Thain's bane? Minor hit with harassment order

news-minornorrisHalsey Minor speaks in happier times.
FILE PHOTO BY JAY KUHLMANN

Halsey Minor says he was merely trying to warn Bank of America that it was getting a bad deal when it agreed to buy troubled investment bank Merrill Lynch, the firm that's now audaciously demanding that Minor return the $24 million or so that he borrowed. But in the spiral of litigation that followed that warning, he's now been hit with a court order that would prevent him from harassing parties to the litigation and those who would try to collect on his allegedly in-default personal loan.

The Hook says it's allegedly in-default because, Minor assures us, we may be next in line for a lawsuit after having, for a few hours at least, once portrayed another of Minor's loans–- for the trouble-plagued Landmark Hotel –-as "in default." Minor, naturally, contests the bank's portrayal of the situation and alleges that Silverton bank and the developer, Lee Danielson, both of whom he has sued, are the bad guys.

Pointing out bad guys, he says, is all he was trying to do last winter by warning Bank of America about the ways of Merrill's boss.

"You have no idea what John Thain has done," Minor warned BoA CEO Ken Lewis back in a December 30 email– weeks before the public realized that Thain was trying to sprinkle billions in bonuses on Merrill executives and that the taxpayers would be asked to pony up another $20 million to cover Merrill's toxic assets.

"It was sent before the closing," says Minor of his email to Lewis. "I look like a frigging clairvoyant."

Indeed, Minor is far from alone in alleging that the Charlotte-based BoA erred by buying Thain's money-losing Merrill. Things got worse in the New Year when Thain's bonus sprinkling became the topic of widespread outrage. And as a major new story in the Atlantic points out, the federal government strong-armed BoA into finishing the deal.

So, in denouncing Thain's company, Minor wasn't alone. But at the end of the court order, he is.

"Defendant Halsey McLean Minor is directed not to threaten, harass, or intimidate" anyone trying to collect the $24 million he borrowed from Merrill, reads the August 10 order signed by Judge Sidney H. Stein.

"It must be a pattern of harassment," concludes legal analyst David Heilberg.

Not so, says Minor, insisting that he merely sent a couple of emails to BoA big-wigs and also called his broker a "f–-ing a–h–-." The broker incited the mercurial Minor by allegedly verbally confirming that Minor had extra time to pay back the millions and then later caving to bank pressure by signing an affidavit saying otherwise.

"I felt totally betrayed and royally pissed," says Minor, urging a reporter to contact the broker for confirmation. The broker, Peter Arbogast, did not return phone calls by post time.

In his countersuit, Minor builds his case on that allegation that he arranged an oral modification of the loan's payback terms. But in a late-May motion for summary judgment, Merrill blasts the very idea–- and even slams Minor's argument for reading "like an answer to a law school exam, where the writer is asked to come up with a theory using every known defense in contract law." (The writer, Minor's New York attorney Lee Weiss, did not return a phone message.)

With Minor facing and waging litigation and/or liens on numerous fronts– from contractors, from auction houses, from Merrill, and from Danielson– it can be hard to understand whether he's a profligate bully or a Cassandra-like sage. In the case of Merrill, which appears to be costing taxpayers well over $100 billion, some might see a little of both.

"John Thain is killing your firm as I told you," he emailed BoA bossman Lewis again in early January. "As a result of John Thain, you guys are going [to] owe me a ton of money after suing me over his issues."

Since then, it's been shown that Thain's bonuses were pre-approved by BoA. Meanwhile, legal analyst Heilberg, is struck by the rarity of such a restraining order.

"That's so unusual," says Heilberg. "I can't imagine someone running to court because someone called them a name once. If that's all it took to get a restraining order, nobody would ever be able to get a divorce."

–last updated 6:33pm, Tuesday, September 8

37 comments

Come on people, take a look at the photo. Our Mayor Dave looked skeptical from the get go. One wonders why Mayor Dave didn't warn the rest of us about "Halsey Minor's huge failed erection"!

