Former California state senator Michael Rubio is facing questions for potentially receiving improper gifts while an elected official.
Rubio, who stepped down from his elected position last week to work for Chevron Corp., is caught up in real estate dealings with Majid Mojibi, president of the San Joaquin Refining Co. Inc., who donated nearly $15,000 to Rubio’s senate campaign.
The Sacramento Bee reported the story this morning:
Rubio, contacted Wednesday night, said the dealings with an investment firm owned by Majid Mojibi, president of the San Joaquin Refining Co. Inc., were done by the book.
He said that Mojibi last year properly loaned him money to buy a $681,000 home in El Dorado Hills after a bank turned him down for a conventional mortgage. Two months later, still unable to get a conventional loan, he gave the house to Mojibi and is now renting it, he said.
DCM Assets Management, a company registered to Mojibi, also purchased the Bakersfield home Rubio had to put up for a short sale in 2011. The company paid $185,000 for the two-bedroom house, according to records.
The real estate website Zillow.com estimated that the Bakersfield house was worth less than $100,000 at the time of the sale. Rubio said the site undervalued the home based on a dispute over the updated square footage after renovations.
Rubio was forced to move during his 2010 campaign so that his residence would fall into the district he was trying to represent. When he tried to purchase a five-bedroom home in El Dorado Hills he was denied a bank loan.
Rubio then turned to Mojibi’s company for a loan:
He said Mojibi's company gave him a "market-rate" 6 percent loan to purchase the 4,660-square-foot house, which has four fireplaces and a swimming pool, for $681,000 in March 2012.
There is no record of a loan available through El Dorado County deed records.
Two months later, Rubio transferred ownership through a quitclaim deed to DCM Assets Management.
Once he realized he would not be able to get a conventional loan for some time, Rubio explained, he went back to DCM Assets Management and arranged to relinquish ownership and lease the property for $3,000 a month.
The Fair Political Practices Commission is reviewing the senator’s transactions but has not yet formally opened an investigation.