The Dirty Dozen: 2010's Most Despicable People | Feature | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida


The Dirty Dozen: 2010's Most Despicable People

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Dirt Meter: 7 (Spoiled, decadent behavior turns lethal.)

David J. Stern

David J. Stern might very well be the poster boy for the entire foreclosure quagmire in this country. In 2009 alone, Stern's eponymous law firm, based in Plantation, handled more than 70,000 foreclosure proceedings on behalf of major lenders like Bank of America, JP Morgan, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac. Operations like Stern's process foreclosure cases on behalf of banks by moving the paperwork through as quickly as possible, leading some to call them "foreclosure mills." Firms have pioneered practices like "robo-signing" — whereby employees process thousands of court documents without ever actually reviewing them, a violation of law. The expedited process means Stern may be responsible for unfairly forcing thousands of struggling Americans from their homes.

And while the evicted residents are forced to fight a system that favors powerful banks and lawyers, Stern has compiled a disgusting amount of wealth: He owns two waterfront mansions in Broward County, each worth well over $10 million, and a 9,000-square-foot apartment at the Ritz-Carlton worth $8 million. He has two more houses in Colorado worth $20 million. His car collection, which includes a million-dollar-plus Bugatti sports car and multiple Ferraris, is said to be worth more than $3 million. And of course, he has a yacht, a 130-foot ode to the most warped, vile ostentation. He named it Su Casa Es Mi Casa. Spanish for "Your House Is My House."

Dirt Meter: 10 (If Americans ever do take to the streets in violent revolt, it's people like Stern who will be hunted.)

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Michael J. Mooney

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