The Worst Husband in the World?
AUSTIN (CN) - A philandering felon rolled his young wife for $1.2 million and then married someone else, bigamously, the estranged wife claims in court.
Mari-Louise Larsen sued her estranged husband Andre Jones, Chicago Title of Texas, and five people and four businesses she claims helped Jones pull off the fraud.
"Ms. Larsen is a citizen of the country of Denmark, and is 26 years old," according to the complaint in Travis County Court. "Mr. Jones is a U.S. citizen and is almost 34 years old. The parties were married in Denmark on April 11, 2009.
"Mr. Jones is a convicted felon and registered sex offender, had served a period in prison and is currently on probation. Unfortunately for Ms. Larsen, Mr. Jones is also a practiced deceiver who regularly uses and discards young women," the complaint states.
Larsen says she had recently inherited a "significant amount of money" when she married Jones.
She claims Jones took advantage of her by persuading her to buy an under-construction Austin condo for $1.3 million in February 2011.
"Though Mr. Jones did not pay for the condo, he convinced Ms. Larsen that the laws of the State of Texas required both spouses to sign and be titled in all relevant contracts and deeds," Larsen says in the lawsuit.
She claims that Jones altered the closing documents, increasing the purchase price by $200,000, had her wire the closing money from her bank account and kept the extra $200,000.
Larsen says she decided to sell the condo soon after she bought it, as her marriage with Jones "quickly deteriorated, due in large part to Mr. Jones's infidelities."
Realizing his marriage was on the fritz, Larsen says, Jones "set in motion an extended con, his last opportunity to manipulate Ms. Larsen for his financial gain." Larsen says he persuaded her to let him handle the condo sale by promising to give her all the money from it.
She claims he drafted a power of attorney but withheld critical information in the version he sent to her in Denmark, sending her just two of the three pages.
"The document he sent to Ms. Larsen stated only that she was allowing him to sell the condo. The page he withheld described undisclosed additional powers, including the ability to execute legal documents," Larsen says in the complaint.
This is where Chicago Title came in, Larsen says. She claims that Jones had the document notarized in Texas by Chicago Title's agent Terri Martin, with Martin "fraudulently attesting to witnessing Ms. Larsen signing the document."
Larsen says she was in Denmark at the time.
Then, "despite the glaring defects" in the power of attorney, Chicago Title closed on the sale of the condo for $1.2 million, and Jones kept the money, Larsen says.
She seeks damages for fraud, aiding and abetting, negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, fraudulent concealment and conversion.
She is represented by Brian Hail with Gruber Horst Johansen Hail Shank of Dallas.
Jones was sentenced to 10 years probation in 2006 for sexual assault of a child; his victim was 17, according to Texas Department of Public Safety records.
A call to the number listed for Jones on 411.info was not answered.
Other defendants include Chicago Title of Texas LLC, Wally Tingley & Associates PC, Wallace Tingley Jr., Terri Martin, Hightower & Associates Inc., Aubrey Richard Hightower, Graymeiren Holdings LLC, Brian Culwell, JTREO Inc., David Buttross II and John Christophe.
Neither Chicago Tile of Texas nor Wallace Tingley returned requests for comment.