It opened a new front in bitter legal wars between business partners and former friends at the heart of the Think Loud companies.
Before the end of 2022, the developers became embroiled in seven civil lawsuits alleging fraud, hidden records and massive debts over a deal that was described as a game-changer for York City.
One of the most recent lawsuits, filed on Dec. 15, involves three investors demanding to see Think Loud’s books that the directors claim are now “expired.” This lawsuit does not name the individual defendants. Instead, it targets the business as a whole.
In the complaint, their lawyers expressed concern that their money had been misappropriated or misappropriated.
“The plaintiffs, as investors, have the right to examine the books and records of (Think Loud Entertainment),” the complaint reads. “The ambiguity of TLE regarding the exercise of these rights has left plaintiffs justifiably concerned about where their money has gone.”
The main players in the ongoing drama are businessman Bill Haynes and Chad Taylor, a musician and former guitarist with the rock band Life. Taylor is a defendant in four cases; Haynes is a plaintiff in one and a defendant in the other.
Both men accuse each other of weaving webs of lies, deceit and manipulation. They also put personal insults into legal files as the growing animosity became apparent.
Hines accused Taylor of misrepresenting his fortune and covering up severe financial problems for years while borrowing hundreds of thousands of dollars in loans and promissory notes. Taylor and his attorney alleged that Hines orchestrated a series of frivolous lawsuits to attack and bury him financially as revenge for their personal feud.
The other main cast is Patrick Dahlheimer and Chad Gracey, former Live band mates and Think Loud partners, who are now sprawled into separate camps, according to Suits.
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And Dahlheimer, who has remained silent so far, is linked to Taylor in several filings.
Gracey seems to be very attached to Hynes. He is also suing Taylor and Dalheimer for fraud and financial mismanagement. In a separate suit, he alleged that he was kept in the dark about a company loan Taylor took out that is now on the verge of default.
Also participating are Richard McIntosh and Nick Richardson, famous friends of Hynes who founded Invictus One LLC. Through that company, they purchased the former Think Loud building at 210 York St. In late 2021 and they are now at the center of a property dispute.
With the new case, three investors have taken to the stand to sue for access to financial records at Think Loud Entertainment – it is one of dozens of companies registered under Think Loud’s name in York. Several other companies also fall under the Think Loud umbrella, including real estate company 120 York LLC and United Fiber and Data.
Robert Zazira of Nazareth, Pennsylvania; Gregory LaCava from Connecticut. and Eric Martinez, of California, alleged that multiple requests to review the company’s books and records were blocked, which led to the lawsuit being filed. Hines previously resided in Nazareth in County Northampton.
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The complaint shows that the three invested $10,000 each for membership stakes in TLE in 2016. The lawsuit also shows that Zazzera invested in a previous incarnation, Questionable Entertainment, in 2011, which entered TLE in 2013.
Fast-forward to last August, and the lawsuit, citing concerns about TLE’s financial health, says investors reached out to Taylor to request the company’s records.
According to the documents, they were interviewed by Taylor and Dalheimer’s attorney, Jason Confer.
In an email, enclosed as an exposé, Confair allegedly denied access to the records while citing a Pennsylvania law that governs rights to company information by members and directors. He wrote that they did not follow the correct procedures for submitting the application, and that it came “in bad faith” because he suspected Heinz of pulling strings.
“I’m not sure what ‘investors’ you think you ‘represent’, but my strong sense is that your use of the word ‘investor’ is code for ‘Bill Haynes’ and/or one of his followers,” Convair claims.
According to legal filings, Confair reportedly warned investors to maintain contacts they had with Hynes and Gracey. He also threatened to fight back under another state law if he learned Hynes and Gracey were behind the request, according to the documents.
Confair also allegedly said that Taylor told them and other investors around 2017 that TLE was “dead,” calling it curious that they had waited until 2022 to reach out to them. He then stated that his 2020 tax returns showed that they owned 0.17% of TLE, and that they had $290 in the equity account, documents show.
The lawsuit noted that the announcement of the discontinuation of TLE was a surprise because investors received corporate tax reports from the company each year.
The Pennsylvania Secretary of State’s business portal also lists TLE as still “active.”
The investors were retained by attorneys in November, who then submitted a two-page application just before Thanksgiving, spawning a vast web of financial records dating back to 2016. Confair was given 10 days to respond.
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One of the attorneys, Ryan Kirk, sent Convair a follow-up email the same day, according to another gallery attached to the lawsuit. Kirk is also representing Haynes in one of the other lawsuits.
Documents show that Confair allegedly responded that it would consider the application when it had “a few moments to waste”.
