As mentioned previously, Alan Rothenberg and Eric George (owners of Los Angeles-based 1st Century Bank) will be represented by the law-firm of Abelson & Herron in litigation filed against them and others in Orange County Superior Court.
Abelson & Herron sells itself as “a small firm with big firm attorneys.” Hence, one would expect a minimal level of professionalism and competency from Abelson & Herron and more specifically from “of counsel” Lisa Von Eschen. Not so.
Information obtained by The Leslie Brodie Report points to the following:
Eric George missed his deadline to file an answer to the suit, and only did so after a request for entry of default was submitted.
Additionally, rather then filing a verified answer to the verified complaint, Abelson & Herron filed a general denial alleging, among others, that the plaintiff is actually at fault since he had breached a residential contract with Eric George.
Later — and despite the fact that Eric George appeared in the action by virtue of filing a general denial relating to an imaginary real estate contract between himself and the plaintiff — Lisa Von Eschen still maintained that Eric George would not appear for an upcoming scheduled videotaped deposition because he had not been served with the complaint.
Eric George (son of Ronald George) and Alan Rothenberg, both of whom have strong ties to Bet Tzedek Legal Services of Los Angeles, stand accused (along with Holly Fujie) of masterminding a scheme by which some of the funds obtained from the California Bar Foundation and the State Bar of California totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars were embezzled.
As previously mentioned, serving along with Holly Fujie on the State Bar of California Legal Services Trust Fund Commission are Bet Tzedek board member David Lash of O’Melveny & Myers and, shockingly, Bonnie Rubin — vice president of 1st Century Bank who sources maintain are also likely to be named as defendants in the suit.
The complaint also contains allegations that Ronald George — former Chief Justice of the State of California — unlawfully transferred funds from entities that were under his control (such as the California Administrative Office of the Courts (“AOC”) intended for the CCMS computer system) into various accounts that were specifically maintained in Alan Rothenberg’s bank — 1st Century — a bank which Eric George owns in part. Said funds, as the suit alleges, were later embezzled.
As part of maintaining the scheme, the suit alleges, AOC employees Ronald Overholt and William Vickery were bestowed with various gifts, trips, kickbacks, bribes, excessive salaries, and the like. Similarly, and also as part of guarding the scheme, the suit alleges that defendants, at times, resorted to utilizing the services of Tom Layton — a former Los Angeles Deputy Sheriff/Senior State Bar of California investigator — to “illegally gather detrimental dirt” on various individuals who would oppose and/or object to the existence of said arrangements.
According to sources, Layton is part of an ongoing “ambulance chasing” scheme that the Girardi Syndicate operates in San Bernardino County vis-a-vis a satellite office located in San Bernardino and managed by Thomas Girardi’s son-in-law, David Lira.
Additionally, and per the sources, Layton has been previously utilized by the Girardi Syndicate to “assist” Sharon Major Lewis in selecting the names of nominees to be appointed as judges by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and to garner the support of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department in endorsing judicial candidate the Girardi Syndicate deemed worthy of such an endorsement.
The suit also alleges that defendant Holly Fujie — an officer of both Bet Tzedek and the Chancery Club — engaged in various acts of misconduct while assisting Ronald and Eric George to transfer funds from both the California Bar Foundation (where she serves as vice-president) and the State Bar of California (where she served as a member of a committee responsible for distribution of funds) to Bet Tzedek totaling hundreds of thousand of dollars.
Bet Tzedek is based in Los Angeles, California. It was founded in 1974, and is an affiliated agency of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles. Bet Tzedek is the exclusive provider of free legal services to low-income seniors through contracts with the City and County of Los Angeles.