On 05/17/2018 a Property - Other Property Fraud case was filed by ARTHUR AMBARACHYAN against GEORGE PLAVJIAN in the jurisdiction of Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Burbank Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California.
Pending - Other Pending
Los Angeles County Superior Courts
Los Angeles, California
KSR REALTY INC.
JT LEGAL GROUP APC
11/1/2019: Order - ORDER COURT'S ORDER RE: DEMURRER
8/5/2019: Demurrer - without Motion to Strike
6/25/2019: Notice of Ruling
7/3/2019: Case Management Statement
5/8/2019: Proof of Personal Service
2/19/2019: Notice - Notice DEFENDANT'S KSR REALTY, INC., A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION NOTICE OF WITHDRAWAL OF DEMURRER SOLELY ON BEHALF OF DEFENDANT KSR REALTY, INC., A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION
2/7/2019: Minute Order - Minute Order (Case Management Conference R/W EC067854 AND EC068660)
1/29/2019: Demurrer - without Motion to Strike
2/1/2019: Case Management Statement
5/17/2018: Legacy Document - LEGACY DOCUMENT TYPE: Complaint filed-Summons Issued
10/17/2018: Minute Order - (Case Management Conference)
12/12/2018: Notice of Ruling
12/18/2018: Notice of Related Case - Notice of Related Case (EC067854), (EC068660)
10/19/2018: Notice of Case Management Conference - Notice of Case Management Conference AND ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE
10/22/2018: Request for Judicial Notice
10/22/2018: Memorandum of Points & Authorities - Memorandum of Points & Authorities submitted in opposition to demurrer to complaint
10/9/2018: Case Management Statement -
8/24/2018: Notice - OF DEMURRER AND DEMURRER TO COMPLAINT
Hearing12/04/2019 at 08:30 AM in Department B at 300 East Olive, Burbank, CA 91502; Case Management ConferenceRead MoreRead Less
DocketNotice of Ruling; Filed by Arthur Ambarachyan (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
Docketat 08:30 AM in Department B; Hearing on Demurrer - without Motion to Strike (filed by defendantsG. Plavjian, S. Chukhyan, R. Badeer, K. Shabazian) - HeldRead MoreRead Less
DocketOrder (Court's Order re: Demurrer); Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
DocketMinute Order ( (Hearing on Demurrer - without Motion to Strike filed by defen...)); Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
DocketDemurrer - without Motion to Strike; Filed by Ruzana Badeer (Defendant); Sona Chukhyan (Defendant); George Plavjian (Defendant) et al.Read MoreRead Less
Docketat 08:30 AM in Department B; Case Management Conference (R/W EC067854 AND EC068660) - Held - ContinuedRead MoreRead Less
DocketMinute Order ( (Case Management Conference R/W EC067854 AND EC068660)); Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
DocketCase Management Statement; Filed by Ruzana Badeer (Defendant); Sona Chukhyan (Defendant); George Plavjian (Defendant) et al.Read MoreRead Less
DocketProof of Service by Mail; Filed by Arthur Ambarachyan (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
DocketNotice of Hearing on Demurrer; Filed by George Plavjian (Defendant); Sona Chukhyan (Defendant); KSR Realty, INC. (Defendant) et al.Read MoreRead Less
DocketNotice OF DEMURRERRead MoreRead Less
Docketat 08:30 AM in Department B; Order to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service - Not Held - Advanced and VacatedRead MoreRead Less
DocketNoticeRead MoreRead Less
DocketNotice; Filed by Arthur Ambarachyan (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
DocketNotice of Case Management Conference; Filed by CourtRead MoreRead Less
DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by Arthur Ambarachyan (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
DocketOSC-Failure to File Proof of Serv; Filed by CourtRead MoreRead Less
DocketSummons; Filed by Arthur Ambarachyan (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
DocketComplaint filed-Summons Issued; Filed by Arthur Ambarachyan (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
Case Number: EC068661 Hearing Date: November 01, 2019 Dept: NCB
North Central District
George plavjian, et al.,
Case No.: EC068661
Hearing Date: November 1, 2019
[TENTATIVE] order RE:
Allegations of the Operative Complaint
In this action, Plaintiff Arthur Ambarachyan (“Plaintiff”) alleges that prior to the commencement of this action, he received a written assignment of all claims and causes of action from Optim Products, LLC (“Optim”, or “Plaintiff’s Assignor”).
