Things are getting dramatic with a capital "middle school" between the Kendrick Meek and Jeff Greene campaigns for the Democrat Senate nomination. This weekend, the he-said, he-said jumped from catty campaign emails to my cell phone, when I got word from Greene's campaign that the lawsuit against Greene for defrauding a group of California senior citizens out of home loans has been dismissed.
Greene was sued (complaint, summons) for improperly creating a subdivision that he then sold to a convicted bank-fraud felon whose appraiser duped seniors out of big loans. When Steven Reeder got paid, so did Jeff Greene. But on April 23, the seniors dismissed their charges against Greene.
Is our billionaire bad boy exonerated? Yes, but also no. Plaintiff and Santa Rosa resident
Richard Abel says that Greene was spared not because he was innocent but quite the opposite: "Indirectly, there was a threat that he would come after us and there would be a much bigger counterclaim," Abel says. "Most people in the suit are elderly -- they just don't want to take on Jeff Greene."
According to Abel, the threat came not from Greene but from a Malibu real estate broker who told them, "He's going to come after you."
The plaintiffs' attorney believes that Greene is liable, Abel says, but that the group "didn't have an appetite for litigation, and all got scared." Greene campaign spokesman Paul Blank said in an email, "The case was dismissed" and declined to comment further.
Meanwhile, Meek's latest email calls Greene a "profiteer of Floridians' personal misery," again harping on the fortune Greene made by betting against the housing market, and Greene continues to label Meek a "career politician." No word yet on where the two will be dueling at recess.
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