Man's dream property becomes nightmare - CBS46 News

Man's dream property becomes nightmare

Posted: Updated:

Mark Woychik was deceived by the man selling his dream piece of property.

"It was a beautiful little five acre piece of land on a hillside with a southern exposure. I fell in love with the land," he said.

Woychik trusted the soft-spoken seller, but now - $25,000 in legal fees later - he knows he made a serious mistake.

"We have spent countless hours, time, money trying to get justice. Not only trying to get justice but trying to get him out of our life," Woychik said.

According to US Postal Inspectors, Bernard Seidling filed bogus small claims actions against Woychik in various courts throughout the state.

By the time Woychik learned a court had ruled against him in his absence, he faced a judgement of more than $5,000. And he wasn't alone.

"The victims didn't know they were being victimized. They wouldn't find out until they wanted to sell their home or buy a car," said postal inspector Dean Kowalefski.

They said Seidling did the same thing to 77 different victims, attempting to extort them out of more than $370,000.

Instead he ended up being sentenced to three years in federal prison and fined $10,000.

In the end, Woychik never got the property he tried to buy.

Authorities say you can protect yourself from this sort of scam by regularly checking your credit report and running your name through the online listing of court cases in your state.

Copyright 2014 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.