Thursday, January 20, 2011
Today's Equipment Leasing Headlines
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Where was Lease Police When You Needed Them?
John Roscoe and his son Ned Roscoe, through a series of companies called "Cigarettes Cheaper" "Five Friends" and "Cousins Distributing" leased a series of equipment from a couple dozen leasing companies including American Express Equipment Finance, Leaf Funding, and GE Capital. All his financials were false, and the equipment was generally “mis-described” and ended up being fixtures.
All the while, he was also cooking the books on the same companies for an accounts receivable line of credit from Comerica Bank. He, along with his family, cooked the borrowing base and he used the money to purchase a $20 million home atop Twin Sisters Mountain near Santa Rosa, a 13,000 square foot mansion built with mostly glass. It had two bedrooms.
On the day of trial, he deeded the home to his son's company, who then refinanced the property, and pulled out cash, to pay down some of the Comerica obligation, which was unsecured by the real estate.
Throughout the discovery phase and trial, he and his son Ned maintained:
Ken Greene, of Hamrick & Evans, LLP, Universal City, and Tom McCurnin, Barton, Klugman & Oetting, Los Angeles, handled the case, which was turned over the US Attorney and the discovery as well as other material from the Comerica obligation resulted in an Indictment against both. John Roscoe was offered a no prison deal in exchange for a five year hitch for his son Ned. Ned, however, refused to take a hit for the team. The pair went to trial January 19th.
Roscoe's own lawyer was compelled to testify against them, under the crime fraud exception.
According to the court document the company with stores in the San Francisco Bay Area got into financial difficulties and with their revolving line of credit with Co-America, San Jose, California allegedly first began using retail prices for whole invoices that it presented to the bank, and then started presenting invoices from the line of credit for cigarettes supposedly delivered but not yet, and then as it got worse, allegedly presented invoices for cigarettes that were never to be delivered, as well as leasing equipment twice or three times and then equipment that did not exist in a means to make payments.
“a. In 2003, the Company entered into an agreement with another tobacco company, hereinafter referred to as B.T., in which Ned Roscoe, through the Company, requested B.T. to invoice purchases of Revenge Brand cigarettes at $27.64 per carton. In truth and in fact, the Company paid B.T. $6.80 per carton of Revenge Brand cigarettes. The cost the Company later reported to Comerica on borrowing base certificates was not the actual cost of $6.80 per carton, but rather the inflated invoice cost of $27.64 per carton. These fraudulent misrepresentations accounted for more than $1 million in overstatements in the weekly borrowing base inventory reports the Company made to Comerica Bank.”
“12. In late November 2003, Ned Roscoe instructed accountants to provide an analysis comparing figures the Company had reported to the bank in weekly reports and a strict interpretation of the loan agreement's borrowing base provisions. An accountant reported that, as of November 11, 2003, the discrepancy between the inventory figures the Company had provided to the bank and the correct figures was approximately $16.5 million dollars. After reviewing the report and discussing it with R.M., Ned and John Roscoe agreed on a fraudulent strategy that they would tell Comerica Bank officials that differences in their weekly inventory reports were the result of ‘clerical or accounting errors’."
Indictment (11 pages:)
List of Witnesses:
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Mazuma Announces Resignation of Director Mike Lee
While Leasing News does not normally write announcements of those leaving a board of directors, this is an exception as Mazuma Capital, Draper, Utah, new to the leasing broker scene, but in business since 2005, announces Mike Lee is leaving as he is the new United States Senator for Utah.
A Mazuma Capital spokesman says he is the youngest elected member of the U.S. Senate and the first new senator Utah has had in 18 years.
“Senator Lee is one of the brilliant minds of our time and I personally believe he’s slated and motivated to bring about real change in Washington,” said Mazuma Capital President and Chief Executive Officer Jared Belnap.” His leadership, intellect, and experience have been a strong edition to Mazuma’s Board,”
“Although we are saddened to lose such a great resource, Mazuma is proud to see Senator Lee serve the people of Utah in Washington, D.C.”
U.S. Bancorp and Leasing Still Going in Opposite Directions
U.S. Bancorp reported $974 million for the fourth quarter of 2010 as well as 9.9% new lending activity compared to the fourth quarter of 2009, but leasing was down in all their divisions, according to the 8K Sec filing.
