Manhattan Club Lawsuit

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By Jeff W.

LATEST INFORMATION ON MANHATTAN CLUB INVESTIGATIONS

Thanks to all contributors to this forum. RedWeek has followed the club's issues for several years, predating the AG's investigation. Here is a recap of all relevant information as of this date.

The AG got a court order July 2014 that shut down the club's timeshare operation and froze most assets. The AG's case was spurred entirely by TMC owner complaints and an undercover sting operation conducted by the AG's investigators, where they audio and video-taped sales presentations at the club. After securing the court order, the AG conducted a lengthy investigation of possible civil and criminal fraud, which continues to this day. The case has been held up by numerous legal challenges mounted by the club's sponsors, Eichner and company. The most recent legal rulings in the case, from May 26 and July 13, were provided by Judge Rakower, who dismissed all motions presented by the Eichners. Eichner's legal team had sought to close the investigation; to get the Eichners dismissed from the investigation; and to block under-oath depositions of the Eichners, association VP Scott Lager and the former director of sales. Rakower ruled July 13 that the depositions should proceed and that "any delay" would further harm owners saddled with maintenance fees and total uncertainty about the club's fate. Eichners attorneys filed motions to appeal the May 25 and July 13 rulings within hours of Rakower's decision to let the depositions go forward. Doug Wasser, a New York attorney who represents 28 Manhattan Club owners as a liaison with the AG's office, advised RedWeek that the appeals could take 12 to 14 months, or more. What this means is that, while the AG's investigation continues, resolution of the entire matter may be held up until AFTER the appeals are heard and ruled upon. This is the current status leading up to the Aug. 3 association meeting of TMC owners. As many readers of this forum recall, the TMC board, which is populated by Eichner appointees, declined to answer any questions about the case (or the club) at last year's meeting. They took that stand on advice of the same attorneys who are fighting the AG's case tooth and nail. If someone asked me to speculate about next week's meeting, I would expect the same positioning from the board. Meanwhile, there is a new class-action case on file, but it is in the very early stages of legal motions. At this point, sad to say, there is not much that individual owners can do to influence the pace or outcome of the legal proceedings, other than to stay informed and write letters to Rakower so she is aware of your concerns. One last point: many owners have asked RedWeek to mount another offsite meeting for owners, similar to what RedWeek.com and TimeSharing Today hosted one year ago. I want to assure all readers that we are actively discussing this but have no specific plans to offer at this time. Why? Because our goal is to educate and arm owners with information they can act upon. If the AG agreed to address owner issues at a public meeting, we would be glad to host it. However, the AG has flatly rebuffed all of RedWeek's efforts to get them to communicate directly, and openly, with owners. (Their reasoning: they don't want to say something in public that might jeopardize their investigation. Eichner's legal team uses the same rationale to avoid talking to the press about Eichner's defense. The AG's refusal to communicate may be an issue for owners to pursue. Their letters to Rakower were not only heard but referenced in her eight-page July 13 ruling on the depositions. On a personal level, if I was a Manhattan Club owner, I would put my efforts into contacting local elected officials and NY media to generate interest in my cause. I would not seek a new legal proceeding, since the key one (from the AG) is already two years down the road. And, lastly, I would participate in any owner-meetings that I could, including the Aug. 3 board meeting, to make sure my voice is heard amid all the din surrounding the Manhattan Club.

Last edit by jeff_reports on Jul 26, 2016 01:17 PM.

Avatar for Jeff W. Jeff W.

3 years ago
Jul 26, 2016

By Chris V.

LATEST INFORMATION ON MANHATTAN CLUB INVESTIGATIONS

jeff,

have you tried to get the nysag to give us a presentation by using the request form directly from his website? although it does not say that all requests will guarantee a presentation, if a form is completed we might have a chance of having the ag or his rep give us some clue as to where we stand as owners at the manhattan club by presenting facts that would be useful to us. what is guaranteed is an overflow audience of owners from distant states and perhaps even foreign countries if such a presentation is offered. your planned meeting/event last august was a reasonable success. i urge you to do an encore with the colleagues you worked with to have another owners' meeting in nyc. i think momentum is picking up quite rapidly about the manhattan club fraud and scam that would draw an even larger audience than the last meeting..... with or without the nysag's presentation.

chris

jeff_reports wrote:
Thanks to all contributors to this forum. RedWeek has followed the club's issues for several years, predating the AG's investigation. Here is a recap of all relevant information as of this date.

