Christina Stueve Hodges Jul. 12, 2013, 12:35pm

A Florida man who is being sued for allegedly buying property illegally denies the allegations and says he received a tax deed for the subject real estate.

Daniel and Susan Duncan filed suit against Vinod Gupta of Boca Raton, Fla. for allegedly purchasing their property in an illegal fashion after failing to inform them of a property tax delinquency on it.

An Aug. 12 status conference is set in the case in St. Clair County Circuit Judge Andrew Gleeson’s court.

The Duncans claim they obtained an undivided interest in a piece of property on June 21, 2006. Unknown to them, defendant Vinod Gupta purchased the same property at a delinquent property tax sale on Nov. 6, 2006, according to the complaint filed May 1 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

“Thereafter, defendant knowingly and purposefully failed to adhere to strict notice provisions owed to the plaintiffs due to his purchase of the property at the tax sale,” the suit states. “As a direct result of the defendant’s intentional violation of the code, plaintiffs were unaware of any property tax delinquency and were unable to redeem their property within the redemption period.”

Due to his alleged failure to notify the Duncans of the tax delinquency, Gupta was able to obtain full ownership of the property on Sept. 1, 2009, the complaint says. The Duncans claim they were not aware of the situation until December 2012.

The Duncans allege fraud, fraudulent concealment, consumer fraud, unjust enrichment, negligence and tortuous interference with a business expectancy against Gupta.

Gupta responded to the complaint May 28. He says his tax deeds convey merchantable title, and the tax deed is a prima facie of regularity of sale. He also states a remedy at law is available in that the tax deed can be contested and challenged.

Gupta also states he will raise other defenses upon completion of discovery.

In their complaint, the Duncans seek more than $50,000.

Alvin C. Paulson of Becker, Paulson, Hoerner and Thompson in Belleville represent the plaintiffs.

Vinod Gupta is a defendant pro se.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 13-L-226.

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