Liens placed on Mortgage Specialists Inc. owner Michael Gill's propertiesBy MICHAEL COUSINEAU
New Hampshire Union Leader
April 16. 2018 10:31AM
MANCHESTER — After spending more than a million dollars fighting mortgage broker Michael Gill in court, three men awarded $274.5 million last year are working on collecting.
“When there’s an order in the court for restitution, you can sell off property and seize bank accounts,” said Manchester developer Dick Anagnost, whose share totaled $92.5 million.
“I’m sure there’s not $274 million in assets,” he said Friday.
Last week, Gill, the founder of Mortgage Specialists Inc., saw his debt increase after a second judge awarded a fourth victim, hospital executive Alex Walker, $5 million in damages for defamation.
Gill had accused the four men of various crimes, making his accusations on a radio show, electronic billboards in high-traffic areas, such as Manchester’s South Willow Street, and on social media.
Anagnost, AutoFair owner Andy Crews and Primary Bank founder William Greiner faced off against Gill in the same trial before a Merrimack County Superior Court jury last year. Crews was awarded $97 million and Greiner $85 million, respectively, as part of the $274.5 million judgement.
Gill is appealing the award to the state Supreme Court, according to court spokeswoman Carole Alfano. Those awarded the judgment have until April 23 to respond.
Anagnost’s group has placed attachments on four properties Gill owns to prevent Gill from selling the real estate without compensating them.
Anagnost estimated it would take a few more months before Gill’s property could be sold.
Those properties are the Mortgage Specialists building on South Willow in Manchester, a Derry residence, a Plaistow commercial parcel and a Nashua commercial property on Amherst Street, according to Anagnost.
He figured those properties might be worth $4 million to $6 million total, but they also have liens indicating taxes and condo fees owed, meaning they will net fewer dollars for the men.
Anagnost said he didn’t know how much money Gill had in his personal and business bank accounts.
Walker said he had a $5 million attachment on some of the same real estate as the other group.
How Gill’s money will be split “remains to be seen,” he said.
“We all agreed that our job was to focus on what this guy was doing, stop him from doing what he was doing and figure it all out later.” Walker said.
“We’ve been working cooperatively, so nobody’s stepping in front of the other or being competitive with each other, and I’m confident we’ll continue to do that.”
Gill couldn’t be reached for comment. Neither could Crews or Greiner or attorney Steve Gordon, who won the $274.5 million judgment.
Walker, CMC’s executive vice president and chief operating officer, had asked for $100 million in damages — a dollar for every estimated page view on the Internet and for every car that drove by Gill’s billboards — and was awarded $5 million.
“We didn’t bring this lawsuit looking for damages,” Walker said.
“I think the damages and the money is certainly a way to send a strong message, but clearly from day one, my decision to bring the lawsuit was about taking a stand and saying enough is enough,” Walker said. “He’s a menace to the community and he’s been a menace to me and my family.”
Walker said Gill has 30 days to appeal the decision.
“Pending the outcome there, it will be a final judgment and we’ll start the process of collecting,” Walker said.
In last week’s decision regarding Walker’s case, Rockingham County Superior Court Judge N. William Delker, wrote that he was “troubled by the size” of the $274.5 million verdict.
Anagnost called the award “the largest defamation judgment ever” in the United States.
It is even bigger than Hulk Hogan’s award for defamation of around $140 million against Gawker Media for publishing part of his sex tape.