Lawsuit Filed Against Real Estate Developers Ken Mattson and Tim LeFever and their Companies for Fraud and Breach of Fiduciary Duty


Three major California Law Firms filed a class action lawsuit in the Northern District of California on behalf of investors across the United States who invested in the various investment properties owned by the real estate corporation LeFever Mattson, Inc., founded by partners Kenneth Mattson and Timothy LeFever. 

The suit alleges that Mattson and LeFever used a “complex web of corporate entities” to effectuate one of the largest real estate investment schemes in Northern California to deprive investors of their savings. Mattson and LeFever tricked investors into believing that their investments were sound by promising and making consistent payments of interest. These regular payments masked growing disarray and illegal commingling of investor funds across a series of unidentified real estate properties. Further, unbeknownst to these investors, the investment properties were largely dilapidated and neglected. The photograph below is just one of many examples of the properties LeFever and Mattson left abandoned in Sonoma County.

Many class members have described a pattern of behavior where Mattson and LeFever preyed upon elders to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars of their personal finances with the partners, including some who placed their entire life savings with Mattson and LeFever. The deceit was revealed this spring, when LeFever Mattson halted regular distributions to investors, and the founders sued each other. The founders’ dueling suits revealed allegations of fraud and mismanagement. LeFever claims that Mattson exploited his reputation as a “financial genius” to defraud investors into investing in LeFever Mattson limited partnerships, and that Mattson hid transactions from the LeFever Mattson company by keeping the proceeds from these transactions in a secret bank account. Mattson in turn claims that he was authorized to issue these investments on behalf of the investment company, and that LeFever wrongfully halted distributions to investors.

Blair Kittle, of Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy stated “According to the complaint, LeFever and Mattson were able to defraud hundreds of unsuspecting investors trying to save for retirement. LeFever and Mattson were able to trick the young, the old, the sophisticated and the unsophisticated alike. All kinds of people, from retired school teachers, to dentists, to meatpackers, to corporate lawyers fell prey to the scam.”

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