I can’t lie — I got a warm glow that I’m almost positive was not gas every time I saw an email with a link to this great story by Andrew S. Ross on how, “according to the Clark County, Nev., district attorney’s office, there is a warrant out for Walter Lembi, managing director of the financially troubled Lembi Group, for allegedly passing $298,500 worth of bad checks earlier this year at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas.”

The Lembi group, as some of you might already know, are the folks who own CitiApartments (or First Apartments or FirstApartments or firstapts). You can see where this is going, right? This is funny because CitiApartments (or First Apartments or FirstApartments or firstapts) is an alleged check bouncer, too!

Ross’ article says Lembi owes $328,450 (including fees). Here is my favorite part of the story: “A woman who answered Lembi’s listed home phone on Wednesday evening said Lembi ‘doesn’t live here anymore,’ but gave no more details.” Perhaps he is living in a CitiApartment (or First Apartment or FirstApartment or firstapt)?

This afternoon, Ross blogged that he has an unconfirmed report that Lembi struck a deal with the Clark County, Nev., DA, and that he’ll pay the full amount in a payment plan beginning Friday. In return, the charges against Lembi are to be dropped, “and arrest warrants withdrawn, said Lembi’s San Diego attorneys, Patrick Catalano and Robert Ryan.”

Back in August, Brian Devine, the attorney responsible for a class action suit filed against CitiApartments (or First Apartments or FirstApartments or firstapts) for withholding uncontested security deposits from former tenants, sent a letter to SF DA Kamala Harris urging her to investigate CitiApartments (or First Apartments or FirstApartments or firstapts) alleged pattern of bouncing checks here in SF.

Though we’ve made repeated calls to Harris’ office, we’ve never gotten any response to our questions on if they’re considering this avenue of investigation for San Francisco’s arguably most infamous landlords. We’ll let you know if we do!

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at eve@sfappeal.com.

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