has not received any money.”

O'Donnell argues Yashouafar still owes more than $1 million in dues and insurance costs after recently paying $1.2 million in retribution, which has been paid to the condominium complex's receiver but has yet to be distributed to the residents.

Yashouafar did not return calls for comment about O'Donnell's complaints. O'Donnell, meanwhile, questions whether Yashouafar was sincere in his guilty plea.

“They're (friends and acquaintances) portraying this as Mr. Yashouafar being accused of this, and he admitted to it,” O'Donnell said. “It's as if they're trying to dismiss it as he's really not guilty, that he just pled so he wouldn't have this go to trial.”


ARE YOU A VICTIM OF AARON YASHOUAFAR OR HIS FAMILY?


It looks like Aaron Yashouafar may be going back to prison afterall
If you are a victim of Aaron Yashouafar, Sky Las Vegas,Paradise Spa,  Christine A Gibbs or any Nevada HOA send
us your story in detail and we will publish it for the media as well as the Court for Aaron Yashouafar's Court Sentencing.  THIS IS ESSENTIAL. We will post the address of the court, listed below, so you can tell the Honorable Judge how this man has ruined your life. email us a copy at sentencing@SkyLasVegas.info



Friday

UPDATE- Developer of SKY LAS VEGAS IN JAIL TODAY IN LAS VEGAS METRO 8/16/2013

Developer of SKY LAS VEGAS IN JAIL TODAY



Massoud Aaron Yashouafar, part-owner of Oklahoma City's First National Center, and SKY LAS VEGAS is serving a 30-day sentence after admitting theft of insurance money in LAS VEGAS, Nevada.


Massoud Aaron Yashouafar, part-owner of Oklahoma City's historic First National Center, is serving a 30-day jail sentence in Clark County, Nev., after pleading guilty to charges that he stole more than $1 million in insurance money from a condominium homeowners association in Las Vegas. Below is the LVMPD booking photo .






Yashouafar surrendered Wednesday to Nevada law enforcement to begin serving his jail sentence.
The real estate developer also was sentenced to one to five years of probation.
He has paid more than $1 million in restitution to the homeowners association, but still owes about $1 million in back homeowners association dues for about 150 condominium units he owns at the Paradise Spa condominiums on the Las Vegas Strip.
“One of the conditions of his probation is that he has to remain current on the units that he owns,” said Robert Giunta, senior deputy attorney general for Nevada.
Yashouafar embezzled insurance settlement money that was supposed to go to fix condominium units that were damaged in a fire while he was serving as treasurer of the Paradise Spa homeowners association.
Many of the fire-damaged units at the complex remain uninhabitable and other units that Yashouafar owns are boarded up because of his failure to pay homeowners association dues, said Bill O'Donnell, president of the Paradise Spa homeowners association.   /newsok.com

Monday

M. Aaron Yashouafar FINALLY CRIMINALLY INDICTED, Robert Paisola Reports Live


UPDATE- Developer of SKY LAS VEGAS IN JAIL TODAY IN LAS VEGAS METRO 8/16/2013



Developer of SKY LAS VEGAS IN JAIL TODAY

Massoud Aaron Yashouafar, part-owner of Oklahoma City's First National Center, and SKY LAS VEGAS is serving a 30-day sentence after admitting theft of insurance money in LAS VEGAS, Nevada.

Massoud Aaron Yashouafar, part-owner of Oklahoma City's historic First National Center, is serving a 30-day jail sentence in Clark County, Nev., after pleading guilty to charges that he stole more than $1 million in insurance money from a condominium homeowners association in Las Vegas. Below is the LVMPD booking photo.



Yashouafar surrendered Wednesday to Nevada law enforcement to begin serving his jail sentence.
The real estate developer also was sentenced to one to five years of probation.
He has paid more than $1 million in restitution to the homeowners association, but still owes about $1 million in back homeowners association dues for about 150 condominium units he owns at the Paradise Spa condominiums on the Las Vegas Strip.
“One of the conditions of his probation is that he has to remain current on the units that he owns,” said Robert Giunta, senior deputy attorney general for Nevada.
Yashouafar embezzled insurance settlement money that was supposed to go to fix condominium units that were damaged in a fire while he was serving as treasurer of the Paradise Spa homeowners association.
Many of the fire-damaged units at the complex remain uninhabitable and other units that Yashouafar owns are boarded up because of his failure to pay homeowners association dues, said Bill O'Donnell, president of the Paradise Spa homeowners association.   /newsok.com


UPDATE- JANUARY 18, 2013- ISSUE OF FINAL SENTENCE FOR MASSOUD AARON YASHOUAFAR FOR THE STATE OF NEVADA STATE CASE  C-11-278252-1    FINAL SENTENCE TO BE IMPOSED ON JANUARY 30, 2013 at 9:00 AM - Media and Cameras are Permitted in the Court Room filed under our motion.

It is our understanding that the hearing to formally sentence Yashouafar on his State of Nevada Case is set for January 30, 2013, at 9:00 AM We filed our request (see docket) to permit cameras in the courtroom and it was granted.  The hearing is based on the plea agreement that Yashouafar signed with the Prosecution which we have a full copy of here...   (See Comments Below)

This document outlines the plea and the payments that the Defendant must make prior to the sentencing.  If you have not read this document, do so.  The bottom line America is that he stole 1 Million Dollars and is only going to have to be at The Clark County Detention Center for 30 days.  Is this right, we shall see, as there is a petition being circulated online that will be presented to the Honorable Court that demands justice be carried out and that he no be permitted to buy his way out of this with stolen money AND THEN... the State Prosecutors will agree to AMEND the charges from a Felony to a Misdemeanor!  We will be in court with our camera crews on the 30th of January 2013, and will keep updating this page on how the petition is coming...with a link.  This is absolutely inconceivable.  Time to stand up America.









UPDATE JANUARY 16, 2013- SENTENCING FOR MASSOUD AARON YASHOUAFAR COMPLETED
WE ARE HOLDING FOR VALIDATION OF THE SENTENCING AGREEMENT THAT WE RECEIVED IN ASSOCIATION WITH THIS 1.5 Million Dollar Fraud From The United States Department of Justice and The Office of Natalie Collins (USANV)

From: Collins, Natalie (USANV) <Natalie.Collins@usdoj.gov>
Date: Wed, Jan 16, 2013 at 4:43 PM
Subject: US Attorney News Release Attached - Fraudster Maharaj Sentenced to
Prison
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UPDATE NOVEMBER 14, 2012- Aaron Yashouafar Sentencing 
The Formal Sentencing for Aaron Yashouafar will take place here in Las Vegas in less than One Hour. We are here and will post the outcome as soon as we are able to get the information out. Our friend and reporter in Oklahoma, Steve Lackmeyer posted this last night.
====
THE SENTENCING IN THIS CASE WAS RESCHEDULED TO JANUARY 16, 2013 BASED UPON THE REASONING THAT THERE WERE TWO CASES AGAINST YASHOUAFAR, ONE CRIMINAL (CASE C-11-278252-1)  AND ONE CIVIL. HE NEEDED MORE TIME TO PROVE HE PAID... HEY OKLAHOMA... DOES THIS SOUND FAMILIAR?
====
The Village Voice called Aaron Yashouafar one of New York City's “ten worst slumlords.” Tenants staged a revolt against Yashouafar in an upscale high-rise condominium he developed in Las Vegas.

In Oklahoma City, he's viewed with suspicion after city officials discovered what they believed to be fraudulently submitted check copies for reimbursement. And coast to coast, the man best known locally as the owner of First National Center has a history of bankruptcies and foreclosures.



But as Yashouafar faces sentencing on a self-admitted fraud charge over his handling of insurance proceeds for fire-damaged condominiums in Las Vegas, friends and acquaintances have submitted letters to Clark County Judge Carolyn Ellsworth asking for leniency and providing a sharply different portrayal.



In a letter by his bankruptcy attorney David Neale, Yashouafar is portrayed as a businessman honestly striving to arrange successful resolutions to bankruptcies involving Figueroa Tower in Los Angeles and First National Center in Oklahoma City.

The Oct. 30 letter by Neale suggests that despite the payoff of $12 million to Capmark Group that prevented the Oklahoma City landmark from being turned over to a receiver, the property's refinancing is still in question.

“We are trying to refinance the property located in Oklahoma City, and Yashouafar has been integral to those efforts,” Neale wrote. “There are other owners of that project whose financial interests will be placed at risk if Yashouafar is unable to arrange the refinancing necessary for that property.”

Almost all of the character references were written by individuals who are working with or once worked for Yashouafar.

Bea Goodwin Aikens, who once worked as a sales agent at the 45-story Sky Condominiums where Yashouafar faced a tenant protest, wrote that Yashouafar is “a man of integrity and a man of his word.”

“The claims are not reflective of Mr. Yashouafar's moral beliefs and his conduct in this case are not reflective of the kind and ethical man I have come to know over the past eight years,” Aikens wrote.

Another letter, by Yashouafar's attorney H. Joseph Nourmand, speaks of the 20 years they both attended the same synagogue. Nourmand described Yashouafar as “an honest, selfless, caring, generous, humble and kind soul.”

Holly Fathi, controller of Yashouafar's company, Milbank Realty Group, wrote pleading that incarceration will jeopardize his ongoing contributions to charitable organizations and the livelihood of his employees.

“At this time, there are a number of ongoing matters which demands daily and constant involvement of Mr. Yashouafar,” Fathi wrote. “These matters, if not handled properly, will have a devastating effect on many of the investors who have their life savings invested with Mr. Yashouafar.”

Bill O'Donnell is hoping Judge Ellsworth will ignore the character references.

As a resident of the Paradise Spa condominiums in Las Vegas, O'Donnell witnessed a series of fires that left residents homeless. The Nevada attorney general accused Yashouafar of diverting about $1 million of insurance proceeds, which led Yashouafar to enter a guilty plea for embezzlement.

In the latest court filings asking for leniency, Yashouafar's rabbi, David Shofet, noted Yashouafar is in mourning over the recent loss of his mother and is observing twice daily religious services in accordance with the Jewish faith.

O'Donnell wants Ellsworth to ponder what role Yashouafar's faith and integrity played in leaving an 84-year-old Paradise Spa resident, Iris Hokanson, without her home while he diverted the insurance proceeds for her condominium.

“I find it hypocritical he would be praying for his mother at the same time he's putting somebody else's mother out on the streets,” O'Donnell said. “Iris Hokanson to this day has not received any money.”

O'Donnell argues Yashouafar still owes more than $1 million in dues and insurance costs after recently paying $1.2 million in retribution, which has been paid to the condominium complex's receiver but has yet to be distributed to the residents.

Yashouafar did not return calls for comment about O'Donnell's complaints. O'Donnell, meanwhile, questions whether Yashouafar was sincere in his guilty plea.

“They're (friends and acquaintances) portraying this as Mr. Yashouafar being accused of this, and he admitted to it,” O'Donnell said. “It's as if they're trying to dismiss it as he's really not guilty, that he just pled so he wouldn't have this go to trial.”



This will be Aaron Yashouafar's New Nevada Home Effective November 14, 2012
If you are a victim of Aaron Yashouafar, Sky Las Vegas,Paradise Spa,  Christine A Gibbs or any Nevada HOA send
us your story in detail and we will publish it for the media as well as the Court for Aaron Yashouafar's Court Sentencing.  THIS IS ESSENTIAL. We will post the address of the court, listed below, so you can tell the Honorable Judge how this man has ruined your life. email us a copy at sentencing@SkyLasVegas.info


YASHOUAFAR PLEADS GUILTY... TIME FOR PRISON AARON..
M. Aaron Yashouafar FINALLY CRIMINALLY INDICTED, Robert Paisola Reports Live UPDATED SEPTEMBER 17, 2012--- SENTENCING NOW SET FOR 11/14/2012 at 9:00 AM

UPDATE- M. Aaron Yashouafar Pleads GUILTY, SENTENCING SET FOR NOVEMBER 14, 2012 at 9:00 AM.  We will be there.   We will also be posting a full and complete copy of the Probation report for your review.

