Golf Course News

Cushman deposed; attorneys spar

(Updated Sept. 25) Key Golf Management has asked a judge in Riverside Superior Court to compel additional testimony from Richard Cushman and place “guardrails” on his attorney’s behavior. The motion comes on the heels of combative exchanges between attorneys for the two parties during a deposition of Cushman on September 15.

Key Golf has sued Cushman’s company, CBGM, along with Stratospheric Holdings 4, Tom Brown and Cushman as trustee of the Cushman Family Trust and as an individual. The Nevada company claims it is owed nearly $1.5 million for maintenance work going back several years. Its lawsuit alleges breach of contract.

Key Golf seeks the following in its motion:

  • That a second deposition of Cushman should be scheduled within 10 days of the court’s ruling because of Cushman’s “advanced Parkinson’s disease.”
  • That the court issue a “protective order to set reasonable parameters on the conduct of depositions going forward” because of actions by Cushman’s attorney.
  • That the court place $7,560 in monetary sanctions against Cushman because of the “disruptive deposition” and time incurred preparing a new motion.

Attorneys for Key Golf complain that Cushman’s counsel “chose not to follow any well-established protocols for California depositions” by:

  • Refusing to appear on camera.
  • Attempting “to create a false record…”
  • Mocking the attorney for Key Golf.
  • Answering substantive questions meant for the witness.
  • Coaching Cushman on how to answer questions.
  • Routinely walking out of the deposition.
  • Instructing Cushman not to answer numerous times on non-privileged grounds.
  • Making long, narrative speeches taunting opposing counsel with diatribes about everything they had supposedly done wrong. 

The deposition itself revealed little additional information about CBGM operations and agreements between Cushman and Tom Brown. Among the statements from Cushman:

  • He considers the $4.6 million he gave to CBGM to purchase Coral Mountain Golf Course a loan rather than an investment.
  • The $4.6 million was his personal money rather than from the Cushman Family Trust.
  • The Cushman Family Trust is not a member of CBGM.
  • He affirmed that he is the 100% owner of the company.
  • He stated he has no recollection of approving an agreement with Key Golf, but is aware of the promissory note to the company from CBGM and TTBGM. He further stated that “Tom is the one that made the deals with them, so Tom owes them the money.”

Judge fines Browns; no decision on settlement

(Updated Sept. 9) An Orange County Superior Court judge has fined Tom and Vanessa Brown $5,208 for failing to respond in a timely manner to earlier court orders to appear and provide responses to a countersuit filed by Richard Cushman. The judge gave the Browns until October 3 to fully comply with the discovery orders and warned of further sanctions if they failed to do so. The hearing was continued until October 17.

On the matter of the disputed settlement agreement (see story below), the judge stated that Browns’ contention that a settlement had been reached was not a valid excuse for their “continued failure to comply with the November 2021 discovery orders.”

The judge did not rule on the validity of the settlement document, stating only that the court is aware that the Browns contend a settlement has been reached and that Cushman states the signed agreement is invalid because it was the result of undue influence or fraud.

Brown, Cushman settle lawsuit… or did they?

(Updated Sept. 7) The legal battle over control of CBGM, the company that owns most of Coral Mountain Golf Course, has taken a surprising turn. According to documents filed recently in Orange County Superior Court:

  • A settlement agreement has been reached between Tom and Vanessa Brown and Richard Cushman that would effectively dismiss the lengthy court case that revealed bitter infighting between the parties.
  • Cushman, however, claims the agreement is invalid because he was pressured to sign by the Browns and faced “undue influence” before signing.
  • The attorney for the Browns, in filing a copy of the settlement, admits that the agreement was rejected by the legal filing system because document did not contain the date it was filed.
  • Cushman continues to pursue his claims against the Browns and is seeking terminating sanctions against the couple for failing to respond to earlier court orders to appear and provide responses to the countersuit. Terminating sanctions is an extremely harsh remedy that can result in the court awarding a default judgment and monetary penalties.
  • The court has scheduled a hearing on September 12 on these matters.

A little background
The case in Orange County began in March of 2021 when the Browns filed a lawsuit claiming that Cushman no longer was an owner of CBGM because he violated the corporation’s governing documents by giving his daughter power of attorney on his behalf. Cushman then filed a countersuit claiming the Browns were minority owners who lacked authority to enter into deals without his knowledge or approval, including the sale of hole #1 to Stratospheric Holdings. Trilogy’s HOA is a not a party to the Orange County case.

The settlement agreement
The document, signed by Tom Brown, Vanessa Brown and Richard Cushman states that the parties agree to release each of them from “any and all existing indebtedness, claims, liens, demands, causes of action, obligations, damages, and liabilities of any nature whatsoever, known or unknown, that either party ever had, now has, or may claim to have had that relate to the Disputes.”

The agreement includes language that the agreement is “executed voluntarily and without any duress or undue influence on the part or behalf of the Parties…” and the parties “…have been represented and fully advised in the preparation, negotiation, and execution of this Agreement by legal counsel of their own choice, or, that they have been advised of the opportunity, benefits and importance of doing so and have nonetheless voluntarily declined such legal counsel.”

The first paragraph of the document states that the effective date of the agreement is August 15, 2022. However, the attorney for the Browns states: “After receiving a copy of the executed Settlement Agreement from my client, I filed and served a Notice of Settlement of Entire Case. Today, I received an email from OneLegal indicating (the) Notice of Settlement was rejected because the date on which the complaint was filed was not included on the form.”

The agreement makes no mention the ownership arrangement of CBGM, which was at the heart of Brown’s initial lawsuit and Cushman’s countersuit.

Cushman’s claim of “undue influence”
In a startling admission, Richard Cushman claims he was pressured into signing the agreement at a meeting with the Browns, their six children and associates of Tom Brown. The meeting was, he states, “a situation where he was subjected to undue influence, and he signed a document that purportedly waived his rights to pursue the Browns. This was never Cushman’s intention. Instead, at the signing, Cushman was being told by several parties that he needed to sign or there would be dire consequences.”

Cushman further states he was told the agreement would “allow him to reap a huge benefit.” His statement also claims he was not given time for his attorney to review the document and was “flat out lied to about the contents of the purported settlement agreement document he was influenced to sign.” The motion also states that Cushman, who is 88, suffers from chronic health issues “that exhaust him and wear him down.”

The motion also claims Cushman was told by the Browns, “among other false things, that his 60-year-old daughter (whom Cushman trusts and Cushman has appointed as power of attorney over his business affairs) was against him. Cushman was told his own attorney is against him. Cushman was told his partner of approximately a decade was against him.”

The court filing further alleges that “the Browns also had prepared a Revocation of Power of Attorney to remove Cushman’s daughter from Cushman’s business affairs. Her oversight has been essential to prevent the Browns from taking further advantage of Cushman. The Browns, however, took Cushman … to a Notary Public and had Cushman sign to remove his daughter from his business affairs. Now, the Browns are asking Cushman to subordinate his deeds of trust for an $800,000 loan on the golf course. This is the exact conduct Cushman’s daughter and attorney have prevented in the past. Given that Cushman’s advisors know about this latest demand and that there is nothing in the plan for Cushman other than subordinating his security in the golf course, that plan is being refused by Cushman.”

