Mark Brivik Sues FDLE After Botched Up Investigation

Mark Brivik Completely Exonerated by State Attorney

Brivik Never Charged or Arraigned, Sues for Damages.  Read the real truth below:

 


 


 

HOME DEVELOPERS JOHN AND STEVE MURRAY OF MURRAY HOMES & MURRAY REALTY ARE BEING SUED IN FEDERAL COURT

REAL ESTATE DEVELOPERS AND LUXURY HOME BUILDERS, JOHN AND STEVE MURRAY ARE NOW DEFENDANTS IN A FEDERAL LAW SUIT FOR KNOWINGLY CONSPIRING WITH OTHERS TO PROVIDE FALSE INFORMATION FOR THE PURPOSE OF INTENTIONALLY CAUSING A WRONGFUL ARREST.

THE LAWSUIT WAS FILED AFTER THE STATE ATTORNEY INTERVIEWED JOHN MURRAY, STEVE MURRAY AND OTHERS. IT WAS CONCLUDED THAT THE INFORMATION THEY HAD PROVIDED UNDER OATH WAS FALSE.

THE QUESTION NOW REMAINS; BESIDES FACING CLAIMS IN FEDERAL COURT, WILL THERE BE CRIMINAL CHARGES BROUGHT AGAINST THEM FOR PURGERY BY THE STATE ATTORNEY OR THE ATTORNEY GENERAL? 

MARK BRIVIK FILES NEW LAWSUIT FOR DAMAGES, AFTER DECISION BY JUDGE

See new complaint

STATE ATTORNEY CONFIRMS MARK BRIVIK DID NOT VIOLATE ANY  LAWS OR SECURITY STATUTES

MARK BRIVIK FILED A LAWSUIT AGAINST FDLE OFFICER CLAUDIA LAW AFTER THE STATE ATTORNEY CONCLUDED MARK BRIVIK DID NOT VIOLATE ANY LAWS INCLUDING ANY FLORIDA SECURITY LAWS.

THE ARREST WAS WITHOUT ANY BASIS AND WITHOUT PROBABLE CAUSE OR ARGUABLE PROBABLE CAUSE. BRIVIK WAS FALSELY ACCUSED OF VIOLATING FLORIDA SECURITY STATUTES INCLUDING 517.07.

OFFICER CLAUDIA LAW CHOSE TO IGNORE THE FACT THAT THE TRANSACTION WAS EXEMPT UNDER THE FLORIDA  SECURITY STATUTE 517.061. IN ADDITION THE LAWSUIT ACCUSES FDLE AGENT CLAUDIA  LAW OF DELIBERATELY FALSIFYING AND MANIPULATING THE FACTS WITH THE INTENTION OF MISLEADING A JUDGE TO SIGN A FALSE WARRANT. See complaint click here

 

 

Assistant Attorney General, Michael Moore's Deposition Contradicts Claudia Law's Statements to the Court

Assistant Attorney General's Evidence Supports Mark Brivik's Contention that Claudia Law Fabricated and Manipulated the facts.

MOTION  MOORE FILED AUG 31.pdf 

Deposition of Moore.pdf

Extract from Motion: MOTION MOORE FILED AUG 31.pdf

 

"At this juncture, Plaintiff stresses that it is recognized that society would like to believe that police officers tell the truth. They protect our society and we need them to be truthful. However, the instant motion practice demonstrates that Officer Law was neither accurate in her motion practice or in her dealings with the Plaintiff prior to his incarceration: Officer Law represented that Attorney Moore told Law that the Plaintiff committed a felony. This is false. Further, Officer Law suggested that there was a proper inference to be derived from Attorney Moore’s representations. This was also false – pursuant to Moore’s own testimony"

 

Brivik Sues FDLE agent Claudia Law and former partners in Federal Court for false arrest.

Read the complaint by clicking HERE. 

Motion Made, on Brivik's Behalf, Detailing Claudia Law's Falsified Affidavit to State Judge

Filed 05/03/2012 in Federal Court/Tampa

Click Here to See Motion

"Updated", New Complaint Filed 04/16/2012 - Against former partners

Click Here to read Complaint

 

"Updated", Amended Complaint Against Claudia Law (FDLE Agent) Attached To Motion

Details, in complaint, how FDLE agent Claudia Law falsified her affidavit to state Judge to obtain an illegal arrest warrant.

Filed 05/03/2012 Case 8:11-cv-02101-VMC-TGW

Read The Complaint Here

Attorney for FDLE agent Claudia Law files false motion.

Did Attorney Sam Mandelbaum knowingly and intentionally provide a false motion to a Federal Judge?

"Officer Law, through her counsel, [Sam Mandelbaum], has committed a fraud upon the Court. This fraud has induced this Court to believe and rely upon material facts that are simply not true"

CASE NO.: 8:11-cv-02101-VMC-TGW  (see demand for truth)

Fraud charges dropped, developer sues FDLE agent

By SHANNON BEHNKEN | The Tampa Tribune
Published: September 17, 2011

TAMPA --

Mark Brivik, a former Sarasota real estate developer and major contributor to Republican causes, was jailed in 2009 for 24 days on charges of fraud and securities violations.

