Development in bankruptcy; embezzlement alleged

Full story: Asheville Citizen-Times

WOODFIN Creditors have forced the upscale residential development Versant into Chapter 11 bankruptcy and a minority partner is accusing the majority partner of embezzlement.
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1 - 20 of 28 Comments Last updated Feb 7, 2009
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Since: Jun 07

Jonesborough, TN

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#1
Feb 4, 2009
 
Welcome to America, where greed rules!
Slick Rick

Greenville, SC

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#2
Feb 4, 2009
 
Folks, you ain't seen nothing yet. "Build it and they will come." There are 3 developments on Elk Mtn. Scenic Hwy, 2 in Beaverdam, 2 in Haw Creek and one in Kenilworth (I'm sure there are others)... all with roads, drainage, elaborate infrastructures, sitting vacant with no occupied dwellings. I feel no sympathy whatsoever for these opportunistic developers who have ruined the land for GREED. Amen Sgt. Rock!
bob

Boiling Springs, SC

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#3
Feb 4, 2009
 
I guess wachovia owns it now, oh wait wells fargo took em over. And uncle sugar has handed out tarp funds to cover wells soooo maybe they will turn it into low income housing. hahaha
andy

Athens, GA

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#4
Feb 4, 2009
 
bob wrote:
And uncle sugar has handed out tarp funds to cover wells soooo maybe they will turn it into low income housing. hahaha
amazing that Obama haters chime in on this local story...what a bunch of paranoid whiners
WNC residents

Spartanburg, SC

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#5
Feb 4, 2009
 
Another example of a developer who gets to walk away and leave his mess (millions of $ in roads to nowhere) for the rest of us.
These developers are proving that they CANNOT be trusted to develop my community. Regulations and stricter ordinances are in order. Are you listening county commissioners?
Gipper

Boiling Springs, SC

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#6
Feb 4, 2009
 
bob wrote:
I guess wachovia owns it now, oh wait wells fargo took em over. And uncle sugar has handed out tarp funds to cover wells soooo maybe they will turn it into low income housing. hahaha
Are you still whining about your homeless relative the government won't take off your hands? Schmuck.
ha ha

Conover, NC

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#7
Feb 4, 2009
 
This is exactly the kind of development that is ruining asheville. Turning it from a quaint little town to south florida in the mountains...full of strip malls and gated communities. I have no sympathy for the speculators who created this crap, but it is sad for the masons, roofers and plumbers who ultimately get crapped on by the economy. Ole sgt rock is right. The greed is what is running/ruining america. There is something called sustainability that we as a world must look into. enjoy the snow day
Bill

Boiling Springs, SC

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#8
Feb 4, 2009
 
I recall the area as quite nice but getting to it and all around was sort of dumpy with old mobile homes and shacks all over the place. It's no surprise to me that people didn't want that to be the way home when paying a half mil or more for the land. The road leading up to Versant may not have doomed it but it helped. A real dump of an area.
A Neighbor in Asheville

Asheville, NC

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#10
Feb 4, 2009
 
Build and they will come ... BULL! This is speculation to the max ... and what we need to outlaw in Buncombe County.

These developers were ruled by greed, destroyed our mountains, clear-cut our trees and forests ... and we're left to deal with the mess - and to add insult to injury ... they've already devastated our landscapes. How many years will it take to recover from that?

Who is in there fighting for the rights of the community? Why should the scales be so tilted in favor of the developers? And for goodness sake ... why has no one introduced legislation to require developers to post performance bonds??? At least those who suffer damages from their shoddy methods (erosion, run-off, environmental impact, etc.) can have a way of being compensated without having to hire an attorney to the tune of $30-40K?

Wake up Council and Commissioners ... it's time to put the tax-paying citizens before the greedy, untrustworthy developers! Preserve our community … and stop selling us out to the highest bidders.
CJOHNNY

Boiling Springs, SC

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#11
Feb 4, 2009
 
The council and the commisioners saw only one thing. More tax money to piss off on some more consulting co. in Neb. and build more parks. How many more damn parks is it goin to take before they wake up and smell the rose's?
blago dascal govt

Hendersonville, NC

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#12
Feb 4, 2009
 
Harrison's motion says Richey:

Embezzled from the project, including taking more than $1 million under the guise of “future commissions” without any agreement that called for commissions.

Unilaterally raised his pay to more than three times the agreed upon amount.

Took out a $5 million life insurance policy on Harrison, with Richey as the beneficiary, without Harrison's knowledge.

Used Versant funds “to take multiple extended and exorbitant personal vacations” and had Versant employees do personal errands such as picking up his children from school.

Failed to pursue leads for a sale of the property except to a potential buyer that would allow him to keep his job.

Moon said during Tuesday's court hearing that Richey had increased his pay from $75,000 a year to $250,000 and that he took a vacation to Alaska last summer with Versant money.

Harrison declined comment after the hearing. Richey could not be reached for comment.

