Listening to the conference call hosted by Akin Gump

So far, here’s the update:  “Blah blah blah blah blah”.

Still voting to REJECT THE PLAN.


41 thoughts on “Listening to the conference call hosted by Akin Gump

  1. An interesting point was brought up on today’s call. I did not understand the answer, so I pose it here.
    Will the lawsuits brought by individual investors against the RE Loans estate, if successful, take priority in being paid out of the REL estate over payments to all other investors?

  2. The conference call was great and easy to understand. It will make it easy to vote yes on the 7 accounts that I represent.

    • Hey Richard,

      Did the Noteholders’ Committee explain why they haven’t sued Barney on his guarantees of $73.5M for the Siena hotel and the 2718 Santa Rosa vacant land? That great piece of property has violations of the Florida Environmental Protection act for the unauthorized fill of wetlands, including conservation easements. The FEP has a lis pendens on the 2718 acres and a complaint for civil penalties, costs, physical stabilization, wetland restoration and wetland monitoring. Barney’s guarantee includes remedying the FEP violations in addition to the $23.5M.

      I guess if you are a member of the Ng appointed majority of the Noteholders Committee you don’t really want to bite the hand that feeds you.

      • Just another attempt to cover their a$$e$, all of them, because they now see a real possibility that they are losing control. In what, 72 hours—They create a telephone confererence because they are having their feet held to the fire from the Investor Rebellion!! When the hell did we last hear from them? Any of them? Why is there this urgent rush to talk to us? Because the VOTE is getting close, and they are very worried the Plan may be rejected. That, in and of itself, speaks volumes to me.

        The past few days have been a game changer for them. It was much easier working in their ivory tower, legally rubberstamping the OCON’s attempts to protect their own interests. They know exactly how to twist facts and figures to their advantage—and much, much easier done on a telephone. If the Plan was so understandable and straightforward for OUR best interest, then why do they need to address us verbally? Because they are running scared. It is no accident that the Plan is 61+ pages of double-sided mouse print. They don’t WANT you to understand it. So they will pick out the parts that make it sound like that part could be good for us, but what about in OUR big picture? They are a TEAM of attorneys protecting the interests of everyone BUT us. We have OUR OWN attorneys here who have been explaining and advising us from the very beginning. Mr. Brower and Equitatus have read that Plan cover to cover and inside out, many times. They KNOW what it says. DON’T start drinking the kool aid again. We saw where that got us. After this vote there is NO turning back—AND THEY KNOW IT!! Who wins if accepted? Wells Fargo walks. Our ‘holier than thou’ committee gets to keep their millions they sucked away from us, long before we even knew what hit us, NO questions asked. Cooley and Gibbs get to continue making the BIG BUCKS. Weissenborn gets ultimate authority and will have a guaranteed paycheck for years to come. This is just for starters.

        From a senior who has zero money, unable to ever work again, I refuse to let them pee on my foot and tell me it’s raining. Signing my votes any other way but NO is knowingly giving all the criminals a pass. After the Fab Four Fraudsters go to prison, who will care when we go crying because the Plan was never in our best interest, WE never got any money, and WE voted to set them all free. Personally, I won’t have any part of allowing this to happen by looking the other way. I’ll stick with Mr. Brower and Equitatus over the whole boatload of all the other hundreds of attorneys trying to convince us what is best for us. These two have fought long and hard for us. Have spent hundreds of hours perusing documents, filing lawsuits, taking the time to post and explain it all on this blog. And why? Because they are relentless in their efforts to ensure we get the best possible chance at the best possible financial outcome. Not like these bozos from Texas that want to talk to you on the phone.

        • You have hit the nail on the head in your post above…its the situation in a nutshell. I fear pepole want cool aid…they want to drink it even though its poison.

      • Barney is despicable. He screws his investors out of hundreds of millions and sues Ms.Kurtin for attorneys fees of less than $10K. A liar, a thief, a small, little mean, manical ego centric excuse for a human being.