Those charges were later dropped, and this week he sued the state investigator and the businessmen he holds responsible for the allegations.

Brivik, in a lawsuit filed Thursday in Tampa's U.S. District Court, accused Claudia Law, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement agent who brought the case against him, of conducting a botched investigation that ruined his career.

READ MORE

Real Estate Developer Fights Back

Published: 09/16/11 03:00 AM EDT

CHICAGO, IL, September 16, 2011 /24-7PressRelease/ -- A federal false arrest and malicious prosecution lawsuit is being filed by businessman, Mark Brivik in Tampa Federal Court. Mr. Brivik, a successful Florida real estate developer, was forcefully taken from his home and family and incarcerated for 24 days for crimes he did not commit.

A botched investigation by an FDLE agent caused Mr. Brivik to be arrested for alleged security violations and other matters in connection with a real estate deal. FDLE Agent Claudia Law performed a haphazard investigation of a complicated real estate transaction between Mr. Brivik and other business associates. She so profoundly misunderstood the nature of the transaction that she interpreted traditional business dealings as illegal activity.

Agent Law was not the only one at fault. As the suit alleges, multiple investors in the real estate deal presented falsified evidence to Agent Law. Pursuant to the allegations, the investors' purpose was to use Mr. Brivik as the scapegoat to blow up a real estate deal which became less desirable after a nationwide economic downturn. The allegations assert that John Murray, his son Steve Murray, and others presented false information to Agent Law with the intent of causing Mr. Brivik to be arrested and prosecuted.

READ MORE

 

ATTORNEYS FOR MARK BRIVIK FILE AN APPEAL WITH THE 11th JUDICIAL CIRCUIT, COURT OF APPEALS IN ATLANTA, GA

BRIVIK CONTINUES HIS FIGHT FOR JUSTICE AFTER WRONGFUL ARREST CASE AND "BOTCHED-UP" INVESTIGATION BY FDLE AGENT CLAUDIA LAW

 

FORMER PARTNERS CONSPIRED AND LIE TO OBTAIN A FALSE ARREST RESULTING IN THE STATE ATTORNEY REFUSING TO FILE CHARGES AFTER REVIEWING ALL DOCUMENTATION.

The agency charged Mark Brivik, who was free on $100,000 bond, with 23 counts of organized scheme to defraud, fraudulent transactions/omission of fact, sale of unregistered security and sale of security by unregistered issuer. But in dropping the case, Assistant State Attorney Guy Flowers said FDLE failed to prove two key points: That the land deal was a security, and that the option existed. The investors would have to be “passive” for the land deal to meet the state’s definition of a security, and that was not the case here, he said in an internal memorandum provided by his office.

“Each investor disclosed that he took/undertook an affirmative, active role as a member of the corporation in an effort to seek a return on his investment,” Flowers wrote. “Therefore, the state cannot prove the securities allegations beyond a reasonable doubt.” There was no legal option because purchase terms, such as the price, were never agreed to or written down, Flowers said. He also said the investors knew it was “merely a ‘choice’ to buy the property as the third and final piece of development.”

FDLE spokesman Keith Kameg said the agency “respects the decision of the State Attorney’s Office” and had no further comment.

Update January 20, 2011

Charges dropped in Manatee land case: Bradenton Herald

- dmarsteller@bradenton.com

SARASOTA -- An Orlando man accused of defrauding investors on a failed residential development in Manatee County will not face criminal charges.

READ MORE

 

Real estate fraud case develops a few cracks
By DUANE MARSTELLER - dmarsteller@bradenton.com

MANATEE — One aspect of the state’s fraud case against Mark and Marie Brivik
appears to be cracking as their attorneys begin mounting a defense.

South African prosecutors said Wednesday they are not pursuing Mark Brivik on
charges that he stole from his former law firm’s trust account, despite an arrest
warrant issued in 1993. That’s because the National Prosecuting Authority of
South Africa declined to prosecute the case, agency spokeswoman Bulelwa
Makeke said.

read more on bradenton.com

SEE COMPLAINT FILED IN FEDERAL COURT BY MB
AGAINST FDLE AND FORMER PARTNERS BY CLICKING
ON THIS TEXT!

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
TAMPA DIVISION


MARK BRIVIK,
Plaintiff,

READ MORE

 

Sarasota Herald Tribune Defamatory Article Debunked

Story Published May 4, 2008
Title: "Dealmaker elevated flip to an art"
Reporter: Michael Braga

Now:
The Real Truth concerning Mark Brivik.

The true facts below, exposes and negates the slanderous lies of the article:

 

A Statement from Mark Brivik:

The Sarasota Herald Tribune printed a malicious, inaccurate and untrue article about me. My attorneys are proceeding to institute legal action against the Sarasota Herald Tribune and/or its officials.

