Court docs show Napoles family in pork barrel scam, no longer fighting for seized properties

by Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN News

 

In the summer of 2015, the US Justice Department’s money laundering and kleptocracy divisions got involved in the Philippines pork barrel scam — filing a forfeiture complaint that sought to recover some $12.5 million in assets.

They say Janet Lim Napoles acquired the money through a public corruption scam, that linked several Philippine lawmakers.

These four properties, one luxury car, and shares of a company, were among the assets seized by US officials.

Real estate records show that these properties remain under the names of the Napoles family, despite attempts to sell some of them.

The courts blocked the sale of the luxury Ritz Carlton condo unit, under Jean Napoles’ name.

Also on the list of forfeited items: the Irvine home of Janet’s brother, Reynaldo Luy Lim, who remains at large.

Lim oversaw Western Ventures Management, which operated the Anaheim Express Inn.

According to the Secretary of State, Western Ventures has since moved its office from Anaheim to Gardena in California.

They also changed its president in February 2016..

However, Reynaldo is still listed as the secretary and CFO.

The Anaheim Express Inn is the most lucrative of the Napoles properties.

Prior to the unraveling of the scam, the hotel was operated by the Napoles-linked Western Ventures.

The 63-room hotel, just outside of Disneyland, continues to operate to this day.

Since it was seized by the US government, it has been managed by HMG hospitality.

Western Ventures also owns a commercial property in Covina, where a school once operated.

From the looks of it, it does not seem as if anyone has tended to the property in quite some time. In fact, it’s deteriorating appearance has at one time prompted LA County officials to issue some notices.

Unkept shrubs, garbage, and shattered glass now mark the Napoles-owned site.

On the door, notices from the Los Angeles Country Department of Public Works dated last November — one offering graffiti removal, and another one which BA found during a January visit declaring it substandard property, and a public nuisance.

In a March 10 court filing, federal prosecutors have asked that the court grant a default judgement and a final order for forfeiture.

They say that the October 2016 deadline for defendants to file claims on the defaulted assets had lapsed with no one filing a claim.

The court had acknowledged that defendants have failed to enter a plea, or respond to the recently-amended complaints.

With no indication of the Napoles family fighting for their properties, a final judgement for default is scheduled for next month.

 

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