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Prospective Saddleback Buyer Released on Bail
Prospective Saddleback Buyer Released on Bail
Majella CEO Sebastian Monsour has surrendered his passport and cannot leave Australia.
Friday, June 22, 2018, NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com
Sebastian Monsour

One day after being arrested for alleged investor fraud, Majella CEO Sebastian Monsour has been released on bail.

According to the Brisbane Times, Monsour was forced to surrender his passport and cannot leave Australia. In addition, Monsour is barred from contact with Majella Capital Funds Management CEO Luke Kirke, who is no longer listed on the Majella web site.

Monsour is accused of taking $5 million from a foreign investor for non-existent investments last year.

Next week marks the one year anniversary of the announced sale of Saddleback Mountain Resort to Majella. The Berry family, current owners of Saddleback, have not responded to inquiries about the situation.

Saddleback (file photo)

Background
The latest saga dates back to July 2015, when the Berry family, owners of Saddleback, announced the Rangeley double was "at end of its useful life" and that operations would cease if the lift could not be replaced. The lift was not replaced and the ski area sat idle for the following two winters.

On June 28, 2017, the Berry family announced Saddleback was being sold to the Majella Group. At that time, Majella announced the sale would be completed later in the summer and that a new fixed grip quad chairlift and T-Bar would be installed in 2017. At the time, Majella did not commit to operating in 2017-18.

On September 18, 2017, Majella declared "dominoes have fallen into place" and that "physical work is starting" and that "the first step will be taking down the existing Rangeley lift." As of mid December, the chairs remain on the Rangeley Double. However, chairs were removed from the other lifts and remain on the ground, now buried in snow. Saddleback's lifts have not passed state inspection since November 2014.

Also on September 18, with regard to a 2017-18 reopening, Majella posted, "only thing that is going to hold up or delay this process is Mother Nature" and that Majella was "committed to opening in some capacity for the 2017-18 ski season, assuming Mother Nature does not deliver an early winter with heavy snow."

On November 9, Majella announced delays in the sale, while also adding uncertainty to a 2017-18 reopening by stating it "will not be a full opening, rather a limited operation that, if possible, will allow our Saddlebackers and their families to return and enjoy the mountain in some capacity."

On November 21, NBC Portland reported it had "learned exclusively that the money isn’t there," adding "if the group doesn't come up with the money soon, the deal could fall apart entirely."

In March 2018, NBC Portland released leaked audio in which Monsour stated "I have a very very very small amount of funds" and that "opening the mountain at Saddleback for the Saddleback Resort is not a primary concern for us."

In May 2018, tapes leaked indicating Monsour was seeking to operate "private entertainment spaces" from Australia to the United States with special arrangements "so we don’t have to get the bloody brothel licence."

Saddleback did not operate during the winter of 2017-18.




Related Stories on NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com
  • Problems Mount for Prospective Saddleback Buyer - September 2, 2018
  • Proposed Saddleback Purchase Involved in Australian Fraud Case - July 10, 2018
  • Prospective Saddleback Buyer Arrested, Charged with Fraud - June 21, 2018
  • Prospective Saddleback Buyer Talked of Arranging Hostesses 'So We Don’t Have to Get the Bloody Brothel Licence' - May 2, 2018
  • Problems Mount for Prospective Saddleback Buyer - March 21, 2018


  • More Information
  • Saddleback Mountain Resort on NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com
  • Saddleback Mountain Resort on NewEnglandSkiHistory.com


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