The AG got a court order July 2014 that shut down the club's timeshare operation and froze most assets. The AG's case was spurred entirely by TMC owner complaints and an undercover sting operation conducted by the AG's investigators, where they audio and video-taped sales presentations at the club. After securing the court order, the AG conducted a lengthy investigation of possible civil and criminal fraud, which continues to this day. The case has been held up by numerous legal challenges mounted by the club's sponsors, Eichner and company. The most recent legal rulings in the case, from May 26 and July 13, were provided by Judge Rakower, who dismissed all motions presented by the Eichners. Eichner's legal team had sought to close the investigation; to get the Eichners dismissed from the investigation; and to block under-oath depositions of the Eichners, association VP Scott Lager and the former director of sales. Rakower ruled July 13 that the depositions should proceed and that "any delay" would further harm owners saddled with maintenance fees and total uncertainty about the club's fate. Eichners attorneys filed motions to appeal the May 25 and July 13 rulings within hours of Rakower's decision to let the depositions go forward. Doug Wasser, a New York attorney who represents 28 Manhattan Club owners as a liaison with the AG's office, advised RedWeek that the appeals could take 12 to 14 months, or more. What this means is that, while the AG's investigation continues, resolution of the entire matter may be held up until AFTER the appeals are heard and ruled upon. This is the current status leading up to the Aug. 3 association meeting of TMC owners. As many readers of this forum recall, the TMC board, which is populated by Eichner appointees, declined to answer any questions about the case (or the club) at last year's meeting. They took that stand on advice of the same attorneys who are fighting the AG's case tooth and nail. If someone asked me to speculate about next week's meeting, I would expect the same positioning from the board. Meanwhile, there is a new class-action case on file, but it is in the very early stages of legal motions. At this point, sad to say, there is not much that individual owners can do to influence the pace or outcome of the legal proceedings, other than to stay informed and write letters to Rakower so she is aware of your concerns. One last point: many owners have asked RedWeek to mount another offsite meeting for owners, similar to what RedWeek.com and TimeSharing Today hosted one year ago. I want to assure all readers that we are actively discussing this but have no specific plans to offer at this time. Why? Because our goal is to educate and arm owners with information they can act upon. If the AG agreed to address owner issues at a public meeting, we would be glad to host it. However, the AG has flatly rebuffed all of RedWeek's efforts to get them to communicate directly, and openly, with owners. (Their reasoning: they don't want to say something in public that might jeopardize their investigation. Eichner's legal team uses the same rationale to avoid talking to the press about Eichner's defense. The AG's refusal to communicate may be an issue for owners to pursue. Their letters to Rakower were not only heard but referenced in her eight-page July 13 ruling on the depositions. On a personal level, if I was a Manhattan Club owner, I would put my efforts into contacting local elected officials and NY media to generate interest in my cause. I would not seek a new legal proceeding, since the key one (from the AG) is already two years down the road. And, lastly, I would participate in any owner-meetings that I could, including the Aug. 3 board meeting, to make sure my voice is heard amid all the din surrounding the Manhattan Club.

Avatar for Chris V. Chris V.

3 years ago
Jul 26, 2016

By Sharon L.

Manhattan Club Lawsuit

I never got a card with a picture on it either. When I go to NYC (and stay in NJ can't get a room at TMC) I always go to the Owner's Lounge to relax for a bit and recharge my phone (and eat the cookies). There's no one guarding the door or the elevator.

I did notice when I was there in May that many of the owners are getting elderly and using walkers.I think we will all die off before this gets settled.

Last edit by sharon177 on Jul 27, 2016 06:20 AM.

Avatar for Sharon L. Sharon L.