Moon said he knew of no criminal charges or investigation in the matter. Woodfin police Chief Brett Holloman said his department is not investigating.
paul varner

United States

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#13
Feb 4, 2009
 
sounds like a loser to me

The problems , folks, with living in a free society.

There are alternatives, albeit not necessarily "tasteful" to our "free society pallets".

Freedom means little without parameters. These scallywags had too much freedom, and not enough parameters.

Sometimes you just need Dirty Harry.
Ellington hotel

Hendersonville, NC

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#14
Feb 4, 2009
 

Judged:

1

CHAPEL HILL - Wayne Ellington caught fire again last night and shot North Carolina past Maryland for its sixth consecutive ACC victory.

Ellington's smooth shooting touch ignited a barrage of 3-point shots that produced a 108-91 win in the Smith Center. Ellington made 7 of 9 3-point attempts and scored 34 points, his season high and two shy of his career high set last season.

UNC made 16 3-pointers, its season high, in improving to 20-2 overall and 6-2 in the conference. UNC reached 20 wins under Coach Roy Williams for the fifth consecutive season.

Ellington made 12 of 15 shots from the floor overall. He made his first two shots, both from outside, and got as hot as he did on Jan. 17 when he made 7 of 11 3-point attempts against Miami while scoring 23 points.
bailouts suck

United States

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#15
Feb 4, 2009
 
paul varner wrote:
sounds like a loser to me
The problems , folks, with living in a free society.
There are alternatives, albeit not necessarily "tasteful" to our "free society pallets".
Freedom means little without parameters. These scallywags had too much freedom, and not enough parameters.
Sometimes you just need Dirty Harry.
The government is supposed to be the "Dirty Harry".... wait they are in the pockets of the Chamber of Commerce and other organizations.

Governments main duty is to function as rule maker and umpire (policeman). The constitution says: "Provide for the common defense and promote the general welfare."
Ghost Dog

Springfield, MO

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#16
Feb 4, 2009
 

Judged:

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Naw! A developer who is a crook, say it ain't so! Isn't that a requirement to get into the developement business?
Jake

Asheville, NC

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#17
Feb 4, 2009
 
ha ha wrote:
This is exactly the kind of development that is ruining asheville. Turning it from a quaint little town to south florida in the mountains...full of strip malls and gated communities. I have no sympathy for the speculators who created this crap, but it is sad for the masons, roofers and plumbers who ultimately get crapped on by the economy. Ole sgt rock is right. The greed is what is running/ruining america. There is something called sustainability that we as a world must look into. enjoy the snow day
I agree with you about the gullible speculators who bought into the pyramid schemes. I also feel sympathy for the masons, roofers, and plumbers who are legal Americans. However, I have no sympathy for those that are illegally here. Hopefully, those criminals will leave for greener pastures.

Since: Feb 07

Ashevegas

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#18
Feb 4, 2009
 
does anyone know what is going on with that Kenilworth development. There are lots of unfinished roads there too, and no real activity. After months of copious sediment every time it rained washing into Kenilworth Lake, now it looks like the residents will have to foot the bill for dredging, and the developers move on to lay waste elsewhere.
YUP

Weaverville, NC

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#19
Feb 4, 2009
 
Sgt Rock wrote:
Welcome to America, where greed rules!
How unfortunate that is true Sarge...the number one reason America is in the mess it is in
Star

Asheville, NC

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#20
Feb 4, 2009
 
I think the big problem is that you have people who do not live here, will never live here and have no vested interest in creating something that will benefit the surrounding communities. When you have individuals who are just looking to make money, regardless of the cost to others, and no ties to the local economy, you are going to continue to see this type situation. You can bet that if anyone involved in this project truly planned to live in the community they planned on creating, every regulation would've been followed to the letter. WNC needs to say no to developer that do not live here.
Spartacus

Banner Elk, NC

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#21
Feb 4, 2009
 
A Neighbor in Asheville wrote:
Build and they will come ... BULL! This is speculation to the max ... and what we need to outlaw in Buncombe County.
These developers were ruled by greed, destroyed our mountains, clear-cut our trees and forests ... and we're left to deal with the mess - and to add insult to injury ... they've already devastated our landscapes. How many years will it take to recover from that?
the developer did have to provide a performance bond, that is what a irrevocable letter of credit is...the article pointed this out specifically. The Town collected nearly $4 million dollars of the developers money to finish the project at the developer's expense. It might be smart to read all the way to the end of the story before you type these things.
Who is in there fighting for the rights of the community? Why should the scales be so tilted in favor of the developers? And for goodness sake ... why has no one introduced legislation to require developers to post performance bonds??? At least those who suffer damages from their shoddy methods (erosion, run-off, environmental impact, etc.) can have a way of being compensated without having to hire an attorney to the tune of $30-40K?
Wake up Council and Commissioners ... it's time to put the tax-paying citizens before the greedy, untrustworthy developers! Preserve our community … and stop selling us out to the highest bidders.
the article points out that the Town did require an irrevocable letter of credit which is the very same thing as a performance bond. the amount of the LOC was nearly $4,000,0000 to finish improvements at the site. This was all mentioned in the article...

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