Roland Arnall became known as one of the wealthiest Angelenos thanks to the subprime mortgage industry he helped create with his company, the former Ameriquest Mortgage.
He was also known for giving money to his favorite causes, particularly the one he had championed more than three decades – Chabad of California Inc.
But when he died at 68 in March 2008, his fortune had been decimated by the collapse of the subprime industry. And now Chabad, headquartered in Westwood, has sued Arnall’s estate for a hefty $17.5 million – the alleged balance due on an $18 million pledge Chabad claims Arnall made in 2004.
Although there’s no formal document of any agreement, Chabad officials said that Arnall pledged the $18 million when he asked the organization to build an Arnall Family Center on property it owns on Pico Boulevard in the South Robertson neighborhood, where organization leaders envision a blocklong Chabad village.
"Luke Ford reports all of the 'juicy' quotes, and has been doing it for years." (Marc B. Shapiro)
"This guy knows all the gossip, the ins and outs, the lashon hara of the Orthodox world. He’s an [expert] in... all the inner workings of the Orthodox world." (Rabbi Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff)
"This generation's Hillel." (Nathan Cofnas)