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`Flip This House' Star Accused Of Fraud

 
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Old 06-01-2007, 03:56 PM   #1
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`Flip This House' Star Accused Of Fraud


`Flip This House' star accused of fraud
By DOUG GROSS, Associated Press Writer 42 minutes ago


On an episode of A&E's popular reality series "Flip This House," Atlanta businessman Sam Leccima sits in front of a run-down house and calls buying and selling real estate his passion.
Now authorities and legal filings claim that Leccima's true passion was a series of scams that included 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.
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 But Leccima doesn't have a real estate license it was revoked by the Georgia Real Estate Commission in 2005, with the panel ruling he "does not bear a good reputation for honesty, trustworthiness, integrity, and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.
Leccima said his lawyer advised him against talking about the investigation or the claims made by McGee and others. He did say that some of the criticism stems from his high profile.
"I'm a business person and I think I have as many people that like me as don't like me," he said. "Anyone who puts their face on national television should realize they've signed a Faustian deal of sorts."
However, Atlanta-area real estate records show Leccima never owned several of the homes he's been shown fixing up on television.
WAGA-TV in Atlanta, which first aired the claims against Leccima, has shown footage from inside one of the homes, which had mismatched wooden floors and unpainted patched walls that were out of the view of TV cameras on "Flip This House."
McGee said she attended what was billed as a wrap party at one home. But when the party was shown on "Flip This House," it was presented as an open house at which someone expresses interest in buying the property.
New York-based Departure Films did not return repeated telephone calls to its offices by The Associated Press. A&E spokesman Dan Silberman said the network has stopped working with Leccima, who doesn't appear in this season's episodes.
"We are dismayed to learn of these allegations," read a statement issued by the network. "A&E Television Networks is not a party to any of the transactions shown in Flip This House and has not received any formal complaints about the properties or sales."
Silberman said the network a joint venture of Hearst Corp., Walt Disney Co. and General Electric Co.'s NBC Universal doesn't investigate claims made by people on the show, opting to take them at their word.
The Better Business Bureau gives Leccima's company, Leccima Capital Partners, LLP, an "unsatisfactory" rating, saying four complaints have been filed against it in three years.

One of the complaint was from McGee, who said she considered Leccima a friend even vacationing in Brazil with him and his wife. She said the Leccimas stopped returning her calls once she started asking for her money back.
Dan Ward, an Atlanta-area youth minister, said he told state investigators that Leccima took about $100,000 from him to invest in real estate, but, as far as he knows, Leccima never developed anything with it. He hasn't received his money back. McGee said appearing on the TV show made it easier for Leccima to find such investors: "As soon as that first episode aired, he got phone calls from people saying, 'I love you. Where can I send you some money?'"
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Old 06-01-2007, 04:02 PM   #2
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Re: `Flip This House' Star Accused Of Fraud


Ha ha
Well...the "reality" in "reality show" is a genre, not a real, legal description
They are all actually Game Shows after all

Great article

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Old 06-01-2007, 04:13 PM   #3
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Re: `Flip This House' Star Accused Of Fraud


LOL!

Yet another of the cards pulled from the phony house of cards of real estate flipping!

I'd love to see that brought to a rah-rah real estate guru's meeting. The guru would have you thrown out.

Actually even the people in the audience would boo you for being their buzz kill with you trying to bring some dose of the real world to their fantasy world.
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Old 06-01-2007, 04:14 PM   #4
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Re: `Flip This House' Star Accused Of Fraud


I'm (yawn) appalled.

Who would have ever guessed that something that looked so easy would turn out to be a scam?

Wow, what are the odds?...

Lucky for me I just won $8,000,000 from the Nigerian lottery so I don't have to worry about it anyway...

Last edited by wasdifferent; 06-01-2007 at 04:31 PM.
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Old 06-01-2007, 04:18 PM   #5
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Re: `Flip This House' Star Accused Of Fraud


Here's the dirtbag's picture, in case it jogs someone's memory:

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Old 06-01-2007, 04:25 PM   #6
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Re: `Flip This House' Star Accused Of Fraud


Maybe they shouldn't have fired Richard Davis after all
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Old 06-01-2007, 04:27 PM   #7
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Re: `Flip This House' Star Accused Of Fraud


Apparently there are a few secrets. Just small stuff like theft and fraud.
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Old 06-01-2007, 04:31 PM   #8
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Re: `Flip This House' Star Accused Of Fraud


Flip this Sam
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Old 06-01-2007, 04:35 PM   #9
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Re: `Flip This House' Star Accused Of Fraud


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Maybe they shouldn't have fired Richard Davis after all
No kidding. The last I heard, he was suing A&E for stealing his intellectual property (the show concept, which he devised, wrote, and shopped to the various networks).
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Old 06-01-2007, 04:43 PM   #10
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Re: `Flip This House' Star Accused Of Fraud


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Originally Posted by mikesewell View Post
I'm (yawn) appalled.