Motion for terminating sanctions
The court on September 12 will consider applying terminating sanctions against the Browns for failing to comply with court orders. The motion by Cushman states: “Over nine (9) months have passed since the issuance of those orders, yet the Browns still have not provided any responses to Cushman’s discovery requests as they were required to do under the Court’s orders.”

The attorney for the Browns filed an opposition to the motion, stating they “have complied with the November 2021 discovery orders regarding monetary sanctions and they intend to serve responses to the written discovery without objections…”

According to the law offices of Law Offices of Nathan Mubasher (which is not a party to these cases), a terminating sanction is “an extremely harsh remedy that can result in the Court striking the answer of a defendant, or the complaint of a plaintiff and entering a default and even a default judgment against them. Because filing a motion for terminating sanctions is an extremely harsh remedy, they should only be filed when you can show a persistent failure of a party to comply with a court order or orders to respond to discovery.”

“Courts, including the United States Supreme Court and a California Court of Appeal, have stated in published decisions that failing to respond to discovery creates a presumption that the resisting party is admitting a lack of merit in their claim or defense. Terminating sanctions are appropriate when a chronic pattern of delay or evasiveness by the defaulting party is egregious enough to warrant denial of a trial on the merits.”

Cushman seeks dismissal of Brown’s lawsuit

(Updated August 11) An Orange County Superior Court judge has extended to September 12 a hearing on a possible dismissal of Tom and Vanessa Brown’s lawsuit against Richard Cushman. In a recent filing, attorneys for Cushman claim that the Browns “have irrefutably failed to materially participate in the litigation” that was initiated by the couple.

The filing is the latest action between Cushman and the Browns over operation and ownership of CBGM, the company that owns holes 2-18 of Coral Mountain Golf Course. The Browns initial lawsuit claimed that Cushman no longer is an owner of CBGM because he violated the corporation’s governing documents by giving his daughter power of attorney on his behalf. Cushman, in response, claims that the Browns entered into deals without his knowledge or approval, including the sale of hole #1.

In addition to asking the judge to dismiss the lawsuit, Cushman asks the court to impose other sanctions against the couple for their failure to comply with the court’s discovery orders.

Golf course continues to operate

(Updated June 1) CBGM continues to operate Coral Mountain Golf Course using the parking lot, cart barn and pro shop on property that is under Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection. CBGM’s lease on the Bistro 60 property was set to expire at the end of May. It is likely that the trustee extended the lease, although there is no documentation to that effect in the court’s public files as of this date.

Key Golf wins important motion

(Updated May 27) A Riverside Superior Court judge granted a writ of attachment against owners of Coral Mountain Golf Course in a hearing held May 27. The Nevada company sought the prejudgment in a lawsuit against CBGM, Stratospheric Holdings 4, and Richard Cushman as trustee of the Cushman Family Trust. Key Golf claims it is owed nearly $1.5 million for maintenance work going back several years. Its lawsuit alleges breach of contract (see Feb. 3 article below).

A writ of attachment is a temporary remedy that will allow Key Golf to protect its interests or rights in the golf course property before the lawsuit is heard and adjudicated. Normally a party may not create a lien on property or freeze a bank account until that party has won the litigation and secured a judgment. A writ of attachment allows such a lien before the litigation has gone to trial.

A writ of attachment is considered a powerful legal move because it allows a party to exert control over a defendant’s property or bank account at the outset of the litigation. As plaintiff, Key Golf does not get access to the Coral Mountain property or the money it claims it is owed under the writ, but the defendants are prevented from transferring the property while the writ is active. According to legal experts, while a writ of attachment is not a final determination on the merits of a case, it gives the plaintiff incredible leverage at the beginning of the case.

Reduced hours, rates for summer

(Updated May 27) Coral Mountain Golf Club has announced that tee times beginning June 1 will be limited between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. All golfers will be required to check in at the pro shop prior to play. No starter will be on duty. The pro shop will open at 6 a.m. and close at 11 a.m. The driving range will remain open from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Prices for residents are $50 for 18 holes. Using a club cart adds $10 per person, according to a notice send to charter members and others.

Critical time in bankruptcy, golf course disputes

(Updated May 26) Several deadlines are approaching in the continuing legal battles over the fate of Coral Mountain Golf Course and the Bistro 60 bankruptcy. Below are key dates:

May 27: Key Golf hearing
A hearing on Key Golf Managements lawsuit against CBGM and other golf course owners is scheduled on this date. The Nevada company claims it is owed nearly $1.5 million for maintenance work going back several years. The lawsuit asks Riverside Superior Court to approve a writ of attachment on golf course property. A writ is a form of prejudgment process in which a court orders the attachment or seizure of property described in the writ. The property is seized and held in the custody under court supervision prior to the outcome of the foreclosure process.

Key Golf this week filed a motion asking the judge to quickly approve the writ because of the failure of course owners to respond to the filing. The motion states: “Any opposition was due by May 20, 2022. If Defendants should file a late opposition brief, Plaintiff would suffer prejudice due to the delay. For the above reasons, as well as those set forth in the Applications, Plaintiff respectfully requests that this Court consider the Applications to be consented to by Defendants, and that the Applications shall be granted.” Defendants in the case are CBGM, Coral Mountain Golf Club, Stratospheric Holdings #4, Richard Cushman, Tom Brown and the Cushman Family Trust.

May 31: Bistro lease expires
CBGM’s lease on the Bistro 60 property expires after this date. The company, which operates Coral Mountain Golf Course, has leased the restaurant property under terms of the Chapter 7 bankruptcy case. While the trustee has the discretion to extend the lease on a monthly basis, there is no record of an extension in the court record as of this writing.

Without a lease extension for use of the property, operation of the golf course is called into question. The Bistro 60 property includes the parking lot and golf cart barn, both of which are necessary for continued operation of the course. CBGM and other owners of the course are required to properly maintain and operate the course under terms of a Superior Court order successfully sought by Trilogy’s HOA.

June 16: Bistro 60 foreclosure hearing
A hearing is scheduled on this date on Byline Bank’s motion to proceed with foreclosure on the Bistro 60 property. The bank is the largest creditor for the property, which includes the restaurants, parking lot and golf cart barn. Byline loaned the companies $4.9 million to make improvements to and refinance existing secured debt. The companies ceased making payments in August 2019.

Last May, the bankruptcy court retained a broker with the authority to sell the property at an initial listing price of $6.5 million. No letters of intent or sale contracts for the property have materialized. The property is now valued at $5.7 million on an “as is” basis and $4.85 million in a forced liquidation.