Can we get back on topic? Apparently, he borrowed 24 million against an account he had with Merrill Lynch. The money in the account(the collateral)has been moved or has gone up in smoke like so many investments in the past couple years. Merrill would like their money back, according to the terms agreed to by both parties. He hasn't paid Merrill. Merrill sues Minor.

I find it hard to believe he thought an oral agreement could change the terms of the loan. Did he send a letter to Merrill confirming those changes? I would have. Courts really seem to like contemporaneous details like that.

Isn't it amazing that everyone this guy comes in contact with is a swindler, incompetent, or a "f------ a--h---"? Poor Halsey. It couldn't possibly be him.

I am just wondering. How do you two know that Minor and Thain do not contribute heavily to charity? What the hell does Kenya have to do with this story and who are you to tell someone else how to manage their affairs? If you are so concerned about Kenya take something from your own families before asking someone else to support your cause(s).

"Concern for poor people is a character flaw." No, handing out pennies every year to people of color and giving out American grown crops every few years are signs of character flaws. Why not use those pennies to build a couple of desalinazation plants so that the Kenyans can have water inspite of drought? And why not open American markets to Kenyan farmers? I am always amazed when people start telling other people how to spend their money. What charity does any of you contribute to and how far do you think that $25 will go?
I'm not surprised with the judge's actions. If he aligns himself with those in favor (BoA) he can go a long way. It doesn't take much to be on the inside and get billions and it doesn't take much to be on the outside and lose millions.

Why does it matter that the people are "of color" or not? They are starving to death and you make note of the color of their skin? Why is that?

quote: "...blogging against democrats..."

You have to admit, they certainly present themselves as the easiest target. Everybody in the country is cutting back, reducing budgets, laying off employees, etc... everybody except the City of Charlottesville of course. They they have an endless stream of money and write as many checks as they want for as much as they want, as often as they want! Just wait until they try to write a check and revive the stalled construction of the hotel on the new brick. I hope that's when you will finally see an actual revolt take place by city taxpayers. But probably not... most city residents are spineless. This is why the Democrats get by with as much as they do.

GSOE, I don't see many county residents demanding that before their water and sewer rates skyrocket that their elected officials find out what the Nature Conservancy Water Plan, that they all profess to support, will cost their ratepayers. Apparently their attitude is build it at any cost to quote Mr.Martin " this is going to be painful" but the BoS doesn't seem to care. Why aren't county conservatives and tax hawks up in arms? At least after much prodding and outcry by City Residents the CC is demanding accurate costs and a study of dredging which could possibly save tens of millions of dollars for City and County residents according to Mayor Norris

@just wondering.... When was the last time you heard people suggesting giving free stuff ot Breat Britain, European Union, Australia, Sweden, etc.?

Cville Eye, we are so lucky to have a citizen with the knowledge, intelligence, and motivation to hold the officials feet to the fire.
I agree, many Democrats I speak to are upset with the cavalier manner Council is spending money and the continual misdirection coming from the City Manager's office and Community Development Dept. Council needs someone willing to make some serious changes in who is managing the City if we want to see the interests of City residents upheld and not run over by the County. I have heard in negotiations with the County the City is the weak sister.

If we had more citizens speaking out as you have we would have a better chance of government that does act in the public interest.

"

Discussion: There are several projects that have been budgeted for some time in the
Capital Improvements Program that are related to the Mall and Downtown that are ready to
start but do not have enough funding to be completed. We would like to use a portion of
the remaining mall project dollars to complete these projects. They are as follows:

