The deadly game

Larry Delassus and Sunny Sheu

Two spectacular cases

Two spectacular cases
People die. Maybe the death of Larry Delassus was one of those things that happen. The death of Sunny Sheu has to be unique. Or?

Larry Delassus
Larry Delassus was a retired Navy veteran with a $1,655 check and a $1,237 mortgage payment. In March, 2009 he was told by his bank Wells Fargo that they raised his payment to $2429 because they had paid his tax debt of $13,361; a sum that he could not pay. Delassus could not understand this as he was six months ahead with the taxes; not until May 2010 did he find out that the bank had made a mistake, it was a neighbor that owed the taxes. Wells Fargo admitted its mistake but when Delassus wanted to know how much he owned, back payments and late fees, they would not tell him. Six days later, they told Delassus that he would have to pay the total sum for his condo, $337,250, the next day. This Delassus could not do and the bank sold it.
Delassus sued Wells Fargo, claiming negligence and discrimination. In court, while his attorney was pleading his case, he had a heart attack and died. So much for the banks correcting things when they made a mistake. Incredibly, before the trail the judge had indicated that she intended to side with Wells Fargo.

Bankruptcy hijacking
A popular device for debtor chicanery is bankruptcy hijacking. On a forged document, a person in bankruptcy is fraudulently presented as the owner. The document is presented to the foreclosure trustee who does not check it against the record as he should have. The bank treats this suddenly materializing person as the real owner; as the person accepted as owner is in bankruptcy, the bank can take the house. A competent attorney can fight it back but it takes time and money. A debtor without competent support can be tricked to make expensive mistakes. Sometimes the consequences are deadly.

Sunny Sheu is defrauded
The story of Sunny Sheu is an incredible story of murder and cover-up. It is well worth reading in full but I have made a resume.
Somebody forged a document and sold Sunny Sheu's house; Sheu alerted police, bank and insurer. The forgers were arrested, prosecuted and pleaded guilty; still they could walk away without any penalty. In spite of all documentation confirming forgery, the bank acted like the sale had been legitimate; Sheu continued paying his mortgage but the bank returned the payments, insisting that Sheu no longer was the owner. The bank even filed a suit against Sheu and the fraudulent "owners" for foreclosure, claiming the new "owners" were delinquent on mortgage payments.
The case went before Judge Golia who would not let the policeman arresting the fraudsters give evidence. Neither would he permit any documents showing that the "sale" had been fraudulent and Sheu's home was foreclosed. The bank "bought" the property for $1000 from Amy Cheng, pseudonym for one of the fraudsters. Sheu continued to protest till the judge had to change the verdict; he now ruled that although Sheu's home had been illegally sold, it now belonged to the bank because the bank had paid off the mortgage.

Sunny Sheu is dead
When Sheu refused to give up, two policemen told him to desist; they also told him that he lived in a dangerous neighborhood where anything could happen. Sheu still persisted; he investigated judge Golia and found that the judge owned properties that were not on his financial disclosure form with the OCA Ethics Commission. The judge was asked to complete his form but Sheu found out he didn't which is a felony; later when a newspaper asked for the form, the Ethics Commission refused to show it.
Three days after Sheu's visit to the Ethics Commission, a friend of his got a call that Sheu had been found with a severe head injury. The friend went to the hospital where he was told that Sheu was dead; he had suffered a massive cerebral hemorrhage and there had been no external head injuries. In spite of the medical examiner officially ruled the cause of death "blunt force trauma to the head with skull fractures and brain injuries", the next day Sheu's body was illegally removed by police and later cremated by strangers. The newspaper Black Star News covered the case; together with friends of Sunny Sheu they have been active, trying to alert authorities and media with very little success. No investigation was made, no police, no FBI, no nothing.

© Anders Floderus