Sunday, January 6, 2008

UPDATE: Babajian and Grasso

A little Sunday reading for the kids.

Your Mama has received many requests for information about indicted celebrity real estate agents Joseph Babajian and Kyle Grasso. While whispers and rumors continue to sweep along Sunset Boulevard, little real information has been revealed about the fates of the former top producers...until last week. In case the children missed it, the Los Angeles Times printed a thorough update about the current and fascinating state of affairs.

Your Mama is glued to this story like white on rice. We've got hugely successful brokers who made millions from big name clients like David and Victoria Beckham, Ryan Seacrest and Oscar de la Hoya, and allegedly risked it all for a few hundred thousand more. We've got the venerable investment bank Lehman Brothers writing down millions in bad real estate loans because they were duped by just about everyone. We've got straw buyers, obscenely over-valued properties and forged paper work. We've got the F.B.I. investigating, bigamists on the run, and showboating attorney Thomas Mesereau representing Mister Babajian, whose Trousdale Estates house remains on the market for $6,985,000.

Look for this mess to be turned into a Sunday night movie on USA or Lifetime.

According to the LA Times, Mssrs. Babajian and Grasso are scheduled to be tried in July unless some sort of plea agreement is reached, which seems unlikely given that both men pleaded not guilty and their attorneys are quoted in the LA Times saying their clients are innocent, expect to be acquitted and will be vindicated. We'll see.

Our pal over at Real Sedated predicts the embattled Prudential agents will be fined, forever stripped of their real estate licenses and set free. Your Mama wonders, if they might also be made to spend a little time up in Lompoc where they can read, do macramé and network with other well to do white collar criminals. After all, a jury of their peers is unlikely to see them as sympathetic figures. Real estate agents are seldom well thought of by the general public and those accused of bank fraud and money laundering face an steep uphill battle in a room full of folks struggling to pay their mortgages.

Stay tuned.

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