Mammoth Lakes Tourism (MLT) initiated legal action against Dirk Winter and The Woods at Mammoth Lakes LLC in Mono County Superior Court on Thursday, October 25.
The four-page complaint submitted by MLT’s attorney Timothy Sanford alleges that Mr. Winter committed fraud by using MLT’s money to close his $3.95 million deal to purchase Sam’s Wood Site from partners Sam Walker and Dennis Hartman.
The narrative of the complaint reads as follows:
“Winter and Woods entered into a written contract with Plaintiff and the Town of Mammoth Lakes [TOML} … In pertinent part, the Contract provides that, conditioned upon Winter and Woods closing escrow, Plaintiff would pay to Winter and Woods the sum of $300,000, said sum to be used … to fund certain improvements at the property for the purpose of achieving the goals of Plaintiff and TOML relating to tourism, entertainment and recreation, ‘and for no other purpose.’”
“Winter and Woods did not use the $300,000 to fund improvements, rather they used the $300,000 as and for the down payment for their purchase.”
The complaint alleges Winter never had any intention of ever performing on his promise to construct site improvements, and made this promise “with the intent to defraud Plaintiff.”
“By virtue of their fraudulent acts, Winter and Woods hold the Property as constructive trustees for Plaintiff’s benefit.”
What is a constructive trustee?
The Sheet asked MLT Board member Paul Rudder to explain.
“Say you’re my investment advisor, and I give you a million bucks to invest. And then you take my money and use it to buy a piece of property in your own name. Well, that should be my property since you acquired it with my money under false pretense.”