(Note- This is JUST FOR THE CRIMES IN NEVADA NOT INCLUDING THE CRIMES AT SKY LAS VEGAS...)
MAY 2012 COURT UPDATE

                        http://www.ktnv.com/contact13/hoahallofshame/149872655.html#.T91hNVbNliM.gmail

 Charges: Yashouafar, Massoud AaronStatuteLevelDate1.  EMBEZZLEMENT205.300Felony03/09/20102. 
 EMBEZZLEMENT205.300Felony02/04/20103.  
THEFT (FELONY)205.0832Felony04/21/20104.  
EMBEZZLEMENT205.300Felony05/03/20105.  
THEFT (FELONY)205.0832Felony09/09/20106.  
EMBEZZLEMENT205.300Felony03/09/2010
IND
CATHERINE CORTEZ MASTO
2 Attorney General
ROBERT G .. GIUNTA
3 Senior Deputy Attorney General
Nevada Bar No. 001229
4 555 E. Washington Avenue, #3900
Las Vegas, NV 89101
5 P: (702)486-3199
F: (702) 486-3768
6 Email: rguinta@ag .. nv.gov
Attorneys for Plaintiff, State of Nevada
7
DISTRICT COURT
8
9
10
11
12
STATE OF NEVADA,
Plaintiff,
vs.
CLARK COUNTY, NEVADA
)
)
)
)
)
)
CASE NO .. : C-11-278252-1
DEPT. NO.: V
MASSOUD AARON YASHOUAFAR, )
13 )
)
14 DEFENDANT.. )
15 -------)
16
17
18
19
20
21
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23
24
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27
28
GUILTY PLEA AGREEME~T
COMES NOW, THE STATE OF NEVADA, by CATHERINE CORTEZ MASTO, Attorney
General, and ROBERT G . GIUNTA, Senior Deputy Attorney General, Bureau of Criminal
Justice, and MASSOUD AARON YASHOUAFAR, with his attorney DAVID CHESNOFF, Esq.,
of the law firm of CHESNOFF & SCHONFELD and files this Guilty Plea Agreement.
I, MASSOUD AARON YASHOUAFAR, agree to plead guilty to one (1) Count of
EMBEZZLEMENT, a felony in violation of NRS 205.300; within Las Vegas Township, Clark
County, State of Nevada; as more fully alleged in the Amended Criminal Indictment, attached
hereto as Exhibit "1", and incorporated by reference.
My decision to plead guilty is based upon the following plea agreement:
1. That I, MASSOUD AARON YASHOUAFAR, agree to plead guilty to one (1)
Count of EMBEZZLEMENT, a B felony in violation of NRS 205.300 ..
2. That I, MASSOUD AARON YASHOUAFAR, agree to pay full restitution in the
1
----_ ..... _---.--
1 amount of One Million Dollars ($1,000,000.00) to the charged victim in this matter, PARADISE
2 SPA OWNER'S ASSOCIATION. I will pay the amount of this restitution in the following
3 fashion, Five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000 .. 00) prior to my sentencing date, Two
4 hundred fifty thousand ($250,000 .. 00) within ninety (90) days following my sentencing date and
5 an additional Two Hundred Fifty Thousand Dollars ($250,000 .. 00) one hundred eighty (180)
6 days after my sentencing date. Any money paid by DEFENDANT YOUSHAFAR on behalf of
7 PARADISE SPA OWNERS ASSOCIATION will be credited toward this restitution and will be
8 subject to an accounting. It is understood by the parties that no property rights are
9 adjudicated pursuant to this plea agreement.
10 3. That I, MASSOUD AARON YASHOUAFAR, will agree to bring the assessments,
11 exclusive of penalties and interest, which are presently due on the condominiums located
12 within Paradise Spa Owner's Association which I currently own either in my own name or
13 which are owned by any entity in which I have an interest or any units in which I may obtain
14 any interest in the next sixty (60) months, including, but not limited to, the units listed in Exhibit
15 2, attached hereto. Further, I, MASSOUD AARON YASHOUAFAR, will keep the assessments
16 on units which I own, other than those units which have been foreclosed upon or sold, current
17 for the duration of the time that I am on probation, if I am granted probation in this matter, but
18 at a minimum will be responsible for keeping these assessments current for Sixty (60) months.
19 Failure to keep these assessments current will be considered a violation of the terms of my
20 probation, if I am granted probation.
21 4. That if I MASSOUD AARON YASHOUAFAR am able to make full restitution to the
22 victim, PARADISE SPA OWNERS ASSOCIATION, and successfully complete probation,
23 assuming that I am granted probation in this matter, then I may request and the prosecution
24 shall file an Amended Criminal Information charging me with ATTEMPTED THEFT, a gross
25 misdemeanor violation of NRS 205.0832 and NRS 193.330. The State will then, upon
26 approval of the court, allow Defendant to withdraw his plea to the instant charge and enter a
27 plea of guilty to the gross misdemeanor.
28
2
1 5. THAT I, MASSOUD AARON YASHOUAFAR, WILL PAY ALL FEES AND
2 COSTS IMPOSED BY THE COURT.
3 6. The parties agree that pursuant to this plea agreement, that the defendant,
4 MASSOUD AARON YASHOUAFAR, be sentenced to a period of probation not to exceed
5 sixty (60) months and that the first 30 days of probation, should the defendant be granted
6 probation, will be served in custody. The state retains the right to argue for incarceration in
7 the Clark County Detention Center for that initial thirty day period and the defendant and his
8 attorneys are free to argue that the initial thirty days of his sentence may be served under
9 house arrest. the state retains the right to present victim statements pursuant to NRS
10 176.015(3); the parties agree that should the court fail to follow the provisions set forth in this
11 plea agreement, that the defendant, MASSOUD AARON YOUSHAFAR, will be permitted to
12 withdraw his plea of guilty and to proceed to trial on the original charges as set forth in the
13 criminal indictment..
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7. That I, MASSOUD AARON YASHOUAFAR, agree to waive any defects or
infirmities as to the form of this Amended Criminal Indictment. Further, Defendant agrees that
if I fail to appear for any hearings or court dates prior to sentencing or if I commit a new
criminal offense prior to sentencing, the State has the right to argue for any lawful sentence
based on the original indictment charged in this matter.
CONSEqUENCES OF THE PLEA
I, MASSOUD AARON YASHOUAFAR, understand that by pleading guilty, I admit the
facts which support all the elements of the offense to which I now plead as set forth in Exhibit
"1 n,
I, MASSOUD AARON YASHOUAFAR, understand that as a consequence of my plea
of guilty to Count 1 of the Amended Indictment, I may be incarcerated for a period of not less
than one (1) year and not more than ten (10) years and that I may be fined up to $10,000. I
understand that the law requires me to pay an administrative assessment fee of $25.00.
I understand that, if the Court deems appropriate, I will be ordered to make restitution
3
1 to the victims listed in the Criminal I ndictment of the offense to which I am pleading guilty .
2 I understand that I am eligible for probation for the offense to which I am pleading
3 guilty. I further understand that, except as otherwise provided by statute, the question of
4 whether I receive probation is in the discretion of the sentencing judge.
5 I have not been promised or guaranteed any particular sentence by anyone. I know that
6 my sentence is to be determined by the court within the limits prescribed by statute. I
7 understand that if my attorney or the State of Nevada or both recommend any specific
8 punishment to the court, the court is not obligated to accept the recommendation.
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WAIVER OF RIGHTS
By entering my plea of guilty, I, MASSOUD AARON YASHOUAFAR, understand that I
have waived the following rights and privileges:
1. The constitutional privilege against self~incrimination, including the right to refuse
to testify at trial, in which event the prosecution would not be allowed to comment to the jury
about my refusal to testify.
2. The constitutional right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury, free of
excessive pretrial publicity prejudicial to the defense, at which trial I would be entitled to the
assistance of an attorney, either appointed or retained. At trial, the state would bear the
burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt each element of the offense charged.
3. The constitutional right to confront and cross-examine any witnesses who would
testify against me.
4. The constitutional right to subpoena witnesses to testify on my behalf.
5 ..
6.
The constitutional right to testify in my own defense.
The right to appeal the conviction, with the assistance of an attorney, either
appointed or retained, unless the appeal is based upon reasonable constitutional,
jurisdictional or other grounds that challenge the legality of the proceedings and except as
otherwise provided in subsection 3 of NRS 174.035.
VOLUNTARINESS OF PLEA
4
1 I, MASSOUD AARON YASHOUAFAR, have discussed the elements of all the original
2 charges against me with my attorney, David Chesnoff, and I understand the nature of these
3 charges against me,
4 I understand that the State of Nevada would have to prove each element of the
5 charge(s) against me at trial.
6 I have discussed with my attorney any possible defenses and circumstances which
7 might be in my favor.
8 All of the foregoing elements, consequences, rights and waiver of rights have been
9 thoroughly explained to me by my attorney, David Chesnoff, and I believe that pleading guilty
10 and accepting this plea bargain is in my best interest and that a trial would be contrary to my
11 best interest.
12 I am signing this agreement voluntarily, after consultation with my attorney and I am not
13 acting under duress or coercion or by virtue of any promises of leniency, except for those set
14 forth in this agreement.
15 I am not now under the influence of intoxicating liquor, a controlled substance or other
16 drug which would in any manner impair my ability to comprehend or understand this
17 agreement or the proceedings surrounding my entry of this plea.
18 My attorney has answered all questions regarding this guilty plea agreement and its
19 consequences to my satisfaction and I am satisfied with the services provided by my attorney.
20 DATED this2tUay of .J VtJ e~ _ 2012.
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---""'-----
5
2
3 VERIFICATION OF COUNSEL
4 I have reviewed this matter and I concur that the disposition delineated above is a true
5 and accurate representation of the negotiations entered into and agreed to by myself on
6 behalf of the State of Nevada with the Defendant, MASSOUD AARON YASHOUAFAR, and
7 his attorney, David Chesnoff.
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Agreed to on this __ day of _____ . __ 2012.
By:
SUBMITTED BY:
CATHERINE CORTEZ MASTO
Attorney General
ROBERT G. GIUNTA
Senior Deputy Attorney General
Nevada Bar No .. 1229
555 E. Washington Avenue, #3900
Las Vegas, NV 89101
702-486-3199
Attorneys for Plaintiff, State of Nevada
6
1
2
3 CERTIFICATE OF DEFENSE COUNSEL
4 I, the undersigned, as the attorney for the Defendant, MASSOUD AARON
5 YASHOUAFAR and as an officer of the court hereby certify that:
6 1. I have fully explained to MASSOUD AARON YASHOUAFAR the allegations in
7 the charges to which the guilty plea is being entered.
8 2. I have advised MASSOUD AARON YASHOUAFAR of the penalties for each
9 charge and the restitution that the Defendant may be ordered to pay.
10 3. All pleas of guilty offered by the Defendant, MASSOUD AARON YASHOUAFAR,
11 pursuant to this agreement are consistent with all the facts known to me and are made with
12 my advice to MASSOUD AARON YASHOUAFAR and are in the best interest of MASSOUD
13 AARON YASHOUAFAR who:
14 (a) Is competent and understands the charges and the consequences of
15 pleading guilty as provided in this agreement.
16
17 voluntarily.
18
(b) Executed this agreement and will enter all guilty pleas pursuant hereto
(c) Was not under the influence of intoxicating liquor, a controlled substance
19 or other drug at the time of the execution of this agreement.
20 DATED this _ day of ______ .' ___ , 2012.
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--"'-----
David Chesnoff, Esq.
CHESNOFF & SCHONFELD
520 S 4th Street
Las Vegas, NV 89101-6520
7
---------------

THE GRAND JURY MINUTES
12/16/2011Grand Jury Indictment  (11:45 AM) (Judicial Officer Bell, Linda Marie)
Register of Actions
Case No. C-11-278252-1
State of Nevada vs Massoud Yashouafar§
§
§
§
§
§
§

