Synonymous with real estate

Dear Editor:The first paragraph of the article "Former Rives Mansion Tenant Admits to Fraud" begins with "Lauren Baumann, the owner of a Downey realty firm..." For many, many years, the name "Baumann" has been synonymous with Downey real estate. They have served the Downey community proudly, as owners of Red Carpet Heritage Realty. I believe you are well aware of this, since Red Carpet has been one of your customers for several years. After reading this first paragraph, containing the words "Baumann, "Downey realty firm," "guilty" and "fraud," the reader is led to believe that the Baumanns are guilty of fraudulent real estate activity. Apparently the author of this article, whose name does not appear in the byline, chose to ignore this fact. Instead, the author adds a single-sentence second paragraph stating that Ms. Baumann owns Stewardship Estates LLC. This is too little, too late. The damage is done, and in my opinion, it is irreversible damage. A simple reference to Ms. Baumann's company's name in the first paragraph would have made it clear that she is not associated with Chris and Beverly Baumann, neither in name nor actions. A retraction of this damaging article must be made. The Patriot must take responsibility for the misleading wording in an article such as this, which casts a shadow over a business that has provided professional real estate services in Downey since 1967. -- Pat Szmagalski, Realtor, Red Carpet Heritage Realty

Dear Editor: The front page article in The Downey Patriot regarding the former tenant of the Rives Mansion who pleaded guilty to federal wire fraud charges for allegedly defrauding investors exhibited a shocking lack of investigative professionalism. Had the author of this article investigated the public records of the Department of Real Estate and/or the Department of Corporations, they would have discovered that Stewardship Estates LLC is not a real estate firm let alone a "Downey real estate firm." The former renter of the historic mansion once had a license, held by a broker in Orange County, but that has been expired for some time, since the mid 1990s. She has no interest in my company and has never worked in any capacity for my office, Baumann Real Estate Inc., dba Red Carpet Heritage Realty. Interestingly, I do have a very sweet granddaughter named Lauren Baumann who happens to be a Downey teen princess and a freshman in high school. --Bev Baumann, Owner, Red Carpet Heritage Realty

********** Published: October 13, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 26

OpinionStaff Report