New Zealand’s Mahana Estates Winery goes into receivership

New Zealand’s Mahana Estates Winery has gone into receivership while its owner fights a lawsuit against two Las Vegas executives, one of which is alledged to have threatened to bury him in the desert, along with his three dogs.

Located in Nelson, the winery estate was put up for sale in July of this year after a High Court judge ruled against a bid to freeze the company’s assets as two American investors took legal action against owner Glenn Schaeffer.

American investors James Murren (chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts International) and Daniel Lee (CEO of Palms hotel-casino in Las Vegas) are suing the owner of Mahana, Glenn Schaeffer, for $3.5 million.

According to the court documents, Murren invested US$1.6 million while Lee shelled out US$700,400, believing they were become partners in the business and shareholders.

The pair accuse Schaeffer of not using the investments as promised but instead for the assets he held as a shareholder of New Zealand company Woollaston Estates Holdings, later changed to Mahana.

The pair initially brought their case to the New Zealand High Court in Nelson in 2015, claiming that Schaeffer committed “negligent misstatement, deceit and fraudulent misrepresentation” of the investment deal in Mahana.

Schaeffer has since asked his bank to appoint a receiver after a buyer failed to meet their first payments on a purchase, as reported by the New Zealand Herald.

Lawyer Rick Farr told the paper that a sale would continue to be pursued, but that the lawsuit Schaeffer is facing had made it “impossible and impractical to continue”. The estate hosted Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, in 2015 during their visit to the country.

A 10-day hearing for the case is scheduled to begin next month.

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