LAGUNA BEACH, Calif., Dec. 10, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Bill Gross announced today that he was donating up to $500,000 to Orange County foodbanks and other charities providing critical assistance in this time of need, despite his neighbor Mark Towfiq’s rebuffing his proposal that they settle the lawsuit between them and donate the legal fees to charities. Mr. Gross called on Mr. Towfiq to do the same.

“Regardless of whether Mr. Towfiq is interested in resolving this lawsuit, I am renewing my offer to him to join me in my donations to Covid relief causes,” Mr. Gross said. “If he has enough money to spend on multiple legal actions, he can certainly afford to help those in such desperate need. I have always believed that those who can help others less fortunate than themselves should do so.”

A statement from Mr. Gross follows below:

Earlier this week I made what I considered a reasonable, mutually beneficial, public offer to my neighbor to settle our ongoing dispute and donate what we have spent so far, and will spend, in legal fees and court costs to Orange County foodbanks and other charities providing critical assistance in this time of need. Or, if he preferred, just the proceeds of estimated future legal costs. I also proposed that we individually select charities, or in a spirit of resolution and future goodwill toward each other, come up with a jointly agreed upon list of recipients to receive contributions in the name of his choosing. Please see my earlier announcement here:

My offer was rebuffed, and not kindly, by the opposing lawyer who stands to profit the most by the continuation of these proceedings. So be it. I believed, and still believe, that our mutual resources would be better spent in the midst of a global pandemic assisting those in need rather than on lawyers. I also believe the limited resources of the court should be reserved for more urgent matters instead of a dispute among neighbors. Finally, there is the risk we face every time we appear in person, in a small courtroom, sitting barely inches from each other.

Following the rejection of my offer, I announced that I intend to live up to my commitment, whether or not Mr. Towfiq wants to resolve this case. As a result, I have calculated my legal fees and court expenses that I already spent and will spend in this case, and have donated $500,000 to multiple Laguna Beach and Orange County charities providing Covid relief. As I previously noted, the purpose of these donations was never intended to “buy” my way out of this case, as it was cynically characterized by Mr. Towfiq’s attorney. It was to provide something of value to our community, not to benefit one side or the other except to cease hostilities.

Checks were presented this week to recipients that include the OC United Way Pandemic Relief Fund, OneOC’s Emergency Volunteer Center, Orange County Rescue Mission – COVID relief, Second Harvest Food Bank, Laguna Food Pantry, the Someone Cares Soup Kitchen, and the OC Food Bank, among other appreciative organizations. Giving money to people in need, who welcomed the unexpected donations with tears and cheers, is far more satisfying to me than spending it on lawyers.

Whether or not Mr. Towfiq is interested in settling the litigation between us, I am calling on him to do the same and donate to charities of his choice. If he would do so, the not-for-profits that are providing much-needed assistance to the less fortunate will have close to $1 million more to do their good work. If Mr. Towfiq has enough money to provide his lawyers, he can certainly afford to help others in desperate need. 

SOURCE Bill Gross

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