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N4T Investigators: Disorder in the court - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

N4T Investigators: Disorder in the court

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Tucson - After a Pima County jury awarded Dr. Ronald Bernstein $1.7 million last year in his lawsuit against a moving company, he hugged his attorney, Jeff Greenberg. But now, 19 months later, Bernstein has not received a penny from the verdict. 

Bernstein told the News 4 Tucson Investigators, “It's made life extremely difficult in the sense that I'm financially desperate.”

Bernstein lives in a rental home filled with boxes. The 66-year old is devoutly Jewish and wants to move to Israel, but says he can't afford it.  His current attorney is suing Greenberg for malpractice, trying to get him the money he was awarded at trial. The mover's insurance company has paid Greenberg $100,000 and the court returned to him $27,500  from the bond Bernstein posted.  Greenberg was supposed to give Bernstein that money.

We asked Bernstein’s lawyer, Bill Walker, “What do you think happened to this money?” Walker said, “I think he (Greenberg) stole it.”

Waller also said, “If he goes to prison, obviously I'm not going to get a cent.”

That's because Jeff Greenberg has a much bigger  problem than owing Ron Bernstein $127,500. As we previously reported, Greenberg pleaded guilty in May to being part of a $33-million real estate scheme.  Also pleading guilty: 42-year old Courtland Gettel, a San Diego businessman who ran a real estate investment firm known both as Conix and Variant, that had offices in Tucson, in a building on E. Broadway. 

The U.S. Attorney's office in San Diego says Greenberg and Gettel, along with Peter Cash Doye,  the Senior Managing Director of Variant, who has pleaded not guilty, got millions in fraudulently-obtained loan proceeds. They allegedly took out huge loans against luxury homes in La Jolla and Del Mar, then forged documents to fool lenders into believing the homes were debt-free. 

We reached Greenberg by phone; he said he had no comment. He is also under investigation by the State Bar of Arizona, and suspended for not paying his dues.

Greenberg told us something last year, after winning the verdict against the moving company, that now seems quite ironic.  

“People in business are responsible when they mistreat other people,” he said.

We asked Ron Bernstein, “If you could talk to Jeff Greenberg, what would you say?”  “I don't want to talk to Jeff Greenberg,” Bernstein said. “And I don't want to even see him.”

Greenberg, who is 66 years-old, faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted of both charges, Wire Fraud Conspiracy and Conspiracy, in the real estate scheme. His sentencing is scheduled for November 7.

If you have a story you'd like us to investigate, email us at investigators@kvoa.com or call our tip line at 520-955-4444.

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