Plaintiff alleges that Defendants were involved in a well-coordinated plan to defraud Plaintiff out of money. Defendant Sona Chukhyan (“Chukhyan”) is currently serving time in prison for fraudulent conduct based on the facts of this case. Plaintiff alleges that Chukhyan solicited and willfully caused others to solicit real estate investors to invest in various types of purported real estate deals. By relying on Chukhyan’s false representations, Plaintiff alleges that investors (including Optim) were defrauded out of approximately $4,600,000.00. In particular, in October 2014, Plaintiff was induced into lending $250,000.00 in a deal arranged by Chukhyan and her co-conspirators, Defendant Reta Narkaz (“Narkaz”), an escrow manager for Plaintiff’s business known as Escrow on Brand, Inc. Plaintiff alleges he in turn presented this loan request to Optim, which agreed to make the $250,000.00 loan to Yegiya Kutyan and Haykus H. Kutyan (the homeowners and “borrowers”), who were procured by Defendants. Plaintiff alleges that Narkaz worked with Chukhyan and Defendant George Plavjian (“Plavjian”) to defraud Plaintiff and Optim from receiving the full repayment of the loan. He alleges that the loan was funded in October 2014, and the proceeds were wired to Defendant KSR Realty, Inc. (“KSR”), which is owned and operated by Chukhyan, Plavjian, and other defendants who are involved in the conspiracy.
Plaintiff alleges he discovered this fraud and demanded his money back. He alleges Plavjian paid Plaintiff $40,000.00 on November 3, 2016 and $27,500.00 on April 26, 2017. The borrowers are currently in a Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Proceeding and have not paid any monies to Plaintiff. Plaintiff alleges that he has lost a substantial amount of money and has not been given the remainder of his funds. He is informed and believes that the loan proceeds were converted by Defendants and were utilized to pay off other investors or lenders who were defrauded by Chukhyan and her co-conspirators.
Plaintiff filed Second Amended Complaint (“SAC”) on July 1, 2019, alleging causes of action for: (1) fraud; (2) negligent misrepresentation; (3) conversion; and (4) equitable lien.
Defendants Plavjian, Chukhyan, Ruzana Badeer, and Kiane Shabazian (collectively, “Demurring Defendants”) filed a demurrer on August 5, 2019. The demurrer is directed to each cause of action on the grounds that they each fail to allege sufficient facts to constitute a cause of action against them.
The Court is not in receipt of an opposition brief to this demurrer.
Fraud (1st cause of action)
To allege a cause of action for fraud, the requisite elements are: (1) a representation, usually of fact, which is false; (2) knowledge of its falsity; (3) intent to defraud; (4) justifiable reliance upon the misrepresentation; and (5) damage resulting from that justifiable reliance. (Stansfield v. Starkey (1990) 220 Cal. App. 3d 59, 72-73.) This cause of action is a tort of deceit and the facts constituting each element must be alleged with particularity; the claim cannot be saved by referring to the policy favoring liberal construction of pleadings. (Committee on Children's Television, Inc. v. General Foods Corp. (1983) 35 Cal.3d 197, 216.) Since the claim must be pleaded with particularity, the cause of action based on misrepresentations must allege facts showing how, when, where, to whom, and by what means the misrepresentations were tendered. (Stansfield v. Starkey (1990) 220 Cal.App.3d 59, 73.)
Under California law, conspiracy is not a cause of action, but a legal doctrine that imposes liability on persons who, although not actually committing a tort themselves, share with the immediate tortfeasors a common plan or design in its perpetration. (Wyatt v. Union Mortgage Co. (1979) 24 Cal.3d 773, 784.) A claim for conspiracy must be based on a wrongful act and the claim must allege: (1) the formation and operation of the conspiracy; (2) the wrongful act or acts done pursuant thereto; and (3) the damage resulting. (Unruh v. Truck Insurance Exchange (1972) 7 Cal. 3d 616, 631.)
Demurring Defendants argue that the 1st cause of action lacks the requisite specificity and is conclusory because it fails to allege who, what, when, and where the misrepresentations took place or that Chukhyan and Plavjian made such representations.
In the 1st cause of action, Plaintiff alleges that in October 2014, Plavjian and Chukhyan instructed Reta Narkaz to approach Plaintiff (who was the owner of her then-employer, Escrow on Brand, Inc.) and request he make a $250,000.00 loan to the borrowers to be secured by a second deed of trust on the property located at 6703 Mammoth Avenue, Los Angeles, California 91405. (SAC, ¶35.) Plaintiff further alleges that Narkaz, at the instruction of Plavjian and Chukhyan, made an oral representation to Plaintiff regarding prompt repayment and security of the loan. (Id.) Plaintiff alleges that based on Defendants’ verbal representations, Plaintiff agreed to facilitate and arrange the $250,000 loan, and obtained the agreement of Optim to make the loan to borrowers. (Id., ¶36.) Plaintiff alleges that these representations were false and made in furtherance of a conspiracy with Plavjian, Chukhyan, Narkaz, Badeer, and Shabazian to prevent and deprive Plaintiff and Optim from having any ability to recoup the loan proceeds. (Id., ¶¶37-39.) He alleges that he justifiably relied on the representations because they were proposed to him by Defendants through his long-time trusted employee, Narkaz who was also a licensed escrow manager whom he knew and trusted. (Id., ¶¶10-41.)
