Giant homebuilder Lennar Corp. was awarded $1 billion yesterday (Dec. 3) by a Florida jury as compensation for defamation and conspiracy to extort money from the company. Expected to pay the $1 billion are developer Nicolas Marsch III and his company, Briarwood Capital. Lennar says it doesn't expect to see the money.
This is the case that got the Rev. Barry Minkow sent back to prison for a second time in 2011. Minkow, an infamous Los Angeles crook in his youth, got sprung early after he found religion. He became a preacher in San Diego but ran a scam-sleuthing operation on the side. He stepped over the line when trying to help Marsch in his battle with Lennar. Minkow wound up defrocked and back in the slammer.