The Problem

Mr. Jackson provided his retirement funds to the defendants for purposes of purchasing and rehabilitating specific properties in Grand Rapids. Through a series of complicated transactions, however, Mr. Spencer transferred the money to his solely owned side company and thereafter spent Mr. Jackson’s money on himself. Six months after the lawsuit was filed, Mr. Spencer filed for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in an effort to avoid any liability.

Our Approach

Working with financial and regulatory experts, we were able to track through the financial records to ultimately prove where the money was allocated. In our deposition of Mr. Spencer, we were also able to prove that he converted Mr. Jackson’s funds for personal use including babysitters, car repairs, veterinarian bills and meals at several Grand Rapids area restaurants.

The Result

The Business Court granted summary judgment to Mr. Jackson on his conversion and statutory conversion claims and awarded him treble damages under the statute – a unique result under Michigan law. “Spencer did not use most of Jackson’s funds to buy or rehabilitate the identified properties,” Judge Christopher Yates wrote in a five-page published ruling of the Kent County Business Court. “Instead, some of the money paid for rehabilitation work on properties separate from Jackson’s investment and Spencer spent a substantial share of the money on his own expenses.”

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