Neighbors Allege Harassment in Lawsuit Against Laguna Beach Billionaire

By City News Service
City News Service
City News Service
October 18, 2020Updated: October 19, 2020

SANTA ANA, Calif. (CNS)—An Orange County Superior Court judge on Oct. 16 issued a temporary restraining order against the billionaire founder of the Pacific Investment Management Co. (PIMCO) in a lawsuit filed by his Laguna Beach neighbors who claim he is harassing them with loud music, including the “Gilligan’s Island” theme on a loop throughout the night.

The lawsuit—filed by Mark Towfiq and Carol Nakahara against Bill Gross and his girlfriend Amy Schwartz—alleges that the former PIMCO leader has subjected his neighbors to a “targeted campaign of harassment and abuse” following a dispute over an art installation on Gross’ property.

Gross and his girlfriend installed a “large glass art installation on their Laguna Beach property along the property line shared with [Towfiq and Nakahara] and near the coastal cliffside,” at 2475 S. Coast Highway, according to the lawsuit.

The neighbors allege that Gross failed to obtain necessary permits from the city or the California Coastal Commission, but added a “large structure above that installation composed of steel poles and a protective net,” according to the suit.

The plaintiffs say the installation blocks their view and that they attempted several times to work out their differences with Gross and his companion. When that failed, the plaintiffs complained to the city, prompting an investigation.

“Rather than cure the violations, defendants retaliated against plaintiffs by blasting loud music at them at all hours,” the lawsuit alleges.

“This is not a case of a persnickety neighbor complaining about a neighbor who is a little too loud. Gross and Schwartz played their loud music constantly at decibel levels and at times of day well over the municipal code limits.

“Gross and Schwartz’s typical pattern was to project earsplitting music much of the day and then switch to theme songs such as the one for ‘Gilligan’s Island’ intermittently throughout the night.”

When Gross’ neighbors “respectfully requested” turning down the music, Gross and Schwartz “responded with mockery and demanded plaintiffs drop their complaint with the city if they wanted the harassing noise to stop.”

Towfiq and Nakahara “were forced to call the police who repeatedly warned defendants to stop their harassing music,” the lawsuit states.

The music would continue, and the “abuse has been so distressing that plaintiffs had to leave their home, effectively evicted and forced to stay elsewhere by defendants’ harassment,” the lawsuit states.

A hearing on the lawsuit is scheduled for Oct. 30 in the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana.