California Real Estate Investor Pleads Guilty to Bid Rigging and Fraud at Public Real Estate Foreclosure Auctions

Happy New Years Eve!     The Department of Justice announced today that a Real Estate Investor pleaded guilty to 11 counts of fraud related to bid rigging at public real estate foreclosure auctions. You can see the press release here   The Crime   According to the press release, A private investor, Joachim, conspiredContinue reading “California Real Estate Investor Pleads Guilty to Bid Rigging and Fraud at Public Real Estate Foreclosure Auctions”

$3 Million Penalty Assessed Against American Express Bank by OCC For Unfair Billing and Deceptive Marketing Practices

The latest  news from the Office of Comptroller of Currency (OCC)… If you aren’t familiar with the OCC, check out the website Pursuant to the OCC’s mission statement on its website, “The OCC’s primary mission is to charter, regulate, and supervise all national banks and federal savings associations.” [The OCC’s] goal in supervising banks and federalContinue reading “$3 Million Penalty Assessed Against American Express Bank by OCC For Unfair Billing and Deceptive Marketing Practices”

Lesson from Court: The Sobering Reality of Injustice.

I was in Circuit Court this morning in Ottawa County, Michigan. I was there to make legal arguments in a real estate lawsuit.   During the hearing, I found myself engrossed in making notes, mentally responding to the legal arguments that were being made by opposing counsel, and at the end of his oral argumentContinue reading “Lesson from Court: The Sobering Reality of Injustice.”

Estate planning lawyer gets 6 years in $46 million scheme preying on terminally ill???

So I received a nice check in the mail a few weeks back addressed to my law firm for approximately $1 Million.   It was related to a “request” from a foreign company (very far away, too far away to meet in person) to retain me as counsel in a business transaction in Michigan.  Continue reading “Estate planning lawyer gets 6 years in $46 million scheme preying on terminally ill???”

Under Penalty of Perjury: Former Real Estate Chief Pleads Guilty to Perjury

These past few weeks I have been inundated with depositions in several real estate lawsuits.   Whenever I prepare my clients for depositions I always emphasize the overarching rule when being deposed:   tell the truth.   There can be serious consequences for giving false statements under oath.   Under Michigan Law, MCL § 750.423 perjury isContinue reading “Under Penalty of Perjury: Former Real Estate Chief Pleads Guilty to Perjury”

Michigan Real Estate Legislative Update: Is There a “Squatter” Epidemic?

Tomorrow the Michigan Senate Judiciary Committee will meet to consider recommendations concerning certain bills. See the full committee meeting agenda at the link below: http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(01p0h355lm5hedyrzapzi255))/mileg.aspx?page=committeemeeting&objectname=2013-SCS-0be3e630-b23f-4577-a74b-89bb5231896e&chamber=Senate   Among those bills discussed are three proposed bills that would modify “squatters rights” and make certain actions of unlawful tenants a crime. HB5069 Provide exception to liability for damagesContinue reading “Michigan Real Estate Legislative Update: Is There a “Squatter” Epidemic?”

Michigan Home Healthcare Agency Owner Sentenced to Prison for Medicare Fraud

I was in court this past week for an unfortunate scenario: family members were fighting over guardianship for their elderly mother. The primary fight was over where mother would receive proper health care- at home through a home care agency, or through some  nursing facility. As a side note, this case was a classic exampleContinue reading “Michigan Home Healthcare Agency Owner Sentenced to Prison for Medicare Fraud”

Businesses: Pitfalls of Lawsuits – My Guest Blog Post With GRAPE (Epilogue)

Yesterday I posted a guest blog article with Grand Rapids Area Professionals for Excellence (GRAPE) – about pitfalls that businesses should be wary of if they are ever faced with a lawsuit. You can check out that article here: http://grapegr.com/grand-rapids-business-blog/businesses-pitfalls-dealing-lawsuits/   A brief commentary on why I decided on this particular subject.   I decided toContinue reading “Businesses: Pitfalls of Lawsuits – My Guest Blog Post With GRAPE (Epilogue)”

Federal Judge Orders Telemarketer to Pay $5.1 Million to Reimburse Victims of Car-Buying Scam

Telemarketing and Auto Sales can both get a bad wrap sometimes (much like lawyers, so I hear :)) A federal District Court Judge’s ruling on October 29th, certainly did nothing to help the reputation for either. The Federal Trade Commission brought a lawsuit against a Canadian telemarketer and four companies he owns for violations of federal law related toContinue reading “Federal Judge Orders Telemarketer to Pay $5.1 Million to Reimburse Victims of Car-Buying Scam”