HOW THE AMERICAN DREAM CONTINUES TO DIE IN THE YEAR 2009 FOR ALPHONSE MOURAD, A MIDDLE EASTERN DEVELOPER WHO LOST MILLIONS OF DOLLARS AND HIS PROPERTY AT THE HANDS OF THE PARTNERSHIP OF THE VARIOUS GOVERNMENTAL ENTITIES, BEACON RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES, AND TRUSTEE STEPHEN S. GRAY, IN ASSOCIATION WITH VARIOUS CORRUPT STATE AND FEDERAL JUDGES (For detailed information, see the Jewish Takeover and Corrupt Judges button). What is unique about Mourad's former property is that it sits on 6 1/2 acres of prime Boston real estate - essentially a developer's dream. With 1500 predominately African American tenants occupying this development, all that stands in the way of high-rise luxury condominiums, is for further gentrification and ethnic cleansing to pave the way.
Mourad's fight is for the people who are losing their place in what is quickly becoming an upscale and exclusive City. Specifically, Mourad is arguing that long-time Roxbury residents have already begun to lose not only their homes but also their heritage.
You were an immigrant that migrated to the United States of America to pursue the American Dream, obtained citizenship and lived as a model citizen for nearly 5 decades.
After years of hard work, you achieved the American Dream and sound financial standing. You were respected and supported by politicians, city officials, and socialites.
Then you make a conscious decision to come to the aid of an ethnic community, in which you do not generally belong to, and to pay homage to one of their icons, you erect two 70ft signs on the most prominent building in the development which faces downtown Boston. The controversial sign which spelled MANDELA, could only be put up late at night on a Sunday by a contractor from New Hampshire because no Boston-based company would do it and a permit never would have been approved. Local developers were furious that Mourad had identified his property with Nelson Mandela, an African freedom fighter, in an attempt to support the incorporation to make Roxbury a City independent from Boston where people would live free from oppression (see button entitled Mandela Incorporation for more information). In the eyes of local developers, all this did was depreciate the property value of the other local homes and businesses. If that was not self serving enough, you then HAVE YOUR PROPERTY SEIZED BY THE GOVERNMENT THROUGH BANKRUPTCY COURT. Why did Mourad fight this battle? Because it was too much like the one he had to fight when he came from Lebanon as a teenager and watched his people being gentrified and displaced by the Boston Redevelopment Authority from their South End homes where Mourad started his life in America. What once was The AMERICAN DREAM has turned into an AMERICAN NIGHTMARE resulting in financial, physical, and mental devastation.
WHAT WOULD YOU DO???
The story of Alphonse Mourad reads like one of John Grisham's best sellers. With the Camaraderie of The Firm, Illegal scandals of "The Pelican Brief", the fight for justice as in "The Juror" and the struggle to survive it all as in "The Client".
Mr. Mourad's legal battles have been continuing for decades, yet through his faith and conviction he continues to fight for the equality and justice within the American Constitution, which has more loopholes than a finely tailored suit.
AN AMERICAN DREAM GONE WRONG???
This is the story of a Lebanese man who came to America in 1958 at the young age of fourteen to pursue the American Dream. When he took his oath of citizenship nearly 50 years ago, he fully embraced and supported the tenets of democracy, the right of every person to pursue the blessings of liberty and justice for all. Mourad chose to become a young entrepreneur in the City of Boston. Here he was encouraged to invest in its future, to share in building a city for the 21st century.
Mourad founded V & M Management, Inc, which owned the Mandela Development complex, which consists of 22 buildings on 6.5 acres of prime Boston land and 276 residential units, which houses approximately 1,500 minority tenants. This complex which is comprised of 98% African Americans and Hispanics, had been renamed Mandela in 1987, after former President Nelson Mandela, the great freedom fighter against apartheid.
Mourad's plan was to build a new, multicultural community over thirty acres of land that was owned by the Boston Redevelopment Authority and the City of Boston. He would rehabilitate the housing and offer its current residents and other working class poor, the right to much more than affordable housing - he would offer them home ownership.. He raised his family and assisted friends and relatives through a variety of enterprises in several communities. He was recognized as a generous donor to worthy charities. He rose to a position of considerable wealth and prestige. Then, a multimillionaire, he chose to share his good fortune with those citizens whom he recognized were not included in the American Dream.¨ These were the disenfranchised, excluded on the basis of ethnic origins, skin color and decades of discrimination.
