Harold the Jewellery Buyer sued over allegations he exploited ‘mentally ill’ woman in house deals

The working day Katherine Divitaris’s father died, he remaining her a few smaller homes in the east end of Toronto. Katherine, 37, was unemployed and long troubled by mental wellbeing concerns and drug addiction. Revenue from the rental homes was meant to give her money stability.

When Harold Gerstel — Harold the Jewelry Consumer — entered Katherine’s lifetime, she missing significant worth from just one of those houses and arrived shut to performing the exact same with a different.

According to allegations submitted in a court motion, Gerstel flirted with Katherine, termed her the Greek phrase for Toddler Doll in text messages, and “concocted a scheme” that would see him buy one particular home for $450,000 and then market it two months later on for far more than twice that volume, earning a $585,000 financial gain. Gerstel is alleged to have taken advantage of Katherine, who a judge lately identified as a “mentally unwell girl.”

When Gerstel attempted to order a second property, Katherine’s mom, Triada, stepped in and stopped the transaction. On behalf of her daughter (Triada is now her daughter’s litigation guardian), she is suing Gerstel for $1 million.

Neither Gerstel, Katherine nor her mom would comment when questioned to by the Star, expressing the case is just before the courtroom.

This is the second established of allegations the Star has located involving Gerstel. As described previous 7 days, the Toronto person perfectly known for featuring “cash for gold” and “fast, no hassle” mortgages is alleged to have taken advantage of the trusting nature of Judy Allen, a 75-12 months-aged retired nurse.

With a sequence of 4 large-interest (22 per cent) home loans — with hefty expenses — now on Allen’s dwelling, and a renovation nightmare thanks to the contractor she hired, Allen is facing the loss of her residence. She has a gofundme website page set up to spend lawful charges in a final-ditch work to type out the mess. In the meantime, Gerstel has absent to court to just take possession of Allen’s bungalow in North York under electric power of sale simply because the 1-calendar year time period of his mortgages has expired and he claims Allen is in “default.” Allen, who has no young children, has scraped collectively adequate cash for 12 months in a retirement property.

Gerstel has said he did practically nothing improper in the problem involving Allen. With regard to the Divitaris scenario, Gerstel has denied the Divitaris family’s allegations in his reply to their court docket action. His lawyer, Melvyn Solmon, mentioned in an email to the Star that because the Divitaris circumstance is in court docket “it is inappropriate for counsel and their customers to connect with the media.”

Katherine was born in 1979. Her father, Nicholos Divitaris, died in 2013. She has lived with her mother, Triada, ever due to the fact.

It was in her late 20s that, according to her mother, Triada, Katherine turned unwell. Triada states in an affidavit submitted in court docket that Katherine suffers from “serious psychological health issues, which include melancholy, OCD, schizophrenia, extreme material abuse addiction to oxycontin, opiates, and other narcotics.” Triada further states that “as a consequence of her mental illness, she regularly endangers herself and is not able to treatment for herself.” Katherine has, from time to time, been admitted to psychiatric amenities for remedy.

Her mother oversaw Katherine’s obligations relevant to the household ownership, but the profits was Katherine’s, the courtroom paperwork state.

In November 2016, for a motive not spelled out in the community courtroom file, Katherine decided she desired to market one of her 3 homes. (All are in East York, around Broadview Avenue and Danforth Avenue.) She contacted an agent and an arrangement was built to offer 1 of the houses (a two-storey on Floyd Avenue) for $675,000.

About the similar time as Katherine struck this agreement, she met Harold Gerstel. Prolonged acknowledged for presenting to buy, or progress money towards, “gold, diamonds, watches” and other jewelry, Gerstel’s business now offers mortgages at large curiosity premiums, and to acquire properties promptly.

Gerstel claims in his pleadings that Katherine observed his ad on television and known as him up.

“(Katherine) requested me about my advertisement on tv, the place I promote that I acquire attributes in the GTA with fast closings,” Gerstel states in his affidavit.

In her affidavit, Katherine’s mom, Triada, alleges that Gerstel went on a marketing campaign to push a wedge among mother and daughter, and convince Katherine to offer the residence to him. Triada, in her affidavit, claims there had been a number of textual content messages from Harold (who was nearing his 60th birthday) in which he flirted with Katherine.

