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riversailor92
04-11-2011, 06:38 PM
KEY WEST, Florida-- FAIRWINDS CREDIT UNION (https://www.fairwinds.org/index.asp) is the organization that is singularly responsible for the tragic downfall of the schooner Hindu (http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000481274002). In March of 2008, well after our economic pitfall, by which time most people had well learned that handing out loans like candy was a bad business practice, FAIRWINDS, under the direction of Phil Tischer (http://www.facebook.com/ptischer), loaned a total of $500,000 to a man named Sime Dijan (http://law.justia.com/cases/federal/appellate-courts/F3/37/398/508702/). In 2005 Mr. Dijan loaned $265,000 to the people who owned, and were restoring, the schooner Hindu for the purpose of funding the restoration. During this loan transaction nothing was ever put in Mr. Dijan's name, especially not the boat herself, yet Mr. Dijan got it firmly in his head that he did, in fact, own the Hindu. With this thought comfortably in mind he waltzed casually into a branch of Fairwinds Credit Union in March 2008 and was given a $500,000 loan using the Hindu, which he never owned, as collateral.

By this point in the post, I hope some of you have been clicking on the links as you read though, especially Mr. Dijan's, because if you haven't yet, you should at least read his link (http://law.justia.com/cases/federal/appellate-courts/F3/37/398/508702/) before going on. With the infinite power of Google it took a total of about 5 minutes to find out, via the link posted above, that Mr. Dijan had, in fact, just a few years ago been convicted of some fairly serious felony charges, ironically, having to do with money. He does not sound like the type of person that one would loan $500,000 to, not to mention that fact that the bank clearly didn't do any checking to find out if he even owned what he was putting up for collateral, which as it turns out, he didn't. Ironic. What's even funnier is that he never paid a cent on the loan and before too long the bank came to collect. Federal Marshals showed up at the Hindu's dock in Key West and seized the vessel on behalf of Fairwinds Credit Union.

As she sat idly at her dock, in the custody of the US Court System, even sinking once at the dock while under their "watchful" eye, she waited to see what would become of her fate. She sank again later in 2010 when no one was watching her and her pumps gave out. In 2010 Fairwinds Credit Union bought the schooner from the court system for $500 so that the deed to the vessel could be legally transferred under their name so that they could sell the boat in an attempt to try and get back some of the money that had lost. This is where we sit today. A know-nothing bank is trying to sell a twice sunk 86 year old schooner which they acquired illegally while her rightful owners, who want nothing but to take care of her, are gasping for air with no clue how to get their beloved old schooner back. If you sympathize give me a shout-out here, write on the schooner Hindu's Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000481274002), or write a letter to the editor of the East Orlando Sun (http://www.eosun.com/news/2011/feb/23/about-east-orlando-sun/), the newspaper that is local to Fairwinds Credit Union's home base (http://maps.google.com/maps?client=safari&rls=en&q=3087+N.+Alafaya+Trail+Orlando,+FL+32826&oe=UTF-8&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wl) in East Orlando.


http://i56.tinypic.com/2a5ay5w.jpg

Ian McColgin
04-11-2011, 08:16 PM
I never understood how there came to be paper that made it look like Dijan was any sort of owner of Hindu.

Edited to add - when I read this I looked again at the while Bilge feeling I'd read this bit before. Of course, I had, at http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthread.php?129544-Schooner-Hindu-The-Complete-Tale&p=2953142#post2953142.

I happen to be sympathetic to Hindu and the heroic efforts of Kevin Foley and company but as the double posting of this issue in our forum and as the fact that a court ruled to protect the bank - though all that being in Florida casts some doubt to say the least - establishes that there are at least a few details not provided above. Perhaps Hindu's partisans and supporters could decide which arena of this Forum is more appropriate: People and Places because that's a natural for concerns about Hindu, or here in the Bilge because the posting is highly partisan, opinionated, and a direct (well directed) attack on the integrity of a person who certainly merits a bit of suspicion.

hanleyclifford
04-11-2011, 08:30 PM
Did the bank not ask to see the Document?

riversailor92
04-11-2011, 08:41 PM
The bank saw documents alright but they were procured rather mischievously from the State of Massachusetts as I recall.

hanleyclifford
04-12-2011, 11:34 AM
When I saw Hindu in Edgartown I'm pretty sure she was a documented vessel. There is no mistaking a federal document.

hokiefan
04-12-2011, 11:41 AM
What I don't understand is how the bank ends up owning her. Seems like theft by any definition.

Cheers,

Bobby

hanleyclifford
04-12-2011, 11:45 AM
What I don't understand how the bank ends up owning her. Seems like theft by any definition.

