BRIDGEVILLE, CALIF. (CN) – Bridgeville Properties is accused of having fraudulently acquired much of a Northern California town – for free. Bridgeville became famous in 2002 when it was the first town auctioned on eBay. The third buyer in four years, Daniel La Paille, bought 83 acres to rebuild for his mother and grandmother to retire to, then killed himself.
La Paille, a 25-year-old Los Angeles-based entertainment manager, financed some of the purchase through several banks. After he began improvements and residents embraced him, he deeded the property to Bridgeville Properties. A few days later he shot himself, due to illness, his family said.
Loan holders, through Citibank, the administrator of La Paille’s estate, seek to set aside the town’s alleged fraudulent transfer, since no money was exchanged when the property was deeded to Bridgeville Properties. The complaint claims the transfer made La Paille insolvent. Other creditors include HSBC Bank, First Equity Card Corp. and Mercedes Benz Financial.
La Paille’s family has put the town up for sale again. A “musical ministry” from the Bay Area called the Church of Creative Reinvention Unifying Spirituality and Technology – CRUST – is trying to raise the money to buy it. The family prefers this buyer to others, local sources say, because its plans do not include leveling the town to build a resort.
Citibank is represented in Humboldt County Court by Rory Clark of Westlake Village.