The Mojave Project is an experimental transmedia documentary and curatorial undertaking led by Kim Stringfellow exploring the bodily, geological and cultural panorama of the Mojave Desert. The Mojave Venture reconsiders and establishes a number of methods during which to interpret this distinctive and sophisticated panorama, by means of affiliation and connection of seemingly unrelated websites, themes, and topics thus making a speculative and immersive expertise for our viewers.
Across the time that W. Storrs Lee’s ebook, “The Nice California Deserts,” appeared on retailer bookshelves in 1963, the American frontier seemed to be lastly closing. That’s, for these desolate federally-held lands of the Mojave Desert and different undervalued areas throughout the nation that Uncle Sam had been gifting away — or being “disposed of ” — in accordance with the official aims of this “child” homestead act that had grow to be terribly common throughout the earlier decade.
Lee opens the chapter with the detailed description under of a sardonic skilled auctioneer at work in a packed Los Angeles auditorium prodding anxious bidders to slap down $500 or extra for a measly patch of desert — full with no water, electrical energy, mineral rights and even shade — not to mention a parcel that that they had really seen in particular person. The occasion had taken place on March 18, 1957, after the Bureau of Land Administration (BLM) had determined to get rid of 1000’s of acres of undesirable public land belongings by way of public sale as a substitute of the unique requirement calling for the development of a small liveable “jackrabbit” homestead that allowed the leasee to ultimately purchase the tract outright — few strings connected. These “land seize” auctions would proceed over a number of years till public curiosity had petered out and the native governing officers balked at overseeing the county infrastructure that had resulted from them.
Lee said that land bought by means of these pop-up auctions was usually bought for as a lot as 500 % of its precise appraised worth.
The parcels being auctioned resulted from the Small Tract Act of 1938, a federal authorities program that had been established that 12 months to authorize the lease of as much as 5 acres of public land for leisure objective or use as a house, cabin, camp, well being, convalescent, or enterprise web site to “able-bodied” U.S. residents. When the applicant made the required enhancements to his or her declare by establishing a small dwelling inside three to 5 years of the lease, the applicant might file for a patent — the federal authorities’s type of a deed — after buying the parcel for the appraised value (on common $10 to $20 an acre) on the regional land workplace. This extremely common mid-century homestead motion displays the quintessential American need to assert territory and personal a bit of the land even when the property in query is nearly “nugatory” from an financial and governmental perspective.
Extra Tales from the Mojave Venture
This “unusual land seize” because the Los Angeles Occasions referred to it was the topic of my second ebook, “Jackrabbit Homestead: Tracing the Small Tract Act in the Southern California Landscape, 1938 – 2008” and was one of many causes I had determined to maneuver out to Joshua Tree lower than two years after the ebook was revealed. But I didn’t buy one of many many declare shacks dotting the extra distant areas of the Morongo Basin the place this motion was hottest. As an alternative, I selected a modest 1986 ranch-styled three-bedroom house with really spectacular views on 2.5 acres south of State Freeway 62 within the city of Joshua Tree correct.
Between 1938 and 1977 — between the time when the Small Tract Act had begun and successfully ended — Uncle Sam issued a complete of 59,481 patents for 232,473 acres of publicly-held land throughout the U.S. however primarily inside the western states.[i] The Common Land Workplace acquired 141,536 lease purposes throughout this identical interval suggesting that just about two-thirds of individuals making use of had not “proved up” their leases. In California alone, 27,880 patents had been issued alone for 124,487 acres of public land — primarily inside San Bernardino County’s portion of the Mojave Desert — thought of to be the epicenter of this public land to personal possession land switch giveaway. [ii] In all, the Feds acquired a complete of $19,271,336 for its “disposal” of our collectively-owned public lands.[iii]
Undeniably these up to date homesteaders differed from the sooner homesteading pioneers as they had been in search of land primarily for leisure use and in addition to flee hectic metropolis life throughout their weekend desert excursions. These laying declare to small tracts situated all through the Mojave Desert arrived from the Los Angeles metropolitan space in search of solitude, repose and isolation from visitors jams and different distractions of recent city life. The pattern attracted principally working-class of us however folks of all walks of life and financial backgrounds participated. The act allowed many who had solely beforehand rented properties to truly afford actual property. Necessities for the five-acre homesteads didn’t necessitate that they reside off the land as the unique homestead legal guidelines required liberating many to “show up” their lease on an off-the-cuff, leisurely foundation throughout weekend visits.