3 years ago
Jul 27, 2016

By Deborah S.

sharon177 wrote:
I never got a card with a picture on it either. When I go to NYC (and stay in NJ can't get a room at TMC) I always go to the Owner's Lounge to relax for a bit and recharge my phone (and eat the cookies). There's no one guarding the door or the elevator.

I did notice when I was there in May that many of the owners are getting elderly and using walkers.I think we will all die off before this gets settled.

This past April, when I stayed at TMC for a week I asked to have a card with my picture on it as my mother had had. I inherited both her time shares and spent a lot of money on lawyers and with TMC to have my name legally listed as the owner, since I was not on the deeds. One of the managers there seemed happy to do it, though it took a couple of days for our schedules to become compatible. When I was ready to do so, I was told I couldn't have a card with my picture on it...that they only do it "for the original owner"...I own the time share and I pay the fees...so it makes me wonder why the change of heart when I was first told they could do the card, and then provided this ridiculous excuse for not doing it. I tell you, this place TMC, is a trip.

Avatar for Deborah S. Deborah S.

3 years ago
Jul 27, 2016

By Jill S.

LATEST INFORMATION ON MANHATTAN CLUB INVESTIGATIONS

Hi Jeff -- I will be at the annual meeting next week and do hope Redweek (i.e., you perhaps) will meet with us TMC/Redweek members. Will you/Redweek be posting a meeting -- it doesn't need to be well-organized, just to touch bases? I'm coming from California.

Last edit by jills465 on Jul 27, 2016 11:02 AM.

Avatar for Jill S. Jill S.

3 years ago
Jul 27, 2016

By Justine C.

Manhattan Club Lawsuit

I am a bit confused - there seem to be 3 locations to keep up with this - can someone please explain which is which?

Also, It took close to four hours yesterday when I contacted the three major credit bureaus, mostly because I insisted upon climbing the hierarchy. Each of them told me there is no provision for ignoring a delinquent account nor any other option that they would entertain for keeping us safe from credit reports submitted by the Manhattan Club. If someone has been successful getting the bureaus to cooperate, as has been mentioned on one of the other forums, please let us know. Thanks, Justine

Avatar for Justine C. Justine C.

3 years ago
Jul 27, 2016

By Justine C.

LATEST INFORMATION ON MANHATTAN CLUB INVESTIGATIONS

Where is the Board Meeting going to be held and what time? Also, I called the number that was on the forum to try to make sure I am included in the suit, but the message indicates she will be back in November. She says another number but I am hearing impaired and cannot discern it even with my hearing aids on.

Justine Cambria info@windrunnerstables.com

jeff_reports wrote:
Thanks to all contributors to this forum. RedWeek has followed the club's issues for several years, predating the AG's investigation. Here is a recap of all relevant information as of this date.

