A Chicago couple who sued after buying an allegedly problematic Lincoln Square home that was featured on HGTV’s “Windy City Rehab” filed an emergency motion Thursday to block the show’s host, Alison Victoria, from selling her home in Bucktown while the lawsuit plays out.
James and Anna Morrissey initially filed a fraud suit last December against Victoria, whose real name is Alison Gramenos, as well as her former business partner, Donovan Eckhardt, and contractor Ermin Pajazetovic alleging that their $1.36 million home at 2308 W. Giddings has been plagued by leaks and shoddy work.
The couple’s latest legal maneuver, which follows an attempt to get “Windy City Rehab” booted from the airwaves, seeks to prevent Victoria from “selling any property which she owns or controls,” namely her home at 1831 N. Paulina.
“The Morrisseys fear Ms. Gramenos is fraudulently attempting to sell and liquidate whatever equity she has in her personal home and transfer the funds to an LLC she co-owns with her boyfriend as a tactic to shield her personal assets from a judgment collection in the Morrisseys’ lawsuit,” The Morrisseys’ attorney, Robert J. McLaughlin, said in a statement.
Daniel Lynch, Victoria’s attorney, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the move.
In Thursday’s filing, the Morrisseys note that Victoria and her boyfriend, Michael Marks, signed a quit claim deed transferring the property to AVMM Properties LLC, a company that includes both their initials. AVMM Properties isn’t registered in Illinois, according to records kept by the secretary of state’s office.
Victoria and Eckhardt have continually been at the center of lawsuits, neighborhood complaints and stop-work orders from the city of Chicago on a number of the properties they have acquired to rehab and flip.
The Morrisseys’ home was featured on the first season of “Windy City Rehab,” which returned for a second season last month. In Tuesday’s episode, Victoria asked her business manager to run audits on the last 10 homes she and Eckhardt have worked on in an effort to uncover any secrets — foreshadowing her split with her former partner.
“For the last year, these are the things I didn’t see because he controlled all the budgets and accounts,” Victoria said.