By 1990, with his own money, Mourad established the Mandela Town Hall, as well as a health clinic, social programs, and a community center. With his support, the residents applied for a city charter in 1990. This would empower its citizens for self-government: to collect their own taxes, provide their own services, and take their place with the surrounding communities. This was the second attempt for secession from the City of Boston by a group of black citizens. Mourad strongly supported the Mandela incorporation and worked with community leaders toward this effort. (See button and sub button entitled: CNN coverage Mandela). As in 1986, this new proposal for succession was also defeated. In addition, Mourad helped to positively impact the Mandela community with numerous policy initiatives. The following are just a couple of such initiatives:
* Mourad and the Mandela residents filed a class action suit against the Boston Police Department because young black kids were dying by the dozens. Their suit resulted in non- police patrols and higher visibility of the police in and around Mandela, and a subsequent drop in crime.
* Mourad also challenged Boston Edison for overbilling affordable housing developments. He was being charged a commercial rate that was 18 percent above the residential rate, and higher than that charged to luxury condominiums. He successfully had the rate reduced, not only for the Mandela development, but statewide. With the concentration of subsidized housing in Massachusetts a lowering of utility payments represents a significant savings for the federal government.
None of this was reported in the Globe at the time it occurred, or in Michael Grunwald's article." Mourad stressed that his bankruptcy proceedings were "extremely complex and contentious," and made even more so by the one-sided reporting of the Boston Globe.
Mourad awaited the promised federal and local funds to continue building his dream. Here is when it all started to go wrong. Withe several litigations pending and continuing threats of a takeover by the Democratic Governmental Entities, Mourad found himself attacked in the Boston Globe newspapers as a 'slum lord,' (see lawsuits button and sub button Boston Globe Lawsuit) while he was accurately portrayed by the LA Times, CNN, The Boston Herald, The Federalist and other national media organizations. This was clearly the beginning of a locally motivated witch-hunt to help investors and governmental entities seize control over a multi-million dollar parcel of land ripe for gentrification.
His application for HUD development funds was refused, and, with the extended legal battles to restore his reputation and gain funding, he was pushed into bankruptcy by a fraudulent note held by a junior mortgagor, in which Mourad's signature was forged. (see the Judge Lopez Corruption under the Corrupt Judges button above). Just prior to declaring bankruptcy, a series of incidents took place: Most recently: Mourad sought the assistance of President Bush and asked that he intervene and order a federal investigation into this matter. The Special Assistant to the President forwarded the matter on to the Department of Justice for further review to no avail. (Refer to "Home Page--White House").
With essentially NO INCOME since 1996, Mourad was shocked to learn that he was liable for profits made in both 1997 and 1999 taxes on $2.7 millions of dollars of profits that he had never received. Mourad is currently liable to the IRS for more than $700,000 in taxes owed as a result. This is all the result of the bankruptcy judge transferring ownership to the trustee without transferring any liability to him as well. Moreover, none of his creditors had been repaid as required by Chapter 11 S Corporation Bankruptcy.
The party that benefited from this systematic corruption is Beacon Residential Properties who happily obtained an illegal tax credit from Trustee Stephen Gray. Perhaps the most important detail in this collective corruption is that only Mourad, as the owner of the Mandela property, with the tax credit's statutory 10 year period, qualified for the low income housing tax credit that Gray used to oust Mourad from his ownership. Mourad was removed from his position as President and owner of V&M Management, Inc. on April 2, 1996, when the Bankruptcy Court appointed Stephen Gray as the owner and Chapter 11 Trustee. On September 26, 1997 the bankruptcy court approved the trustee supported confirmation plan that required Trustee Gray to have 10 years of uninterrupted site control/ownership of the property. Grey deeded the property to Beacon residential properties on December 18, 1997 and V&M management was dissolved on August 31, 1998.
Clearly, Beacon residential properties never qualified for the $12 million tax credit and used trustee Stephen Gray as a straw and developed a temporary and flimsy relationship with the tenants just to obtain approval from the Bankruptcy Court for the transfer of ownership and for the purpose of transferring the credits. This made it possible for Beacon to purchase the property under reorganization for $1. Mourad asked the Court to examine the record and the facts and to award him to $12 million tax credit. This case is still pending.(See IRS and Worcester Bankruptcy buttons on www.bostonmandelascandal.com for further information).
