In this interesting case, the parties’ PSA was reached after an agreement and was based upon Husband’s representations as to the value of his car dealership. The mediator valued it at $1.7 million. Husband had prevented any meaningful appraisal by Wife’s expert. Wife accepted the mediator’s recommendations, and the parties' PSA was incorporated but not merged in the judgment of divorce.
When, prior to entry of judgment, Wife learned that Husband was selling the dealership, she sought to avoid the PSA. Husband testified at a hearing that its value was no more than $1.1 million and that he intended to operate it for at least 11 years until he retired. A few months after the judgment was entered in July 2000, he sold the dealership for $6.6 million.
The parties’ Indian River property was appraised at $1.25 million. Husband falsely represented that he just loved “every nook and cranny” of the place and induced Wife to sell him her one-half interest. He listed it only weeks later and sold it for $1.775 million.
Greed getting the better of Husband, he then sought to reduce his alimony. Of course, discovery was taken, which revealed the true facts of the sales. Wife filed suit for fraud in December 2002--about 18 months after the judgment was entered. The jury verdict was $1,417,000. Husband appealed.