Golf course no longer publicly listed

(Updated May 10) Public websites that promote the sale of golf course properties no longer are listing the Coral Mountain Golf Course. No explanation has been provided by the various parties. The listings were removed following Byline Bank’s motion to foreclose on the Bistro 60 property, which includes the parking lot, golf cart barn and restaurant. Byline Bank last week filed a motion with the bankruptcy court to foreclose on the Bistro 60 property following the trustee’s inability to sell the property. The bank is the largest creditor for the property, which includes the restaurants, parking lot and golf cart barn. A hearing on the motion is scheduled for June 16.

Letter of intent revealed & nullified

(Updated April 30) The TLQMA board of directors revealed on April 29 that in February they presented a letter of intent in the Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings for TTBGM and Bar Piatto, the companies that owned the Bistro 60 restaurant and property that includes the parking lot and golf cart barn. The board released a five-page explanation to homeowners after homeowner Rich Parsons revealed the existence of the document at the board’s April 28 meeting. The full document can be found at this link. It is also posted on the TLQMA website under Weekly Newsletters.

Key elements of the board’s explanation:

  • The letter of intent was aimed at assets of TTBGM as a means to “potentially have greater control of TLQMA’s future without actually owning the golf course.”
  • The letter of intent was non-binding on all parties.
  • No formal offer for the assets was made.
  • Purchase of TTBGM’s assets would require a vote by Trilogy homeowners.
  • The board received unsolicited offers from a third party to jointly purchase the assets of TTBGM, including the liquor license.
  • The non-binding letter of intent “excluded any golf course ownership.”
  • The board’s proposal was not accepted or countered by the bankruptcy trustees.
  • The letter of intent was rendered null and void when Bar Piatto’s assets were abandoned by the trustee.
  • Public release of the letter of intent also rendered the non-binding document null and void.

Golf course asking $16 million

(Updated April 20) Coral Mountain Golf Course is being marketed for sale for $16 million. The course was formally placed for sale on March 25, according to a listing by broker Richard Rowland. His LinkedIn profile identifies Rowland as the owner of Link Golf Properties of La Quinta.

The listing information includes photographs of the restaurant on the course and food
& beverage revenues & expenses, but doesn’t specifically state that the restaurant is included in the asking price. Also confusing is a the statement: “Fee simple land, improvements, water rights and personal property of the Coral Mountain Golf Club are being marketed through a Chapter 11, Section 363 Bankruptcy sale process in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.”

There is no public record of the golf course property or its owners being in Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The only active bankruptcy filing is a Chapter 7 case for TTBGM, owner of the Bistro 60 restaurant and accompanying property, which includes the parking lot and golf cart barn. A related Chapter 7 case involved Bar Piatto, which owns the restaurant equipment, furniture and fixtures. The trustee in that case abandoned the filing earlier this month, declaring the assets were of no value to creditors.

CBGM owner Richard Cushman and his estate have filed a lawsuit in Riverside Superior Court requesting foreclosure of the golf course to satisfy debts. (See related story below).

Other information from the marketing flyer:

  • Net Operating Income is listed as $2.4 million. Future projections show revenues of over $7 million in five years. (See infographic below)
  • Minimum down payment is $250,000.
  • All sales of the Debtors’ assets are subject to Bankruptcy Court Approval. LIGP has been authorized by Debtor and the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to market and offer the assets for sale on behalf of the Debtors. The Court will deliver their assets to the successful bidder(s) free and clear of all liens, claims and interests.

Grossman’s attorney wants out

The legal firm representing Joshua Grossman in the lawsuit brought by Trilogy at La Quinta Maintenance Association has petitioned the court to be excused from the case. In a motion filed March 11, Geraci Law Firm of Irvine, CA, stated: “Without wishing to jeopardize the attorney-client relationship, the attesting attorney can advise that there has been an irrevocable breakdown in the relationship which prevents Geraci Law Firm from continuing to represent the client.”

The Geraci Law Firm has represented Grossman’s company, Strategic Holdings 4, in a lawsuit filed in Riverside County Superior Court by the HOA to ensure that Coral Mountain Golf Course is properly maintained. Owners of the course claimed they did not have the funds to overseed the course in September 2021. The HOA sought and won an injunction to compel the overseeding and watering of the course. Strategic Holdings owns Hole #1, which includes the water source for the course.

The next hearing on the case is scheduled for June 6.

Cushman sues CBGM; threatens to foreclose

(Updated Feb. 2, 2022) In the latest legal twist in the protracted fight over Coral Mountain Golf Course, owner Richard Cushman has filed suit against his own company, CBGM, in the amount of $7.8 million. The lawsuit further states that Cushman is entitled to foreclose on the golf course property to satisfy the debt.

The lawsuit, filed in Riverside Superior Court, comes on the heels of legal action in Orange County between Cushman and Tom Brown and Vanessa Brown, who partnered with Cushman to purchase the course in 2015 and to operate it under CBGM.

The new Riverside court case was filed in December on behalf of the Cushman Family Trust, with Richard Cushman as its trustee. Among the lawsuit’s claims:

  • Cushman loaned CBGM $4.6 million in January 2017. CBGM pledged the golf course property as security in a deed of trust recorded the following month.
  • CBGM has failed to pay “all requisite amounts owed on the loan,” including interest. On April 9, 2021, Cushman issued a written notice to CBGM “declaring the entire outstanding balance … to be immediately due and payable,” which was estimated to be over $7.8 million.
  • A second notice was issued in November 2021 with the additional demand for CBGM to assign Cushman “all rents, revenues, and profits” from the golf course operation and apply the amount toward the outstanding balance. “However, once again, CBGM failed to pay any of the outstanding balance” or assign rents, revenues and profits.
  • The amended complaint, filed January 28, 2022, also asks the court to bar “any creditor, claimant, or other person claiming an interest under a junior deed of trust or other lien.” The complaint specifies Key Golf as having a mechanics lien. California law provides protection to contractors, subcontractors, laborers and suppliers who furnish labor or materials to a project. (See related story below).
  • The amended complaint asks the court to foreclose on the deed of trust and that the golf course properties be sold and the proceeds be used “to satisfy the debt owed” to the Cushman Family Trust.
  • The complaint states that CBGM is the owner of holes 2 through 18 as well as the equipment facility at the end of hole 4.

Key Golf sues course owners; threatens foreclosure

(Updated Feb, 3, 2022) Key Golf Management has filed a lawsuit against the owners of Coral Mountain Golf Course, claiming the Nevada company is owed nearly $1.5 million for maintenance work going back several years. The lawsuit asks Riverside Superior Court to foreclose on golf course property with the proceeds used to satisfy the debt. It is the second lawsuit seeking foreclosure on the course (see story above).

