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Ownership of First National Center, future, a mystery

Ownership of First National Center and its future remain a mystery.
by Steve Lackmeyer Published: November 6, 2012

Two weeks have passed since Aaron Yashouafar escaped losing control of First National Center to a court-appointed receiver. Or at least that's the impression given by his attorneys after a $5.3 million transaction was recorded at the Oklahoma County assessor's office showing a transfer of title to Los Angeles-based Joshua Paradise Holdings LLC.

Attorneys noted the payoff of the mortgage held by Capmark Group would allow Yashouafar and his management company, Milbank Real Estate, to move forward with renovations that stalled out when the property went into foreclosure three years ago.

But is Yashouafar really still in charge? As previously reported, Joshua Paradise Holdings was created in 2006 by the Neeman family in Los Angeles.

The California Secretary of State's office shows no connection between Yashouafar and Joshua Paradise Holdings. Inquiries to Yashouafar, meanwhile, have gone unanswered.

Two weeks ago, I sent a series of questions to Yashouafar that sought to determine whether he was still in charge at First National, how he intended to operate the property if his sentencing for fraud this month in Las Vegas results in jail time, and how he thought he could move forward locally with city officials publicly stating they no longer trust him.

While the questions have gone unanswered, new signs have gone up in the building's elevators. The Milbank Real Estate name is disappearing, replaced by the name First National Center Inc.

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by Steve Lackmeyer
Business Reporter
Steve Lackmeyer is a reporter, columnist and author who started his career at The Oklahoman in 1990. Since then, he has won numerous awards for his coverage, which included the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, the city's...
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