Attorneys representing Jess Jackson's Stonestreet Farm have filed a lawsuit in a Kentucky federal court, leveling charges of fraud in the $17.5 million sale of the former Buckram Oak Farm.
The legal action, which was filed Nov. 22 in the Lexington division of the U.S. District Court, in effect replaces an eliminated section of the original lawsuit filed in California by Jackson and his related entities in September 2005.
Richard Getty, a Lexington attorney who is part of the legal team representing Jackson, said a recent ruling in a California court planted the seeds for the new lawsuit to be filed in Kentucky.
In the ruling, a judge agreed with a Buckram Oak motion that asked to have the farm sale portion removed from the original suit, a high-profile action which also includes sweeping allegations of horse sale fraud by five horsemen and related entities.
"The California court ruled that since the property is located here, that it is more appropriate to be heard here," Getty said. "We are pleased that the lawsuit is here in Kentucky in a federal court, and expect to vigorously pursue claim. We have confidence we will vindicate Mr. Jackson's claims. And that's where we intend to prove it, in court."
At the center of the Kentucky lawsuit is the $17.5 million sale of Buckram Oak Farm in 2005, which has since been renamed Stonestreet Farm. Jackson also owns other farms in Kentucky and Florida.
The plaintiff claims that Buckram Oaks Holdings and agent Frederic Sauque, who allegedly represented the property owner, worked in collusion with then-Jackson associates Emmanuel de Seroux, Bruce Headley and Brad Martin to fraud the billionaire vintner out of at least $1.5 million in secret commissions.
Sauque, de Seroux, Headley and Martin are also named in both the original lawsuit filed on behalf of Jackson in California, and the more recent Kentucky filing.
Attempts by The Blood-Horse
to reach attorneys believed to be associated with Buckram Oak Holdings were unsuccessful. Buckram Oak was most closely identified with the late Saudi Arabian diplomat Mahmoud Fustok, who was killed when he was struck by a vehicle in Pompano Beach, Fla., earlier this year.
At the time of the disputed sale, Buckram Oak was believed to be headed by Fustok and Princess Aida Fustock. Buckram Oak's corporate entity in Kentucky was certified by the state as dissolved in late 2005, while Florida state records indicate the company was renamed Four Roses Holdings this past May.
According to the Florida secretary of state's Web site, included among the directors of Four Roses is Kassem Masri, a longtime friend and business associate of Fustok. In July, it was reported that Masri had acquired all of Buckram Oak's horses and Florida training centers.