Bill Gross Receives Visitor at Oceanfront Mansion: a Judge
(Bloomberg) -- Bill Gross got a visit to his oceanfront mansion from the judge who’s been overseeing a longstanding dispute between the billionaire and his Laguna Beach, California, neighbor.
Mark Towfiq, the neighbor, wants the PIMCO co-founder held in contempt and jailed for allegedly violating an earlier order by Orange County Superior Court Judge Kimberly Knill, who found in December that Gross had harassed Towfiq by playing loud music, including the theme song to “Gilligan’s Island,” at all hours.
Knill said Monday at the start of trial in the contempt case that she would grant Gross’s request and visit both men’s properties, before hearing any evidence. lawyer argued the visit wasn’t necessary.
“It’s important to see what’s going on out there,” the judge said. Knill toured both properties for almost two hours Monday afternoon.
In her December ruling, Knill ordered Gross to stop playing loud music in his yard when he or his wife weren’t outdoors themselves, and to keep at least five yards away from Towfiq and his wife. The judge set the restraining order to be in place for three years.
‘Above the Law’
Towfiq claims Gross violated that order in July when he again played loud music, pointed high-power speakers at Towfiq’s home and installed large umbrellas to impede his neighbor’s view.
“The Grosses believe they’re above and beyond the law,” Towfiq’s lawyer, Chase Scolnick, said of the billionaire and his wife. “Nothing has changed.”
Gross and Towfiq have been feuding since last year, after Towfiq complained to city officials that a large white netting installed over a Dale Chihuly sculpture in Gross’s yard was unsightly. According to Towfiq, Gross retaliated by blaring TV sitcom themes across their yards.
But Gross’s lawyer Patricia Glaser accused Towfiq of weaponizing the judge’s ruling in order to hold the Grosses criminally responsible and have them thrown in jail.
She said Towfiq was angry that local officials approved the installation of the art.
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