Fraud dismissed: But Halsey Minor wins refiling right

cover-halsey-connorcrook-copy"It was not a 100 percent victory," says Danielson's attorney, Connor Crook.
PHOTO BY HAWES SPENCER

"The truth is out there," said the lawyer fighting for a right to re-file the high-profile hotel collusion lawsuit by internet millionaire Halsey Minor against developer Lee Danielson.

"Well, whatever the truth is," responded Judge Edward Hogshire, "right now it's just a broad brush of allegations."

"We need more time to flesh all this out," explained Minor's lawyer, Ryan C. Berry. "Give us leave to amend."

And so the judge did. But in the case of the former colleagues now dueling over development of a posh hotel for the Charlottesville Downtown Mall, this would be Minor's only victory on Friday, November 20.

Judge Hogshire dismissed most of Minor's claims including his allegation that Danielson breached a fiduciary duty and fraudulently induced Minor's participation in the now-stalled Landmark. The judge also denied Minor's effort to pierce the corporate shield to sue Danielson personally in addition to suing his company, Hotel Charlottesville LLC.

Both feuding businessmen live in greater Los Angeles, but only Danielson made the trip to the Charlottesville Circuit Courthouse, whose vast interior drew just three spectators, all reporters.

"This is an important case for me," Danielson explained afterward. "I have a wife and kids and mouths to feed."

Danielson's contract called for him to receive $900,000 in fees plus profit participation in the 101-room luxury lodging enterprise which stands today as a mere concrete skeleton, incomplete and open to the elements. Such unfinished business is the basis of Danielson's counter-suit for $5.8 million.

For Minor, a Charlottesville hometowner who amassed an internet fortune–- and still holds it, as he tends to assert via pleading and email–- this is a case about fraud. Or it was until Friday with Judge Hogshire's ruling.

"This litigation is incredibly costly, and costly to the city," said the judge. "It's a lawyer's dream. It's a nightmare for the rest of us."

Hogshire also demanded that both parties come up with an arbitration plan, something the contract between the litigants appears to demand. Minor has been fighting arbitration, but now left with a lone surviving tort claim for breach of contract, it appears the judge is going to insist.

"If the case looks, feels, and smells like a contract," said Hogshire, "then it ought to be taken up in arbitration."

Alleging that Danielson deceived him with a bogus construction budget and overstated his own credentials, Minor filed the case February 11 and then amended it nine days later to add the lender–- which separately claims Minor defaulted on the $23.7 million loan–- as a defendant.

"I'm taking you at face value that new things have come up," Hogshire said to Minor's side while granting 21 days to file an amended bill of complaint and setting a hearing date in February.

After the ruling, a reporter hoped to clarify Minor's position toward the stalled Landmark. On one hand, Minor asserts in a recent interview that he'll finish the hotel. Yet his suit seeks extrication from all project obligations. So which is it?

Minor's lawyer Berry, an associate in the Northern Virginia office of DLA Piper, referred questions to the case's L.A.-based partner, Betty Shumener, who says that fraud claims and claims against Danielson as an individual will surely be part of the amended complaint she plans to file by December 11.

"We will not the drop the tort claims," says Shumener. "They're all coming back, and they're coming back against Mr. Danielson."

Shumener also disagrees with any notion that Minor's request to be absolved of the project's debts and leases conflicts with his stated desire to finish the hotel. "Those are two entirely different things," she says.

Whoever takes charge of the unfinished Landmark, the judge didn't seem thrilled with what's been accomplished after nine months of litigation.

"You've got a big empty shell down there on the Mall, a big eyesore," said the judge.

"I think that's a good place for the arbitration," replied Danielson's lawyer, C. Connor Crook. "Right there on the first floor."

–updated 4:20pm with information from previously unreachable Shumener

23 comments

To those that chose to engage Gasbag, you are only pushing his delusional buttons which he wants you to push. His 24/7 ranting is doing nothing for his impersonating personality until you chose to take the bate. Let him go fall asleep in court and dream about a life that should have been.

quote: "To those that chose to engage Gasbag..."

Like you just did.

You suggest others don't do what you just did. That's the second funniest thing ever posted on the Internet! :)

A life that should have been... that's actually got a ring of truth to it. I always wanted to be the guy who advertised for Dell computers. I had the "Hey Dude, you're getting a Dell!" memorized. But, no, they had to select Benjamin Curtis who ended up embarrasing Dell with his drug arrest.

Closer to home though, I never could accomplish my other dream either. The local Democrats always had a better plan in place. They have a bad habit of always having a better plan. If you want a second opinion on this, just ask Dave Duncan, Russell Marshall or Mike Baird. None of them were ever good enough for the Democrats either.

My bad! I am ranting again!

Halsey is having the same effect as Son of Sam..you are correct ----let's forget the sickly boy....he is in dire need of help and dumb enough to not recognize it.....meanwhile, his beloved "hometown" is suffering because of his ego...a real humanitarian.

Halsey is pinned down under a system-regime-world order that has rewarded him beyond his capacity to deploy ungodly power over fellow mortals properly. But that is as it always will be in the land of feudalism allied with finance capitalism. Disney has long had a theme park in Virginia.

Don't believe it was his vision.....

Mr/Mrs?miss timetomoveon, you think I am Halsey Minor?

