Lawsuit accuses Idaho company of embezzling up to $1M

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BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A lawsuit accuses an Idaho property management company of fraudulently moving or taking up to $1 million from the trust accounts of owners it contracted with.

The suit, filed June 11, alleges Meridian-based Paradigm Property Solutions, LLC, through owner Ronald Jaques, took as much as $750,000 to $1 million from property owners' trust accounts and moved it to other accounts without permission, the Idaho Statesman reported .

Paradigm Property Solutions, which has contracts with about 200 properties across Idaho, did not respond to a call and email from the Statesman.

The lawsuit's allegations include fraud and claims that Jaques converted, commingled and exercised personal dominion over funds that Paradigm Entities was bound to hold in trust for the plaintiffs and their tenants.

Jaques' attorney, Chad Moody, argued Wednesday during a court hearing that there was no evidence that the funds went to Jaques' personal account.

District Judge Steven Hippler said that Jaques did not provide the court with his financial information about expenses and income sources, as was requested. Jaques also did not appear in court.

"Why is he not complying with my order?" the judge asked.

"I don't have an answer for you," Moody responded.

"Where is he today?" Hippler asked.

"I don't have an answer for you, your honor," Moody said.

The defense attorney said his law firm attempted to contact Jaques on Tuesday and was unsuccessful.

Plaintiffs in the suit include Eric Uhlenhoff, who is managing partner of six limited liability companies holding property in the Treasure Valley: T Street, LLC; Doheny, LLC; Trestles, LLC; Oaklands, LLC; EJC, LLC; and EUDA, LLC. Also listed as plaintiffs are Tammara Heron, Heron Family Trust, and Silver Fox Management, LLC.

Much of the money that came into Paradigm came from rental tenants' security deposits, which is used for cleanup and repairs on rentals, with the remainder to be returned to the tenant.

Uhlenhoff said he began noticing the accounting problems when a painter working on one of his properties said he had not been paid. On June 7, Uhlenhoff, Heron and others met with Jaques and determined that Paradigm should have more than $1 million of the property owners' money.

The plaintiffs asked that any money left in the accounts be frozen by the judge.

Moody asked that money unrelated to the plaintiffs' properties remain accessible to Jaques. Moody told the court that he anticipated a bankruptcy case for his client would be filed soon.

A new court date has not been set.

___

Information from: Idaho Statesman, http://www.idahostatesman.com

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