DA disappointed by sale price of Yunona leader's home

Relates to:
Date: 2006-08-01

By DAVID RYAN, Register Staff Writer

Napa prosecutors were disappointed by the Monday auction of the Napa home of Ivan Jerdev, the former president of embattled Napa adoption firm Yunona USA.

Despite attracting interested buyers -- and selling to an investor for more than $440,000 -- the price fell far short of bringing in enough money to pay off all Jerdev's creditors, much less a $368,000 civil court lien won by Napa prosecutors. Prosecutors alleged in civil court that Jerdev was responsible for defrauding more than 100 would-be adoptive parents across the country by falsely offering children from other countries for adoption. Families said they paid Jerdev and Yunona USA tens of thousands of dollars in the hopes of adopting a child.

Prosecutors alleged earlier in the year that Jerdev owed families more than $1.1 million.

Jerdev is in Russia, reportedly facing criminal child trafficking charges there. Napa police are investigating Yunona in hopes of filing criminal charges.
Jerdev's absence meant Napa prosecutors turned to his U.S. estate to provide some sort of compensation for his alleged victims, winning the civil court lien July 11.

However, public records show various Jerdev creditors are owed large sums of money. Wells Fargo is owed more than $117,000, while Marta S. Garcia, a Southern California woman, is owed more than $114,000. A July notice of sale tabbed another group of creditors' demands at about $424,000.

The modest house at 121 Legacy Court in Napa, a dead-end street off of Pine Street and west of Jefferson Street, sold for less than the $500,000-plus Jerdev paid for it in 2002, according to public records.

"It's significantly lower than the amount of the first mortgage, the second mortgage, the tax lien and the (civil court) lien," said Napa County Deputy District Attorney Daryl Roberts. "We were hoping it would sell for a much higher price. I was kind of hopeful with the number of people that were there, but it was the weirdest auction I'd ever seen. I went back to the office and said 'There's like 20 people there and no one wants to bid. They're just standing around.'"

Out of a gathering of about two dozen people -- including former Yunona Vice President Nick Sims -- only two bidders emerged who were interested in the house.

Roberts said unless further investigation revealed other assets prosecutors are not aware of, the judgment won by prosecutors would remain unsatisfied. With the outcome Monday, it appears that more than 100 alleged victims of the firm are unlikely to get money owed to them in a civil court judgment.


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