Monday, July 20, 2020

The Mountain of Beverly Hills is at the center of a new lawsuit by the federal government seeking to recover more than $100 million allegedly embezzled from Kuwait

LATimes on the latest development in the story:

Touted as the city’s finest undeveloped piece of land, the Mountain made international headlines in 2018 when it hit the market with the highest price tag in L.A. real estate history: $1 billion.

Although some dubbed the ambitious listing a publicity stunt, the prized piece of land offers more privacy and space than almost any other property in Southern California.

Set at the highest point of the 90210 ZIP Code, it spans 157 acres — or roughly twice the size of Disneyland. It is spread across 17 parcels, six of which are zoned for residential development. Listing agent Aaron Kirman said at the time that potential buyers he spoke with envisioned everything from an ultra-exclusive enclave of homes to a Huntington Gardens-style oasis for a single buyer.

Despite plenty of hype, no buyer materialized

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Only one bid was placed, and it came from the estate of Hughes for a mere $100,000.

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The Justice Department filed seven lawsuits Thursday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles seeking the forfeiture of real estate and other assets purchased using funds that the suits contend were embezzled by former officials in Kuwait’s Ministry of Defense.

U.S. prosecutors claim the funds were used to purchase or contribute to the improvement of the 157-acre Mountain property