Round One to Ginn in ILSA Lawsuit against Ginn-LA West End, Limited

Florida Middle District Federal Judge Marcia Howard Dismisses Plaintiffs’ ILSA claims on venue. Suit should be tried in Bahamas she says.

Palm Coast, FL – April 3, 2010 – In a March 31, 2010 ruling, Florida Middle District Federal Judge Marcia Howard dismissed on venue the Liles v. Ginn-LA West End, Limited lawsuit charging Ginn and others with violating the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act (ILSA). She granted defendants Ginn-LA West End, Limited, Ginn Financial Services, Stewart Title Guaranty Company, Simon L. Conway, Picket Fence Realty, Robert F. Masters II, and Edward R. (Bobby) Ginn III’s Motion to Dismiss. The complaint, she says, should be filed in the Bahamas.
Plaintiffs purchased lots in Ginn sur Mer, a planned $4.8 Billion development on Grand Bahama. For large developments such as Ginn sur Mer, a detailed HUD Property Report is required. Under ILSA, developers must provide a copy of the Property Report to buyers before they sign a sales contract.
So round one goes to Ginn. But Howard’s ruling dealt only with venue. She did not rule on the merits of the complaint. Plaintiffs now have two options. They can file the complaint in the Bahamas or appeal Wednesday’s ruling. If an appeal fails, they still have the option of filing in the Bahamas.
Dana Ballinger is the plaintiffs’ attorney as well as one of the plaintiffs. She also represents plaintiffs in another lawsuit against Ginn, also related to the Ginn sur Mer development. That complaint (Webb v Ginn Financial Services et al), alleges defendants Ginn Financial Services, Bahamas Sales Associate LLC, Ginn-LA West End Limited, The Ginn Companies LLC, Ginn Development Company LLC, Robert F. Masters II, Edward R. (Bobby) Ginn III, William McCraken and Mark E. Cook engaged in appraisal fraud to establish lot prices far in excess of comparable lots nearby. Ballinger also represents two individual Ginn sur Mer lot owners in their defense against foreclosure proceedings brought against them by Ginn Financial Services.
3 replies
  1. John
    John says:

    Round 0.25

    This ruling is nothing. Having it changed to a different jurisdiction was the right call. This is the one suit that I can’t wait to see unravel. I have no personal stake in the outcome but this particular case has the makings of jail time for the accused. The testimony from the honorable appraisers that declined the work will go a long, long way in winning this case for the plaintiff’s. I hope it does, I would love nothing more than to see some of these guys fry for their greed.

  2. Joe
    Joe says:


    Too many of these guys got away with too much.If Ginn, the biggest fraud of all can’t be brought down….then our system is broken beyond any measure. I had my own peronal nightmare in Northern Florida, same thingwith ILSA among many claims, but due to lawyer costs simply had to walk away and accept the hit. My take on Florida and how it protects it developers by turning a blind eye is that I will never invest there again…..and never advise anyone else to invest there. The incentives have disappeared for any outside investors. Sure they are giving property away but the taxes are still too high, the jobless rate is sky high, and the ability of local governance and willing real estate professionals to keep their giddiness in check when looking at extra tax base and commissions….just sad. Florida got what it had coming to it. You reap what you sow, chase Ginn until Ginn Mer Sur is no longer.

  3. Toby
    Toby says:

    Reply to Joe

    I disagree with your assessment of the FL market. Prices are now very affordable with good upside potential. I see several investors and home buyers finding great buys in today’s market. Yes, the unemployment rate is high. We need more good jobs. But Flagler County continues to grow while other Florida counties lose population. That’s a good sign.

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