For 25 years, Ginger Dunn was a partner in the Myrtle Beach Melting Pot with her husband Keith.
Melting Pot Franchise owner loses her business in a 15 minute S.C. Family Court Hearing. SC needs Judicial Reform. pic.twitter.com/gLf8YqeO97— MyrtleBeachSC News (@MyrtleBeachesSC) May 18, 2023
The Melting Pot is a chain of restaurants that specializes in fondue-based cuisine. The restaurant offers a variety of menu options, including cheese fondues, chocolate fondues, and entree fondues. The dining experience at The Melting Pot is unique and interactive, as guests cook their own food at the table using hot pots filled with broth or oil.
In addition to the fondue offerings, The Melting Pot also has a full menu of salads, entrees, and desserts. The restaurant has a full bar and offers a selection of wines, beers, and cocktails.
In the process of her hard work in getting the Myrtle Beach franchise going, Ginger stepped out and purchased a second franchise in Columbus, Ohio. In short, Ginger saved the businesses for both herself and her husband.
In a 15 minute 15th Circuit Family court decision, however, Judge Bromell Holmes completely alienated the business owner. Dunn says she was treated by the court as no more than an employee and home maker.
TOO STRANGE TO MAKE UP! CONTEMPT OF COURT?
In a bizarre twist to this family court drama, Judge Holmes appointed Tonya Watkins of the Watkins Law firm as a Guardian Ad Litem for Ginger’s soon to be 17 year old daughter last Fall.
Ginger Dunn was found in contempt of court on December 23rd for not following the court’s mandate as mailed by Watkins. However, the letter from Watkins was not mailed out from Watkin’s Conway law office until December 22nd (as below). It did not arrive at the Dunn home until December 24th.
Watkins stands by her claim that the letter was mailed December 12th, despite the U.S. Postal Code Stamp clearly marked on the letter as mailed December 22nd.
HER STORY IN HER OWN WORDS FOLLOWS:
The video above is a must see explanation of why Ginger Dunn believes S.C. Family Court needs reform.
My name is Ginger Dunn. I am a mother of four and a local business owner.
I am an individual of faith. I know what I am about to write will be a lot to take in.
I hope your familiarity with the Family Court may make it a little easier to digest.
I believe my circumstances may present a rare opportunity for change.
There are enough assets involved in this case to draw attention.
There is a third party business associate involved who considers himself “the” devil.
After documenting my experiences in South Carolina Family Court, I feel it is my duty as a mother and a citizen to share this information with the public.
I am trying to determine the best presentation.
Unlike most cases, my case is still active, yet I am willing to speak out about the specific individuals involved before the verdict. I believe this is the only way to attract the attention necessary and to refute the later argument that I am a party who is simply unhappy with a verdict.
In truth, I have collected too much information of wrongdoing by too many people.
Based on recent events, I am clearly in true danger.
I feel my only salvation may be public exposure. I have already “named names” in a simple Facebook post several days ago. I have also addressed each of the perpetrators of these criminal acts directly regarding my inability to remain silent.
My husband and I opened The Melting Pot restaurant in Myrtle Beach in 1996.
To say we struggled financially would be an understatement.
In 1998, I moved to Columbus, Ohio to take over the existing Melting Pot in that market hoping to do well enough to refinance our unmanageable debt in Myrtle Beach.
The Columbus Melting Pot made money immediately, a fact my husband seemed to resent [that success].
I travelled back and forth between the beach and Columbus until I had systems and remote accounting in place which allowed me to move back to the beach full-time.
A few years later, I trained an employee named George Chaposky and his wife Kelly as servers at The Melting Pot in Myrtle Beach. The two ended up moving to Ohio when Mr. Chaposky accepted a job as an assistant manager at our Columbus location.
In 2008, my husband and I separated for a year, then reconciled, after he had a heart attack in late December. While I believed we were working on the marriage, he secretly began plotting with Mr. Chaposky in case of divorce later. Over the course of a decade, Vernon Keith Dunn, George Chaposky, and his wife Kelly Chaposky stole approximately $2,000,000 (at a low estimate) from me and my children.
My spouse controlled all funds. They withheld profit share from me and hid the tax returns. While the Chaposky’s spent a month in Europe in 2018, my children and I did not have air conditioning at our home. While I struggled to pay for my oldest’ s college, Kelly Chaposky was making $120,000 a year with benefits doing data entry a professional accounting firm quoted at 4 total hours per month.
