Attorney: $3.9 million lawsuit against Rich Rodriguez should be dismissed
Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez has asked a South Carolina judge to dismiss the $3.9 million lawsuit filed against him over a failed real-estate deal.
Hamilton Osborne, Jr., Rodriguez’s attorney, filed a motion in U.S. District Court Monday asking that Nexity Bank’s complaint against Rodriguez be adjourned because it was filed in the wrong jurisdiction.
The motion does not otherwise address the substance of the suit, that Rodriguez and four business partners defaulted on a loan to build high-end condominiums overlooking Virginia Tech’s Lane Stadium.
Osborne twice hung up on reporters seeking comment in recent days, and Rodriguez’s financial advisor, Mike Wilcox, did not return a phone call Monday.
Rodriguez was part of the investment group The Legends of Blacksburg, LLC, that obtained a $26.1 million loan in September 2007.
The loan was modified in 2008 to the principle balance of $3.6 million, the cost of the land, and Rodriguez’s group defaulted on it in May without breaking ground on construction.
Wilcox said previously that Rodriguez was the victim of a real-estate ponzi scheme. One of Rodriguez’s business partners, Clegg Lamar Greene, is awaiting trial in South Carolina on five counts of fraud for allegedly stealing money from the group for cosmetic surgery and other personal use.
That trial has stalled because the 71-year-old Greene is in poor health.
In this case, Nexity Bank named Rodriguez as the lone defendant because he was “the financial strength behind the loan,” Nexity attorney Wes Few said last month.
Rodriguez will make about $2.5 million this year as Michigan's coach, plus a bonus of at least $50,000 if Michigan (4-1) makes a bowl game.
In his filing, Osborne said the lawsuit belongs in a Virginia court.
“Their response has nothing to do with the merits of whether or not the money’s owed," Few said Monday. "They want to force the bank to fool around with delay motions and file another suit in Virginia, which we’ll do that. We want to get a result as quick as we can."
Dave Birkett covers University of Michigan football for AnnArbor.com. He can be reached by phone at 734-623-2552 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.