Incarcerated man seeks default judgment against brother-in-law for allegedly fraudulently property transfer

By Heather Isringhausen Gvillo | Feb 3, 2015

An incarcerated man who is suing his brother-in-law pastor over claims he fraudulently transferred his property while behind bars is seeking default judgment.

According to the Oct. 28 complaint, plaintiff Ernest Spiller was arrested on drug charges and incarcerated at the St. Clair County Jail in Belleville on July 2, 1999.

Two weeks later on July 15, 1999, Spiller claims he contacted his brother0in-law, defendant Rev. Ralph McGlown, to come to the jail and discuss his real estate interests, including two properties in East St. Louis.

Spiller, according to the suit, asked McGlown to oversee the properties and preserve them for his family. He also claims during his incarceration, he asked McGlown to prepare a quitclaim deed and bring the document back to him for review.

Upon review of the materials, Spiller asked the defendant to apply a few stipulations and then signed the document, the suit states.

On May 31, Spiller claims he contacted the St. Clair County Recorder of Deeds office to inquire about the status of the properties and by July 14, discovered the properties had been fraudulently transferred to the McGlown’s family.

“The documents in which the plaintiff signed were in good faith knowing that the defendant, being a man of God, would oversee these properties and move the plaintiff’s wife and seven children back into the home,” the complaint states. “Although the defendant moved his very own daughter and her husband into the home rather than the agreement that the parties agreed and discussed.”

Spiller alleges he attempted to contact McGlown to resolve the issues without success.

“The defendant Rec. Ralph McGlown went on his own, without my knowledge and orchestrated fraudulent conveyances to transfer of the above properties,” the suit states.

Spiller claims he discovered two signatures of witnesses on the quitclaim deed that were not present on the documents when he signed them. The two signatures were made by the defendant’s employees, who weren’t present at the signing, according to the suit that notes the plaintiff’s name was misspelled.

Spiller also alleges in his complaint that McGlown borrowed $35,000 on the property and then rented the home out. He claims that to his knowledge, the original renters have moved out of one of the homes, and the defendant attempted to move Spiller’s family into the home and charge them $900 per month.

Spiller filed a pro se motion for default judgment on Jan. 29, seeking $60,000 with an extra $6,000 in prejudgment interest. He argues that default judgment is appropriate because McGlown has not answered or appeared in this action.

Circuit Judge Andrew Gleeson scheduled a status conference for Feb. 9 at 9 a.m.

Spiller is acting pro se in this case.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 14-L-713

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