Monday, August 6, 2007

Scandal Rocks the Los Angeles Celebrity Real Estate World

It's not always the celebrities in Hollywood that behave poorly or become mired in the pits of scandal. Oh no. Sometimes it's their real estate agents that get the glare of the spot light focused on them.

The LA Times reported last week on the indictment of two of the biggest agents in celebrity real estate. Joseph Babajian and Kyle Grasso, a pair of enormously successful and well known real estate agents with Prudential California Realty who had the listing for the $22,000,000 house that Sexy and The Spice Gurl purchased earlier this year, were both indicted on several charges of conspiracy, money laundering, bank fraud, and loan fraud. Oh dear, those are some serious damn charges.

In addition to the real estate agents, two appraisers were also indicted for bilking lenders out of $40,000,000+ in fraudulent loans. Naturally the attorneys for Babajian and Grasso, as well as the appraisers, say their clients are innocent.

Only time will tell if these allegations are true, but in the meantime can y'all hear the hushed whispers and hushed gossip all up and down Sunset Boulevard?

Read the article here.

Sources: LA Times

22 comments:

Phoenix said...

Wow, 'enormously successful' wasn't good enough for these two. They had to go and rip off $40 Million+ more of other people's money. And of course, they are 'innocent'. Right. Greed on any number of levels is ruining this country, or trying to.

Anonymous said...

Being a realtor of high end homes just isn't enough for some people without having to find other creative ways of making even more money.

If it's true, I hope they do some serous jail time.

Anonymous said...

Joe is really nice - he's been my familes realtor for years.

Anonymous said...

Well, looks like these two stooges will be showing condo size 6' x 9' cells in the Big House. Better get your knee pads out guys........ Looks like they will be giving lip service on Cell Block Knees. Do the crime, slurp the time. The one good thing, just frees up the inventory for the rest of the HONEST Agents.

Anonymous said...

"Joe is really nice - he's been my families realtor for years"

Scam artists usually are REALLY nice because they need to pull off the scam... He, and all involved, better do some serious time for this repulsive behavior. And ever more obnoxious is he still has his website up and running....guess he needs to get in his last scam before it's off to the pokey..

Anonymous said...

Innocent until proven guilty......
Hope they saved some of the money, because Atty Fees...Accounting Fees and Expert Witness fees could hit a million+ for each of them.

Jordy said...

i can't wait to hear if this is true, i mean i can not say i'm suprised, it still does surpise me that successful people are so greedy and never satisfied with the money they already make

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a surprise to see realtors ripping off clients. Big surprise. Oh well, I am sure that they will be replaced soon by more over paid undereducated fools.

Anonymous said...

"Scam artists usually are REALLY nice because they need to pull off the scam... He, and all involved, better do some serious time for this repulsive behavior. And ever more obnoxious is he still has his website up and running....guess he needs to get in his last scam before it's off to the pokey.."

If he is guilty then I definitely don't condone what he's done but he is a really nice guy & he's never scammed my family so I don't rlly have any problem with saying he's a nice guy ...

Anonymous said...

Hi,
I have had my RE license for over a year now,
and want to pursue working in the Platinum Triangle, if anyone here has any connections please email me, Thanks.

Hillkeh@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

anonymous... glad joe is "nice" but i don't think that will serve him well in the big house... hope his westside realestate savy can save him in the pen... those guys are ruthless wish he could take a few other realtors with him

Anonymous said...

I have lived on the westside for 20 years and have the "goods" on all the ex hookers, who are now realtors, they shudder when i walk into their open houses, cause I know the scoop. they are like lottery winners. the ex massage therapist , the blonde bomshell who loves her pics in the westside section as much as she loved serving mr.d .. they are like lottery winners.. no education , they make big bucks and then lose in .... sorry joe ,but come on, what were you thinking?

Erik said...

I have purchased and sold 3 homes in the past few years with Kyle and Joe representing me. I will probably have 2 more homes added to that list in the next month.

These are solid professionals. Every transaction has been both ethical and a pleasure.

All of you who haven't had the pleasure of working with them should at the very least allow them their day in court before hanging them.

Best of luck Joe and Kyle.

Anonymous said...

These guys are a modern day bank robbers and should be sent straight to prison where they belong. $40 million is a lot of money to steal. Just think of how many other people they've deceived and hurt...their company, their managing brokers, their clients. Their managing brokers will lose their licenses for looking the other way during their fraud. Not only should they lose their licenses and be barred from the industry for life, they should be made to wear clothes from the thrift store and ride the jail bus for life.

Anonymous said...

I Truly believe that Kyle & Joe are innocent of all charges. Most of the people who are saying all of these negattive comments are just being vindictive and mean, because Joe & Kyle are succesful. You cannot be one of the top realtors in LA for 27 years for Joe and 15 for Kyle and be shady in your business dealings. People have put their trust in both of them and there is a reason. They are both honest and fair agents. Ask anyone who has done business with them. For those out there that may still have a negative opinon about them remember, in this country you are innocent until proven guilty. This has not happened and I truly don't think it will.

Anonymous said...

Well, the actual indictment is being circulated and I must say it is some serious stuff! Can you say "MAJOR FRAUD"?
Yes, Joe and Kyle are both nice guys. But nice guys sometimes make big mistakes. I think they are going to have a hard time beating this one.
But what about the people (managers?) who were supposed to be supervising them? Can you tell me this was going on under their noses and they didn't know about it?
I guess greed has no boundaries

Anonymous said...

I would have to wonder about the impact their lies and fraud will have on the real estate community.
How many purchase prices were based on the false prices they established through their fraudulent transactions? If I had bought a house from them I think I would be talking to my attorney right now.

Anonymous said...

Figures, most Westside Estate Agents are criminals..........so for Joe & Kyle, do the crime do the time........

Anonymous said...

the above post, "most Westside agents are criminals" says it all.
Whether or not it's true, bad agents like this cast suspicion on the ethics and practices of all agents.
Isn't the manager supposed to sign off on all agent activity? Where was their manager during all of this? Were they too big to have effective oversight?

Anonymous said...

To the person who insists they are just nice guys who are being vicitmized:
Have you read the indictment? Read it. It's all over town so it shouldn't be hard to get a copy of it. I doubt you will have the same opinion after you read it. The facts are the facts. These guys may be nice but they did some bad stuff. I think they are looking at a new wardrobe featuring stripes and a number on the chest.

Anonymous said...

Do any of you posting all of these ridiculous comments actually know Joe and Kyle? Have you ever been a client of theirs or been a broker in a deal with them? I have and these guys are two of the most honest and ethical agents in the city. They have represented hundreds of celebrities and some of the most powerful and influential people in LA. All of these people have put their trust in them repeatedly over the years. They have built a hugely successful business around hard work and integrity and have sold hundreds of millions of dollars in real estate every year. They have been the top producing agents in their company year after year. When you become that high profile unfortunately you attract the good along with the bad. People become jealous of who you are and what you have and they want to bring you down. The two crooks who committed these crimes are the REAL criminals and the people with the actual criminal pasts. NOT Joe and Kyle. Do your homework people and unless you know these guys and you know all of the facts don't believe everything you read. Don't accuse someone before they've have their day in court and don't hide behind your computer posting ignorant comments.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, and O.J. is innocent.
The FBI and U.S. Grand Jury doesn't file something like this unless there is something to it.
Where there's smoke there's fire.