A former reality TV star facing fraud lawsuits for a series of real estate seminars lost his most recent bid to have the claims dismissed.
Armando Montelongo Jr., who starred on the A&E series “Flip This House” for three seasons, was unable to get lawsuits brought by former students of his house-flipping seminars dropped, the San Antonio Express-News reported. The Texas Supreme Court declined to hear Montelongo’s appeal and didn’t give a reason why.
More than 400 people who attended Montelongo’s seminars filed a lawsuit claiming he provided “worthless, dangerous, and unlawful information” and took advantage of the students. The plaintiffs are seeking at least $15 million in damages.
According to the lawsuit, Montelongo capitalized on the fame he found after portraying the stressful San Antonio real estate market from 2006 to 2008 on TV to promote his house-flipping seminars.
Montelongo was first taken to federal court in California when about 160 students alleged he and his classes had drained them of their life savings, destroyed marriages and even led one person to die by suicide. Montelongo claimed the San Francisco court didn’t have jurisdiction to hear it, and the plaintiffs refiled the case in federal court in San Antonio in late 2016.
After a judge dismissed claims that Montelongo engaged in racketeering, the plaintiffs then refiled, this time accusing him and his three companies — Real Estate Training International, Performance Advantage Group and License Branding — of using deceptive trade practices and negligence.
Montelongo responded to the lawsuit via Twitter, saying “To the 350, now 420, I have stood relatively silently by because I understand that there is prosperity in peace, But now your (sic) simple minded,” he wrote. “Hatred will understand the expense of war. I do not wish you good luck, but you will need it. Because you will feel the full brunt of my Capabilities and a resolve that you have never dealt with. You are following extremely weak leaders who will now lead you down the path 2 bk (bankruptcy).”
— Victoria Pruitt