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Ghost Real Estate Market Used to Bribe Judges

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Attorney Liz Goodley: Real Estate Scam with Valerie Houghton

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Mark Erickson Blacklisted in Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley  judges have become disgruntled with their $200,000 annual pay. So family  lawyers decided to do something about it in order to  get in judges’ favor. Fueled with client money pouring in from  Facebook, Paypal , Google and Twitter executives, divorce lawyers are using Bitcoin or crypto currencies as well as equity in family homes and investment properties to bribe judges and rig divorce cases. The blueprint is being repeated all over the state  as these well funded lawyers and corrupt judges  operate what has become California’s most dangerous criminal organizations.

Police officers willing to write bogus reports of domestic violence while ignoring serious white collar crimes play a critical role in the operation. Crooked cops  are getting special loans and below market houses in exchange for the role they play in the scam.  Children whose parents are involved in divorce or custody disputes are being used by the enterprise  to incite conflict and generate fees that justify the selling off  of the family home or rental properties that generate family wealth.  

Judges rotated through family, civil and criminal courts are the most likely to be dragged into the network. These judges issue orders that are critical for the organization. It has worked like a well oiled machine for 20 years, as property values in Silicon Valley skyrocket.

The pandemic however, disrupted the corruption and leaked information to outsiders. Meetings through local bar associations have been disrupted due to the pandemic . No longer can the lawyers rub shoulders with judges or others in the enterprise  in hallways such they they are able to  overhear other cases in a manner that invites illegal, or exparte,  communications. 

During the COVID crisis, attorneys in the San Francisco Bay Area used the pandemic to  record public court hearings, meetings with private judges and attorneys court appointed to represent children.  Some of the recordings were made illegally to help lawyers and judges make more money on ghost real estate transactions and inflated legal bills that  are always ordered in favor of lawyers assuring a steady stream of bribes. 

The existence of these illegally recordings only is revealed when I judge is involved, as was the case in a Santa Clara County Superior Court earlier this month: 

“Judge Roberta Hayashi needs another apartment complex in Santa Cruz and someone has to chip in for more remodels on her Los Gatos house ” , attorney Mark Erickson is heard telling attorney Jim Hoover in an illegally recorded call made on special software Erickson keeps on his office computer. Erickson, like most other lawyers,  reportedly does poor legal work, charges unconscionable fees, spies on his own clients and makes backroom deals with opposing lawyers to stay in the good graces of the local judges.  This is especially true in  cases where he opposes  attorneys associated with Hector Moreno, David Patton, James McManis  or Jim Hoover from Hoover Krepelka, all of whom assure outright bribes to judges, cops and court appointed experts to get desired legal outcomes that keep the flow of clients coming into their legal practices. 

The pandemic has  caused trouble for divorce lawyers who find it difficult to conceal their criminality when other lawyers, and unknown members of the public, or a jury,  may be listening. After moving her troubled career as a family court judge to civil court, Judge Hayashi was more than humiliated during a hot mic moment on a Zoom where the  jury was present and an attorney in a auto accident case was heard calling  Judge Hayashi a
“Fucking Idiot”.  A sentiment divorce lawyers Mark Erickson, Hector Moreno, Nicole Ford, Liz Goodley  and Elise Mitchell expressed when they were  recorded outside the  family courthouse back in 2020. 

The LA Times and the San Jose Mercury recently reported on the hot mic incident and social media is mocking attorney Vincent Sal Filipo for calling Judge Hayashi a ” fucking idiot” in ear shot of a jury and recorded Zoom hearing.  Judge Hayashi is said to be fuming and planning to make sure Sal Filipo never wins a case in Santa Clara County again. 

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Head of the real estate private judge mob, attorney Carlos Martinez corruption dates back to 2007 and the Silicon Valley Law Foundation

​Illegal recordings have also revealed how  Los Gatos based attorney Carlos Martinez, Capitola based attorney John Hannon and lawyers from San Jose;  James McManis, Rhonda Edgar, Walter Hammon, Richard Roggia, James Cox, Tracey Duell Cazes  and   Bill Dresser are  connected to real estate scams designed to take family homes and convert the equity to attorney fees during a divorce, custody or domestic violence case in family court. 

Converted fees are laundered through attorney trust accounts , title companies and escrow accounts where the funds are used to bribe judges up and down the state, where the bribes assure  civil cases are buried and claims are returned to family court. Houses sold below market value through private judges,  referees or ” Special Masters” are funding the criminal enterprise that incites conflict, harms children and seizes family homes in order to continue to operate. 

