Judge Suspends New Front Sight Memberships - 8 News NOW

Colleen McCarty, I-Team Reporter

Judge Suspends New Front Sight Memberships

Posted: Updated:

The settlement of a lawsuit against the Front Sight Firearms Training Institute near Pahrump appears to be falling apart. During a hearing in San Jose, the company admitted it had not lived up to the terms of the agreement.

Several Front Sight members filed a class action lawsuit against the company claiming it defrauded them out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. In an effort to stay out of court Front Sight settled, or so it seemed, until its lawyers admitted that the company missed its mark.

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Front Sight founder Dr. Ignatius Piazza, a chiropractor by trade, dodged the I-Team outside federal court in San Jose.

A hearing to approve the terms of a settlement agreement, designed to save the firearms training institute near Pahrump, instead revealed the deal had deteriorated. The sale of the property and the relocation of the range both required by the settlement failed to happen.

Attorney Keith Greer said, "Now, with the escrow not closing and the buyer being a little wiggly, we have some issues."

The judge agreed to give both sides a few hours to return to the bargaining table offering Piazza a second chance to dodge the I-Team's cameras and skip his hearing.

Piazza's new lawyer also had little to say. He just got the case Friday but he told the judge that he felt they were close to a deal. "My client is in my office where he's supposed to be," replied Richard Williams.

Attorney Keith Greer disagreed. He argued the sale of new memberships continued to create potential victims, like his client Bill Haag, who paid $175,000 for a membership to include a 1-acre home site he has yet to receive.

"Those people's money was used to get his operation up and going and they want that back. They want to be treated like other members now and have what's really their risk capital returned to them," explained Greer.

Greer also points out that Front Sight violated the court's previous order by publishing a letter detailing terms of the settlement to his members.

What Piazza didn't tell them was that in the last few months the Internal Revenue Service and a contractor have put liens on the property totaling more than $320,000.

Greer said, "We don't want to let new members come in until we are comfortable there's going to be a Front Sight thirty, forty years from now."

Given the new information the judge ruled to suspend the sale of new memberships and appoint a neutral person to oversee the business. His order will take effect by the end of this week.

Eyewitness News got a call late Monday from Attorney Keith Greer who said both sides may have reached a new settlement.

The state Fire Marshal says they have still not complied. Front Sight also has not paid the contractor hired to bring them up to state code.

Click here to email reporter Colleen McCarty.

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