Wynn Hewlett says he's never worried about repaying at least $2 million investors have sunk into his planned tourist resort on Guam, because the property on which he planned to build it is valuable real estate.
"I knew the value of the (Guam) land would substantiate much more than was invested. I knew that it would come to a value, like it is," he said.An option to repurchase the 52 acres of beachfront property was the only substantial asset of Destination Development Corp., which filed for bankruptcy last March. A Utah bankruptcy judge approved sale of that option on Nov. 21, for $5.8 million. The sale is set to close Dec. 8, with $2.3 million to be set aside for professional fees and unsecured creditors.
DDC bought the property several years ago, but it was foreclosed on when the corporation failed to make payments. Under Guam law, DDC retained an option to repurchase it, under certain conditions.
While he counted on the value of the land to secure investors' money, Hewlett told the Deseret News that land's value has increased dramatically only in the past 18 months. Yet he has been soliciting investments for the past 10 years.
Investors say Hewlett had "absolutely nothing" to do with the sale of the land.
"He fought us (the creditors) every inch of the way. It was only because we were successful in getting the court to take the land out of his hands that the land was sold," said Robert Scott.
But many unsecured investors who made their checks out to specific projects such as Grafton Park instead of DDC may not receive reimbursement. Others who lost unpaid salary may have difficulty substantiating their claims.