The Key Golf lawsuit names as defendants CBGM, Stratospheric Holdings 4, and Richard Cushman as trustee of the Cushman Family Trust. The suit, which claims breach of contract by the defendants, alleges:

  • Beginning in 2013, Key Golf entered into a contract with TTBGM, an affiliate of CBGM now in chapter 7 bankruptcy, to perform seeding, sodding and other landscape services for the course. The contract called for payment of services within 30 days. “All invoices have been submitted and substantial sums remain unpaid … payments on invoices have been sporadic at best but over the course of the last six months have been essentially non-existent.”
  • Since June of 2021, Key Golf claims it has received only $25,000 in payments for services that run $15,000 per week.
  • In January 2020, CBGM, “through another affiliated entity Coral Mountain Golf Club LLC … engaged Key Golf Management to provide seeding, sodding, planting and landscaping services.” Key Golf claims the services benefited CBGM, Stratospheric and Cushman pursuant to terms of an agreement.
  • Key Golf scalped and overseeded the course this year “at the direction of CBGM and Stratospheric, and with the knowledge of Cushman, in an effort to comply with that certain court order issued on October 29, 2021 … for which Key Golf Management is owed $150,000 within 75 days of the court order (January 12, 2022), at which point this charge will be added to the outstanding balance due.”
  • Key Golf claims that CBGM and TTBGM executed a secured promissory note on December 26, 2019 in the amount of $588,916. “This note acknowledged the existence of the debt owed to Key Golf Management and was an effort to create a plan of repayment … The Defendants have failed to make any payments on this note despite being well past due.”
  • As a result of default, Key Golf claims it is entitled to foreclose upon the golf course, with the proceeds used to satisfy the debt. The lawsuit further claims that its services “predate the secured interests alleged by other parties and is thus superior to any other liens, some or all of which may be legally invalid.”

PTI no longer maintaining course

(Updated December 20) The TLQMA board of directors issued the following report: “It is our understanding that PTI has exited their golf course maintenance activities at Coral Mountain Golf Club. In response to homeowner inquiries, PTI has confirmed to TLQMA their continued obligation to maintain the PLA under our separate contract with PTI. The golf course remains a private business. Accordingly, it is not our place at this time to comment on golf course operations on a day-to-day management basis unless we believe those activities violate the Golf Course CCRs, Court Orders, or threaten the health/safety of the community.”

CBGM to sell golf course

(Updated December 14) CBGM, the company that owns holes 2-18, says it intends to sell the golf course once the dispute with the homeowners’ association is resolved. In a memo to charter members, Jim Wanless wrote: “My portfolio from CBGM’s owners has been to stabilize club operations by rationalizing expenses with revenues, resolve the arbitration issues (hopefully by a settlement), and then sell the Club when these first two objectives are accomplished.”

The memo also included an explanation of the new “trail fee” charges for lifetime members and a recent court ruling allowing the lawsuit against Gary Turner and Wayne Guralnick to move forward. The Wanless memo raises two immediate questions:

  • Who is currently managing golf course operations, CBGM or PCM? The latter company was allowed to operate the club and recoup the cost of the reseeding under an agreement with CBGM and Stratospheric Holdings, which owns hole #1.
  • How does CBGM intend to sell the golf course when it does not own hole #1?

Judge refuses to rule on merits of Turner & Guralnick case

(Updated December 14) A Riverside Superior Court judge has denied a motion to issue an immediate ruling in a lawsuit filed by the principal owner of Coral Mountain Golf Course against Wayne Guralnick, the attorney who represents the Trilogy Homeowners Association, and Gary Turner, former president of the Trilogy HOA. The ruling was on a singular motion rather than on the merits of the lawsuit itself.

The ruling was on the defendants’ request for a Motion on Judgment on the Pleadings. The motion by Guralnick and Turner asked the court to rule in their favor based on pleadings on file, without accepting evidence, as when the outcome of the case rests on the court’s interpretation of the law. The intent of a motion for judgment is to dispose of baseless claims or defenses when the formal pleadings reveal their lack of merit. When the pleadings do not resolve all factual issues, judgment on the pleadings is generally inappropriate.

The judge in November refused to accept Guralnick’s contention that the negotiations he conducted on behalf of TLQMA for the Perimeter Landscape agreement with CBGM was protected speech. A California law called SLAPP allows defendants to file a special motion to strike a complaint based on an “act in furtherance of [your] right of petition or free speech under the United States or California Constitution in connection with a public issue.” That ruling has been appealed.

As a result of these two rulings, the lawsuit against Guralnick and Turner will move forward. The lawsuit, filed by CBGM in December, alleges that Guralnick as TLQMA counsel and Turner as board president made misrepresentations during negotiations and discussions regarding each party’s responsibilities in the rehabilitation and maintenance of the 61 acres of land between the golf course and Trilogy homes.

The companion dispute between TLQMA and CBGM is scheduled for arbitration early in 2022.

Does ruling jeopardize course management deal?

(Updated December 7) An Orange County judge has issued a tentative ruling in favor of Richard Cushman that prevents Tom and Vanessa Brown from entering into any contracts on behalf of CBGM without his consent. A temporary order to that effect was issued on November 19.

The ruling calls into question the business agreement that allowed Precision Club Management to temporarily manage the golf course. In the ruling the judge cites the following:

“Cushman declares the Browns have executed agreements and are planning to execute additional
agreements on behalf of CBGM without Cushman’s consent, despite Cushman being at least a 50%
owner of CBGM. Specifically, Cushman declares the Browns are seeking to enter an agreement to turn
over management of the golf course owned and operated by CBGM to a third party and allow the third
party to collect revenues from operation of the golf course.”

What is not clear as of this writing is whether or how the agreement between CBGM and Precision is affected by the ruling. The agreement was announced at a “town hall” meeting at the Irons Club on November 12 – one week prior to the judge’s temporary restraining order.

The action is part of an ongoing suit and countersuit between Cushman and the Browns over operation and ownership of the company that owns holes 2-18 of Coral Mountain Golf Course. Cushman claims that the Browns entered into deals without his knowledge or approval, including the sale of hole #1. The Browns claim that Cushman no longer is an owner of CBGM because he violated the corporation’s governing documents by giving his daughter power of attorney on his behalf.

The court’s December 6 ruling favors Cushman’s argument. The order states:

“Cushman has presented evidence that he has at least a 50% ownership interest in CBGM, which entitles him to at least a 50% vote regarding management of the LLC under Corporations Code section 17704.07. Cushman further declares that the Browns have made decisions regarding management of CBGM without his vote and consent in violation of the operating agreement(s) and Corporations Code section 17704.07. Therefore, Cushman has shown a likelihood of prevailing on the merits of at least some of his causes of action in the Cross-Complaint.”

“Cushman has also shown that if the preliminary injunction does not issue, he will suffer substantial harm, including CBGM turning over its operations and revenues to a third party without Cushman’s consent. Cushman may be further harmed if CBGM, without his consent, enters an agreement which prejudices Cushman’s right to enforce his promissory note and deed of trust secured by CBGM’s properties.”