Family courts do not have jurors. Cases are heard by a single court judge. Torts such as fraud, domestic violence, concealment, and conversion can not be litigated in family court as the claims must  be in heard in  civil court where a jury is entitled to hear the claims. Judges who have been earning money on side hustles from rigged divorce cases do not want these cases heard by jurors who go home and tell about what is really happening in family courts. Looking through civil court filings against attorneys can reveal the players in involved  in the corruption.  

The pattern of the most corrupt lawyers show that they work closely with the police departments in Morgan Hill, Gilroy, San Jose, Los Gatos and Santa Clara to assure reports are written in a manner that will allow lawyers to raise false domestic violence claims in and around the time a divorce case is filed. Further, individual police officers and police chiefs are accepting bribes that prevent clients willing to pay the criminal organization from being charged for tax evasion, fraud and other crimes that could be exposed during a divorce case.

Police chiefs who have been paid bribes through local police associations include police chiefs from Gilroy,  Los Gatos, and San Jose ,  all but Los Gatos Chief DeCena have resigned as they knew police records laws and new snitches could expose their corrupt deeds. Scott Smithee , the chief in Gilroy,  was known for  his long corrupt history with drugs and sex trafficked, and more recently  for bribes he took that included special loans and real estate deals assured by Intero Real Estate agents who agreed to who assured home remodels and tax accounting favors through the CPA firms of Greco, Filice and Thompson and MHTB, where Angelo Pezzoni, Mike Schumway, James Butera and Marcy Nunez have worked for powerful members of Silicon Valley’s legal community in exchange for court appointments that offer them immunity.

​According to information provided to family law attorneys Valerie Houghton, Elise Mitchell, Liz Goodley, and Heather Allan, by now deceased Santa Clara County Sheriff Deputy Jack Solario , the most corrupt judges, lawyers and cops, get off the books accounting advice and should they ever face a DUI, false DV claim or personal divorce, free legal advice from attorney James McManis , and his former associates including, Carolyn Helwick, who uses her former relationships at the local DA’s office and as an associate in the McManis Faulkner law firm where Helwick was known as the go between when it comes to bribing local judges or getting clients to agree to use private judges. Helwick’s name appears in the Mitchell papers as having assured over $5 million in bribes to Judges Patricia Lucas, James Towery. Roberta Hayashi , Mary Arand, Julie Emede, Beth McGowan, Stuart Scott   and Carol Overton ( the judge in the county protecting big landlords in unlawful detainer and civil harassment cases) . Overtime’s ties to real estate has made her one of the most corrupt judges in the county. 

San Jose police Chief Ed Garcia, moved to Texas , where he reportedly continues to cover up human trafficking crimes. Scott Smithee, the former Gilroy Chief is reportedly getting into private security for Silicon Valley’s tech and social media companies where he is reportedly consulting on how to conceal the most serious white collar crimes connected to SEC violations and real estate fraud. 

                        Rigging Divorce Cases
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Judges have a legal obligation to disclose their social, personal and professional relationships with lawyers or others they appoint in a case, they rarely  do. Judges also have a duty to report attorney misconduct, they rarely do . Judges know everyone lies in family court, yet they look the other way when it comes to the criminality of clients paying the criminal enterprise and  assuring bribes to local judges. Those clients and their lawyers  will never be sanctioned or disciplined by the state bar. In fact the corruption at the bar, revealed by the Thomas Garardi case works to protect the most corrupt lawyers in Silicon Valley These corrupt lawyers are never prosecuted  by a local district attorney whose political campaigns are funded by the monies these lawyers and judges pay to keep them in office. 

Divorce cases that are ” fixed” or ” rigged” involve the same lawyers and the same pattern and practice when it comes to public corruption. These cases, regularly assigned to a specific judge, often find a judge working for the criminal operation, come into their case at a hearing where no legitimate reason for the judge switch has occurred.  Judge James Towery’s cases show the most corruption, where Towery has injected himself in other cases where the corruption could be revealed. 

The lawyers in Silicon Valley are no different than those in LA and Organge County, where it was recently revealed how corrupt attorney Thomas Giaradi had become, right under the nose of the State Bar.   Giarardi was known for screwing his clients. Now in his final years of life, he is facing disbarment, bankruptcy and his own divorce from celebrity Erika Jane of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.  Turns out their plush lifestyle was supported on the backs of women and orphans Girardi  represented in class action lawsuits, never got paid.  Girardi’s corruption and influence include bribes and kickbacks to Governor  Gavin Newsom, who appointed Girardi to approve judges Newsom would appoint over his political career. Bribes to Shelia Sonenshine, Judge Moss, Judge Lucas, Judge Yew.  and countless  attorneys acting as private judges independently, David Weinberg,   or through the private business known as JAMS are also documented in the Mitchell Papers. 

