Updates from the Field

November 2nd, also known as Walter’s Wednesday Morning Wake Up Call

Be sure to get your update of the downtown Oakland situation here, before you head out to attend Walter’s & Maribel’s Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Hearing.

7:00am: All is calm right now. The occupiers seem to be tucked nicely in their tents. Police presence is small to non-existent. Media presence is HUGE. News trucks are stationed just outside the BART elevator, next to Frank Ogawa Plaza/City Hall. All streets and parking garage are currently open. There are no police barricades on Broadway and surrounding sidewalks. This is much different than last week at this time, the city lockdown was in already place. Marches are planned for 9:00am, 12:00pm and 5:00pm. Next update will be coming around 9:00am.

Advertisements

19 thoughts on “Updates from the Field

  1. I live out of town & want to attend Walter’s appearance. Am concerned the protest will cause problems. Will check this site for updates. Thank you.

  2. 9:00am UPDATE: The occupy protest is currently peaceful. Cars are blocked from Broadway and 14th Street in both directions as a large crowd has taken over the area. There is public address system setup, Angela Davis currently talking. BART is running, 12th Street station is open and riders are not experiencing any problems. Traffic on surrounding streets is smooth and parking garages are open.

  3. 11:00am UPDATE: Our representative at the United States Federal Bankruptcy Court indicates that ALL hearings are ON for today. The motion to convert Walter & Maribel Ng’s bankruptcy will be heard at 2:00pm, in Courtroom 201 at 1300 Clay Street in Oakland, California as scheduled.

  4. I called the court this morning and they plan on having the hearing. I will be attending by phone.
    There is going to be a Chinese language TV station there, maybe a few of you could give them
    comments.

  5. If anyone wanting to attend hasn’t tried BART before, it’s pretty easy. You can exit into the plaza of shops and restaurants, walk one block through the plaza to Clay Street. Without crossing the street, the court building is on your right, so you don’t have to walk on Broadway, or into the demonstration area at all.

    The Occupy Oakland website currently has scheduled an anti-capitalist march at 2pm meeting at the intersection of Telegraph & Broadway, which is on the opposite side of the plaza from the courthouse, taking the crowd farther away from the court building during the time some of you will want to show up, so it might be pretty quiet.

  6. 12:00pm UPDATE: The crowd at the intersection of Broadway and 14th Street has gotten larger. Protest remains very peaceful and there is still no police presence. BART is still running and on schedule. AC Transit has been re-routed away from the intersection.

  7. Some news station was interviewing Mr. McGuire. The Ng bit took less than five minutes. The Ng’s were absent. Few investors present. Kaplan wanted to make sure he was going to get paid. This is a cluster….!

        • I would appreciate a translation too, if anyone reading here could help and post it.

          I wonder if they mentioned that Walter’s grandfather was well regarded for his work in civil rights and education, who has a street in San Francisco named after him.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_U._Lum

          I did notice some family similarities in this part. “He was vice president and managing director of the Chinese-owned China Mail Steamship Line. When financial difficulties increased, Lum received death threats from one of the “fighting tongs” and had to hire bodyguards. Eventually, he resigned.”

  8. Thanks Mr. Brower for the clip of Walter, that piece of garbage, and the reminder that he is able to pay for a bodyguard while his victims are contemplating going on food stamps.

    • I attended the RE Reno investors meeting held
      yesterday in Walnut Creek.

      This is a very brief summary of a 3-hour meeting.

      Everyone had to sign in and produce a photo id.
      Private security was present. Each investor
      received a ballot to vote for a new manager.

      The meeting was chaired by Jim Weissenborn and
      run by Jeffrey Krause, the attorney for RE Loans
      and RE Reno.

      The investors were told that Walter Ng’s monetary interest,
      in RE Reno (7.346% or $3,673,000) had passed to his
      bankruptcy trustee and that Walter Ng had resigned as
      manager of RE Reno. As a result, the investors could vote
      to appoint a new manager for RE Reno. However, it was a
      weighted vote. R.E. Loans and the trustee had enough votes
      to decide the issue (51%) without any other input from the
      individual investors.

      Once a manger was selected, the manger would decide what
      to do with the money, approx. $2.2M, that RE Reno had received
      from the auction of the Siena. The basic issue was this: Should
      the money be distributed to the investors, each one getting
      about $4,200 for every $100,000 invested, or should there be a
      reserve established to fund a lawsuit against Barney Ng, discussed
      below.

      There were three issues.

      First, Mr. Krause explained that Barney Ng had retained the
      right to pursue the lawsuit against IGT over the defective slot
      machines, a suit worth in excess of $150M. Mr. Krause stated
      his opinion that the lawsuit was actually worthless. Regardless
      it would cost the investors very little money to have the new
      manager “monitor” the lawsuit. The investors might recover
      some money from that lawsuit on a back rent claim.

      Mr. Krause did not explain that he, Mr. Krause, as the attorney for
      RE Reno and the investors in the bankruptcy proceeding did not
      demand that the $50M debt to RE Reno and the investors be covered
      in the settlement agreement with Barney Ng. Mr. Krause did not
      state that the only claim covered by the settlement agreement was
      the back rent claim. That claim is significant, however, approx. $16M.

      Second, Mr. Krause explained that the new manager might sue Barney
      Ng on the January 12, 2004, letter “guarantee” signed by Walter Ng
      and Barney Ng. Mr. Krause stated that the “guarantee” was a contract
      and that only RE Reno could file a contract lawsuit on the “guarantee.”

