Auction of Compass Academy canceled; buyer found
The auction of a 53,000-square-foot building on Toolebeck Road that would have been Compass Academy has been canceled, according to the firm chosen to market and auction the property.
The auction was supposed to begin at 11 a.m. on Saturday. The name of the buyer will be kept confidential, said Dan Bracken of Leonardi Bracken Real Estate LLC in Greenville.
“That was one of the conditions of the sale,” he said.
The property had been on the market for $1.5 million, and the opening bid of $500,000 was announced earlier this month. Bracken could not disclose the price for which the property was purchased but said it was more than the $500,000 opening bid.
“Over the past three weeks, we received substantial interest in the property,” he said. “We were able to present several offers to our client. Our client then made the prudent decision to accept the highest and best offer. The purchaser has a plan for the property, which we believe will be an asset to the community.”
Bracken was selected by court-appointed receiver Sherri Lydon to sell the facility, which is about 70 percent complete.
Lydon, a Columbia-based attorney, was selected as the receiver of all frozen assets belonging to Compass Academy, Jay Brooks, his wife Tracy Brooks and related companies. Jay Brooks and his companies, J. Brooks Financial and Brooks Real Estate Holdings, are accused by the state Attorney General's office of illegally selling unregistered securities to fund the establishment of Compass Academy.
The Brookses have also been accused by the Securities Division of the Attorney General's office of using those funds to buy groceries, their home, vacations and jewelry rather than investing the funds as promised.
Brooks, who faces multiple civil suits, was arrested in July and charged with one count of securities fraud. He was later released on bond.
Teddy Kulmala covers the crime and courts beat for the Aiken Standard and has been with the newspaper since August 2012. He is a native of Williston and majored in communication studies at Clemson University.