The Ballad of Casey Serin

by Rebecca Schoenkopf

If I’ve already stated my disdain for anybody who bought a house in this market, wishing a cold and lonely old age of Meow Mix for them and their heirs, then why—why?—do I actually love the creepiest little con on the block, Mr. Casey Serin?

Casey Serin

He’s manipulative, he takes “responsibility” for his actions about like George W. Bush does, he whines incessantly that he shouldn’t have to do time for his multiple counts of mortgage fraud because feeling bad about it should be penance enough, he left his wife with $300 in the bank (which he quickly siphoned out with his ATM card) to jet off for months to “supporters” in Australia (possibly to avoid legal action here), he’s flat-out the laziest piece of shit you’ve ever seen in your life—and you know you’ve seen some doozies—and he says things on his blog,, like “After selling the condo I took a mini-vacation for about six months to figure out what I’m going to do next.”

All of those are bad enough, but the worst part is he just won’t fucking learn. Anyone who’s had the intense pleasure of reading his site knows that even though he was $2.2 million in debt by the tender age of 24 due to phony real estate deals, he refuses to get a job (jobs are for “loosers”) and keeps trying to find more money to invest in more sweet deals. Also, he tapped his mom to sign for a $23 thousand line of corporate credit for a shell corporation he seems to have bought merely to hide his debt and take on more.

How stupid is this kid? Well, anyone could buy at the top of the market (like he did). Anyone could get in a quick hole with 110 percent loans (cash back at closing) if they’re too in need of a nap to actually do any rehab on their houses (one place, in Sacramento, has a sludgy green pool that can literally be seen from space). Anyone could bounce a charge so that a Jamba Juice ends up costing $37. And there are probably lots of people who get foreclosed on because they didn’t bother to open their mail (at least, that’s the way I lost my COBRA. Fucker was postmarked April 23 and payable May 1. No extensions!).

Not anyone would buy houses with a credit card. Not anyone would get sucked into every pyramid scheme that came her way (the kid seriously thinks his spam is full of “gold nuggets” of opportunity). And not everyone would be so enamored of get rich quick scams that they’d put $30 thousand worth of real estate “boot camps” on their credit cards.

Gary Coleman

But this is how stupid he really is: He borrowed money from CashCall. You know, that thing on the radio where Gary Coleman, whom I once saw lurking shiftily around the UCLA Medical Center gift shop like he was totally trying to shoplift, tells you that even though you’re a huge loser you can still get money right away? Yeah, that one.

CashCall charges rates of up to 98 percent.

So Casey Serin is very stupid, terribly lazy, awfully entitled ("What, am I supposed to eat ramen?”), and he does that thing where he agrees with everything anyone says ("You’re right, thank you so much for being direct, I’m really going to work on that") and then, once refreshed with a nap, goes looking for more shady characters who’re unsurprisingly very eager to take this idiot under their protective wings. Oh, honey!

Casey Serin has a real future ahead of him. Nothing he does “fails,” because failure just teaches him how to succeed the next time (except that every time he says that, he goes on to do the exact same thing). He is the power of positive thinking—see Thomas Frank’s What’s the Matter With Kansas for a filling summation of the hucksterism inherent in it—personified. And by all accounts, he’s really very sweet.

So it turns out I have far more sympathy for this total piece of human shit than I do for the regular people who just want to charge hundreds and hundreds of thousands more than they paid (say, six years prior) for reasonably nice homes. I don’t have any sympathy for them, and all they’re trying to do is get a greedy little payday without actual fraud. I see too many people I know and love deeply in this kid who’s probably too disturbed to do anything with his life but nap on the couch and charm some more sustenance out of you before he bleeds you dry. Of course, I don’t want him on my couch, and I don’t want him on yours either. I probably want to see him in prison: not so much for mortgage fraud (my broker too told me that stated income loans were meant for me to just make up any old number I wanted) but on general principle because he needs to suffer—just like I wanted Paris Hilton in jail not because she drove on a suspended license but because she’s an asshole who calls black people “niggers” and cries when she doesn’t get a pony.

Casey Serin could do very well in prison: he could find Jesus like Gordon Liddy and become a darling of the gullible. He could be huge, post-pokey, on the lecture circuit, or even on the teevee. I’m sure TBN would snap up a sweet, telegenic boy like that in no time flat. Fail forward, Casey. Fail on.

Rebecca Schoenkopf is the former editor-in-chief of LA CityBeat and former senior editor at OC Weekly, where she wrote about art, music, politics and more. She taught political science at UC Irvine and was an Annenberg Fellow at USC, receiving her master's in Specialized Journalism focusing on urban policy in May 2011. She lives with her son in a neighborhood we'll just call Hancock Park-adjacent. Follow her on Twitter at


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