Ã?Æ? 2nd
Street, East ââ?¬â?? This is the project to complete the street adjacent to the Hotel. We
had been working with the developer to get them to do a good portion of the work
and due to the circumstances of the hotel that work is not being completed.
However, we cannot leave this street in the condition that it is in and continue to
impact the businesses in the way that they are currently impacted. Barton Malow has
prepared estimates and is ready to begin the work to complete this section of the
street between the Mall and Water Street. Estimates are approximately $800,000 due
to all the work including utility work that must be done. We have a commitment and
a bond from the developer to fund $200,000 of the project, but that money will not
be available until either the completion of the Hotel or June of 2014. There is
currently in the budget $208,000 for this project. We need to move $600,000 to complete the 2nd
Street work."
From the background material of the July 20, 2009 Council Agenda. I don't know either. Too bad you're not on Council. You could have brought this up when the behind-closed-door discussions were going on. These are the kinds things our city doesn't do a good job with. It seems the tax payer will be picking up the tab for undergrounding utilities, etc. I guess the glamour of the new hotel sent Council back to homeless issues out of feeling guilty that some people may be occupying lush hotel rooms while others are sleeping on the streets. Of course, after every public-private partnership, city staff always says "We've learned a lot and we have a library on the premises that deals precisely with business deals of this kind, so the next project will be better for the tax payer."
Now the city has some tangled deal with RWSA over running sewer lines through McIntire Park.

Cville eye

As I understand it, it's 2 different things. The Merrill Lynch thing is an alleged default on a loan collateralized by a personal Merrill account.

The Silverton loan was a construction loan set up, apparently by Lee Danielson in his role as erstwhile developer of the hotel, to pay for the erection(I had to fit that in - that's what she said) of the hotel.

It may well be the case, but Danielson said that Silverton was making the installments when it wasn't, so I wonder what was Danielson's connection with Silverton.

Get a hobby besides blogging against democrats CE. Seriously go outside and enjoy the clean air. It will be good for you.

Sorry - last time I'll comment on this. The Merrill thing has nothing to do with the hotel. And I very well could be wrong, but I've heard nothing about fraudulent(that would be criminal, no?)allegations of payments that were in fact never made. I gather(again, I could be wrong) that Danielson had used a subsidiary of Silverton in the past(I can't remember the name, Specialty Something?), so it's not a great surprise that he would go back to a financing company that he had a successful relationship with previously.

After rereading that paragraph, it sounds like I'm letting Danielson off the hook - I'm not. There's plenty of blame to go around.

The real, still unreported scandal is why the city apparently didn't require a completion bond for a project of this size and importance. Absolutely unbelievable.

This "news" story has nothing to do with the Landmark Hotel. The hook has a hard on for Halsey. I kinda hope he does sue your ass because this story is crap.

Did anyone notice the NYT's story today about all the children dying in Kenya because of a multi year drought and totally clueless government response ? I wish all these rich guys would take a look around and start serving the world instead of suing each other.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/08/world/africa/08kenya.html?_r=1&hp

NANCY!!! Are you some sort of *GASP* SOCIALIST?!?!

Life is about maximizing pleasure for yourself and your immediate family. Concern for poor people is a character flaw.

Halsey Minor and John Thain, despite any of their problems, are to be admired because they have MONEY. Haven't you learned that yet?

meant Samuel Miller candidates on WINA Rob Schilling show.

Yes, Digressor!! You go, girl!! To heck with the poor, starving and weak. Everyone for themselves, get as much as you can and let God sort 'em out!

Halsey Minor has shown himself to be a charitable soul! All those lawsuits are supporting the legal profession, helping the economy and eventually that money will "trickle down" to Kenya.

"Yes, Digressor!! You go, girl!! To heck with the poor, starving and weak. Everyone for themselves, get as much as you can and let God sort ââ?¬Ë?em out!"

Well said. Quit trolling.

Minor's half cooked hotel on the Mall appears dangerous to me. There are flapping pieces of metal hanging over the side street and God forbid a hurricane appears. Seems that plywood would fly like frisbies over the downtown!

I thought Halsey borrowed his money from Silverton Bank of Atlanta, now defunct, and that Bank of America bought Merrill Lynch and all of its assetss good or bad. The question is why would a judge intervene between two parties of a lawsuit when the matter may well go into to mediation anyway? Something smells here and it isn't a Halsey.

Cville Eye, apparently you are ignorant of the Marshall Plan? You could probably educate yourself with Wikipedia about this massive aid program. Once you do educate yourself, perhaps then you will have earned the right to consider yourself knowledgeable.