The injustice is appalling. I tried everything I could to change my circumstances, but with my spouse as part of the problem, there was nothing I could do stop them.
In early 2021, I thought my prayers had been answered. Pretending to feud with Mr. Chaposky, my spouse claimed he wanted to be bought out of the businesses and that he was finally amicable to divorce. After laying this foundation, he staged an intoxicated event in which he was violent with our oldest son. This led to an intervention by me and then my spouse’s 6 week attendance at an in-patent rehab for alcohol abuse. As outlandish as all this sounds, I have concrete proof of all of it. I collected this proof in part, because I did not wish to believe these things myself.
While at rehab, my spouse signed a Power of Attorney I did not want and did not ask for. Months later, he and Mr. Chaposky would claim I somehow abused the Power of Attorney and tried to “steal” businesses I already owned. They have never voiced what exactly what they claim I did.
This Power of Attorney issue is one of the monsters waiting in the closet.
The whole narrative is absurd, but in Family Court reality does not seem to matter.
In October 2021, while still pretending to feud with Chaposky, my spouse said we could use the same attorney to represent us both in our divorce. His business attorney advised we should go ahead and file as this would help protect funds from Mr. Chaposky.
Family Court attorney Regina Ward backed up business attorney Craig Snook’s story, so I signed the retainer with Regina Ward.
The result was chaos and turmoil and distraction while they drained $420,000 from business accounts on both October 22 and October 23, 2021 for a total of $840,000. These were PPP funds earmarked for franchise required remodels. Two weeks later, Regina Ward filed a Complaint and Motion I had never read which asked for everything I did not want (alimony, child support, etc.)
She “framed “portrayed” me as a dependent and set things up to force me into this ill-fitting role. For a year and half, no one has listened to my continual pleas [in family court] to change this documentation. Currently, Family Court refuses to acknowledge my requests to Amend the Complaint. They ignored my official Motion completely. They will not even code it properly on the public index. The Court itself is forcing me to move forward in a trial asking for things that fit the Defendant’s narrative. Things that will insure he takes everything. Things I absolutely do not want.
Five business days after Regina Ward’s filing, I found myself at a Temporary Hearing where my spouse submitted two eight-page affidavits, one by him and one by Mr. Chaposky.
There are over 200 counts of perjury in these two affidavits. They accused me of everything they had done over the course of years. Many of the claims they made against me are criminal. This same trend continued throughout litigation.
I am told all these lies they have written may be used in a lawsuit against me after Family Court. If they accuse me of all these things in a Complaint with me as the Defendant, I will have to produce evidence I did not do them or a trial will move forward. With over 1,000 false statements entered into the Family Court record, and Orders which do not reflect reality, I could not possibly refute every false claim. They would harm me and by extension, my children, for years to come. Plus, I would have no money and the baggage of the Family Court false case history.
Currently, they have stolen two years of my youngest children’s high school years. My eighteen year-old son is graduating from high school. After being involved in every aspect of their educations, I was forced to turn my attention to personal survival. All four children have been set completely adrift as I have spent all my time and energy simply trying to survive Keith Dunn and George Chaposky.
Financial Notes: We have a marital estate balance sheet of approximately $6,000,000. My spouse and Mr. Chaposky (who has never invested a dime) stand to steal $3,000,000 in just a few weeks in a June 2023 final judgment. The entire point of this pre-planned litigation has been to create circumstances in which I will be sanctioned.
The sanctions they seek would prevent me from entering evidence or testimony at a final trial. This would allow my spouse to set the value for our businesses and real estate at whatever amount he chooses. I am attaching an exhibit regarding the Horry County case Rogers v. Rogers. The average person might read it and believe the wife was nuts. I know better. This is the same template that has been used with me.
They ask for things they know you don’t have, then file actions when you can’t provide them. When your own attorney works for the other party and the Court itself has been bought, there is no limit to the harm that may be done. Worse, they can write whatever fiction they choose afterward.
Keith Dunn and George Chaposky have now stolen all four children’s college funds ($400,000). CPA James McIlrath has altered tax returns to remove me from business ownership entirely.
They set up situations in which I was forced to pay out of pocket for business expenses. That is another $115,000 gone.
