"Only In America"
Casey Serin Begs for Online Dollars

Like most of my days, I spent this past week heavily involved in cleaning up a major mess for a client. By the time Friday night rolled around and I was, once again, too exhausted to engage in any type of merry-making, so I caught up on my blog reading.

ExUrbanNation has become a regular staple, thanks to both its author's topics and the highly intelligent community amassed there. When I saw something about Casey Serin having a hard deadline from Cash Call, I wandered over there to see what the hubbub was all about.

Casey Serin was begging for "donations" from his readers to supply him with the $220 he needed to meet the Cash Call deadline by Saturday afternoon. I was shocked by the hubris. After over a year of unemployment, committing multiple felonies for monetary gain, refusing to heed any type of advice that he get a job and dig himself out of the hole he is in, he was begging.

Frankly, I was repulsed. Casey Serin has had months to find some sort of employment in order to meet the multiple hundreds of thousands of bills he has due. And yet he sat on his ass blogging, and at the 11th hour, reached out to people that he's spent the past six months whining are "hating on" him to pull his blue balls out of the fire.

While Casey Serin has been petulantly responding to his readers for the past three months that "I AM working," the reality of his situation is that he and his wife had a combined total of $40 to their names last night, were two months' past due on rent to his sister-in-law Yulia, and had about 18 hours to stop Cash Call from repossessing their belongings.

Once again, Casey Serin is not quite the big boy he is continually trying to make himself out to be.

But what amazed me even more is that people actually did reach into their hard-earned finances and sent him money. Within two hours, the total of Casey Serin's "donations" had exceeded a thousand dollars.

At that point, I lost much of the little respect I had left for society, justice, and humanity. After a ninety-hour week of "fixing" some pretty fucked-up scenarios for a client, I just wanted to put my head down on the desk and go to sleep for a very, very long time.

I mean, is this what the "American Way" has become? What happened to hard work, frugality, decency? Casey Serin was within inches of feeling even the slightest sense of consequence for the lifestyle that he has chosen for himself--a lifestyle that, primarily without his and Galina's families' support, would certainly mean homelessness and hunger. (Although, let's be honest...it's pretty fucking hard to starve to death in America.)

Apparently somewhere in the values shift of a once-great nation, we now reward frauds and felons. It goes to my theory of why white-collar criminals historically receive relatively light sentences: Because the vast majority of the jury pool can put themselves in the defendant's shoes and visualize themselves doing the exact same thing. So we apparently don't really value hard work anymore. We value getting rich quick, and sadly, most of us seem to have a price.

I was somewhat relieved to learn that a huge chunk of Casey Serin's $1,000+ in donations proved to be fraudulent. But the "donations" still enabled him to cover his nut to Cash Call and yet again avoid any type of consequence.

I don't clearly understand why rational, intelligent human beings would be willing to take money out of their own pockets and play some sort of codependant role to this little rat bastard. People who have been urging, screaming at Casey Serin to get a job for months opened their wallets and saved his ass.

I kept wondering last night if every-fucking-one online was drunk. That may be the case, as many of last night's participants express regret for assisting Casey Serin in the clear light of day.

But what fooled anyone about this supposedly 'new and improved' Casey Serin last night? Why did anyone think that someone who has exhibited a pattern of fraudulent behavior, theft, and general stupidity had somehow learned the error of his ways over a petty $220? Really, it pales in comparison to the approximately $2.5 million he has amassed through his fraud and credit lines.

If anything, what most of these people have done, under the guise of "helping" Casey Serin, is reinforce his worldview that "it's all good." That he really doesn't have to work, that magical fucking fairies will somehow deliver him money, and that he is better than people who really do work for a living.


Did Casey Serin Ever Intend to Repay His Dubious Loans?

I've often wondered if Casey Serin's whole "woe is me" routine isn't entirely staged for the benefit of his creditors and the legal system. After all, it's so easy to say that, as a 24-year old caught up in the fast money of the real estate boom, that he was mislead and subsequently dove in head first.

Certainly, I think this is what Casey Serin would like the world to believe about him. After all, he repeatedly goes out of his way to use phrases like, "I never intended to..." or "It was not my intent to..." But the reality is that he was running his mortgages like a pyramid scheme. By his own admission, Casey Serin was taking cash-back at the close of a house purchase, then treating that money like income.

Casey Serin has said that he received anywhere from $15,000 to $50,000 from the close of most of his properties. At one point, he surmised that this totaled somewhere around $160,000 total. For a kid without any real education to speak of and limited job prospects, this was almost certainly the largest amount of money that Casey Serin had ever been in possession of.

When faced with the prospect of actually investing that money into the properties he had bought, the dollars themselves might have become a little too sticky. It would no doubt have been difficult to part with that money in order to invest it in the properties themselves. Then, when faced with the actual amount of work involved to "fix and flip" the houses, Casey Serin might have concluded that he was better off pocketing the cash.

