Sunday, June 3, 2007

Say It Ain't So, Sam!

As ya'll know, I'm addicted to home flipping/renovation shows. This obsession has been well documented. A few weeks ago, while groveling about Casey Serin, I casually wondered if just maybe shows like Flip This House were scripted. Sure, watching a home completely gutted and remade in 12 days is cool, but is it realistic? And are these homes really selling for the profits they claim come so easily on these shows?

Maybe not.

Sam Leccima, a black real estate flipper in ATL who was featured on last season's Flip This House, is now in some big, big trouble.

Now authorities and legal filings claim that Leccima’s true passion was a series of scams that included faking the home renovations shown on the cable TV show and claiming to have sold houses he never owned.

“This is, indeed, a con artist,” said Sonya McGee, an Atlanta pharmaceutical representative who says Leccima took $4,000 from her in an investment scheme.

McGee and others say Leccima’s episodes of “Flip This House,” A&E’s most popular show, were elaborate hoaxes. His friends and family were presented as potential homebuyers and “sold” signs were slapped in front of unsold houses. They say the home repairs — the lynchpin of the show — were actually quick or temporary patch jobs designed to look good on camera.

So, Sam's a con artist, coming soon to a prison near you. It sure makes me wonder just how true other shows of its' ilk like The Real Deal, Flip That House, and Sell This House are.

For ruining my favorite show, Sam Leccima gets a one finger salute.

MLK must be flipping in his grave. And crying inside of course.

Fox 5 Atlanta I-Team Busts Sam Leccima [Video]

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