  3. I, too, believe that Mr. Cooley and Mr. Gibbs gave a good presentation. However, I’d like to hear from Mr. Brower, Mr. Brown, etc. with their rebuttals.

    I have a serious problem with letting WF off the hook. They (WF) orchestrated the ‘plan’ because they have the MONEY and can use it to make even more . . . AND . . . to cover their collective behinds. At this point I cannot support the ‘plan’.

    I also continue to have a serious problem with members of the “Official” committee who received returns on their investments after I was refused.

    So, I’m still planning to vote my 2 accounts ‘NO’, just on principle. At only four cents on the dollar in two or more years it might just be worth it.

    I’d like to suggest that John Robey start a new topic to which we can post specific (respectful) questions to Messers Cooley and Gibbs which could be emailed to them so that they might respond during the next conference call on Monday.

    • I agree – and look forward to a more knowledgable analysis of the issues by Brower, Brown, Equitatus, etc. I only wish that they (Akin) had had the foresight to do this as they sent the huge, unintelligible packets out to investors so we could have had this, now more open dialogue earlier. They only began to explain when it looked there might be a threat to the acceptance of the plan….

      My major reason for voting “No” had to do with the belief that the clawback and WF compromise plans were not giving us a fair shake to return improper dispersements, and that the listing of those disbursements was inaccurate and erroneous, and therefore misleading.

      I know BBand E have given so much already, but we need their guidance after this call.
      P.S. – I had to sign off at 2:15 so never got to hear any of the Q&A period. Maybe more was addressed during that session by BB or E?? Can someone fill me in on what happened or is there a way to access the call remotely??

      They said that there would be another session next Monday… can we generate additional questions to pose at that point??

  4. We would be happy to field your questions here or (preferably) on next week’s call so that more people will have the benefit of hearing the answers. In the meantime, if people want to post questions to this (or some designated) post, we’ll be glad to collect them and respond on next week’s call.

    As a start, to Monagesque’s question: the committee has not pursued guaranty or other claims yet against Barney Ng. Instead, claims against Barney and others are preserved under the Plan and will be pursued by the Liquidating Trustee. The main reason we have not yet pursued those types of claims is that–in the last eight months since the bankruptcy filing–the bulk of th committee’s focus has been on more immediate tasks such as investigating the claims against Wells Fargo and searching for a potential alternative lender. These more time-sensitive tasks had to take priority, while other matters were deferred.

    Monagesque: I hope you’ll join us for next week’s call. Had you been able to join us today, you would have heard me explain how the Committee was formed by the US Trustee (a component of the Dept. of Justice) pursuant to federal statute. Neither Barney nor anyone else but the US Trustee was involved in the formation of the committee.

    Michael Cooley

    • After being on the point of agreeing with the advice to vote NO, I tuned in to the conference call and listened to the calm, informed non evasive answers to enquiries covering all of the salient points that the NO voters have raised. I have to say that the voices that replied were more believable and professional than the rather hysterical, vengeful tone from those that don’t agree with the plan. Orwellian references, collegiate cartoons, angry rhetoric and name calling seem not to be the way to conduct an opposition in so serious a matter. I think the YES vote gained some support from today’s call. I’m still thinking about my decision…

      • With all due respect Pete, you were seduced by the soft, calm reassuring words of Cooley and Company, the same grooming methods used by various deviants from women that want something from you, salesmen and women, child kidnappers and people like the Ng’s that brought us to the place we are now. Yes, indeed, we are vengeful, angry and have no vehicle in which to express our depression and rage…we are prohibited from contacting Walter Ng hiding through his bankruptcy. I like the comments and cartoons…its the only time I laugh from the depths of despair and think the posts informative in general. If you are an investor, then why are you not angry too? I hope you will continue to think long and hard how you arrived at being a victim and decide that you do not like cool aid, no matter the flavor.

