Monday Jan 18 2010
Court auctions off assets formerly held by Roseville businessman
By: Eric Laughlin The Press Tribune
A U.S. bankruptcy court last week auctioned off six of 24 properties formerly held by Roseville’s Abe Alizadeh, owner of Kobra Properties. The court-supervised auction brought in a total of $6.8 million, most of which came from the selling of five Jack in the Box buildings, including two in Rocklin. The sixth property included a vacant piece of land near the crossing of Junction Road and Foothills Boulevard in Roseville, which sold for $325,000. Sacramento attorney Don Fitzgerald represents the trustee who listed the properties and said bids were generally too low for the ones that didn't sell. "There are some that we may still try to close the divide." he said, "But most will go back into foreclosure." Fitzgerald said the sales that were made include property only and none of the Jack in the Box franchising rights. He said those will be handled in another auction. Last week's sale came a little more than a year after Alizadeh declared bankruptcy on Kobra Properties, citing some $390 million in debt. The once prolific Roseville developer also, in Sept. 2009, declared bankruptcy on Kobra Associates, which owns 70 Jack in the Box franchises from Fresno to Redding. That filing was followed in December by news that the company was being sued for sexual harassment stemming from alleged incidents at its Paradise franchise. According to a complaint filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, manager Richard Bartels made frequent remarks about female employees' anatomy, as well as unwelcome sexual advances and innuendos. The lawsuit claims Kobra did nothing to remedy the situation, despite complaints and messages left on the company's ethics hotline. The alleged harassment led to one female employee finally resigning a full year after first filing a complaint, the EEOC states in a press release.