Despite your ignorance of history, your noting of the skin color of these particular people in need of assistance is puzzling and you still have not explained it.

And perhaps you could explain what your point is? I've shown where the US provided massive assistance to the countries you mention, perhaps now you should explain what you are driving at by pointing out that the suffering people are "of color" and erroneously suggesting that western countries have not rec'd US aid.

Thanks!

I have to agree with Betty Mooney when she says that some members of Council are doing a much better job, a job that I haven't seen since David Toscano was on Council. I hesitate to include Kevin Lynch because I don't recall his questioning city expenditures until at the end of his second term. Lynch has since then done a remarkable job of questioning city vs. county interests since then. I think he has also learned some humility as a public servant and would be glad to support him for a third term.

@JustLookingforJustice, what did I say that wasn't true? I'm not asking what did I say that you don't want to hear. I must have struck a nerve. Golly, gee. Why would I blog about republicans since they affect nothing in local politics? Besides, I've been outside several times today talking to my democratic neighborhs who complain to me about city council's actions every two weeks. I wouldn't be able to complain about democrats if they weren't playing party politics and just simply looked out for the locals. Maybe if they didn't spend so much money without thinking any better than they do thereby creating so many problems down the road. Maybe if they hadn't started deciding what it is they want to do (like redesign McIntire Park) then setting up some kind of committe of "stakeholders" to tell them how to do it? Maybe you'd like to explain to me why the democratic parks committee is pulling the softball team trick all over again by entertaining the botanical garden people and telling the golfers to wait until some kind of process is set up before listening to them? If I go outside I have to listen to that from my "dyed in the wool" democratic neighbor. Hmmmmmm? I will continue to complain about bad government, I don't care who's providing it. BTW, what have you contributed lately, that is locally?

GSOE, I don't think after observing City Council meetings for the last 2 years one could call city residents "spineless". Both the water issue and McIntire Park have generated a huge outpouring of public sentiment to get Council to reconsider the water plan created by the Nature Conservancy, and falling apart for lack of any accurate supporting costs or data, and the decision to build a road through the park and a Y in the park.

It is interesting to me after listening to the candidates seeking to replace Sally Thomas in the Samuel Miller District,on WINA (Coy Barefoot show), that not one county resident called in to complain about the candidates support for a water plan with no known costs, dependent on a pipeline with no known route, and the potential to have a significant financial burden on all county residents that pay water and sewer bills.

GSOE how do you explain the lack of public concern by county residents on this issue ?

I am waiting for a "revolt" by county residents similar to what we have seem in the city

If you need evidence of the activism of city residents on this issue please visit our web-site Cvillewater.info and read this article documenting the involvement of 6 neighborhood associations.

http://www.readthehook.com/blog/index.php/2008/11/03/neighborhoods-to-pr...

I have yet to see neighborhoods in the county become involved as a group to support a change of direction on any issue before the BOS, but feel the huge financial and environmental implications of all new water infrastructure ( dam and pipeline), without any known costs, warrants such action --could you start a group in the county --possible name

"Affordable Water "

We NEED Danielson to come back to Charlottesville, rejoin Farmington and make everything all right just like he did with Collin Rolhf. Hold on. Wait a minute. That ended in lawsuits, still empty buildings, bankrupt businesses and subcontractors and Danielson scorching as much earth as one hard drinking man can do.

It does not take a lot of research (you listening theHook) to figure out that the Merrill Loan collateral is still in place. What these ignorant journalists read but didn't tell you in the suit is that Merrill swept Mr Minors account and put a $999,999,999.99 hold on his account several days before ML sold themselves to BofA and 3 MONTHS BEFORE HIS LOAN WAS DUE.

I would love to know more about the the Hook's legal analyst David Heilberg. He came from CNN right? Exactly what year did he flunk out of law school and take the prestigious position of Legal Analyst for the Hook. He must be stoked.

