Meet The Bernie Madoff of Beverly Hills

People in L.A.’s Iranian-Jewish community believe there’s a high-rolling crook in their midst. Elizabeth Segal investigates how $500 million disappeared without a trace.

In the close-knit community of L.A.’s Iranian-American Jews, anger simmers beneath the surface.

More than $500 million has disappeared, according to a Department of
Justice trusteeship report, yet, Ezri Namvar the real-estate agent,
banker, and money-lender at the heart of the dramatic, two-year story of
the missing millions, has not been indicted, nor has he been stripped
of his real-estate license, despite allegations that he bilked hundreds
of families out of their savings in an elaborate Ponzi-like scheme.

Described by his critics as “the West Coast Bernie Madoff,” Namvar
still lives in his luxurious mansion in Brentwood, and travels freely in
and out of the country.

“Why is this man not in jail? At this point in his case, Madoff was,”
says David Youssefyeh, an attorney who represents 20 families in a
contentious bankruptcy case involving Namvar and his investment company,
Namco Capital Group Inc.

Despite the scale of the bankruptcy, and the number of people
involved, the case has received scant notice beyond the Iranian
community in Los Angeles—a generally affluent community that numbers in
the tens of thousands. At one point, th… >>>

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