PHILADELPHIA – A local investment firm says it paid a contractor $50,000 to perform interior work at its property in Philadelphia, but the renovation work was allegedly never completed.

West Bank Investment, LLC of Paoli filed suit in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas on March 16 versus owner Weston Saunders and his business, Zion Investments Company, LLC, both of Philadelphia.

According to the litigation, the plaintiff owns a property on the 1300 block of North 56th Street in West Philadelphia, and contracted with the defendants to construct and/or renovate the plaintiff’s property. Pursuant to its terms, the plaintiff paid the defendants more than $50,000 for this purpose from June through September of last year, the suit says.

“Defendants cashed and/or deposited all of plaintiff’s payments. Prior to making each payment, defendant Saunders would contact plaintiff and solicit plaintiff’s representative and owner, Hong Fei, to make additional payments. Defendant Saunders informed plaintiff’s [property] owner, Hong Fei that certain work had been done and that additional funds were necessary to conduct the next stages of the contract. Plaintiff was not present at plaintiff’s property during this time. Plaintiff relied on defendant Saunders’ representations that work was being performed and that funds were necessary to continue working pursuant to the contract,” the suit says.

“Plaintiff’s owner, Hong Fei, visited plaintiff’s property and realized that defendant Saunders had been micro printing the need for additional funds as well as the progress concerning the work being done on plaintiff’s property. Plaintiff’s property was a ‘shell’, in that none of the interior work had been completed pursuant to the terms of the contract. Based on information and belief, defendant Saunders personally deposited all or some of the payments from plaintiff into his own personal bank accounts instead of those of defendant Zion.”

As a result, Saunders allegedly admitted making misrepresentations about the status of the property and pledged to return $27,000 by Nov. 10, 2017. However, those promises were not realized and the defendants ceased all contact with the plaintiff soon afterwards, allegedly leaving the plaintiff with a property in disrepair and having to put out money to hire a different contract to complete the original work.

For counts of breach of contract, breach of covenant of good faith and fair dealing, plus fraud and fraud in the inducement, the plaintiff is seeking damages not in excess of $50,000, plus interest, costs and any other relief the Court deems just and appropriate – plus, for defendant Saunders to return all funds plaintiff has paid in connection with the contract, and respectfully requests that this Court enter judgment in its favor for such compensatory, incidental, consequential, and punitive damages as the evidence shall sustain or this Court deems appropriate.

The plaintiff is represented by Jonathan D. Rosenau of Freundlich & Littman, in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 180301927

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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