Broward News

Lake Worth's Gulfstream Hotel: Bahraini Petrodollars, the Black Gatsby, and Foreclosure

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HIDDEN HAND TWO/APRIL-JULY 2010: The Georgia bank that holds the mortgage note on the Gulfstream, United Community Banks, struggling to stay afloat in the aftermath of the 2008 economic collapse, strikes an unusual deal with a Wall Street hedge fund, Fletcher International. In April 2010, the bank loans the fund $80 million and the fund buys $100 million of the bank's troubled loans, also agreeing to buy a share of the bank. As a kicker, in July 2010, the bank signs over the Gulfstream mortgage note to Asset Holding Company 5 LLC, a Fletcher entity.

(Asset Holding Company 5's corporate structure, like Investcorp's, is hidden by Delaware registration. But its principal place of business is the same as Fletcher's New York hq, and its managing partner, George Ladner, is a Fletcher officer.)

Who's the Mister Big behind Fletcher International, a schmoozer so smooth banks loan him tens of millions, trust him to rescue them from massive losses in real estate, and make him part owner? Alphonse "Buddy" Fletcher, that's who, a man well on his way to becoming the Black Gatsby.

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