'Flip This House' star target of contract suit

Davis

A former real estate agent for Trademark Properties, the storied house-flipping company chronicled in national reality television shows, said owner Richard Davis is trying to edge him out of a potential restaurant deal that would pay a $1.35 million commission.

Julian Beverly Jenkins filed a breach-of-contract lawsuit in circuit court in Charleston alleging that Davis and his wife Virginia, known as Ginger Alexander in episodes of "Flip This House" and "The Real Estate Pros," face tax liens, foreclosures and debt.

The lawsuit said the couple "will conceal, remove or otherwise dispose of the entire commission fee in order to prevent (Jenkins) from receiving his portion" from the proposed deal.

Davis denied the Jenkins allegations in court documents. The restaurant transaction in question has not been finalized.

Jenkins, according to the lawsuit, met with a North Carolina buyer looking to acquire restaurants in the Southeast, then identified a potential seller.

"Davis began to aggressively insert himself into the transaction, insisting that Davis handle all communications" between the buyer and seller, while pushing Jenkins away, the lawsuit alleges.

Jenkins called the action a violation of the S.C. Unfair Trade Practices Act.

A judge signed off on a document requiring that authorities seize $1.35 million in cash or other assets from Trademark Property in connection with this case.

Davis, who declined to comment on the lawsuit, filed a court document saying that Jenkins never entered into a contract. Davis also said in the document that the $1.35 million, if seized, could shut down Trademark Properties.

That filing said Trademark Properties made $710,000 on real estate listings and sales and rental management in all of 2010, and made only $283,000 this year through Nov. 30.

Frank Cisa, an attorney representing Richard and Virginia Davis and Trademark Properties, said his clients return to court this week to fight the $1.35 million order.

The proposed restaurant deal, according to court records, should close soon.

Davis himself received a $4 million award this year in a breach-of-contract case he filed against television network A&E involving the show "Flip this House."

The verdict was upheld by the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals.

A jury had awarded Davis half the net profits from the first season, the only one featuring him and his business, plus more than $100,000 in international revenue.