Even Frank Sinatra received into the sport. Public Common Land Workplace (GLO) data present that Sinatra acquired his patent for a 2.5-acre parcel situated in southwest Las Vegas on July 24, 1959. The land has modified arms many occasions over however has remained undeveloped. The final time the property bought in 2001 it went for $150,000. Ronald Reagan, alternatively, filed for a small tract close to Twentynine Palms however by no means proved up on his lease as no GLO document for the previous president exists.
Whereas a few of these “measly” patches of desert are as we speak value a very fairly penny, others, situated in much less fascinating components of the Mojave Desert, haven’t appreciated in worth a lot in any respect. Plus, there’s a draw back to this public land giveaway in that it has contributed to numerous derelict buildings, desert sprawl, piecemeal growth and checkerboard public/non-public possession making rights of method complicated and different property disputes tough to unravel. San Bernardino County’s Land Use Services Building and Safety Division just lately needed to determine formally easy methods to take care of the legacy of those “leisure cabins” relating to code enforcement, structural enhancements and classification.
Certainly, lots of the Small Tract parcels that turned patented within the Morongo Basin had been beforehand bought and upgraded by adventuresome artists together with Andrea Zittel throughout the early 2000s. The pattern continues full steam as we speak. My 2009 ebook options a number of of those creatives together with Stephanie Smith, proprietress of a highly popular homesteader cabin vacation rental — a beautiful inexperienced weathered shack in North Joshua Tree that receives 100,000 hits month-to-month on the Airbnb website.[iv] Based on information from AirDNA there have been 2,157 energetic trip leases within the larger Morongo Basin which incorporates Joshua Tree, Landers, Morongo Valley, Twentynine Palms, Yucca Valley and Surprise Valley throughout the fourth quarter of 2019.[v]
In fact, many of those Instagramable trip leases and must-have Cabin Porn hideouts are central to the hipster vacationer’s “excessive desert expertise” and are the topic of quite a few high-profile newspaper and journal options within the New York Occasions, Los Angeles Occasions, Sundown and Dwell magazines amongst others. As of late, with COVID-19 forcing these with the monetary means to reevaluate their quarantine residing quarters, some are opting to buy ridiculously priced jackrabbit cabin properties. As an example, a tiny 221 square-foot pink cinderblock jackrabbit homestead on 5 acres, initially inbuilt 1953, within the very fascinating Joshua Tree Highlands close to the doorway of the nationwide park was listed in July 2020 for $350,000 and beneath contract — an excessive instance of how a few of these Small Tract cabins have appreciated over time.
California Metropolis’s Large Lie
California Metropolis was the postwar pipe dream of Czech-born, Nathan Okay. Mendelsohn, a Columbia College educated sociologist and professor with an curiosity in rural group growth. After a stint with the federal authorities researching farm economies, Mendelsohn, recognized at Nat, moved to California when World Struggle II had ended and started dabbling in suburban actual property growth. After a number of profitable years within the Golden State, he ended up working with developer M. Penn Phillips of Salton City fame to develop the city of Hesperia within the Victor Valley space, north of San Bernardino.
