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Who are Alec and Taryn Wright? Utah couple faces 'financial crisis' after buying mold-filled home from murder accused Kouri Richins

2023-09-23 18:55
Couple who purchased home from the Utah woman accused of killing her husband feel like 'bystanders in her path of destruction'
Who are Alec and Taryn Wright? Utah couple faces 'financial crisis' after buying mold-filled home from murder accused Kouri Richins

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH: A Utah couple — Alec and Taryn Wright — is blaming kids' grief author Kouri Richins for their near financial ruin after buying a refurbished property from her.

They claim they had to leave the residence because of "hazardous" levels of mildew and several inexplicable health conditions cropping up shortly after they moved in.

In her first interview about her case against Richins, Taryn Wright, 38, told Dateline: "There was no trying to right any of the wrongs that she had thrown at us. We’re just innocent bystanders in her path of destruction," as per NBC News.

The Wrights claim they purchased the home from Richins' real estate agency three years ago only to find "hazardous" levels of mold.

They were still responsible for paying the mortgage on the house as well as the rent where they were currently residing, rendering the home uninhabitable.

The Wright pair filed a lawsuit against Richins and her real estate company in November 2021, six months before she was accused of killing her husband on March 4, 2022.

Alec and Taryn Wright seeking compensation for health issues and property damage

The Wrights are now demanding compensation for various health conditions they claim began soon after moving into the almost 2,000-square-foot property in January 2020, along with repairs to property damage they claim amounts to a complete loss, per Daily Mail.

Fraud and breach of contract are among the claims made in the Wrights' civil action, which was filed in Utah's Fourth Judicial District Court.

According to the complaint, Richins allegedly lied "recklessly and without regard for the truth" about key information regarding the property's worth and habitability.

The house, situated in Heber City, southeast of Salt Lake City, was a part of Richins' house-flipping company, which she started in 2019. Heber City is southeast of Salt Lake City.

Richins, however, reportedly owed lenders $1.8 million by February 2022, per authorities, as financial issues promptly afflicted the company.

The stay-at-home mother and bank manager want Richins to pay for repairs on property damage that they claim amounts to a total loss.

What were the issues Wright couple faced in Kouri Richins' property?

Despite the house's acknowledged need for extensive repairs owing to water damage, Val Maynard, the guy who sold it to Richins, expressed his delight with her offer of $215,000 in an interview.

Although Maynard maintains he was upfront with Richins about the required work, substantial improvements without the apparent requisite approvals started as soon as the house was sold.

According to Taryn Wright, the house was advertised as being in "pristine" condition when it first appeared on the market in October 2019.

The family was not informed of any previous water damage or problems with the roof or plumbing. In January 2020, the couple paid $409,000 for the house.

However, only a few months later, following the first spring downpour, they discovered mold in their son's room's wall as well as a pool of water on the floor.

The couple claim that since then, they have had to vacate the house multiple times, have spent thousands of dollars trying to restore windows and walls damaged by mildew, and that the house also had serious structural issues.

Additionally, the family began developing several health issues, such as brain fog, joint discomfort, asthma, and fungus infections.

A home inspection conducted in August 2022 discovered "hazardous" amounts of mold in the basement, with spores dispersed throughout the residence.

"We were constantly going to the doctor. There was never like, "Oh, this is what’s wrong with you." It’s just kind of like, 'Oh well, you’ll just get over it.' It was super, super hard," Taryn Wright remarked.

Fearing contamination, the Wrights were obligated to leave their home as soon as they discovered the mold and relocated into a relative's rented home, leaving their belongings behind.

They also made an unsuccessful attempt to get in touch with Kouri Richins for help with remediation.

Richins and a realtor communicated via text messages, which suggests that she would have been mindful of the mold issue prior to selling the residence.

How did Richins' lawyer respond to the Wrights' allegations?

Prosecutors claim Richins engaged in fraudulent behavior, including theft, forgery, and deception.

They also claim she used a forged power of attorney to get a $250,000 line of credit secured by her husband's property, as her debts grew.

In a court document filed earlier this year, Richins' attorneys refuted the Wrights' claims. According to the filing, her business, Richins Realty, provided a "fulsome disclosure," and the claimed flaws in the home could have been found with a "reasonable inspection by an ordinary prudent buyer."

The civil case attorney for Richins declined to comment and sent a reporter to their public records where they refuted the claims made by the homeowners.

Richins is charged with giving her husband Eric Richins a fatal Moscow mule laced with fentanyl in March 2022 following a day of heated argument over a $2 million mansion she wanted to flip but he refused to pay for.

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