        • You can take what pennies you have left, if any, to the bank that Cooley and Company will send in their own posters to make it look like they are gaining momentum for their yes votes. C & C are doing exactly what they are being paid to do—protect THEIR clients. WE are not their clients. Don’t fall for their untrue arguments just because Cooley is being polite and nice to you. These are people 1,800 miles away from you and do not have to look you in the face, ever. If this plan passes, I guarantee you they will not be here to hold your hand when you discover in the weeks and months to come that you have been screwed again, only you won’t get any more chances to do this vote over. Do you think Cooley will be available on this blog to answer your questions asking him WHY the promises he told us BEFORE the vote haven’t come to fruition? By then we will have forfeited our chance pursue any other legal opportunities that we would have if the plan is defeated. A good things sells itself; a bad thing tries to convince you it’s a good thing.

        • Not seduced at all. I’m just as sceptical of what was being said on the call as everyone. My point was that just making up new derogatory names for the Ngs is no way to match the calm presentation of the “Yes” believers if we want to carry the “NO” vote.
          What is OUR plan if we get success in a “NO” vote other than just defeating their plan? If that were laid out as a calm positive way I believe it would be a better path in convincing folks to vote NO.
          And yes, I am angry too. I’ve lost everything and my house is on the market. I’ll be renting soon.

    • I have to disagree with your response to my post. Do you really expect the 1400 investors to believe that it was not possible to sue Barney et al on the guarantees and Exchange agreement claims during the past 8 months? It wouldn’t have taken much time for the committee to vote “yes” to pursue these claims. Your assertion that the Committee was occupied “on more immediate tasks,” and by implication had no time to go after a huge amount of money, is preposterous. One would think that your firm had enough lawyers to handle all of these items simultaneously. If Aiken Gump wasn’t up to the task couldn’t you have found another firm in Dallas to help the Committee. Had a Bay Area firm been chosen to represent us, I have no doubt they would have figured this out. Furthermore, as counsel to the Committee, don’t you think it was your duty to help them prioritize?

      By my calculation, Barney et al are obligated to RE Loans in the vicinity of $150 million on the guarantees and related party loans. Add the claw backs to that and you have some serious potential for recovery – unless in 8 months the money that might have gone to investors has disappeared.

      I have to disagree with you again on the formation of the Committee. The majority of the members of the Official Noteholders Committee were all members of the Ad Hoc Creditors’ Committee that was hand-picked by the Ngs. (You weren’t involved then so I guess that’s why you don’t know what occurred.) The US Trustee just accepted these members and only added others after other top 20 investors asked to be on the Committee.

      Additionally, the US Trustee, who retired a few months after the bankruptcy was filed, failed to check whether or not any members had conflicts of interest that should have kept them off the Official Noteholders Committee. That’s why we are in the mess we’re in today: No one looked out for the 1400 noteholders.

      Our only course of action is to REJECT THE PLAN.

      • Monagesque–

        You assume another law firm would have re-prioritized to bring claims against Barney first, but provide no basis for that assumption. In fact, this case has proceeded very quickly to this point–in part, to bring the continued accrual of professional fees to an end as quickly as possible. Moving this case quickly has meant prioritizing tasks. First and foremost among these was investigating the Wells Fargo claims (which were under a court-approved deadline) and searching for an alternate lender.

        You disagree with how the Committee was formed, but refuse to acknowledge the statutory basis for that formation. The US Trustee invited the 20 largest noteholders–as required by statute–to participate on the Committee. Unsurprisingly, many of those largest noteholders are the same people who were actively involved on ad hoc committes prior to the bankruptcy filing.

        Respectfully, you are entitled to your opinions; however, your opinions do not mesh with the facts.

        Michael Cooley

        • To Mr. Cooley: I know this is probably not within your cup of tea field, but what happens if the FBI, IRS, FTB comes into play? Or maybe someone can open up a new thread on this? I actually don’t know how, I tried, but it didn’t work.

          I didn’t mean to side-track this thread.

        • Michael,

          I stated that it should have been possible to sue Barney et al. SIMULTANEOUSLY with your other priorities. Wasn’t Diamond McCarthy retained to investigate the Wells Fargo claims? Didn’t FTI, the financial consultants who we pay handsomely, search for an alternate lender? Are you saying that it would have been impossible for you to pursue the guarantee money and the related party loans in the EIGHT months while the other professionals were pursuing your priorities?

