Will Smith submits financial records as evidence in Duane Martin’s fraud lawsuit
He has stood by his friend, Martin as he is going through marital and financial woes. But the fraud allegations against Martin have put him in a precarious position
Will Smith’s longstanding friendship with Duane Martin has caused him to get pulled into his fellow actor’s current legal troubles. According
Will Smith’s longstanding friendship with Duane Martin has caused him to get pulled into his fellow actor’s current legal troubles.
According to court documents obtained by The Blast, Smith turned over his financial records and personal email communications between himself and Martin after being hit with a subpoena requesting the information.
Martin, 53, who is undergoing bankruptcy proceedings, is also the target of a fraud lawsuit. The trustee presiding over his bankruptcy filed amended the lawsuit because investigators are now calling into question a $1.4 million loan that Smith and wife Jada Pinkett Smith gave Martin to purchase a home.
READ MORE: Tisha Campbell-Martin and Duane Martin have to literally show receipts in bankruptcy court
According to The Blast, Smith and his companies complied and have turned over financial records and emails between him and Martin where they discuss the transaction that took place several years ago. There are no allegations being made that the Smith family did anything wrong or even had knowledge of any alleged wrongdoings. But the trustee claims the correspondences do show Martin “continued to put pressure on his friend WS to finance the transaction” while trying to get the loan in 2012.
The suit was originally filed in September because the trustee in Martin and estranged wife Tisha Campbell Martin‘s bankruptcy sued him after it was revealed that the actor may have hidden $2.6 million in assets under a company named Roxe LLC.
It is being alleged that Roxe LLC was set up to conceal ownership of a 9,000 sq. ft. mansion in Chatsworth, California, according to the website. The home was originally bought in 2006 for $900,000. But Martin borrowed $1.9 million for the purpose of constructing the “Martin family home,” then defaulted on his loan and negotiated a short sale with the bank. Normally this would be legal, but the actor allegedly used his dummy company Roxe LLC to buy the home back from the bank using a $1.4 million loan from Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith.
READ MORE: ‘I can no longer live in fear’: Tisha Campbell-Martin accuses husband Duane Martin of domestic abuse
If these claims are true, that would mean when Roxe LLC became the owner of the property, Duane and his then wife Tisha were essentially entering into a lease agreement with their own company, and paying $5,000 in rent per month – to themselves.
When Duane listed the home for $2,695,000 it is believed it was with the intention of keeping all of the sales proceeds (minus the loan given by Will and Jada), meaning he would personally make a profit of $1.3 million.
The plan may have worked and gone undetected, but the trustee says that even with a sham of a lease, the couple still didn’t make all the payments on the house. The lawsuit is now demanding Martin be forced to turn over the home to the bankruptcy estate so that it can be used to benefit his creditors.
READ MORE: Will Smith reveals he and eldest son “struggled for years” in emotional video
I think with all this craziness going on between Tisha Campbell and Duane Martin it’s the proof we needed to officially blame Duane Martin for the demise of the Martin Show. pic.twitter.com/JRdBZYgHB6
— Maven_Star (@EyezrStarry) February 21, 2019