“Windy City Rehab” stars Alison Gramenos, Donovan Eckhardt sued for fraud yet again

Michael Ward Jr. says the reality TV home-flippers committed fraud with his family’s $3M investment

TRD CHICAGO /
Jun.June 18, 2020 12:15 PM
Donovan Eckhardt and Alison Victoria

Donovan Eckhardt and Alison Victoria (Credit: Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)

It’s Thursday, which means there’s another lawsuit involving the HGTV show “Windy City Rehab.”

The latest lawsuit alleges the stars Alison Victoria Gramenos and former partner Donovan Eckhardt ran a “deliberate and fraudulent scheme to misappropriate” $3 million in funds, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

The suit, filed this week in Cook County by Michael Ward Jr. and his father and brother, allege that the stars grossly mismanaged “nearly every project they were associated with,” and Eckhardt lied about having pull with the Chicago buildings department.

Ward Jr. also challenges Gramenos’ claims that Eckhardt — who hosted the show’s first season with her — was solely responsible for the multitude of issues, which has resulted in at least four lawsuits and their ban on filing new projects with the city’s building department. “Alison has claimed that she was caught unawares by Donovan’s fraud — notwithstanding her own secreting of funds from closing proceeds,” the lawsuit says.

The Ward family claims it deployed $3 million for a 50% stake in Alovanward LLC, which funded seven projects in all. The Wards say they’re owed nearly $2 million as well as punitive damages.

Eckhardt didn’t comment, but Gramenos repeated her claim that Eckhardt was the licensed developer and contractor on the projects and Gramenos merely did design work. “The projects did not deliver the financial results that everyone was hoping for,” her lawyer Daniel Lynch said, adding that she also lost a lot of money on the projects and has not been able to obtain key documents from Eckhardt.

The show’s second season is expected to premiere this month. [Sun-Times]James Kleimann


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