While construction and land development loans are being written off, problems exist in the residential mortgage portfolio as with many other banks as foreclosures continue and home sales are soft.
"...there was continued stress in the residential mortgage portfolio, as well as an increase in foreclosed properties compared with a year ago, due to the overall duration of the economic slowdown. Covered nonperforming assets were $1,697 million at December 31, 2010, $1,851 million at September 30, 2010, and $2,003 million at December 31, 2009. The majorities of the nonperforming covered assets were considered credit-impaired at acquisition and were recorded at their estimated fair value at the date of acquisition. The ratio of the allowance for credit losses to period-end loans, excluding covered loans, was 3.03 percent at December 31,2010...The Company expects total nonperforming assets, excluding covered assets, to continue to trend lower in the first quarter of 2011."
Pages 7 & 8 US Bancorp Reports Fourth Quarter 2010 Results
(Page 9 US Bancorp Reports Fourth Quarter 2010 Results)
Compare 4th Quarter 2009 with 4th Quarter 2010 Lease Financing:
(Page 15 US Bancorp Reports Fourth Quarter 2010 Results)
Capital did remain steady, slightly improving, as well as the Tier 1 despite the write-downs with compensations up ((in millions 4Q $999, 3Q $973, 4@ 2009 $816(page 12) which are definite signs of improvement in bank personnel performance.
(Page 19 US Bancorp Reports Fourth Quarter 2010 Results)
Complete 68 pages SEC filing:
ELFA Small Ticket Council on Evergreen Clauses
This is a follow-up on the “Evergreen and the ELFA MFLI-25” where the companies who reported their financial condition to the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association were noted and those identified as on the board of directors who direct policy, primarily lobbying states to continue the policy that Evergreen clauses need not legally notify the lessee that the original term of their initial lease period has ended, even when the residual is nominal or even $1.00. In the small and middle-market place the procedure is abused and lessees make extra payments for a minimum 12 months.
Leasing News is aware in the past that the Small Ticket Steering Council has discussed the subject, but has never made a recommendation. To learn if the current council, Leasing News asked each of the members of the ELFA Small Ticket Council for the position of their company regarding Evergreen clauses, specifically notifying lessee regarding the termination of their initial lease term and the residual, especially when nominal.
The current ELFA policy is to oppose the notification, although being heavily abused in the small ticket marketplace.
Chairman: Chris Enbom, CEO, Allegiant Partners
Small Ticket Steering Council Chairman and President of the National Equipment Finance Association, Chris Enbom told Leasing News:
Enbom also states his company notifies lessees on FMV residuals and if they don't pay the residual, it goes month-to-month until paid."
He also commented, "I am also on a church board and the church just had the same negative experience. I can understand the frustrations of many lessees and we will shoot ourselves in the foot if we are not careful!"
Robert Boyer, Past Chairman, Susquehanna Commercial Finance, Inc.
James Elwood, Bank of the West
Terey Jennings, CLP, Financial Pacific Leasing
Kevin Clune, CLP, CLUNE:
Nancy Pistorio, Madison Capital
Raymond Shilling, Marlin Leasing:
David Verkinderen, US Bank Equipment Finance
Evan Iilkoff, Hembstead Capital:
Carl Zwilling, Summit Funding Group
Ex-Officio: David Schaefer, Orion:
(a) Marlin Leasing
Sales makes it Happen---by Steve Chriest
Seeing Red May Help Increase Sales
Summary: Research seems to confirm that women not only find men who wear the color red more attractive, but wearing red may contribute to better business performance.
Not many of us are surprised that in nature, typically, males attract female mating partners by displaying a panoply of vibrant colors. It isn't surprising, then, that researchers have revealed what some have known about the color red for some time.
Research published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology reveals that women in the U.S., England, Germany and China found men pictured wearing red more sexually attractive than in other colors. The research also suggests that the link between red and sex appeal also applies to men. There have been, after all, songs and stories written by men about the "woman in a red dress."
What may be surprising about this research is the fact that despite obvious cultural differences, the attraction of women to the color red was consistent throughout the countries. The research further revealed that just like among other primates, women associated red with higher status.