Case Type:Felony/Gross Misdemeanor
Date Filed:12/16/2011
Location:Department 5
Conversion Case Number:C278252
Grand Jury Case Number:11BGJ013
Party Information
Lead Attorneys
DefendantYashouafar, Massoud AaronDavid Zeltner Chesnoff
  Retained
7023845563(W)
PlaintiffState of NevadaCatherine M Cortez
702-486-3420(W)
Charge Information
Charges: Yashouafar, Massoud AaronStatuteLevelDate
1.  EMBEZZLEMENT205.300Felony03/09/2010
2.  EMBEZZLEMENT205.300Felony02/04/2010
3.  THEFT (FELONY)205.0832Felony04/21/2010
4.  EMBEZZLEMENT205.300Felony05/03/2010
5.  THEFT (FELONY)205.0832Felony09/09/2010
6.  EMBEZZLEMENT205.300Felony03/09/2010

Events & Orders of the Court
12/16/2011Grand Jury Indictment  (11:45 AM) (Judicial Officer Bell, Linda Marie)
Minutes
12/16/2011 11:45 AM
-Ravi Bawa, DDA, and Robert Giunta, DAG, present for the State of Nevada. Frank Bianca, Grand Jury Foreperson, stated to the Court that at least twelve members had concurred in the return of the true bill during deliberation, but had been excused for presentation to the Court. State presented Grand Jury Case Number 11BGJ013X to the Court. COURT ORDERED, the Indictment may be filed and is assigned Case Number C278252-1, Department 5. Mr. Giunta requested a summons be issued and sent to Deft. Yashouafar in care of his attorney David Chesnoff and advised he has been in contact with counsel. COURT SO ORDERED. Matter set for arraignment. Exhibit(s) 1-12 lodged with Clerk of District Court. SUMMONS (NIC) 1-4-12 9:00 AM INITIAL ARRAIGNMENT (DEPT. 5)

Minutes
02/06/2012 9:00 AM
-STATUS CHECK: NEGOTIATIONS Deft. present at liberty. Mr. Shonfeld advised they worked out Deft's custody status, and noted they are in the process of determining restitution to negotiate this matter and requested this be continued 45 days. Further, that he would have 21 days from next hearing date to file writ if matter is not negotiated. COURT ORDERED, it will not continue matter, Deft. has 21 days from today to file writ, trial date STANDS. SUMMONS (NIC)

Minutes
03/12/2012 9:00 AM
-Court noted the transcripts have not been read yet, but the briefs were read. Court further noted that the issue is whether there is enough admissible evidence or not, and expressed concerns regarding the Indictment. Colloquy regarding Pleading. Court noted counsel needs to decided if the Pleading will be amended, and ORDERED, matter SET for Argument; the Court will read the transcripts and the Deft's presence will be WAIVED. SUMMONS (NIC) 3/19/12 9:00 am ARGUMENT: PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS/ PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS
Minutes
07/11/2012 9:00 AM
-ENTRY OF PLEA Deft. present at liberty. Amended Indictment FILED IN OPEN COURT. Counsel waived any defects in the form of the Amended Indictment. NEGOTIATIONS are as contained in the Guilty Plea Agreement FILED IN OPEN COURT. DEFT. YASHOUAFAR ARRAIGNED AND PLED GUILTY to EMBEZZLEMENT (F). Court ACCEPTED plea and ORDERED, matter referred to the Division of Parole and Probation (P & P) and set for sentencing. BOND 11/14/12 9 AM SENTENCING





Register of Actions
Case No. C-11-278252-1
State of Nevada vs Massoud Yashouafar§
§
§
§
§
§
§

Case Type:Felony/Gross Misdemeanor
Date Filed:12/16/2011
Location:Department 5
Conversion Case Number:C278252
Grand Jury Case Number:11BGJ013
Party Information
Lead Attorneys
DefendantYashouafar, Massoud AaronDavid Zeltner Chesnoff
  Retained
7023845563(W)
PlaintiffState of NevadaCatherine M Cortez
702-486-3420(W)
Charge Information
Charges: Yashouafar, Massoud AaronStatuteLevelDate
1.  EMBEZZLEMENT205.300Felony03/09/2010
2.  EMBEZZLEMENT205.300Felony02/04/2010
3.  THEFT (FELONY)205.0832Felony04/21/2010
4.  EMBEZZLEMENT205.300Felony05/03/2010
5.  THEFT (FELONY)205.0832Felony09/09/2010
6.  EMBEZZLEMENT205.300Felony03/09/2010
Events & Orders of the Court
DISPOSITIONS
07/11/2012
Disposition (Judicial Officer: Ellsworth, Carolyn)
2. EMBEZZLEMENT
Charges Amended/Dropped
3. THEFT (FELONY)
Charges Amended/Dropped
4. EMBEZZLEMENT
Charges Amended/Dropped
5. THEFT (FELONY)
Charges Amended/Dropped
6. EMBEZZLEMENT
Charges Amended/Dropped
OTHER EVENTS AND HEARINGS
12/16/2011Indictment
12/16/2011Grand Jury Indictment  (11:45 AM) (Judicial Officer Bell, Linda Marie)
Minutes
Result: Matter Heard
12/16/2011Summons
SUMMONS (INDICTMENT)
01/04/2012Initial Arraignment  (9:00 AM) (Judicial Officer Ellsworth, Carolyn)
Parties Present
Minutes
Result: Continued
01/05/2012Transcript of Proceedings
Reporter's Transcript of Proceedings - Grand Jury Hearing December 15, 2011
01/09/2012Receipt for Grand Jury Transcript
01/11/2012Media Request and Order
Media Request and Order for Camera Access to Court Proceedings
01/18/2012Arraignment Continued  (9:00 AM) (Judicial Officer Ellsworth, Carolyn)
Parties Present
Minutes
Result: Plea Entered
01/24/2012Stipulation and Order
Stipulation and Order for O.R. Release
02/06/2012Status Check  (9:00 AM) (Judicial Officer Ellsworth, Carolyn)
Negotiations
Parties Present
Minutes
Result: Off Calendar
02/27/2012Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus
02/27/2012Receipt of Copy
03/06/2012Order
Order that Writ of Habeas Corpus Issue
03/07/2012Writ of Habeas Corpus
03/07/2012Receipt of Copy
03/07/2012Return
Return to Writ
03/12/2012Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus  (9:00 AM) (Judicial Officer Ellsworth, Carolyn)
03/12/2012, 03/19/2012
Parties Present
Minutes
Result: Matter Continued
03/19/2012Argument  (9:00 AM) (Judicial Officer Ellsworth, Carolyn)
Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus
03/19/2012All Pending Motions  (9:00 AM) (Judicial Officer Ellsworth, Carolyn)
3/19/12
Parties Present
Minutes
Result: Denied
05/31/2012Order Denying
Order Denying Petition For Writ of Habeas Corpus
06/05/2012Notice of Entry of Order
07/02/2012Guilty Plea Agreement
Guilty Plea Agreement
07/03/2012Exhibits
Exhibits to Guilty Plea Agreement
07/11/2012Entry of Plea  (9:00 AM) (Judicial Officer Ellsworth, Carolyn)
Parties Present
Minutes
Result: Plea Entered
07/11/2012Guilty Plea Agreement
Amended Guilty Plea Agreement
07/12/2012Amended Indictment
Amended Grand Jury Indictment
09/24/2012CANCELED   Calendar Call  (9:00 AM) (Judicial Officer Ellsworth, Carolyn)
Vacated - per Judge
10/01/2012CANCELED   Jury Trial  (1:30 PM) (Judicial Officer Ellsworth, Carolyn)
Vacated - per Judge
11/14/2012Sentencing  (9:00 AM) (Judicial Officer Ellsworth, Carolyn)
Financial Information
Defendant Yashouafar, Massoud Aaron
Total Financial Assessment 102.00
Total Payments and Credits 102.00
Balance Due as of 09/17/2012 0.00
12/22/2011Transaction Assessment 11.00
12/22/2011Payment (Window) Receipt # 2011-145685-CCCLK LEGAL WINGS (11.00)
08/15/2012Transaction Assessment 10.00
08/15/2012Payment (Window) Receipt # 2012-102584-CCCLK LEGAL WINGS (10.00)
08/16/2012Transaction Assessment 34.00
08/16/2012Payment (Window) Receipt # 2012-103200-CCCLK LEGAL WINGS (34.00)
09/12/2012Transaction Assessment 47.00
09/12/2012Payment (Window) Receipt # 2012-114207-CCCLK HALL JAFFE & CLAYTON LLP (47.00)

State of Nevada vs Massoud Yashouafar§
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§
§
§

Case Type:Felony/Gross Misdemeanor
Date Filed:12/16/2011
Location:Department 5
Conversion Case Number:C278252
Grand Jury Case Number:11BGJ013
Party Information
Lead Attorneys
DefendantYashouafar, Massoud AaronDavid Zeltner Chesnoff
  Retained
7023845563(W)
PlaintiffState of NevadaCatherine M Cortez
702-486-3420(W)
Charge Information
Charges: Yashouafar, Massoud AaronStatuteLevelDate
1.  EMBEZZLEMENT205.300Felony03/09/2010
2.  EMBEZZLEMENT205.300Felony02/04/2010
3.  THEFT (FELONY)205.0832Felony04/21/2010
4.  EMBEZZLEMENT205.300Felony05/03/2010
5.  THEFT (FELONY)205.0832Felony09/09/2010
6.  EMBEZZLEMENT205.300Felony03/09/2010
Events & Orders of the Court
07/11/2012Entry of Plea  (9:00 AM) (Judicial Officer Ellsworth, Carolyn)
Minutes
07/11/2012 9:00 AM
-ENTRY OF PLEA Deft. present at liberty. Amended Indictment FILED IN OPEN COURT. Counsel waived any defects in the form of the Amended Indictment. NEGOTIATIONS are as contained in the Guilty Plea Agreement FILED IN OPEN COURT. DEFT. YASHOUAFAR ARRAIGNED AND PLED GUILTY to EMBEZZLEMENT (F). Court ACCEPTED plea and ORDERED, matter referred to the Division of Parole and Probation (P & P) and set for sentencing. BOND 11/14/12 9 AM SENTENCING

THE FULL AARON YASHOUAFAR CRIMINAL INDICTMENT (JUST FOR NEVADA)

 Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- The residents of Paradise Spa have earned a hard-won victory this week. A judge is forcing their landlord to pay up so that they will not be forced out of their home.

Since Action News' story broke in late 2010, Paradise Spa has been raided by law enforcement and the former board treasurer is under indictment for theft and embezzlement.
The Beverly Hills millionaire and real estate mogul Aaron Yashouafar isn't on the board anymore but he still owns most of the units at Paradise Spa.
The problem is that he has not been paying his dues so the homeowner's association hasn't been able to consistently pay the utility bills and residents have often been forced to live without heat and hot water.
A judge has ordered Yashouafar and his partners to post a half-million dollar bond within 10 days and give the HOA $42,000 every month to pay expenses.

The court also noted that the new HOA board will be responsible and will be held accountable.      


Massoud Aaron Yashouafar Prison Booking Photo

                                           WATCH THE FULL VIDEO FROM ABC NEWS

  READ THE FULL INDICTMENT HERE

 

 


ROBERT PAISOLA, CEO and LEAD INVESTIGATOR, WESTERN CAPITAL USA

 LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

A six count indictment was Monday returned by a Clark County Grand Jury against Massoud Aaron Yashouafar, who is accused of defrauding condo owners. 

Yashouafar, 50, of Beverly Hills, California, is accused of defrauding the Paradise Spa HOA of over $1 million. Yashouafar served as treasurer of the Paradise Spa Board of Directors and received two insurance checks, one for over $400,000 and the other for over $430,000, for property damage to two buildings caused by fires.


Rather than using the money to repair the damage, Yashouafar is accused of depositing the checks in an out-of-state bank.

