BENTON COUNTY, Ark. (KNWA) — A three-day jury trial is set for former 19 Kids and Counting star Josh Duggar, who is accused of fraud and is being sued for ‘quiet title’ and breaching a contract, according to court records.
The case involves a real estate lawsuit and the trial begins April 27, 2020, at the Benton County Courthouse.
Carl Echols purchased a five-acre tract during January 2006 and has lived on the land since. He didn’t record a deed but has lived on the property since while paying property taxes, according to court documents. Echols’ attorney Kesha Chiappinelli said, “Echols paid $17,500 cash for the land in 2006.”
According to court records, Echols paid his cousin Edward Lewis the money for the land and was given a signed and dated bill of sale with the property description.
Court records state property tax statements addressed to Lewis were sent to Echols’ residence. When Echols tried to pay the property tax, he was told ALB Investments — owned by Josh Duggar — owned the property.
Through research, Echols found that the State Commissioner of Lands sent notice to Lewis that back taxes were owed for 2008-10, according to court documents.
Echols said he didn’t receive the notice and Lewis paid the back taxes, redeemed the land and sold it to ALB Investments for $1,000 in 2016, per the court documents.
However, Echols’ attorney explains that further investigation into Benton County land records indicate that Echols paid the back taxes to redeem the land. Chiappinelli said, “he [Echols] sent someone with a power of attorney to pay the back taxes and redeemed the land in 2016. And the assessor’s office recorded the power of attorney and bill of sale to Echols.”
Echols reported Josh Duggar has never visited the property and that his property was illegally sold and purchased without his knowledge, according to court records.