Did Georgetown Club Owner Swindle $357K
By: Lonnie Brennan, Georgetown Selectman
A trial is now being heard in Essex Superior Court in Lawrence against Georgetown Country Club owner Peter Wojtkun, who is facing several counts of fraud, misleading, deceptive and coercive business practices, and physical assault according to court documents obtained by The Valley Patriot. The complaint was filed by Christopher Rich.
According to Mr. Wojkun’s attorney Thomas H. Curran of Sherin and Lodgen in Boston, “the number of charges are quite lengthy in this case, and will most likely be divided with “some being heard by Judge Ball, others to be remanded to a jury.” Mr. Wojkun is also represented by Anthony DeProspo.
Mr. Wojktun currently faces more than a dozen other lawsuits, including charges that he wrongfully suspended members from The Georgetown Club, coercion, fraud, forgery, extortion, threats of frivolous allegations, ridicule in the community, intimidation, threats of frivolous civil action and others.
According to Attorney Curran, Mr. Wojktun is currently appealing a 2006 court judgment, which may take another 2-4 years to be decided.
In that judgment, The Commonwealth of Massachusetts slapped the Georgetown Country Club, Inc., New England Golf Partners Nominee Trust, Georgetown Links LLC, and New England Golf Partners, Inc., with a $62,576.50 order of payment and placed a permanent injunction against the above entities “as a result of Mr. Wojktun’s actions to “retaliate” and “to deter (neighbor and Georgetown Town Moderator) Beverly Enos and others from taking legal action against him by demonstrating the consequences to those who do not cooperate with the Club,” according to the judgment against them.
Mr. Wojktun is alleged to have directed activities which “destroyed and laid waste” a portion of Ms. Enos’ backyard. His testimony in the case was termed “unbelievable” and “self-contradictory” and “contrary to common sense” according to Essex County Superior Court documents obtained by The Valley Patriot.
The case finally went to court last month, a little more than five years after the complaint was filed and Mr. Wojktun took the stand in front of court officers, a Valley Patriot reporter, a stenographer and as others looked on.
Under cross examination of Mr. Wojktun from Mr. Rich’s attorney, Scott Gediman, the timeline of payments from Mr. Rich to purchase a 5% share of the Georgetown Club, was laid out. Nine months later, after collecting $357,670 from Mr. Rich, Mr. Wojktun refused to accept the final payment of $157,330 and called the deal off.
“He defaulted on the note” Mr. Wojktun told the judge. “He didn’t pay when he said he would. He defaulted.”
Wojktun said that he had his attorneys arrange an auction to sell-off the 5% stake at foreclosure auction. “Isn’t it true that only one bidder was present at the auction?” Atty. Scott Gediman asked. “Yes” Mr. Wojktun replied. It was learned that Mr. Wojktun’s partner at the club tendered the sole offer.
When asked by The Valley Patriot reporter what question he would like to ask Mr. Wojktun, Mr. Rich said “I just want to know where my money is. He took my money, I have nothing. Ask him what he did with my money.”
The judge has continued the trial to April 23rd.
Meanwhile, more than a dozen other complaints from former club members and original investors in the club have been filed complaints in different courts in Essex County.
A growing number of golfers are watching this case with great attention, as well as the Georgetown community.
Lonnie Brennan is a selectman in Georgetown and the owner of the Chocolate Cellar. He was the Republican candidate for state representative in 2006 and is active in the Republican party. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.