Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Bills

June 22, 2012

Williams' new home is windfall

Scam victims will recoup some of the money they've lost.

ORCHARD PARK — Buffalo Bills defensive end Mario Williams has a new home and at least 53 new fans.

By closing on a $2 million deal to purchase a mansion in suburban Buffalo, the Bills’ high-priced free-agent addition is also   helping a group of creditors recoup a portion of the $3.1 million they were cheated out of by the home’s former owner.

“It was a windfall,” said William F. Savino. He’s a Buffalo-based attorney representing 53 people who had their money taken   by former personal injury lawyer Kenneth Bernas, who was convicted in 2010 of larceny and identity theft.

Bernas, who has been disbarred and is serving a 2 1/3- to seven-year jail sentence, used some of the money he stole to build   the five-bedroom, 9,000-plus square-foot, four-car garage home in 2005. He’s been ordered to repay $1.8 million.

Savino said his clients will get close to $500,000 from Williams’ purchase, with the rest of the money going toward the mortgage   and other fees.

The Buffalo News first reported Williams’ purchase earlier this week.

Williams targeted buying the mansion shortly after signing a six-year contract potentially worth $100 million with the Bills   in free agency in March. He’s one of the NFL’s premier pass-rushing specialists, and spent his first six seasons with the   Houston Texans, who selected Williams with the No. 1 pick in the 2006 draft.

It’s unclear whether Williams was familiar with home’s former owner’s legal troubles, but he was aware that he was purchasing   the home out of receivership. Williams wasn’t available for comment on his new home, but had said earlier this week that he   was in the process of completing a purchase and planning to move in before the start of training camp, which opens at the   end of next month.

State judge John Michalek was credited by Savino for speeding up the process to meet a deadline set by Williams.

The home, set on a five-acre lot, is not far from the Bills facility and cost nearly $4 million to build. Williams was so   interested in buying the property that he exceeded the $1.99 million asking price to beat out several other offers.

Williams is an avid outdoorsman and also owns homes in Houston and his native North Carolina.

“I didn’t know that anything like this would happen until I got a call that Mario had an interest in the mansion,” Savino   said. “It’s good news for the victims. They didn’t deserve this from someone they trusted.”

The proceeds from the sale means the victims will have been repaid nearly $1 million, Savino said. And that doesn’t include   the $1 million the victims received from the New York State Lawyers Fund for Client Protection.

1
Text Only
Bills
  • 140719 Bills Camp SEC ART.jpg Bills will open camp Sunday

    Home-run hitters generally strike out a lot

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140717 Together Again MAIN art.jpg Reed & Kelly: Together again

    Andre Reed will have his old signal-caller right there with him to celebrate in Canton.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140712 Bills Stadium ART.jpg Bills stadium report delayed

    A state-commissioned report that had been anticipated Friday identifying potential sites for a new Buffalo Bills stadium is now expected at the end of the month.

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140604 Bills Dareus ART.jpg Dareus 'dismissed' by Bills for 2 weeks

    Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus is taking the next two weeks off from voluntary practices as he faces criminal charges for the second time in a month.

    June 3, 2014 1 Photo

  • Golisano, Tom.jpg Golisano plans to buy Bills

    Former Sabres owner Tom Golisano is interested in purchasing the Buffalo Bills, said people involved with the negotiations.

    May 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Buffalo Bills are officially for sale

    The "for sale" sign is up at the Buffalo Bills with the hiring of financial and legal advisers who may begin talking with prospective buyers within the next month.

    May 22, 2014

  • 140510 Bills Draft ART.jpg Bills take Alabama OL Kouandjio

    The Bills opened the second round on Friday by trading down three spots and selecting Alabama offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio with the 44th pick.

    May 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140509 Bills Draft ART.jpg Bold draft move by the Bills

    Doug Whaley made a bold move in opening his first NFL draft as the Buffalo Bills general manager.

    May 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140507 Bills Draft ART.jpg I'll take a draft

    The Buffalo Bills’ approach to the NFL draft this year has much to do with EJ Manuel.

    May 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140424 Bills Sched ART.jpg Are you ready for some football?

    Once again, the conservative Buffalo Bills will not be a featured prime time nationally televised home team this coming season.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
Photos


Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Front page
AP Video
Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Gen. Odierno Discusses Ukraine, NATO at Forum Gaza Fighting Rages Amid Cease-Fire Efforts Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-lift Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast
Seasonal Content
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Gen. Odierno Discusses Ukraine, NATO at Forum Gaza Fighting Rages Amid Cease-Fire Efforts Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-lift Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast
Seasonal Content
Helium debate
Helium
Section Teases

Seasonal Content
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.