Course, restaurant to resume operations

(Updated November 13) At a “town hall” golf course meeting, held at the outdoor patio at the Irons Club on November 12, managers of Precision Club Management announced the following:

  • PCM has an agreement to manage Coral Mountain Golf Course and the two restaurants. PCM is a California subsidiary of a Nevada LLC, and PTI, which has maintained the course for several years. The agreement is temporary and will last through the season, concluding in May, according to Angel Martinez, Director of Golf Operations.
  • The golf course will re-open on November 21. Opening of the restaurant depends on the transfer of the liquor license and other legal transactions. Seating in the formal restaurant, including the patio overseeing the driving range, will be by reservation. Seating at the Irons bar and patio will be open.
  • Tom Brown is not involved with PCM or the management of the course and restaurants. Brown remains one of the owners of the golf course. His restaurant company, TTBGM, remains in Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection.
  • Golf course play will be cart path only for the first 10 days.
  • Despite a significant increase in the cost of seed, overseeding of the course was at the same level as past years.
  • Charter and lifetime memberships will be honored.
  • Club play will be limited to Mondays. The mens’ and ladies’ 18-hole clubs will tee off in the mornings. The mens’ and ladies’ 9-hole clubs will tee off at 1:30 in the afternoons.

CBGM lawsuit dismissed

(Updated November 1) A Riverside Superior Court judges has dismissed a lawsuit filed by the principal owner of Coral Mountain golf course against several investors over ownership of hole #1. The lawsuit was dismissed because CBGM failed to provide defendants with proper legal documents. CBGM’s attorney, Edwin Robert Cottone, was earlier fined $150 for the failure.

CBGM, the California company that owns holes 2 through 18, filed a lawsuit in April claiming that manager Tom Brown misled and defrauded its owner, Richard Cushman, in several financial transactions, including the sale of hole #1. The lawsuit sought to invalidate loan agreements on that property. Brown was not a defendant in the case, according to court documents. Defendants are investors who helped finance the contested property acquisition. (See article below: Cushman files lawsuit)

During a lawsuit, certain legal documents must be served on an opposing party, in addition to a signed proof of service affidavit which must be filed with the court. The signed proof of service affidavit validates the fact that proper notice was rendered upon the opposing party in the pending legal matter.

The CBGM lawsuit is unrelated to the case and preliminary court injunction filed by Trilogy HOA against the owners of hole #1.

Agreement to reseed and water course

Owners of the golf course and PTI have reached an agreement to immediately begin to reseed and water the course. PTI will bill the two parties the $150,000 cost. If the owners fail to repay PTI within 75 days, the agreement allows PTI to assume management of course operations to recover the cost. The agreement was reached after the Trilogy HOA filed a motion claiming the course owners were failing to comply with a court injunction to properly maintain the course. Because of the agreement, the judge determined the HOA motion for contempt was moot. Ruling below:

HOA ask court to enforce preliminary injunction

(Updated October 28) Attorneys for the Trilogy homeowners association have filed a motion asking the court to enforce its preliminary injunction against owners of Coral Mountain Golf Course for failing to maintain the course. The latest action was prompted by the lack of overseeding and watering, which the HOA claims is harming the course and property values within the community. The motion asks the court to require the owners to take immediate action. The motion also asks the court to consider finding the owners in contempt of court. A hearing was held on October 28, in Riverside Superior Court. The hearing was continued to Friday, Oct. 29.

The HOA sent an email to homeowners with the motion and attached court documents. Those documents can also we accessed below. Also attached is the response from Stratospheric, which claims that a) the overseeding process is outside the scope of the court’s injunction to maintain the course and its operations; and b) the injunction order is vague and thus should be resolved in favor of Stratospheric.

Course owners say they lack funds to overseed

(Updated October 22) In an unsigned note to charter members issued on Friday, operators of Coral Mountain Golf Course claim that they don’t have the funds to overseed the course. The statement, included in a lengthy commentary on recent court rulings reads:

“… the Club has applied for a government Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL loan).  But, this loan has not yet been funded and may not be funded in time to successfully complete the overseeding before a weather change makes it impossible. “

Preliminary injunction issued against course owners

(Updated Sept. 16) A Riverside Superior Court judge has issued a preliminary injunction against owners of Coral Mountain Golf Course. The order prohibits them from:

  • Refusing to provide water service, sprinklers and irrigation to the Coral Mountain Golf Course at Trilogy and its adjoining areas and related improvements including but not limited to the so-called Perimeter Landscape Areas (collectively, the “Golf Course”) at normal levels as previously performed prior to the inception of this dispute;
  • Refusing to maintain and operate the recirculating water pumps and related equipment at the lakes, ponds and other bodies of water on the Golf Course property; and
  • Making any material changes to the Golf Course, its business or operations (collectively, the “Prohibited Acts”).

The judge further ordered owner’s “affiliates, officers, agents, servants, and employees and all those acting in concert with them, shall be and hereby are restrained and enjoined from performing any of the prohibited acts.”

The injunction is effective immediately and applies to Stratospheric Holdings 4, LLC, a
Michigan limited liability company; CBGM, LLC, a California limited liability company; and individuals Joshua Grossman and Thomas Brown.

The judge rejected last-minute arguments by the owners, who filed a motion objecting to restrictions. The injunction was sought by the Trilogy HOA, which is required to post a $100,000 bond to cover damages that a defendant “may sustain” if the final decision of the court is that an injunction is not proper.

The court order was preceded by the judge’s minute order backing her decision to grant a preliminary injunction. The order supports the contention by Trilogy’s HOA that both Stratospheric and CBGM are obligated to do so under the Restated Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions and Reservation of Easements.

Key statements in the minute order:

  • “It appears that there is a reasonably probability that Plaintiff (TLQMA) will prevail on its breach of declaration of conditions, covenants and restrictions and nuisance causes of action.”
  • “… it appears that both CBGM, LLC and Stratospheric are Course Owners under the Restated Declaration are obligated to maintain the landscaping and lake facilities in the golf course. Stratospheric has failed to provide any authority or evidence to the contrary. While Stratospheric only owns one parcel of property that makes up the golf course, there is nothing in the Restated Declaration that indicates there is a minimum number of parcels an entity has to own before it can be considered a golf course owner. The Restated Declaration indicates that successors to CBGM constitute Course Owners. Since Stratospheric is a successor to CBGM to one of the properties that makes up the golf course, it appears that it is one of the Course Owners.”
  • “CBGM and Stratospheric have breached the Restated Declaration by failing to maintain the golf course (the dying plants and stagnant water). Since these issues have created a health and safety problem, it appears that Plaintiff has been damaged. The conduct also appears to fit within the elements of nuisance. The Defendants’ conduct is interfering with Plaintiff’s comfort and enjoyment of its property; an ordinary person would be annoyed or disturbed by Defendants’ conduct…”
  • “Stratospheric appears to be bound by the Restated Declaration, if CBGM is not paying for its share of the water used for the golf course, this is not Plaintiff’s fault. Stratospheric has legal recourse against CBGM.”

HOA: Shutdown would violate court order

(Updated Aug. 28) Attorneys for the Trilogy HOA responded to a threat by golf course owners to shut down the course on Friday. In a letter to the various owners, attorneys said the Temporary Restraining Order prevents “making any material changes to the Golf Course, its business or operations.”

In a notice to homeowners, the Trilogy Board of Directors said that “TLQMA would be interested in a global resolution that is fair and reasonable to TLQMA.” The notice also stressed the trustee’s words that any agreement “would result in a new and acceptable ownership and management of the golf course.”

