California bloodstock agent Brad Martin has been dismissed from Stonestreet Farm's Kentucky state lawsuit alleging fraud in the horse owner’s $17.5-million purchase of the former Buckram Oak Farm in Lexington.
Martin was voluntarily dismissed April 24 from the action, which alleged, in part, that Martin and others conspired to take at least $1.5 million in secret commissions from Stonestreet owner Jess Jackson.
Michael D. Meuser, who represents Martin in the action, said in a one-paragraph statement issued May 8 that Martin “paid nothing in exchange for the dismissal and that Jackson’s company is obligated to pay Martin’s expenses if his testimony is needed in Lexington.”
Richard A. Getty, a Lexington attorney representing Stonestreet Stables, in a May 8 telephone interview called the dismissal a settlement.
“We agreed to settle because he agreed to cooperate and testify,” said Getty, who is hopeful a trial date in the lawsuit will be set before the end of the year. “We obviously would not have settled with him unless we would have an agreement that he would agree to testify, and thought he could be potentially helpful to our efforts.”
Martin last year accepted a $250,000 entry of judgment in a related 2005 lawsuit heard in a California superior court. Several of the original defendants have also settled with Jackson, paring the active accused roster down to Buckram Oak Holdings and agent Frederic Sauque, who allegedly represented the property owner in the sale of the farm.
The lawsuit, which was filed last year in Fayette County Circuit Court, claims Buckram Oaks Holdings, then headed by the late Saudi Arabian diplomat and horseman Mahmoud Fustok, worked in collusion with Sauque and others to defraud Jackson in the 2005 real estate transaction. Jackson’s camp claims Fustok told third parties he would accept $15 million for the farm, which was also listed at one time with a Kentucky real estate company for $16 million.
Buckram Oaks Holdings and Sauque have repeatedly denied any allegations of fraud in the real estate transaction. Martin and some of the other original defendants were former advisers and/or trainers for Jackson's horse racing interests.
The case, which also involves some horse transactions, originally was filed in Kentucky federal court in 2006, but was later dismissed and re-filed at the state level.