Local investors file suit against beach developers

Kelly Holleran Jul. 20, 2010, 6:47am

Claiming they were promised a 100 percent return on their investments, three local residents have filed a breach of contract suit against several developers of a proposed beach community.

Plaintiffs Kevin Millar, Gina Millar and Ryan Dempster filed a lawsuit in Jefferson County District Court against Crown Team Texas, Crown Team Construction, Allco, James L. Hayes, Thomas W. Harrison, Denise Harrison, Bolivar Holdings, Laguna Harbor Property Owners Association, Laguna Resources, Wachovia Bank NA, Bernie Daleo and Robert Daniel Peoples as representative of the estate of Todd Christopher.

"In the days leading up to July 12, 2006, Plaintiffs ... were advised by Deceased Defendant Todd Christopher, individually and on behalf of General Partner, Crown Team Texas LLC, that their investment as preferred investors and limited partnership interests of Laguna Resources Ltd. would double in 12 months," the suit states. "Based on Defendants' false promises and material misrepresentations and warranties concerning said investment, Plaintiffs paid Defendant, Laguna Resources Ltd., substantial sums."

According to the complaint, Todd Christopher was a limited partner in Segue Properties Ltd. The general partner of Segue Properties is Crown Team Texas LLC. Christopher was a member and owner of Crown and the manager of Crown is defendant Jim Hayes. Defendant Boliver Holdings is an entity controlled by Hayes.

"Segue Properties, Crown and Bolivar Holdings are all related and affiliated companies under the management and control of Hayes as are many of the other entities set forth herein. Defendants have employed complicated partnerships and corporate structures to obfuscate and confuse."

Based on the defendants' representations, the plaintiffs claim they invested significant sums of money, but have not received the promised returns.

"Since July 12, 2006, and continuously, Defendants herein have failed and refused to comply with and/or accomplish necessary tasks related to their duties and obligations to Plaintiffs herein," the suit states.

"Said obligations include but are not limited to, properly handling Plaintiffs' investment funds, providing information concerning said investment, reporting to proper authorities regarding said investment enterprises."

In their complaint, the plaintiffs seek compensatory and exemplary damages, plus pre- and post-judgment interest at the highest rate, costs and other relief the court deems just.

Brian D. Sutton, Joseph N. Jannise Jr. and Stephanie H. Harris of Sutton and Jacobs in Beaumont will be representing them.

The case has been assigned to Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd District Court.

Jefferson County District Court case number: E187-252.

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