Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Famed Prize Fighter Boxes It Out With Brother In Land Dispute; Says Sibling-Felon Had No Authority To Sign Away Deed To Local Gym To Satisfy Tax Lien

In Phoenix, Arizona, The Arizona Republic reports:

  • A land dispute has thrust one of Phoenix's most notorious boxing heroes into a legal battle with a non-profit organization affiliated with Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

  • The dispute between former world champion boxer Michael Carbajal and the Sheriff's Youth Assistance Foundation has brought new focus to a feud that has torn at Michael and his former trainer and brother, Danny, who was released from state prison in July following a 41/2-year sentence for theft and fraud.

  • Danny signed a document in December giving the Sheriff's Youth Assistance Foundation title to a pair of lots near the corner of 10th and Fillmore streets near downtown Phoenix. The Youth Assistance Foundation is a long-standing non-profit that receives proceeds from the sale of Arpaio's pink underwear, among other endeavors, and is run by a board without members of the sheriff's staff.
  • But an attorney for Michael said in court documents that the land was not available, and in any event, was not Danny's to sign over to anyone. The land is owned by Carbajal's Ninth Street Gym Inc., according to the Maricopa County Assessor, and the most recent deed dates from 1992 when a Phoenix couple conveyed the property to the gym.

  • Each brother is affiliated with a company of the same name: Danny's Ninth Street Gym was administratively dissolved in 2001 by the Arizona Corporation Commission for not filing annual reports, and the Internal Revenue Service revoked its status as a tax-exempt organization in 2010.

  • Michael's Ninth Street Gym was established in 2007 and is listed as a non-profit with the Arizona Corporation Commission, though the federal government has no record of Michael's tax-exempt status.

  • The property has had tax liens filed against it every year since 2006. [Sheriff's Youth Assistance Foundation director Tom] Harper purchased a 2007 tax lien on the property earlier this year to prevent the property from going into foreclosure.

  • Harper claims that Danny, as an affiliate of the original Ninth Street Gym, was authorized to discharge the land as a way to liquidate the remaining assets of his former non-profit, which are statutorily required to go to the state, a church or another charitable organization, such as the Sheriff's Youth Assistance Foundation.

  • David Derickson, an attorney for Michael, said the land became Michael's in 2007 when he established his own version of the Ninth Street Gym, and that the opportunity to challenge Michael's claim to the land expired three years later, in 2010.

  • "It's just ridiculous. Danny's a criminal, he's on probation right now, he signed this thing over to the SYAF without any legitimate authority," Derickson said. "The law in Arizona and elsewhere is fairly clear, even if there's a question about whether Michael had an entitlement to the property. He held it for more than three years in an open and notorious way. He had the corporation incorporated in his name. He ran it and has, therefore, ownership of it."
For more, see Famed boxer Michael Carbajal, Arpaio group in land-rights feud (Carbajal's brother had signed lots over to sheriff's non-profit).

No comments: