Numerous accusations have been made; most lack substance. However, Grupo Mariana regards the situation as serious as the implications are disturbing. It should be noted that all allegations are being investigated and will be responded to in due course.
In the meantime, two issues should be touched upon briefly. The first is the accusation that delays are tantamount to fraud and the second is the motive and credibility of the accusers.
A delay is something that is postponed or moved to a date later than expected. Fraud is deliberate deceit or cheating intended to gain an advantage. To equate the two is irrational.
From the start, Grupo Mariana set out to raise the bar in Nicaragua. Grupo Mariana achieved unparalleled success in that endeavor, bringing brands like Kemper Sports Management, Nicklaus Design and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts to the region. When taking a project to a new level, time and patience are required. It is imperative to ensure that everything is done correctly. There are numerous stories throughout Latin America of investors purchasing real estate only to find later that permits are not in place, title is not as represented, etc.
For our organization, taking things to a new level (a level not yet seen in Nicaragua) has required extra time in planning, due diligence and proper permitting. We could have cut corners in order to move faster but that is not the development we set out to create, nor the development our investors deserve.
The hard truth of the matter is that things can get done very quickly if someone does them the wrong way. If things are done the right way the process is much longer and patience is required. We are a company that looks to the long term rather than the short term. We are interested in quality, not quick fixes. Sometimes getting the best takes time but it is undeniably worth it.
Lately our efforts have been hindered and undermined by a small group of people who appear to have an agenda. The accusations put forth are ostensibly to protect investors. However, the motivation of the accusers warrants consideration. Motive can be revealing. Credibility is crucial as well; we will elaborate in future communications.
As always, our investors come first. We have overcome challenges in the past and will overcome the new challenges as well. Those who bet against us in the past have been disappointed. The current situation, while formidable, will prove no different. We will not allow a small group of people (with questionable motives) to undermine the progress we have achieved and hurt investors who have placed their trust in our hands.
Grupo Mariana currently has meetings scheduled with Pro Nicaragua, attorneys both domestic and international and other parties, which will remain confidential for the time being. Please be assured that we will be taking appropriate action in all facets of the situation as well as pursuing matters to the fullest extent of the law.
As most of you are undoubtedly aware, Seaside Mariana suffered a significant setback recently. As the result of a single illegal lawsuit, Wyndham Hotels Group terminated the relationship with Seaside Mariana. On December 10, 2012, Nicklaus Design followed suit.
Because the lawsuit has had such a detrimental impact on our project, it merits further discussion. It affects everyones investment; you deserve to know the truth.
There have been many falsehoods circulated. We look forward to setting the record straight so we can turn our attention to the most important thing: The still beautiful oceanfront property of Seaside Mariana and how we regroup and move forward.
Truth About the Lawsuit:
The Claim: Mr. Cole claimed he made repeated requests to meet but we failed to respond. He said he had no choice but to file a lawsuit, which he calls Arbitration.
The Truth: This is false. We were in regular contact with Ted Cole and maintained frequent contact over a period of six years. In fact, we attempted to contact Mr. Cole on June 5th, 2012 but received no answer. A month later we were notified that he had filed a lawsuit against us.
On September 18, 2012 we once again attempted to contact Mr. Cole but were met with no response. Shortly thereafter on November 6, 2012 a letter containing multiple accusations and multiple falsehoods was posted on the Ripoff Report and distributed to Grupo Mariana Owners and others not directly involved with our company.
The Claim: Mr. Cole claims that Seaside Mariana failed to show up for Arbitration.
The Truth: This is false. Mr. Cole attempted to treat and call the lawsuit and arbitration as if they were one and the same. Lawsuits and Arbitration proceedings are entirely different.
The contract Mr. Cole signed specifies that Arbitration on the seven lots must be filed in Miami, Florida. Arbitration on the condos must be filed in Managua. We invite Mr. Cole to provide documentation that he filed Arbitration proceedings in either jurisdictionor anywhere for that matter.