By 1958, Mendelsohn, alongside along with his companions, had bought their very personal piece of desert for $6 million — 82,000 acres to be actual, situated about 100 miles north of Los Angeles in southwestern Kern County. This northwestern Mojave Desert parcel can be christened California Metropolis — a master-planned group the place child booming larger Los Angeles might unfold her wings and blossom—because of an “inexhaustible” million acre-feet of water per 12 months that Mendelsohn’s employed civil engineer Olindo R. Angelillo had found. “Ample to serve a metropolis of some 50,000 residents,” declared California Metropolis Growth Firm’s advertising and marketing literature. However these outlandish claims can be negated the next 12 months by the U.S. Geological Survey and others. Nonetheless, the general public needed to imagine.
The South Pasadena structure agency of Smith & Williams was employed to create the general visible idea for this master-planned group that emphasised a contemporary, social-oriented design. Mendelsohn ambitiously proposed seven “satellite tv for pc cities” with 30,000 folks in every space plus a centralized metropolis of 85,000 folks[vi] that might quickly eclipse Los Angeles’ monumental sprawl in measurement and inhabitants. Certainly, when California Metropolis was integrated in 1965, it was famous to be the third largest metropolis in California — by way of its sheer bodily footprint masking 203.63 sq. miles and stays so to today.
Paved roadways together with water, sewer and electrical strains crisscrossing the good desert expanse had been touted in marketing materials as had been colleges, recreation amenities and different fundamental companies together with a thriving retail and manufacturing enterprise district, a civic middle, a world airport and different city facilities. The eighty-acre Wonderland Park (later renamed Central Park) centered in the primary western part of the event was slated to be a central gem of his grasp plan that includes a cascading waterfall, a par-three golf course, an out of doors swimming pool, enjoying fields, tennis courts and different leisure perks, tucked round a twenty-acre man-made lake. Distinctive geometric “parasol” architectural prospers had been showcased on the lake’s floating public pavilion. This mid-century futuristic design was repeated in different buildings together with the California Metropolis Congregational Church and town’s airport.
Galileo Park, situated fifteen miles east of Central Park on a desert rise, was smaller and western-themed with equestrian rodeo grounds and outside leisure areas. A museum commemorating the area’s pioneer historical past was within the planning and an remark tower was constructed the place Mendelsohn was stated to daydream his nascent metropolis’s future as he regarded out upon the limitless maze of newly graded roads within the open desert.
To have fun Southern California’s automotive tradition, streets had been named Cadillac Boulevard, Chrysler Drive, Dodge Court docket, Chevy Drive and Buick Boulevard. Others had been named after famend universities together with Columbia, Rutgers, Stanford and Yale. There’s even one labeled Rommel — after Nazi Germany’s Desert Fox. To draw manufacturing companies Mendelsohn provided undeveloped land for one greenback an acre in the event that they arrange store and employed native residents.[vii] When the promoting frenzy started in 1958, a household might buy loads with a newly-constructed three-bedroom home for beneath $10,000. Empty heaps went for as little as $990 with $90 down and $17.50 a month over a five-year interval. [viii]
Though 1000’s of parcels had been bought, by 1962 solely 175 houses had really been constructed. In 1969, the inhabitants had reached a whoopingly-unimpressive 1,700 residents with 350 accomplished single-family residences.[ix] Parcels had been bought principally to Southern Californians but in addition to far-flung patrons from Germany, Philippines and different nations by means of bait and swap and different extremely questionable hard-sell advertising and marketing practices. Some patrons purchased in after signing up for a “free” Southern California trip that might finish with a high-pressure gross sales pitch. Others had bought land, usually sight unseen, persuaded by strategically positioned journal and newspaper commercials. As of January 1969, Mendelsohn and his associates had pulled in $122 million from the 32,000 parcels that they had bought thus far.[x]
Mendelsohn’s success lay within the sensible cottage trade he masterminded to lure 1000’s of wannabe actual property speculators into his firm’s net by working a worldwide actual property “coaching program.” Contributors had been inspired to put money into land themselves to make sure vendor leverage — what higher method than to hawk a nugatory piece of desert than to indicate the “up” (an insider time period for a purchaser) that they, too, had a stake in upcoming California Metropolis? The ploy labored remarkably nicely enabling one of the crucial egregious pyramid-like actual property schemes the West had ever seen — a rip-off that might final, albeit remodeled, for sixty years.