Basically, everyone in Charlottesville who isn't an a__hole is hoping and praying Minor finally sues you so we can finally stop ourselves from reading your degenerate rag. Your like crack and you need to be flushed down the toilet so that a better, cleaner reformed Charlottesville can go on.

Just in time Betty. I was just beginning to scrounge around looking for the podcast for the Barefoot show.

One thing leads to another, ya know. It appears to me the whole of Downtown has been made to suffer in viewing an eyesore because of the "inventor".
Unsure all is safe with the structure, so if the wind blows I'm heading for cover. It appears he can't get it right and in many ways.

re: "why would a judge intervene between two parties of a lawsuit"

Kind of like wondering why an umpire would intervene in a force out at first.

Actually, it's nothing like that at all.

Dear Mr. Minor....(Danielson Is God comment)......you are loosing it. So far you have blamed everyone on the planet but yourself.....your technique is now transparent....you use people that are vulnerable and throw them "under the bus" to take the heat off of yourself.....the only empty building from the past partnership of Rolph/Danielson is the one you own....The Downtown Grill is doing fine, the movie theater provides lots of people with great entertainment and the development of the mall built off of those two being pioneers in the city.....I guess you learned nothing from the Federal Restraining Order placed on you for harrassing those involved with your "Merrill Lynch" lawsuit.....I was born and raised here...not a good idea to call most people in Cville "a..holes".

"...the development of the mall built off of those two being pioneers in the city..." Please explain what they were pioneers of.

I guess Cville Eye wasn't around when the "mall" was just a ghost town and no one had either the vision or the money or both until some major projects were done that revived the mall.....not too many people dispute that....no one else had the "cajones" to do it except Danielson 's vision. By the way Cville Eye, are you an a..hole like Minor says or one who wants to sue on a moments notice with nothing but air to support the claims? wow what a wonderful native son Minor has turned out to be....

"I guess Cville Eye wasn’t around when the ââ?¬Å?mall” was just a ghost town..." You'd better bet I was. Downtowns all over the county were ghost towns at night, so why wouldn't Charlottesville;s. The stores closed every night but Friday somewhere between 5 and 6 PM. So why would anyone want to be downtown at night? Then, BEFORE the "pioneers," restaurants such as C&O and The Hardware Store Restaurant opened at night and more people came downtown.
"...until some major projects were done that revived the mall..." Revived from what? It was dead at night before the Mall was put in and was dead after. Just as dead as it pretty much is now at night except on Fridays. What major projects are you saying "revived" the mall? Before the skating rink, the party on the Corner stretched from the University down to the C&O through Maxx, Trax, Miller's and Court Square Tavern. It was called "The Crawl." TCan't say that now. If you want to see a glimpse of the bustling downtown before the Mall, take a gander a the photos in the back stairway of the downtown CVS.
"...not too many people dispute that..." Not too many current residents' memories go back twenty years. Also, I have found that the only people who are saying that downtown was a ghost town are those who have recently arrived and would like to take credit for some.
"By the way Cville Eye, are you an a..hole like Minor says or one who wants to sue on a moments notice with nothing but air to support the claims?" Maybe my initials are "H.M."

"Susan Smith" (if that is in fact your name) THIS is Halsey. I write under my own name. Always have and always will. Check the record. What have you ever tried to do for the city? Do you know what I do?

Its pathetic I so lower myself to even engage you but pardon my French, from what i can tell you do nothing for anyone but gripe about everyone and you're really just a real jerk or, in the new parlance for nasty people like you, an a_hole.

Stop acting holier than thou and go out and do something nice you can tell us all about.

What exactly is the issue in Minor not repaying Merrill????? Is it that John Thain is a "bad" guy? or is it that he borrowed money and sold the collateral and failed to pay back Merrill???? And I also wonder why would a Federal Judge issue a restraining order eight months after a couple of emails from Minor???? Seems like Minor may have done something in the intervening months to make the Judge take notice that this guy has "lost it". And wasn't Halsey a "buddy" of Thain in that they used the same decorator to the stars Michael Smith? Wonder if Smith got paid by either of them. There is some serious arrogance floating around those boys.