Century 21 sues Buckeye Creek Corp., Shahin, Bently | RecordCourier.com

Century 21 sues Buckeye Creek Corp., Shahin, Bently

by Sharon Carter

Lawyers for Century 21 Clark Properties of Minden this week filed a civil lawsuit in Douglas District Court accusing the Buckeye Creek Corp., its president, John S. Shahin, Minden businessman Don Bently and the Bently Family Limited Partnership of engineering a sweetheart deal and cutting Clark out of a lucrative sale.

In particular, the real estate agency accuses Shahin of selling 870 acres of the 958-acre property to Bently while the land was already in escrow in a $3 million sales deal brokered by Clark Properties.

According to the complaint, on Nov. 3, 1997, Buckeye’s Shahin signed an agreement to sell the East Valley property to SCMothersell, Inc., of Incline Village and five weeks later he signed an agreement with Clark to broker the sale. Included in the agreement with Clark, the complaint states, was a promise to pay a 6 percent commission of $180,000.

– Double-dealing alleged. Clark maintains Bently knew about the impending sale and intentionally interfered with the contracts by offering for the property and purchasing it for substantially less than SCMothersell’s price. The complaint states that Buckeye Creek Corp. attempted to cancel the sales agreement with SCMothersell, Inc., and refund its deposit, but SCMothersell (who is Steve C. Mothersell of Incline Village) refused to cancel the escrow or the sales agreement and, through a subsidiary, the SCM Rolling J Ranch, tendered the full balance of the purchase price to Shahin, who refused it.

That action prompted Mothersell, through his SCM Rolling J Ranch, to file a civil lawsuit last May accusing Shahin, the Buckeye Creek Corp., Bently and his Bently Family Limited Partnership of breaching Buckeye’s contract with SCMothersell. That case is still pending in Douglas District Court.

The newest complaint alleges Bently and Shahin ignored Clark Properties’ prior claim and, instead, paid a sales commission to another Realtor, the wife of Bently’s legal counsel.

– Five years, five lawsuits. The Buckeye Creek property was originally brought forward in the early ’90s as the Buckeye Creek Project. It was the proposed site of a 2,478-home, planned community. When Buckeye missed county deadlines, including several that had been extended, and failed to post a required $8 million security deposit, county officials repealed ordinances which had allowed the project.

Those actions prompted Buckeye to file a lawsuit in 1994 demanding time extensions for its subdivision maps and another in 1996 that accused Douglas County of deliberately delaying approvals by imposing new conditions and inflating the security deposit amount and asking that their development agreement be reinstated. Buckeye, which lost both cases in Douglas District courts, appealed the decisions to the Nevada Supreme Court, which upheld the local rulings.

The property’s current rural residential zoning under the 1996 Douglas County Master Plan precludes the dense housing developers once envisioned for it.

The Buckeye Creek Corp. was the subject of a mechanic’s lien filed in 1996 by a Carson City engineering firm which consulted on the Buckeye project. The court decision in that case favored Sierra Resource Engineering, Inc., and foreclosure proceedings were initiated in 1997.

In its lawsuit, Clark Properties asks to be awarded compensatory damages in excess of $10,000. Particularly, Clark asks for the $180,000 commission or a reasonable fee for its services.

Clark also asks to be awarded punitive damages in excess of $10,000, the costs of the lawsuit and attorney fees and any other relief the court deems just and proper.

John Shahin, who may currently reside in California, could not be reached Thursday for comment and, as of the R-C’s press time Friday, he had not responded to a message forwarded to him.

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