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Ex-Texas Mayor Hit With $20M Suit Over Land Swindle

Law360, Houston (October 31, 2013, 4:22 PM EDT) -- A former Texas mayor was slapped with a $20 million federal lawsuit Sunday that alleges he coerced a judge and other officials to steal valuable land by denying building permits following Hurricane Ike and then buying the distressed properties for a fraction of their value.

John Ray Melcher says former City of Kemah Mayor Matthew Drake Wiggins Jr. instructed city building inspector Jack Fryday to condemn several properties throughout town and then “duped” former Galveston County Justice of the Peace Mark Foster into acting as a straw purchaser to buy the land for “pennies on the dollar.” Melcher adds that the...

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Attached Documents


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Case Information

Case Title

Subscribers Only

Case Number

Subscribers Only


Texas Southern

Nature of Suit

470(Racketeer/Corrupt Organization)

Date Filed

October 27, 2013

Government Agencies