          None of this explains the Noteholders Committee’s lack of action on the $150M that would benefit all 1400 investors.

          As to the formation of the committee, there is a distinction between what is legal under the bankruptcy code and what is ethical and moral. Is it your contention that conflicts of interest should have had no bearing on the make-up of the Committee?

          By the way, are you billing us for your foray into our blog or is this just extra curricular for you?

        • Mr. Cooley,

          You are talking out of both sides of your mouth again. “Respectfully, you are entitled to your opinions; however, your opinions do not mesh with the facts.” You are not being respectful at all. It is not YOUR place to tell anyone what we are “entitled to.” Monagesque did not post “opinions” but fact. Because they disagree with your “supposed” facts, you call them opinions. Your sentence is a contradiction in terms, as it is YOUR OPINION, not fact. You do this frequently. If you are going to keep posting on this blog I am going to have to go get some taller boots.

        • I find it interesting that everyone with the exception of Eugene Rapp on this list lives outside of the State of California (believe Johnny Lau is actually a California resident) and that at one time Eugene Rapp was out of state. Is this the “Creditor’s Committee”? Kindly post the names and address’ of those serving as our representatives in the “Creditor’s Committe”…those that are “the creditors holding largest unsecured claims”. Does this mean that my claim is secured!

          • My last comment is addressed to Mr. Cooley…it got slotted in the wrong place. Kindly answer.

          • ServeItCold-

            The “list-of-largest-creditors” you posted is from Walter Ng’s personal bankruptcy case–not the RE Loans chapter 11 case. They are entirely separate cases. The Noteholders Committee of RE Loans was formed from the largest Noteholders of RE Loans, not Walter Ng.

            Here is a link to the list of the 20 largest Noteholders in the RE Loans case:


            Presently, the members of the Committee are: Pearl Tom (Chair), Elliott Abrams (Vice Chair), Ed Blue, Dixon Collins, Allan Cone (for Patrick Simmons), Steve Fong, Barbara Hamrick, Ron Lavelle (for Sherratt Reicher), Gene Rapp, and Linda Reilly. Ron Nahas also serves as a non-voting member.

            Michael Cooley

  5. First experience of a conference call. Must say Mr. Michael Cooly presentation was very informative including how committee was formed.

    The issue, as I see it is WF has the hammer and directing note holders to forgo their secured positions. Note holders then would be assured that WF would fund the reorganization for continued operation until loan due date of December 2013. This would return to note holders four to seven cents on their invested dollar if plan was successful.
    Wells Fargo loan hasn’t been satisfied in the last five years what would make us think that by Dec. 2013 this miracle would happen. December 2013 WF would then be rewarded and note holder left unsecured.


    • That’s along the same concern I have, which I outlined in another thread earlier today. Mr. Brower posted recently: “Under the proposed plan, the plan proponents estimate that the net recovery in 2015 will between $36.4 million and $63.6 million. (Disclosure Statement, page 84.) Using $800 million as the total investment in R.E. Loans, this will give each investor a net future recovery between 4.6 cents and 8 cents on the dollar.”

      If you look at the burn rate of fees from Mackinac Partners and the assorted law firms and consultants they have hired, the first 4 months of this year they billed the fund $5,278,682.49. (Mackinac being the largest bill in the lot.) If they maintain that pace, it will be close to $16 million dollars in fees this year alone.

      Does anyone believe that slowly winding down the portfolio will yield income that exceeds what Mackinac and team are going to bill? Or is the plan just a prolonged way of keeping James Weissenborn and friends employed longer?

      At these rates, they could easily cost us more than the low end $36 million recovery, without Wells Fargo being paid off. Could we end up owing them money? It’s not hard to picture them billing all along the way while telling us about properties sold, just enough to keep those fees paid, and in the end, less than 4 cents on the dollar left. Maybe zero,

      If that’s not possible, then someone please explain the flaw in this theory.

