The Florida Bar trial began this week for David J. Stern, the onetime foreclosure mogul and attorney facing legal misconduct and fraud charges over his Plantation-based home repossession company.
Jeff Tew of Miami-based Tew Cardenas, who represents Stern, said his client is a scapegoat and referred to the attorney general’s probe as “bogus.” The 83-page complaint, filed in Broward County, claims that one of Stern’s top-ranking workers allowed her name to be signed by others and was rewarded with high pay and a new car. Tew argues that Stern, who had 1,500 employees at one point, can’t be expected to know all of their moves. His company was one of the biggest so-called “foreclosure mills” in Florida before it closed in 2011. It was hit with allegations of forgery and notary fraud.
The trial kicked off with three judges serving as witnesses, each of which had filed complaints.
The attorney general’s investigation halted last year when the Florida Supreme Court upheld a ban that prevented the state from relying on the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act against the firm. [Palm Beach Post] — Mark Maurer