By 1969, Mendelsohn, who by no means really lived in California Metropolis, pulled out, promoting his firm to Great Western United Corp., a Denver-based sugar and mining firm for $27.four million in inventory.[xi] As a serious stockholder, Mendelsohn continued his affect by means of Nice Western United’s land growth subsidiary — Nice Western Cities, Inc. however would deal with their growth ventures in Colorado and New Mexico till he lastly left the agency in 1970 on unfriendly phrases.
By then, Nice Western Cities, Inc. was in scorching water with a number of state businesses and the Federal Commerce Fee (FTC) after buyers complained that their nest eggs weren’t appreciating as Mendelsohn had promised. Plus, solely a small portion of the world developed had the companies, utilities and paved roads that had been hyped in advertising and marketing supplies and gross sales pitches. It didn’t assist both that Ralph Nader’s Raiders had uncovered the deceit of their scathing 1971 Politics of Land. Robert C. Fellmeth, the lead creator, referred to the rip-off as “The Large Lie.”
Fellmeth and his collaborators detailed a largely-ignored 1969 report by the workplace of the California Deputy District Lawyer which illuminated the shady goings-on on the California Metropolis Growth Firm actual property gross sales division. Their investigation, which started someday within the mid-1960s, had been accomplished however not publicly distributed. A very scathing conclusion by the Lawyer Common of Mendelsohn’s actual property dealings is as follows:
In 1972, the FTC issued Nice Western Cities, Inc. a stop and desist order to cease the deception fed by their deceptive promoting marketing campaign however the firm’s disingenuous advertising and marketing practices continued. Not till 1974, simply after the corporate had modified possession as soon as once more — this time in a hostile takeover by the controversial Texan Hunt Brothers, who had been the inspiration for the favored 1980s TV present, “Dallas” — would the FTC lastly crack down on Nice Western United, Corp. and its associates within the largest refund ever gained by the federal company on the time.
The Hunts had been compelled to pay out a $four million settlement to 14,000 misled patrons, $16 million in group capital enhancements that had been misrepresented in advertising and marketing supplies together with $50,000 in authorized prices for all three of its land growth initiatives at California Metropolis, Colorado Metropolis, Colorado and Cochiti Lake, New Mexico. They had been additionally instructed to offer a warning to attainable buyers that they need to “contemplate the worth of any of our land to be unsure.”[xii] Though the settlement had resulted from the earlier proprietor’s “misleading land gross sales techniques and from violating the Fact and Lending Act” it appears impossible that the Hunts had been unaware of the problems at hand once they acquired Nice Western United Corp.[xiii] As a result of the settlement was unfold throughout three land growth initiatives in three states it wasn’t efficient in offering or bettering present utility infrastructure at anyone location. Based on the Washington Put up in 1977 about 50,000 folks had bought the excessively overvalued properties ranging in value from $2,000 to $5,000 loads.[xiv]
A satellite tv for pc map the place the ghost grid of roads is seen.
Nice Western United Corp. and its subsidiaries would go bankrupt ten years later in 1984 — the identical 12 months that Mendelsohn died of a coronary heart assault whereas at a resort group he had based in Texas. Shady actual property outfits would proceed to promote overvalued land in California Metropolis all through the late 1980s, 1990s and 2000s that the Kern County Assessor’s Workplace had decided was ten, twenty and even fifty occasions its “honest market worth.”[xv] National Recreational Properties, Inc. employed “CHIPS” star, Erik Estrada, within the early 2000s as their tv “infomercial” spokesperson, hawking properties close to city whereas one other firm, Silver Saddle, had already been promoting highly-inflated quarter-acre heaps and bigger parcels, additional east of town, for a few years prior.
