- Rich Klein
EXCLUSIVE: COUNTY GOP CHAIR/TOWN SUPERVISOR SUED OVER REAL ESTATE TRANSACTION THAT ALLEGES FRAUD
Updated: Jan 7, 2022
COCHECTON - Allegations of "fraudulent conduct" are contained in a lawsuit by a real estate client of Gary Maas and Stanzoni Realty, a firm that Maas works for that is based on Long Island.
Maas, the Town of Cochecton supervisor and the chair of the Sullivan County Republican Party, is listed as a real estate agent for the company.
The suit, filed in 2019 by The O'Neill Family Irrevocable Trust in State Supreme Court/Sullivan County, alleges that Maas/Stanzoni never informed their client that they received an offer of $144,400 in December 2018 from Jonathan and Tracy Meddaugh regarding a home on Devil's Road here.
The pending suit further alleges that Maas/Stanzoni told its client that there was little to no interest in the property and that no offers on the premises had been made. The Meddaughs viewed the property with Sean Walker, their agent from Keller Williams Realty in early December - an appointment arranged by Maas and who was present for that viewing.
But on December 11, Stanzoni Realty - through a related company called Tri-State Modular Home Corporation - made its own offer of $68,000 which the company represented as "fair market value," according to court documents. The client (O'Neill Trust) agreed to the offer and the transaction ultimately closed in February 2019.
"Had plaintiff been aware of the Meddaugh offer," the lawsuit alleged, "they would not have executed a contract with Stanzoni for the sum of $68,000."
The SullivanTimes on Sunday afternoon reached out to Maas for comment by email. It also sought comment from the Meddaughs who could not be reached at presstime.
But Walker and colleague Sean Ocasio, another Keller-Williams agent, were both reached by phone separately on Sunday. And both confirmed that they were surprised by the actions of Maas/Stanzoni since Keller-Williams had brought a legitimate buyer to the table who made an offer. However, because the case is pending litigation, they said they could not go much beyond that in commenting.
Mary Bakalis, the executive of The Sullivan County Board of Realtors, told The SullivanTimes on Sunday that Maas is not a member of the Board.
In early December 2020, a conference was held before State Supreme Court Justice Stephan Schick and it's believed that the case is now in settlement talks. However, Ocasio said that his firm has removed itself from participating in one of the stipulations of the proposed settlement - to act as a co-broker with Stanzoni Realty.
A copy of the plaintiff's lawsuit and Schick's memo is below. The defendants' response to the lawsuit denied the allegations in a sparsely worded response.
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