Timothy Chey, a Harvard business school grad, lawyer, and film producer, writer, and director of faith-based productions (David and Goliath, Suing the Devil) is suing the Rancho Santa Fe Foundation, its executive director Christy Wilson, and Eventbrite, a public event website. Chey first filed the suit in Superior Court, but on January 2 it was moved to federal court.
“This is a case that takes the worst discrimination horror story to a new low,” claims his suit. In 52 years, Chey has never been through such “horrific conduct” pulled by the defendants, he claims. He and his wife are Chinese Americans. He was thinking of moving to Rancho Santa Fe. They came across an Eventbrite invitation to go to an $85-per-person annual board holiday social gathering of the foundation.
According to the suit, Wilson, “with steely eyes,” told the couple to leave. They had come with a Caucasian person who was not asked to depart. All the other guests were Caucasian, says Chey. He says it was “the most excruciating night of his life." He is suing the defendants for a long list of offenses: fraud and deceit, unlawful discrimination, breach of duty of care, willful and reckless conduct, intentional misrepresentation, negligent misrepresentation, civil conspiracy, infliction of emotional distress, and breach of implied contract. Finally, Chey is suing for racketeering, a category of suit originally designed to nab Mafiosii.
Says Wilson, “My comment is 'no comment.' It is a frivolous lawsuit.” Then she hung up.
Chey says he will “bring justice to this case if it takes 20 years.”
Nonetheless, after all the humiliation, Chey and his wife have moved to Rancho Santa Fe in the Camino De Arriba estates, according to the suit.
Rancho Santa Fe is clearly one of the highest-income towns in the nation. But the list of those who have resided in Rancho Santa Fe is not impressive: Randy (Duke) Cunningham, the oft-bribed former congressman who spent seven years behind bars; Douglas Powanda, the former Peregrine executive who was sentenced to 78 months in prison, and sold his Rancho Santa Fe home to Cunningnham; Michael Fanghella, the former chief executive of Pinnfund, one of the biggest Ponzi schemes in San Diego history; J. Douglass Jennings Jr., bankrupt and disbarred tax attorney who has admitted to bankruptcy fraud and tax evasion; lawyer Todd Macaluso, found guilty of forgery, and rascals going back many years, including C. Arnholt Smith, the banker who built much of San Diego through bank and accounting scams.