That's the funniest thing ever posted on the Internet!! :)

Very nice sentiments but HM is most likely a fallen soul. He is bitter for many reasons (mostly dealing with things in his life many years ago one would suspect). Not likely that he can "see the light" but there is always hope (I guess).

Judging by his email to Hawes HM is about ready to get hit with another restraining order and doesn't sound very happy or peaceful.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/22769794/Halsey-Minor-Bizarro-Email

The city will NEVER finish this hotel full of Gas. The hotel will be auctioned off by the FDIC and completed by someone who will get it for next to nothing. The Silverdome was sold at auction for just over 500k- it was a finished 70k stadium albeit in Detroit.

Minor might lead a group who will buy it and then finish it but I hope not. He seems not to finish things these days.

I like Judge Hogshire, he's a no nonsence judge, think he smells nonsense here.

I believe the FDIC owns the loan and has ever since Silverton Bank in Atlanta went belly up (largest failure in Georgia history) and stopped funding. Minor's part is already funded. It is the bank that got taken over by the FDIC and not Minor.

What this report leaves out is the Motion to Compel in Atlanta that states that the bank has steadfastly refused to turn over evidence to move the trial forward and that Minor is now asking for the Bank/FDIC to be held in contempt of court. This is the second such motion and the first one granted was ignored by the Bank. Funny how the little details never make it into the Hook's convenient yet exciting version of the Truth.

Mr. Crook sure is a sharp dresser --like the stripped bowtie/shirt combo --and he's cute too, think there may be a larger turnout next time he's in court, be sure to let us girls know, in advance.

What county?

So how does the arithmetic work on this deal? Minor has put in $x, the bank has put in $y. Neither has put in the total planned. The bank is defunct. Even if there were no lawsuits, the project would need more financing. Even if Minor put in everything he originally planned and the budget stayed the same, the project would need more financing.

In the very similar case in Milwaukee (on Water Street, with the very same bank accused of just about the same thing), the developer asked the court to put the project in receivership.
http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/business/49108586.html

Everyone zipped up their purses at the same time and started demanding the other guy pay.

Who owns this thing anyway, Minor or the FDIC? Or some other entity?

I still say that if he wants any credibility he needs to put his money where his mouth is. He needs to escrow cash in the amounts of all the money he is being sued for with his lawyer and allow a person from the press to see it. THEN I will believe that it is not about cashflow.

If this happened to other people around here they would get the benefit of the doubt. This guy doesn't have an earned track record.

He is the one that wanted the hotel to be his names legacy. Too bad he may end up being known as the guy that didn't give a crap that people had to look at this eyesore while he squabbled.

If it were me I would have asked the county to ask the judge to get this on the front burner in the interest of the city and get this project moving. Either that or emminent domain it as blight and sell it to the highest bidder who will complete it. (ad sinceHaslsey is so rich he could buy it back and finish it.) (and still sue)

Dear Halsey,

We all want to be happy, and I'm sure you do too, and maybe you are, but maybe not--if the latter is the case, it's not too late to start today and turn a new page in your life. Luckily, you appear to have the means to do that. We are not remembered by the things we acquired in our lifetime, but by our words and deeds. You have the potential, and the means, to do great good, to be a hero for young people, who suffer from a dearth of individuals to look up to. Perhaps your complaints are justified, but at some point they must be a waste of your time and money. Life's greatest benefit, in my book, is the time to pursue a skillful life, fueled by service to others. But, how many people do you know that actually live a skillful life, not distracted by deeds that lead to guilt and remorse, or away from the ability to concentrate. Concentration is perhaps the most underrated virtue on the path to happiness and insight.

Today is a new day, may you find peace and happiness, and leave this world a better place.

Sincerely,

A friend on life's path

I didn't say Halsey couldn't do this, just that he might not want to spend the rest of his life, however long or short, in this manner.

Robert Frost (1874ââ?¬â??1963)

1. The Road Not Taken

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I�
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

You people crack me up! Anybody who feels wronged is a fallen soul and bitter.

Halsey Minor is a taxpayer. He has the right to use the court system if he feels wronged. Just like I did many times. And just like I will continue to do so. And he will too.

Get over yourselves. Halsey Minor can buy and sell each of you about 100,000 times each.

of course we should all get over ourselves because Halsey (GSOE) can buy and sell each of us (Merrill Lynch, Sotheby's, Christie's, City of Hialeah, SFG, US Government, etc) and he loses them all. The wrong person should get over himself.

Nice try but HM is finished.......

His name is Crook. Really?

No, I don't think he's losing sleep, but, I'll bet he'd prefer adulation to abhorrence. People have short memories; I still think he could make the remainder of his life more of a positive example-- if he'd drop these suits, and work out a way to finish the hotel, which would make many people very happy and grateful for his original vision.

Let's stop and think about this for a minute... does anybody really believe that Halsey Minor cares what anybody in Charlottesville thinks of him? I doubt seriously if he loses any sleep over all these insults lodged at him in a local blog.

Furthermore, instead of going after The Hook, he should be issuing a few subpoenas to obtain the IP addresses and identities of some of the people who are posting so much lible about him in some of these hotel threads, IMHO! :)

quote: Minor asserts in a recent interview that he’ll finish the hotel. Yet his suit seeks extrication from all project obligations. So which is it?

I think Minor wants out of all current agreements and contracts. He will then start fresh somehow.

If he doesn't, I suspect the city taxpayers will end up finishing the hotel. Again.