Billionaire Bill Gross and his Laguna Beach neighbor return to court – Orange County Register

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Billionaire investor Bill Gross and his tech entrepreneur neighbor return to court for another round in ongoing legal dispute between the respective owners of two adjacent oceanfront mansions in Laguna Beach over harassment allegations , revenge and high-decibel sitcom loops. theme songs.

What started as a feud between Gross and his neighbor, Mark Towfiq, escalated last year to more than a week of testimony in a Santa Ana courtroom, as witnesses described the mega -investor playing loud rap music and themed song loops from classic TV shows. such as “Gilligan’s Island” and “Green Acres”.

The legal battle – which unfolded amid the pandemic – ended when Orange County Superior Court Judge Kimberly Knill ordered Gross to stop playing music at all hours overnight and stay at least 15 feet from Towfiq for the next three years. .

This result apparently did little to bridge the gap between the two well-heeled neighbors.

In a new court case, Towfiq accuses Gross of playing loud music again on July 7 – the exact songs are not specified this time – and alleging that Gross set up “excessively tall” umbrellas that obstruct the view of his neighbors. Towfiq, in a court statement, said Gross’s actions “appeared to be intended to annoy and harass my wife and I.”

Gross denied the allegations in his own documents, explaining that he played music leisurely while swimming with a friend, and saying the umbrellas are supposed to provide shade for the picnic tables where workers sit and other visitors to his property. Gross’s attorneys wrote that Towfiq was using the restraining order as “a weapon in his perverse obsession with Grosses” and attempting to “micromanage the lives and property of his neighbors”.

Justice Knill ordered the parties to appear in court on Tuesday to discuss the latest round of allegations. The judge will assess a request by Towfiq to extend the restraining order against Gross to five years, ban all outdoor music on Gross’s property and order the removal of “unnecessary umbrellas”.

Gross, the former founder of the Pimco investment fund, bought the Laguna Beach property with former professional tennis player Amy Schwartz to serve as a private respite away from their main Newport Beach home. Schwartz recently married Gross, according to court documents, and legally changed her name to Amy Gross. Tuesday’s hearing has been brought forward a week so it doesn’t conflict with the newlywed couple’s “dream honeymoon”.

Towfiq, a former executive of a software company, bought the neighboring property with his wife, Carol Nakahara, in order to build a “dream house” where they could accommodate their extended family.

Depending on which version one chooses to believe, the neighbor dispute either started with the installation of an unauthorized million dollar lawn sculpture on the Gross property, or because of the fallout from heavy traffic. ‘a recording of the HBO show “Ballers” on the Towfiq property.

At one point during the previous round of court hearings in December, Gross wrote an open letter suggesting that he and Towfiq find a way to end their conflict that would have benefited a community that was then still under the influence of the then booming coronavirus. pandemic. Towfiq’s lawyers dismissed the suggestion as a transparent public relations ploy, and the legal battle continued.

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