Golf course intends to halt operations

(Updated Aug. 27) The following letter was sent to charter members today.

Dear Charter Members and Friends,

As many of you have been aware, this summer has been a difficult financial struggle for the Club, much more than the usual summer crunch faced by all businesses in the Valley each year. Significant and mounting legal and accounting fees relating to the Arbitration, Bankruptcy, Fraud Lawsuit against Messrs. Guralnick and Turner have drained the Club’s reserves.

As mentioned previously, Mr. Cushman’s family is no longer willing to subsidize Club operations. And the Government loans applied for many months ago have not yet been funded nor have the significant payroll credits which the Club is entitled been reimbursed yet. The Club’s vendors and suppliers who have graciously worked with the Club for many, many months can no longer extend credit.

Therefore, the Club has decided to keep pursuing its claims in arbitration and litigation but cannot also keep operating the Club. It is our current understanding that this will mean the following: 
* The Bankruptcy Trustee will close the Clubhouse and parking lot sometime in the next several weeks.
* The Golf Carts will be moved to the Maintenance yard for safe keeping.
* Unless Key Golf (PTI) receives prepayment for the seeds for overseeding by September 1st there will be no overseeding this coming season.
* PTI will by the end of the month terminate its contract because it’s no longer being paid and will remove its maintenance crew from the golf course.
* Lenders’ on Hole Number 1 and the Driving Range will put up a fence surrounding their property to block any use.

The Club and its team are very sorry that this has happened and continues to believe that sometime in the near future these matters can be resolved.   

Trustee floats sale of golf course

(Updated August 27) Operators of the golf course released the following letter from Leonard M. Shulman, who represents the bankruptcy trustee in the Bistro 60 Chapter 7 case:

We hope this finds you in good health and spirits. This office represent A. Cisneros, as the duly appointed and acting Chapter 7 Trustee over the estate and assets of TTBGM. As such, the Trustee has dominion and control over the marketing and sale of 3 lots adjacent to the Golf Course and a residential real property occupied by Mr. Brown. The Trustee is actively marketing these properties by and through a Court approved real estate broker, copied here. In an effort to effectuate a sale of the 3 lots, the Trustee has prevailed upon Mr. Brown to consent to the marketing and sale of the entire Golf Course together with the 3 lots.

The Trustee believes that a sale of the entire project would be in the best interest of all factions copied here in that a sale would result in a new owner and new management. With that said, all factions will need to make some concessions in order to attract a new buyer/operation of the Golf Course. For example, a new owner/operator might be willing to address concerns of the TLQMA and Mr. Besone and his clients, but would not likely assume alleged claims to “credits” or some form of “gift cards”. In other words, if the goal is to procure a new owner/operator of the Golf Course and 3 lots, then the Trustee can effectuate that goal. If however the goal is to saddle a new owner/operator with monetary concessions on top of the purchase price procured then a sale is not likely to be closed. 

The Trustee believes that the continued and protracted litigation is going to result in the ultimate closure and likely foreclosure of the Golf Course and the 3 lots; this benefits no faction.

Assuming each of you agree with the Trustee that a sale of the entire project is in the best interest of all concerned, then we could address issues and choices regarding marketing, pricing, allocation of purchase price, etc. and how to deal with pending litigation. 

The Trustee and I have administered bankruptcy estates for over 30 years. I can assure everyone copied that if a unified approach is not adopted to the sale of the Golf Course and adjacent lots then the parties will continue to litigate to little avail with the subject properties likely to result in foreclosure and Mr. Brown likely to file a personal bankruptcy.

So in sum, here are the overriding questions that need to be answered by the various constituents:

1.   TLQMA- do you desire new and acceptable ownership and management of Trilogy and if so, can you see clear to resolution of the pending and disputed Arbitration proceeding?

1.   CBGM/Cushman- wouldn’t the sale of the Golf Course and thus, the payment of Mr. Cushman’s secured claims be preferred over continued litigation?

1.   Mr. Besone/Goodrich- shouldn’t you be willing to waive any and all of your and your client’s disputed claims in order to have new ownership and management of the Golf Course?

Once we answer these questions hopefully in the affirmative, we can work on mechanical issues, for example, retention of marketing and sales professionals, allocation of purchase price and distribution of funds. Please either reply all or if you would prefer, please email or call me to discuss further. Time is short here. Its time to take advantage of this opportunity to move on positively for the future.

Hole #1 sold by Tom Brown for CBGM

(Updated August 14) Tom Brown sold the property containing hole #1 to Stratospheric Holdings #4 for $224,559, according to Riverside County records. The sale occurred on July 13 and was recorded on August 2. The sale amount is equal to the amount of unpaid debt on the foreclosed property.

Documents on the county website indicate that Brown signed the transfer as a managing member of CBGM, the company that owns the remaining 17 holes. An earlier post on the deal stated that CBGM was not listed as a seller on one of the documents. That is accurate. However, additional documentation shows that Brown was representing CBGM. However, the hole #1 property is the subject of a lawsuit between CBGM and several parties that acquired interest in the parcel. The lawsuit claims that Brown lacked the authority to enter into such agreements. (See article below).

Stratospheric Holdings is a Michigan limited liability company formed in 2018. It registered with the California Secretary of State’s office on July 22 of this year. Joshua Grossman is listed as its manager, with an office in Palm Desert.

Cushman files lawsuit;
claims he was victim of fraud

(Updated August 6) CBGM, the California company that owns Coral Mountain Golf Course, has filed a lawsuit claiming that Tom Brown misled and defrauded its owner, Richard Cushman, in several financial transactions. The lawsuit, filed April 1 in Riverside Superior Court, seeks to invalidate loan agreements and prevent foreclosure on CBGM’s property.

In the complaint, CBGM accuses Brown of engaging in “a calculated scheme to divest Cushman from his wealth” by falsely representing himself as a member of CBGM, entering into loan agreements without authority, and pledging golf course property as collateral for the loans. The lawsuit further alleges that Brown “syphoned off millions of dollars from CBGM for his own personal use and to satiate his own consumption habits.”

The complaint alleges that when CBGM purchased the golf course in 2015, Brown “was given the opportunity to become a 50% Member of CBGM upon paying 50% of the approximately $4.625 million” paid for the property. “Brown never satisfied this contingency, and thus he was never a member of CBGM … and did not have the authority or consent to unilaterally act on behalf of CBGM to bind the company to any contracts.”

The lawsuit references several loans using as collateral the 24-acre tax parcel that includes Hole #1 and the practice range. At least nine financial transitions — loans, mortgages and foreclosure — have been recorded on the tax parcel since Cushman purchased the golf course.

The case filed in Riverside Superior Court does not show — as of Sept. 22 — any response from Brown or the defendants. A case management conference has been scheduled for October 13.

