Former UFC champ Chuck Liddell won nearly $2 million in California court. | Sherdog.com
A California court awarded Chuck Liddell a $2 million settlement against an escrow company that defrauded him, according to a recent report from the Fresno Bee (via Yahoo Sports ).
The former UFC light heavyweight champion invested in four development lots with developer Kelly Gearheart, but Liddell claimed that Cuesta Title Company, which handled Gearhart’s escrow, “released his funds before the close of escrow and without transferring title to the properties.”
Gearheart, who in 2012 pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud and one count of money laundering in Los Angeles federal court, was reportedly using the money to pay himself as well as other investors. Gearheat defrauded “hundreds of investors,” according to the report.
Liddell’s attorney, Warren Paboojian, claimed that Cuesta Title escrow officer Melanie Schneider had a conflict of interest in the investment because of her friendship with Gearheart. Schneider also had invested $50,000 in the project herself.
Liddell, meanwhile, claimed that his signature was forged on several documents. The San Luis Obispo County jury officially awarded Liddell $1,982,727. “The Iceman” reportedly invested with Gearheart following a loss to Keith Jardine in 2007.
“The Iceman” retired from MMA in 2010 following three consecutive losses. The 45-year-old UFC Hall of Famer was appointed as the Las Vegas-based promotion’s executive vice president of business development shortly after calling it a career.