             
                 Judges Stealing Family Homes 

The blueprint of Silicon Valley divorce lawyers using a divorce or custody case to earn more in fees paid with equity in family homes was drafted by bigger law firms. Hoover Krepelka , a firm known for ” donating ” to local bar associations and non- profits in a manner that assures high asset divorce cases  are assigned to certain judges who keep information about real estate fraud and SEC violations stay out of  civil court where the corruption could be revealed to a jury. 

One secret recording made by attorney Marilyn Moreno reveals that Santa Clara County Judge Carol Overton has been assigned by court managers to ” kill” civil cases with related family law matters.  Judge Overton has reportedly been assigned to work on any case involving SEC or real estate fraud to keep it out of ear shot of a jury. The recent hot mic incident involving Judge Hayashi solidifies the resolve  of the judges to continue to protect the corruption and handle the cases that cold leak information to the public that family court judges don’t want heard. 

One recording, believed to have been made by Bill Dresser shows Marilyn Moreno, Bill Dresser and attorneys from Hoover Krepelka’s law firm , discussing how to get  Judge Overton to pressure a mother to drop her civil real estate fraud case and get the case back to  family court where they can use pressure on custody issues related to her young children to get her to forget about the real estate fraud. Judge Overton’s assignment on the unlawful detainer calendar in the county made her very popular in the local judge bribing pool. 

On the civil calendar Judge Overton’s courtroom deals with civil harassment and unlawful detainer cases. In recent months Overton has been assigned as a ” settlement judge” to real estate cases that arise from claims of fraud in a divorce case. Overton has been reportedly working to favor clients in the case who are represented by Hoover Krepelka’s firm.  A secret recording believed to be made by Marilyn Moreno reveals a public court judge , believed to be Judge Carol Overton, captures Overton telling attorneys  Dresser and Moreno to assure their client accepted a settlement and dropped a civil case, to ” get the case back to family court”. Arguably where no media or jury is watching.  ” If your client does not agree to drop her civil case , the judges in family court will make her life a living hell. Overton is reportedly not beyond making threats to get her way to protect slumlords and the criminal organization that is using divorce and custody cases to generate huge sums of cash that are used to pay off judges, lawyers, experts and cops. 

The Los Gatos Police Officer Association is noted in the Mitchell Papers as assuring Overton large sums of money so the Los Gatos slumlords are assured of Overton’s favorable orders in court cases involving Los Gatos real estate. 

How to Detect Fraud Divorce Case and Real Estate 

Homes in California contain exceptional equity values that have skyrocketed over the past 20 years. This equity has become the golden ticket for family law attorneys and judges dealing with divorce or probate matters. Through illegal activity these lawyers, and bribed judges, are converting equity in family homes to their own personal profits. 

The corruption is spreading to other counties in California, it is being ignored by presiding judges, the Commission on Judicial Performance and the State Bar. 

Civil court files reveal the lawyers involved in the corruption. Look for judges assigned to unlawful detainer cases. These judges typically protect real property owners and landlords over tenant’s rights. Malpractice claims also reveal the patterns and practices, but knowledge of the players is critical too and malpractice lawsuits are a huge leak when public corruption taints a community’s family courts. 

Judge Overton became connected to the corruption through the law firm Hoover Krepelka , and its relationship to Dean Rossi  and the law firm Rossi, Hamerslough, Reischl & Chuck which has historically worked to for  Intero Real Estate Services, a real estate company known for fraudulent transactions connected to the county’s family courts. And a company where agents and brokers have a long history of bribing judges, cops and lawyers. This agency is getting court appointments through private  and public court judges and then  selling family homes below market value. Police officers, lawyers and judges are benefiting and much of money laundered for these transactions is bring moved through crypto currencies and attorney trust accounts, where they are not disclosed,  nor detected in family law cases.  

Self- proclaimed malpractice attorney John Hannon is a source of leaks too, Hannon has been known to dragnet clients into malpractice cases, only to drop them by staging fake fights with clients, or intentionally blowing service and discovery deadlines. 

Hannon is particularly known for escalating duress in his clients, while colluding with the very attorneys he is hired to sue for malpractice. Hannon’s reach is in Santa Cruz, Monterey and Santa Clara Counties, where he takes nominal retainer agreements and gets his real money kicked back from the lawyers who never get exposed in family court due to his  incompetence and connection to the family court corruption. Hannon is known in particular for preying on victims of domestic violence, and for verbally insulting any client who dare to question his competence. This leaked email shows how Hannon pretends to not be able to serve lawyers he is secretly protecting.  Mr. Hannon was meeting daily with Mr. Dresser as the two were trying to determine how to get a  restraining order filed against Bill Dresser in Sacramento County back before Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Carol Overton who is the highest grossing bribed judge in the county. 

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