In some text messages, Harold termed Katherine “Koukla,” which is Greek for lovely doll. Katherine is of Greek descent.

Katherine abruptly cancelled the presently-in-progress offer to promote the Floyd Avenue property for $675,000, compensated a $75,000 penalty per that deal, and marketed it to Gerstel in December for $425,000. When Katherine acquired her cash she wrote a $100,000 cheque to a girl who is a perfectly recognised Toronto television clearly show host — a properly-identified woman Katherine had witnessed on tv but never fulfilled. The tv host, on receiving the cheque, straight away returned it to Katherine. (She verified the tale to the Star but questioned that her name not be utilised.)

On Dec. 22, 2016, Gerstel took possession of Katherine’s previous home on Lloyd Avenue.

Gerstel then outlined the property for sale and sold it on March 1, 2017, to a consumer for $1,012,000.

In his reply to the lawsuit, Gerstel explained the real estate market place went up “drastically” in that short period and he was amazed at how a lot the Lloyd home bought for. He took in $587,000 more than what he paid out Katherine for the property just more than two months ahead of.

When a real estate transaction usually takes put, the two sides are to have their have attorney. Katherine’s attorney when she marketed the Floyd house to Gerstel was Peter Grivogiannis. Grivogiannis could not be achieved for remark. Gerstel’s lawyer was Abraham Jonas, who was the law firm on the Judy Allen mortgage loan deals. Jonas has claimed he will not talk to the Star.

Triada, Katherine’s mother, has told court docket this took place really swiftly, and with out her information. The moment she did understand that Katherine had sold the Floyd Avenue residence, she then learned that plans were in movement for Gerstel to get a next of Katherine’s homes, this just one on Woodycrest Avenue in East York.

Triada states in her affidavit (there is supporting documentation in the court docket file) that Gerstel entered an agreement with Katherine to obtain the Woodycrest dwelling in July 2017 for $595,000. That offer fell by, and a new settlement to order Woodycrest by Gerstel for $755,000 was struck a month later on.

Katherine’s attorney on that was Kamele Barrett, a Pickering lawyer, who was the lawyer Judy Allen made use of to provide impartial authorized suggestions in her home loan promotions with Gerstel. Allen told the Star that Gerstel proposed she use Barrett. In a reply to previously questions from the Star, Gerstel’s law firm (Melvyn Solmon) has claimed Gerstel knows Barrett from another authorized file, but he did not say Gerstel proposed Judy use Barrett. How Katherine ended up using the exact law firm in her deal with Gerstel is not explained in the court docket paperwork.

It was at this issue that Triada stepped in and “terminated” the sale settlement among her daughter and Gerstel for the Woodycrest home. She hired law firm James Zibarras (now of Miller Thomson LLP) and a lawsuit was commenced towards Gerstel, trying to find $1 million damages for breach of rely on, negligent and fraudulent misrepresentation, fraud and deceit.”

Her mother is now her courtroom-authorized litigation guardian, which means a choose has established that an unique is “under disability” and the guardian is appointed to protect that person’s interests in a court motion.

The circumstance is producing its way by way of court docket. Just lately, Gerstel’s attorney, Melvyn Solmon, challenged the position of Triada as her daughter’s litigation guardian, declaring that Triada was not performing in the best passions of her daughter. A hearing was held and Choose Jane Ferguson dismissed Gerstel’s challenge.

“First of all there is absolutely no evidence just before the court docket that (Triada) is not performing in the very best passions of her daughter,” Ferguson reported in her ruling past 12 months. She went just one move further more, chastising the Gerstel side.

“This court docket will not even more the incorrect behaviour of the defendants who are attempting to circumvent the court system … it “appears” (the justice extra the quotation marks) that Harold has manipulated Katherine. For me to make it possible for this motion would bring the administration of justice into disrepute.”

Before long soon after Ferguson built her ruling, Gerstel appealed. The Courtroom of Charm for Ontario is scheduled to listen to Gerstel’s appeal Aug. 17.

Neither Triada or Katherine would concur to be interviewed for this tale. Their lawyer, Zibarras, also declined comment.