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Will Smith Scores $1.5 Million Off Sale of Close Friend Duane Martin's Mansion

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By Ryan Naumann

Duane Martin has reached a settlement in the lawsuit accusing him of fraud and hiding a home in his bankruptcy, and his close friend Will Smith will finally be paid back the million plus he had loaned him to save the property.

According to court documents obtained by The Blast, Duane and the trustee presiding over his bankruptcy have reached a deal, where Smith will be paid back in full the $1.5 million loaned to Martin. Per their deal, Duane has agreed to sell off a 5-bedroom, 6-bathroom, 9,200 sq. ft. mansion located in Chatsworth, California. The trustee already found a buyer who will be purchasing the pad for $2.45 million. The new buyer had to sign documents stating they do not know Duane, Tisha Campbell-Martin or Will and Jada Pinkett Smith.

The $2.45 million will be broken down into $1.5 million going to Will Smith’s company named TB Properties LLC, $122k owed in back rent, $485k to the bankruptcy estate (to be used to pay off creditors) and $170,560 to Roxe LLC.

Gettyimages | Kevin Winter

The home in question had been the subject of a fraud lawsuit filed by the bankruptcy trustee against Duane, who sued the actor due to his belief that Martin hid assets of $2.6 million under a company named Roxe LLC.

The trustee alleged Duane set up a company named Roxe LLC to conceal ownership of the 9,000 sq. ft. mansion. Duane originally bought the home in 2006 for $900,000. He then borrowed $1.9 million for the purpose of constructing the “Martin family home.”

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Duane then defaulted on his loan and negotiated a short sale with the bank, and he used Roxe to buy the home back from the bank using a $1.4 million loan from Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith. Roxe LLC became the owner and Duane and Tisha allegedly entered into a lease with their own company to pay rent of $5,000 per month.

In early 2018, Duane listed the home for $2,695,000 with the intention of pocketing all of the sales proceeds in excess of the loan given by Will and Jada, meaning he would pocket $1.3 million if sold at asking price.

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Gettyimages | Jean-Paul Aussenard

The trustee said the lease was a sham and Duane and Tisha didn’t make all the payments on the house.

The suit demanded Duane be forced to turn over the home to the bankruptcy estate and be used to benefit his creditors. To be clear, there were no allegations that Will or Jada did anything wrong or had any knowledge of any alleged wrongdoings.

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During the battle, docs filed revealed Will Smith had been subpoenaed by the trustee and was forced to turn over financial records and private emails and texts with Duane Martin regarding the loan and home.

In emails obtained by the trustee, it showed that Will Smith and his team had grave concerns about loaning his friend Duane over a million dollars save his home from foreclosure.

The entire fraud lawsuit will be dismissed per their settlement.

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