Saturday, October 18, 2014

10,000 Page View Anniversary for our Naert and DuBois, LLC Blog!

Hilton Head timeshare fraud and mayoral corruption have proven to be extremely hot topics and key subjects in the success of our small law firm's blog on legal topics and local items of interest.  As our page views sit at 9,999 at this very moment, I thought I would take a few minutes to summarize some of the notable page view numbers associated with our blog that launched just a bit over a year ago on July 24, 2013.

Our most recent blog post here analyzing whether two (2) mystery companies, Ephesian Ventures, LLC and HHI Investment Company, LLC are shells for timeshare developers; linking HHI Investment Company, LLC to a local timeshare developer; and linking the Town's recent attempted sale of some tennis courts valued at $675,000.00 to HHI Investment Company, LLC for $15,000.00 while the mayor represents and/or represented a local timeshare company, which curiously has the same post office box address as HHI Investment Company, LLC, as a private attorney and has been friends with the local timeshare company's founder for more than twenty-five (25) years, has received 120 views in the last three (3) days.

Political corruption reportedly runs rampant in the state of South Carolina, with incessant reports of corruption in the Governor's office, our courts, and our local government at seemingly all levels, and Hilton Head Island appears to be no exception.  Hilton Head also has the shameful reputation of being a hot spot for rampant and egregious timeshare fraud, thousands of complaints of the same of timeshare sales fraud being publicly available from government entities by FOIA request and on websites like, and other similar complaint websites.

Strikingly, by far and away our most popular blog post to date is Cancel Your Timeshare Contract in South Carolina with 934 page views.  It is followed by How to Get Our of a Timeshare in South Carolina with 567 page views and then Joe for Mayor of Hilton Head? Responsible Tourism In and For Our Communities: Timeshares, Resorts, and Beyond with 500 page views.

In the last two (2) years, I have heard and read thousands of complaints of timeshare fraud on Hilton Head Island, and nearly very day I hear and read more of the exact same.  Folks regularly ask me how I could possibly know exactly what happened to them, how they were defrauded on Hilton Head Island, after they read my blog posts.  And I have to sadly inform them that it is no mystery.  That this is not just the first, tenth, one hundredth, or one thousandth time I have heard or read this same story.  But that their story of timeshare fraud on Hilton Head Island is one with which I am intimately familiar.

The next question is inevitable:  why are these timeshare companies allowed to continue to operate on our lovely Island?  And the short answer is that our Mayor represents certain timeshare factions as a private attorney and refuses to take any action as Mayor to do what is right, to protect Hilton Head Island's reputation, and to protect the vacationers that we so dearly depend upon to sustain our economy.  But the mayor election is fast approaching.

Here is an unscientific poll for the upcoming Hilton Head Island mayoral election on November 4, 2014, with Joe DuBois, my law partner, closely following the current Mayor running for re-election after his first and, hopefully, last four (4) year term.  Let your voice be heard and vote for Joe on the internet poll and, more importantly, vote for Joe on November 4, 2014!  More information about Joe DuBois' campaign for Mayor of Hilton Head Island can be found on his campaign website at

Zach Naert

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Ephesian Ventures, LLC and HHI Investment Company, LLC: Mystery Timeshare Developers?

Ephesian Ventures, LLC and homeowners at Edgewater on Broad Creek on Hilton Head Island have been embroiled in a lawsuit relating to property bought up by Ephesian Ventures, LLC from a Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding on May 9, 2007, the purchase price being:  $9,000,000.00.  In case you get lost in the zeros, that's nine million dollars.  I previously wrote on this subject here:  Ephesian Ventures, LLC to Build Timeshares at Edgwater on Broad Creek, Hilton Head Island?

This matter of public interest was also written about by the Island Packet, Hilton Head Island's esteemed newspaper, here: Ephesian Ventures, LLC and Edgewater by Broad Creek and here: Edgewater Eyesore.  Following a mayoral debate on the evening of October 15, 2014, the Island Packet wrote about another mystery taking shape on Hilton Head Island here:  Town of Hilton Head to Sell $675,000.00 Tennis Courts for $15,000.00.  The subject was brought to light in another recent Island Packet article here:  Tennis Court Asking Price Too Low?

During the mayoral debate, I believe all four (4) of the candidates vying to dethrone Drew Laughlin from his mayoral service of Hilton Head Islanders disagreed with the sale of the tennis courts.  Some boldly questioned why in the world this deal was contemplated and why a tennis court valued at $675,000.00 and purchased for $250,000.00 recently in 2002 was now on its way to be sold for $15,000.00.  For those lost in zeros again, that is six hundred and seventy-five thousand dollars, two hundred and fifty thousand dollars, and fifteen thousand dollars.

The tennis courts were proposed to be sold for $15,000.00 to the homeowners associations of The Hedges, Cordillo Courts II, and/or the Sea Cabin Racquet Club.  Curiously, the Beaufort County Register of Deeds office shows that one mystery company, HHI Investment Company, LLC, has very recently and heavily invested in purchasing units at the Sea Cabin Racquet Club, and I count at least fifty (50) since January of 2014. The South Carolina Secretary of State's Office online website shows Sean Keefer as the registered agent, a Charleston attorney at 1643B Savannah Highway, Charleston, South Carolina 29407.  No help there in discovering the identity of the investor.

However, Hilton Head Realtor Mike Powers has represented HHI Investment Company, LLC on the board of the homeowners association resulting from the recent influx of Sea Cabin purchases by the company.  And Mike Powers has a few testimonials endorsing him on his website and at least a couple from known affiliates of a particular Hilton Head Island timeshare company.  When I pulled a copy of one of the transfer deeds from the Beaufort County Register of Deed's Office, it shows that HHI Investment Company, LLC has a local post office box numbered 5686 on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.  Now we are getting somewhere.

That post office box number sure sounded familiar to me, so I did a Google search, and you'll never believe what I discovered!  Then do a Google search for the Mayor of Hilton Head's affiliation with timeshare companies.  Did I mention that although HHI Investment Company, LLC owns almost exclusively Sea Cabin units on Hilton Head, it happens to also own a unit at Edgewater on Broad Creek?  Mystery upon mystery.

Zach Naert

#Ephesian Ventures