Since his tax trial in 2001, Mourad has been led through a morass of conflicting judicial decisions, unethical practices by the City Housing Commission, FBI investigations, his reputation smeared in the newspapers, treated like a dangerous criminal and barred from access to his court documents in the Federal Building (under threat of imprisonment). Mourad had, unwittingly, reopened the longstanding debate of Gentrification vs. Affordable Housing that unleashed a battle cry among the white community. These formidable forces have driven him to a state of physical exhaustion and economic deprivation beyond normal capacity.
The following website provides a snapshot of Mourad in the media:
In addition to these articles, Mourad has also been covered by: CNN, The LA Times, and numerous radio and television outlets. For further information see tab entitled media on the website home page. While the vast majority of media coverage on Mourad's journey as owner of the Mandela development has been impartial, the Boston Globe consistently provided its readership with an inaccurate, prejudicial, slanted view of Mourad. So much so that Mourad claims the organization is responsible for his demise and as a result it landed in court with a $10 million deformation lawsuit. The following is an explanation of the events that led to the seizure of Mourad's property.
$10 MILLION DEFAMATION SUIT FILED AGAINST THE BOSTON GLOBE BY ALPHONSE MOURAD in Suffolk Superior Court - Case Number 98-4585
BOSTON - Alphonse Mourad, the former president of V&M Management and owner and operator of The Mandela Apartments in Lower Roxbury, filed a $10 Million law suit against the Boston Globe in Suffolk Superior Court. Mourad stated that the Globe had routinely defamed his character over the years, and continued to publish patently false and inaccurate statements about him and his operation of the Mandela Apartments. "When does one become an American?" Mourad asked. "I have been a citizen for 35 years, yet every article published about me in the Boston Globe describes me as a Lebanese immigrant. When the Globe printed news stories about Henry Kissingcr, was he ever described as a German-Jewish immigrant? I am an American, and I want the Boston Globe to recognize that fact," Mourad said.
"As long as they can make me out to be a foreigner, label me as a Middle-Eastern extremist, and incite and inflame ancient passions and prejudices against me for the accident of my birth, then I am somehow rendered less human, less deserving and less American," he said.
Mourad's lawsuit cites an April 1, 1996 article in the Globe written by Michael Grunwald. whose front page headline read, "Mandela owner set to leave after a long expensive ride," as evidence of the Globe's willful intent to defame his character. The article was published on the day of a Bankruptcy Court hearing, and announced that Chief Justice Carol J. Kenner had decided to appoint a trustee to oversee the Mandela property. What makes the article suspect, Mourad said, is that it was published prior to the hearing and the ruling by Judge Kenner. "The Globe does not possess the ability to predict the future," Mourad said. "The fact that they knew the results of the hearing before it took place means that there was collusion between the Globe and government officials, that could reach even into the Bankruptcy Court," he said. In fact. Eric Bradford, head of the United Stares Trustee's Office for Massachusetts, quoted the Globe article in his recommendation to Judge Kenner to appoint a trustee.
To make matters worse, as early as March 11, 1996 Grunwald was given a clear picture of the finances of V&M Management by attorney Harold Murphy, who represented V&M and Mourad. On March 12th Murphy's associate, attorney Eddirland Duncan, wrote to Grunwald presenting him with a detailed financial breakdown of deposits and payments made by, or on behalf of, Mourad. Grunwald's article virtually accused Mourad of stealing millions of dollars earmarked for repairs at Mandela. By virtue of being published on the front page of the Globe, Mourad claims, and quoted by the US Trustee, the misinformation in the Grunwald article led directly to Mourad losing his property, his income and the bankruptcy of his family.
Because of who they are, two Americans, one Lebanese and the other Jewish, Grunwald has constructed a field of enmity between himself and Mourad that frankly is deplorable.