The AG got a court order July 2014 that shut down the club's timeshare operation and froze most assets. The AG's case was spurred entirely by TMC owner complaints and an undercover sting operation conducted by the AG's investigators, where they audio and video-taped sales presentations at the club. After securing the court order, the AG conducted a lengthy investigation of possible civil and criminal fraud, which continues to this day. The case has been held up by numerous legal challenges mounted by the club's sponsors, Eichner and company. The most recent legal rulings in the case, from May 26 and July 13, were provided by Judge Rakower, who dismissed all motions presented by the Eichners. Eichner's legal team had sought to close the investigation; to get the Eichners dismissed from the investigation; and to block under-oath depositions of the Eichners, association VP Scott Lager and the former director of sales. Rakower ruled July 13 that the depositions should proceed and that "any delay" would further harm owners saddled with maintenance fees and total uncertainty about the club's fate. Eichners attorneys filed motions to appeal the May 25 and July 13 rulings within hours of Rakower's decision to let the depositions go forward. Doug Wasser, a New York attorney who represents 28 Manhattan Club owners as a liaison with the AG's office, advised RedWeek that the appeals could take 12 to 14 months, or more. What this means is that, while the AG's investigation continues, resolution of the entire matter may be held up until AFTER the appeals are heard and ruled upon. This is the current status leading up to the Aug. 3 association meeting of TMC owners. As many readers of this forum recall, the TMC board, which is populated by Eichner appointees, declined to answer any questions about the case (or the club) at last year's meeting. They took that stand on advice of the same attorneys who are fighting the AG's case tooth and nail. If someone asked me to speculate about next week's meeting, I would expect the same positioning from the board. Meanwhile, there is a new class-action case on file, but it is in the very early stages of legal motions. At this point, sad to say, there is not much that individual owners can do to influence the pace or outcome of the legal proceedings, other than to stay informed and write letters to Rakower so she is aware of your concerns. One last point: many owners have asked RedWeek to mount another offsite meeting for owners, similar to what RedWeek.com and TimeSharing Today hosted one year ago. I want to assure all readers that we are actively discussing this but have no specific plans to offer at this time. Why? Because our goal is to educate and arm owners with information they can act upon. If the AG agreed to address owner issues at a public meeting, we would be glad to host it. However, the AG has flatly rebuffed all of RedWeek's efforts to get them to communicate directly, and openly, with owners. (Their reasoning: they don't want to say something in public that might jeopardize their investigation. Eichner's legal team uses the same rationale to avoid talking to the press about Eichner's defense. The AG's refusal to communicate may be an issue for owners to pursue. Their letters to Rakower were not only heard but referenced in her eight-page July 13 ruling on the depositions. On a personal level, if I was a Manhattan Club owner, I would put my efforts into contacting local elected officials and NY media to generate interest in my cause. I would not seek a new legal proceeding, since the key one (from the AG) is already two years down the road. And, lastly, I would participate in any owner-meetings that I could, including the Aug. 3 board meeting, to make sure my voice is heard amid all the din surrounding the Manhattan Club.

Avatar for Justine C. Justine C.

3 years ago
Jul 27, 2016

By Sally W.

Manhattan Club Lawsuit

Hi Justine, It was Bob Biello at rbiello2@gmail.com who said he'd been successful in getting TransUnion to delete TMC's comments and restore his credit rating. I emailed him yesterday for more info & to inquire if it also worked with Equifax and Experian, since such reports go to all 3 agencies. I haven't heard back from Bob yet, but hope to soon. I've never known a credit agency to ignore credit reporting, so am eager to learn how he did this.

justinec23 wrote:
I am a bit confused - there seem to be 3 locations to keep up with this - can someone please explain which is which?

Also, It took close to four hours yesterday when I contacted the three major credit bureaus, mostly because I insisted upon climbing the hierarchy. Each of them told me there is no provision for ignoring a delinquent account nor any other option that they would entertain for keeping us safe from credit reports submitted by the Manhattan Club. If someone has been successful getting the bureaus to cooperate, as has been mentioned on one of the other forums, please let us know. Thanks, Justine

Avatar for Sally W. Sally W.

3 years ago
Jul 27, 2016

By Irene S.

LATEST INFORMATION ON MANHATTAN CLUB INVESTIGATIONS

To get a copy of Judge Rakower's legal decisions in the New York Attorney General vs Manhattan Club case do the following:

1) https://apps.courts.state.ny.us/nyscef/HomePage

2) Click on supreme court

3) Click on search as guest

4) Enter the characters they give you to gain access

5) Search by name (Ian Bruce Eichner) or index # (41536/2014)

6) Choose whatever document you want from the list and click on it and you can download or copy it

Avatar for Irene S. Irene S.

3 years ago
Jul 28, 2016

By Gerard M.

LATEST INFORMATION ON MANHATTAN CLUB INVESTIGATIONS

Jeff: If you can orchestrate an owners' meeting, preferably with the AG's presentation, we should work actively to get the NYC media (especially the TV stations' investigative teams to attend. Based on last year's meeting participation, I think we could guarantee the media a well-attended session. Thoughts? -- Jerry Monaghan

Avatar for Gerard M. Gerard M.

3 years ago
Jul 28, 2016

By Chris V.

