Mon. Apr 22nd, 2024

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A United States court ordered billionaire business tycoon Haresh Jogani to pay a hefty, multi-million dollar sum to his brothers in damages after the ruling went against him in a decades-old land dispute between the family.

A US court ordered Haresh Jogani to pay <span class=
A US court ordered Haresh Jogani to pay 2000 crore to his brothers(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Indian origin businessman Haresh Jogani, after a five month trial, was ordered to pay a sum of 20,000 crore to his four brothers — Shashikant, Rajesh, Chetan and Shailesh Jogani — in damages after he lost in a 21-year-old land dispute case.

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Not only the hefty cash amount, but Haresh was also ordered to divide up the shares of the Southern California property which sparked the dispute in the first place. The property in question is an empire of 17,000 apartments worth billions.

The trial, over allegations that Haresh breached a longstanding partnership with his siblings, continues with a punitive damages hearing Monday that could add to the award, reported Bloomberg.

Who is Haresh Jogani?

Haresh Jogani is one of the five Jogani brothers, belonging to a renowned diamond trade family originating from Gujarat. The Jogani family, starting their trade business from Gujarat, established outposts in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and North America.

His brother Shashikant “Shashi” Jogani moved to California at the age of 22 in 1969 to start a solo property firm. After the business suffered a major loss, he brought in Haresh and his other brothers as partners in the firm. Haresh and his family then led a buying spree in the business, establishing an empire of 17,000 apartments.

According to the lawsuit, Haresh “forcibly removed” his sibling from managing the firm and refused to pay Shashi and other partners. Haresh Jogani contended that without a written agreement, his brothers couldn’t prove they had a partnership with him.

Jogani v. Jogani case

The case was filed by Shashi Jogani in 2003 after Haresh forced the other partners out of the firm without giving them proper compensation. The 2003 lawsuit already has been through 18 appeals, generations of attorneys and five judges in Los Angeles Superior Court.

While there was no written agreement between the brothers and Haresh, the jury found him guilty, deeming that he had broken a verbal agreement. Jurors reached the verdict after hearing testimony that oral agreements are customary in both the diamond trade and among Gujaratis.

How much each brother ultimately walks away with turns on the ups and downs of the real estate market, with apartment prices having fallen from their 2022 peak after higher interest rates raised borrowing costs and cut into property values. Apartment prices averaged $329,000 a unit in January in the Los Angeles area, down 26% from a November 2022 high, according to MSCI Real Assets.

(With inputs from Bloomberg)

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