There is a 4-week advance notice that Arbitration will take place. Each party must provide funds to cover arbitration costs (center + arbitrators). Estimate US $18,000.00; which is divided equally between the parties.
Once the arbitrator is appointed they call the parties for a meeting to see if an agreement may be reached to avoid the rest of the process. If you are not in country a representative may appear on your behalf.
If an agreement is not reached, the arbitrator will establish the number of days the plaintiff has to present the claim (7-15 days) and the number of days the defendant has to reply (equal number of days).
The process may last 6-12 months until a decision and award is made.
The first resolution is admitting the lawsuit, calling the parties to a mediation hearing and possibly a Judge instructing the Public Registrar to record or cancel the lawsuit . The first actions subsequent to Mr. Coles lawsuit were nullified on August 16, 2012.
However, in the same resolution that upheld Seaside Marianas challenge, the Judge issued an amended resolution containing the same mistakes and irregularities that nullified the first one.
A second motion to nullify was filed on August 17, 2012. The second motion has not been decided. Despite this new challenge, the Judge sent the copy of the lawsuit to the Public Registrar for its recordation. Seaside Mariana was not notified that the lawsuit was recorded on August 20, 2012; nor were we given the chance to appear before a Judge prior to the recordation.
The Claim: Ted Cole claims he has $250,000 of his own funds invested in seven lots.
The Truth: Seven of the lots Mr. Cole sued over do not belong to him 100%. The seven lots are also owned by two other people, Richard Foster and Michael Edmonds, neither of which are listed on the lawsuit. Mr. Cole is also suing for interest on seven lots that are not exclusively his.
The Claim: Mr. Cole claims he is entitled to $423,009 to account for lost interest from his thriving real estate business in Canada.
The Truth: We have written confirmation from Mr. Cole himself and his wife Carmen Elizondo that his business in Canada was struggling. The claim for $423,009 in lost interest from his thriving business appears to be a fabrication.
Keep in mind that some of the money for the seven lots was put up by two other people yet Mr. Cole is suing as if the entire amount were his own. That would presuppose that had the other two people not invested in Seaside Mariana they would have given Mr. Cole their money to invest in his Canada business instead. That also presupposes that had they invested with him they would not have asked for the interest generated on their money but (for some unknown reason) given the money to Mr. Cole instead.
The Claim: Mr. Cole claims that his lawsuit puts a lien on the property of Seaside Mariana.
The Truth: This is false. The lawsuit is not a lien because it does not dispute ownership rights at Seaside Mariana. It is not an embargo either because Mr. Cole has not paid the bond equivalent to $2,073,010.50. In addition, in order to physically execute an embargo over the assets of another, a payment of 2% must be made to the Supreme Court of Justice. In Coles lawsuit that would amount to a payment of over $40,000. Cole has not paid this fee and no embargo has been issued or executed.
Even though there was a provisional recordation, it does not qualify as a lien. The immovable assets or real rights over which a provisional recordation has been made may be transferred or encumbered without prejudice of the persons right in favor of whom the recordation was made.
According to Nicaraguan attorneys Mr. Ernesto Rizo and Mr. Rolando Zambrana from the firm of NUNEZ RIZO ZAMBRANA, The Provisional Recordation of the Damages Lawsuit does NOT grant Mr. Edward Albert Cole any priority, privilege or right over the Corporations assets.
The Claim: Mr. Cole claims that if he wins only 26 lots will retain title. The rest will likely face 100% losses.
The Truth: This is not true but it is quite revealing in regards to Mr. Coles motives as well as concern for his fellow investors, or lack thereof.
The bottom line is that Mr. Cole ignored our attempts to contact him, ignored the required Arbitration clause and proceeded to file a recklessly negligent lawsuit that adversely affects all investors.
We hope this answers the main questions you may have regarding the lawsuit that set the current circumstances in motion. Our goal is to get the truth out and then move forward. There have been falsehoods circulated in regards to the termination of the Wyndham Hotel Group relationship as well.