This month California’s Second Appellate District, Division Two, Court of Appeal upheld an award (case no. BC495095) of $21 million in punitive damages and $2.2 million in compensatory damages against building contractor Noam Bouzaglou, and his shell corporation, Ness Adam, Inc. for defrauding siblings Kathleen McGinty and Tim McGinty, in order to obtain their 1948 home in Santa Monica.
Kathleen suffers from autism and Tim (now deceased) from bipolar disorder, depression and substance addiction.
After their garage was red-tagged by the City of Santa Monica in 2010, they hired Noam Bouzaglou to do the repairs. A series of events and meetings that occurred between Bouzaglou, attorney Andrew J. Stern and the McGintys that resulted in the latter transferring their home to Bouzaglou.
Jeanne Haworth, the trustee after Tim McGinty‘s death, found out that the home was in escrow for $1.55 million and contacted the original estate planning attorney Joe Girard of LA Elder Law, who filed a lawsuit to stop the sale.
“If this sale had gone through, $1.55 million could have disappeared overnight,” said Girard. “Once we got the real estate under control of the judge, Jeanne and Kathleen had more security.”