Attorneys for California winemaker Jess Jackson, who has sued five former bloodstock advisers and agents and the Buckram Oaks Holdings of the late Mahmoud Fustok for alleged fraud in bloodstock and farm purchases, have amended their complaint with regard to three paragraphs relating to Lexington veterinarian Arnold Pessin.
The first amended paragraph involves Jackson's purchase of Maggy Hawk, the dam of 2005 dual classic winner Afleet Alex. Jackson paid $750,000 for the mare, with John Silvertand receiving $600,000 from defendant Emmanuel de Seroux, according to the complaint, which alleged de Seroux "stole" $150,000 from Jackson.
The amended paragraph states: "De Seroux paid portions of this $150,000 illegal profit to others who assisted de Seroux in accomplishing the transaction with Silvertand. Dr. Arnold Pessin received a $20,000 commission from Narvick for his role in the transaction with Silvertand. Bradley "Mike" Shannon and Peter Kirwan split a $30,000 commission received from Silvertand for their part in the transaction."
The complaint was also amended concerning Pessin's alleged conversations with real estate agent Joe Riddell. The alleged conversations took place at Keeneland in September 2004 after Jackson had looked at a section of Adena Springs Farm (Highway 60 Farm) for possible purchase and in November 2004 after Jackson had purchased Buckram Oak Farm from Fustok.
The two amended paragraphs of the complaint read: "Later that same day, Riddell visited the Keeneland sale pavilion and ran into Pessin – who had previously received a $20,000 commission from Narvick for his part in the Maggy Hawk transaction. Pessin told Riddell that if he wanted Jackson to see the Highway 60 Farm again a payment would need to be made, which Riddell understood to be the $500,000 payment to the California buyer's advisers mentioned previously by the other real estate agent involved.
"Several months passed and Jackson purchased the Buckram Oak Farm, but not Highway 60 Farm at that time. Following the public announcement of the Buckram Oak purchase Riddell again ran into Pessin at Keeneland in November 2004. Pessin reminded Riddell that he had told Riddell that Jackson would never purchase the Highway 60 Farm unless the payment he previously referred to had been made. Pessin then referenced Jackson's Buckram Oak purchase and told Riddell words to the effect of 'I told you so.'"
Riddell rejected any requests for fees, the complaint states.
Pessin, who has not been named as a defendant in the case, did not discuss a specific amount of money in the conversations the amended complaint alleges he had with Riddell. Pessin denied the allegations regarding the farm sales, telling The Blood-Horse
: "That's a total lie. I never spoke to Joe Riddell."