According to Oakland Rent Board data, Sullivan served 357 eviction notices in five years.
Neill Sullivan and his investors are putting a lot of effort into convincing themselves and others of the do-good nature of their speculation scheme. “REO Homes, LLC respects West Oakland by investing in our neighborhoods.” Sullivan, the son of a Newport Beach real estate developer, was previously associated with Deocap Corporation, a mortgage brokerage with suspended or revoked licenses in many states. Thomas Steyer was an original funder who made it possible for Sullivan to purchase hundreds of buildings in West Oakland and evict foreclosed owners and their families. Steyer, the founder of Farallon Capital now runs a “Community Development Bank” in Oakland that is pledged “to provide economic justice.” The list of properties in the hands of Neil Sullivan’s LLCs is staggering.
"The tens of millions of dollars that Sullivan raised to buy up these houses came from a wealthy network of hedge fund investors. A securities filing from September 2008 listed Thomas Steyer, Rajiv Patel, William Duhamel, and Ryan Schaper as investors in Sullivan's three funds.
Steyer is the founder of Farallon Capital Management, a San Francisco hedge fund, from which he amassed a personal fortune worth $1.5 billion. Steyer retired from Farallon in 2012 and has since become a well-known philanthropist, funding environmental and social justice campaigns, including a well-coordinated attack against the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Duhamel and Schaper are also Farallon alumni. Duhamel now runs a hedge fund called Route One Investments. Schaper runs Point Lobos Capital, yet another hedge fund. Patel is a current managing member of Farallon, but the hedge fund is not an investor in Sullivan's company.
Another investor behind Sullivan is Alastair MacTaggart, president of The Emerald Fund, a major real estate development company in San Francisco. Emerald Fund has existing investments in Oakland, including the Ellington and Essex luxury apartment and condo buildings located downtown.
The other sources of financing used by Sullivan to acquire Oakland real estate are loans from the First Republic Bank and One PacificCoast Bank, the latter of which was founded by Steyer and his wife Kat Taylor in 2007. Steyer is on the board of directors of One PacificCoast Bank and the foundation of the same name, which owns the bank's stock. One PacificCoast Bank's website states that "the Bank is mandated to produce meaningful social justice and environmental benefits at the same time that it is financially sustainable."
According to the Alameda County Recorder's Office, One PacificCoast Bank has provided seventeen loans to REO Homes LLC, one of the Sullivan-controlled funds in which Steyer is an investor. The loans together add up to $1.3 million. Steyer's investment in Sullivan's REO Homes fund, and his bank's loans to REO Homes are instances of insider loans — as defined by the federal government's main watchdog of banks, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Approval of bank loans to companies owned partly by bank directors are transactions subject to complex regulations. Jann Wallach, the senior vice president for compliance at One PacificCoast Bank, wrote in an email that the bank is in compliance with federal rules regarding loans to insiders.
The other bank that has lent Sullivan funds to purchase foreclosures in West Oakland presents another interesting connection in the world of high finance. On First Republic Bank's board of directors is Thomas Barrack, Jr., the billionaire private equity mogul who owns Colony Capital and Colony American Home..."
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