Solaris contractor familiar with fraud allegations
Vail, CO Colorado
VAIL, Colorado – The construction company that Solaris developer Peter Knobel sued in September was also accused of overcharges from another Vail developer just two years ago.
Bob McNichols’ Vail Dover Associates, LLC, the developer of One Willow Bridge Road, sued the Weitz Company in September 2008 in United States District Court alleging $2.8 million in overcharges.
The 2008 complaint alleges the Weitz Company refused to provide Vail Dover Associates access to its records from the One Willow Bridge Road project for an audit the developer planned to perform.
And, like in Knobel’s suit, the developer claims the Weitz Company recorded an improper mechanic’s lien against the One WIllow Bridge Road project.
McNichols said the lawsuit was settled and he cannot comment on the details because of the settlement agreement.
The Weitz Company’s senior vice president of its Denver office, Orville Hinerman, also declined to comment on either case Wednesday, citing a confidentiality agreement in the One Willow Bridge case and ongoing litigation that can’t be discussed in the Knobel case.
“I’m not surprised to learn that I am not the first local developer to be defrauded by Weitz,” Knobel said. “Given the boldness with which they overcharged me, it’s highly possible that such overbilling is part of a larger pattern.”
Knobel’s suit alleges $4 million to $6 million in overcharges, as well as claims of fraud, negligence and a breach of contractual obligations.
Knobel discovered the overcharges after its auditor, Clifton Gunderson LLP, found as much as $6 million in overbilling by Weitz, Knobel said.
The lawsuit, filed in Denver District Court, accuses The Weitz Company of not only overcharging Solaris, but also for misrepresenting true job costs. The suit also claims that the construction manager made many mistakes during the construction process that caused Solaris to have to pay for the same work more than once in order to fix the mistakes.
Knobel’s lawsuit is in the early stages and could take a year or longer to resolve in court.
Community Editor Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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