Brown is not listed as a defendant in the lawsuit. Instead, the defendants are individuals, trusts and companies that had financial transactions with CBGM. Among the complaints in the lawsuit:

  • In September 2018, using Hole #1 as collateral, Brown agreed to a loan of $675,000 from several creditors, including $75,000 from Debra Schoenlein, as trustee of the Debra Schoenlein Living Trust; $300,000 from Chet Needelman, as trustee of the Needelman #1 Revocable Intervivos Trust; $250,000 from Michael Bennett, as trustee of the Bennett Living Trust; and $50,000 from Stratospheric Holdings #4, which is owned by Joshua Grossman. The lawsuit claims Brown never had the authority to encumber the property, and the transaction occurred “without the requisite consent of Cushman.” The deed of trust was recorded with Brown listed as the “Managing Member of CBGM,” according to the complaint.
  • In December 2018, using Hole #1 as collateral, Brown agreed to a loan of $140,000 from creditors including $30,000 from Schoelein; $20,000 from Jeremiah Lynn; $30,000 from Alam Assett Management; and $60,000 from Stratospheric.
  • In May 2020, Brown obtained a loan from Paramaze, a Michigan company owned by Grossman. A notice of default was placed on the tax parcel, which said the balance owed by CBGM was $125,896. The complaint claims Brown was not authorized to act on behalf of the company.

CBGM’s lawsuit claims that Cushman became aware of the loans “within approximately the past two years, and well after Brown improperly took out these loans and encumbered the subject property without authorization or consent from Cushman. Moreover, Cushman has made multiple demands to Brown to provide documentation and information regarding these loans, including but not limited to where the proceeds for these loans funded, and/or if they even funded at all. However, Brown refuses to answer and provide any information.”

The lawsuit alleges the loans appear to be “a series of interrelated insider transactions designed to defraud Cushman. In particular, the leader and/or organizer of all of the aforementioned creditors that purportedly invested in the Coral Mountain Golf Course and encumbered the subject property … is an individual named Josh Grossman, who has business ties with Brown.”

CBGM alleges that the loans “appear to be insider transactions and suspicious. Notably, none of these loans (nor the funds therefrom) were identified or listed on financial records for CBGM that Cushman has been able to obtain. Likewise, none of these loans were identified or listed on CBGM’s tax returns (which listed a number of other loans made to CBGM among the company’s liabilities).”

The California Secretary of State’s website shows that when CBGM’s articles of organization were filed in 2015, the document was signed by Tom Brown as the organizer. An LLC organizer is a designated person who is responsible for filing a limited liability company’s formation paperwork. No liability, ongoing duties, or other significance is attached to being the organizer of an LLC, according to legal experts. Generally speaking, once an LLC is set up and filed, the organizer has no other responsibilities or duties related to the LLC.

The 2018 and 2020 statements of information for CBGM lists Brown under “manager or member.” A member is an owner of the LLC. A manager is an individual, group, or entity chosen by LLC members to manage the day-to-day operation of the company.

During the bankruptcy proceedings for TTBGM, the company that owns and operates Bistro 60, Brown testified that he and his wife own 50 percent of CBGM. Brown also signed as managing member of CBGM the deed of trust in securing a $125,000 loan on June 11 using hole #1 property as collateral. The agreement with FCI Lenders Service Inc. (the trustee) and LTR Holdings LLC (the beneficiary) was recorded by the county on July 12. Neither entity is registered with the state of California.

Court halts water cutoff

(Updated July 24) The TLQMA Board of Directors has issued the following statement:
On Thursday, July 22, 2021, TLQMA filed a motion for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) with the Riverside Superior Court to ensure that no person or entity interferes with TLQMA’s water rights to the Perimeter Landscape Areas and the Golf Course.

This morning, the Court ruled in TLQMA’s favor and granted our motion and set a further hearing on August 25, 2021 where it will consider issuing a longer term Preliminary Injunction. Accordingly, we are now working to re-establish normal water services throughout the PLA and golf course and evaluating all other long-term issues.

Other than asking the Association’s counsel to speak with KESQ-TV to clarify, correct and update some errors in their reporting, TLQMA did not share information or go to the press on this matter, nor are we obligated to. Although there may be circumstances when we will need to respond to the press, TLQMA’s primary duty to communicate is with the homeowners of this Association.

As you know, this is a constantly evolving situation, and as such, we will continue to do our best to keep homeowners updated on the appropriate facts in a timely manner. We appreciate your patience.

Parcel sale? Water dispute deepens

(Updated July 21) The TLQMA Board of Directors has issued the following statement:

In the last 24 hours, significant developments have arisen related to the golf course and we are informing the community of what we currently know.

Late last Thursday afternoon, July 15, we received an email communication from Mr. Josh Grossman, as representative of Stratospheric Holdings #4, LLC (“SH4”) that he had become the new owner of Parcel #141 (Hole #1 and practice areas) and the associated water rights. We have been unable to independently confirm those facts. We believe that Mr. Grossman was part of various investor groups who had loaned money on Parcel #141 in 2018.

As part of his email, Mr. Grossman stated his intention to stop providing water to the TLQMA common areas and the PLA unless TLQMA agreed to pay an upfront security deposit of $30,000 and $15,000 a month thereafter. Mr. Grossman also stated his belief that CBGM, the golf course owner, would not be able to afford water for the golf course and stated that in order to avoid a disruption of service, TLQMA could purchase water for the golf course from SH4 with an additional $60,000 deposit and $30,000 per month thereafter.

In total, the financial commitment would have been $90,000 upfront and $45,000 per month. Mr. Grossman gave us until Monday, July 19th to respond to either himself or his legal counsel, Mr. Brendan Ozanne. Mr. Ozanne also represents CBGM in our Arbitration proceedings.

On July 19th, outside counsel responded to Mr. Ozanne reminding him and SH4, among other things, of the obligation of any golf course owner to supply water to TLQMA for the PLA and their obligations to maintain the golf course under the Golf Course CC & R’s. We made it explicitly clear TLQMA would not pay for water and that we possessed easement and other rights to ensure water would be provided without charge and that we intended to enforce any and all rights, including claims for damages, should SH4 elect to terminate water to either the PLA or the golf course. As of this communication, we have not received a substantive response from SH4’s counsel.

Sometime on July 20th, a representative of SH4 entered the golf course and shut down the pumps providing water to the PLA and golf course. In addition, SH4 has locked access to the pumps and posted a warning notice at the site to any and all parties who might seek to turn the pumps back on without the consent of SH4. The warning indicates any such action may result in criminal and or civil prosecution. It also appears that SH4 has stopped operating other pumps that circulate water to the lakes and ponds around the golf course.

We are now working our way through the various local and state authorities with whom we had kept abreast of the situation. We are also pursuing all legal avenues to avoid any public nuisance and to ensure the PLA is not harmed or damaged and the Golf Course CC & R’s are enforced.

Brian Mooney, President
on behalf of the TLQMA Board of Directors

CBGM lawsuit hearing delayed to Oct. 19

(Updated July 7) A Superior Court judge has threatened to dismiss the lawsuit brought by CBGM against the attorney representing Trilogy in the dispute over the perimeter land agreement. The motion, filed April 29, claims the company failed to provide “proof of service,” the method by which documents are delivered to other parties in the lawsuit as well as to the court. CBGM representatives have been ordered to appear at a hearing on October 19 to show cause why the case should not be dismissed. The hearing was originally scheduled for July 7.