      According to Mr. Krause, there would be two problems with the lawsuit.
      They had no information about Barney Ng’s assets. If Barney Ng had
      actually paid all of the interest payments on the RE Reno note because
      the Siena never made enough money, as Barney Ng had claimed in his
      letter to the investors and in the bankruptcy proceeding, which was $35M,
      then maybe he did not have $50M to back up the guarantee. No one knows.
      Mr. Weissenborn stated that it would take tens of thousands of dollars to
      do an asset search. In addition to this problem, Mr. Krause stated that
      Barney Ng would probably file a cross-complaint in any lawsuit on the
      guarantee (just as he did in the Bruce Horwitz case) and the attorney’s fees
      would then be considerable. So, was it really worth it?

      Mr. Krause did not explain that Barney Ng’s cross-complaint would most
      likely be against Mr. Krause on the theory that he, as attorney for RE Reno
      and the investors, completely botched the bankruptcy and that he and his
      firm were the primary cause of the investors’ losses.

      Third, the new manager might take the entire $50M loan as a loss and
      report it proportionately as a loss on each investor’s K-1. By taking the
      investment as a loss, the investors might recover some money on
      their taxes.

      Mr. Krause proposed that the new manager might be Joel B. Weinberg,
      President, CEO and Founder of Insolvency Services Group, Inc., whose
      office is in Beverly Hills. His resume was distributed to the investors.
      Mr. Weinberg was not present to introduce himself to the investors.
      It felt like it was a done deal.

      I left the meeting before any vote.

      There was no PowerPoint and no handout. It was very sad to see so many
      older, retired and confused investors, people who had trusted Walter Ng.

      There was one moment of drama when Mr. Weissenborn tried to have
      me forcibly removed from the meeting. In response to a comment, a
      very red-faced and angry Mr. Weissenborn came to my seat at the back
      and side of the room and summoned the security guard to throw me out.
      He was like a rabid pit bull on full attack, ready to tear me to shreds. One
      investor, a good Samaritan, came to my defense, symbolically kicking the
      rabid dog in the teeth. Mr. Wessenborn retreated to the front of the room,
      tail between his legs, and I stayed.

      • After some “show of hands” votes, from the approx 4 dozen people present, it was decided that no vote would happen that day. One attendee questioned if we had the right to even call the meeting under the rules of the organization, let alone vote. A lot of people questioned why would we vote to hire yet another middle man, if all it was going to involve was writing checks. Mr. Weissenborn and Mr. Krause agreed that a vote would be taken by mail so a larger number of investors could be involved in the process. Mr. Weissenborn said there legally had to be a manager to write the checks. They were going to consult some more on the tax issues and send that out with a future vote. Members can suggest potential managers to hire.

        There were other interesting details, like when Eugene Rapp and Pearl Tom stood up to pontificate about a recent decision the creditors committee made in some legal action. They seemed quite proud to be sharing their news. Later Mr. Brower pointed out that both had signed confidentiality agreements to be on that committee and were not at liberty to stand up in a room of people and announce legal strategy, or anything else from their recent conference call. Much later on, Mr. Krause said it was too many people present to discuss any legal maneuvers in confidence, because people present would tell the Ngs.

        Tracy Green pointed out that everyone there had some sort of a relationship with the Ng’s and it wasn’t going over well to ask people to hire someone they never met, who didn’t even attend the meeting, and lived out of the area. There were suggestions to create something akin to a creditor’s committee where some members could have input with new manager.

        But even after any kind of vote or new manager in the future, the person hired gets to make the decisions as to whether or not to sue Barney and Walter. They can choose to listen to what the investors want, (or not,) but are under no obligation to do anything the investors want. With Jim Weissenborn and trustees holding more than half the votes on who to hire, any vote or meeting seems symbolic, since the investors don’t represent enough of the holdings to have any clout.

        Wonder how much they are billing us for flying out their staff, booking a small ballroom at the Marriott, private security, and all the coffee and soda one could drink in an afternoon. It was good to see some of the faces and people in action, but nothing tangible was accomplished.

        Weissenborn trying to throw out Mr. Brower was one of the weirder moments of the day. As Brower had been asking Krause about a document on a later agreement signed only by Walter, which he has seen, and Mr. Krause said he was not aware of, somebody yelled out, “Do you know who that is?” All attention turned to the back corner of the room as someone identified Mr. Brower, then Weissenborn got riled up and stomped to the back to throw Brower out. The security guard started to get out of his chair and move towards Brower. Cheers to the investor who stepped forward, getting Weissenborn to back down. I guess nominating Mr. Brower to be hired as the manager wouldn’t get Mr. Weissenborn’s and trustees 51% vote.

        • Give the amount of fraud that is riding fraud, investors should have the right to all the monies paid out to Mr. Weissenborn. If accomplices choose to take the 5th and spend the holidays burying the loot, clawback needs to be exercised.

          All those evasive letters making recommendations that only served their purpose cost us a lot of $$ from whatever is remaining. So, expect some more filings and the FBI may have already introduced themselves to this honorable gentleman.

          We’re indeed in fine company.

  9. Seattle, Tacoma Washington based law firm DC Law Group PLLC. Our attorneys advise clients for bankruptcy, personal injury, real estate, immigration, DUI, business transactions and estate planning & probate related issues. Toll free: 888.576.2206.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s