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Debts mount for Founders/Berry Hill CEO;
$8.3 million judgment against her Maryland business
 
 
By MARY EVA CASSADA
Special to The News & Record
In more trouble for Founders College/Berry Hill resort, a business
belonging to its owner, Tamara Fuller, has been hit with an $8.2
million judgment in Maryland's Howard County Circuit Court.
The Maryland judgment, entered Thursday, awards $8.2 million to The
Columbia Bank in a seven-part lawsuit against Symphony Homes, a
collection of Maryland rental homes, condos and apartments owned by
Fuller.
The filing was a confessed judgment, meaning that Fuller and Symphony
Homes agreed to make the payment without contesting the litigation.
The filings are against three separate entities: Symphony Homes LLC,
Symphony Homes at Roland Park LLC and Symphony Homes Development, plus a single, separate filing against Fuller personally.
According to the court documents, Columbia Bank lent Symphony Homes and
Fuller money in March 2004, with a proviso to accelerate the loan in
the event of default, which occurred as a result of failure to pay.
The lawsuit alleges that the Symphony businesses and Fuller did not pay
after being sent two demand letters.
The main principal totals about $7.3 million; lawyers fees, interest,
late charges and insurance make up the rest.
William Hallam, a Baltimore attorney for Columbia Bank, declined to
comment, as did the bank's J. Michael Millard, who cited banking
privacy laws.
At least some of Fuller's Symphony Homes properties were put up among
collateral for an owner-financed loan for the purchase of the Berry
Hill resort last spring, court documents show.
In a separate development, about seven managers on the Berry Hill
resort side of the business weren't paid on Friday.
Management may pick up their hourly staff paychecks from the
accounting office at 2:30 PM. Managers will be notified once their
checks are ready for distribution,  reads an e-mail sent Friday morning
from the Berry Hill human resources manager to other managers.
The latest judgment comes on the heels of a $3 million collection
lawsuit filing against Fuller's Founders College by the former owners
of Berry Hill resort who sold her the property last spring; a $120,000
lawsuit from Founders  former public-relations firm Manning, Selvage &
Lee; and an $11,000 lien against Founders by the Virginia Department of
Taxation for failing to pay employee withholding taxes.