Below are a letters from my attorney setting out some of the many inaccurate and malicious statements. Follow up letters will also be included below as soon as they become available, dealing with more inaccurate statements.

Please review this letters below as they clearly exposes and sets out many of the untrue and inaccurate statements., clearly reflecting their malicious intend to put me in a bad light.

After hearing the questions posed by Mr. Braga during our meeting, I had a strong sense that Mr. Braga appeared to have no experience or expertise in real estate development or finance. This sense was confirmed by the inaccurate and misleading content of his article.

I would like to extend a special thank you to all of my friends and associates for your strong support. It is very encouraging and rewarding to receive so many wonderful emails and phone calls from all of you.

This kind of one sided-maliciously poor journalism should not be tolerated and should not go without being dealt with in the appropriate manner, through our court system.

Regards,

Mark Brivik

.


 

 

Update April 06, 2010

Additional Documents Supporting The Sarasota Herald Tribune's intentional avoidance of the truth

Where did the money really go? Not Mr. Brivik. Click on links above to view pdf documents that further display the deliberate avoidance of the truth by The Sarasota Herald Tribune:

 


 

Update July 30, 2009

PERSONAL LIABILITIES

Mr Braga in his continuous  attempt to distort the true facts fails to provide correct details.

ALL PROPRTIES THAT I PERSONALLY OWNED WITH PARTNERS WERE SOLD TO INDEPENDENT BUYERS AND ALL PARTIES WERE PAID IN FULL INCLUDING THE LENDERS

 

MANATEE  RIVER PROJECT

As can be seen from the letters addressed by my attorney which are displayed on this website, Mr Braga again manipulates the facts to suit and fit  his
agenda.

Mr Braga fails to set out not withstanding the fact that my attorney explained and showed Mr Braga the legal documents of this transaction

Important facts to know:

I DID NOT RECEIVE ANY FUNDS RESULTING FROM THE SALE.  This was clearly explained to Mr Braga with documents  in front of him in the attorney's office. Mr Braga conveniently fails to point this out in two different articles!

 

APPRAISAL

Mr Braga states that the appraisal was done by Glen Greber, when in fact it was done by a MAI APPRAISER CHOSEN AND APPROVED BY THE BANK. NONE OF THE PARTNERS TO THE PROJECT OBJECTED TO THE APPOINTMENT THE APPRAISER AND NONE OBJECTED TO THE VALUE . THEY HAD MORE THAN ENOUGH TIME TO OBJECT. MR JOHN MURRAY THE MANAGING PARTNER USED THAT APPRAISAL COMPANY FOR HIS PROJECTS.

 

CONCLUSION

UNFORTUNATELY THE DISTORTION OF THE TRUTH IS USED TO CREATE SENSATIONALISM TO SELL NEWSPAPERS AND INNOCENT PEOPLE ARE SERVERLY HURT IN THIS PURSUIT.

 


 

Update July 21, 2009

Braga and his associates continue their agenda to put me in a bad and false light by linking me with suspicious practices and schemes of others.

Mr Braga is deliberately distorting the truth and the manipulating the facts to purposely create a false profile on me that fits his personal motives and objectives. His intent is to group me with others that may have conducted suspicious or fraudulent transactions.

Recent Distorted Facts:

Closing Statement:
None of the residential properties developed for the purpose of resale, in my name with partners, ever went into foreclosure. All of these transactions ended successfully with all parties being paid.

Mr Braga and the Sarasota Herald Tribune's distortion of the facts try and mis-characterize me with other "flippers" who sold properties to family members and friends on a continuous basis. This is proof of the malicious goal to place me in a bad light in an attempt to litigate my potential claim against the Sarasota Herald Tribune.

Mr Braga purposely misquotes me and manipulates the facts regarding refinancing in order to achieve his own agenda.

This reinforces the growing claims we hear of poor and unprofessional journalism.

 


 

Summary of Inaccuracies Published in the Article by:
Michael Braga
in the Sarasota Times-Herald

.

The Truth:

Mr. Braga's Article Headline alone, “Dealmaker Elevated Flip to an Art”, implies two things that conspicuously embellish his agenda:

•  From Dictionary.Com:

.

“Flipping is a term, used primarily in the United States , which refers to the practice of buying an asset and quickly reselling ("flipping") it for profit.”

•  “ART” The use of the word “Art” in the headline implies that this alleged process has been repeated many many times in order to master and perfect it. Yet, in this regard, his article is only about two properties. Further proof that Mr. Braga is embellishing his spin of falsehoods in order to put Mr. Brivik in a bad light.

.

 

549 Sloop Lane  

•  This property was purchased by Windsong Resorts, Inc. A Florida Cooperation and not by Mark Brivik Individually.

•  At the time of the purchase the property was approximately 2,200 square feet. Not 5,600 square feet as stated in the article.

