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Lake Tahoe Homeowner Sues Real Estate Brokers Alleging Fraud & Conspiracy in Property Transaction
Owners of a newly purchased lakefront home on the west shore of Lake Tahoe are suing their real estate brokers and agents for fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, conspiracy, aiding and abetting, and negligent misrepresentation.
By: Cappello & Noel
The complaint alleges that while realtor and named defendant Darin Vicknair of Oliver Luxury Real Estate was showing the plaintiffs a home on West Lake Blvd. near Homewood, he "falsely told plaintiffs that an undeveloped part of that property, known as Lot 79, included a stream environment zone (SEZ) that would prohibit building on that portion of the property." "Plaintiffs relied on Defendants' representation about the SEZ in declining to make an offer on" that property and "in agreeing to purchase their current home" next door and immediately adjacent to the protected wetlands.
According to the complaint, "Defendants concealed from Plaintiffs, however, that Defendant Michael Oliver intended to . . . split Lot 79 from the rest of the property and develop it himself," that he "did not in fact believe Lot 79 could not be developed, and had reason to believe that it could," and that "defendant Oliver had illicit plans to clear the protected wetlands and develop the property for himself, facts known by him, Vicknair and their firm Oliver Luxury Real Estate."
The complaint alleges that soon after Plaintiffs' escrow closed, they were "alarmed to find that Lot 79 had been stripped of all of the ferns, willows and other vegetation at the direction of Oliver…who apparently was in contract on that parcel, but was not yet the owner" and that "crews were working seven days a week clearing the land, filling in portions of the SEZ."
The complaint alleges that "Vicknair and Oliver concealed from plaintiffs their belief that Lot 79 could be developed, and that Oliver in fact had predatory designs on acquiring it at an unfair discounted rate from" a different client of theirs.
The complaint states, "As plaintiffs' buyer agents, defendants had fiduciary duties of utmost care, integrity, honesty and loyalty in dealings with plaintiffs. Defendants each, separately and together, have unquestionably breached those duties… because of defendants' misconduct, the property is neither private nor as valuable as they thought."
The plaintiffs are asking for compensatory damages and interest, punitive damages, and other relief.
For more, go to https://www.CappelloNoel.com.