Arrest warrant issued for Tucson property manager

2014-02-16T00:00:00Z Arrest warrant issued for Tucson property managerBy Emily Bregel Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

An embattled Tucson property manager has a warrant out for his arrest after skipping out on two arraignment hearings this month.

After more than a dozen complaints of stolen rent payments — and failing to respond to any state inquiries about those complaints — Gregory Goldshteyn was issued a $10,000 civil penalty and stripped of his real estate license by the Arizona Department of Real Estate in November.

And he was indicted about three weeks ago on various charges related to the complaints, said Sgt. Chris Widmer, spokesman for the Tucson Police Department.

Pima County Superior Court issued the arrest warrant Thursday after Goldshteyn failed to appear for an arraignment on Feb. 5. He also skipped a rescheduled hearing last Wednesday, said Doug Clark, assistant attorney general for the AG’s office in Tucson.

Goldshteyn’s alleged fraud and theft came to a head suddenly in 2012, leaving his property-management clients at a loss as to where their tenants’ money went and how to find Goldshteyn, state Department of Real Estate records show.

After receiving 13 complaints from property owners against Goldshteyn in an eight-month period in 2012, the Arizona Department of Real Estate issued a cease-and-desist order in October 2012 for Goldshteyn and his now-defunct brokerage, G&G Realty LLC.

The department then tried to do an on-site audit of Goldshteyn’s office but could not get any response from Goldshteyn, whose business phone line was disconnected. Auditors found his office at 2900 E. Broadway abandoned, department records show. A total dollar figure for the case was not available from authorities.

The Arizona Daily Star was unable to reach Goldshteyn late last week. One business line for G&G Realty is still out of service and two messages left on another listed number went unreturned. An email sent Friday to Goldshteyn’s email address listed in state documents was returned to its sender.

Many of Goldshteyn’s property-management clients said they didn’t receive rent and deposit payments they were owed from their tenants, in some cases totaling thousands of dollars. Goldshteyn did not return their phone calls and “simply disappeared,” said an Arizona Department of Real Estate account of the complaints.

Mark and Karen Poppe were among them. Mark Poppe said rent payments began turning up late, then payments were finally a full month behind. Around October 2012, Goldshteyn became impossible to reach.

“All of the sudden, it kind of fell apart and he closed up shop,” Poppe said.

Poppe estimates he lost about $7,500 between rent payments, security deposits and two $300 maintenance accounts for Goldshteyn to handle repairs for tenants. Goldshteyn also had not notified the Poppes that one of their tenants had vacated the property.

Poppe says he filed a civil lawsuit against Goldshteyn but was unable to get any response from him. He says the court made a default judgment against Goldshteyn, but Poppe has to prove he attempted to collect money from Goldshteyn in order to get payment from the Department of Real Estate’s recovery fund.

“We’re sort of lost on how to do that,” he said.

Poppe, like other complainants, said he initially signed a property management agreement with Long Realty Tucson Property Management — a franchise of Long Realty that Goldshteyn started in 2008. Poppe says he wasn’t informed that Goldshteyn was no longer affiliated with Long Realty after mid-2011.

After four years as a Long Realty salesman, Goldshteyn launched his property-management franchise in 2008. He was never problematic during the time he was affiliated with Long Realty, said Jim Larkin, vice president for franchise operations for Long Realty.

“He was very much following the rules and all went well,” he said.

But Long Realty decided the franchise wasn’t growing quickly enough and discontinued its relationship with Goldshteyn in 2011, Larkin said.

Goldshteyn should have notified clients of the switch, he said.

“Whether or not he did that in an effective way, we don’t know,” Larkin said.

The Arizona Corporations Commission dissolved G&G Realty in March 2013 because the LLC failed to replace its statutory agent, John Battaile, who resigned in September 2012. Battaile said in a phone interview that he hasn’t seen Goldshteyn since the LLC formed in 2008 and he resigned as statutory agent when he began to hear complaints about Goldshteyn’s business practices.

Contact reporter Emily Bregel at ebregel@azstarnet.com or 807-7774. On Twitter: @EmilyBregel

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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