•  The property was 90% demolished and a new luxury waterfront property was constructed in its place. This information was purposely omitted by Mr. Braga in his article. In fact, the article suggests that the property was not improved upon and was simply “sold back and forth” for no reasons other than to obtain improper loans. There was a change of partners, only. A change of partners does not constitute a sale or so called "sale back and forth".

.

.

7300 Cove Terrace

•  This property was purchased by Jaysir, Inc. Another company, not Mark Brivik individually.

•  The property was 2,000 square feet, not 4,500 square feet as stated in the article.

•  The property was in very bad condition when purchased. Derelict is a good way to describe it. It was 90% demolished and a luxury waterfront property was constructed with the highest quality finishes in its place. The property was sold to a third party and all partners and lenders were paid in full. The proceeds were NOT used to "pay off his remaining debts". The closing statement clearly confirms this. Mr. Braga's allegations were clearly fabricated to enhance his agenda and spin to put Mr. Brivik in a bad light.

.

.

Legitimate Transactions by the Lenders

 

 

 

The determination of the property values by the lenders was based on market value and improvements made to the properties, NOT by the transfer of the property title.

The lenders all acted appropriately when the loans were made. There was nothing questionable by neither their conduct nor Mr. Brivik's.

 

To suggest that highly regulated lending institutions would be subject to such childish and crude manipulation can only be described as ignorant. To even suggest that I would merely transfer properties “back and forth” between entities and pull out millions falls nothing short of stupidity and ignorance!!!

The transfer of title does not determine value!

 

 

 

 

Top Businessman Confirms inaccuracies of the article and backs up Mark Brivik!

Read the letter from Harvey Vengroff HERE.

 

 

The “Trail of Disgruntled Investors”

There was never a "trail of disgruntled investors". One investor doesn't represent a “trail”. The one "disgruntled investor" was refunded in full, withdrew his complaint and hastily apologized to Mr. Brivik in writing.

Mr. Braga acknowledged this mistake in a correction later published.

.

The Manatee River Project and First Priority Bank

The article falsely implies and suggests that First Priority Bank is “out millions” while my partners and I walked away with millions in profits. The facts were made fully known to the reporter, Mr. Braga. Yet, he intentionally fails to mention these facts in order to embellish his agenda. The facts:

•  The loans were not made by Mr. Brivik personally. They were made by the River Meadows Development, LLC of which Mr. Brivik has a MINORITY INTEREST ONLY and NO CONTROL.

  • The article falsely intimates that Mr. Brivik improperly used $1.3 million from investors to pay personal debt. No personal debt was paid. An existing mortgage on the property purchased was paid off per the agreement with the investors. Mr. Braga was personally shown documents in the the presence of Mr. Brivik's attorney BEFORE THE ARTICLE WAS WRITTEN. The documents clearly indicate how the funds were used to pay off corporate debt. Mr. Braga intentionally omitted a recitation of what the documents contained.

    •  The article fails to mention the loans were secured with millions of dollars worth of waterfront property and by the personal guarantees of six individuals of substantial worth.

    .

    .

    Incarcerate claim by Mr Braga of the Sarasota Times-Herald is; that Mr. Brivik has a warrant pending in South Africa.

    Yet another complete disregard for the facts and truth. With proper research, the truth about the incident in South Africa would have been shown. The truth however would not put the correct spin on the article that the writer wanted to achieve.

    The Truth
    A police officer recommended a warrant be issued based on false information. After a proper investigation, The National Prosecuting Authority of South Africa (equivalent to our Attorney General) declined to prosecute. Therefore no warrant was issued or pending.

    In reaction to the Sarasota Times-Herald Article, Mr. Brivik felt compelled to officially disprove this inaccurate statement to it's readers, by retaining an attorney and a senior counsel (equivalent to Queen's Counsel in the UK) to meet with the Prosecuting Authority to obtain the written confirmation that there is no pending warrant of arrest and the confirmation of the decision to decline any prosecution against Mr. Brivik.

    Click here, to view official lettersSee the Official Letters from the Attorneys and the National Prosecuting Authority of South Africa:

    CLICK HERE

     

     


Here are the facts:

.

Article Published in -the_May,4, 2008
issue of the Sarasota Herald Tribune
under headline: “Dealmaker elevated flip
to an art”
Reporter Michael Braga

.

Gentlemen:

This office represents Mr. Mark Brivik. More than live (5) days prior to instituting suit, and pursuant to Section 770.01, Florida Statutes; you are hereby notified that the above referenced article published in the May 4, 2008 issue of the Sarasota Herald Tribune contained the following false and defamatory statements or statements which Invaded Mr. Brivik's privacy by placing him before the public in a false light:

.

1. Regarding the property at 549 Sloop Lane, Longboat Key, the property was purchased by Windsong Resorts, lnc., a Florida corporation, and not Mr. Brivik individually. The article falsely suggests that Windsong Resorts and Mr. Brivik are one and the same. They are not.

