Meanwhile, Back at the Villa...

Raining on Paul Lambert's parade.

"I owed some money to my electrician, and he was throwing all these things out there just to get me to settle with him," Lambert says. "There's not one thing that's true in the allegations that lawyer made. I don't know about Michael Keiter's financing, what he did. It was his loan."

According to Lambert, it was the foreclosing bank's job to settle with the lienholders, not his. "Everyone else who wasn't paid in full has come to me, and I settled with them separately, even though I didn't have title to the house," he says. "There are only two or three who weren't settled, and D&W was one of them. It's a done deal." Two weeks ago, Lambert and D&W reached a confidential settlement in their dispute.

Lambert says that "sales are slowly picking up" on his semi-custom models in Daniel's Gate and that all of his issues with creditors are being resolved. He moved into the VB on May 1 of this year, he says, and is leasing the property from Keiter. The date is critical because of an agreement Lambert signed last year in his divorce case, in which he agreed to pay $44,000 in back payments owed to his ex-wife by May 1, 2004, and not to reside in the VB for as long as he was still in arrears. But according to records in that case, there may still be disputes over whether Lambert has complied with the terms of that agreement, which could complicate his "done deal" to live in the villa.

No money down: On paper, the Villa Bellagio sold for 
$4.5 million -- but how much is it really worth?
John Johnston
No money down: On paper, the Villa Bellagio sold for $4.5 million -- but how much is it really worth?

And although D&W's claims have been settled, an attorney representing another creditor told Westword that he, too, is looking closely at the sale of the house. Others say they were pleased to get at least partial payment for their work on the VB and have moved on.

Mike Mantey's company, The Grand Entrance, settled its case with Lambert months ago. "I don't care if he lives there or not, as long as he paid me in full," Mantey says. "He didn't. He's just trying to be tricky and get a house for less money than he committed to pay for it. But I'm not dwelling on it. I'm treating it as a learning experience."

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