$10 Million Claim in Busted Condo Deal

NEWARK (CN) – Two Canadian real estate promoters took investors for nearly $10 million in a failed luxury tourist resort in the Bahamas, 11 named plaintiffs claim in a federal class action.

     The 11 named plaintiffs claim that Intrawest ULC and Playground Real Estate persuaded each of them to invest $60,000 to $600,000 in condominiums on the Turks & Caicos Islands, in 2004.
     “Defendants assured plaintiffs that this deposit would be placed into a safe, interest-bearing trust account, and even claimed that it would be ‘protected’ from all ‘unforeseen circumstances,'” the class action suit alleges.
     The investors say they were assured that the “Veranda” resort – which was to include 100 luxury condos, a restaurant bar and pool – was “on track.” But then the construction company behind the project filed for bankruptcy in the United Kingdom, the complaint states.
     The investors say they “recovered nothing from the bankruptcy” and want to recoup the $10 million in lost deposits.
     Intrawest, based in Vancouver, B.C., “owns and operates numerous alpine skiing resorts located in North America, most of which are located in the United States,” according to the complaint.
     Playground Real Estate is based in Whistler, B.C.
     According to the complaint, “Intrawest was compensated for each sale it made, receiving millions of dollars in commissions based on the successful marketing efforts it directed at the class members.”
     The plaintiffs say Intrawest was “unjustly enriched at the expense of the class members because it received a benefit – millions in commissions – that came from money deposited by class members on condominiums that they never received.”
     Plaintiffs seek damages for consumer law violations, negligent misrepresentation and unjust enrichment. They are represented by Michael Caddell with Caddell and Chapman of Houston and Joseph Sauder with Chimicles & Tikellis of Haverford, Pa.

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