I have been forced to spend over $150,000 in legal fees. Regina Ward set up evidence so they may say I caused extra business expenses.
A federal suit was filed at Regina Ward’s direction. Attorney Kenneth Moss filed a Complaint meant too fail. Now they are attempting to charge me for every parties’ legal expenses based on a suit arranged and directed by them.
They will be able to reduce the balance sheet until I receive nothing, and I owe them money.
Unfortunately for me, I do not know how to give up, especially when it comes to my children. Chaposky and Keith Dunn have collected false evidence against my oldest son and the two long term managers they fired. Mr. Chaposky is not a member of either company that operates the Melting Pots, yet he and my spouse signed a resolution as a supposed Majority Membership, and then proceeded to fire me and every female in a position of authority in every store. After that, they fired anyone they suspected might speak to me. Our managers of 16, and 11 years respectively were fired because they would not turn a blind eye. Both of these young men had newborn babies at home.
I believe I have collected “too much” credible evidence based on the actions of one of the last lawyers in this chain of harm, attorney Tonya P. Watkins.
On Tuesday, May 2, 2023, I informed Ms. Watkins, the guardian ad litem inexplicably assigned to the case Dunn v. Dunn by Judge Bromell Holmes, that I intended to report her collusion with the opposing party’s Counsel, Heather Marie Moore of Axelrod & Associates.
I informed Ms. Watkins I found the abuse of her role intolerable and I would be reporting her actions to authorities regarding the false statements she wrote in documents intended for submission to the Court. These statements are clearly harmful to me and my minor child and offer clear aid to the opposing party in litigation.
I deem Ms. Watkins’ appointment as a G.A.L. as inexplicable because the minor in this case will be 17 years-old in one month.
Her father left home in 2014 and (by his choice) he has only seen her once or twice a year and maintained no other form of contact since that time.
In addition, he has not requested any form of visitation during the entire litigation (filed November 2021) and turned down the visitation he was granted in October 2022.
On Wednesday, May 3, 2023 , in response to my informing Ms. Watkins of my intentions to expose her actions, she filed a Motion to appoint a guardian ad litem for me(!).
Three hours later, Ms. Moore filed a Motion for an Order of Protection for my spouse (!) calling my Discovery requests “harassing.” To date, he has not answered one Discovery request (honestly) and has not provided a single piece of paperwork.
The final trial request in this matter was made the same day I filed a Letter of Intention to move for a transfer of venue. The trial dates were then rushed onto the docket.
The Horry County Court Scheduler, Krystle Barnhill (who serves at the pleasure of Chief Administrative Judge Melissa Buckhannon) will not schedule a Motion to Compel for me or any other hearing. The Clerk’s Office will not respond to any question whatsoever. The Rule to Show Cause filed by “my” first attorney, Regina Ward, was continued without my consent and then removed from the docket altogether as if it never existed. During mediation, I was threatened with a bench warrant for my arrest by Lisa Kinon (Chair of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission) if I did not sign an agreement in which I’d had zero input.
Over and over, I have looked for help. I have fought every minute of every day. On October 31, 2022, I drove to Columbia and submitted a notarized affidavit to the Judicial Merit Selection Commission regarding the upcoming hearing for Judge Jan Benature Bromell Holmes’ bid for an SC Appellate Court seat.
I received an email that evening from attorney Erin Crawford stating my paperwork was received 5 minutes past the deadline; therefore, I would not be allowed to speak.
I am now expected to go to trial with no Discovery Responses from the Defendant. They will not provide transcripts I ordered six months ago, though there are citations for contempt based on information available in these transcripts alone. The Orders signed by Judges in this case are complete fiction, yet there is no one to tell, no one to intervene. Judge Melissa Buckhannon has participated in these schemes and now has her own acts to cover up.
On Wednesday, May 3, 2023, both Ms. Watkins and Ms. Moore gave me a 5pm deadline to provide my “unavailable” dates for a hearing. Having been harmed irrevocably by the two former Family Court attorneys who did not work for me, I learned how to file my own Motions, etc. and have been pro se since August 2022 when my second attorney would not submit the Discovery Reponses I completed (for the third time) which facilitated Defendant’s Motion to Compel.
