A Las Vegas judge has ruled that the sale of an apartment building owned by the late Tony Hsieh was fraudulent, leaving its buyer without ownership rights.
The property, an apartment complex known as Cassia located at 319 S. Ninth St., was allegedly sold by a man named Santiago Espinosa for $1.2 million in March. However, lawyers for Hsieh's estate did not learn of the purchase until May, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
A signed warranty deed listed Espinosa as a managing member of Hsieh's limited liability company that owned the property. But Hsieh's lawyers disputed this information, saying they do not know a "Santiago Espinosa" at all.
Hsieh was an internet entrepreneur who last served as chief executive officer of online shoe and clothing retailer Zappos. He died at the age of 46 in November 2020 due to complications he had suffered from a house fire in Connecticut.
The Taiwanese American businessman reportedly purchased Cassia in 2012, the same year he invested $350 million for the revitalization of downtown Las Vegas, most of which was used for real estate development.
District Judge Gloria Sturman ruled that Cassia's sale was "clearly fraudulent" and ordered the return of the warranty deed and deed of trust to Hsieh's estate.
Aside from Espinosa, the person who notarized the fraudulent sale could not be found. Sources believe the transaction is part of a larger scheme to defraud real estate buyers across the Las Vegas valley, according to 8 News Now.
The buyer, however, was identified as Galaxy Home Buyers LLC. Its manager, realtor Sarah Sorrells, reportedly declined to comment on the ruling.
The reversal does not affect the money exchanged in the sale. As a result, Galaxy Home Buyers suffered a $1.2 million loss.
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