The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

"Will wonders never cease?"
September 4, 1989, Pg. 72
By Joe Queenan

Grosvenor is a developer's worst nightmare: a roving fruitcake armed with just enough ammunition to be taken seriously by a journalist from out of town. Identifying himself as a management consultant, though he will not divulge which managements require his consultation, Grosvenor incessantly bombards journalists all over the U.S. and Canada with torrid innuendo about the Ghermezians' connections, the sources of their money and criminal investigations into their activities. Over the years, he has mailed or faxed damaging newspaper articles about the Ghermezians all around the world, while distributing stickers proclaiming: "Edmonton = Ghermezianville. Don't Invest Here. Don't Even Visit Here."

Grosvenor does make occasional forays into sanity when he rattles off verifiable facts about the Ghermezians' financing problems (they unsuccessfully attempted to repackage $ 486 million of their debt three years ago). But this impression of lucidity evaporates when he starts making dark suggestions about mysterious visits to Edmonton by Adnan Khashoggi and Mario Cuomo, tosses in a few words about the Teamsters and wraps it all up by insisting that Triple Five has "absolutely nothing to do with the development of the Mall of America." Gee, Bill, if that wasn't the Ghermezian brothers down there in Minnesota, who were those four Iranian impostors?

Why does he do it? Grosvenor originally told FORBES that he had been "swindled by Triple Five." But in a more recent conversation, he said, "They got several lots rezoned so they could build a lousy strip mall next to my house."

Now, Grosvenor is seeking assistance from Canada's Legal Aid to defend a $ 22 million libel suit from the brothers. The suit came after Grosvenor was quoted extensively in an Apr. 14 article in the respected German newspaper, Die Zeit, entitled "Money-Laundering or World Wonder?"

The article, replete with anti-Semitic comments by Grosvenor, was published around the time West German authorities were reaching a decision on a $ 6.3 billion mall project in Oberhausen, near Dusseldorf. The deal withered, and the Ghermezians slapped Grosvenor with the libel suit, simultaneously obtaining a gag order. But Grosvenor blabs on. A lawyer he approached about defending him was clearly taken aback when told that his possible client-to-be was still bad-mouthing the Ghermezians to the press. "He's going to end up in jail if this keeps up," the lawyer whistles.

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