Millionaire: “Copperfield Tricked Me So I Sued Him”

We Read, We Did A Spit Take, We Smiled

The Chicago Sun-Times
has the convoluted story of a million-dollar lawsuit against David
Copperfield. Because we practice law on the side and we have a lot of
time on our hands thanks to a dispute over the definition of
“house-arrest,” we are able to cut through the confusion and get to the
bird’s-eye low-down.

Here’s the bottom-line to the federal lawsuit against Mr.
Copperfield by former trash-moving, movie-renting, real estate-selling,
exclusive island resort owning, John Melk.

Mr. Copperfield wanted to buy Mr. Melk’s island resort in the Bahama
Islands. Mr. Melk wanted to sell it but didn’t want to sell it to Mr.
Copperfield. Mr. Copperfield hired two other folks to buy it for him.
They bought it, Mr. Melk found out it was bought for Copperfield and
wants to rescind the deal.

Mr. Melk says he doesn’t want Copperfield to own the island because
he is afraid the magician will let it fall into disrepair. He also
claims he is concerned of rumors about the magician including one that
he is some how related to Russian-Mafia members.

Sure.

That’s the first thing we think about when we hear the
name David Copperfield. And it is just like good, close business
associates to hold one another’s equipment hostage for money. That’s
what the Russian Mob did for Mr. Copperfield during his tour of Russia.
What a clever method to hide their true friendship, stealing and
extorting money from the magician by threatening to bankrupt his tour.

Whatever.

Mr. Melk made his fortune from holdings in Waste Management Inc. and
Blockbuster Video. He has also invested in Chicago real estate. He
lives most of the year in Florida.

Mr. Melk is suing in federal court in Nevada – likely because Mr. Copperfield is domiciled in Nevada.

According to court documents filed by Melk’s lawyers,
Copperfield knew the deal would crater if his involvement were
discovered. At one point during negotiations, Copperfield wrote to rock
musician Lenny Kravitz asking for his help.

Copperfield needed approval
from the Bahamian government to put a deposit on the property, and
Kravitz, according to a court document, is a cousin of the Bahamian
prime minister. Copperfield asked Kravitz to “speak to the prime
minister.”

He also implored the rocker to keep his involvement under
wraps. “It is imperative that it remains secret until the deal is
signed,” the magician wrote.

Copperfield’s lawyer, Bruce Laxalt of Laxalt & Nomura
in Reno, Nevada., did not return a call seeking comment. In court
papers, the magician claims Melk “repeatedly asked Mr. Copperfield to
be his partner in owning Musha Cay” because he was “desperate to raise
cash.”

A lawyer on the deal “advised John Melk that there was an
anonymous partner involved.” When Melk learned Copperfield was the true
buyer, he “stated that he was happy,” according to court filings.

There are few sellers who are happy…

We Read, We Did A Spit Take, We Smiled

The Chicago Sun-Times
has the convoluted story of a million-dollar lawsuit against David
Copperfield. Because we practice law on the side and we have a lot of
time on our hands thanks to a dispute over the definition of
“house-arrest,” we are able to cut through the confusion and get to the
bird’s-eye low-down.

Here’s the bottom-line to the federal lawsuit against Mr.
Copperfield by former trash-moving, movie-renting, real estate-selling,
exclusive island resort owning, John Melk.

Mr. Copperfield wanted to buy Mr. Melk’s island resort in the Bahama
Islands. Mr. Melk wanted to sell it but didn’t want to sell it to Mr.
Copperfield. Mr. Copperfield hired two other folks to buy it for him.
They bought it, Mr. Melk found out it was bought for Copperfield and
wants to rescind the deal.

Mr. Melk says he doesn’t want Copperfield to own the island because
he is afraid the magician will let it fall into disrepair. He also
claims he is concerned of rumors about the magician including one that
he is some how related to Russian-Mafia members.

Sure.

That’s the first thing we think about when we hear the
name David Copperfield. And it is just like good, close business
associates to hold one another’s equipment hostage for money. That’s
what the Russian Mob did for Mr. Copperfield during his tour of Russia.
What a clever method to hide their true friendship, stealing and
extorting money from the magician by threatening to bankrupt his tour.

Whatever.

Mr. Melk made his fortune from holdings in Waste Management Inc. and
Blockbuster Video. He has also invested in Chicago real estate. He
lives most of the year in Florida.

Mr. Melk is suing in federal court in Nevada – likely because Mr. Copperfield is domiciled in Nevada.

According to court documents filed by Melk’s lawyers,
Copperfield knew the deal would crater if his involvement were
discovered. At one point during negotiations, Copperfield wrote to rock
musician Lenny Kravitz asking for his help.

Copperfield needed approval
from the Bahamian government to put a deposit on the property, and
Kravitz, according to a court document, is a cousin of the Bahamian
prime minister. Copperfield asked Kravitz to “speak to the prime
minister.”

He also implored the rocker to keep his involvement under
wraps. “It is imperative that it remains secret until the deal is
signed,” the magician wrote.

Copperfield’s lawyer, Bruce Laxalt of Laxalt & Nomura
in Reno, Nevada., did not return a call seeking comment. In court
papers, the magician claims Melk “repeatedly asked Mr. Copperfield to
be his partner in owning Musha Cay” because he was “desperate to raise
cash.”

A lawyer on the deal “advised John Melk that there was an
anonymous partner involved.” When Melk learned Copperfield was the true
buyer, he “stated that he was happy,” according to court filings.

There are few sellers who are happy with the price received and few
buyers who wish they had paid more. Fortunately, the law is loathe to
un-do a contract between a willing buyer and a willing seller.

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