Las Vegas Sun

November 27, 2022

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Homebuilder accuses LV company of home inspection fraud

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A homebuilder claims a Las Vegas company is fraudulently offering free home inspections as part of a scheme to induce homeowners into filing construction defect claims and lawsuits.

William Lyon Homes Inc. last week sued M.C. Mojave Construction, also known as C D S Construction Design Specialists; and two men associated with the companies, Charles Partington and John Wilson.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court, alleges the defendants have violated federal and state laws by offering the inspections in developments built by William Lyon and deceiving homeowners into believing the inspectors are working for or with William Lyon.

William Lyon, formerly known as Presley Homes, says it has been building homes in the Las Vegas area since 1995 and has built such projects as the Kingsway Ridge, Ebbets Ranch and the Belvedere communities.

The lawsuit alleges that neither Partington nor Wilson are licensed to inspect homes, but have nevertheless been offering inspections of homes built by William Lyon. The suit says that while inspecting homes, the defendants place placards around the community suggesting the inspectors are there representing the builder, William Lyon, and offering a phone number so additional homeowners can call to arrange inspections.

"Mojave's representations made by Partington and Wilson are likely to cause confusion, mistake or to deceive the reader as to their affiliation, connection or association," the suit states. "These representations were made to (falsely) give the homeowner reader the impression that Mojave, Partington and Wilson were in fact affiliated with William Lyon Homes."

The suit claims Mojave and Construction Design Specialists then try to induce homeowners into signing contingency contracts promising that some of the money the homeowners receive from William Lyon to settle construction defect cases will be paid to Mojave and Construction Design Specialists to cover the costs of their inspections.

The defendants are also accused of interfering with the relationship between William Lyon and the homeowners by inducing the homeowners into not allowing William Lyon to make repairs under its warranties.

"William Lyon Homes believes that in the course of initiating inspections, providing legal advice and referring matters to lawyers, Partington and Wilson made misrepresentations to homeowners which result in interference with William Lyon Homes' ongoing contractual relationships with the homeowners," the lawsuit charges.

William Lyon also says the defendants are steering construction defect cases to two law firms and are providing legal advice in violation of Nevada law.

Phone messages left with the defendants last week seeking comment weren't returned. The suit was filed for William Lyon by attorneys R. Christopher Reade and Andrew Pastwick of the law firm Reade & Associates.

Steve Green can be reached at 990-7714 or [email protected].

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