Journalist Emily Guerin, in her engrossing 2020 LAist podcast exposé “California City”, states that an estimated 73,000 buyers have collectively misplaced a whole lot of thousands and thousands of after buying California Metropolis’s overvalued land that started with Mendelsohn’s nice visionary actual property rip-off.[xvi] However the saga doesn’t finish right here.
LandBanking+ within the Desert
There aren’t any streets in California Metropolis named for Nat Mendelsohn. No buildings, landmarks or bronze plaque commemorations. For probably the most half, Mendelsohn’s former presence has been erased however his legacy lingers in a up to date model of his legendary actual property funding scheme — one which preys upon susceptible ethnic communities and the aged — lots of whom converse English as a second language. It requires that unsophisticated buyers convey members of the family and shut pals into the twisted equation of their try to recoup their losses. It has looted the financial savings of “1000’s of hard-working Californians [who have] invested their life financial savings on this rip-off” by means of “blatant misrepresentations” and “deliberate omission” of fabric data. All said within the California Division of Enterprise Oversight (DBO) October 2019 press launch.[xvii] That is the darkish facet of the American Dream — desert type.
The DBO alleges that Thomas M. Maney of Lancaster, California, together with different named defendants related to Silver Saddle Ranch & Membership, Inc., initiated a “scheme that focused Filipino, Chinese language and Spanish-speaking communities with high-pressure gross sales techniques and false guarantees” violating state securities legal guidelines within the course of.[xviii] It continues stating that the rip-off was enacted throughout grocery store raffles and thru social media. Potential buyers had been baited with a “free” trip at some Southern California dude ranch resort. This ranch, Silver Saddle, simply occurs to be on the foot of Galileo Hill — the very place the place Mendelsohn was stated to daydream about his metropolis. It’s right here, at California Metropolis’s “Second Neighborhood,” the place the brand new lure was set.
In July 2020, I drove out with a good friend to shoot some drone imagery of the ghost grid atop Galileo Hill simply earlier than I realized in regards to the sordid particulars of Silver Saddle Industrial Growth and its related entities by means of Guerin’s podcast. Upon reaching the Silver Saddle Ranch, it appeared to have been just lately shuttered however nonetheless maintained. “No Trespass” notices had been posted all over the place. Each of us discovered the place odd.
On the west facet of the desert rise there have been a couple of dozen random two- and one-story tract houses. These homes regarded utterly misplaced out alongside California Metropolis’s far japanese frontier — a scorching and dusty seventeen miles from the city middle. A couple of heaps close by had been listed as “For Sale” with crude, hand-drawn indicators. A business billboard, light and cracked, introduced itself as THE GALILEO COMMERCIAL PROPERTY OWNERS ASSOCIATION with “1020 acres of unsubdivided LandBanking Plus+ for future business or industrial growth.” A pink define marked the boundaries of the longer term group on a map element and the final bullet level said, “roughly 5 sq. miles of low to excessive density residential subdivisions with over 10,000 residential heaps.” One other light signal close by boasted “underground energy, metropolis water & streets put in, metropolis trash, faculty, medical, hearth & police serviced.” I assumed to myself, “yeah, proper.”
Apart from the remoted homes, the lonely ranch with its looming water tower and the curious picket octagon construction on the hill loaded with cell tower antennae, the encircling panorama was, for probably the most half, utterly devoid of human occupation — until you thought of the geoglyph of filth roads that radiated outward for miles within the open desert. Certainly, this can be a very unusual place for a suburban housing or business growth.
Because it seems, Thomas Maney had been a signator within the earlier FTC settlement involving Nice Western Cities, Inc. He’s listed because the vice-president and common counsel for the Hunt Brothers in signed authorized paperwork. Maney’s signature seems just under W. Herbert Hunt’s in a doc posted on-line by the “California Metropolis” podcast group.
