Man kills his ex-wife (on paper)
December 26, 2007
ASPEN ” Roberta L. Mendelson is alive and well in her home in Virginia, according to court papers.
But that’s not what her ex-husband, Melvin I. Mendelson of Los Angeles, said under oath.
Mr. Mendelson claimed his ex-wife died May 10, 2006, in order to secure more than $600,000 in loans on the Hunter Creek condominium in Aspen the two shared.
Mrs. Mendelson’s lawyer, John Rediker, filed civil papers Friday in Pitkin County court claiming fraud and asking for damages.
The Mendelsons originally bought the condominium on Vine Street in February 1984, but the couple separated in September 2003.
The property remained in both of their names until January 2006, when Mr. Mendelson first filed a quit claim deed to deny Roberta her right to the property, according to court papers.
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Then on March 15, 2006, Mr. Mendelson, a mechanical engineering professor at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, allegedly forged his wife’s signature on a deed of trust for $185,000, according to court documents.
And in October 2006, Mr. Mendelson swore under oath that Mrs. Mendelson died May 10, at the same time securing a $335,000 deed of trust on the property, the first in a series of loans totaling more than $600,000.
In March, Mr. Mendelson, calling himself a “widow,” tried to obtain the deed to the property, signing another quit claim deed between Mrs. Mendelson and himself, “Mel I. Mendelson, surviving spouse of Roberta L. Mendelson.”
Mr. Mendelson is being charged with fraud, breaking his duties to his ex-wife, and civil theft, which could entitle Mrs. Mendelson to triple damages, according to court documents.
Mrs. Mendelson is asking for those damages and any others the court determines at trial.