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Investment group sues Mississippi Valley Title

A year into the Evans scandal, a creditor in the case has sued Mississippi Valley Title Insurance Company for damages, alleging negligence. Previously, all lawsuits targeted the Evans brothers, who were originally sued by MVT for allegedly running a commercial real estate scheme that used banks as investors.

Ridgeland-based G&B Investments alleges that after the Evans brothers defaulted on a loan for a piece of land it sold them in Madison County, the firm discovered the brothers had actually taken out three loans on the property prior to buying it from G&B.

G&B is suing MVT to recoup the money it lost on the transaction and for punitive damages. G&B alleges that MVT was negligent in failing to audit the records of Charles H. Evans Jr., who was an approved attorney for the company. G&B also says that since all title policies in the transaction were issued by MVT, the company had actual knowledge of the prior liens and should have informed G&B.

G&B sold a tract of approximately 100 acres to Chris Evans and Charles H. Evans Jr. in July 2008 for $16 million. The brothers paid G&B $5 million in cash and issued a deed of trust for $11 million. The brothers put up 77 acres as collateral.

The brothers, acting through their company Hanover Investments, LLC, defaulted on the loan. G&B purchased the property for $7 million in foreclosure.

G&B says it later learned that the brothers had taken out loans from Merchants & Farmers, Bank of Forest and Heritage Banking Group prior to owning the property, which they used for the cash down payment.

In all other fraudulent transactions in Mississippi, the Evans brothers completed the purchase of a parent tract of land before splitting it up to resemble a jigsaw puzzle and obtaining multiple loans on smaller tracts through various shell companies.

MVT responded to G&B’s suit with a motion to dismiss, claiming that G&B’s suit has a “complete lack of legal substance.”

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