After all, he had already pulled the future equity out of the houses via his cash-back schemes. If there's any particular pattern that Casey Serin has displayed through his various blog posts, it's that he's easily overwhlemed and, quite frankly, a lazy bastard. Had Casey Serin noticed how the real estate markets in which he was invested were starting to nose-dive, he would have concluded that he was far better off keeping the cash he had already been handed.

Certainly, Casey Serin's lifestyle betrays any hint of sincerity at repayment. He is still taking out loans, some say in his father Aleksey Serin's name. Other bloggers point out that there are still more unsecured loans in Galina Serin's name. Meanwhile, he spent anywhere from $5,000 - $18,000 for a one-week tutorial at the aptly-named Nouveau Riche University of real estate studies in January of 2007.

Ah, there's that word again...intent. So Casey Serin is running around the country applying for loans and credit. This time he's doing in under the guise of some sort of corporate entity--which he doesn't even understand well enough to not call it a 'shelf corp.'

Personally, if I were one of Casey Serin's creditors, I wouldn't exactly see this type of spending habit as intent to repay. Considering that he mentions some type of "shell corporation" in that post, I would actually surmise that he's continuing his habit of signing his name for cash with no intent of repayment.

Casey Serin has mentioned several times that he does indeed have income. This is typically thrown out defensively as he pouts to his criticws that he is too a big boy.

But Casey Serin's creditors should heed these repeated admissions. He's admitted to receiving income from various methods of monetizing his website, through various 'deals' he has made with other real estate folk, through some type of consulting work, and most recently on his 'live chat' when he said that someone out there currently owes him $5,000 for something.

Yet Casey Serin is telling his creditors that he has no income.

As Casey Serin's blog readers and podcast listeners can attest to, Casey Serin has not spent even one hour "looking for full-time employment." And he's still telling the world that he's a successful real estate investor. He's still shopping for real estate, still looking for "sweet deals", still a menace to society.

Yet ironically, Casey Serin still talks about the possibility of declaring bankruptcy. He doesn't seem to understand that bankruptcy protection will not apply to the monies he gained through fraud. But it does seem that Casey is waiting to play this card until all of this properties have been foreclosed upon.

Between the blog posts, the blatent fraud, and the lifestyle that includes lounging around napping, it's my best guess that Casey Serin has no intention of repaying his loans. Only he and Galina know if they ever intended to.

Send Galina Serin to Prison

Casey Serin has gone out of his way in recent months to deny that his wife had any role in his multiple frauds and felonies. But his own words (and photos) betray that. In truth, Galina Serin has been involved in Casey's scams and get-rich-quick deals since the beginning.

Casey claims that wife Galina Serin was merely an outsider in his multiple frauds and schemes. But ignorance or stupidity has never been some sort of 'get out of jail free' card. In fact, of the four states where Casey and Galina Serin perpetrated their crimes, all four state that debt is a community property.

Since Casey and Galina Serin are California residents, the scenario is most easily clarified through California Family Code:

§910. (a) Except as otherwise expressly provided by statute, the community estate is liable for a debt incurred by either spouse before or during marriage, regardless of which spouse has the management and control of the property and regardless of whether one or both spouses are parties to the debt or to a judgment for the debt.

In short, Casey Serin can prattle on all he wants about Galina Serin having signed quit-claim deeds so that he was in sole possession of the properties. The state of California doesn't care who's name is on a particular bill. This is further reinforced by the fact that Casey Serin admits that the couple used credit cards in Galina's name to support various issues for their shady 'real estate business.'

That first co-mingled dirty penny confirmed to the state of California that Galina Serin was a willing participant. Of course, the business licenses are damning enough. It's a fairly implausible situation for two spouses two jointly register a corporation (or LLC or DBA) yet somehow only one spouse expects to hold liability for the venture.

Now, before you go crying a tear for Galina Serin, let's not forget that, as Casey has pointed out, Galina Serin has been studying to become a Certified Public Accountant. So she would have actually have been far more qualified than Casey to read over the mortgage documents, or at the very least, assess the gravity of the situation her husband was entering into.

Just as I'm inclined to not believe other spouses whose husbands commit various crimes, I find it impossible to believe that Galina Serin had no knoweldge of her husband's nefarious activities. By Casey Serin's own admission, Galina Serin has been the point person for their shady accounting since the beginning.

As you can see from the above, Galina Serin had a much broader and clearer picture of the family finances than anyone else. I'm just not buying that she couldn't perform the basic addition/subtraction functions to see a negative amount in the final line of the accounting.

So while Casey Serin was playing with his tech toys and other assorted shiny objects, it's just too precious to think that Galina Serin was blind to the multiple schemes and frauds, making her a party to them.

But let's say she is 'mentally challenged.' At least one state where Casey and Galina Serin committed their crime spree won't care. The Great State of Texas is notorious for prosecuting (hell, even executing) retarded folk. So Galina Serin's 80 IQ won't get her out of this, either.

