CAPON BRIDGE -- A Martinsburg man is seeking more than $2 million dollars from his former business partner and has accused him of fraud.
Walter Page Noe is suing Cambridge Corporation, Click LLC, Christopher Curran and Ingrid von Magdenko following the purchase of a new home and an unpaid business contract.
Noe alleges that he purchased a not-yet-built cabin from Magdenko and her real estate company, Click LLC, for $130,000, and that the purchase of his home led to a newfound friendship with Magdenko and a new job as part of Cambridge Corporation, which is owned by Magdenko and run by Curran.
In the suit, filed on May 19, 2008, Noe states that the cabin remains unfinished and was not built to the agreed specifications. Following a $1,000 deposit on the new house, Magdenko contacted Noe and said the price they agreed upon made her business partners uncomfortable and would be changed to $135,000.
Although not named in the suit, Magdenko's husband Uri appears to be most responsible for the cabin's unfinished state. Uri and Noe disagreed on several things including heating for the home and the depth of the kitchen sink which led to Uri improperly installing a flue for a woodstove and a regular sink instead of Noe's requested commercial sink. While the sink seems not to have caused too many problems, the improper installation of the flue has led to discoloration of the ceiling in numerous places where smoke and noxious resins permeated the tiles. Noe also claims that his yard was "a semi-frozen muddy mess, with holes in the yard."
Finally, as a former North Carolina general contractor, Noe determined that the construction of the cabin was severely below code. He claims that Magdenko and her husband agreed to finish the cabin and bring it up to code.
Filed by Noe himself, the suit states in January 2008, he met with Curran and was offered a position as a salesman and manager, though no salary was discussed. Noe decided that instead of statutory employment, he would contract his sales and management services to Curran and Cambridge Corporation. Curran agreed.
Noe discovered that Cambridge was in quite a bit of financial trouble as the officials at First Bank would not take Curran's phone calls and creditors were pressing it for payment. Noe personally negotiated various forms of payment to these creditors and made barters of equipment and vehicles as partial or full payments.
Noe also alleges that he discovered Cambridge was paying its other employees more than it was making, and he proposed a plan to Curran to change from statutory employees to contract labor. Curran again agreed, but all the employees chose to resign.
In February, Noe received no paycheck, but he knew the month before he had to liquidate a Cambridge vehicle to pay the nine employees who quit. Also during that month, Curran and Noe made an employment agreement that he would be paid $5000 per month, and Curran was made aware that Noe had intentions to separate Cambridge from Click LLC.
He also informed Magdenko, who informed him he owed on his cabin.
Finally on May 6, after speaking and writing several times with both Curran and Magdenko about payment for services rendered and reimbursement, Noe found a paper posted on the door of his cabin demanding he vacate the premises or make a payment of $2,702.14.
Filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia, Noe also alleges that Curran interfered in his business venture with a Virginia contractor, Mark Unger, after Curran contacted Unger following an argument with Noe. After Unger's conversation with Curran, Unger canceled his contract with Noe. Noe is seeking immediate return of deposits and rent totaling $2954, payment for services rendered totaling $16,000, damages for interference with Unger totaling $500,000, and punitive damages amounting $1.5 million for fraud and mental anguish.