As a result, several condo owners, many of them seniors, were forced to make other living arrangements while still making mortgage payments.

Yashouafar is even accused of renting units he owned to displaced homeowners, making even more money.
"This type of crime is particularly jarring when you realize that older victims, many of whom were living on fixed incomes in Paradise Spa, were forced to find and pay for alternative living quarters when they were still obligated to make mortgage payments on their burned condo units, while waiting for repairs that would never be made," said Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortex Masto.

Yashouafar was indicted on three counts of theft of property by false pretenses and three counts of embezzlement. His first court appearance is scheduled for January 4, 2012.

You may read the indictment at http://bit.ly/YashouafarIndictment.

Anyone with information on this case is urged to contact the Attorney General's Office at (702)-486-3132.

 Man accused of defrauding HOA of more than $1 million

A Clark County grand jury indicted a 50-year-old Beverly Hills, Calif., man for his actions in allegedly defrauding the Paradise Spa Home Owners Association in Las Vegas of more than $1 million, Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto said Monday.

Massoud Aaron Yashouafar was indicted Friday on three counts of theft of property by false pretenses and three counts of embezzlement, officials said. He’s scheduled to appear Jan. 4 before District Court Judge Carolyn Ellsworth.

Officials allege Yashouafar collected two insurance checks — one for more than $400,000 and another for more than $430,000 — for two fires that occurred Sept. 18, 2009, and Jan. 15, 2010, at Paradise Spa condominiums, where he served as treasurer for the HOA board of directors.

The checks were to be used for building repairs, but Yashouafar allegedly deposited the money in an out-of-state bank account for which he was the sole signator, officials said.

Numerous condo owners, meanwhile, had to find other living arrangements while still making mortgage payments on their damaged, uninhabitable units, officials said. Many of the condo owners in Paradise Spa are senior citizens.

Yashouafar rented units he owned to some of the displaced condo owners, collecting rent while the owners waited for repairs that never happened, officials said.

Yashouafar allegedly wired more than $250,000 from a Paradise Spa operating account in September 2009 to pay for various personal projects, officials said.

Indictment Returned In HOA Fraud Scandal

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A Beverly Hills, Calif., businessman faces felony embezzlement and theft charges accusing him of siphoning more than $1 million out of a Las Vegas-area homeowners association.
Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto said Monday that 50-year-old Massoud Aaron Yashouafar is due Jan. 4 in Clark County District Court on a six-count criminal indictment handed up Friday in Las Vegas.
He could face decades in prison if convicted.

Yashouafar’s lawyer, David Chesnoff, says his client will plead not guilty and answer the allegations at trial.
Masto says that as treasurer of the Paradise Spa Home Owners Association board, Yashouafar funneled insurance checks for two fires at the complex to his own accounts.

The AG says condo owners were forced to find other places to live.

Owner of First National Center indicted on charges of theft by false pretense and embezzlement

The legal and financial troubles for the owner of downtown Oklahoma City's First National Center now include a six-count indictment of theft by false pretenses and embezzlement in connection with a senior condominium property.

BY STEVE LACKMEYER slackmeyer@opubco.com   
Published: December 21, 2011

The legal and financial troubles for the owner of downtown Oklahoma City's First National Center now include a six-count indictment charging him with theft by false pretenses and embezzlement in connection with a senior condominium property.

M. Aaron Yashouafar heads up two partnerships that bought the First National Center in 2006 for $21 million with promises of restoring it to Class A status. Instead, the property is in bankruptcy and its largest tenant, Devon Energy, has filed suit alleging Yashouafar has failed to maintain the building's elevators. The judge in the bankruptcy case, Niles Jackson, ruled Monday in favor of Devon Energy's request to arrange for inspections of the elevators.

That ruling is overshadowed, however, by the announcement by Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto that a Clark County grand jury on Dec. 16 returned a six-count indictment against Yashouafar for the alleged defrauding of $1 million from the Paradise Spa Home Owners Association.

“This type of crime is particularly jarring when you realize that older victims, many of whom were living on fixed incomes in Paradise Spa, were forced to find and pay for alternative living quarters when they were still obligated to make mortgage payments on their burned condo units, while waiting for repairs that would never be made,” Masto said in a news release.

Yashouafar, 50, Beverly Hills, Calif., was not available for comment on Tuesday. The indictment alleges the following: Yashouafar, who served as the treasurer of the Paradise Spa board of directors, received insurance checks for two fires which occurred on Sept. 18, 2009, and Jan. 15, 2010.

In his capacity as treasurer of the Homeowners Association he was provided two checks, one for more than $400,000 and the other check for more than $430,000, issued by the Civil Service Employees Insurance Group, for property damage to two separate buildings caused by fires, according to the indictment. The insurance checks were issued for repairs.

The jury determined that rather than repair the buildings, Yashouafar deposited the checks in an out-of-state bank account that he controlled. According to several Nevada news organizations, condo owners, many of them seniors, were forced to find other living arrangements, while still making mortgage payments on their uninhabitable units.

The indictment goes on to allege that in some cases, Yashouafar rented units he owned to the displaced condo owners, resulting in them paying him rent while they waited for repairs that were never done because of the alleged theft.

Masto said bank records show that in September 2009, Yashouafar, in his capacity as treasurer, wired more than $250,000 from the Paradise Spa operating account. She said he subsequently deposited that money into an out-of-state account and disbursed the money into various personal projects.
Records show the Yashouafars are experiencing difficulties with properties across the country. The Roosevelt, a historic building in Los Angeles, was placed in bankruptcy while it was being converted into condominiums.

And more than a dozen properties in the Bronx went into bankruptcy as tenants' complaints prompted The Village Voice to list Yashouafar among New York City's top slumlords.

Bronx housing officials alleged tenants in Yashouafar's properties endured “horrible” living conditions as his company, Milbank Real Estate, overleveraged their buildings.

Yashouafar's partnerships declared bankruptcy after First National Center was foreclosed upon by Capmark Group. Devon Energy officials estimate they lease about half of the complex's 1 million square feet of office space. The company's lease is set to expire in 2013, but Devon's operations will move to its new headquarters at 333 W Sheridan by mid-2012.

In court testimony earlier this year, Keith Armstrong, a vice president with Capmark, argued Yashouafar's group won't be able to keep up with $1.5 million in debt service on the property once Devon's lease expires.

 

Calif. man indicted in Las Vegas HOA theft case

BusinessWeek - ‎22 hours ago‎
By KEN RITTER A Beverly Hills, Calif., businessman who owned property in a Las Vegas condominium complex once cited as an example of association dues abuses has been indicted on felony embezzlement and theft charges accusing him of siphoning more than ...

The Oklahoman, Oklahoma City, Steve Lackmeyer column [The Oklahoman, Oklahoma ...

Insurance News Net (press release) - ‎2 hours ago‎
By Steve Lackmeyer, The Oklahoman, Oklahoma City Dec. 21 --The legal and financial troubles for the owner of downtown Oklahoma City's First National Center now include a six-count indictment charging him with theft by false pretenses and embezzlement ...

Nevada AG indicts California man for insurance fraud

Housing Wire - ‎21 hours ago‎
by KERRI PANCHUK Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto said her office indicted a California man this week for defrauding condo owners out of $1 million worth of insurance to cover claims from two fires. The six-count indictment was filed ...

Paradise Spa landlord facing felony charges

KTNV Las Vegas - ‎Dec 19, 2011‎
By Jessica Janner Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- The landlord of most units at the Paradise Spa community, Massoud Aaron Yashouafar, faces six class B felonies; 3 counts of Theft of Property by Flase Pretenses and 3 counts of Embezzlement. ...

FOX5 Vegas - KVVUCalif. man indicted for defrauding Vegas condo owners

KVVU Las Vegas - ‎Dec 19, 2011‎
Entertainment News from AP A six count indictment was Monday returned by a Clark County Grand Jury against Massoud Aaron Yashouafar, who is accused of defrauding condo owners. Yashouafar, 50, of Beverly Hills, California, is accused of defrauding the ...

Cortez Masto Announces Indictment in Paradise Spa HOA Scandal

The Nevada View - ‎Dec 19, 2011‎
Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto announced today that on Dec. 16 a Clark County Grand Jury returned a six count indictment against Massoud Aaron Yashouafar, 50, of Beverly Hills, Calif., for his actions in allegedly defrauding the ...

Man accused of defrauding HOA of more than $1 million

Las Vegas Sun - ‎Dec 19, 2011‎
By Jackie Valley (contact) A Clark County grand jury indicted a 50-year-old Beverly Hills, Calif., man for his actions in allegedly defrauding the Paradise Spa Home Owners Association in Las Vegas of more than $1 million, Nevada Attorney General ...

AG Announces Indictment in Paradise Spa HOA Scheme

KLAS-TV - ‎Dec 19, 2011‎
By Caroline Bleakley, Online Managing Editor - email LAS VEGAS -- A Clark County Grand Jury has returned a six-count indictment against a man for his actions in allegedly defrauding the Paradise Spa Home Owner's Association of more than $1 million. ...

Owner of First National Center indicted on charges of theft by false pretense ...

NewsOK.com - ‎4 hours ago‎
The legal and financial troubles for the owner of downtown Oklahoma City's First National Center now include a six-count indictment of theft by false pretenses and embezzlement in connection with a senior condominium property. ...

FOX5 Vegas - KVVUCalif. man indicted in Las Vegas HOA theft case

KVVU Las Vegas - ‎Dec 19, 2011‎
Entertainment News from AP LAS VEGAS (AP) - Authorities in Nevada say a Beverly Hills, Calif., businessman faces felony embezzlement and theft charges accusing him of siphoning more than $1 million out of a Las Vegas-area homeowners association. ...

Businessman indicted on felony embezzlement charges

Las Vegas Review-Journal - ‎1 hour ago‎
Massoud Aaron Yashouafar, 50, is due Jan. 4 before Clark County District Judge Carolyn Ellsworth on a six-count criminal indictment handed up Friday in Las Vegas, Nevada state Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto said Monday. Yashouafar could face ...

The Oklahoman, Oklahoma City, Steve Lackmeyer column [The Oklahoman, Oklahoma ...

Insurance News Net (press release) - ‎2 hours ago‎
M. Aaron Yashouafar heads up two partnerships that bought the First National Center in 2006 for $21 million with promises of restoring it to Class A status. Instead, the property is in bankruptcy and its largest tenant, Devon Energy , has filed suit ...

Owner of First National Center indicted on charges of theft by false pretense ...

NewsOK.com - ‎4 hours ago‎
M. Aaron Yashouafar heads up two partnerships that bought the First National Center in 2006 for $21 million with promises of restoring it to Class A status. Instead, the property is in bankruptcy and its largest tenant, Devon Energy, has filed suit ...

Nevada AG indicts California man for insurance fraud

Housing Wire - ‎21 hours ago‎
The six-count indictment was filed against Massoud Aaron Yashouafar, who lives in Beverly Hills, Calif. Earlier in December, the Nevada and California attorneys general began a joint investigation designed to assist homeowners who have been harmed by ...

Calif. man indicted in Las Vegas HOA theft case

BusinessWeek - ‎22 hours ago‎
Massoud Aaron Yashouafar, 50, is due Jan. 4 before Clark County District Judge Carolyn Ellsworth on a six-count criminal indictment handed up Friday in Las Vegas, Nevada state Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto said Monday. Yashouafar could face ...

Attorney General Announces Indictment in Paradise SPA Home Owners Association ...

Insurance News Net (press release) - ‎Dec 20, 2011‎
16 a Clark County Grand Jury returned a six count indictment against Massoud Aaron Yashouafar , 50, of Beverly Hills, Calif. , for his actions in allegedly defrauding the Paradise Spa Home Owners Association of over $1 million dollars . ...

Paradise Spa landlord facing felony charges

KTNV Las Vegas - ‎Dec 19, 2011‎
By Jessica Janner Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- The landlord of most units at the Paradise Spa community, Massoud Aaron Yashouafar, faces six class B felonies; 3 counts of Theft of Property by Flase Pretenses and 3 counts of Embezzlement. ...

