Investor Seigel fends off investors' ouster move

Real estate investor Stephen Siegel at least temporarily fended off investors attempting to oust him from management of two Siegel Suites locations.

In separate cases Thursday, Clark County District Court judges Mark Denton and Elizabeth Gonzalez took different avenues when declining to rule on the investors' request for a preliminary injunction that would allow them to install new managers. Gonzalez will take up her case again on May 8, while Denton did not set a timetable.

Until then, said Mark Ferrario, an attorney for Siegel, "We're going to run (these properties) like we have for the past six years."

"And that's the problem," replied Aviva Gordon, the investor's attorney.

In recent years Siegel has become a significant landlord in Las Vegas by assembling a portfolio of hotels, apartments and other commercial properties, some under his ownership and some as a manager for others.

Investors who own the Cambridge and Twain apartments - some of them have a stake in both - claim he has siphoned away money in ways that "show outright fraud and embezzlement," Gordon said.

For example, Gordon said, Siegel charged $685 a month for security at the Twain but only $150 a month at the Rumor Hotel, a separately owned Siegel property. This amounted to the investors subsidizing the hotel, she said.

Attempts to get detailed financial information were rebuffed, Gordon said.

"For them to say they didn't know what has going on for six years is ridiculous," Ferrario countered.

"Look at every allocation made. Look at everything you want," Ferrario said in paraphrasing Siegel's response to the investor's demand.

The investors on March 19 sent letters firing Siegel's companies as their property managers. He has refused to leave, however, arguing their grievances were not spelled out in detail.

Gonzalez gave Ferrario the extra time to find any court rulings that would require terminations be accompanied by a list of reasons. Otherwise, she said, "I have to give them some deference in making that business determination."