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Last year, California developer Aaron Yashouafar was voted one of New York's 10 worst landlords. Just last month, Nevada regulators sanctioned him following allegations of missing millions from the Paradise Spa Homeowner's Association. Despite that action, sources say Yashouafar remains under investigation for his activities at the exclusive Sky Las Vegas condo complex.
Sky bills itself as the most desired address on Las Vegas Boulevard. It is a $325 million condo project marketed as an urban oasis by Yashouafar. Though he has made news nationwide, those reports are conspicuously absent from the press kit. Headlines like "New York's 10 Worst Landlords" must not appeal to luxury buyers.
"It's amazing that someone with his history has been able to just go from one deal to the next and keep pulling the wool over people's eyes," said Sky homeowner Brain Stone.
Brian Stone and Steve Plotkin both purchased investment properties at Sky in 2007, unaware until recently that Yashouafar retained control of the building through the property manager and the HOA.
"Four years after completion of the property, he's still there. And unfortunately, he was running things his way to his benefit and that cost us losses which are only now becoming public," said Plotkin.
Yashouafar, along with associates David Pourbaba and Homan Taghdiri, held a majority interest on the condo association's board of directors, despite delinquencies with their own HOA dues estimated at more than $1 million.
E-mails reveal an effort to remove the three earlier this year based on violations of the association's bylaws. Yet minutes from the March meeting show the three, who own some 80 units, refused to step down.
"The association is down to a small amount of cash in the bank. So when you've got that many units, homeowners dues not being paid, it puts a severe crimp in your cash flow," said Stone.
It is a scenario not unfamiliar to another Las Vegas condo complex -- Paradise Spa. Last month, the Nevada Real Estate Division sanctioned Yashouafar and Pouraba for multiple violations, including claims Yashouafar pocketed more than $800,000 in insurance proceeds from a fire at Paradise Spa.
As part of the settlement agreement, the two and their associates may not serve on any HOA boards in Nevada for three years. In compliance, Yashouafar and Pourbaba recently resigned from Sky Las Vegas. However sources say Taghiri, Yashouafar's corporate counsel, has not.
"We think the assets are there to make us whole. We're probably in better shape than the folks at the Spa because we do have capture assets," said Plotkin.
Recorder's records show the Sky HOA has liened the developer-owned properties and this week the homeowners will vote on a new board. Plotkin and Stone hope regime change will mean a new beginning for their luxury homes in the sky.
"We're optimistic we can get in and do the job that needs to be done that the developer refused to do," said Plotkin.
Sky HOA's attorney, along with Yashouafar, Pouraba and Taghiri did not respond to requests for comment. The new board's first order of business may well be a forensic audit of the property. Plotkin and Stone say it's unclear at this point whether funds have been misappropriated.
State and federal officials say they continue to investigate Yashouafar.
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Also Read About The Sky Las Vegas from CreditInAmerica.com at http://mycollectorcom.blogspot.com/2010/06/scandal-at-sky-padded-power-bill-robert.html
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