Man accused of defrauding HOA of more than $1 million [Las Vegas Sun]

Insurance News Net (press release) - ‎Dec 19, 2011‎
Massoud Aaron Yashouafar was indicted Friday on three counts of theft of property by false pretenses and three counts of embezzlement, officials said. He's scheduled to appear Jan. 4 before District Court Judge Carolyn Ellsworth . ...

Calif. man indicted in Las Vegas HOA theft case

SignOnSanDiego.com - ‎Dec 19, 2011‎
Massoud Aaron Yashouafar, 50, is due Jan. 4 before Clark County District Judge Carolyn Ellsworth on a six-count criminal indictment handed up Friday in Las Vegas, Nevada state Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto said Monday. Yashouafar could face ...

FOX5 Vegas - KVVUCalif. man indicted for defrauding Vegas condo owners

KVVU Las Vegas - ‎Dec 19, 2011‎
Entertainment News from AP A six count indictment was Monday returned by a Clark County Grand Jury against Massoud Aaron Yashouafar, who is accused of defrauding condo owners. Yashouafar, 50, of Beverly Hills, California, is accused of defrauding the ...

Calif. man indicted in Las Vegas HOA theft case

Sacramento Bee - ‎Dec 19, 2011‎
Massoud Aaron Yashouafar, 50, is due Jan. 4 before Clark County District Judge Carolyn Ellsworth on a six-count criminal indictment handed up Friday in Las Vegas, Nevada state Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto said Monday. Yashouafar could face ...

Calif. man indicted in Las Vegas HOA theft case

Modesto Bee - ‎Dec 19, 2011‎
Massoud Aaron Yashouafar, 50, is due Jan. 4 before Clark County District Judge Carolyn Ellsworth on a six-count criminal indictment handed up Friday in Las Vegas, Nevada state Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto said Monday. Yashouafar could face ...

Calif. man indicted in Las Vegas HOA theft case

Ventura County Star - ‎Dec 19, 2011‎
Massoud Aaron Yashouafar, 50, is due Jan. 4 before Clark County District Judge Carolyn Ellsworth on a six-count criminal indictment handed up Friday in Las Vegas, Nevada state Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto said Monday. Yashouafar could face ...

Calif. man indicted in Las Vegas HOA theft case

GoErie.com - ‎Dec 19, 2011‎
Massoud Aaron Yashouafar, 50, is due Jan. 4 before Clark County District Judge Carolyn Ellsworth on a six-count criminal indictment handed up Friday in Las Vegas, Nevada state Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto said Monday. Yashouafar could face ...

Cortez Masto Announces Indictment in Paradise Spa HOA Scandal

The Nevada View - ‎Dec 19, 2011‎
16 a Clark County Grand Jury returned a six count indictment against Massoud Aaron Yashouafar, 50, of Beverly Hills, Calif., for his actions in allegedly defrauding the Paradise Spa Home Owners Association of over $1 million dollars. ...

Man accused of defrauding HOA of more than $1 million

Las Vegas Sun - ‎Dec 19, 2011‎
Massoud Aaron Yashouafar was indicted Friday on three counts of theft of property by false pretenses and three counts of embezzlement, officials said. He's scheduled to appear Jan. 4 before District Court Judge Carolyn Ellsworth. ...

Calif. man indicted in Las Vegas HOA theft case

Daily Comet - ‎Dec 19, 2011‎
Massoud Aaron Yashouafar, 50, is due Jan. 4 before Clark County District Judge Carolyn Ellsworth on a six-count criminal indictment handed up Friday in Las Vegas, Nevada state Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto said Monday. Yashouafar could face ...

Calif. man indicted in Las Vegas HOA theft case

Insurance News Net (press release) - ‎Dec 19, 2011‎
Massoud Aaron Yashouafar , 50, is due Jan. 4 before Clark County District Judge Carolyn Ellsworth on a six-count criminal indictment handed up Friday in Las Vegas, Nevada state Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto said Monday. Yashouafar could face ...

Calif. man indicted in Las Vegas HOA theft case

Insurance News Net (press release) - ‎Dec 19, 2011‎
Massoud Aaron Yashouafar , 50, is due Jan. 4 before Clark County District Judge Carolyn Ellsworth on a six-count criminal indictment handed up Friday in Las Vegas, Nevada state Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto said Monday. Yashouafar could face ...

Calif. man indicted in Las Vegas HOA theft case

Times-Standard - ‎Dec 19, 2011‎
Massoud Aaron Yashouafar, 50, is due Jan. 4 before Clark County District Judge Carolyn Ellsworth on a six-count criminal indictment handed up Friday in Las Vegas, Nevada state Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto said Monday. Yashouafar could face ...

Calif. man indicted in Las Vegas HOA theft case

Monterey County Herald - ‎Dec 19, 2011‎
Massoud Aaron Yashouafar, 50, is due Jan. 4 before Clark County District Judge Carolyn Ellsworth on a six-count criminal indictment handed up Friday in Las Vegas, Nevada state Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto said Monday. Yashouafar could face ...

Calif. man indicted in Las Vegas HOA theft case

San Francisco Chronicle - ‎Dec 19, 2011‎
Massoud Aaron Yashouafar, 50, is due Jan. 4 before Clark County District Judge Carolyn Ellsworth on a six-count criminal indictment handed up Friday in Las Vegas, Nevada state Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto said Monday. Yashouafar could face ...

Calif. man indicted in Las Vegas HOA theft case

Las Vegas Sun - ‎Dec 19, 2011‎
Massoud Aaron Yashouafar, 50, is due Jan. 4 before Clark County District Judge Carolyn Ellsworth on a six-count criminal indictment handed up Friday in Las Vegas, Nevada state Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto said Monday. Yashouafar could face ...

Calif. man indicted in Las Vegas HOA theft case

Marin Independent-Journal - ‎Dec 19, 2011‎
Massoud Aaron Yashouafar, 50, is due Jan. 4 before Clark County District Judge Carolyn Ellsworth on a six-count criminal indictment handed up Friday in Las Vegas, Nevada state Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto said Monday. Yashouafar could face ...

Calif. man indicted in Las Vegas HOA theft case

Contra Costa Times - ‎Dec 19, 2011‎
Massoud Aaron Yashouafar, 50, is due Jan. 4 before Clark County District Judge Carolyn Ellsworth on a six-count criminal indictment handed up Friday in Las Vegas, Nevada state Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto said Monday. Yashouafar could face ...

Calif. man indicted in Las Vegas HOA theft case

MSN Money - ‎Dec 19, 2011‎
Massoud Aaron Yashouafar, 50, is due Jan. 4 before Clark County District Judge Carolyn Ellsworth on a six-count criminal indictment handed up Friday in Las Vegas, Nevada state Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto said Monday. Yashouafar could face ...

Calif. man indicted in Las Vegas HOA theft case

San Jose Mercury News - ‎Dec 19, 2011‎
Massoud Aaron Yashouafar, 50, is due Jan. 4 before Clark County District Judge Carolyn Ellsworth on a six-count criminal indictment handed up Friday in Las Vegas, Nevada state Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto said Monday. Yashouafar could face ...

Calif. man indicted in Las Vegas HOA theft case

KTVN - ‎Dec 19, 2011‎
Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto said Monday that 50-year-old Massoud Aaron Yashouafar (mah-SOOD' Aaron yah-SHEW'-ah-far) is due Jan. 4 in Clark County District Court on a six-count criminal indictment handed up Friday in Las Vegas. ...

Calif. man indicted in Las Vegas HOA theft case

Las Vegas Sun - ‎Dec 19, 2011‎
Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto said Monday that 50-year-old Massoud Aaron Yashouafar (mah-SOOD' Aaron yah-SHEW'-ah-far) is due Jan. 4 in Clark County District Court on a six-count criminal indictment handed up Friday in Las Vegas. ...

FOX5 Vegas - KVVUCalif. man indicted in Las Vegas HOA theft case

KVVU Las Vegas - ‎Dec 19, 2011‎
Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto said Monday that 50-year-old Massoud Aaron Yashouafar (mah-SOOD' Aaron yah-SHEW'-ah-far) is due Jan. 4 in Clark County District Court on a six-count criminal indictment handed up Friday in Las Vegas. ...


Calif. man indicted in Las Vegas HOA theft case

MyNews3 - ‎Dec 19, 2011‎
Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto said Monday that 50-year-old Massoud Aaron Yashouafar is due Jan. 4 in Clark County District Court on a six-count criminal indictment handed up Friday in Las Vegas. He could face decades in prison if convicted. ...

Calif. man indicted in Las Vegas HOA theft case

KLAS-TV - ‎Dec 19, 2011‎
Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto said Monday that 50-year-old Massoud Aaron Yashouafar (mah-SOOD' Aaron yah-SHEW'-ah-far) is due Jan. 4 in Clark County District Court on a six-count criminal indictment handed up Friday in Las Vegas. ...

Nevada AG obtains indictment of Beverly Hills businessman in Las Vegas HOA ...

The Republic - ‎Dec 19, 2011‎
Massoud Aaron Yashouafar, 50, is due Jan. 4 before Clark County District Judge Carolyn Ellsworth on a six-count criminal indictment handed up Friday in Las Vegas, Nevada state Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto said Monday. Yashouafar could face ...

AG Announces Indictment in Paradise Spa HOA Scheme

KLAS-TV - ‎Dec 19, 2011‎
Fifty-year-old Massoud Aaron Yashouafar of Beverly Hills, California served as the treasurer of the Paradise Spa Board of Directors. According the Attorney General, Ysahouafar received two checks totaling more than $800000 from an insurance company to ...

 

We Congratulate the State of Nevada and  Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto for staying with us throughout this investigation. This blog has been a two year effort to document the wrongs of this man and .. many more to come.. Just read this blog.

Robert Paisola, CEO, Western Capital


--

Nevada condominium residents fear their money is being diverted to First National Center in Oklahoma City

Victims of insurance embezzlement by First National Center owner Aaron Yashouafar say they have yet to be compensated for their losses and are questioning the source of payments being made to Capmark Bank to prevent the Oklahoma City landmark being turned over to a receiver.

By Steve Lackmeyer Published: September 12, 2012    Comment on this article 3
Victims of insurance embezzlement by First National Center owner Aaron Yashouafar say they have yet to be compensated for their losses and are questioning the source of payments being made to Capmark Bank to prevent the Oklahoma City landmark from being turned over to a receiver.



Also ...
Promises and problems
Oklahoma City's First National Center, the pride of the downtown skyline when it opened in 1931, faced having its utilities shut off when its New York-based ownership sold the property in 2006 to investment groups led by Aaron Yashouafar.
The $21 million sale surprised several downtown real estate players who questioned how the price could have shot up from its sale for $5 million in 1999.
Investment groups led by Aaron Yashouafar, chief executive officer of Los Angeles-based Milbank Real Estate, pledged to spend millions to restore the building as Class A office property. Aaron Yashouafar, his brother, Solyman Yashouafar, and nephew, Raymond Yashouafar, courted local leaders and boasted of their track record as successful, award-winning building owners.
“We stand by our word,” Raymond Yashouafar said in a presentation to an exclusive 2006 gathering of civic leaders at the Oklahoma City Golf and Country Club. “We have a good reputation where we've already done work. The previous ownership made a lot of promises and didn't follow through. We don't do that.”
Six years later, the Yashouafars' track record includes being named among New York City's top slumlords by The Village Voice, bankruptcies and foreclosures in California and Oklahoma, and a resident revolt at their Sky Las Vegas condominiums. First National Center, meanwhile, is set to lose about half of its income stream when a lease with Devon Energy expires next year.

Aaron Yashouafar pleaded guilty in July to a felony count of embezzlement of an insurance settlement for fire damages at the Paradise Spa condominiums in Las Vegas.

