Ding Dong…

…is the witch almost dead?


You might want to give this whopper of a document a read:


Holy smokes!


22 thoughts on “Ding Dong…

  1. Quite a read. Anyone know what it means for us and for RE Loans and Weissenborn? Thanks for posting, Mr. Robie. If nothing else, read this to learn Weissenborn’s outrageous hourly rate.

  2. My first thought was, “who are W. McGrane and W. Neary?”

    That was quickly explained, and around page 3, I saw that Wells Fargo is suing RE Loans! Around page 41 there was the original hiring agreement for Makinak, where Jim Weissenborn agreed to work for a mere $495 per hour, with his lead manager Farley Daken billing us $395 an hour. But four months later they had given themselves raises. For those who don’t feel like perusing the entire 113 page document right now, here’s the updated billing rates and link to the profile of who we’re paying so much RE Loans money to (from page 56):

    CRO: Jim Weissenborn $550 an hour. http://www.mackinacpartners.com/MP_people.cfm?staffid=11
    Lead Managing Director: Farley Daken $425 an hour http://www.mackinacpartners.com/MP_people.cfm?staffid=42
    Sr. Adviser: Rick Dishnica $400 an hour http://dishnica.com/bio.htm

    Note about Rick Dishnica: he’s local, and when you look at his past projects, it includes:

    Bentley School
    Lafayette, California
    Creation of a New High School to Expand Bentley School to a K-12 Program. Rehabilitated Existing Elementary School Buildings and Built a New Gym, Classrooms and Student Center. Work Performed as a Member of The Board of Trustees.

    For anyone not following the earlier threads, The Bentley School is the $25,000 a year (per student) private school where Kelly Ng was volleyball coach, and sent both of his kids. Here’s the 2008 annual report from Bentley school mentioning their volunteers: http://www.bentleyschool.net/ftpimages/418/download/07_08_ar_final.pdf

    Jenny and Kelly Ng are mentioned on page 19 as leadership donors, page 20 as donors in excess of $25,000. Kelly Ng on page 19 as part of the capital campaign committee.

    Of all the Sr. Adviser’s in the industry who Weisseborn could hire at $400 an hour, he gets the one who was on the board where Kelly has coached, donated to, volunteered and sent his kids? I think that DSI might have a good point about conflicts in the hiring.

    For those who have asked in the past what the burn rate is for Weissenborn/Makinak to “manage” RE Loans, page 61 has a total of invoices paid in June through September 2011–$1,527,521. Yes, over one and a half million dollars to James Weissenborn’s company for just those three months alone. In addition to whatever we’ve been paying Kelly, and Walter was still drawing some funds on some accounts through his chapter 11 stages. All to manage a portfolio of non-performing, (ie. no income) properties. Well, they probably sold off enough of the good ones to keep their bills paid.

    • While I’m on the topic of “Is Jim Weissenborn F****** Nuts?”

      How much did that little dog and pony show for the RE Reno investors at the Walnut Creek Marriott a few days ago cost the RE Loans investors? Aside from renting a couple of small ballrooms to meet, (okay, I realize it wouldn’t work at the Econo-Lodge) he brought staff., who never spoke or presented. I believed I spotted the $425 an hour Farley Dakan there, and a couple of analysts in the $275 an hour range, plus attorney Jeffrey Krause, who it looks like might be based in Los Angeles. That’s well over $1000 an hour of staff, possibly closer to $2000 an hour in combined salaries.

      From the Makinac Partners website, their offices are in Bloomfield Hills, MI and Austin, TX. I presume they also will bill travel time–a few hours each way? Maybe they just bill whole days for travel. How many nights did they stay for that 2 1/2 hour afternoon meeting?

      Jim Weissenborn called the meeting to get RE Reno investors to vote on a new manager, which they rejected doing on site, and so a vote may take place later by mail. (Could have been done by mail in the first place, for a fraction of the cost.) It was questioned if we even had the right to call the meeting or vote. This certainly was not handled in the best interest of RE Loans investors, who Weissenborn and his team were there representing. Even if RE Reno investors vote on a new manager, it’s symbolic because Weissenborn and the trustees have more than 50%. of the vote, and a new manager doesn’t have to do a thing that the investors request, so it was all a very expensive exercise which accomplished nothing.

      • WHAT IS THE PROCEDURE TO GET JIM WEISSENBORN AND COMPANY OUT ? These people are raping us ? We need to take this story to the media…HOW ABOUT 60 MINUTES? KMUM, you write beautifully, intelligently and seen to have vast knowledge…please take the assignment.

        • Good idea…I think the media campaign with another local news station, radio station, write to Brian Ross (that grinding investigative national TV reporter), the American Greed show producers, etc…..and that’s all FREE!!

          You need to flood them (with requests) from the various investors, give them your side of the story!!

    • Could you, would you be willing to send your above information to the new Bankruptcy Judge in the Walter and Maribel Bankruptcy. He seems awake, alert and looking for information and justice.

  3. Thank you for the analysis and breakdown. Slick Jimmy W has to love the burn rate of $1.5M in 3 months and the $550/hour he gets for steering the RE Loans ship, especially during these tough economic times. Are you kidding me? Now, we know why he acted like a rabid pit bull that had not been fed for days, when he saw Mr. Brower at the RE Reno creditor’s meeting at the Marriot. Jimmy should be more worried about the FBI, DOL and SEC. He stepped into a big pile of it and like Ng/Horwitz, he will get what he deserves.

  4. This from a loyal reader:

    Mackinac burn rate $500,000 a month? For just what? To say the portfolio is screwed and clear a couple of property tax bills? Sign me on that gravy train!

    Tucked into the filings was an assertion that Barney took a $2M commission for setting up the Wells Fargo death loan. That’s pretty irritating. Is there any orifice Barney won’t penetrate?

    Wonder if Mackinac is burning $500,000 a month, how efficient are the BK attorneys (both sides) being in raping what is left of RE Loans? Think we are going to get anything back out of $750M?

    The Wells filing was a pleasure to wade through. Written in plain English for the most part, thought clearly highlighting their interests and biases.

  5. Can’t a request for the billing hours be made available thru the BK judge or court? This way, before it’s all gone it can be disputed. There must be some way to get an accounting for what it’s worth.

    • That’s an interesting question, and I’m wondering is it information that a regular investor can request from the judge, without an attorney? Maybe a lot of us should write the judge about our concerns, given the information DSI has provided.

      While people are gnashing their teeth at Weissenborn’s $550 dollar an hour raping of our funds, let me also point out that he lives in Michigan, one of the most economically depressed states in the country where the median annual income is about $45,000. Although Makinac Partners main office is in Bloomfield Hills, Mitt Romney’s home town,

      “As of the 2010 census, the city population was 3,869.[5] Bloomfield Hills consistently ranks as one of the top five wealthiest cities in the United States with population between 2,500 to 9,999 — it currently is listed at the number four position”

      Were all of the potential managers in San Francisco and Beverly Hills already booked? I wonder why and how someone from Michigan ended up in this position. The distance undoubtedly adds to the expenses, and we’re certainly not seeing any kind of discount for hiring from a region with a lower median income. Makinac’s other office is in Austin, TX, which made filing RE Loans bankruptcy in Texas so much more convenient, without all of those annoying investors hanging around at court appearances.

      • Referral from Rick Dishnica and had worked with Wells before. Hear the first year they made 2.m and they started in April, you add up the rest. Bankruptcy in Texas to avoid showing books.

        • Let me know if I’ve got an accurate picture of this progression.

          1) When RE Loans needed a management intervention, Kelly turned to his partner in crime from the Bentley School, Rick Dishnica.

          2) Rick Dishnica, an East Bay local, who had previously worked with Wells Fargo, recommended James Weissenborn, whose offices are in Michigan and Texas, to manage a fund of properties which were (supposedly) mostly in Northern California.

          3) James Weissenborn, at the hourly rate of $550 an hour just for his time, plus a number of staffers in the $200-500 per hour range, has billed millions of dollars to RE Loans to “manage” these properties, which we’re told are not worth much at this time, not worth selling right now, and also, there is no cash in the fund. (Yet somehow, they have continued to get paid these past couple of years.)

          4) Kelly Ng has, (up until the RE Loans bankruptcy,) paid James Weissenborn and Makinac Partners millions of dollars to “manage” this fund, all while telling investors there is no money to distribute to them. Kelly Ng has probably generously paid himself, as usual, during this time as well?

          5) Most conveniently, James Weissenborn has also hired Rick Dishnica at $400 an hour to “consult”, all billed to us, the RE Loans investors.

          6) Makinac Partners decides to put RE Loans in bankruptcy, and files an emergency request to hire themselves as “managers”, because evidently they see a few bones left to pick on the old RE Loans carcass, before they close it down and tell us investors that our money is gone.