Now, as we've recently been told, Galina Serin has been studying full-time for her Associates Degree in accounting...for at least four of the past six years. Whether or not this is another Casey Serin lie or not, anyone who has been in school for a specialized certification would have learned the very basics of the field.

When Galina Serin was doing the books for the Serin family frauds, she had to have known that there would be just a wee problem with Casey Serin's stated-income loans where he reported to earn $200,000-$300,000 per year. (This was one of Casey Serin's late-night admissions during last weekend's beg-a-thon.)

Now onto the Serin family's new path to righteousness: Bankruptcy.

First of all, to even remotely qualify for bankruptcy protection, Casey and Galina Serin would have to come clean, under penalty of perjury, about the frauds. I doubt they're willing to do that. So let's assume that they will continue to compile one lie on top of another, and 'ignore' the fraud element, because, well, everybody's doing it.

Should they take that route, the feds can tack on some additional sweet charges such as perjury and bankruptcy fraud, just for starters. But at the end of the day, bankruptcy does NOT protect anyone from the financial condequences of FRAUD and CRIME !!!

Here are some other fun charges for the dynamic dumbasses. Let's move onto Conspiracy. Black's Law defines Conspiracy as "an agreement by two or more persons to commit an unlawful act, coupled with an intent to achieve the agreement's objective, and action or conduct that furthers the agreement; a combination for an unlawful purpose."

It is worth pointing out that just because the desired outcome was not achieved does not eliminate conspiracy. In other words, even unsuccessful criminal enterprises such as those perpetrated by Casey and Galina Serin fall under conspiracy.

Galina Serin can probably look forward to some other fun charges: RICO (pattern of racketeering), racketeering (including but not limited to mail fraud, wire fraud, financial institution fraud), and money laundering (Galina's keeping the books and more than a few folks have noticed that there are at least a couple hundred thousand dollars unaccounted for).

Among the wait-and-see charges, we might also see some tax evasion and bankruptcy fraud thrown into the mix just for fun.


More Grandiose Entitlement, Courtesy of I Heart Huckabees

In case you haven't yet seen the YouTube videos of Lily Tomlin and David O. Russell's mutual meltdowns on the set of "I Heart Huckabees," it's worth a looksee. (A brief sidenote: why is it that people who utilize a middle initial usually turn out to be pretentious twats?)

Considering that this movie was released in 2004, I wonder why this took so long to surface. Yes, I am truly so jaded that I naturally assume that anything like this has some sort of back-end marketing tie-in.

Watching these clips, I realized that they're actually better than the movie. Because I couldn't remember the movie. It was remarkable for being so forgettable. A quick look back at a couple of reviews caused me to remember why.

Huckabees is like every book Russell ever read, every college class he ever took and every stoned discussion he ever had with his activist buddies at 3 in the morning, thrown into one movie and enacted by famous people. It'd be nice to think it is satirizing mystical mumbo-jumbo and endless navel-gazing, but that's giving Russell too much credit.

Aaaah...right, right. This was the movie where a married couple plays 'existential detective' to help a guy figure out 'what it all means.' Sounded interesting in the set-up, then fell really flat.

Which is kind of hard to do when your cast includes Dustin Hoffman, Lily Tomlin, Jude Law, Mark Wahlberg, and Naomi Watts. I mean, you do have to be kind of a shitty director to create a movie that's so lame that the presence of those five don't perk it up at least a little.

So the 'leaked' footage makes sense. Lily Tomlin has lost the plot, quite literally in a film making sense. In the first clip, David O. Russell had apparantly been shooting a scene in a consistent tone for the previous five or six hours. Then he basically told the actors to do the whole thing over again, with a delivery "by half." You'll notice that even Dustin Hoffman, who remains fairly calm during the whole thing, tells him quietly, "That's nuts."

In the second clip, Tomlin has supposedly been asking Russell to, well, direct her in the scene. He flips out in a kind of "I'm taking my ball and going home" kind of way. These kind of flare-ups on the Huckabees set must have been fairly regular, as you can see the crew just kind of lowering their eyes and shuffling out of the room like some sort of codependant children.

Before you hit play on either of these, just know that they're NSFW -- Not Safe For Work.

Thinking back, I'm reminded of the supposed physical altercation between David O. Russell and George Clooney on the set of Three Kings. Russell apparantly drove St. George to taking a swing at him, after Clooney called him on the carpet for abusing an extra.

What a winner. It does take a certain level of psychosis to be the biggest asshole in Hollywood. So if nothing else, Russell is certainly in the running for that award. Maybe he should stick to just writing the scripts, which everyone seems to agree he does well. But his supersized ego probably won't allow him to sit in a room with a few other folks and, well, collaborate. It's always the most grandiose fuck in the room who proclaims, "I want to DIRECT!"

Really, considering the repeated theme that I cover here, this blog should be subtitled, "Entitled Little Twats."