Plaintiff claims contractor made fraudulent transfers to avoid lawsuit damage payment

Kelly Holleran Aug. 24, 2009, 7:23am

A company says the builders it hired to fix its building after Hurricane Rita struck intentionally went out of business to avoid paying damages from a lawsuit filed against it.

MJ3 Ltd. filed a lawsuit Aug. 18 in Jefferson County District Court against Homer Wayne Blalock, Charles R. Wythe, Blalock Construction and CWB Management Co. in an attempt to reclaim money MJ3 says it is owed under a former lawsuit.

MJ3 first filed a complaint in May 2007 against Transcontinental Builders, doing business as Trans Texas Construction Co., for its alleged breach of contract in performing repairs to MJ3's business after Hurricane Rita struck, according to the complaint.

On Aug. 25, 2008, MJ3 was awarded damages from Transcontinental Builders, but says it still has not received payment from the company.

The plaintiffs claim that while judgment was pending, Blalock, president of Transcontinental, and Wythe, vice president, decided to shut down the company to avoid paying any damages.

According to the lawsuit, MJ3 alleges that Wythe and Blalock then began to transfer contract rights and various projects managed by Ventura Realty Management Co. to another company they owned named CWB. But the men kept the assumed name Trans Texas Construction Company for CWB, the suit states.

"On Sept. 10, 2008, 24 days after TCBI stopped paying its employees, TCBI, acting by Sharon L. Brown, filed a Withdrawal Notice of Assumed Name with the Harris County Clerk, abandoning the right of TCBI to use the d/b/a Trans Texas Construction Co.," the suit states. "On Sept. 10, 2008, immediately after abandoning the assumed name Trans Texas Construction Co., Sharon L. Brown, acting as the office manager of CWB, claimed the assumed name Trans Texas Construction Co. for CWB."

In addition, Wythe and Blalock also began to transfer assets to CWB, including a 2007 Isuzu van and a 2002 Ford van, which still had the name Trans Texas Construction Company painted on its side and the telephone numbers of TCBI, MJ3 claims. The same happened with a 2003 Ford E-150, which was sold on Nov. 14, according to the complaint.

"As a result of the actions of Blalock and Wythe, TCBI is out of business and is unable to satisfy the judgment awarded to Plaintiff," the suit states. "Conversely, Blalock, Wythe, CWB and BCI are all enjoying the benefits of the former assets owned by TCBI."

MJ3 claims it has been damaged by $169,918.08 because of TCBI's fraudulent transfers.

MJ3 is asking the court to hold Wythe, Blalock and CWB personally liable for the Aug. 25, 2008, judgment. It is also seeking a judgment against the defendants as fraudulent transferees, plus costs, pre- and post-judgment interest, attorney's fees and other relief it may be granted.

Bill Richey of Griffin and Matthews in Beaumont is representing the plaintiff.

The case has been assigned to Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th District Court.

Jefferson County District Court case number: D184-687.

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