A court order will thwart Gilroy resident and real estate grand fraud suspect Batzi Kuburovich from selling his home, should he decide to put it on the market – thus keeping the property “subject to preservation for the purposes of (victim) restitution,” according to Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Victor Chen.
Kuburovich, 51, was arraigned April 6 on charges of embezzling $1.6 million through real estate grand fraud and three counts of aggravated white-collar crime. If convicted, investigators say Kuburovich could be facing up to $4.8 million in restitution, fines and possible jail time.
On April 20, a San Jose superior court judge determined Kuburovich did, in fact, start “dummy companies” (a type of company that exists but does not actually have any business or assets) after filing for bankruptcy in 2010. Kuburovich named his then 19-year-old daughter, Kristel Kuburovich, a general partner of one of the companies called Nata Limited Partnership, according to Chen.
Kuburovich purchased his upscale $660,000 Eagle Ridge home in Gilroy under the name of Nata LP. He and his wife Patricia Kuburovich rent the house from their daughter, who claims to have bought it as “an investment,” Chen said.
“The court rightfully found those companies were his alter ego,” explained Chen, recapping the April 20 hearing in San Jose. “We’re preserving the (Eagle Ridge) property and preventing him from being able to sell it.”
Investigators state it is “entirely reasonable to believe that the total loss suffered by the victims in this case will be in excess of $1.6 million,” according to court documents. The total amount of restitution and fines that could be awarded is $4.8 million.
In the event Kuburovich is convicted and doesn’t have the money to repay those who allegedly were conned out of their real estate investment money, “we’re hoping to preserve as much money as possible for the victims,” said Chen. “We’ve planted our flag on the real estate records now. Anyone who wants to buy it based on upon that collateral now knows our claim is ahead of theirs.”
The victims in this case are a dozen South County and San Jose investors who say they were cheated out of their homes and life savings by Kuburovich – “a very slick” businessman.
Since the Dispatch first reported Kuburovich’s arrest in early April, Chen said more people claiming to be victims have come forward.
Kuburovich’s next hearing is scheduled for 2 p.m. May 16 in Dept. 23 of the Hall of Justice in San Jose. By that time, Chen anticipates Kuburovich will have decided “whether he wants to plea guilty or fight it and hold it out the whole nine yards.”
He is the former co-director of medical marijuana dispensaries with locations in Gilroy, Morgan Hill and San Jose that were permanently shut down after law enforcement officers raided MediLeaf offices and founders’ homes in December 2010. The recent grand theft allegations Kuburovich faces are completely separate from suspicions of alleged money laundering and illegal pot sales associated with his now defunct MediLeaf business. That case is still under review for possible charges according to spokesman Sean Webby with the DA’s office.
Kuburovich, who is a realtor, is also employed as a part-time hired consultant for a San Jose medical cannabis co-op called NorCal Care, according to a manager who works there.
About the new charges
A lengthy investigation chronicling Kuburovich’s alleged dishonest business transactions, embezzlement and the settling of debts with money states that between 2005 and present day, Kuburovich “actively solicited persons to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars” through a company called AZ Custom Smart Homes, LLC, of which he was a managing officer, records show.
However, “rather than these funds being invested through AZ Homes as was represented to the investors, the suspect deposited these funds into his personal bank account with Silicon Valley National Bank and Heritage Bank,” according to court documents.