LATEST INFORMATION ON MANHATTAN CLUB INVESTIGATIONS

jerry, i have been reaching out to jeff and his co-planners (of last august's successful TMC owners' meeting in chelsea, nyc) to plan another similar meeting this summer. to date, i haven't gotten a positive response. more of us need to ditto this request for a meeting to be organized AND SOON with, as you said, the nysag's presentation (hopefully) as a highlight of the meeting. if the ag won't honor our presentation request, have other attorneys available with knowledgeable (no guesswork or assumptions) answers to questions from shareowners, e.g., making maintenance payments or not, passing deeded rights (which include ultra-escalated maintenance payments) to our heirs, et al. your suggestion to invite investigative media is excellent. present that to jeff as well to be included in our potential meeting. jeff worked with greg crist and others to plan the last meeting. we need an ENCORE!

chris

ltcgjm wrote:
Jeff: If you can orchestrate an owners' meeting, preferably with the AG's presentation, we should work actively to get the NYC media (especially the TV stations' investigative teams to attend. Based on last year's meeting participation, I think we could guarantee the media a well-attended session. Thoughts? -- Jerry Monaghan

Avatar for Chris V. Chris V.

3 years ago
Jul 28, 2016

By Beryl A.

LATEST INFORMATION ON MANHATTAN CLUB INVESTIGATIONS

Sorry but on entering the case # 41536/2015 it replied that nothing was available. Is this # correct? Beryl

Avatar for Beryl A. Beryl A.

3 years ago
Jul 29, 2016

By Sharon L.

LATEST INFORMATION ON MANHATTAN CLUB INVESTIGATIONS

You had a typing error. It is index # (41536/2014)

Avatar for Sharon L. Sharon L.

3 years ago
Jul 29, 2016

By Jeff W.

LATEST INFORMATION ON MANHATTAN CLUB INVESTIGATIONS

Jill and other TMC readers. I will not be able to attend next week (and the club wouldn't let me in, either), so good luck to all attending the board meeting. And please share all insights with us.

Avatar for Jeff W. Jeff W.

3 years ago
Jul 29, 2016

By Jeff W.

PODCAST WITH LAWYER DOUG WASSER ON TMC INVESTIGATION

For a timely update on the Manhattan Club legal issues, click on this link to hear attorney Douglas Wasser and I in a podcast arranged by TimeSharing Today.

Here is the link. Paste into your browser if the link does not work automatically

https://youtu.be/9N78pPGIs9Y

https://youtu.be/9N78pPGIs9Y

Last edit by jeff_reports on Jul 29, 2016 03:42 PM.

Avatar for Jeff W. Jeff W.

3 years ago
Jul 29, 2016

By Chris V.

LATEST INFORMATION ON MANHATTAN CLUB INVESTIGATIONS

jeff, are you (with other planners/organizers) considering my and others' request for an encore of last august's meeting of TMC OWNERS? we hope so. if you can persuade the nysag or his rep to be a presenter (by using the request form for a presentation on schneiderman's website) all the better: it certainly would draw many more shareowners even from a greater distance from nyc to attend. however, even if the nysag will not agree to a presentation, we believe another meeting would be to our advantage, especially if we have knowledgeable speakers and presenters available to address our individual and questions most of which are common to us all.

keep in touch.

chris

jeff_reports wrote:
Jill and other TMC readers. I will not be able to attend next week (and the club wouldn't let me in, either), so good luck to all attending the board meeting. And please share all insights with us.

Avatar for Chris V. Chris V.

3 years ago
Jul 30, 2016

By Robert R.

PODCAST WITH LAWYER DOUG WASSER ON TMC INVESTIGATION

Everyone should listen to this podcast. Very informative. Thanks to all who made this possible. Appears we're looking at another year or more of this investigation.

Avatar for Robert R. Robert R.

3 years ago
Jul 30, 2016

By Janet H.

PODCAST WITH LAWYER DOUG WASSER ON TMC INVESTIGATION

Thanks to Jeff, Shep and Doug for keeping us up to date with the AG's investigation of TMC. As all three pointed out, letters to the AG and to the court (Judge Rackower) have had enormous impact on the initial instigation and continuing progress of this investigation. It has taken a long time to get to where we are now and it seems that there is a long way to go, but it is important to continue communication with the agencies that can help us owners work toward justice.

I am part of Doug Wasser's group and want to thank him especially for keeping up with developments in this case and communicating them to the group in understandable terms.