2. Regarding the property at 549 Sloop Lane, Longboat Key, at the time the Property was purchased by Windsong Resorts, lnc, the property was comprised of approximately 2200 square feet and was derelict and vacant. A simple check of the property appraiser's record will verify that. The article falsely states and intimates that the property was 5,600 square feet at the time of purchase and falsely suggests and intimates that the very same property, in its original condition, was simply sold "back and forth" for no legitimate purchase. The residence on the property was 90% demolished and a new luxury waterfront home of 5,600 square was constructed in its place. The article falsely suggests that companies with which Mr. Brivik was involved improperly obtained loans on the property without setting forth the nature and extent of the improvements done to the property through the loans and falsely implying that nothing was done with the property other than pulling money out it.

3. Regarding the property at 549 Sloop Lane, Longboat Key, the article falsely suggests or intimates that Mr. Brivik is associated with the mortgage to Michael Wykoff, and that the alleged default of the mortgage is somehow Mr. Brivik's fault.

4. Regarding the property at 7300 Cove Terrace, Sarasota, the property was purchased by Jaysir, lnc., a Florida corporation, and not by Mr. Brivik individually. The article falsely suggests that Jaysir, lnc. and Mr. Brivik are one and the same. They are not.

5. Regarding the property at 7300 Cove Terrace, Sarasota, at the time the property was purchased by Jaysir, lnc, the property was comprised of approximately 2000 square feet and was derelict and vacant. The article falsely states that the property was 4500 square feet at the time of purchase and falsely suggests and intimates that the very same property, in its original condition, was simply sold back and forth for no legitimate purchase. The residence on the property was 90% demolished and a new luxury waterfront home of 4,500 square was constructed in its place. The article falsely suggests that companies with which Mr. Brivik was involved improperly obtained loans on the property without setting forth the nature and extent of the improvements done to the property through the loans, false implying that nothing was done with the property other than pulling money out it.

6. Regarding the property at 7300 Cove Terrace, Sarasota the article falsely states that Mr. Brivik used the sales proceeds from the property to pay off his remaining debts. The property was not owned by Mr. Brivik at the time of sale. The sale proceeds were used to pay the existing mortgages on the property. Mr. Brivik did not receive the sales proceeds. The article falsely suggests and intimates that Mr. Brivik simply pulled a million dollars out of the property when sold and used it for some improper individual purpose.

7. ln a generic false and defamatory statement, the article states that Mr. Brivik gained "wealth and prosperity” through sales back and forth" to partners and companies he controlled to pull money out of the properties through loans. The article falsely and maliciously mis-characterize the transactions in question by failing to set forth the nature of the improvements done to the properties which increased their value many times over, and falsely intimates and suggests that Mr. Brivik was simply running a Ponzi-type scheme. The reference to the Israeli Ambassador is a clearly an anti-semitic slur, thrown into the article for no proper purpose.

8. The article falsely states, suggests and intimates that Mr. Brivik defaulted on $16 million in personal loans. The loans in question were principally made to corporate entities, a significant number of which were not controlled by Mr. Brivik.

9. The article falsely states, suggests and intimates that a significant number of the transactions Mr. Brivik was involved with were not “arms length”, and that is what made his circumstances different from other developers and investors who have suffered in the real estate decline. ln the same paragraph, the article again falsely states, suggests and intimates that the transactions were simply “sales"-“back and forth” to partners and companies he controlled to pull money out of the properties through loans. The article again falsely and maliciously mis-characterize the transactions in question by failing to set forth the nature of the improvements done to the properties which increase their value many times over, and falsely intimates and suggests that Mr. Brivik was simply running a Ponzi-type scheme, and a really complicated one at that.

10. The article, allegedly quoting one Gordon Hester, falsely states Mr. Brivik was playing games", and the “extra money" went to pay for Mr. Brivik's luxurious lifestyle, paying for vehicles, boats, and club memberships. The article fails to mention that U.S. Funding actually made approximately $10 million in loans to Brivik related entities, and that Mr. Hester's company made huge profits from the interest and fees charged.- The article false states, suggests, and intimates that Mr. Brivik individually flipped properties to “live off equity" he didn't have.

11. The article purports to quote one Harvey Vengroff in the disclosure of confidential credit information regarding Mr. Brivik. Mr. Brivik never gave Harvey Vengroff authority to “run a credit check" on him, and certainly did not give the Sarasota Herald-Tribune the authority to do so either, whether directly or indirectly. The article falsely states that Mr. Brivik had no cash flow. He did. The article falsely suggests and intimates that running a credit check would show someone's cash flow". The article falsely states that all of Mr. Brivik's properties were "empty rentals". They were not. ` The article falsely suggests and intimates that running a credit check would show that a property was an "empty rental". The article falsely states that Mr. Brivik purchased two properties from Harvey Vengroff'. Mr. Brivik was involved in a single, and successful, transaction with Mr. Vengroff, not two transactions. Mr. Vengroff was so "stunned” that one of his companies actually rented the property at 4866 Wilde Point Drive from Mr. Brivik for several years!