In the prior demurrer to the FAC, the Court found that Plaintiff had failed to sufficiently allege that he reasonably relied on Defendants’ verbal and written representations. The Court now finds that the allegations of the FAC sufficiently allege such facts. Plaintiff has alleged that the representation was made through his trusted employee Narkaz, her involvement in the transaction, and facts showing why it was reasonable for Plaintiff to rely on her representation. Plaintiff also alleges facts showing that the representation was made in furtherance of the alleged conspiracy with the other Defendants, including Chukhyan and Plavjian.
Based on the allegations, the Court finds that the fraud cause of action is adequately pled, as well as the conspiracy theory based on fraud. Accordingly, Demurring Defendants’ demurrer to the 1st cause of action in the SAC is overruled.
Negligent Misrepresentation (2nd cause of action)
To allege a cause of action for negligent misrepresentation, the requisite elements are: (1) a misrepresentation of a past or existing material fact; (2) without reasonable grounds for believing it to be true; (3) with intent to induce another's reliance on the fact misrepresented; (4) ignorance of the truth and justifiable reliance thereon by the party to whom the misrepresentation was directed; and (5) damages. (B.L.M. v. Sabo & Deitsch (1997) 55 Cal. App. 4th 823, 834.) Negligent misrepresentation, unlike fraud, does not require knowledge of falsity. (Apollo Capital Fund, LLC v. Roth Capital Partners, LLC (2007) 158 Cal.App.4th 226, 243.) This too is a tort of deceit and must pled with particularity. (Cadlo v. Owens-Illinois, Inc. (2004) 125 Cal.App.4th 513, 519.)
Demurring Defendants demur to this cause of action, arguing it is conclusory and Plaintiff fails to establish each element of negligent misrepresentation for the same reasons as the fraud cause of action.
As discussed above, the demurrer to the 1st cause of action is overruled. Thus, the demurrer to the 2nd cause of action is similarly overruled.
Conversion (3rd cause of action)
The elements of a conversion claim are the following: (1) the plaintiff’s ownership or right to possession of the property; (2) the defendant’s conversion by a wrongful act or disposition of property rights, interfering with plaintiff’s possession; and (3) damages. (Lee v. Hanley (2015) 61Cal.4th 1225, 1240; PCO, Inc. v. Christensen, Miller, Fink, Jacobs, Glaser, Weil & Shapiro, LLP (2007) 150 Cal.App.4th 384, 395.)
Demurring Defendants demur to this cause of action arguing that it is completely devoid of any allegations or real facts to support a claim against them. They make no further arguments or direct the Court as to why the allegations or elements are lacking.
The Court finds that the conversion cause of action sufficiently states the ultimate facts for this cause of action. In the 3rd cause of action, Plaintiff alleges that he was the assignee of the right to receive repayment of the $250,000, plus interest, which sums Optim had loaned to the borrowers at Defendants’ request. (SAC, ¶54.) He alleges that pursuant to the conspiracy, Defendants wrongfully and willfully took dominion, control, and possession of the loan proceeds and converted them for their sole pecuniary benefit without Plaintiff’s consent. (Id., ¶¶55, 57.) Though he made a demand for the return of the $250,000 funds, Defendants have refused to do so. (Id., ¶56.) These facts are sufficient to constitute a claim for conversion.
Accordingly, the demurrer to the 3rd cause of action is overruled.
Equitable Lien (4th cause of action)
“An equitable lien is a right to subject property not in the possession of the lienor to the payment of a debt as a charge against that property.” (Farmers Ins. Exchange v. Zerin (1997) 53 Cal.App.4th 445, 454.) Such a lien may arise from a contract or out of “general considerations of right and justice as applied to the relations of the parties and the circumstances of their dealings.” (Id.) The basis of equitable liens is placed on the doctrines of estoppel, or unjust enrichment, or on the principle that a person having obtained an estate of another ought not in conscience to keep it as between them; and frequently it is based on the equitable maxim that equity will deem as done that which ought to be done, or that he who seeks the aid of equity must himself do equity. (Id.) However, “[a] promise to pay a debt out of a particular fund, without more, will not create an equitable lien on that fund.” (Id.)
Demurring Defendants argue that this cause of action fails because Plaintiff has not alleged a primary right or corresponding duty of Defendants or wrongful act that give rise to imposing an equitable lien.
However, Plaintiff has alleged viable causes of action for fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and conversion against the Demurring Defendants. As stated above, this cause of action need not necessarily arise out of a contract, but may arise out of general consideration of right and justice as applied to the parties’ relation and the circumstances of their dealings. At the demurrer stage, the Court will find that the allegations of the SAC are sufficient to allege such a basis against the Demurring Defendants.
As this cause of action is dependent on the aforementioned causes of action, the demurrer to the 4th cause of action is overruled.
CONCLUSION AND ORDER
The demurrer of Defendants George Plavjian, Sona Chukhyan, Ruzana Bader, and Kiane Shabazian to the SAC is overruled. Demurring Defendants to answer within 10 days.
Plaintiff shall provide notice of this order.