Oakland City Attorney Barbara Parker announced today the settlement of a civil lawsuit against members of a prominent and wealthy Oakland family that defrauded the city and its former redevelopment agency of at least $75,000. The City Attorney's lawsuit alleged that members of the Singh family received at least six development grants from the city to fix up properties they owned, but instead of rehabbing the buildings, they over-billed the city and submitted false claims for work that was never done.
The Singh family owns Friendly Cab, one of the largest East Bay taxi companies, as well as an extensive portfolio of real estate in Oakland. The main target of the lawsuit was Dhar Mann, a member of the Singh family. Mann was previously found guilty in a criminal trial and sentenced to five years probation for fraud.
See also: Dhar Mann, Owner of Oakland's WeGrow, the "Wal-Mart of Weed", Faces Thirteen Felony Charges.
See also: Oakland's Loudest Ganjapreneur Dhar Mann Gets Five Years Probation for Fraud
Parker described Mann in a press release as a "minor reality TV persona," because of his appearances on the Shahs of Sunset
, a reality TV show set in Beverly Hills and Tehrangeles that glamorized the affluent lifestyles of a cast of Iranian-Americans.
Mann founded the Oakland marijuana shop weGrow which he attempted to brand as the "Walmart of weed." Mann also became a major source of campaign cash for Oakland politicians
. He even hosted fundraisers for Governor Jerry Brown.
“$37,500 is not a huge amount of money for these defendants," said City Attorney Parker in a press release. "But this lawsuit demonstrates that no matter how connected you are, or how much money you have, or how many photos of your Lamborghini you post on social media, we will hold you accountable if you attempt to defraud Oakland taxpayers."
In addition to at least one post of a Lamborghini on his Facebook page, Mann also has uploaded pictures of Bentley's, penthouse hotel rooms and rooftop pools in luxury hotels from around the world.
was unable to immediately reach Mann or members of the Singh family for comment.