Real estate tycoon Mohamed Hadid started violating Los Angeles city building codes even before he began constructing his notorious mega mansion, a jury heard on Monday.
In 2011, after buying the plot on Strada Vecchia in ritzy Bel Air, he 'illegally demolished' the house that was already there and started 'illegally grading' tons of earth on the hillside property, said Gary Lincenberg, attorney for the neighbors suing Hadid on the second day of a trial that could cost him millions if he loses.
Brian Olson, a grading inspector for LA's Department of Building and Safety, told the eight men and four women of the jury at the trial in Santa Monica that when he inspected Hadid's site in March 2011, he saw work being done that had not been granted permits.
There were roads being cut, vegetation stripped from the hill the site sits on, and 'close to vertical' cuts being made in the hillside, without the support of retaining walls, said Olson, who is now retired.
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Property developer tycoon Mohamed Hadid was seen leaving his second day of trial in Los Angeles on Monday
A court heard the father of supermodels Gigi and Bella Hadid had allegedly begun violating building codes even before he started constructing his illegal monster mansion in Bel Air
In 2019 a judge ordered Hadid's mega-mansion to be torn down out of safety concerns, saying it was a nuisance and a danger to the public, but it is yet to be demolished
'They should not have been doing any of that stuff,' he added. 'They got carried away.'
Olson issued an 'order to comply' - meaning that the violations had to be corrected.
But a year later, when he inspected the site again, he said, 'There were the same violations - a year had passed with no compliance.'
The jury heard that between 2011 and 2018, Olson issued a total of 15 orders to comply after inspecting Hadid's property and finding City code violations.
An order to comply is issued when an inspector finds unpermitted work being done and the developer is ordered to comply by correcting the violation - or his building permit will be revoked.Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
Calling such a high number of orders to comply 'very unusual', Olson added that in 14 years as a City inspector he had 'never seen so many permit violations' on one property.
Earlier, Lincenberg addressed the jury again to underline the fraud claim brought by neighbors Joe and Bibi Horacek and John and Judy Bedrosian in their lawsuit against the 72-year-old Hadid over his mammoth, half-built house that he once hoped to sell for $100million.
Standing in front of a TV screen that bore the words, 'Hadid's M.O: Fraud,' Lincenberg told the court, 'Hadid did not want the neighbors to know' the size house he was planning to build.
In April 2012 when Hadid got his permit to build the property, the neighbors hadn't filed a complaint because they assumed Hadid - father of supermodels Bella and Gigi Hadid - would be constructing the 15,000 square foot home that appeared in the renderings that were posted outside the building site, said the attorney.
'They thought what he built would be safe and legal,' added Lincenberg……'They didn't know about the second set of plans he (Hadid) had.
'Hadid told his building contractor not to tell anyone know that he was building an oversized structure.'
Attorneys for neighbors suing the developer accused Hadid of misleading them for years during Monday's hearing
Hadid, pictured with his attorney Jeff Reeves outside of court on Monday, is accused of 'illegally demolishing' an existing house after buying a plot on Strada Vecchia in 2011 and 'illegally grading' tons of earth on the hillside property
Reeves responded with his client's countersuit against neighbor Joe Horacek - the founding member of a powerful LA law firm - claiming Horacek tried to extort $3.5million from Hadid in exchange for using his influence to make the developer's problems 'go away'
Gigi and Bella Hadid's father faces $60million in losses in the civil suit over his condemned Los Angeles mega-mansion
By late 2013, 'it's becoming clear to the neighbors that the building does not look like the rendering,' said Lincenberg, who, at last Friday's first day of trial, told the jury that the house ballooned to a whopping 35,000 feet.
He told the jury that Hadid tried to hide illegal work by using fake walls, tarps and trapdoors.
'His neighbors were completely misled by