Wednesday, July 6, 2016

When the Heavens Fell

"Formerly homeless man wins case against investor" by Andrea Estes Globe Staff  July 06, 2016

John Henry Wenk seemed like the last guy who could stand up for himself.

The brilliant but troubled MIT graduate — fond of quoting Latin and bringing his own swivel chair onto the T — had drifted from shelter to shelter for years after controversial investor Brian R. Burke bought his house in Brighton in 1997 and then failed to pay him. Wenk barely put up a fight.


But last week, after pro bono attorneys took up Wenk’s cause, a Suffolk Superior Court judge ruled that Burke deceived Wenk, setting up the eccentric 75-year-old for a potential $1 million payday.

“The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong,” wrote Wenk in an e-mail, quoting Ecclesiastes to describe his legal victory, adding “danke schoen,” German for “thank you.”

One of Wenk’s attorneys, David Kelston, was more blunt:

“Burke has an extraordinary history of taking advantage of vulnerable people. John Henry Wenk fought back and is winning. It’s great to see justice done.”