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Kulana Kai sued by ‘Three Stooges’

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Posted: Saturday, May 28, 2005 12:00 am

It may read like an April Fool’s Day joke, but it’s not. A lawsuit was filed April 4 by The Three Stooges against Kapaa 160 LLC, the developer of the project formerly known as Kulana Kai.

The suit seeks to have William R. Hancock, the listed developer of the Kulana Kai project, resign a document absolving himself of ownership of a 1 percent deed.

According to the suit, Hancock originally signed the document in 2003, and it was sent to the state Bureau of Conveyances, but never recorded.

The suit, which identifies the plaintiffs only as “John Doe 1-50, Jane Doe 1-50, Doe Partnerships 1-50, Doe Corporations 1-50, Doe Entities 1-50 and Doe Governmental Units 1-50, stated Hancock was asked to sign a replacement deed on numerous occasions, but never did.

Hancock is the developer of the controversial Kulana project.

According to information from the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA), Three Stooges LLC is comprised of members Greg Allen, Greg Allen Jr. and Jim Lull.

The Kulana Kai project has been renamed Kapaa Highlands, and is a separate project than Kulana, with different owners.

Hancock’s Honolulu-based lawyer, Tom Sylvester, did not return phone calls seeking information for this story.

Charles O’Neill Jr., attorney for the plaintiff, said he would be filing a motion within 10 days for a summary judgment to end the matter.

“I really didn’t think it would come to this,” he said.

The plaintiff has a 57-percent interest in the property.

According to the suit, “on or about Dec. 10, 2003, Kapaa 160, executed a warranty deed conveying an undivided, 57-percent interest in the property to the plaintiff.

Until Hancock signs the second copy, he is recognized by state officials as having a 1-percent deed in the development.

The project calls for 50 apartments on a 156-acre lot. The project has not received county subdivision approval yet.

DCCA officials reported the developer filed a preliminary -Condominium Public Report (CPR) on July 31, 2002. That permit was extended until March 27, 2006. The properties cannot be listed for sale till the final CPR has been filed with DCCA Real Estate Commission.

Kapaa 160 LLC is registered by a parent company that lists Lull as an officer. Hancock is identified by DCCA as the president of Kauai Lease and Loan, doing business on Kauai as Kapaa 160 LLC.

Kauai Lease and Loan Ltd., created in 1995 with Hancock and Lull as principals, registered Kapaa 382 with DCCA in April, 1999, and Kapaa 160 in March 2001, according to DCCA records.

Kauai Lease and Loan Ltd. is listed as the officer of Kappa 160.

Hancock is identified as the agent, according to DCCA records.

Hancock is being investigated by DCCA officials in connection with a complaint filed against him in his capacity as a certified public accountant.

According to DCCA officials, the complaint, filed in 2004, is still under investigation. It is DCCA policy not to discuss complaints until they have been resolved.

Hancock’s operating methods and possible financial problems came into play when holders of reservations for lots at the Kulana project found out that they were being forced to resign contracts at much higher prices, or risk losing their chances at home ownership in that development.

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