Massoud Aaron Yashouafar, part-owner of Oklahoma City's historic First National Center, is serving a 30-day jail sentence in Clark County, Nev., after pleading guilty to charges that he stole more than $1 million in insurance money from a condominium homeowners association in Las Vegas.
Yashouafar surrendered Wednesday to Nevada law enforcement to begin serving his jail sentence.
The real estate developer also was sentenced to one to five years of probation.
He has paid more than $1 million in restitution to the homeowners association, but still owes about $1 million in back homeowners association dues for about 150 condominium units he owns at the Paradise Spa condominiums on the Las Vegas Strip.
“One of the conditions of his probation is that he has to remain current on the units that he owns,” said Robert Giunta, senior deputy attorney general for Nevada.
Yashouafar embezzled insurance settlement money that was supposed to go to fix condominium units that were damaged in a fire while he was serving as treasurer of the Paradise Spa homeowners association.
Many of the fire-damaged units at the complex remain uninhabitable and other units that Yashouafar owns are boarded up because of his failure to pay homeowners association dues, said Bill O'Donnell, president of the Paradise Spa homeowners association.
“We don't think that 30 days is nearly long enough,” O'Donnell said. “I was hoping he would get three or four years in prison, because that is how long some of these people have been out of their homes.”
David Neale, an attorney who has represented Yashouafar in several bankruptcy cases relating to his real estate interests, asked for leniency in a letter to the Clark County District Court in Las Vegas last year. In the letter, Neale wrote that Yashouafar needed to remain free to help refinance the First National Center. The 1930s-era downtown landmark is in need of repairs and much its 33-story office tower is vacant.
Attempts Thursday to reach management staff at the First National Center were unsuccessful.
Yashouafar's attorney, David Chessnoff, could not be reached for comment.
CONTRIBUTING: Steve Lackmeyer, Business Writer