THIS IS THE WAY THE AMERICAN DREAM ENDS
After Alphonse Mourad waited 4 years for Judge Kenner to set a trial date (as was ordered by U.S. Bankruptcy Appellate Panel's "4/12/2000 Judgment and Order"), Judge Kenner finally issued an Order of Reassignment on April 24, 2004, assigning the case to Judge Joel B. Rosenthal in the Federal Bankruptcy Court of Worcester. Judge Kenner arrested Mourad prior to the reassignment for entering the 11th floor of the Tip O'Neill building. He was then transferred to the federal courthouse where he was tried and paid a penalty for entering the courthouse for which he was unconstitutionally barred from. Kenner dismissed Mourad's Motion for a Change of Venue to another state. Judge Rosenthal's preclusion of discovery and failure to issue a comprehensive scheduling order in this matter works such a prejudice upon Alphonse Mourad as to deny him his basic due process rights. Mourad has been precluded from seeking basic information necessary to support his claims. Further, Mourad is being denied a basic opportunity afforded to all litigants to conduct sufficient discovery necessary to allow him to reasonably amend claims and/or determine if additional claims should be pursued. This is particularly important, because the Trustee in this matter filed tax returns subsequent to the Order of the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel. The Trustee, at the time of those filings, knew that the very ability to file those returns was at issue. In addition, in light of Judge Rosenthal's Order closing the estate as to matters which were under appeal, it is questionable as to whether the Trustee had the authority to file tax returns on behalf of the corporation two years after it ceased its management of said corporation. (For detailed information, click the Worcester Bankrupt Court button above).
Ironically, both Judge Kenner and Stephen Gray, the chapter 11 trustee, both retired shortly after the Mandela property was transferred to Beacon Residential Properties. The question here is, why would two professionals in the prime of their careers unexpectedly retire early? Many of the individuals involved in this case have either retired or been accused of fraud including: Judge Maria Lopez, State Senator Dianne Wilkerson, State Representative Byron Rushing, City Councilman Chuck Turner, and it is only a matter of time before other politicians and judicial officials involved in the Mandela scandal are found guilty of corruption.
INDIGENT, HOMELESS AND LEVIED BY THE IRS FOR OVER $700,000 IN TAXES OWED FOR $2,088,554 IN CAPITAL GAINS MOURAD NEVER RECEIVED FOR THE YEAR 1997, AND $536,000 MOURAD NEVER RECEIVED FOR THE YEAR 1999, ALPHONSE MOURAD FILES HIS PETITION/MOTION TO REOPEN AND RECONSIDER THE PANEL'S OCTOBER 20, 2004 DECISION BASED UPON MISREPRESENTATIONS AND FRAUDULENT STATEMENTS MADE BY THE I.R.S. ATTORNEY AT THE SEPTEMBER 16, 2004 ARGUMENT, THE COURT'S OWN FAILURE TO LOOK AT THE RECORD, AND THE COURT'S MISSTATEMENT OF THE FACTS AND MISAPPLICATION OF THE LAW ON WHO OWNED THE PROPERTY FOR PURPOSES OF OBTAINING THE LOW INCOME TAX CREDIT. (for detailed information, see the IRS Tax Litigation button above).
Finally, Alphonse Mourad has sought help and pleaded his case to former President Bush, the FBI, the US Attorney, and the U.S. Department of Justice. Unfortunately, they failed to investigate, and dismissed the fraud and perjury that has taken place at the hands of the partnership of the various governmental entities, Beacon Residential Properties, and Trustee Stephen S. Gray, in association with various corrupt State and Federal Judges. (for detailed information, click on the White House button above).
The Final Word
Having now lived in America for five decades, Mourad is all too familiar with the double standard that exists in this country between the rich and the poor, the politically connected and the poor consumers in need of protection, those who are in political favor and those who are not. Mourad has witnessed the death of affordable housing in America and the destruction of numerous communities, all in the name of 'progress' but in reality it has been in the name of 'profit.' Mourad also witnessed governmental corruption on the local, state, and federal level and have learned that the government is a powerful force that will stop at nothing to obtain its goal, whether it is democratic or not. Mourad continues to be deeply troubled by the growing devastation of his homeland, Lebanon and the victimization of its people. But his concern extends far beyond Lebanon. It is Mourad's hope, that in some small way, he can contribute five decades of lessons learned to help the people of Palestine with their struggle to control their own land and be given the opportunity to form their own destiny so that they will once again prosper as a people and share in the fruits of true democracy.
America is corrupt both at home and abroad; whether it be here at home through a rubber stamp by a state and federal judge or abroad under the guise of promoting democracy, it's the same bottom-line - the promotion of corruption. Or, whether it's through unconditional financial support of Israel who carelessly murders thousands of innocent Palestinians with US tax dollars. With the election of President Obama, there comes an optimism that change is in the air. Mourad is not confident that he will see it in his lifetime but holds the hope that one day future generations will live in a country without corruption.