Who would have ever guessed that something that looked so easy would turn out to be a scam?

Wow, what are the odds?...

Lucky for me I just won $8,000,000 from the Nigerian lottery so I don't have to worry about it anyway...

Hey, wait a second now, how did we both win it? Now I'm getting suspicious!

Did you send them your 10% processing fee in already?
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Old 06-01-2007, 04:45 PM   #11
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Re: `Flip This House' Star Accused Of Fraud


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No kidding. The last I heard, he was suing A&E for stealing his intellectual property (the show concept, which he devised, wrote, and shopped to the various networks).
Yup, you can find out more about the lawsuit here: www.flipthislawsuit.com

From the sounds of it he only had a verbal contract so I'm not sure he can win. Although the funny part is A&E tried to claim he was in breach of contract for shopping around which went against their claim that their was no contract. Not sure how that works.


Anyways, his new show has been on TLC for about 5 or 6 weeks called "THE REAL DEAL". It's pretty good but he seems to be focusing on more community service projects than profit making flips. Kind of a Flip This House meets Extreme Home Makeovers. Anyways, hopefully he will get back on track soon. I'm TIVOing it
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Old 06-01-2007, 05:08 PM   #12
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...Did you send them your 10% processing fee in already?...

8%.

You got screwed. LOL. LOL. LOL...
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Old 06-01-2007, 05:28 PM   #13
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Re: `Flip This House' Star Accused Of Fraud


Quote:
Originally Posted by mikesewell View Post
I'm (yawn) appalled.

Who would have ever guessed that something that looked so easy would turn out to be a scam?

Wow, what are the odds?...

Lucky for me I just won $8,000,000 from the Nigerian lottery so I don't have to worry about it anyway...
I got e-mails everyday for the past few weeks from the same people offering to send me money---still looking for how they got my e-mail.
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Old 06-01-2007, 05:31 PM   #14
 
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Re: `Flip This House' Star Accused Of Fraud


I read about that guy over a year ago. I thought everyone already knew he was a scam.
I read at least a year ago that the homes that they claim to have sold were never sold and were still sitting there. And this was by people who had actually seen the houses in person. They also said the same things about the work done to the homes was terrible.

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Old 06-01-2007, 06:00 PM   #15
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Re: `Flip This House' Star Accused Of Fraud


The frickin tie should have given it away quick.
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Old 06-01-2007, 06:05 PM   #16
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Re: `Flip This House' Star Accused Of Fraud


Nigerian lottery?? All my distant relatives keep dying in Nigeria and leaving me huge sums of money!!
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Old 06-01-2007, 09:13 PM   #17
 
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Re: `Flip This House' Star Accused Of Fraud


Yeah ditto on the tie. It's like on a worksite, you automatically know the guy who owns the company, or the head of the GC company building the structure. They always come in with shiny yellow or white hard heads, button up shirt, tie, dress pants, and fancy shoes. Oh yeah and that expensive cologne they paid some $$ on, and they didn't know I had the same stuff at home for only a couple bucks at Wal Mart. Whoops, i forgot that was a four letter word here . My nigerian aunt works for them and she told me to put a word in. What a goon .
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Old 06-01-2007, 10:04 PM   #18
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Re: `Flip This House' Star Accused Of Fraud


Notice the guys dressed up pin-strip suit and tie screws the little guy, you and I work like the rest of the world and we get the bad rap as contractor cheats!!! How do I get in on the Nigerian thing? I keep getting offers to increase the size of my member, I want to know who's peeking thru my bedroom window
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Old 06-01-2007, 10:16 PM   #19
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How do I get in on the Nigerian thing?

Post your email addy on Craig's ...in no time you can have millions.
While you wait, be sure you understand the lingo needed to complete the transaction ~ http://www.419eater.com/
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Old 06-02-2007, 12:35 AM   #20
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WOW. Just between you and me, don't tell anyone - this CEO was killed by rebels and had 14000000000000.00 and change sitting in a bank account, he had no heirs, so if I don't tell anyone I can get 30% of this by supplying some personal info to help the bank officer transfer the money into the US - This is a great deal - Can someone loan me there SSN abd Bank Info and I will let them have this once in a lifetime oppourtinity, it's not fair I get all this money while everyone else has to keep working

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