      • Kmum-

        The estimated recoveries to Noteholders under the Plan were calculated after giving effect to Mackinac and other professional fees. The 4-7 cent recovery from the real estate portfolio is therefore net of all costs and fees associated with carrying and disposing of the real estate. As I noted on the call, that would be in addition to recoveries on any litigation of estate claims or the class action litigation.


        Michael Cooley

  6. Equitatus will have a post Tuesday afternoon on Barney and the Texas Bankruptcy Case.


    Whats the rush? Keep you powder dry.

    What didn’t they tell you?

    1. The Statute of Limitations was blown against Greenberg Traurig by Chuck Krause.
    (Where is Chuck now?) What can the Committee do about tha
    2. What are the claims against Wells Fargo worth in the opinion of Diamond McCarthy, Robert Brower?
    3. Does the “Claw Back” giveaway benefit you? or the 13%? We will name names.
    4. Is the 5% payback a giveaway. Who does it help. We will name names.
    5. Why are they touting the Class Action as your salvation?
    6. For lawyers to monpoplize the conference call and allow for little give and take is telling.
    7. TEXAS, need I say more.
    8. What is the difference between what they say you may get and what Chapter 7 Trustee will get you?

    • This will be much appreciated. My fear is that people that do not understand one thing about this case are going to vote yes because they are desparate to think they are going to get a few cents of their stolen money. How can WWF be given a pass when that loan was created without the consent and knowledge of the investors.. Equitatus, i a scared that the Cooley’s and committee will get the vote they are so eager for the victims to take, because so many of the victims do not use the computer, want to even read the blogs and are disconnected from the reality of what has truly happend to them in the savage destruction of their lives through the Ng’s.

      • I agree most may not have access to correct infomation. I would highly suggest that someone get one of the videomakers and make a small short and concise video but put it on a CD. It’s easy to mail and enclose it with a single easy to read page on why to vote “NO”. Use yours like PLEASE VIEW THIS NOW YOUR FINANCIAL LIFELINE DEPENDS ON YOUR VOTE” Some may not even have a CD player, but indicate to have someone who does to share this with.

        Time is quickly ticking away, but you can still use that in your favor, as it has NOT run out yet.

        Again, I’m not an investor here but rather a concern person who wants to see justice come to all: the Ng’s in a concrete Holiday Inn, their worldly possessions taken away, investors to get some funds back so that they pay for some of daily expenses for their remaining years.

        • If we had a full-time production team ready to get on that this afternoon, (which we don’t,) it might not be possible, because the vote is due in less than two weeks, There is no video about the vote in the works, let alone one that would be ready to copy in a couple of days, and the cost would be in the thousands of dollars to copy and mail to the list, if there were a video.

          I think the postcard that already went out would be the more likely viewed medium.

  7. Originally I planned to vote against the plan. I listened to the telecon yesterday, and most of the follow-up questions. Currently I feel convinced to change my “no” vote to a “yes” vote because of the telecon. Not being an expert at any of this stuff, I do not see or understand what other alternatives we have available to us. Yes, I would like to bring WFF to the plate. But if we do that as a group of all the noteholders (not sure what to call that), then I learned from the telecon that there do not appear to be other lenders that would help pick up our operational costs for a reasonable amount. And I guess then we would be forced to go Chapter 7 (?) and be at the mercy of a court-appointed trustee.

    Plus it seems that 1) the class action suits would cover us for litigation against WFF (is that bad?), or 2) we have the (painful) option of individual litigation.

    With respect to outlying lawsuits that should or should not have occurred, I don’t know what to think about that. Ditto about annoying exorbitant fees we may be charged in the meantime.

    So I am watching this site with hope that better alternatives come up with a “no” vote. But failing that, I will have to vote”yes”.

    Thanks for providing this avenue of communications all along.

  8. I personally am voting “No”. I believe that the “Committee” members are biased given their relationships with the Ng’s. They lost their credibility with me for two reasons…1) some of them are socializing with he Ng’s, i.e. having dinner at Castlewood country club. I wonder who paid the bill?? And 2) because there were two members of the committee, one a lawyer, who was so outraged by the unethical behavior of the committee members that they quit!

