Fayetteville Investor Falls for Foreclosure Scheme

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Nov. 17, 2008 12:00 am  

A Fayetteville investor said he was burned to the tune of almost $380,000 when he invested in foreclosed properties through an Ohio company.

The problem started for John Davidson, president of Houston Holdings LLC of Cookeville, Tenn., shortly after he received an investment offer from William T. Schill, who was working for Ameritrust Home Title of Lakewood, Ohio, according to Houston Holdings' lawsuit, filed recently in U.S. District Court in Fayetteville.

Schill, who said he was the president of Ameritrust, told Davidson, who operated out of Houston Holdings' Fayetteville office, that he could buy 63 foreclosed properties for $378,900.

Schill told Davidson that he would then receive $678,900 in a matter of days or, in the worst case, Davidson would own the properties, the lawsuit said.

Davidson put up the cash, but then never saw the money or the property.

In his complaint, Davidson said he had since learned that there wasn't a contract to buy the property, and Schill wasn't even the president of Ameritrust Home Title.

Schill no longer works at Ameritrust and didn't return a message left on his cell phone or by e-mail.

Davidson is suing Schill on several counts, including breach of contract and fraud. Ameritrust also was named as a defendant. Davidson wants his money back, plus at least $3 million in damages.

An Ameritrust spokesman declined to comment on the case.



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