          Has anyone else noticed that the Makinac Partners logo is a bridge? And they have a big picture of a bridge on their home page. (http://www.mackinacpartners.com/) Won’t be surprised if they try to sell us that bridge next.

          Considering the past relationships, it’s a stretch for anyone to suggest that there isn’t some bias, cronyism, and possibly improper relationship here. The whole chapter 11 creditors committee was a joke, picked by Walter. And now RE Loans bankruptcy is being managed by the people Kelly’s pal from the Bentley school suggested, who also hired that friend?

          Do we have any say? Should we write to the judge and trustee with our concerns? Is this a matter the class action attorney’s would address? Too many investors have sat quietly as our money has been drained by these people. I don’t know if we can change it, but I’m pretty sure that it won’t happen if we don’t even try.

          • It looks like you got it. But did it really play out that way? Who will really know. That is what the SEC, FBI and any other organization that is investigating should tell us. Mackinac surely was not in the investors best interest and was the only one making the big bucks. Horrible isn’t it if that is really what happened.

          • Given how it appears the Ng’s have been trying to control this situation all along, like stacking committees with their friends, I hope that any past relationships and history with the doctor(s) who confirmed Maribel’s dementia are being thoroughly scrutinized. Especially if the dr has ever been an investor and gotten their money back.

            As Attorney Brown mentioned earlier, if one is willing to lie about small things, they are probably willing to lie about big things. It may not that difficult to get a dr.friend to fudge on a report. Sure, it would be a pretty sick move to fake dementia for money, but this is a lot of money, and the Ng”s really love money, so nothing they do to keep money would surprise me.

    • The itemized billing entries (i.e. what he did for each 1/10 of an hour) is available from the Court without a lawyer. The docket has these entries, and they can be garnered from PACER. I would suggest the source for other pleadings find and post these for you. If they cannot, I can assist.

    • Mackinac:::: He was put in place as a smoke screen. He did nothing but buy them time to protect themselves with counsel while they sold and or moved their assets. The fund paid for their counsel. That is why Walter did not want to file bankruptcy early on, who would have paid his attorney bills while he hide his assets. They all carved themselves out a piece of our pie. They booted Barney out, put Rick and Mackinac partners in place then milked it. It would have been cheaper to have left Barney in place to resolve the assets he sold the fund. At least he could have spoken for what he did and accountable for it. Now it’s all buried and we are the dead ones. We have been had.

    • I’m curious as to why Eugene Rapp is on the creditor’s committee. He is/was an extremely close friend of Walter. (they played golf together every Wed.) Perhaps Gene has also become a victim and the friendship has ended.

      Also, regarding Pearl Tom. I went on one of Walter’s China golf trips and I believe Pearl Tom was also one of the participants. My recollection is that she was somehow related to Walter, perhaps directly or through marriage.

      I don’t know if this will be helpful, but perhaps it will.

  6. It’s Christmas time and I wish I had all of my invested dollars back from RE Loans. My Christmas would have been a white one now just a sad one. How could I have let this happen to me I question every day.

      • Thanks for the update. I was just thinking that it’s been more than 24 hours since anyone has filed anything.

        So, Tracy Green ran up $116,656.00 so far.

        But Kaplan wins with a bill for $256,359.85. (Is that just the outstanding amount, not counting the retainers?)

        And what did we get for $256,359.85?? Not even a half-assed attempt at repayment plan he stalled everyone with for 6 months. A few court appearances where he stammered and didn’t know any answers the judge asked, although that was probably intentional. He was pretty good at trying to find back exits to court rooms, but that’s hardly worth a quarter of a million dollars.

        If anyone still doubted that Walter Ng was playing games with investors, this should clear it up. He threw away over a quarter of a million dollars, which he claims he can’t afford, on a parasitic lawyer who was happy to bill the hours for accomplishing nothing.

        I hope Walter Ng has a long life in prison.

        • Bankruptcy should be illegal. It is a license to steal. Bankruptcy lawyers are the dregs of the profession, in my estimation and opinion. I ditto KMUM…i hope Walter lives to 110 in prison along with everyone that helped him in his crime and con. Victims…Walter is still playing golf. People are still speaking to him. Can you believe that! He should be shunned and reviled for the unmitigated devil, liar, thief and repellent slime ball he has proven himself to be. The bastard is still working the system. The Evil Eye upon the house of Ng and all of its sire.

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