Santa Clara County D.A. Indictment: Family Law "Custody Expert" -Links to CPA, Sean Connery, Stanford, and Salinas Valley?
Family law litigants have complained about misconduct issues related Valerie Houghton's involvement in their custody disputes for years, so many were not surprised to learn that Ms. Houghton and her husband have been brought up on over 50 counts of felony theft, fraud and embezzlement in Santa Clara County Superior Court earlier this week, Santa Clara County Case #C1632534- DA Case No. RF-1403-21813.
For those familiar with Ms. Houghton's close ties to family law attorney, Bradford Baugh, a Stanford University graduate, it was not a surprise that the egoistical narcissistic family lawyer is rumored to be an attorney involved in the case, as is Richard Roggia, who appeared on the record as the Houghtons were indicted, Mr. Roggia's pro tem assignments looking a little less shiny with his colleagues as a result.
Brad Baugh has been terrorizing mothers in Santa Clara Family Court property and custody battles for decades. In those battles, Mr. Baugh routinely selects Ms. Houghton as one of the players when a complex case involves custody disputes. Baugh's other players include; Nat Hales as a Special Master, Jim Butera as a forensic CPA, Tim Harper as a vocational examiner and Garrett Dailey for appeals Mr. Baugh's wealthy clients an pay for. .
It now seems no small coincidence that the State Bar is investigating Nat Hales, related to a real estate issue involving fee awards Mr. Hales made to Mr. Baugh. Or that Brad Baugh is being investigated himself by the State Bar related to misuse of his trust account and a mysterious transfer of $260,000 from a community business bank account, in his client's name, bearing the name of Brad Baugh on a transaction that indicates a violation of court orders where Mr. Baugh may have assisted his client. Robert Bassi, with tax and child support evasion.
James Butera, CPA, is also being investigated by the California Board of Accountancy, after being paid over $100,000 in a divorce case where e forgot to account for the money an opposing party placed in Brad Baugh's trust account, as .Butera acted as a joint financial expert.
The wife in that case sued Mr. Butera for negligence, which Mr. Butera attempted to have thrown out with an Anti- Slapp motion 425.16. Mr. Butera's fancy malpractice paid Anti- Slapp motion was denied by Judge Lucas, a former member of the Elkins Task Force.
Mr. Butera has appealed Judge Lucas' denial, rather than repay the wife the $100,000 she claims he took while acting with gross negligence in her divorce case.
Butera doesn't appear to need the money as he makes millions each yet mostly working divorce cases for a core group of cronies in Santa Clara County. yet, he and members of his firm , including Mike Shumway (son of famous cardiac surgeon , Norman Shumway. of Stanford University), appear to have no trouble stretching the financial facts in divorce cases to harm women and children and conceal deep fraud in businesses operated by husbands. Just like Valerie Houghton and her husband appear to have done.
Santa Clara has been plagued with issues involving the misconduct of custody evaluators and fiduciaries for decades. The county has essentially ignored the Elkins mandates, and even their own taskforce investigations related to custody and corrupt fiduciaries involved in divorce and probate cases. One such taskforce in 2012 was led by Mary Ann Grilli, along with California Senator Jim Beall and other members of the political and legal landscape in Santa Clara County. Birds of a feather, or so it would now seem.
Is Mary Ann Grilli in on helping conceal misconduct imposed in divorce cases before her?
Valerie Houghton's indictment may be just the tip of the iceberg of Santa Clara Family Court Corruption, a world where fraud, concealment, and corporate theft and dirty lawyers and judges help wealthy divorce litigants avoid tax, support and equitable divisions of community property. Investigating Ms. Houghton may be the first step in showing the systemic pattern of abuse and misconduct that Santa Clara County citizens have complained about for years.
Ms. Houghton, a lawyer and well-known family law " custody" expert, and her Intero real estate agent Terry Houghton, are alleged to have woven a pattern of fraud fraught real estate transactions that include fraudulent credit card charges, bad faith partner dealings and connections to local property real estate deals known in Los Gatos as the Bicknell and Kennedy Road projects. Also included in the indictment are properties connected to the Dry Creek Area of Campbell, the Mitchell Development Group in Los Gatos and those under MetaView Wholesale Inc. The indictment includes allegations and conflicts of interest involving Clyde Berg, Chris Ellis and a connection to well know real estate mogul in Gilroy, Felice. The Santa Clara County District Attorney's indictment of the Houghton's implies Felice funded projects rooted out by Cliff Johnson.