12. The article falsely states that Mr. Brivik organized an intricate deal in 2006 to reduce "interest-outflow", whatever that means. Mr. Brivik sold nothing to River Meadows Development, LLC... Manatee River Resorts, lnc sold one property to River Meadows Development, LLC... Thereafter, River Meadows Development, LLC, a company in which Mr. Brivik had a minority interest, borrowed monies from First Priority Bank. Mr. Brivik got nothing.

13. The article falsely omits the fact that Mr. Brivik has never been served with any complaint from the investors in River Meadows Development, LLC.

14. The article falsely intimates that Mr. Brivik improperly used $1 .3. million from investors to pay personal debt. No personal debt was paid. An existing mortgage on the property purchased by River Meadows Development, LLC was paid off, per the agreement with the investors and the organization of the company. ln the manner in which the article was written, it is clearly intimated that when questioned by the reporter regarding the transaction, Mr. Brivik, as if offering an excuse, said the money “was always intended to pay corporate debt." Mr. Brivik said the loan did pay corporate debt and it was intended to do so. Mr. Brivik personally showed the appropriate documents, including the actual closing statement, to the reporter before he wrote the article. Those documents clearly showed the funds were used for their intended purpose. The reporter intentionally omitted a recitation of what the actual documents said, and instead emphasized the false allegations of the so-called investors, with the obvious intention of showing Mr. Brivik in a false negative light.

15. The article falsely states that the Pelfrey criminal complaint was dismissed because of insufficient evidence". The reporter was furnished with the actual notice which says ”no evidence", not “insufficient evidence".

16. The article falsely states that Mr. Brivik was previously sued by "disgruntled former partners". It was Mr. Brivik that sued Robert Palfrey, not vice -versa.

17. The article states that Mr. Brivik produced letters of apology" from Mssrs. Benekos and Pelfrey. The article fails to state that Mr. Brivik also furnished to the reporter witnessed, notarized formal statements from Pelfrey and Benekos in which they withdrew all allegations of wrongdoing against Mr. Brivik and acknowledged their falsehood. The reporter omitted mention of the formal statements, even though they were actually furnished to him, with the express intention of showing Mr. Brivik in a false negative light.

Govern your actions accordingly. '

Very truly yours,

.


.

May 27, 2008

Gentlemen;

As you are aware from my letter dated May 16, 2006, this office represents Mr. Mark Brivik. More than five (5) days prior to instituting suit, and pursuant to Section 770.01, Florida Statutes, you are hereby notified that the above referenced article published in the May 4, 2008 issue of the Sarasota Herald Tribune contained the following false and defamatory statements or statements which invaded Mr. Brivik's privacy by placing him before the public in a false light, in addition to the matters set forth in my letter of May 16, 2008:

.

1. Under the paragraph caption “Considering the future", the article false states, suggests, intimate or implies that Mr. Brivik and his partners made a profit of $6.1 million and walked away from their obligations. That is false and known by the reporter to be false. As the reporter was made aware when he asked about the various transactions, the purchase price and the selling price alone do not determine profit. The article intentionally fails to mention the extensive improvements made to the properties and the cost of those improvements. The article fails to state that all of the mortgages on the properties sold were paid in full.

.

The article mentions First Priority and falsely suggest, implies, and intimates that First Priority is out millions while Brivik and his partners walked with millions. Although fully known to the reporter, the article intentionally fails to mention that the outstanding loans from First Priority were not made to Mr. Brivik. They were made to River Meadows Development LLC, a company in which Mr. Brivik has a minority interest and no control. The article falsely states that this property was one of “Brivik's other properties", when it was fully known by the reporter not to be. The article intentionally falls to point out that the loans are secured by millions of dollars in collateral, consisting primarily of valuable waterfront property. The article intentionally fails to point out that the loans are further secured by the personal guarantees of six individuals of substantial net worth. The article intentionally fails to point out that First Priority has yet to lose a penny, and will likely lose nothing. The article was purposely written in such a way as to place Mr. Brivik before the public in a false light by intentionally omitting facts known to the reporter and implying and intimating that Mr. Brivik walked away with millions while the lenders have suffered millions in losses and the losses are ongoing. A review of reader's responses to the article and blogger's clearly shows that reasonable people reading the article got that very impression. Govern your actions accordingly.

Very truly yours,

.


May 27, 2008

.

Mr. Gordon Hester
Gulfcoast Mortgage Solutions, LLC d/b/a
U.S. Funding Group
5379 Ocean Boulevard
Sarasota, FL 43242

Re: Mr. Mark Brivik

Article Published in the May,4, 2008 issue of the
Sarasota Herald Tribune under headline
"Dealmaker elevated flip to an art"
Reporter Michael Braga

.

Dear Mr. Hester:

This office represents Mr. Mark Brivik. You were quoted in the above referenced article as stating the following:

"Everyone is done with him," said Gordon Hester, whose Siesta Key mortgage brokerage loaned Brivik more than $6 million over the years and is still owed $662,000.

