Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Evans case moves closer to trial

See Evans Case page in Special Coverage section on right side of page for a collection of all posts on the Evans case. Several posts have audio recordings of the hearings

The Evans case reaches a new phase: The Battle of the Experts. G&B Investments filed suit against the Evans Brothers, Mississippi Valley Title Insurance Company, and Old Republic seeking damages for losses suffered in the Evans case.

G&B filed suit against the Evans brothers, various Evans-owned companies, Mississippi Valley Title Insurance Company, and MVT's parent company, Old Republic. G&B owned 105 acres of land on Hwy 463 in Madison. G&B sold the land to the Evans brothers in 2008 for $16 million. The Evans brothers made a $5 million down payment and G&B provided owner financing for the rest of the land. What G&B did not know is that the week before the closing, the Evans brothers obtained the down payment through mortgage fraud (The documents related to the transactions were not filed at the courthouse until after the G&B closing took place.). The Evans brothers represented to M&F, Bank of Forest, and Heritage Bank using phony title certificates it indeed owned the land and borrowed $5 million on land they did not even own. The brothers then turned around and used the money as the down payment. See earlier post. The brothers used 77 acres of the land as collateral for the deed of trust they issued to G&B. G&B argues since Mississippi Valley Title allegedly insured a portion of the 105 acre tract for 200%, it should have known wrongdoing was taking place. G&B asked for punitive damages as well as other forms of relief. G&B had foreclosed on the 77 acres used as collateral but the foreclosure was put on hold by the bankruptcy trustee. The three banks are also seeking recovery from the Evans Brothers, Mississippi Valley Title, and Old Republic for damages suffered in the alleged fraud surrounding this transaction.

G&B's lawsuit will go to trial in February. Judge Olack issued discovery deadlines for December and made it clear he was going to trial in Feburary. G&B filed a report (see below) by its expert, Mr. George Pierson, Esq. Mr. Pierson has practiced in Louisiana since 1976 and is a past President of the Louisiana Land Title Association. The Bank of Forest also designated him as its expert.

Mr. Pierson focused on the duty a title insurance company has to monitor, audit, and supervise its approved attorneys and agents. Mr. Pierson states the standard practice should be auditing the files of said attorneys and agents on a regular basis and inspecting escrow accounts. Mr. Pierson argues if such policies and procedures had been followed by Mississippi Valley Title, "the wrongful activities and ongoing fraudulent schemes carried out by Charles Evans would have been discovered and he would have been removed as an Approved Attorney prior to the transactions" involving G&B's land. Mr. Pierson also zeroed in on the fact Charles and Chris Evans are brothers: "Mississippi Valley Title and/or Old Republic failed to have reasonably prudent underwriting policies that would have allowed them to timely detect and discover the ongoing fraudulent and various fraudulent schemes of its approved attorney, Charles Evans. this would include a general prohibition against approved attorneys working on transactions whereby the approved attorney or a close family relation has a financial interest in the transaction." JJ pointed out in an earlier post Charles Evans submitted a dozen title endorsement applications to Mississippi Valley Title containing the signatures of both Charles and Chris Evans.

Mississippi Valley Title and Old Republic stated their experts would be James Bruce Davis of Arlington, Virginia and local appraiser Van Duncan. A report was provided to all parties but there is not a copy of it in the public file. Charles Evans filed his own designation of expert:Harvey Little, MAI. Judge Olack will hold a hearing on December 21 at 10:00 on several motions.


Anonymous said...

The third expert listed for Evans is an atty named Shows. What's the story on him?

Anonymous said...

Shows is an attorney in Flowood. His firm does a lot of real estate work. He has a great reputation as being an "i" dotter and "t" crosser. It appears from his website he is very experienced in real estate in Mississippi. You can google him and go to his website. His name is John Shows.

Kingfish said...

Thanks. I'd noticed Shows Powell reading my site for months. Now I know why. :-)

Anonymous said...

John Howard Shows!?!?!

I like John and he is a competent lawyer, but I'm very surprised that he is going to be a title insurance fraud expert. Wonder what the Evans group is up to with this selection?

Who are all the other experts?

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