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
  • 140326 Wilson MAIN ART.jpg Bills owner Ralph C. Wilson Jr. dies

    Ralph C. Wilson Jr., the man solely responsible for the Buffalo Bills, has died at the age of 95

    March 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • 140124 Browns ART.jpg Browns hire Bills' DC Mike Pettine as new head coach

    The Browns have hired Buffalo defensive coordinator Mike Pettine as their coach, ending a twisting, nearly four-week search.

    January 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 131230 Bills Pats ART.jpg Blount leads Pats to bye with win over Bills
    LeGarrette Blount rushed for a career-high 189 yards and two touchdowns and had two long kickoff returns as New England beat the visiting Buffalo Bills 34-20 on a rainy Sunday.

    December 29, 2013 1 Photo

  • 131216 Bills Jags ART.jpg Bills bag the Jags

    EJ Manuel's latest trip to the Sunshine State was considerably better than his last.

    December 15, 2013 1 Photo

  • lpt bills art 2 120913 Bills stomped by Buccaneers, 27-6

    It was a long day for E.J. Manuel and the Buffalo Bills in Tampa on Sunday. Manuel threw four interceptions, the Bills were nearly abysmal on offense, and Buffalo fell to 4-9 on the season with a 27-6 loss to the Bucs.

    December 8, 2013 2 Photos

  • 131202 Bills 1B ART.jpg Another loss in Toronto

    The Falcons made the Bills unravel in Buffalo’s controversial home away from home.

    December 1, 2013 1 Photo

  • LPTBillsART111813.jpg Bills click on all cylinders in win over Jets

    For Bills safety Jairus Byrd, there was nothing like the sight of watching Jets backup quarterback Matt Simms trot out on the field early in the fourth quarter Sunday.

    November 18, 2013 1 Photo

  • 131113 Bills Lockport MAIN art.jpg Lockport in ‘Catch 22’

    Bills players Fred Jackson and Aaron Williams took the time to pose for pictures and sign Bills memorabilia for eager Lockport fans.

    November 12, 2013 1 Photo

  • 131111 Bills MAIN ART.jpg Steel City meltdown
    The Pittsburgh Steelers promised to get back to basics after a horrific first half of the season. A little help from the Buffalo Bills didn't hurt either.

    November 10, 2013 1 Photo

  • 131104 Bills Chiefs MAIN art.jpg KC still perfect

    The Kansas City Chiefs can thank their opportunistic defense for keeping their perfect start intact.

    November 3, 2013 2 Photos

Featured Ads
Community Events
Photos


Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Front page
AP Video
Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Raw: Bulgarian Monastery Dyes 5000 Easter Eggs Diplomats Reach Deal to Ease Tensions in Ukraine U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military Holder: Americans Stand With KC Mourners Obama Greets Wounded Warriors Malaysia Plane: Ocean Floor Images 'Very Clear' Sparks Fly With Derulo and Jordin on New Album Franco Leads Star-studded Broadway Cast Raw: Two Lucky Kids Get Ride in Popemobile Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing
Seasonal Content
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Raw: Bulgarian Monastery Dyes 5000 Easter Eggs Diplomats Reach Deal to Ease Tensions in Ukraine U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military Holder: Americans Stand With KC Mourners Obama Greets Wounded Warriors Malaysia Plane: Ocean Floor Images 'Very Clear' Sparks Fly With Derulo and Jordin on New Album Franco Leads Star-studded Broadway Cast Raw: Two Lucky Kids Get Ride in Popemobile Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing
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.