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Irwin Law
Irwin Law, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 7414
Experience:  Lawyer- Broker 30+years - foreclosure, short sale, liens, title attorney.
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Law only: I purchased a lot presented as subdivided from

Customer Question

For Irwin Law only: I purchased a lot presented as subdivided from a larger parcel in Nova Scotia. The ad for the lot was on EBAY. I have a contract for this sale signed by the seller and myself and noterized in the State of New York where the seller live(d). I made a downpayment of $2,500, monthly payment of $200 for several years, and a final ballon payment last year. All payments were made to the seller and paid by cheque directly into his bank account with Community Banl NA in Wellsville, New York. With the final payment I was asked to pay for a survey, and additional $1,500,paid to a surveyor in Halifax, NS who surveyed the lot and submitted the subdivision for approval. The subdivision was denied as the parcel is on an abandoned road and any subdivision must be 5 times that which was sold to me. I have verified several times that the parcel from which the lots was to be subdivided is actually owned by the seller, with no leins, and another person who lives in CO. Thye seller was one Paul Ceglia, who was the man who claimed he co-owned Facebook and tried to sue for money. Ceglia is now a Federal fugitive with a warrant and bounty placed by the U.S. Marshalls Office. I know he coowns the lot in NS, has a house in Wellsville,NY, and may still have an active bank account at Community Bank NA. I wish to try to recover my money Optional Information: Country relating to Question: United States State (if USA): Massachusetts What have you tried so far?: I have talked to the coowner of the property who claims he did not know Ceglia was selling lots. He claims he got into the initial purchase because Ceglia convinced him it was a good business deal. I have suggested to the coowner that, since the entire parcel is owned by Ceglia and he with no subdivision between them, that I see him as a silent partner in this deal who defacto gave Ceglia permission to sell lots by virtue of the fact that he was not overseeing any transaction Ceglia made, and thus functioned as a silent partner in the sale and is responsible for the return of my funds as I never received the lot for which I paid

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Irwin Law replied 2 years ago.

Good morning. Your question has been re-opened and directed to me for a Reply. Of course I don't have to tell you that Ceglia is a scammer. You can sue him in Allegany County, NY, serve summons at his home address and try to obtain a default judgment for breach of contract and fraud. That judgment will be a lien on his NY property for ten years. Without running a title search, there is no way of telling how many mortgages and/or liens might already be against the property. You can also assert rights against the NS property that is in his name. Since the mid-nineties it has become easier to enforce U.S. judgments in Canada; however, you will probably need a NS attorney to try to seize an sell that property. Here also, there could be many others who share your misfortune , and are trying to do the same thing. The "silent partner" may be sued, but you will have to prove that he was an actual participant in Ceglia's scheme. The court will not imply liability against him merely on the basis of his co-ownership. You are in the unfortunate position of having to possibly spend more money to try to recover your money. That often results in throwing good money after bad, so I would counsel caution. Recovery of money from someone like Ceglia rarely occurs . You should check with a tax attorney to see what is required for you to write off the investment on your taxes. I hope that this information is helpful. I can offer direct phone contact from this new thread if you wish to continue in that direction. Thanks for using JUST ANSWER.