At trial, our Firm defeated claims for specific performance of a real estate contract brought by a supposed “religious” corporation which was, ultimately, found to have defrauded an elderly land owner. Our client, an elderly retired psychiatrist, fell prey to a self-styled Buddhist Monk who purported to establish a NYS Religious Corporation for the purpose of purchasing the psychiatrist’s home located on a several acre estate in Westchester, purportedly to “carry on the doctor’s life work” by establishing a wellness and retreat center.
In fact the corporation was a sham and the “monk,” by the exercise of undue influence, had manipulated the doctor into signing an onerous one-sided contract of sale that would have taken the doctor’s home from her for approximately twenty-per cent of its real market value.
Called into the case only three weeks before trial, our Firm was able to defeat the contract in court and demonstrate the buyer’s fraud, lack of fairness, and overreaching in the purported contract. Subsequently, the doctor was able to sell her home and estate at fair market value in an arm’s length transaction, providing financial security for her.