For weeks now Your Mama has been getting all kinds of calls and queries about the trial(s) of big-time Beverly Hills real estate agents to the stars Joe Babajian and Kyle Grasso who were indicted last year on of a myriad of crimes including money laundering, conspiracy, and fraud.
Well puppies, the verdicts are in and Your Mama can hear the gasps and the sighs of relief all up and down N. Cañon Drive in Beverly Hills.
Mister Babajian, was acquitted on 13 criminal counts and mistrials were declared on 8 additional counts about which the jury was able to reach a verdict. Mister Babajian was represented by grey maned attorney Thomas Mesereau who y'all will recall also successfully defended Michael Jackson in his lurid child molestation trial in 2005 .
Mister Grasso, on the other hand, was not so lucky. Along with appraiser Lila Rizk of Trabuco Canyon, CA (in Orange County), Mister Grasso was convicted of conspiracy and bank and loan fraud. Mister Grasso was also convicted on three counts of money laundering.
Eight others who participated in the scheme previously pleaded guilty to felony fraud charges resulting in a 14-year sentence in a federal clink for one of them. The other 7 await sentencing as do Miz Rizk and Mister Grasso who are scheduled to be sentenced on January 29, 2010. According to the L.A. Times, Mister Grasso faces maximum sentences that add up to a staggering 515 years. He will be appealing.
Mister Grasso, ol' Joebabs and the 9 others were accused of defrauding mortgage lenders out of $40,000,000 (or so) by using straw buyers to flip properties in prime Westside neighborhoods at falsely inflated prices and fabricating fake documents that allowed them to obtain mortgages for hundreds of thousand more that the actual sale price of the home. The illegally obtained loans were then defaulted on and the lender(s) were left holding properties worth considerably less than the purchase prices while the participants walked off with millions.
In addition to a client list that includes Barbra Streisand and Warren Beatty, the children may recall that it was Mister Babajian who listed the $18,200,000 spread bought by soccer stud David Beckham and his wisp of a wife Victoria on San Ysidro Drive in Beverly Hills