The Elliott Building, 1530 J Street Sacramento, CA 95814. The building is owned by Mark Friedman of Fulcrum Properly Group. Currently, the Elliott Building is occupied on separate floors by the offices of Howard Dickstein of Dickstein & Zerbi, Fulcrum Property’s Mark Friedman, Arlen Opper, Doug Elmets, Paula Lorenzo of Cache Creek Casino, and The California Tribal Business Alliance (CTBA). Dickstein, Friedman, and Opper were all named defendants in the matter of Rumsey Band of Wintun Indians / Cache Creek Casino v. Howard Dickstein. The penthouse unit is the official residence of California’s first couple — Governor Edmund Gerald “Jerry” Brown, Jr. and his wife. (Image: courtesy photo)
The abuse and financial atrocities by attorney Howard Dickstein (on behalf of himself, as well as others) against his clients — Native Americans who are members of various Indian tribes operating casinos in the State of California — is well documented.
Hit hard were the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation which operates the Cache Creek Casino in Yolo County, the Pala Band of Mission Indians which operates the Pala Casino Resort & Spa in San Diego County, and the United Auburn Indian Community which operates the Thunder Valley Casino in Placer County.
One such incident resulted in the emotionally distressing injustice inflicted on the bona fide founder of Thunder Valley Casino, the ex-chair of the tribe, Jessica Tavares.
Jessica is a proud visionary who was the force behind the economic and cultural revival of the tribe — as well as the revival of surrounding communities. Sadly, Jessica was ultimately betrayed by a fellow member of the tribe and placed on the proverbial iceberg because she chose honor, integrity, and dignity for herself and for the tribe over the greed and divisiveness promoted by Howard Dickstein in his quest to obtained millions for himself and by extension for his wife, Jeannine English.
Since 2006, Jeannine English has served as a “public member” of the State Bar of California Board of Governors, an otherwise governmental entity primarily responsible to disciplining errant lawyers. Despite allegations that Dickstein has committed countless acts of grave misconduct and ethical breaches, Dickstein has never been disciplined by the State Bar of California. English’s appointment as a public member was courtesy of her California Democratic Party confederates who control California’s legislative branch.
Unfortunately, the two U.S. Senators from California refuse to become involved in these issues despite the fact that tribal matters fall primarily within federal oversight. Dickstein, in his role as counsel for the tribes, has overseen the tribes’ contributions of millions of dollars to the coffers of the Democratic Party.
Fortunately, Republican Arizona Senator John McCain recently stepped in and called for an investigation of Howard Dickstein. Similarly, a few months prior to Senator McCain’s announcement, a Yolo County-based rabbi asked the State Bar of California Board of Governors to investigate English and Dickstein.
The J Street Gang of Greed
In approximately 2004, as part of an effort to revitalize its downtown area, the city of Sacramento poured three million dollars into subsidies for the renovation of the “Elliott Building” located at 1530 J Street in Sacramento. The project was initiated by Mark Friedman of Sacramento-based Fulcrum Property Group and a few of his business partners.
Friedman, a man of despicable character, may be a stranger to readers, but he is no stranger to The Leslie Brodie Report given that he was one of the named defendants in the case of Rumsey vs. Dickstein, which deals primarily with allegations of years of fraud and deceit by Dickstein against his client, the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation.
One example of such a scheme allegedly perpetrated by Dickstein and Friedman against the tribe deals with a parcel of land situated in West-Sacramento known as “The Triangle,” an otherwise prime location facing the Sacramento River.
The tribe was urged by defendants Dickstein and its financial advisor Arlen Opper to enter into yet another business relationship with Friedman, through which a parcel of land in “The Triangle” was purchased. The tribe would own 50% and Friedman and his extended would own 50% of the property.
At one point, Mark Friedman asked the tribe for a favor (or as he put it, an “accommodation”), by which the tribe would sell and Friedman would purchase the tribe’s 50% share in “The Triangle.”
Friedman’s excuse for seeking the “accommodation” was very simple — he wanted to reduce the amount of money he would owe the Internal Revenue Service. Friedman had just sold a different piece of real estate, and needed to quickly invest the money in real estate (or as he referred to it, to “park” the money ) in a separate property for a period of several years as is allowed by IRS rules; at the period, the tribe would be allowed to buy the property back for the same price for which it was sold to Friedman per a “buy back option.”
Dickstein and Opper recommended that the tribe “accommodate” Friedman, and Friedman consequently purchased the property from the tribe.
Per their written agreement, the tribe was given the option to buy back the property within one year. However, the tribe did not buy back the property within one as a result of a failure by Arlen Opper and Howard Dickstein — the attorney for the tribe who was in possession of the written agreement — to inform the tribe when the time period expired so that the tribe could buy back the property. Notably, the property had increased in value “exponentially” during this period.
Later, after the “buy back option” had expired, the tribe realized that it had missed the deadline to buy back its 50% share of the property, and sought to do so at that time. However, Mark Friedman refused to sell it back, claiming that the tribe had missed its deadline.