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Charges have been dropped against the Indiana automaker embroiled in a legal feud with a California real estate broker over the delivery of a replica 1966 Batmobile — but the inquiry into the law enforcement agencies he involved in the feud is just beginning.
According to multiple reports, Compass broker and local political donor Sam Anagnostou used political connections in San Mateo County to press criminal charges against Indiana custom automaker Mark Racop, who Anagnostou accused of failing to deliver a $210,000 replica Batmobile he commissioned the shop to build.
Now, San Mateo County officials are asking the state attorney general to look into why investigators from the local district attorney’s office along with sheriff’s deputies, traveled halfway across the country in July, on the taxpayers’ dime, to carry out a raid in a case that should have remained a civil dispute, according to the Redwood City Pulse.
The feud dates back to 2021, when Anagnostou, who describes himself as “a uniquely charismatic Realtor” on his website, commissioned Racop’s Logansport, Indiana-based company Fiberglass Freaks to build him a replica of the 1966 Batmobile.
Soon after, Anagnostou sued Racop for breach of contract, alleging that his Batmobile had not been delivered within the agreed-upon time frame and that Racop had given the car to another customer of his, bumping Anagnostou to the back of the line. Racop claimed that he had never received Anagnostou’s final payment for the car, according to the Menlo Park Almanac News.
A California judge dismissed the case, reasoning that it should have been filed in Indiana, according to Bay Area CBS affiliate WPIX. Anagnostou was not deterred in his quest for justice and contacted San Mateo County Sheriff Carlos Bolanos, who received a $1,000 donation from Anagnostou on his reelection campaign, according to the Almanac.
After a probe that involved reviewing bank records, emails and the late-July raid, San Mateo County District Attorney Stephen Wagstaffe’s office ultimately declined not to prosecute.
“After consideration of all the facts and circumstances presented to this office it is my conclusion the evidence does not warrant criminal prosecution,” Wagstaffe said in a statement released last week.
The district attorney’s investigation and raid are now the subjects of an investigation by the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors, who have asked California Attorney General Rob Bonta to look into it. The board also hired a private investigator for the investigation according to KGO-TV.
Sheriff Bolanos defended the investigation in an internal memo, according to the Pulse.
“While it is true that I asked that this case be investigated, and I am acquainted with the victim as I am with many residents of San Mateo County, I would make the same request of our investigators whenever a potential crime of this nature came to my attention,” Bolanos wrote.
Anagnostou did not respond to an interview request from Inman.
Racop — the only licensed creator of 1966 replica Batmobiles according to Jalopnik — told KGO-TV that investigators read him his Miranda rights, arrested him and took him to a local jail where he was released soon after.
“I was horrified. I’ve never gone through anything like this ever before in my life,” he told the news station. “I love ‘66 Batman and Batman always stood with the law.”