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Settlement rejected in Carter’s Grove bankruptcy case

Carters Grove Williamsburg VAA judge has thrown out a proposed settlement between millionaire Halsey Minor and Colonial Williamsburg, calling a plan to have the foundation loan Minor hundreds of thousands of dollars to fix-up the deteriorating mansion "preposterous."
According to the settlement plan submitted last week, Colonial Williamsburg would advance Minor up to $800,000 to pay for repairs and expenses to maintain the mansion. He would pay the money back with 4% annual interest tacked on.
The goal is to eventually sell Carter’s Grove, a process that took three years when Colonial Williamsburg put the property up for sale in 2006.
The plan didn’t sit well with Bankruptcy Court Judge Stephen C. St. John. According to a report in Sunday’s Virginian-Pilot. He ordered a trustee be appointed to handle the administration of the property, taking the role from Minor.

Read more in the Va Gazette here

Carter’s Grove was donated to the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in the late 1960s, and it was used to illustrate 18th-century plantation life until 2002.

But faced with a growing deficit, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation sold Carter’s Grove in 2007 to Halsey Minor for $15.3 million. Minor had agreed to maintain the property, putting down $5 million and securing the rest with a foundation loan.

But Minor stopped making payments in summer 2010, and the foundation sought foreclosure. Minor’s Carter’s Grove LLC then filed for bankruptcy protection.

The foundation says it’s owed $4.1 million and interest.

Minor has said publicly that he had no choice but to place his Carter’s Grove LLC in bankruptcy. In his filing, he claims $12 million in debts, all encumbered on the property.

Foundation officials allege that instead of maintaining and repairing the building, Minor used the equity in it for a $5 million lease of a personal jet, secured with a lien on Carter’s Grove, according to court filings. Now the jet company, AVN Air LLC, has filed a claim with the bankruptcy court.

Minor also purchased millions in artwork from Sotheby’s auctions, secured through a third lien on Carter’s Grove. Sotheby’s says it’s owed $3.4 million.

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