Hakim family siphoned rent money instead of paying full mortgage on Onyx Tower: lawsuit

Landlord’s lawyer fires back that claim is ‘defamatory’

6100 Wilshire Blvd. (Credit: Google Maps)
6100 Wilshire Blvd. (Credit: Google Maps)

A Wilshire Boulevard office tower could plunge into receivership as lenders accuse owner Said Hakim of siphoning money to personally benefit himself and his family.

Wilmington Trust, the trustee of a securitized mortgage issued by UBS Real Estate Securities, filed a lawsuit against Onyx Tower, a limited liability company founded by Hakim and managed by sons and daughters Sam, Michael, Tanya, and Julia Hakim that own the 130,000-square-feet property at 6100 Wilshire Boulevard.

The plaintiffs want a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge to place the building into receivership.

Commercial landlords across the U.S. are on the default precipice as tenants don’t pay rent amid the coronavirus pandemic. But problems at the Wilshire property predate the economic crisis, and allegedly involve mismanagement and fraud.

Questions for Hakim were routed to Brian Weinhart, a lawyer at Hill, Farrell, and Burill who called the allegations “highly defamatory.”

“The borrower’s mortgage payments are and at all times since the origination of the subject loan, have been paid,” Weinhart stated. “Mr. Hakim unequivocally denies any misappropriation of rent payments whatsoever. The building has always been, and will continue to be, managed in a stellar manner and maintained in class A condition.”

According to the complaint, UBS provided Hakim a $65 million mortgage loan in 2014, enabling him to purchase the property from Kennedy Wilson for $76 million.

As part of the agreement reached between Hakim and UBS along with loan servicer Wells Fargo, all monthly rent checks would go into a deposit toward Hakim’s mortgage payments, the lawsuit states.

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Problems began with payments last year, per the lawsuit.

In July 2019, Wells Fargo dinged Hakim with a $14,000 late payment fee, and began investigating why just half of the expected $800,000 per month in rent payments were entering the mortgage deposits.

After not hearing back from Hakim about the discrepancy, Wells Fargo hired a forensic accountant.

What the accountant found, the complaint reads, is that just $3 million of Hakim’s $8.32 million cash receipts between May 2019 and March 2020 at the Wilshire property went to pay the property’s mortgage.

The other money went to “insiders and affiliates” including payments to the personal home mortgage of Said Hakim’s son, Sam Hakim, the suit alleges.

The legal action comes on the heels of a complaint filed last year against Hakim’s sons and daughters also regarding 6100 Wilshire Boulevard. In that lawsuit, property investor Brian Weiner accused the family of fraudulently misrepresenting his stake in the property.

Sam Hakim is also involved in another pending legal saga. He has filed a lawsuit against Agency co-founder Mauricio Umanksy and Umansky’s business partner, Mauricio Oberfeld.

In that dispute, Hakim claims he was willing to spend $41 million on a Malibu property formerly owned by the Vice President of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, but Umansky sold the property to Oberfeld for $33 million and then allegedly profited off the resale. Umansky has denied any wrongdoing.