Currently Heather Moore and Ms. Watkins have added more actions for a Rule to Show Cause event scheduled for May 24, 2023 than can be properly tracked. May 24th is my mother’s birthday – a fact they are all aware of as evidenced by the fact they have scheduled devastating events for every holiday and special occasion for two years. Again, the entire point of the litigation is to level a devastating Order on May 24th and then sanction me at the trial set to begin only a week later when I cannot comply. Every honest attorney I consulted would not take my case and collect money for a case they clearly could not provide aid. Every crooked attorney was eager to sign on and take my money plus whatever bribe might be offered by the opposing parties.
For two years, my children and I have suffered through unimaginable cruelty.
We have suffered at the hands of a man from Ohio who uses the South Carolina Family Court as a device to steal family-owned businesses.
This man, George Chaposky of Columbus, Ohio, utilizes a network of attorneys I have come to think of as “the Murdaugh League.”
Mr. Chaposky uses “666” and “420” as “calling card” numbers when claiming credit for harmful deeds.
The appearance of these numbers is undeniable proof of his involvement in these matters.
I have never known or imagined such cruelty in my life.
Mr. Chaposky is a competitive poker player. He has played harming my family these past two years like a game.
They have “stacked” events for maximum emotional damage. On June 11, 2021, Mr. Chaposky told me in person he felt he should be gifted our two family- owned businesses in Ohio. He said if this did not happen, he would employ “the nuclear option.” Apparently, the “nuclear option” is South Carolina Family Court.
The Family Court has facilitated effectively removing me from my daughter’s life when she needs support most.
The idea of me being jailed for being “willfully in contempt” is absurd. I am a rule follower.
I was raised in the Mormon church. I did not follow that particular religion as an adult, but the lessons regarding honesty, the importance of family, and personal integrity are deeply engrained.
As an adult in the Methodist church, I taught Bible School. I was a Girl Scout leader.
I taught a Bible art class for preschoolers.
To my great embarrassment, the Christian school where my children attended honored me with their annual “Servant’s Heart” award.
My point being, if two men and a group of attorneys can do this to me in Family Court without a shred of evidence, they can do it to anyone.
No one I know can understand how anything that has happened in Family Court or our businesses is possible.
Our franchise agreements state I am the operating partner of the Melting Pots. I was the operating both locations at the date of filing for separation. This was the status quo. My spouse had not operated any business in 20 years and had never operated in Ohio.
Still, in a 15 minute hearing November 15, 2021, he was awarded complete control of all businesses as “the traditional operator” and was also given the authority to ban me from any involvement.
Next, he simply did not show up for work. By design, he left me in the impossible position of either doing nothing and letting the businesses, managers , employees, and guests suffer or continuing to work and being charged with “interfering.” In the end it did not matter what decision I made on any issue. If there was no evidence to twist, they simply created some.
The only individuals who have written affidavits or provided “evidence” in Family Court are
Mr. Dunn and Mr. Chaposky. When “my” attorneys would not address their perjury, I highlighted the false statements in affidavits and transcripts and collected hard evidence to disprove each count.
The number is well over 1,000. “My” attorneys would not submit this evidence. They would not serve Discovery.
They would not even send a letter on my behalf to refute the many lies put forth by opposing counsel.
In January 2022, my oldest son recorded an in-person conversation which included me, my son, Mr. Dunn and Mr. Chaposky.
In this conversation, Mr. Chaposky shouts and yells at me for nearly an hour and a half while my son and I attempt to do prep at the restaurant. Mr. Chaposky tells me I am “a disgusting human being.” He states, “I can buy anybody. That’s easy.”
He says when he is done with me, I will own nothing. When I told him I was sorry my existence was such an obstacle for him, but I could not “not” exist, he paused for a moment, seeming contemplative. After that, he smiled at me in a way that chills me to the bone to this day.
On May 8, 2023, they held a hearing one business day after the notice of hearing was set. Judge Holly Wall would not read my Motion for Continuance, Return Motion, Motion for Relief or any other evidence I provided. Without any grounds, witnesses, or testimony other than Heather Moore’s and Tonya Watkins’, the Judge assigned me a guardian ad litem.
I cannot imagine what harm may befall me next. I am frightened, my mother and daughter are terrified. I must speak out publicly not only for my own sake, but in the hope that something may change, that this may not happen to the next person and the next.