Brad Franklin, the erstwhile Flathead home-builder who allegedly bilked two of his Flathead clients and several Flathead businesses out of millions of dollars, is still at large, despite a warrant being issued for his arrest in late February (See “Requiem for a Dream Home,” March 2, 2006).
In the meantime, Franklin’s former secretary, Tami Clowdus, has also had felony theft charges filed against her by the state, and is being sought on a warrant. Her accuser? Brad Franklin.
Franklin filed his complaint against Clowdus back in October, just a few months after the clients who alleged he had stolen from them, Richard and Sharon Prati and Gary Solomon, filed their complaints.
Franklin alleges Clowdus stole more than $9,000 from him by issuing checks from his company, Wellington Builders, to herself, and depositing checks made out to Wellington into her own bank account.
There are currently judgments against Franklin of $3.1 million in the Prati civil case and $371,000 in the Solomon case.
While felony theft charges have been pursued by the county against Franklin in the Solomon case, and in Franklin’s case against Clowdus, the county has yet to file criminal charges against Franklin in the Prati case.
“When you look at the discrepancy between the dollar amounts taken, it’s hard to understand,” says Peter Leander, attorney for the Pratis.
In addition to wanting criminal charges filed in the Prati case, Leander also hopes the warrant against Franklin will be expanded to include other states. Right now, Franklin’s warrant can only be served if he enters the state of Montana. Leander believes Franklin is living out-of-state.
Part-time county deputy attorney Katie Schultz, who is handling the Prati case, says she is still considering filing charges in the Prati case.
The Pratis are also trying to get some of the money owed them as a result of the $3.1 million judgment against Franklin by amending their original civil suit to include Franklin’s wife, Angela Franklin, who now lives in Colorado, and to whom Franklin transferred ownership of his home. Right now, that appears to be the Pratis’ only avenue toward waking from their dream-home nightmare.