He first sought to pay $1 million in restitution to Paradise Spa residents over a one-year period. But Clark County, Nevada, Judge Carolyn Ellsworth ruled that the full restitution be paid before the Nov. 14 sentencing. The plea also requires Yashouafar to serve a minimum 30 days incarceration.

In an interview Tuesday, Yashouafar disputed the extent of harm experienced by Paradise Spa residents, saying he owned most of the fire-damaged units and only a couple of residents were displaced. He called an effort by the Paradise Spa homeowners board to publicize their complaints “propaganda” and said they are guilty of sloppy accounting.

“Unfortunately, they have ulterior motives, and you are being played,” Yashouafar said when questioned about the case.

Yashouafar entered the guilty plea after an investigation by Nevada Attorney General Cortez Masto, who claimed Yashouafar defrauded the condominium residents of more than $1 million when he was treasurer of the homeowners association board of directors. Masto accused Yashouafar of collecting two insurance checks, one for more than $400,000, the other for more than $430,000, and depositing them in an out-of-state bank account instead of using the funds for repairs.

“Older victims, many of whom were living on fixed incomes in Paradise Spa, were forced to find and pay for alternative living quarters when they were still obligated to make mortgage payments on their burned condo units, while waiting for repairs that would never be made,” Masto said.

Bill O'Donnell, president of the Paradise Spa homeowners association, told The Oklahoman some of the fire-damaged condominiums now are cement slab foundations while other fire-damaged homes remain boarded up.

“He has ripped this place apart,” O'Donnell said. “It's like watching a rape or robbery in slow motion and not being able to do anything about it. My only hope is that there is a court date in November. This guy has done nothing. We're here suffering until he makes his payments.”

O'Donnell said his board opposes a request by Yashouafar's attorneys to subordinate their liens against the California businessman for the stated intent of refinancing his mortgage on the property. O'Donnell fears that money could go toward paying off a $12 million mortgage with Capmark Bank for First National Center. Yashouafar's investment groups emerged from a foreclosure action and bankruptcy on the Oklahoma City property this year but have been unable to pay off the mortgage.

A Capmark attorney confirmed Yashouafar has paid the bank for extensions on a deadline to pay off the mortgage or see control of the property go to a receiver, who would be tasked with arranging its sale to another buyer.

O'Donnell questioned whether payments to Capmark, which total more than $1 million, have come at the expense of Paradise Spa's mostly elderly residents who are still without their homes. He said one resident, Iris Hokanson, 84, was moved into another condominium owned by Yashouafar and then charged rent while he diverted insurance proceeds intended for repairs of her condominium.

“If he is continuing to make payments to Capmark, I am furious,” O'Donnell said. “These residents have received nothing while the bankers in Oklahoma City are getting Iris Hokanson's money.”

Yashouafar said he is not going to use the money in connection with First National Center and instead will use the proceeds to pay off his mortgage on Paradise Spa.

O'Donnell said his board also is owed $1.8 million in delinquent association dues — an amount disputed by Yashouafar.

Yashouafar said his attorneys are awaiting an accounting of what is owed the homeowners association from the embezzled insurance proceeds before paying the $1 million restitution. “Because of their failure to provide financial information, our lawyers have made a motion on this that is set to be heard Wednesday,” he said.

Not giving up

Yashouafar said amid the legal entanglements, he believes a brighter future is ahead for First National Center, which he bought in 2006 for $21 million. Renovations were halted in 2009. He said he is considering partial conversions of the site to housing, a hotel and parking.

With house arrest or incarceration in Nevada to be decided in 60 days, he was philosophical when asked whether he could have handled his dealings differently.

“Always in hindsight ... you find affairs could have been dealt with easier and better. That's how humans progress. The second time you do things better. If time were to go back, there are some things I would have done differently,” he said.


--

Oklahoma City's First National Center saga either continues, or starts new chapter


Oklahoma City landmark First National Center's mortgage extension is set to expire at 5 p.m. today. Business writer Steve Lackmeyer considers the possibilities and implications of foreclosure or more extensions.



By Steve Lackmeyer Published: August 28, 2012    Comment on this article 8





If there is one topic being discussed this week collectively among the downtown real estate community, it's the fate of the city's landmark First National Center.




For the past three months the ownership, led by Milbank Real Estate Chief Executive Officer Aaron Yashouafar, has bought off extensions from lender Capmark Group in a bid to get more time to find $12 million to pay off what was a $21 million mortgage.

Capmark itself is under court order to liquidate, and gave Yashouafar what was seen as a great deal by offering to cut the debt almost in half if it could get back the full $12 million.

The latest extension is set to expire at 5 p.m. today, with the attorney Rob Robertson promising there will be no more extensions if the $12 million isn't paid in full.

But in this ongoing game, down payments from Yashouafar have bought extensions each of the last three months. Who is to say another payment won't buy more time, despite Robertson's public pronouncements?

One can look back to the start of this situation starting way back when Yashouafar agreed to pay $21 million for the property — far more than what locals felt it was worth. But Yashouafar came in with grand promises that he would restore the property to Class A status. He challenged locals to watch his deeds.

Those deeds were watched. Locals saw Yashouafar spend some money on life-safety systems critical to keeping the property from being shut down by city code inspectors. He engaged in a controversial renovation of the ground floor retail arcade that tore up the original marble floor in the historic west tower (the remainder of the renovation remains unfinished).

Rent disputes were blamed for the loss of longtime retailers and other tenants. Yashouafar even faced liens filed against him by his former public relations firm, Saxum, over unpaid bills. All in all, it's safe to say Yashouafar is not the most popular property owner in the central business district.

Even after the building went into foreclosure and then bankruptcy, Yashouafar denied he paid too much for First National. But if it were really still worth $21 million, why is it so difficult to find $12 million in financing to pay off the greatly discounted loan?

More questions arise as this drama continues. Yashouafar this summer pleaded guilty to felony embezzlement charges related to a senior-housing complex in Nevada. He faces up to 10 years in prison and must pay $1 million in restitution.
Capmark Group did not face any public scrutiny when it lent $21 million for a property that locals valued at no more than $8 million. A lender that might give money to an admitted felon for a property, still deemed by some as being overvalued at $12 million, might face questioning by locals and investors alike.
At least four significant investment groups are awaiting the close of business today and hope that Capmark's extensions are over and that the property goes into receivership Wednesday morning. Should Yashouafar prevail, the questions shift to the future of First National Center: how will he afford to invest the money necessary to turn it around after two decades of turmoil? How will the bills get paid when the tenant paying half of the property's rental revenue, Devon Energy Corp., ends its lease next year? What will be the building's fate if Yashouafar goes to prison? Locals are paying attention and they don't like what they're seeing.


--


Unedited transcript of OKC Central Chat with Steve Lackmeyer, Sept. 14, 2012


The Oklahoman's Steve Lackmeyer took questions from readers during his weekly OKC Central Chat. Participate in the chat every Friday at 10 a.m. on NewsOK.com/Business.



By Steve Lackmeyer Published: September 14, 2012    Comment on this article 0


The Oklahoman's Steve Lackmeyer took questions from readers during his weekly OKC Central Chat. Participate in the chat every Friday at 10 a.m. on NewsOK.com/Business. Below is an unedited transcript of the chat.



NewsOK9:30 a.m.Hello everyone. Steve will be logging in at 10 a.m. You can start submitting your questions now.

Guest9:59 a.m.Hi Steve,

Steve Lackmeyer9:59 a.m.Good morning!

Steve Lackmeyer10:00 a.m.This has been quite a week. Aaron Yashouafar still owns First National Center, though the storm gathering overhead is more menacing than ever. Dr. Irene Lam is losing the Gold Dome. And it seems as if there are development deals popping up everywhere downtown.

Steve Lackmeyer10:00 a.m.So let's get to the questions, shall we?

BJR10:01 a.m.Steve: What is the word on future restaurants, a coffee shop, or perhaps even a book store opening in Midtown?

Steve Lackmeyer10:01 a.m.MidTown already has a pretty impressive collection of restaurants, including Irma’s, Kaiser’s, CafĂ© do Brazil, Prairie Thunder Bakery, Go Go Sushi, McNellie’s Public House, Brown’s Bakery, 1492 New World Cuisine, Stella’s, Louie’s, and my favorite, Foodies Asian Diner (great underdog story at 1220 N Hudson). Saturn Grill is being added to the building that is also home to Go Go Sushi. A breakfast place may be coming to 1212, and I hear a restaurant deal is in the works for the Packard Building at Robinson and NW 10. Keep in mind we already have a great coffee shop with Elemental Coffee at NW 8 and Hudson, along with the beloved Ludivine Restaurant. Shops include a bridal shop and optical shop. As for a bookstore… gosh, I love bookstores. But the number of book stores is sadly dropping, not expanding. I was heartbroken by the loss of Taylor’s Newsstand a couple years ago.

Brian10:01 a.m.Hi Steve. Let me first say I am excited about the beginings of developments around the 23rd & 24th Streets and Walker. First, have you heard anything about their concrete plans? Also, do you know if they plan to restore all of the buildings they've purchased as opposed to razing them? I think there are some really great potential with what's existing with a little or a lot of TLC. Thanks!

Steve Lackmeyer10:05 a.m.There may be some activity taking place along NW 23 and Walker Avenue in the near future, but I’m told reports of sale transactions are premature. I promise I’ll provide a full report when a deal is done. I suspect if a development does take place, it will involve a mix of old building renovations and demolition to make way for new construction.

guy10:06 a.m.Are there any plans for the buildings on the NW and NE corner of 10th and Broadway? (i'd love to see the top floors of the NW building become loft apartments.) Or the old Marion hotel?

Steve Lackmeyer10:06 a.m.The future is looking pretty good for the 1100 and 1101 N Broadway buildings, and the Hotel Marion. The city recently approved an agreement with the MidTown Renaissance development group that will allow for construction of a garage along NW 10, immediately east of Frontline Church, that will accommodate housing and offices in all three buildings. Expect work to begin this next year. Read more about this project here: http://newsok.com/garage-is-proposed-for-oklahoma-citys-midtown-and-automobile-alley/article/3693334

10:08 a.m.

Kevin10:08 a.m.Gold Dome, seemingly without a clear plan under a new owner v. Gold Dome, seemingly without a clear plan under a prior owner. A step in a good direction all the same?