Avatar for Janet H. Janet H.

3 years ago
Jul 31, 2016

By Jill S.

LATEST INFORMATION ON MANHATTAN CLUB INVESTIGATIONS

To Jeff and others - I just left TMC Timeshare Owners Annual meeting. It lasted from 9 - 11:15 am-ish. The Order of Business was only the election of Association board members. All 3 current members were re-elected: Robert Ballot, James Dunphy, Patricia Soltys (who was not present). The one new nominee, Tim Gordon, was not. The GM Joshua W. was the lead spokesperson. He's kind of gruff and did his best to keep a lid on any discussion beyond the election business, but he did allow a period after business for a Q&A from the audience. There were about 100 people present. About 10 questions were answered, or attempted, but only steam released on the elephant in room (AG investigation). Then we broke up in clusters around board members and asked individual questions, but always with the fearfulless that they can't talk about anything (that we really want to know). So I've come away with a peak into process and personalities, all too much for me to digest at this forum at the moment. We were given the invitation to email or pay any of them a visit, so I will start to do that, beginning with my current visit. I have the business card of the Executive Director of Operations Salvatore Reale. I will try to see him today or tomorrow.

Last edit by jills465 on Aug 06, 2016 12:38 PM.

Avatar for Jill S. Jill S.

3 years ago
Aug 03, 2016

By Chris V.

LATEST INFORMATION ON MANHATTAN CLUB INVESTIGATIONS

jils465,

the TMC OWNERS' ANNUAL MEETING IS A SET-UP JOKE! the principals, eichner, et al, all know the outcomes well before the meetings come to order. your comment about j wirshba, " He's kind of gruff and did his best to keep a lid on any discussion beyond the election business": this is typically their modus operandi......move this (required and advertised) meeting along for the record. we know exactly what we want as the final outcome anyway. as for ballot, dunphy and soltys, they're owners JUST LIKE US. i can't recall their doing anything to benefit their "brother and sister" owners...........or maybe i missed something. are they even allowed speak at meetings on owners' behalf and if so, do they? did they speak at this meeting that you attended? was this annual meeting a sham, a scene from a fictional play? did you find in to be up front and transparent, allowing owners to vent frustrations, and in the process, make some headway toward changing owners' issues for the better? i think not, and i don't think many other owners would think any differently...... that may be one of the reasons that TMC IS A DEFENDANT IN THE NYSAG MR. SCNEIDERMAN'S CURRENT LAWSUIT AS THE PLAINTIFF. i'd be very interested in knowing about your upcoming meeting with sal reale concerning his transparency and honest willingness to assist owners in their plight to get what they paid dearly for, e.g., reasonable (not ridiculously exorbitant) maintenance fees, reliable and reasonable reservation access and other issues expressed in this forum. i have had many conversations with sal reale, few of which addressed my issues. the results of your meeting expressing your concerns remain to be seen. sorry, but i don't have positive vibes at this time.

keep in touch. keep us all posted. we await your impressions and comments.........after you " digest at this forum at the moment."

chris

jills465 wrote:
To Jeff and others - I just left TMC Timeshare Owners Annual meeting. It lasted from 9 - 11:15 am-ish. The Order of Business was only the election of Association board members. All 3 current members were re-elected: Robert Ballot, James Dunphy, Patricia Soltys (who was nor present). The one new nominee, Tim Gordon, was not. The GM Joshua W. was the lead spokesperson. He's kind of gruff and did his best to keep a lid on any discussion beyond the election business, but he did allow a period after business for a Q&A from the audience. There were about 100 people present. About 10 questions were answered, or attempted, but only steam released on the elephant in room (AG investigation). Then we broke up in clusters around board members and asked individual questions, but always with the fearfulless that they can't talk about anything (that we really want to know). So I've come away with a peak into process and personalities, all too much for me to digest at this forum at the moment. We were given the invitation to email or pay any of them a visit, so I will start to do that, beginning with my current visit. I have the business card of the Executive Director of Operations Salvatore Reale. I will try to see him today or tomorrow.

Avatar for Chris V. Chris V.

3 years ago
Aug 03, 2016

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