A 5-Brother, $10B, Decades-Long Battle Built on Diamonds and L.A. Real Estate


A legal fight between five brothers from India over their large portfolio of multifamily properties in Los Angeles appears to be reaching an astonishingly lucrative conclusion after 21 years.

A jury on Thursday ordered Haresh Jogani to pay his siblings an additional $3 billion in punitive damages after already penalizing him by more than $2.5 billion last week, according to Bloomberg, which described the verdict as one of the largest in the U.S. of the decade. The trial focused on claims made in 2003 that Haresh allegedly breached partnerships with his brothers, who have built a fortune trading diamonds. 

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Haresh Jogani was ordered Thursday to pay his brother Shashikant Jogani $1.5 billion, on top of $1.8 billion awarded last week. Haresh was also ordered to pay two other brothers, Rajesh and Chetan, another $1.5 billion in punitive damages, after an initial award of $759 million from last week.

Further, Haresh was ordered to give up more than three-quarters ownership in the portfolio of more than 17,000 multifamily units in Los Angeles, including to another brother, Shailesh. Per Bloomberg, attorneys for the plaintiffs estimated the stake is worth $4.5 billion, which would bring the total value of the verdict to $10 billion.

However, there have already been 18 appeals in the trial, and Haresh Jogani’s lawyer Rick Richmond said the final chapter of the fight is far from written. 

“In addition to eventual appellate review, there are several pending and anticipated trial and post-trial motions that may dramatically alter this verdict,” Richmond said in a statement.

Gregory Cornfield can be reached at gcornfield@commercialobserver.com




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