Monday, August 1, 2011

Vic Milton is here; ask him a question

Those of you who are regular visitors to Hammer and a Feather have probably seen the name 'Vic Milton' bandied about...

... well, he's here.  He posted on July 29th on the "Sterling Webb Jumps the Shark" thread:

Anonymous said...

(, if you want to know what I FACTUALLY know, email me! Some of you including the Hammer got things all wrong.You want to bury the son of a bitch (Sterling Webb)- then stop complaining and band together and do something about it! I'm onboard!!! Vic Milton

Now, that's great if you want to email him, but i was hoping that we could start a kindasorta Question and Answer in the comments of this particular post.

I have no idea if Mr. Milton will cooperate, but i'm betting he needs to vent.  Just like YOU do.

Ask away... and, Vic, if you are reading this and feel obliged to answer as you are able, thank you in advance.


  1. Okay, i'll kick us off:

    Vic, how DID Sterling fund the owners' overpayments?

    I have a pretty good reason to think it was from construction money borrowed against sold lots, but i'm willing to hear your side of the story.

  2. A combination of "tranferred" construction monies, homeowners dues, and "unearned" future ental deposits.

  3. Vic says...
    A combiation of "transferred" construction monies, homeowners dues, and "unearned" future rental deposits. Understand the companies 1) Sterling Springs, LLC - the land holding company and borrower of construction monies from MNB with the "lots" as collateral. 2)Sterling Webb, Inc. - the construction company that built infrastrcture and cabins and club house,etc. 3)Sterling Springs Resort Rental- the rental company. 4) Sterling Springs Property Assoc.- maintainer of water, sewer and common areas. What ever guanantees Sterling made to any buyers was not by the "rental company", nor Sterling Springs, LLC unless there are any documents that exist that i'm unaare of. The bottemline is that most of owners received above and beyond 100% of rental preformance came from the "unearned" future rental monies that shold have been rightfully escrowed.

  4. vic says...To clarify...
    The bottomline is that the owners who received a set amount of monies for a specfic timeframe may have received 100% of rentals income and additional monies primarially from the "unearned" deposits.

  5. Ahhhh... See, you are right that i was wrong. I was thinkin' he was only using construction monies.

    Vic, thank you so much for participating. Your willingness will help a lot of people get over their frustrations ~ because they're starved for answers.

    It's CURRENTLY not illegal in Tennessee to spend the guests' advance deposits on clothes, cars and groceries. It's probably not even illegal to use those deposits to over-pay owners.

    ... hard to believe; but, it's true.

    It could be, however, be illegal in the State of Tennessee for Sterling to entice an owner to buy another cabin based upon the (fraudulent) performance of the first cabin they bought from him.

    (Think of it as being legal to use guests' deposits to buy crack, but the act of buying the crack is illegal.)

    And, of course, the bank fraud thingie. I have another question about that: Why was the bank not inspecting the building jobs before releasing the next draw?

    Thank you, in advance.

  6. Vic says... First let me comment on the "guest deposit" monies being spent on being illegal- If the rental deal was a 60%/40% split at the time I was there for most owners- let say there was unrefundable deposits of $400,000 dollars (50%) of future stays representing $800,000 in business, with the balance due at check in.I beleive that only $160,000 of the deposits could be spent by the rental company legally. Not all of it. FYI the numbers were a great deal more when I did my own "audit" and attemped to stop the sham by exposing it immediately, to no avail. BTW, it was also a pretty good deal to "book" an owners cabin using the rental company nights "rights", collecting all the money and having your wife charge $75-$125 for cleaning and put it in "yours truly Sterling Webb's pocket". Not to mention the unreported income to pay for personal bills and past debt to the tune of (let me guess?) Surely in the(7) figures.Oh, we could talk about taxes too.
    Answer: The bank was comfortable with the building schedules, knew that continuing loans feed the "buying"frenzy, and most of all was "over collateralized" by the tying up all the property and owning the partial built or completed cabin. Why not? MNB had limited or no exposure based on appraisals of lots and contructed cabins. MNB would get it all(the development) for "peanuts". But, then the mortgage market went kaput. Saved by the zipline.
    My question: Who REALLY owns the zipline, clubhouse,common areas, rental rights and a myrid of other property and assets acquired during my tenure of understanding???????? That's the question among a host of others.
    Where did Webb get the money for HIS ownership position(S) in the zipline, a house, other property, the Overlook fiasco, etc.?)

  7. Thank you so much for all of the info, Vic!

    Unfortunately, it IS legal in Tennessee to spend every penny of the company's trust money. I know it's crazy, but it's true. One tiny clause in the guest agreement makes it so, and renders the company exempt from an audit.

    To add insult to injury, there are no consumer laws in place to help a guest if the company closes and the guest's reservation is cancelled.

    The credit card company will generally refund the guest if the charge isn't over 60 days old. Now, the credit card company going after the rental company is a different story. You know how America likes to protect the credit card companies. I heard somewhere that Heartland Payments Systems is suing the owners of Hickory Mist for $350,000, but that tells me that $500,000 worth of guest deposits were flat out stolen from the guests (their escrow account was reportedly $850,000 short).

  8. There is no way that a young bank like Mountain National Bank (at the time) could handle all of the money that Sterling needed to fund his operation. They would have been prohibited by banking regulations. There had to be a partner bank involved.

    Do you know who MNB's partner bank would have been, Vic?

  9. Vic, do you know anything about Sterling doing a number on Kevin Gordon (the original owner of the Sterling Springs property)?

  10. Vic says....
    I do not know of any partner banks that MNB may have uttilized. I had discussed with MNB about exceeding their lending limit and that partner banks would participate, but I just don't know if that happened.

    As for Kevin Gordon- I know exactly what transpired and was a part of buying him out. I would not characterize Kevin getting a "number" done on him whatsoever. He got a great deal for his limited involvement, limited investment, got greedy, wanted to play hardball, and lost. End of story! One of the VERY few occasions that Webb was right.

  11. Tell us more about the 'Overlook fiasco', please Vic.

    It sounds fascinating. Was it the project to build a zipline across the French Broad River?


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