Los Angeles, CA — January 2010
Lee Tran & Liang, APLC today filed a class action in the Los Angeles Superior Court on behalf of former ZipRealty agents against their attorneys and claim administrator to recover $2.6 million in settlement proceeds lost due to the defendants’ misconduct. The defendants are attorneys Sandeep Baweja and Ernest J. Franchesi, Jr. and The Garden City Group, Inc. The defendants were charged with safe-keeping and distributing to their clients, about 600 former ZipRealty real estate agents, $2.6 millions obtained via a court settlement with ZipRealty for unpaid commissions. However, one of the defendants admitted in court pleadings last week that the settlement money was instead transferred to an online brokerage account to buy or sell stocks, and that most of that money has been lost. Today’s class action asserts claims for professional negligence, negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, conversion and fraud. The class plaintiff also seeks compensatory and punitive damages against the defendants.
“We intend to aggressively prosecute this class action against those responsible for this incredible failure to safeguard the settlement funds,” stated class counsel James Lee. Class representative and named plaintiff Hoven Garoyan agreed and added “I hope that my fellow agents and I will finally get justice after what happened.”