UPDATE, SEPTEMBER 6, 2011: We've got an update on the story here.
But that's exactly where the action unfolded yesterday, when several
agents representing the California Department of Justice and at least
one federal agent descended on our building. Damn straight we put a blockade around Moxley's office.
Thankfully, Big Brother didn't target us this time. The agents carried out
seized boxes from our neighbor's office, the law firm of Anthony
Kassas (with whom we share a common lobby), and corralled all of its well-heeled employees in the back
parking lot before escorting them off the property. We tried to chat with four officers standing in our
front lobby, some with shiny badges dangling from their necks. Though
they were amiable and joked about looking for some tall guy with
glasses, they said they couldn't discuss the operation.
today, the California Department of Justice announced it has sued the
law offices of Kramer & Kaslow, two other unnamed law firms, three
unnamed lawyers and 14 other defendants for what Attorney General
Kamala Harris views as deceptive marketing practices, namely
coercing homeowners to join “mass joinder law suits” against their
Yesterday's operation involved 19 DOJ agents, and 42
agents and other personnel from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development office of Inspector General,
California State Bar and the Office of the Receiver, all of whom were dispatched to 14
locations in Los Angeles and Orange Counties.
According to a press
release made available by the DOJ today, 16 bank accounts were seized.
“Defendants deceptively led homeowners to believe that by joining these
lawsuits, they would stop pending foreclosures, reduce their loan
balances or interest rates, obtain money damages and even receive title
to their homes free and clear of their existing mortgages,” the release alleges. “Consumers who paid to join the mass joinder lawsuits were
frequently unable to receive answers to simple questions, such as
whether they had been added to the lawsuit or even to establish contact
with defendants … When consumers contacted the defendants, they were
given advice by sales agents, not attorneys.”
We'd like to say
we feel bad for the firm, whose doors have been shuttered, but
the sight of an empty parking lot free of sports cars zipping through
the spaces without regard for other drivers was nice. Before the
law firm arrived in this building, there was no need for signs to be
placed around the smoking area asking folks not to spit on the
handrails. And it was always a bit disheartening when you would
encounter one of the nicely dressed employees in the halls and
offered a friendly hello only to be looked at like something that had
crawled from a storm drain. We wish them the best of luck.