CBGM, the company that owns the golf course property, sued attorney Wayne Guralnick and then board president Gary Turner in December. CBGM claims that the two — as well as other undisclosed defendants — “fraudulently induced” the company into transferring control over 61 acres of golf course property during negotiations over the perimeter. CBGM claims the misrepresentations “have cost (the company) millions, created an excessive annual maintenance and irrigation burden as well as placed onerous easements on (the company’s) property in perpetuity.”

(Updated 5/19) The PLA dispute is also the subject of a separate arbitration between TLQMA and CBGM. The judge in that case ruled on May 10 that the dispute will be heard in full on June 1. He dismissed a motion by TLQMA to limit the number of issues. The ruling can be found here.

HOA board issues history & dispute document

At its meeting on June 24, the Trilogy HOA board of directors issued an 8-page report on the golf course history and disputes, along with answers raised by homeowners. The full document can be found here.

Golf course proposes new PLA funding plan

On May 26, owners of the golf course proposed a 2.5% assessment on the sale of homes to pay for ongoing maintenance of perimeter landscaping. The current PLA agreement is the subject of a dispute between course owners and the Trilogy HOA that is scheduled for arbitration. The HOA board of directors have issued a response to the new proposal. Below is a summary of the proposal. The HOA response was provided in an email to homeowners on June 18. In part, it stated:

“…This ‘new arrangement’ does not address how it might solve the existing dispute between the parties related to our allegation of CBGM’s failure to pay for their 50% share of the PLA project. As estimated by Mr. Wanless in this proposal, approximately $1.1. million annually, would be contributed by TLQMA homeowners to support the golf course. The subsidy does not have an expiration date in the proposal and no equitable additional benefits would accrue to TLQMA homeowners. In the Board’s view any such arrangement is unacceptable.”

Golf course to end water-sharing agreement

The following information was published June 17 by the TLQMA board of directors:

Irrigation – Keeping the Community Updated

This week, Mr. Thomas T. Brown notified TLQMA that CBGM and the Coral Mountain Golf Club no longer intend to honor the 2009 water sharing agreement between TLQMA and the Golf Course Owner which has been in effect for the past twelve (12) years. This potentially impacts some of TLQMA common areas.

The agreement was originally executed by the former golf course owner TLQ Partners and contains a 30 day notification exit clause. Mr. Brown has given us notice he intends to exercise this clause.

Mr. Wanless has followed up the notification letter from Mr. Brown with an email expressing the view any new agreement between the parties will require multiple years of upfront payment by TLQMA to ensure TLQMA will meet any future financial obligations to CBGM or the golf course. Mr. Brown was copied on the email but TLQMA has not heard directly from him on this provision.

The Board will comment more on this during next week’s TLQMA Board meeting on June 24, 2021, or sooner if there are additional significant developments on this topic.

Is golf course floating sale to residents?

The owners of Coral Mountain golf course seemingly are floating the idea of a sale to the Trilogy HOA or residents. The idea was included in a letter to charter members. The letter is published below, with the sale idea highlighted.

We would like to offer our congratulations to TLQMA’s newly elected HOA Board members, Brian Mooney, Mark Reider and Mike Wiener.  In fact, congratulations to all the candidates that ran for the HOA Board, each willing to commit their time and talent to the betterment of the Trilogy community.  
The Golf Club looks forward to working with the new HOA Board.  We’re hopeful this election represents a fresh opportunity to resolve the issues between the two entities.  We are open to that process immediately.  

The three newly elected Board members each stated in their candidates’ statements that resolving the differences between the Golf Club and TLQMA was one of their top priorities.  It is ours, as well. 
We believe this election – with new members, new attitudes and new problem-solving approaches – represents a wonderful opportunity to find solutions that benefit the entire community. 

Let’s take advantage of this opportunity. 

You have our commitment to work with you in a spirit of solving problems and achieving our mutual objectives – making Trilogy La Quinta among the most attractive and desirable premier country club communities in the Valley. 

In that regard and in the hopes that it may encourage thoughtful preparation let us respectfully suggest a framework for consideration.  Let’s both consider a solution based upon as if the Golf Club was owned either by the HOA or some other entity owned by the homeowners in the community.  

In that case, the question resolves upon a fair allocation of costs between the members and patrons of the Golf Club and the whole community through the HOA. 
Neither would expect that they would contribute the entire cost of maintaining the Landscape Perimeter Area or the maintenance of the golf course.  

Indeed, all homeowners and their home values benefit from maintaining the beauty of the golf course on which many have their homes and which fronts Trilogy Parkway and Avenue 60.  In fact, before the turnover of the HOA to resident control, Shea Homes through the TLQ Community Services, contributed each year to the maintenance costs of the perimeter landscape area and golf course.  We remain ready to take the next step and create a win, win for the HOA and the Golf Club.

Congratulations again, and all the best to you.

CBGM files suit on PLA

Click here to view full court document

TLQMA files motion contesting claims

Click here to view document provided by TLQMA in arbitration case

Coral Mtn Group gets large federal loan

Coral Mountain Group LLC, which lists its address as the same as TTBGM, received approval for a federal PPP loan of between $350,000 and $1 million on April 30, two days after TTBGM filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Coral Mountain filed as an LLC in August 2019 and lists Josh Grossman as its Chief Executive Officer and Vanessa Brown as a manager.

The Paycheck Protection Program is a federal loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. It was approved by Congress to help offset the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Such loans will be forgiven if all employee retention criteria are met, and the funds are used for eligible expenses.

Brown has lease/option to buy golf course

(Updated August 14, 2020)
In bankruptcy documents filed on August 4, is this statement on page 86: “Recently Tom has leased with an option to purchase The Golf Club at La Quinta.” There is no additional information on the lease/option in the document.

Golf course transaction history:

  • November 25, 2008 — Shea La Quinta LLC sold deed to TLQ Partners Inc for $8,650,000.
  • November 8, 2013 — Ronald M. Lee sold his partial holdings to TLQ Partners for $300,000.
  • March 31, 2015 — TLQ Partners sold deed to CBGM for $5,001,000.
  • February 14, 2017 — Cushman Family Trust loaned CBGM $4,625,000 for construction/financing.
  • September 14, 2018 — Debra Schoenlein loaned Thomas Brown and CBGM $675,000 for stand-alone financing.
  • December 31, 2018 — The Debra Schoenlein Living Trust loaned $140,000 to Thomas Brown and CBGM for stand-alone financing.
  • February 6, 2019 — Paramaze LLC loans CBGM $70,000 for stand-alone financing.
  • May 29, 2020 — Paramaze LLC records a notice of default against Thomas Brown and CBGM.
  • May 20, 2020 — Paramaze records agreement to substitute California TD Specialists as the trustee on the $70,000 loan.