Maney most certainly acquired the Silver Saddle Ranch property throughout the mid-1980s by means of his enterprise affiliation with Nice Western Cities, Inc. Throughout this era the ranch resort was constructed. In a 2017 information article, Maney feedback that the Hunt Brothers had introduced him in to “clear up the issues left behind.”[xix] It’s not clear when the present funding scheme was initiated however the DBO press release means that it began in 2011. We are able to solely speculate on what occurred throughout years main as much as 2011 nevertheless it seems from an October 2, 2005 Bakersfield Californian investigative story by Joe Mullin that Maney and his representatives, by means of Silver Saddle, had been promoting and reselling parcels within the Second Neighborhood this whole time.[xx]
The 2019 DBO complaint particulars how Silver Saddle’s “LandBanking Plus+” or different “The Galileo Venture” provided buyers till simply final 12 months, a 1,000-acre parcel surrounding Galileo Hill that was apportioned into four,000 fractionalized pursuits — as a substitute of providing heaps for outright sale. Buyers paid as much as 100 occasions the land’s precise worth — with many buyers spending as much as $30,000 for his or her funding that included taxes, excessive closing prices, a pooled growth fund plus recurring membership dues and different related charges. Financing rates of interest had been as excessive as 15.9 %. The criticism moreover states that buyers’ cash was “intentionally commingled” to keep away from a paper path and to divert funds elsewhere.
In documented interviews Maney has said that buyers had been clearly knowledgeable that “landbanking” at California Metropolis was a “long run funding” requiring endurance to ultimately pay out — however there isn’t a sound monetary foundation to again this assertion. Sadly, for these determined buyers who’ve tried to go away the deal, representatives of Silver Saddle have threatened them with lawsuits and monetary destroy. Guerin feedback in Episode 5 of “California Metropolis” that as much as “2,000 folks have spent practically $60 million on that dream prior to now eight years alone.”[xxi] The query is: “the place did all that cash go?”
In October 2019, a San Diego Superior Court docket decide granted the DBO’s request for a short lived restraining order to cease any future land gross sales and froze their belongings. A court-appointed receiver was assigned to kind out the mess. As of August 2020, the receiver is within the technique of promoting off Silver Saddle Ranch and Galileo Property’s belongings. The ranch has been listed at $1,874,500 — a determine far lower than what some buyers declare it’s value. Now that the potential purchaser has agreed to cancel escrows related to the properties, the sale of the ranch and land can proceed. It needs to be famous that the landbanking buyers don’t maintain curiosity within the ranch property. The sale can be used to partially pay again their funding however this could be pennies on the greenback.
Over time, Mendelsohn’s fantasy deceit would have all however light if not for a devoted journalist like Emily Guerin who introduced the swindle again into the general public realm. After she initially traveled there in 2016 to report on the city’s excessive water use attributable to a slew of water line breaks (400 occurrences in 2015 alone) within the 170 miles of getting older, rusted pipeline that Mendelsohn had initially constructed within the western developed sector of town — did she start her inquest into Silver Saddle’s questionable landbanking scheme. Because it turned out, the DBO had been quietly doing in order nicely.
Right this moment, California Metropolis’s elaborate ghost grid, etched throughout the desert floor and viewable solely from above, continues to beckon these of us fascinated with the weird growth patterns distinctive to Southern California. Though simply over 14,000 folks reside in California Metropolis’s semi-developed western sector, the japanese sector stays largely haunted by builders’ schemes and landowners’ desires. However, on the town, there are some enterprise house owners and residents working to enhance the general impression of Cal Metropolis — what the locals right here name it.