Cheers,

Bobby I'm sure there are many facts thus far unreported on this matter. There are definite procedures for seizing a documented vessel. I sounds like the bank didn't do the research before making the loan. I hope more information about this will be forthcoming.

Ian McColgin
04-12-2011, 02:10 PM
The big problem is, it's too late. Hindu has suffered so that restoration is not an economic possibility. It's an uneconomic option for very deep pockets but it cannot pay even if the hull is winkeled out of the bank for free.

riversailor92
04-12-2011, 11:12 PM
To answer "hanleyclifford" and "hokiefan's" questions concerning how the bank obtained the vessel in the first place: if memory serves me correctly I believe what happened was that Sime Dijan procured documents from the State of Massachusetts saying that he owned the vessel. How he achieved this I honestly could not tell you but with his shady past and group of friends I'm sure it wasn't that difficult. It was this set of falsified documents that won the court in Florida over, giving the bank the right to reposes the vessel.

Also, about the comment above about her being a documented vessel and it not being possible to mistake a federal document. You are absolutely, 100% correct, beyond a reasonable doubt, and I'm glad you brought that up because I forgot to mention before that if the bank had checked her USCG documentation they would have found that it contained the Abstract of Title. The last recorded owner of the vessel on the Abstract of Title was John Bennet, whose widow owned 50% of the vessel, because it was left to her, Kevin Foley owning the other 50%, at the time that the schooner was stolen by the bank.

It all comes down to this: the only document the bank has to stand on was somehow falsified in the State of Massachusetts but a court ruled in favor of the bank so today we can only wait for her to become worm-food at the dock while the bank waits for no one to buy her.

hanleyclifford
04-13-2011, 12:06 AM
This is realy bizarre. Why didn't the true owners show up in court with the real document(s)? Something is missing here.

Ian McColgin
04-13-2011, 06:04 AM
Here's the problem with two threads in different areas. How it could happen without fraud is something I mention in the other version. Given that it was a judicial matter and given that there is no way to present proof of "somehow falsified" - the statement itself is an assertion of utter lack of evidence - I would take those remarks as speculative. The document does not disprove a lien.

skuthorp
04-13-2011, 07:26 AM
Why is it that Florida always seem to pop up when dodgy paperwork is mentioned. I presume the bank is getting away with it because no one who cares has the cash to fight it in court.

elf
04-13-2011, 07:56 AM
Yes. All the people who care aren't in Florida, either. And the economy's in a shambles as well.

Phillip Allen
04-13-2011, 09:09 AM
it seems that if the bank is in the wrong and they hold the boat hostage, they will be responsible for the complete restoration if ownership goes back to the original owners...that would make a bank try very hard to prevent that because of the additional cost they will have incurred.

Ian McColgin
04-13-2011, 09:30 AM
The fact that a court ruled insulates the bank. This is a dreadful story but one wishes that we had more facts. If Dijan loaned the more than quarter million with some expectation of getting a payback, he could easily have perfected an either state lien or a federal libel making it possible for the bank, going after Dijan, to get at Hindu. If it was not a loan with terms of repayment, but rather an investment that Dijan might either profit from or lose all, then he's got a plank in the boat. Either way, it does not look to me like Hindu was properly insulated from Dijan's financial troubles. It appears that her owners were so eager to get Dijan's more than quarter million that they and their attorneys did not properly protect their own investment.

I've little personal doubt that Dijan is slippery and that the bank was at the very least reckless. There is also speculation of various forms of collusion. None of which does Hindu the least good. It's a warning to boat dreamers that the cost of money can be higher than what it buys.

hokiefan
04-13-2011, 09:35 AM
The fact that a court ruled insulates the bank. This is a dreadful story but one wishes that we had more facts. If Dijan loaned the more than quarter million with some expectation of getting a payback, he could easily have perfected an either state lien or a federal libel making it possible for the bank, going after Dijan, to get at Hindu. If it was not a loan with terms of repayment, but rather an investment that Dijan might either profit from or lose all, then he's got a plank in the boat. Either way, it does not look to me like Hindu was properly insulated from Dijan's financial troubles. It appears that her owners were so eager to get Dijan's more than quarter million that they and their attorneys did not properly protect their own investment.

I've little personal doubt that Dijan is slippery and that the bank was at the very least reckless. There is also speculation of various forms of collusion. None of which does Hindu the least good. It's a warning to boat dreamers that the cost of money can be higher than what it buys.

This warning should be heeded by more than just boat dreamers. Money can be very expensive.

I remember years ago it came out that the Savannah/Chatham County School system spent ~$300K to get and keep ~$250K of federal grant money. The answer was, "We have to go after more grants to pay for this.":D

Cheers,

Bobby