Kirk returned on Dec. 5, asking for the records before the 10-day deadline expired, according to the lawsuit.
This led to frantic and insult-filled email exchanges between the two. Convair called Kirk’s work “amateur trash,” while Kirk questioned Convair’s reading level and social circle, according to the show.
During the exchange, Confair listed attorneys for Invictus One in several emails. The suit indicated that Invictus was not involved in the matter with the investors.
Confair reportedly did not respond to the records request, which eventually led to the new lawsuit being filed on December 15th.
The case is seeking an order for Think Loud Entertainment to turn over financial records, saying that amid current legal troubles, investors want to know where the money has gone.
“The plaintiffs are concerned that Mr. Taylor has similarly misappropriated or misappropriated their investment,” the lawsuit states.
In a comment to The York Dispatch, investor Martinez said that plaintiffs in this case aren’t sure how TLE can wane because the group continues to receive tax return documents with Taylor’s and Dalheimer’s addresses on them.
He also questioned the accounts of the percentage of ownership that Confair gave them.
“Unfortunately, Mr. Taylor and Mr. Dalheimer refuse to provide any information or documentation regarding where our money has gone or the status of TLE,” Martinez said.
He also noted that Confair recently told investors that it does not represent TLE in this case.
When asked to comment on his alleged involvement, Haynes said the new lawsuit is not surprising.
He said, “Taylor has never shown respect for other people’s money and he’s a terrible businessman.” “They are not followers of mine; they are investors who have legitimate grievances regarding TLE and Taylor’s mismanagement.”
Taylor declined to comment on questions about the TLE lawsuit.
As investors filed their lawsuit, other cases have seen a flurry of activity over the past month.
In a lawsuit filed last August by Invictus One over ownership of assets in the 210 York Street building, Taylor, Haynes and Invictus filed responses.
Taylor alleged that Invictus’ claims were false, that all of the disputed assets belonged to Think Loud, and that they were fraudulently included in the sale of the building. Taylor also accused the owners of Invictus of colluding with Hynes to corrupt him and Dahlheimer financially and burying them in frivolous lawsuits.
He directly accused Hynes of being a vindictive person after Think Loud “disinherited” his former partner. In the suit, Taylor likened himself to the latest victim as he alluded to Heinz’s plea of no contest to the charges in a domestic violence case last September.
Heinz and Invictus denied the allegations. They also disputed Taylor’s claims to the assets.
Meanwhile, Haynes sued Taylor, Dalheimer and Gracey in November to recall $482,000 in promissory notes he lent them in 2011 as part of an investment in his subsidiary, ADS Builders East.
Taylor responded by denying the existence of the promissory notes, and that Hynes had made their existence the previous August as part of his alleged vendetta scheme. Haynes denied the allegations.
Gracey sided with Hynes in his lawsuit and in the Invictus case. He acknowledged that loans to Hynes were due.
He said in a statement on Tuesday: “I believe Invictus has all rights to whatever is currently on 210 York Street. I believe the Hynes Promissory Bond is legitimate and I did sign it and Patrick and Chad Taylor did too.”
Taylor accused Gracey of being in cahoots with Haynes.
Speaking of Gracey, similar to the investors’ new lawsuit, he also filed a lawsuit against Taylor and Dalheimer over allegations of fraud and mismanagement involving another Think Loud company, Think Loud Holdings.
Gracey said the 2021 tax returns have not been filed, and Taylor has declined to provide access to the financial records despite repeated requests.
He also blamed Taylor as the genesis for the lawsuits involving another subsidiary, United Fiber & Data, and that the settlement last August cost him $1.4 million in UFD shares to which he was entitled.
Gracey’s suit is interwoven into a group of three lawsuits that Truist Bank has filed individually against Taylor, Dalheimer and Gracie in Lancaster County.
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Truist is seeking payment on an outstanding balance of $310,488 from two loans that Think Loud Holdings took out in 2020. One was in the amount of $275,000 and the other was in the amount of $50,000.
Gracey responded to the lawsuit saying he did indeed guarantee the $50,000 loan but was never aware of the $275,000 loan.
“This loan ($50,000) was offered to me as ‘emergency funds’ as the effects of the COVID lockdown were fully in effect. Being a ‘team player’ I was more than happy to help,” Gracey told Dispatch in his statement Tuesday. “I had no information on the $275,000 and therefore do not know that the ‘guarantee’ I signed had anything to do with this note. I have never received a statement regarding this note.”
He said his lawsuit strengthens his position that he did not know about the $275,000 loan.
No verdicts have been issued in any of the cases yet.
– Reach out to Aimee Ambrose at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @aimee_TYD.