The indictment alleges Houghton is associated with the operation of a local " Friend's Project" wherein people the Houghtons tried to gain favor with were provided "free contracting and remodel services". One such project provided Rick Jay's house in the Willow Glen area of San Jose approximately $20,000 in kickback freebies. Cliff Johnson , who is reported to have been used by Felice to root out deals for MetaView, LP , was himself provided a free remodel of his kitchen that included Viking appliances installed and charged to MediaView, LP ( project in Gilroy).
The indictment alleges the Houghton's stole from MetaView, LP by using an American Express credit card and other money that elevated the lifestyle of the Houghtons, including; $160,000 in season tickets for the Forty- Niner games, lavish dinners and golf lessons at Corde Valle Country Club in San Martin and funding the largest private wine locker at Morton’s Steakhouse in San Jose for the Houghtons and their children. The Houghtons even paid for college expenses and extravagant Marriott vacations through questionable transactions as the Houghtons and their children drove new cars, including an Aston Martin and an Audi A8.
Accountants in the Houghton indictment were not named , but in Brad Baugh's dissolution cases, accountants like James Butera, and Chuck Doglione appear to be willing to risk their licenses by failing to assure income is lawfully reported, while acting with gross negligence as licensed Certified Public Accountants during dissolution proceedings.
It appears the fraud many of Mr. Baugh's clients may be engaging in during their divorces is a boilerplate plan Mr. Baugh employs for all of his wealthy clients steal community property from their former wives and children during long drawn out divorces.
A memo recently leaked from Mr. Baugh’s office stated that a client, Robert Bassi, needed to be patient, as it would be a “ slow process”, but that such process would "hopefully" prevent his former wife from getting her half of the community farming businesses.
Tim Harper, a vocational examiner in San Jose , is also routinely used by Mr. Baugh and his ill intended clients, For years Mr. Harper has been used by Mr. Baugh where Mr. Baugh's clients pay Mr. Harper more than they save by getting income imputed to their former spouses, to avoid supporting their children, and to hide their fraud in businesses. Mr. Harper appears to be one of Mr. Baugh's bad actors, and regularly appears before Judge Grilli, where she seems to use Tim Harper to rubber stamp any request made of Brad Baugh.
Mr. Harper is used by Brad Baugh for divorce cases involving clients like Robert Bassi, Oliver Garbe , Evan Brooks and David Cheriton. An email from Harper's Office to Brad Baugh shows Tim Harper's office tried to discredit and defame at least one of the wives , rather than perform an honest vocational exam. Court files also show Harper got another wife imputed for child support making up jobs the woman could never actually get in Silicon Valley's tech industry. Then Baugh got Mary Ann Grill to impute a former wife for phantom income, and after Baugh and Allan worked over 10 years to bankrupt the woman and strip her of 50% custody, without good cause.
In that case Mr. Baugh represents a wealthy client, Oliver Garbe, the step son of Sean Connery. In December 2013 a letter emerged where it appears Brad Baugh and children's lawyer Heather Allan, split a final payment from a house sale, without permission or legal authority to do so. The money was a final payment from the sale of Mr. Garbe’s former wife's home, which was ordered by presiding judge Mary Ann Grilli, and largely went to pay the expenses of the husband's lawyer, Brad Baugh, which have now reportedly reached over $3,000,000 for a middle class California divorce.
As Oliver Garber used Baugh to sell his former wife's house, stealing nearly all the proceeds that were part of her inheritance, Oliver's own mother and her famous husband , Sean Connery, were embroiled in defending tax evasion charges in Spain, which still are pending and could send Oliver Garber's mother. to jail in Spain. Will authorities from Spain arrive on Brad Bush's door to investigate if he helped Oliver Garber hide any of the stolen funds?
Brad Baugh appears unconcerned and has obtained Garrett Dailey for Oliver Garbe to fight wife's appeal of an attorney award she was ordered to make to Brad Baugh, as she was unemployed, on Medicare and where Baugh had managed to her the former wife declared a vexatious litigant, solely because she sought time with her children and tried to call attention to fraud Garbe appears to have subjected her too.