Hester -- Brivik's former lender at US Funding -- said the multiple transfers were all part of a game played to support Brivik's luxurious lifestyle. The extra money went to pay for his yellow Hummer, his Longboat Key home, a 39-foot boat, his country club memberships and philanthropic donations.

"He flipped properties and kept getting loans," Hester said. "It's a common way for people to live off equity they don't have."

Mr. Brivik was frankly shocked by the statements attributed to you, particularly in light of the long and highly profitable relationship that US Funding, its affiliates, and Mr. Brivik enjoyed. The quote attributed to you suggests that you were making loans to someone unworthy of credit who was "living off equity that he didn't have". lt begs the question. Why would you personally approve loans to Mr. Brivik if the transactions were not solid, proper deals? With all of the history of paid off loans, probably 20 or more deals worth $10 million, why would you suggest that there was something untoward? Unfortunately, people are misquoted in the media every day. lf you were not accurately quoted, or did not say the things attributed to you, please so inform me in writing and you may disregard the requests contained further in this letter, with my thanks.

lf you were accurately quoted, please advise me in writing, within ten days of the date of this letter, of all information which you claim to have regarding the use of "extra" loan proceeds by Mr. Brivik to pay for his yellow Hummer, his Longboat Key home, 39-foot boat, his country club memberships and philanthropic donations.

As a businessman, you surely know that one's reputation is invaluable. Mr. Brivik intends to protect his. Libel, defamation, and invasion of privacy are serious matters, with serious consequences. I first thought it appropriate to afford to you an opportunity to clear things up. lf you chose to ignore the requests set forth in this letter, l shall have no choice but to assume that you agree that you were quoted accurately and that you stand by the quotes attributed to you in the article. ln that event, my client will pursue all remedies available to him without further notice. Please govern your actions accordingly.

Very truly yours,

.


.

May 27, 2008

Mr. Harvey Vengroff
2211 Fruitville Rd
Sarasota Fl 34237 6116

Re: Mr. Mark Brivik

Article Published in the May, 4, 2008 issue of the
Sarasota Herald Tribune under headline
"Dealmaker elevated flip to an art"
Reporter Michael Braga

Dear Mr. Vengroff:

This office represents Mr. Mark Brivik. You were quoted in the above referenced article as stating the following:

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"Sarasota's Harvey Vengroff, owner of one of the world's largest collection agencies, sold Brivik two properties over the years. Vengroff says he was stunned by how much money Brivik had borrowed and how much he owed.

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"He wanted to buy a property I was trying to sell on Longboat Key and asked us to provide secondary financing," Vengroff said. "I ran a credit check on him. Being in the collection industry, I can get a lot of information.

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"He really was tremendously leveraged," Vengroff said. "I looked at how he would pay, and I couldn't find any cash flow. All his properties were empty rentals. He was just flipping them, and I didn't want to get caught. So I put in the contract that he had to pay me first from any proceeds nom any sale, and I didn't get burned."

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Mr. Brivik was shocked by the statements attributed to you. Unfortunately, people are misquoted in the media every day. lf you were not accurately quoted, or did not say the things attributed to you, please so inform me in writing and you may disregard the requests contained further in this letter, with my thanks.

lf you were accurately quoted, please be advised that Mr. Brivik does not recall that he purchased two properties from you. He recalls one purchase from you and another transaction in which he rented a property to you or an affiliated company. lf there were two purchases from you, please advise me in writing, within ten days of the date of this letter, of the the addresses of the properties, the purchase price and the date of the sales.

lf you were accurately quoted, please be advised that Mr. Brivik does not recall giving you authorization to "run a credit check" on him. lf you received such authorization, please furnish me with a copy of it within 10 days of the date of this letter.

lf you were accurately quoted, please be advised that Mr. Brivik does not recall giving you authorization to publicly discuss or publish information regarding his creditworthiness or the alleged lack thereof. As l am sure you are aware, publishing, or causing to be published, false information that adversely reflects upon a businessman's credit worthiness in libel per se, and actionable without proof of special damages. lf you received such authorization, please furnish me with a copy of it within 10 days of the date of this letter.

lf you were accurately quoted, please be advised that Mr. Brivik does not recall giving you a copy of his rent roll or other documentation that would enable you to determine which of his properties were rented and for how much, as such information is not public record. Please advise me in writing, within ten days of the date of this letter, how you came into possession of rental information regarding Mr. Brivik's properties, the source of such information, and the person or persons from whom you obtained it.

If you were accurately quoted, please be advised that Mr. Brivik does not recall giving you any information regarding his "cash flow", as such information is not public record. Please advise me in writing, within ten days of the date of this letter, how you came into possession of "cash flow" information regarding Mr. Brivik, the source of such information, and the person or persons from whom you obtained lt.

lf you were accurately quoted, please be advised that Mr. Brivik does not recall giving you any information regarding the nature of his business; that he was allegedly “flipping houses" and allegedly did not want to "get caught". Please advise me in writing, within ten days of the date of this letter, of how you came to possess such information, the source of such information, and the person or persons from whom you obtained it.

