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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Default "Flip This House" Star Arrested For Fraud

    I am not surprised at this revelation. This guy, and the slimy fellow in San Antonio, have never impressed me with their building skills. Most of what I have seen them do is patch and paint. Rarely do they address more than cosmetic issues. When structural problems MUST be addressed they always do less than the minimum.

    What a black eye for A&E.

    Sam Leccima of "Flip This House" Arrested for Fraud

    Want further evidence of a downturn in the housing market? Sam Leccima of A&E's popular reality series "Flip This House" has been arrested for fraud. Lecimma is accused of faking the home renovations shown on the cable TV show and claiming to have sold houses he never owned.

    "This is, indeed, a con artist," said Sonya McGee, an Atlanta pharmaceutical representative who says Leccima took $4,000 from her in an investment scheme.

    McGee and others say Leccima's episodes of "Flip This House," A&E's most popular show, were elaborate hoaxes. His friends and family were presented as potential homebuyers and "sold" signs were slapped in front of unsold houses. They say the home repairs -- the lynchpin of the show -- were actually quick or temporary patch jobs designed to look good on camera.

    Leccima says he never claimed to own the homes. While not acknowledging his televised renovations were staged, he didn't deny it and suggested that A&E and Departure Films, the production company that makes the show, knew exactly what he was doing.

    "Ask anybody who works in television how a reality show is made and you'll find that ours was a very typical approach," Leccima said in a telephone interview.

    When it recently learned of the claims against Leccima, the cable network pulled reruns of his episodes off the air and wiped his mentions from its Web site.

    Bodog.com, an online gambling site, was preparing to offer betting odds on what will become of Leccima.

    In season one, the series followed the activities surrounding the Charleston, South Carolina-based Trademark Properties, founded by Richard C. Davis. Each episode spotlights the purchase and renovation of a single unit. All episodes included listing the price of the purchase, the cost of renovation, and the market value (including potential profit) of the "flipped" property.

    Due to a contractual disagreement A&E decided not to invite Trademark back for season two of the show. The show was recast with a team from San Antonio and another in Atlanta, and with season three introducing a team from New Haven.

    In July 2006, Trademark Properties filed a lawsuit against A&E alleging breach of contract and fraud. Davis signed a series deal with TLC, and the new series, titled The Real Deal, will air April 21, 2007.

    A&E has enjoyed solid ratings with reality-based programs like "Flip This House", "Dog the Bounty Hunter" and "Inked".


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  2. #2
    Joe Nernberg's Avatar
    Joe Nernberg Guest

    Thumbs down Re: "Flip This House" Star Arrested For Fraud

    Real-estate license revoked

    Leccima, 36, presented himself as a successful real estate investor during the 2006 season of the cable show, which depicted him buying, refurbishing and reselling Atlanta-area homes for profits of $77,000 and more. But Leccima doesn’t have a real estate license — it was revoked by the Georgia Real Estate Commission in 2005, with the panel ruling he “does not bear a good reputation for honesty, trustworthiness, integrity, and competence.” Now he’s under investigation by the Georgia Secretary of State’s office for securities fraud.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    2,797

    Default Re: "Flip This House" Star Arrested For Fraud

    I've always though there was great potential in "Cheat This Consumer": a reality based consumer fraud show where each week a different set of slick con artists scam a different family of ignorant consumers into investing their live savings in various get-rick quick schemes.

    But it looks like A&E beat me to it.....


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