By KAREN VELIE
The attorney for Paul Flores put a lien on his client’s home to help cover legal costs, which exposed the use of an altered name to buy the property. Flores is on trial for the murder of Kristin Smart during an attempted rape in 1996.
In 2010, while working for a Coca Cola bottling company, Flores purchased a small home in San Pedro using the name Paul Raul Flores, according to the grant deed. Flores’ real name is Paul Ruben Flores At the time, Flores’ true name was associated with a long-standing murder investigation.
Deputies arrested Flores in April 2021, and he hired attorney Robert Sanger. Sanger, who helped win an acquittal for Michael Jackson on child molestation charges, also represented former San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Adam Hill, who was accused of extorting bribes.
Two months later, in June 2021, Flores retained another attorney, Christopher Botti, to move his grant deed to a revocable trust, a legal document that allows for the disposition of property when the owner may be incapacitated or otherwise unable to handle transactions himself.
Botti produced the document, which a notary had Flores sign while in custody at the SLO County Jail.
A review of the document shows that it appears that sometime between Botti preparing the document and the document being filed with Los Angeles County, it was altered.
In pen, near the top of page two someone added, “Paul Ruben Flores who took title as.” The hand-written statement is above the printed copy of “Paul Raul Flores, a single man, THE GRANTOR,” according to the grant deed to revocable trust.
Under the signature line, someone appears to have used a correction fluid, such as Wite-Out, on the printed “Raul” and “Ruben” has been hand written.
The notary who signed the document said she was not permitted to discuss the issue.
In Sept. 2021, attorney Sanger prepared a short form deed of trust and assignment of rents. In this document, someone placed xxxxx over the name Ruben, where Sanger had included “between Paul Ruben Flores, as trustee of the Paul Flores living trust dated May 28.2021.”
Sanger now has a $400,000 lien on Flores San Pedro home, though it is unclear whether the name change will cloud the title.