With the help of Fibich, Leebron, Copeland & Briggs, a developer is seeking the money that he and 350 investors lost in bankruptcy filings related to the development of a luxury resort.
Richard Holland was the managing member of a group of investors that pooled $20 million into revamping Bishop’s Lodge, a luxury resort in Santa Fe. He purchased the property in 2014. It reopened in July of 2021 with several new buildings and 98 rooms. Behind the scenes, however, he alleges that a scheme was unfolding to oust him from the project.
A “Loan to Own” Scheme
In 2019, Holland’s group (HRV Santa Fe LLC) received a $15 million loan from Juniper Investment Advisors, with the hotel serving as collateral. According to Holland, this was part of a “loan to own” scheme to push the project into bankruptcy so that Juniper could gain ownership of the property.
Holland claims that Juniper denied an alternative financing deal to repay the loan, which ultimately led to bankruptcy proceedings. In October 2021, the bankruptcy court awarded ownership of the Lodge to Juniper. In response, Holland filed a complaint in December 2023 in New Mexico’s First Judicial District Court in Santa Fe. District Judge Maria Sanchez-Gagne will decide the case.
Lawsuit Seeks Investments Lost in Bankruptcy Proceedings
The suit accuses Juniper and its manager partner, Jay Wolf, of a breach of fiduciary duty, aiding and abetting breaches of fiduciary duty, and civil conspiracy. The complaint seeks the return of illegal gains, attorney fees, interest, and punitive damages. During the project’s development, Holland was the managing member of BL Holding, which contains BL Santa Fe, which owned the property. Holland was one of five members of BL Holding, and the suit alleges that Juniper coordinated with the other four members to remove him as manager.
The suit claims that Juniper “schemed to illegally capture control and ownership of the prestigious Bishop’s Lodge resort through a campaign of threats, personal financial inducements and disparagement of a project manager.” It alleges that Juniper conspired with the other four members of BL Holdings to block the alternative financing deals, which paved the road toward bankruptcy.
“Simply put, Juniper did not want to get repaid. Juniper wanted the property,” the lawsuit says.
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