NCFM NOTE: The Receiver and Judge don’t even want Mr. Cox and the public to know who is the proposed buyer of Jerry’s property! Absent evidence to suggest otherwise and based on what appears to be cronyism, we think it highly likely the proposed unnamed buyer is another crony, especially since the judge is apparently prepared to sell the property to another probable crony for less than appraised value and for less than a higher offer from a named buyer for only one of three parcels of land instead of all three! Aside from which, no one in their right mind, unless a protected crony, would buy a square foot of Jerry’s ranch without his blessing. The buyer would be tied up in court for years without Jerry’s approval. Somebody wants Jerry’s property awful bad for reasons we don’t yet know. Could it be related to the land’s proximity to a small airport, drugs, drug running, gold… what? Does anyone other than the Cronies know? Mariposa County is infamous for corruption. It’s hard to believe this sick comedy of bureaucratic bungling can simply be an innocent series of mistakes compounded by extraordinary incompetence…but anything is possible.
June 06, 2019
By GREG LITTLE Editor
The status hearing was another in what has become a series of hearings over the past two years. But this time, it seemed different as a conclusion to the case may be coming soon.
Cox is battling to keep his more than 300 acres of property, plus buildings, located north of the airport in Mariposa. More than two years ago, Cox, owner of JDC Land Co., was found in violation of more than 100 code violations. After that, the court ruled in favor of Mariposa County and the property was seized.
Since that time, the case has been in the forefront of public attention locally.
In ruling for the county, Mariposa County Superior Court Judge Dana Walton appointed a receiver in the case. In California, a receiver is appointed to oversee property once it is seized. In many cases, those properties are apartment complexes or other housing units where income continues to be generated through the receivership.
In this case, the court ordered Cox off of his property. It wasn’t until a few months ago that Walton allowed Cox back on his property. However, there were conditions, including removal of some parts of a dwelling on the property.
The court has also approved around $250,000 in services performed by the receiver, including security at the property. However, the judge has not approved any funds for the receiver for many months.
In addition, the court later allowed the receiver, Mark Adams of California Receivership Group, to put the property on the real estate market, indicating if Cox could not produce the funds owed to the receiver, the property could be sold to cover those costs.
Cox’s attorneys have argued for two years the violations were nowhere near what the receiver said needed to be done. In court last week, Cox attorney Marc Angelucci argued the repairs necessary to bring the property up to code were just $8,000. In earlier parts of the case, the receiver said it could cost more than $250,000 for the repairs.
However, the receiver was never able to get a contractor to give an estimate on the repairs and it was Cox who obtained the estimate which eventually led to the work being done. That, said his attorney, is what cost $8,000.
During a portion of last week’s hearing, the tension rose when Angelucci attempted to tell Walton his side of the issue. Angelucci said “case law is clear” that if a remedy can be found besides selling the property, that’s what the court should do, if possible.
But Walton interrupted Angelucci when he was talking, provoking a response from the attorney.
“I never get to finish anything,” said Angelucci. “We play by different rules in this courtroom. It is totally unjust.”
Walton fired back, saying the attorney says the “same things” over and over.
Also during last week’s hearing, a new twist came into play when an associate of Cox came forward saying she was interested in purchasing half of the property.
Krystal Mongeon, who told the judge she is associated with Cox, said she was interested in purchasing 160 acres for $750,000.
Court records indicate there is an offer on the table to purchase the entire property for that same amount of money. The judge has allowed that person to stay anonymous, a request which came from the receiver.
Mongeon told the court she has a “trust” fund, but when asked if she could come up with the funds by this week, she said it would take longer.
John Fugi, who represents Mariposa County through the law firm of Silver and Wright, said his recommendation was for the court to move forward with the purchase of the land from the anonymous buyer.
“We object to any sale,” said Angelucci.
However, he said “if there is going to be a sale,” it should be to Mongeon.
He also said it is “unjust” for the court to allow the sale of the property “for an amount that is way too low.”
Cox said he had an appraisal done on the property and believes it is worth more than $1.5 million.
Mongeon told the court it would likely be August before she could obtain the funding to purchase the property.
“August isn’t going to work,” said Walton.
He also stressed to Mongeon “the receiver is in control” of the property and all dealings would have to be through the receiver’s office.
“This is all over $8,000 worth of repairs,” said Angelucci. “And there was never a trial.”
Angelucci also said that Cox was “kicked off his property for two years” and has not been able to generate enough income to find a financial solution for the receiver.
Walton told Cox that “from the beginning” the court has had the position that the “last thing it wanted to do was sell the property.”
However, the judge also said the property has been on the market for six months and the $750,000 is the only confirmed offer on the table.
“The property is worth what it will sell for to a willing buyer,” said Walton.
Cox told the judge the “appraisal is so strong” he should be able to go to a bank and get a loan.
Walton said he had “read the appraisal,” but added: “If it is worth as much as you say it is, people would have jumped on it by now.”
Countered Angelucci: “Everybody knows this is fraud.”
Angelucci said he could not fathom why the court would order a sale of the property when “we don’t know how much he owns now.”
Walton said that would be determined at the discharge hearing. A discharge hearing is held when a receivership case comes to a close. It is at that time when the court determines the final amount owed.
The judge did provide a hint at the end of the hearing, saying “at minimum” the receiver could get some $50,000 in “unreimbursed items.”
However, it was not clear if that would be the total amount or if it would be added to the roughly $250,00 that has already been approved by the court.
In the end, the judge ordered a “provisional sale” of the property to the anonymous buyer.
But, because it is provisional, another hearing was ordered by Walton. That will be at 3:30 p.m., on Wednesday, June 12 in Mariposa County Superior Court.
Presumably, there will be a chance for Mongeon or Cox to have secured the $750,000 by that point, but it was not made clear at the hearing.
“There is no one in this courtroom who doesn’t want to see you successful,” Walton said to Cox at the end of the hearing.