Ginn Company Faces another Lawsuit

Already facing lawsuits, cash flow problems, and a credit facility default, the GINNdom faces another threat.

Palm Coast, Florida – September 17, 2008 – According to a statement released by one of the plaintiffs, a lawsuit was filed last Friday, September 12th, against Ginn Development and several of its subsidiaries by 17 owners of lots purchased from Ginn in the upscale Tesoro Preserve golf resort in Port St. Lucie, Florida. The complaint alleges several violations of Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act as well as several counts of fraudulent misrepresentation and breach of contract.
One of the plaintiffs, Hilton Wiener, set up a website and blog titled Through the site, Wiener was contacted by several other owners of property sold by Ginn. A large number of them own property now valued at a fraction of the original purchase price and feel they were duped. The common theme among the complaining investors was that the property was promoted solely as a vehicle for a quick flip and easy profit. Investors were specifically targeted.
Ginn filed a complaint claiming that Ginn owned the trademark and therefore owned the domain. They argued that Wiener’s site could be easily confused with Ginn’s numerous trademarked sites which market high end golf resorts. Ginn’s argument prevailed. Entering into a browser now transparently directs the reader to the website. Wiener and some other investors decided it was time to sue.
The first lawsuit filed against Ginn in early 2007 involved 99 Michigan investors. It alleges that the entire Ginn machine is nothing more than a huge Ponzi scheme. It was promoted as an investment vehicle, in violation of SEC regulations, and the properties were marketed to be flipped and sold at inflated prices. It is alleged that the early purchasers included Ginn insiders who flipped properties within days for inflated prices. Another suit was filed in Central Florida earlier this year on behalf of owners of property in Ginn’s Bella Collina project. It alleges violations of the Interstate Land Sales full disclosure Act (ILSA).
7 replies
  1. John Raybon
    John Raybon says:

    Home owner

    I think that these people did the same thing that people did with Land Mar in Grand Haven. Including myself which bought lots in Wild Oaks. Bought them to flip and make some fast money. But got in at the wrong time. So just buck up and get over it.If they would have sold them months before at a profit they would have been laughing at those that bought from them now. I myself got caught up in the raffling buy now and flipping game at that time. Capt. John

  2. Jan Reeger
    Jan Reeger says:

    To Mr. Raybon

    I admire your realistic and refreshing attitude. I am reminded of the adage "if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."
    My compliments to you.
    Jan Reeger

  3. BB
    BB says:

    Good on you

    I would also like to add kudos to your statement. In this world of "save me", "sue you", and "where’s the government?", it’s nice to know that there are still those who take responsibility for their own actions. My best wishes to you and your investment.

  4. Dennis
    Dennis says:

    Good on you Capt John

    Housing prices go up, and they go down, as well as stocks and bonds. That is what a market economy does. It is all based on supply and demand. Everyone should be taking responsibility for their own actions. It was O.K. for people to buy property to flip and make money, but now when they take a loss all of a sudden they are victims. The same is true for people who took adjustable rate mortgages. It is O.K. for them to enjoy the benefit of the teaser rate, but when it goes up, they become a victim. Most people who took out adjustable rate mortgages knew that their rate would increase, but planned to sell for a profit or refinance when it adjusted. It is not the governments job to protect people from themselves or their greed. Americans need to toughen up and take responsibility for themselves, or go live in a socialist country (like France).

  5. Bobb
    Bobb says:

    Right on Dennis


    This opinion is definitley one that has not been talked about during all these "lottery suits"…I mean lawsuits.

    Misery loves company, Success loves itself!

    Where are the people who bought and sold in the first half of 2005?

    Probably using that money they made to buy now when prices are 40-70% off, like a smart buyer would do!!

  6. Jack
    Jack says:

    I Agree

    Real estate is a safe long term investment. But short term is very speculative. People buy a property and when they can’t flip it and make a killing they sue. Theres no doubt in my mind that a few years down the road all these resorts will be completed and beautiful. If you can’t afford to hold on to property through the bad times its not a safe investment.


  7. Ginn Property Owner
    Ginn Property Owner says:

    Inflating Property Values

    All of your comments are very valid. However, Ginn appears to take extraordinary measures to maintain inflated property values. The appraisal done for our home mortgage application flagged a recent comp that was described as an "outlier." When I checked the comp’s address on The St Lucie Tax Appraiser website, the records showed that "Ginn-LA Ocean Tower Tesoro" purchased the home in Dec 07 from investor(s) and paid $2.6M, which was $1.35M above the tax collector’s appraised price of $1.25M. Please visit the websites for yourself:

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