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Montgomery Home Buyers' Fraud Suit

Published: Aug. 25, 2006 at 2:23 AM CDT|Updated: Oct. 11, 2006 at 2:27 AM CDT
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Attorney, Ed Wayland, filed three separate lawsuits.  The plaintiffs say they bought homes from the same company- Wilmar, Inc.  The suit alleges their investments turned out to be money traps because the people at Wilmar promised the new homeowners they would make major repairs "after" the sale.  They say that never happened.

Wayland says, "What's a house worth if the roof leaks and the plumbing doesn't work right and you can't turn on the lights?"

WSFA 12 investigated the claims.  At one address listed in the lawsuit, we found contractors renovating the building.  They say a new owner hired them to begin work two weeks ago.

Contractor, Alfredo Marroquin, says, "Nobody could live here... before we started working."

The complaint alleges Wilmar, Inc. "flipped" the property.  Attorney Wayland says this means they bought it for cheap, sold it for double it's value, and left the low income families looking to own a home... holding the bag.

The latest complaints in this alleged home buying scheme are just three in a string of several similar charges against Wilmar, Inc. partner, Don Martin.   He made headlines 14 years ago when the feds indicted Martin on 43 counts of fraud June 15, 1992.   Martin later pled guilty for swindling homeowners out of their mortgage payments.   Most of them lost their homes in the process, just like two of three latest accusers.

Wayland adds, "I guess we would hope that the people at Wilmar will rethink how they do business in this community."

At this point, the complaints must be served to all defendants named in the suit.  From that point forward, they have 30 days to respond.   WSFA 12 was unable to reach Martin's attorney by phone Thursday afternoon to confirm whether he received copies of the court documents.

Businessman Don Martin was accused of giving Governor Guy Hunt a tax free gift in 1986, months before Hunt appointed Martin to the state liquor board.

Reporter: Theo Travers