SUBLETTE COUNTY – In an investor’s civil lawsuit against Triple Peak Landscaping LLC and Shane and Ramsey Copeland to recover about $140,000 he invested with promises of paybacks, the judge ruled that the business defaulted and owes him the money.
William Murdock’s complaint, filed July 21 in 9th District Court, alleges breach of contract and unjust enrichment by Triple Peak Landscaping and the Copelands, of Marbleton, after he invested $30,000 and $80,000 on Oct. 26, 2021, receiving handwritten contracts.
Through June 15, Murdock also paid $34,000 “for additional monies by checks to defendants” for a total of at least $143,000, the suit says.
In the only response to Murdock’s lawsuit, their attorney Clark Stith noted, “Under (state law), the members of a limited liability company are not liable for the company’s debts.”
The limited liability company was dissolved, according to the Wyoming Secretary of State’s business website.
Murdock filed an amended complaint on Aug. 23. On Oct. 12, Murdock’s attorney Travis Bing filed a motion for default judgment against Triple Peak Landscaping LLC, citing the Copelands’ lack of response or defensive pleadings.
Judge Marv Tyler granted the motion, ordering a judgment of $137,500 against the company with interest of $37.67 per day “until fully paid and satisfied,” it says.
The lawsuit continues against the remaining defendants, Shane and Ramsey Copeland.
The handwritten contracts say Murdock’s “initial investments” would be repaid “no later than 3/26/22 by Triple Peak!,” according to court records.
The $30,000 “initial investment” would have a 4-percent “return rate on the gross of every job completed” to Murdock; Copeland committed to making monthly copies “of all projects completed,” the suit says. The $80,000 investment would have a “9-percent return rate on the gross income of every job completed,” it says.
Murdock’s payments would be included with each monthly report, it says, and “the turn around on this investment will be astronomical.”
“Upon information and belief, (Copelands) have received a substantial financial benefit at the expense of (Murdock) without repayment,” according to the suit’s second count of unjust enrichment.
The suit seeks prejudgment and post-judgment interest on Murdock’s damages, payment of his attorney and court costs and any other “just and equitable” relief.
• Earlier, Sublette County Sheriff KC Lehr confirmed that the Copelands and Triple Peak Landscaping are under investigation in Sublette, Lincoln, Sweetwater and Teton counties. The Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation is coordinating the investigation, he said.
• In its Sept. 12 civil complaint for breach of contract, the Town of Marbleton seeks to enforce repayment of Shane Copeland’s promissory note with the town for $32,233.34. Copeland had promised to repay the money that the town advanced to him to prepare and install a pre-made building at its community fishing pond.
• Lincoln County resident Kraig Frome filed a civil complaint Sept 9 in 3rd District Court for breach of contract, breach of implied fair dealing and conversion.
Frome hired the Copelands to build a pole barn with 16 posts; only 13 posts were delivered and 10 holes dug, it says. That was the extent of work completed, it says. On July 14, Frome sent a demand letter to the Copelands and Triple Peak Landscaping for refund of payments he made to them and had no response, it says.
“Defendants Ramsey Copeland and Shane Copeland have not operated Triple Peak Landscaping LLC as a separate entity as contemplated by statute and therefore … should not be treated as a separate entity,” Frome’s suit says.