As a businessman, you surely know that one's reputation is invaluable. Mr. Brivik intends to protect his. Libel, defamation, and invasion of privacy are serious matters, with serious civil, and in some instances, criminal consequences. l first thought it appropriate to afford to you an opportunity to clear things up. lf you chose to ignore the requests set forth in this letter, I shall have no choice but to assume that you agree that you were quoted accurately and that you stand by the quotes attributed to you in the article. ln that event, my client will pursue all remedies available to him without further notice. Please govern your actions accordingly.

Very truly yours,

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The Real Truth - Further confirmation of inaccuracies in the article. Mr. Vengroff acknowledges that he was misquoted and that his transaction was a good one.

Response from Harvey Vengroff: Posted May 29, 2008:

 

 

Harvey Vengroff
PO Box 10186
Longboat Key, FL 34228

May 29, 2008

Knaust & Associates, PA
2167 Fifth Ave North
St. Petersburg, FL 33713

Re: Mark Brivik-Sarasota Herald Article

 

Mr. Knaust:

The writer of the article called on the telephone and asked several questions seven or eight weeks prior to the article appearing in the paper. Some of the quotes are inaccurate.

I had only one transaction with Mr. & Mrs. Brivik
At the time of the transaction it was my opinion that he was highly leveraged. My transaction ended happily for me because I got paid from the proceeds of another home closing.

 

Harvey Vengroff

 

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June 7, 2008

Mr. Michael Connelly, Editor
Sarasota Herald-Tribune
801 S Tamiami Trail
Sarasota, FL 34236-7899

Re: Mr. Mark Brivik

Article Published in the May,4, 2008 issue of the
Sarasota Herald Tribune under headline
“Dealmaker elevated flip to an art"
Reporter Michael Braga

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Dear Sir:

Set forth below is a letter to the editor of the Sarasota Herald Tribune for conspicuous publication without modification pursuant to the understanding that this office has with Mr. Freeman, Vice-President and General Counsel for the Times Publishing Company:

ln the article written by reporter Michael Braga which appeared in the May 4 edition of the Sarasota Herald Tribune under the headline “Dealmaker elevated flip to an art", an inaccurate and incomplete picture was presented to your readers of both myself and the business transactions in which l have been involved. Before that article was written, l met with Mr. Braga several times, and candidly answered his questions. As was evident from his questions, Mr. Braga appeared to have no experience or expertise in real estate development or finance. For reasons unknown to me, he chose to put his "spin" on the entire matter and not present the facts in an objective and fair manner, opting to sensationalize the ordinary and make routine practices appear sinister. Your readers should be informed of the following:

The transactions in question are all in the public records, open for all to see. There were no transfers of properties “back and forth" for the purpose of improperly obtaining loans, as suggested in the article. All of the transactions involving financing were the subject of independent scrutiny and verification by the particular lenders involved, using their own appraisers, attorneys, and professionals. I did not determine the value. They did. Their determination of the value of the properties was based on the market as it existed, not upon any transfer of the property. Common sense tells us that the mere transfer of the title to a property in no way effects or inflates its value by anyone's standards. What increased the value of the properties was a combination of substantial improvement and market conditions, nothing more. To suggest that our highly regulated lending institutions could be the subject of such childish and crude manipulation is just plain silly. To suggest that l could merely transfer properties "back and forth" between related entities and somehow pull out millions is just plain ignorant.

All of the so-called "flips” involved substantial improvement of the subject properties, with lender approval and monitoring of the use of their funds for such improvements. Mr. Braga merely mentioned an initial purchase price and subsequent loans. The 5600 and 4500 square foot homes mentioned in the article were distressed 2200 square foot homes when purchased. Both were substantially demolished and then rebuilt into luxury waterfront homes.

l have not left a "trail of disgruntled investors" as suggested. l have been served with one suit from an investor. That investor was paid in full and he formally withdrew his complaint, apologizing to me in writing for what he had alleged.

When real estate values fall as dramatically as they have in the past few years, everyone suffers, both borrowers and lenders. But for that decline in value, there would be nothing for Mr. Braga to write about. He failed to mention the millions of dollars in successful transactions, timely paid loans, and satisfied business associates that were the hallmark of my dealing before the” crash”. With the exception of the properties which I owned or had an interest in when the market "crashed", all of the properties were sold, with all loans and mortgages repaid. Of the properties in which l still have an interest, there has been no determination of what loss, if any, any lender will suffer. . Mr. Braga's description of matters he clearly does not comprehend as “questionable” does not make that so. They still have mortgages on the properties in the amounts that they determined were appropriate at the time. They did nothing questionable when they placed the loans, just as l did nothing questionable when l took out the loans.

Very truly yours,

cc: Mark Brivik