After we visited Cal Metropolis in July 2020 throughout the peak of COVID-19 we stopped for lunch at Raven’s Nest Café situated in a small buying middle advanced. Having anticipated McDonald’s as our solely culinary possibility, we had been pleasantly shocked to seek out an independently-owned bakery and low store — particularly because the meals was glorious. Whereas having lunch we chatted with the proprietor who had “I ❤︎ CAL CITY” t-shirts, mugs and different promotional gadgets on the market. We realized that their café was not solely a family-run enterprise — it was consciously designed to create much-needed group and a way of place right here. The outlook was constructive. I want the house owners prosperity and hope that Cal Metropolis residents like them can transcend the negativity of the latest lawsuits and its previous actual property scandals to make sure that it turns into the livable and thriving desert group that Mendelsohn couldn’t have imagined.
To stay abreast of the authorized proceedings and outcomes involving Silver Saddle Ranch and the Galieo Venture click on here.
Prime Picture: A ghost grid of the desolate federally-held lands of the Mojave Desert. | Kim Stringfellow
[i] “The Small Tract Act (Act of June 1, as amended) Information Ebook for Managing Present Small Tract Areas,” Bureau of Land Administration, U.S. Division of the Inside, April 1980, 30.
[ii] “The Small Tract Act Information Ebook,” 17 – 23.
[iii] “The Small Tract Act Information Ebook,” 30. Nearly all of Small Tract patents had been issued between 1952 and 1961 primarily as five-acre parcels. The height variety of patents issued in a single 12 months was in 1960 with 9,908 patents.
[iv] Stephanie Smith, cellphone interview with the creator on June 16, 2020.
[v] Not each Morongo Basin Airbnb itemizing is a mid-century recreation cabin however there are a considerable variety of cabin leases listed.
[vi] Micaela Cortez Torres-Gil, “Preserving California Metropolis: An exploration into town plan preservation of a mid-century, master-planned group” (PhD diss., College of Southern California Faculty of Structure, 2015), 53.
[vii] David Colker, “California Metropolis—A Dream in Progress: Mojave Desert: The area and the expectations have been there for 30 years. However actuality has not caught up with the plan. America’s 11th largest metropolis has solely 6,500 residents,” Los Angeles Occasions, February 11, 1990.
[viii] David Colker, “California Metropolis—A Dream in Progress.”
[x] Robert C. Fellmeth, Politics of Land: Ralph Nader’s Examine Group Report on Land Use in California (New York: Grossman Publishers, 1073), 320.
[xi] David Colker, “California Metropolis—A Dream in Progress.”
[xii] Carole Shifrin, “A Message to Consumers of Land,” The Washington Put up, February 5, 1977.
[xiii] Carole Shifrin, “A Message to Consumers of Land.”
[xiv] Carole Shifrin, “A Message to Consumers of Land.”
[xv] Joe Mullin, “Exploiting desires for giant income,” The Bakersfield Californian, October 2, 2005.
[xvi] Emily Guerin, “California Metropolis Episode four: Troopers of the Sale” (podcast) LAist Studios, July 27, 2020. https://laist.com/podcasts/california-city/season/1/episode/four.php.
[xvii] “Division of Enterprise Oversight Sues to Cease $30 million Silver Saddle Ranch Funding Fraud,” State of California Dept. of Enterprise Oversight, accessed August 28, 2020, https://dbo.ca.gov/2019/10/01/department-of-business-oversight-sues-to-stop-30-million-silver-saddle-ranch-investment-fraud.
[xviii] “Division of Enterprise Oversight Sues.”
[xx] Based on Joe Mullin’s 2005 Bakersfield Californian article Silver Saddle would purchase and resell parcels that they had initially bought after the purchaser stopped paying property taxes. When land went up for public sale at a county tax sale Silver Saddle representatives would purchase again the parcel—usually far under its honest market worth. Kern County Assessor data present that many parcels had been acquired on this method, a number of occasions.
[xxi] Emily Guerin, “California Metropolis Episode 5: The Tragedy That Occurred” (podcast) LAist Studios, August three, 2020. https://laist.com/podcasts/california-city/season/1/episode/5.php.