The prosecution surprised Philadelphia developers who had hired McManus to raise money from banks and investors and were pleased with the results.
From 2008-11, another firm McManus ran, NAI BlueStone Real Estate Capital, raised millions for at least a dozen Philadelphia-area projects. McManus closed deals while at both Remington and Bluestone, says his lawyer, Lisa Mathewson: “The McManus team closed as many large deals while operating as Remington in Philadelphia as it did while operating as Bluestone.”
"I'm shocked" at the charges, Ken Assurian, of Capital Realty Group, Media, told me. Bluestone raised $13 million in Beneficial Bank loans and equity from other investors for the 85-unit Arbors at Buck Run assisted-living community in Feasterville in 2010, Assurian confirmed. McManus "did a good job for us."
Leonidas Addimando, managing partner at Kensington-based 806 Capital LLC, also spoke highly of McManus's work helping raise $27 million for 806 and its partners to renovate the former Robert Morris Building and the former Northeast Hospital in separate projects. Bart Blatstein, who used McManus to help raise a total of over $100 million for Piazza at Schmidt's, Erbe Apartments, The Edge at Avenue North, and other projects, was also surprised at McManus' troubles.
"I'm a victim," Ingrid Robinson, a retired therapist in San Anselmo, California, told me. Robinson says she sent $10,000 to the Remington office McManus headed in the expectation it would help raise funding for a development project she hoped to name after her late daughter. But "they did nothing." Angered, she began researching the firm - and found other Remington customners who thought they'd been ripped off around the world.
"They took our money," Gene Teigland., a Minnesota filmmaker, told me. He said he and his partners, at the recommendation of a New Jersey firm run by a Better Business Bureau officer, in 2006 mailed $28,000 to an account in Philadelphia on the promise that McManus' firm, with a "90 percent" success rate, would help raise millions. After the firm demanded additional cash, and failed to show it had done anything to attempt to raise funds, Teglind said he had to repay his partners the fee from his own scarce cash.