'Fixer Upper' host Chip Gaines faces million-dollar fraud lawsuit

(Facebook/HGTV)A promotional image for "Fixer Upper"

Just like the El Moussas of "Flip or Flop," another host from one of HGTV's shows is in the spotlight for reasons that are not so pretty.

Chip Gaines, the host of TV series "Fixer Upper," is being sued by two of his former business partners for fraud, according to a report from Fox News. The lawsuit, which was filed by his ex-partners John L. Lewis and Richard L. Clark, reportedly involve more than $1 million dollars in damages, as well as the restoration of the two's ownership of their stakes in Magnolia Realty.

The lawsuit stemmed from Gaines allegedly conspiring to cheat the two by acquiring their company shares for $2,500 each back in May 2013, without informing them that the company's value was already in a position to shoot up just two days before the HGTV network took in the "Fixer Upper" show. Magnolia, which received a lot of exposure through its tie-up with the TV show, eventually resulted in its shares soaring high.

"In summary, at a time when only the Defendants knew that 'Fixer Upper' had been fast-tracked for a one-hour premiere on HGTV and was on the verge of radically changing their lives and business enterprises, Chip Gaines conspired to eliminate his business partners -- notwithstanding their longstanding friendship -- in order to ensure that he alone would profit from Magnolia Realty's association with Fixer Upper," stated the lawsuit obtained by Texas news outfit, KWTX.

Moreover, a report from USA Today said that apart from convincing Lewis and Clark that their stakes in Magnolia are "less than worthless," Gaines also allegedly threatened Clark when the latter was reluctant to part with his shares.

On the flipside, Gaines dismissed the charges through a statement sent to USA Today by his lawyer, Jordan Mayfield. "We are confident that these claims will be found to be meritless, and it is disappointing to see people try to take advantage of the hard work and success of Chip and Joanna Gaines," he said.

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