    I personally did not agree to the change Walter made changing our status from being a note holder to a creditor behind Wells Fargo. He did that as a way to shield us from knowing what was going on. Sort of a “slight of hand” move. I hope no one believes that Wells Fargo didn’t understand how they benefited from this trickery.

    Whether it was accidental or not, I saw all the properties listed in Walter’s name, along with a whole host of other relatives who have not been impacted by this carnival ride. Yet, the Ng’s claim they are bankrupt. How come they aren’t being made to forced to conduct a fire sale on those hundreds of properties whose titles changed hands back and forth between husband and wife, and sons, daughters, aunts and uncles, etc…was a great way to hide their assets. The list was available through a link from this site which has since be disabled.

    I just don’t get where the justice is. Wells Fargo, Mackinac, attorneys, etc… All have their hands out saying pay me!!! While they give us advise on how vote. I wonder what the advice would be if they got paid after “we” get reimbursed for our losses.

    Maybe we should lie like the Ng’s and say we will never loan more than 70% loan to value on developed property. Or, these are only short term loan, 45 to 90 day ” bridge” loans. Or, better yet, we can choose to be our own estimator of the value of the property ( like the Ng’s did) and pay Mackinac and the attorneys what we feel the value of their services are!! I really like that idea. Maybe then my disabled brother could live on more than the $900 per month he gets from state disability. Better yet, maybe Walters wife could also qualify for disability payments do they won’t need so much to live on in bankruptcy!

    • You are right about all of it, including the Ng Swap Meet of real estate which was at one time readily available by doing a google search. Monster Ng & his Crime Family, included his adoped son Bruce Horowitz had years to slot everything in place, hide the money, etc. There are some questionalbe cozy and continual relationships between at least one committe member including dining and golf…can you believe it?! and at least one is related to him. In my opinion we are being shafted and like you I am voting No no matter how pretty Cooley talk to me now. Where was he when we needed him, them. If not for this blog we would be as dumb as we were when being sucked in by Slick Wally and his sidekicks. VOTE NO.

      • All anyone has to do is read Robert Browers post about Wells Fargo. He is an Attorney, he spelled out clearly what Wells Fargo’s position in this whole things was and is. It’s in black and white and he walks you throug it. He spells it out so simply that anyone can understand it, should not be a question on how to vote. NO

        • Our decision on which way to vote is very, very simple. Just answer these 3 questions:

          1. Whose legal team WROTE this Plan?
          a. Who PAYS them?

          2. Whose legal team ENDORSES this Plan?
          a. Who PAYS them?

          3. Who are the ONLY 2 attorneys that have ever given a damn about us investors, from the very beginning, on a daily basis, including evenings, weekends and holidays? (Hint: they are not from TX.)

          VOTE NO!

  9. If the “NO” vote carries the day and the plan is rejected, what happens then. Are we left with the same committee and lawyers who will take another eight months to concoct a new plan?

      • Then back to my earlier question that got lost somewhere’s. If the case is converted to a Chapter 7, then is it true that, besides the class action suits, we have to depend on the discretion of the court-appointed trustee to decide to sue WFF? And if they don’t do that, are we then in even worse shape??

      • Thank you John. Would the Trustee in a Chapter 7 have any kind of Creditors committee to guide him or would he basically do as he saw fit?

        • There is generally no provision in chapter 7 for the formation of a committee, nor any means for that committee to retain legal or financial advisors (except out of its own pocket). The chapter 7 trustee is subject to court oversight; however, the trustee nevertheless exercises a great deal of discretion in the administration of the estate.

          Michael Cooley

    • Pete–

      The Debtors’ current financing arrangement with Wells Fargo expires June 30. If the Plan is not confirmed–and Wells Fargo does not agree to extend that maturity date–then on July 1 the Debtors will be in default on their loan and will have no more money to continue operations. With no means for the Debtors or the Committee to continue on and formulate another plan, at that point the likely result will be conversion of the case to chapter 7.

      Michael Cooley

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