For the mother's appeal Baugh retained Garrett Dailey, once champion of Jeffery Elkins, to deny the wife her day in appeals court, after Mr. Baugh had her denied her day in trial court for property and custody issues.
Ironically it was Baugh's client , Oliver Garbe , spent 10 years bankrupting and harassing his former wife in a California divorce court , Oliver's own mother, wife of movie star, Sean Connery, Roquebrune , is facing felony like charges herself , in Spain, and in what also appears to be use of lawyers and CPAs to avoid tax and launder money in that country. Like mother, like son ?
In the case involving Robert Bassi, Nat Hales was appointed as Special Master, where Nat Hales never issued a required conflict of interest disclosure, which was required by court order, and which would have revealed the close ties of Mr. Hales to Mr. Baugh, Rich Roggia and Mr. Butera, and their involvement in the costly Brooks case where they each made self described "gobs" of cash. Did any such cash go to pay the Houghtons for backroom custody and real estate deals in Brad Baugh's or Rich Roggia's cases? Or did that include cash that Baugh kicked back to Hales in a back-alley-like bribe where $28,000was delivered to Hales in ex parte communication effort that Baugh is known for.
The record in Robert Bassi's case shows that the husband admitted he first retained Valerie Houghton as a " custody expert", who is now indicted for felony crimes .
In that same case, Nat Hales banked a bribe from Baugh, by depositing it, on his own order, to his own trust account, Hales then used his authority to award Mr. Baugh $50,000 in fees as Brad Baugh, as the two concealed how the money paid to Hales was derived . The wife has alleged the funds Baugh gave to Hales were laundered by Robert Bassi , with the help of his shady business partners and family members from at least six California Corporations; California Seed Production, Inc. , California Seeds, Inc., North American Seed Company, Daniel A Bassi Properties, LP , AgriCoat, LLC. and Tanimura and Antle, all companies tied to Salinas Valley agriculture and an important part of California's food supply.
Also in that case, Nat Hales ordered the sale of a Gilroy Property , after his own son, Greg Hales, had been promised a kickback commission from the sale by Intero real estate agent Patty Filice, Mr. Hales' conflict of interest notwithstanding, and leading to one more appearance of real estate fraud being imposed in Mr. Baugh's divorce cases.
Did Mr. Baugh take on Ms. Houghton's case to monitor authorities closing in on his own misconduct ? Or as a kickback to Ms. Houghton for years of assistance in misusing family courts to benefit his wealthy clients? Was Brad Baugh hoping to get one of the crooked family law judges, like Mary Ann Grilli, to hear Ms. Houghton's criminal case? Or will the case be brought up before Judge Scott, a Santa Clara criminal judge, who has already been judicially disciplined through public admonishment, and likely would let Mr. Baugh run away with a corrupt verdict as he does in family law cases on a daily basis?
Rumors of cash kickbacks to Mr. Baugh and his " experts" have circulated in Santa Clara Family Courts for decades,
Maybe it isn't a surprise that Brad Baugh represents a divorce client who is the son of the famous Sean Connery, and who recently hired Garrett Dailey to go after his former wife's appeal of Brad Baugh's attorney fee award.
Maybe it isn't a coincidence that another of Mr. Baugh's cases now involves a former US Attorney General, who also can't shake bias Judge Grilli shows for every lawyer or litigant who opposes Brad Baugh ,even when Baugh is representing Evan Brooks, who is alleged to be engaging in Corporate fraud like Mr. Baugh's other clients appear to be able to so freely do during divorce proceedings where they are represented by Baugh.
Maybe it isn't a coincidence that the forensic CPA, James Butera, used by Mr. Baugh in well-funded divorce cases, is now appealing the denial of an Anti- Slapp where a woman finally spoke up about Mr. Butera’s negligence during the course acting as a joint forensic Certified Public Accountant in a divorce case.
Maybe it isn't a coincidence that Brad Baugh's preferred custody expert, who is connected to real estate, is being indicted by the Santa Clara County District Attorney.
Maybe it isn’t a coincidence that all this is finally coming out after Santa Clara County recently attracted the attention of a team of investigative reporters.