Steve Lackmeyer10:10 a.m.David Box has a pretty good track record and has the resources to move forward with the Gold Dome. Keep in mind the man was very involved in redevelopment of Campus Corner and also is a partner in some of the redevelopment along NW 23 and along Western Avenue. But as reported in today's story at www.newsok.com, David admits he isn't quite sure what to do with the Gold Dome.
Kevin10:11 a.m.Morning. Link sure is easier to find once it is up
Steve Lackmeyer10:11 a.m.Good!
Nick10:11 a.m.Good morning, Steve!
Steve Lackmeyer10:11 a.m.Good morning Nick!
Joel10:11 a.m.I know there were talks in the past about redeveloping parcels of land on E. Reno Ave, any updates on the status of this project?
Steve Lackmeyer10:12 a.m.If you're talking about Reno east of Bricktown, redevelopment of this area is a goal for the city. But I am not aware of any solid plans at this time.
guy10:13 a.m.Do you think that the core to shore development might eventually lead to development on the south side of the river? For instance, river front residential properties (rent or sale?)
Steve Lackmeyer10:15 a.m.I think it's possible, especially along Robinson Avenue. But I don't anticipate it will be quick or easy due to the industrial uses on the south shore and diverse ownership.
guy10:16 a.m.What going to become of that big aluminum building mill/factory complex just on the other side of where the old I-40 crosstown used to be (i think it's a cotton mill?)? Is it part of the property acquisition for core-to-shore? Is it going to stay there (it seems to be blocking a clear development path from bricktown to the river)?
Steve Lackmeyer10:20 a.m.The Southwestern Producers Oil Coop is one of the oldest continuous operations in the city, dating back to the late 1800s when Bricktown was first developed as a manufacturing and trade exchange area for cotton farmers. The cotton farmers want to relocate their operation to the old Dayton Tire Plant in west Oklahoma City. They offered the property up for sale two years ago with their broker, Gary Gregory, listing it for $121 million. Gregory thought the site would be a prime spot for a new convention center. He also told me at the time he was convinced he could get other buyers for the asking price. He was wrong on both counts, and he was dropped as the broker last year. I have not seen any indication of any new deals for the cotton oil mill, though one board member has indicated to me the farmers now realize the $121 million asking price was too high.
Rob Abiera10:20 a.m.Last year, California abolished its "redevelopment" agencies. Any thoughts?
Steve Lackmeyer10:23 a.m.Oklahoma City remains very aggressive in public/private efforts. Californians are moving to Oklahoma in increasing numbers. I'll let you decide for yourself whether California is making the right decision. Read more here: http://people.cohums.ohio-state.edu/childs1/ReverseMigrationarticlesOK.htm
Tiffany10:23 a.m.Here's a question from a reader on Facebook: Do you see anything resembling OKC's perceived success in the downtown area being mimicked to any degree in smaller OK communities?
Steve Lackmeyer10:27 a.m.Heck yeah. A few years ago I was fortunate to travel the entire state. In Miami I visited a combined coffee shop/bookstore that Oklahoma Citians would love to have in MidTown or Automobile Alley. In Poteau I met a retired trooper and his wife who bought an old building, opened an upscale steakhouse downstairs and turned the upstairs into their home (which was featured on HGTV). Stillwater did a great job bringing its downtown back to life. I love downtown Enid, which has its own scaled down Bricktown Ballpark and a great park (Leonardo's). Durant is inspiring - one of the state's under-rated economic powerhouses. And the list goes on and on....
Steve Lackmeyer10:30 a.m.One more note: state historic tax credits were critical in helping many of these Main Streets come back to life. Without such tax credits, large historic hotels and office buildings in Shawnee, McAlester and Poteau would remain boarded up and dilapidated. State lawmaker David Dank indicated he still wants to see these tax credits either eliminated or scaled back.
Steve Lackmeyer10:30 a.m.State historic tax credits also were key to development of the Skirvin and Sieber hotels in Oklahoma City.
Joel10:30 a.m.I know there are some concerns from urban minded OKC citizens that the hotels planned for Deep Deuce/Bricktown by Dr. Patel will be suburban in design, your thoughts?
Steve Lackmeyer10:33 a.m.Patel will have to win approval from the Bricktown Urban Design Committee for the hotels he wants to build along Sheridan Avenue, and from the Downtown Design Review Committee for the hotel he wants to build in Deep Deuce. The Bricktown Urban Design Committee has a track record of taking pretty tough stances on hotel construction (as evidenced by the Hampton Inn and final design of the Hilton Garden Inn). Downtown Design Review, however, has a growing share of critics who question whether they are effectively upholding the intent of the ordinance they are tasked with implementing. I'll be covering these projects and reporting back to readers as they progress.
BJR10:33 a.m.Steve: Is there any progess on the Tower theater?
Steve Lackmeyer10:34 a.m.We keep hearing "in a few months..." That's all I've got for you.
T10:34 a.m.Any news on additional housing in the deep deuce area?
Steve Lackmeyer10:38 a.m.The Hill was often the development that was overlooked in the excitement over for-sale housing. It just didn't grab headlines or spark interest like the Brownstones or Block 42. The developer, Bill Canfield, doesn't like doing interviews. But after a long stall at the start of the project, The Hill is emerging as the most successful for-sale housing downtown, and I see dozens more units getting built over the next few years. The apartment market, meanwhile, is just getting started. The success of Level fully leasing as soon as it opened means the demand is strong. Add the opening of downtown's first grocery, Native Roots, construction of a new downtown elementary, and a streetcar system, and it's easy to suggest we're about to see a big bounce in downtown housing not just in Deep Deuce, but all over. I can see Deep Deuce being fully developed within the next decade.
Elise10:38 a.m.I am excited about Core to Shore and the development south of downtown but there are a bunch a great buildings in west downtown. I worry that this area will be neglected due to the push south. The corner of Main Street and Classen, for example, has an incredible historic view in any direction. Do you see a brighter future there than I do?
Steve Lackmeyer10:39 a.m.Yes. But if the boulevard is rebuilt as an elevated road through that area, I've not heard anyone explain how this area will bounce back from the blight that began with construction of the original elevated Interstate 40 in the mid-60s. I also see a lot of potential in the Farmer's Market area.
Steve Lackmeyer10:40 a.m.I also think development will go where it wants, regardless of any city effort. The city may push south, but if the market wants to go west, there's not much the city can do to stop that.
James10:40 a.m.I have heard that the Co-op has land somwhere and that the site will eventually redeveloped. If this is true, where is this land, when might it move, how soon could we see the area develop.
Steve Lackmeyer10:41 a.m.The property is out by the old Dayton Tire Plant. See my earlier answer on why this is not a simple challenge to overcome. It will still cost tens of millions for this operation to relocate.
Erick10:41 a.m.Could we see some more basketball courts like the one at Reno and Hudson put in other parts of downtown or the rest of the city in the future (lone of the vacant lots in Midtown would be great!)?
Steve Lackmeyer10:42 a.m.Yes. So far downtown's civic leaders are very impressed with the response to the current basketball court. I've been told they are looking at how to move forward with this idea.
Nick10:42 a.m.With all the recent announcements of hotels in Bricktown, why don't they move the convention center to the Bricktown site? With the streetcar possibly running through here one day, are people really upset about the "distance"?
Steve Lackmeyer10:44 a.m.I don't have any answers on this one Nick. I suspect the only site that would truly make everyone happy is the current site, which, ironically, no one wants ... I could try to spend the next 20 minutes explaining this to you, but then I would need some intense therapy afterwards.
guy10:45 a.m.Is that Latin restaurant still going to open in the Gold Dome? Or has the recent change of hand kill the new restaurant altogether?
Steve Lackmeyer10:46 a.m.Let's sort through the facts on this first: while Dr. Irene Lam promoted this as a restaurant, the operator himself says it's a bar, not a restaurant. The new owner will be looking what deals were made, how many were well thought out, and whether any were done out of desperation and not in the best long term interests of the property. My answer: maybe, maybe not.
Chris10:46 a.m.What is the status of the jail and how probable is it to move outside of downtown?
Steve Lackmeyer10:50 a.m.The jail was built 20 years ago. It opened with many, many problems. Authorities determined that corruption involving those who designed and built the jail, and those overseeing its construction at the county, was rampant. The county has had a history of corruption and dysfunction. There has been no major reforms of county government since then - just new faces added in among many veteran players. Will voters trust county government and approve hundreds of millions of dollars for a new jail? I don't know. So I can't really answer your question either...
Nick10:50 a.m.Why can we not finish one street wiht Project 180 before we rip up another? Hudson has been torn up for ever. Let's lay some pavers already.
Steve Lackmeyer10:51 a.m.I counted weeks and months where contractors did nothing on some Project 180 streets. I've scrutinized such delays repeatedly. These projects are overseen by the Oklahoma City Public Works Department, which answers to Assistant City Manager Dennis Clowers, who answers to City Manager Jim Couch, who answers to the Oklahoma City Council.
Steve Lackmeyer10:52 a.m.At least two businesses closed saying they were killed by these delays.
Jason10:52 a.m.I have always wondered why there are no commercial/popular restaurants like Red Lobster, P.F. Chang's, Chili's...etc...in Bricktown or downtown, I would think they would do pretty well in that area, your thoughts?
Steve Lackmeyer10:54 a.m.Some downtown advocates celebrate the concentration of local operators and lack of chains. Will people really want to visit the Bricktown Canal just to eat at a Red Lobster? Probably not. That said, the national chains are circling downtown. I've tracked interest by Panera Bread, Denny's, Qdoba and Dunkin Donuts. A Panera Bread downtown is getting close to becoming a reality.
Gary10:54 a.m.I know there was a lot of issues with Bass Pro getting the deal they did to build such a non-urban building in an area that is becoming more and more urban as the years roll on. I have been in there on weeknights and it has been absolutely dead. Do you see Bass Pro getting out of the deal and that area being redeveloped? Hopefully upward and onward?
Steve Lackmeyer10:55 a.m.Sales tax reports show Bass Pro is still pulling in business - though it has never performed to the levels predicted by the consultants Bass Pro had the city hire in determining the incentive deal for the retailer (yes, you read that wording correctly). Ii don't see a change anytime soon with Bass Pro Shops.
James10:56 a.m.The Margarita Mama's building has been vacant for what seems like 10 years. I would consider this the second most embarassing thing in Bricktown behind the Rock Island Plow building. Why has this remained vacant, and is there anything happening with it?
Steve Lackmeyer10:58 a.m.The Margarita Mama's building has been cursed with ownership that either wasn't committed to making it a contribution to Bricktown or selling it someone else who could do just that. I don't know if the current owner wants to do something until questions are resolved about the adjoining "curve" lot along the canal.
BethanySooner10:58 a.m.Steve, has there been an announcement as to when construction for the new police headquarters and okc municipal court buildings will begin? Will streetscaping for those surrounding areas be included? And do you think this will continue to promote growth down Sheridan and Main streets?
Steve Lackmeyer10:59 a.m.If I recall correctly, design work is underway and the city wishes to start construction this next year. I think these two buildings could be a great boost to redevelopment of west downtown - especially W Main.
From Florida10:59 a.m.When will downtown Oklahoma City see its first high-rise condo project? They are common here in Florida...
Steve Lackmeyer11:01 a.m.Developers toy with the idea from time to time. Rick Dowell wants to build a mid-rise along NW 5. As downtown developers, the odds of such a project go up . But I'm not tracking any such project in the immediate future.
Nick11:01 a.m.At what point do we see Midtown R start to actually do some totally new construction? Do you think that's even in the cards?
Steve Lackmeyer11:02 a.m.Give Bob Howard, Mickey Clagg and Chris Fleming credit for focusing first on the "hard part" - redeveloping long blighted properties. The 1212 building, in my mind, is as good as any new construction - and it took a longtime eyesore and turned it into housing. New construction will come with The Edge and other infill projects by other developers, and eventually, "Midtown R"
Brian11:02 a.m.Another area I find very interesting is South Robinson just south of the river. I noticed the Hub Cap Alley signs. That could be the begininng of a ver cool district. I know one of the buildings is purposed to be developed as a green top (green space on the roof). Do you know of any progress being made in the area?
Steve Lackmeyer11:06 a.m.I love the potential represented by S Robinson and Capitol Hill. The city's MAPS 3 park will incorporate the west side of "Hub Cap Alley" and there are plenty of great old buildings that could be redeveloped on the east side. Redevelopment of the area won't be easy, but if Hub Cap Alley comes back, then it's an easy transition into creating something great with Capitol Hill. Efforts are underway to make all of this move forward.
Brian11:06 a.m.MAPS4 seems inevitable because we've pretty much had a continuous MAPS sales tax since the first. So any thoughts about what projects will or should be included?
Steve Lackmeyer11:10 a.m.I love Oklahoma City. I love downtown. I can talk about the great legacy of MAPS. But it's not a perfect creation. MAPS 3 has some challenges we've not seen before - specifically a lack of funding plans for project operations and upkeep. Civic leaders are uncertain whether they will be able to build the wellness centers as promised. The sidewalks are being targeted for significant cuts from what was promised. No funding exists for funding of the streetcars or new park. I don't see a MAPS 4 as a slam dunk. But if one does emerge, I've said before the public transit advocates are likely in the lead to dramatically improve what most people agree is a very broken public transportation system.
James11:10 a.m.I still believe retail can work in Bricktown, especially along the north end of the Canal. With the Red Dirt Emporium and Bricktown Marketplace consolidating into one location do you see the former Emporium a good spot for new retail. What about the sight that would have been Sammy's Pizza? Or the street level of the Kingmon Building (isn't that owned bt Mark Moore?) Canal level of JDM, Hardware Building (ACM), etc... Any chance of this becoming Bricktown's retail corridor?
Steve Lackmeyer11:15 a.m.The Emporium and marketplace are consolidating due to some issues outside of the stores' performance. Bricktown is a conundrum. Critics say the property owners are Bricktown's worst enemies .... the friction between tenants and property owners is often high, the temptation to turn the district into a Friday/Saturday night only club cluster is seen by some as being far too real...
Guest11:15 a.m.Did you attend the Downtown Park Public meeting last night? What were your thoughts? I was disappointed to find out that the completion of the entire park wouldn't be until 2021. I also had the feeling that they really had no clue what would go into this park. Overall I left discouraged in the lack of progress.
Steve Lackmeyer11:18 a.m.I wanted to. A late afternoon meeting and the Gold Dome story prevented me from attending. I understand that the park programming is a question ..... and it has been since it was first proposed with amenities that were already being added to the revamped Myriad Gardens.
jon11:18 a.m.im thinking about moving to oklahoma, why are the insentives to moving my business to oklahoma?
Steve Lackmeyer11:18 a.m.Jon, call the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber and the Alliance for Economic Development of Oklahoma City and I think you'll find they'll be eager to answer all your questions.
Rob Abiera11:18 a.m.I think some people might say that it was the actions of California's redevelopment agencies - before they were abolished - that motivated at least some of the people who have made the decision to leave California.
Steve Lackmeyer11:20 a.m.I don't think there's a simple answer to your question - some say California is being crushed by far too generous public employee union contracts that have pension obligations bankrupting cities. Others blame the crash in the housing market. Others blame taxation....
Guest11:20 a.m.It's been how many years since MAPS 3 was passed and I don't feel like we have seen any really progress in any of the projects. The Downtown Park is still littered with old buildings, no ground has moved on the convention center, the monorail system doesnt have a definite grand station, the stadium seating and lights along the river race course aren't under construction... What is holding all of these projects up? I know location selection takes a little time, so when will the ground be broken and which project will be first?
Steve Lackmeyer11:21 a.m.Welcome to MAPS 1. The same complaints were being voiced in 1997, four years after the first MAPS passed (I was there). Patience...
Kent11:21 a.m.I read a while back that OCURA was needing more money to be able to buy surrounding properties of the future downtown park. Why doesnt OCURA put out more RFP or simply sell more of their current properties?
Steve Lackmeyer11:21 a.m.Good question.
Nick11:21 a.m.What's the next development deal we can expect to hear about?
Steve Lackmeyer11:22 a.m.More housing. More historic building rehabs.
Chris11:22 a.m.What is latest on the jail? Do you think it will move outside of downtown?
Steve Lackmeyer11:22 a.m.See my answer earlier in this chat.
guy11:22 a.m.Will all for-sale housing being constructed around Deep Deuce and Bricktown be as expensive as the Hill and other town-house style developments? (Really a general question, is there any room or interest for more affordable housing in these areas?)
Steve Lackmeyer11:23 a.m.The demand is there. But developers to date can't figure out how to make those numbers work with the price of dirt downtown.
David11:23 a.m.I heard the rationale for a new convention center comes from a study the chamber did but won't release publicly, and that the total full cost would be much more a need a subsidized hotel. Any chance we don't really need a new convention center to handle things?
Steve Lackmeyer11:25 a.m.The Boston Globe had a report last year that showed the consultant hired by the chamber to determine Oklahoma City needed a convention center had never encountered a city (at least that's what I recall in the report) that didn't need a convention center. Consultants have already advised the city it will need to chip in about $50 million for a conference hotel. You are asking me to take sides on a very controversial question - I can't do that. one can debate the need for any of the projects slated as part of MAPS 3. In the end, voters decided that yes, these were projects they wanted.
guy11:26 a.m.Also, my wife and i adore the row of ultra-mod houses around Western and 7th/8th street. But i'm not thrilled about the surrounding area. Is there any bright future for development around that area of midtown? (is that even part of midtown?)
Steve Lackmeyer11:26 a.m.The folks moving into the homes on NW 7 at Shartel are definitely urban pioneers. The area is developing. I suspect in 10 years these property owners will be quite happy with their investments.
James11:27 a.m.The County Jail seems to effectively block any positive develompent in the area. Is there still a plan for the Jail to be relocated, and if it is (and if the boulevard is brought down to grade), how do you see the westward development of Downtown? And has there been any indication that this area could be the next big thing?
Steve Lackmeyer11:28 a.m.I understand what you're saying James. I'm just skeptical as to whether voters are going to support giving the county money for a new jail. Westward development is taking place along Main Street and Sheridan Avenue with or without a jail.
Elise11:28 a.m.Is there any news about redevelopment of the old city jail building on Shartel? That building is awesome.
Steve Lackmeyer11:28 a.m.Private developers are showing an interest in the property. I'll be among those eagerly watching this...
Chris11:28 a.m.You mentioned in your opening there were development deals popping up downtown. Anymore info you can give us on what to expect from those?
Steve Lackmeyer11:28 a.m.Just what I've reported.
Rick Reiley11:28 a.m.No question. Just a comment. Glad to see Steve is still at his post. A good man, doing good work. Thanks.
Steve Lackmeyer11:29 a.m.Thanks
Guest11:29 a.m.Where will the downtown elementary be located and when will it open?
Steve Lackmeyer11:29 a.m.The school will be immediately south of the Sheridan Walker Garage and if I recall right, it opens in 2014
Richard11:29 a.m.Why was Bass Bro not encouraged to build the building along the canal, maybe even incorporate the canal into the building? Seems like that would have been more ideal rather than a big parking lot separating the two?
Steve Lackmeyer11:29 a.m.Because the city council wanted to make Bass Pro happy and not scare them off.
Keith11:30 a.m.Sidewalks/Public Transport will always be broken or put on the backburner so long as the car is king and there are no real signs of that changing. Thoughts on if it is actually changing or, if not, how to change it?
Steve Lackmeyer11:30 a.m.I think the younger generation is demanding it change.
Guest11:30 a.m.Will they ever do something about the awful looking water tower I see sometimes in the skyline of OKC ?
Steve Lackmeyer11:30 a.m.Not sure what water tower you're referring to.
Steve Lackmeyer11:31 a.m.Folks, we're going 30 minutes over now. Thanks for joining me in this chat. Look for details about an upcoming Google video hang-out for OKC Central Live Chat...


