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From Rags to Riches…To Rags

21 Dec

Met Rodney the first time at a high-end luxury car dealership, where I was having the venerable sports car I owned at the time serviced. There are a group of guys living in the Va suburbs who love exotic sports cars, antique cars, and cars they have fixed up themselves from not so glorious names as Ferrari or McLaren, who uhhhh…kinda illegally race along some of the rural roads about 30 miles out from the City. On any Sunday morning you can find guys with anything from a new or aged Mustang up to a $3 million Bugatti raring to go down the curvy foothill roads.

I was looking at an Aston Martin DB9 (and looking is the operative word here,, as I couldn’t afford it, and two if I could I couldn’t see throwing that type of money on the floor for a car.) He was looking at a Mercedes McLaren – which got up in the million dollar range with markup. I knew of him from a cousin who raced a race prepped Lotus in that group. Rodney had made a lot of money on the Iraq War, supplying security personnel to guard Americans in the country. The most successful and infamous of the groups who did that was Blackhawk. Rodney’s company wasn’t too far behind.

He was there to buy a Mercedes McLaren SLS, which at that time was one of the 3 or 4 fastest cars  in the world at that time. In talking, it was fairly obvious he had no experience in that sort of car. He wanted to buy it basically to impress people. I suggested that driving that beast at anywhere near its capabilities took a driver with Formula One racing skills. At his request I went out on a test drive (the Dealership guy drove it, as I knew it was beyond my skills on any public street). The gearing in the car is set up for the track – not daily commuting. Coming out of second at 80 Mph with a top end over 200 Mph or better, with a 0-60 time in 3 seconds ain’t your mamma’s Honda. Suggested he buy the Mercedes SLS AMG, which is set up to operate on the streets and you could dial down the power. A  third to half of the price. About this time they brought out my aged toy from the early 70’s from service, and I left. No idea which he bought.

The neighborhood he built his house is in has several extremely wealthy luminaries. On is Steve Case, AOL founder. I grew up in the town the property is located in (a much, much poorer part). The property some years ago was part of the Bouvier estate (As in Jackie Kennedy).

Hunt is not in position anymore to pay either the mortgage (around $100,000 a month), or even the electric bill to keep this place lit.

Man who built a $24 million mansion along Potomac River loses battle to keep it

Rodney P. Hunt, a once-rich-but-now-bankrupt government contracting titan, is losing his beloved $24 million mansion turned party house on the banks of the Potomac River.

On Tuesday, an Arlington County judge granted possession of the home to a firm managed by Jeong Kim, a former president of Bell Labs and a co-owner of Verizon Center, the Washington Wizards and the Washington Capitals.

Kim’s company, 201 Chain Bridge LLC, bought the 20,000-square-foot property earlier this summer after it had been sold at a foreclosure auction. But Hunt, still in bankruptcy proceedings, resisted relinquishing his trophy home, claiming the foreclosure auction was illegitimate.

In a bizarre hearing at Arlington County General District Court, the former multimillionaire served as his own attorney. Hunt, 56, told Judge R. Frances O’Brien that another entity, Crown Properties LLC, was the real owner and agreed to lease the home back to him in May, a month before the house was auctioned. He said he was providing technology consulting to another firm, Legal Investment Group, which was paying his rent to Crown Properties.

Hunt’s sudden claims — he never discussed these companies in his pretrial defense filings or pretrial hearings — prompted Kim’s attorney, Leon Koutsouftikis, to question the authenticity of those firms.

“I think he’s committing a fraud in this court. It’s ridiculous,” Koutsouftikis told O’Brien.

“I have not committed a fraud in this court,” Hunt countered.

The judge was skeptical. “I think there are issues of credibility,” she said, before ruling in favor of Kim.

For years, Hunt has been beset by legal and financial problems. He founded RS Information Systems in 2003 and built it into one of the country’s most prominent black-owned government contracting firms. By 2006, he finished building his Mediterranean-style home, which boasts a basketball court, a 15-space underground parking garage and five bedrooms. It was once featured on “MTV Cribs” and was known on social media as #RHPmansion.

The home’s size and location — around the corner from tech entrepreneur Steve Case and down the street from the CIA — symbolized Hunt’s perch atop Washington’s hierarchy.

In 2007, the year he sold his IT contracting company to a California aerospace firm, Northern Virginia Magazine estimated his net worth at $265 million.

But soon, Hunt began piling up astronomical debts. By 2012, Bank of America said Hunt had defaulted on a $9.4 million loan on the mansion. Court records also showed that he racked up more than $10 million on unpaid loans and shoddy business deals.

Last year Hunt filed for bankruptcy, citing debts between $10 million and $50 million. One creditor, a Texas woman, alleges in his bankruptcy court documents that Hunt raped her in July 2009 at a Houston hotel and owes her more than $600,000 in court-ordered judgments stemming from a settlement in a civil suit she had filed against him. Hunt has denied the assault accusations in court, saying the woman was trying to extort money from him so that eventually he would settle to avoid tainting his reputation.

On June 16, Hunt’s mansion was sold in one of the largest foreclosure sales in the region’s history, for $7.3 million to an entity called GREI LLC, whose managing member is Alasgar Farhadov, a Realtor in Northern Virginia. Then, in July, Farhadov transferred his company’s interest in the house to 201 Chain Bridge LLC, the firm managed by Kim.

Hunt has been living on the property “on and off” since July, according to his close friend and business associate Danny Jones.

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1 Comment

Posted by on December 21, 2016 in American Greed

 

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One response to “From Rags to Riches…To Rags

  1. michelinewalker

    December 23, 2016 at 7:26 AM

    What a story. Thank you for sharing it.

    Like

     

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