Insiders say Kalashos may still be subject to criminal prosecution over alleged fraudulent mortgage filings
By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor
December 25, 2018 (El Cajon) -- The fraud and harassment case against El Cajon City Councilman Ben Kalasho and his wife, Jessica, tacked in a different direction on Friday, December 14th when litigants faced San Diego Superior Court Kenneth J. Medel and announced that they reached an agreement to attempt to resolve the case through mediation.
For purposes of the mediation, Jessica Kalasho’s attorney, Donald E. Wolfe, announced that he is now temporarily also representing Ben Kalasho. According to court records, James Finigan is now only representing the Kalashos in their case against their former attorney, Stephen Liosi.
Friday’s hearing took a decidedly more relaxed tone with the announcement of the mediation agreement. The case has been on the docket of the San Diego Superior Court for a year and a half.
The stipulation agreed to by the litigants orders them to participate in mediation discussions within 60 days and that those settlement talks be concluded by Feb. 20, 2019. They also agreed to continue (postpone) all future hearings and debtor exams until Feb. 22, 2019, when they will report back to Medel at a 10 a.m. hearing with results of the mediation discussions.
Should the mediation attempt to a settlement not be successful, the lawyers said that they will then re-evaluate the course of the case.
Attorney Wolfe has brought an entirely different take to the controversial couple’s legal woes.
A graduate cum laude from the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego in 2000, Wolfe is an adjunct professor of law at the Pepperdine School of Law Institute for Dispute Resolution in Malibu since Sept. 2015 and has owned in San Diego for nearly 16 years. For two years, he was the Assistant Attorney General for the Commonwealth of Northern Marianna Islands as a criminal division prosecutor in financial and violent felonies. He has completed Harvard University’s program in negotiation and advance mediation.
Reliable legal sources indicate that the San Diego District Attorney office is continuing to investigate the possibility of bringing criminal action against the Kalashos over their filing of an allegedly fraudulent mortgage. they did this to shield their Fletcher Hills home from being used to satisfy any financial judgment against from the fraud and harassment case against them. These sources also say that charges stemming from Ben Kalasho’s attack dog threat against this journalist and a legal process server last September could be also grounds for prosecution.
A spokesperson for the District Attorney Office says that the office does not comment regarding ongoing investigations or litigation.
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