More on Aaron Yashouafar and Paradise Spa

With so much going on with Aaron Yashouafar, owner of First National Center, pleading guilty to embezzlement and facing loss of the downtown landmark, it’s difficult to get every detail into print. I’ll let the following Nevada television news reports tell “the rest of the story” on Yashouafar’s embezzlement of money from senior citizens.
It all began, it appears, with a raid by the FBI on an old fashioned condominium complex in Las Vegas known as Paradise Spa. That occurred in early 2011. When it comes to reporting on the Las Vegas legal actions, KLAS-8 seems to have the best coverage.
The excellent reporting by KLAS-8 continued with this report on how the mostly elderly residents at Paradise Spa then faced eviction:
Next, Yashouafar is yanked from his role as head of the Paradise Spa condo association, ban from other condo boards for three years:
| 8 News NOW
The reporting continues with KLAS-8 beginning to link the Paradise Spa situation with another Yashouafar controversy at the Sky condos in Las Vegas – and with the troubles at First National Center:
| 8 News NOW
Charges were filed in December, and now, a guilty plea. So what’s next? Yashouafar has until Aug. 17 to come up with $12 million to pay off his lender, Capmark, or lose First National. One question: are there any Oklahoma City players coming to Yashouafar’s aid? And if there are, and if they succeed, what will be the community response to such efforts that result in a man who has plead guilty to embezzlement, a man who has filed multiple bankruptcies, faced tenant revolts, keeping control of First National?

Nevada condominium residents fear their money is being diverted to First National Center in Oklahoma City

Victims of insurance embezzlement by First National Center owner Aaron Yashouafar say they have yet to be compensated for their losses and are questioning the source of payments being made to Capmark Bank to prevent the Oklahoma City landmark being turned over to a receiver.

By Steve Lackmeyer Published: September 12, 2012    Comment on this article 3
Victims of insurance embezzlement by First National Center owner Aaron Yashouafar say they have yet to be compensated for their losses and are questioning the source of payments being made to Capmark Bank to prevent the Oklahoma City landmark from being turned over to a receiver.



Also ...
Promises and problems
Oklahoma City's First National Center, the pride of the downtown skyline when it opened in 1931, faced having its utilities shut off when its New York-based ownership sold the property in 2006 to investment groups led by Aaron Yashouafar.
The $21 million sale surprised several downtown real estate players who questioned how the price could have shot up from its sale for $5 million in 1999.
Investment groups led by Aaron Yashouafar, chief executive officer of Los Angeles-based Milbank Real Estate, pledged to spend millions to restore the building as Class A office property. Aaron Yashouafar, his brother, Solyman Yashouafar, and nephew, Raymond Yashouafar, courted local leaders and boasted of their track record as successful, award-winning building owners.
“We stand by our word,” Raymond Yashouafar said in a presentation to an exclusive 2006 gathering of civic leaders at the Oklahoma City Golf and Country Club. “We have a good reputation where we've already done work. The previous ownership made a lot of promises and didn't follow through. We don't do that.”
Six years later, the Yashouafars' track record includes being named among New York City's top slumlords by The Village Voice, bankruptcies and foreclosures in California and Oklahoma, and a resident revolt at their Sky Las Vegas condominiums. First National Center, meanwhile, is set to lose about half of its income stream when a lease with Devon Energy expires next year.

Aaron Yashouafar pleaded guilty in July to a felony count of embezzlement of an insurance settlement for fire damages at the Paradise Spa condominiums in Las Vegas.

He first sought to pay $1 million in restitution to Paradise Spa residents over a one-year period. But Clark County, Nevada, Judge Carolyn Ellsworth ruled that the full restitution be paid before the Nov. 14 sentencing. The plea also requires Yashouafar to serve a minimum 30 days incarceration.

In an interview Tuesday, Yashouafar disputed the extent of harm experienced by Paradise Spa residents, saying he owned most of the fire-damaged units and only a couple of residents were displaced. He called an effort by the Paradise Spa homeowners board to publicize their complaints “propaganda” and said they are guilty of sloppy accounting.

“Unfortunately, they have ulterior motives, and you are being played,” Yashouafar said when questioned about the case.

Yashouafar entered the guilty plea after an investigation by Nevada Attorney General Cortez Masto, who claimed Yashouafar defrauded the condominium residents of more than $1 million when he was treasurer of the homeowners association board of directors. Masto accused Yashouafar of collecting two insurance checks, one for more than $400,000, the other for more than $430,000, and depositing them in an out-of-state bank account instead of using the funds for repairs.

“Older victims, many of whom were living on fixed incomes in Paradise Spa, were forced to find and pay for alternative living quarters when they were still obligated to make mortgage payments on their burned condo units, while waiting for repairs that would never be made,” Masto said.

Bill O'Donnell, president of the Paradise Spa homeowners association, told The Oklahoman some of the fire-damaged condominiums now are cement slab foundations while other fire-damaged homes remain boarded up.
“He has ripped this place apart,” O'Donnell said. “It's like watching a rape or robbery in slow motion and not being able to do anything about it. My only hope is that there is a court date in November. This guy has done nothing. We're here suffering until he makes his payments.”
O'Donnell said his board opposes a request by Yashouafar's attorneys to subordinate their liens against the California businessman for the stated intent of refinancing his mortgage on the property. O'Donnell fears that money could go toward paying off a $12 million mortgage with Capmark Bank for First National Center. Yashouafar's investment groups emerged from a foreclosure action and bankruptcy on the Oklahoma City property this year but have been unable to pay off the mortgage.


Read more: http://newsok.com/nevada-condominium-residents-fear-their-money-is-being-diverted-to-first-national-center-in-oklahoma-city/article/3709076#ixzz26mjSvYxp