November 26, 2019
According to Law360, a Missouri federal judge ordered Virginia investment company, Windmill International Ltd, and its founder Douglas Combs, to pay nearly $23 million in damages to their clients, golfer Tom Pernice Jr. and hotel owner Jerry Rellihan.
Pernice and Rellihan invested $1.5 million to flip overseas properties on the promise of “guaranteed” returns that were never realized.
U.S. District Judge Beth Phillips rendered the decision after an October bench trial, finding that Windmill International Ltd., had been lying to Pernice Jr. and Rellihan from the start about the investment opportunity.
According to Judge Phillips’ opinion, when Combs approached Pernice and Rellihan in 2006 to invest $1.5 million to buy three properties in Bulgaria that he expected the government to later buy up, he hid the fact that Windmill already owned the properties through an overseas subsidiary.
According to the judgement, Combs admitted he did not know what became of all of Pernice and Rellihan’s money and that he did not care “at all” about their investment.
“This was not a simple case of failing to fulfill a contract’s terms: when defendants represented that plaintiffs would receive a return on their investment when the properties were sold, defendants simultaneously had no intention of returning any money to plaintiffs,” the judge wrote.
“It has been a long, hard-fought journey, and we are obviously very pleased with the result,” Brandon Boulware told Law360.