Some twenty years ago I hired a consulting firm to help our company with marketing. They made a very interesting, unconventional claim: Salespeople, men and woman, who wore blue and grey business suits, accented with red neckties and scarves, produced 10-15% more in sales than did salespeople who dressed in other color combinations. It now appears, based on this recent research, that the claims of the consulting company were credible.
Researchers suggested that even wearing a red necktie could give some men more confidence when making a business presentation. Today's lack of dress codes, and the general free-style approach to business dress, may fly in the face of research that suggests that specific colors attract the attention of both sexes and might even improve feelings of confidence.
Looking around, and seeing more red in your sales organization, just might help in improving sales performance.
About the author: Steve Chriest is the founder of Selling UpTM (www.selling-up.com), a sales consulting firm specializing in sales improvement for organizations of all types and sizes in a variety of industries. He is also the author of Selling The E-Suite, The Proven System For Reaching and Selling Senior Executives and Five Minute Financial Analyst, Basic CREDIT & Analysis Tools for Non-Accountants. He was the CEO of a very successful leasing company and executive at a major company. You can reach Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sales Makes it Happen articles:
Leasing Industry Help Wanted
Please see our Job Wanted section for possible new employees.
January 27 Free Webinar by IDS on Lease Accounting
How to prepare for the new rules
Alan Leesmith, Chair; Director of IAA – Advisory
Katie Emmel, Director of Product Management and Support, International Decisions Systems
Rodney (Rod) W. Hurd, Chief Financial Officer, Bridgeway Capital Advisors, Inc.; Chair, ELFA Financial Accounting Committee
Mark Venus, Projects Director, BNP Paribas; Chair, Leaseurope’s Accounting and Taxation Committee
Jacqueline Mills, Senior Advisor, Economic and Financial Affairs, Leaseurope
Andy Thompson, Legal and Regulatory Editor, Asset Finance International
Saluting Leasing News Advisor Allan Levine
The Leasing News Advisory Board does not participate in editorial decisions, meaning reviewing or choosing stories or subjects. Their role is to participate with policy and business advice as well as contribute in discussions on matters brought up by the publisher in a private internal blog.
Mr. Levine joined the advisory board June 6, 2007. He had written reports on the Eastern Association of Equipment Lessor conferences and events for Leasing News. He also took photographs. Many readers may not be aware he is an excellent photographer, and you know Leasing News likes to use photo's. After college, he did marketing work for Polaroid (“If anyone remembers them. They thought digital photography would not make it,” Allan says.) He learned much of his sales and marketing skills at Polaroid. He is also is a very good writer and humorist. When he semi-retires, he should make time to become a columnist.
Allan Levine, Chief Operating Officer
Allan Levine is the Chief Operating Officer and of Madison Capital, LLC, and has been in the vehicle and equipment leasing business since 1971. In 1971, he began working with a firm focused on vehicle and small-ticket equipment leasing. In 1974, Allan started Fox Auto & Truck Discount Leasing Company, which evolved, in the early 1980’s, into Fox Discount Leasing, Inc. In 1987, the name changed to form Fox Valley Leasing, which merged with Harbor Leasing to become Madison Capital in August of 1997.
He is a past Chairman of the Board of The Chimes, an international not-for-profit serving over 19000 individuals with development disabilities and has 2300 employees. Allan was on the Board of The Eastern Association of Equipment Lessors (EAEL) and was the Editor of The Independent, which was EAEL’s newsletter. In addition, Allan is currently on the advisory board of The Leasing News (a website that contains a leasing industry newsletter). He has also served, at the board and committee levels of additional local philanthropic and community organizations. Recently, Allan became a member of The Maryland Zoo’s Board of Directors. It is the fourth largest Zoo in the US.
He is a graduate of the University of Maryland where he played lacrosse. Allan is married and has 6 grandchildren.
Allan plays golf and works out regularly to keep an energy level needed to support the rigors of the lease financing industry.
Leasing Association Conference Up-Dates
Leasing Association 2011 Conferences
March 8-11, 2011
March 17 - 19
National Equipment Finance Summit
April 7---April 9, 2010
April 12--April 14
May 4-6, 2001
The NFA conference kicks off on Wednesday, May 4 with a Golf Tournament at a noted Atlanta area course. An opening reception starts the evening’s festivities from 6:00 to 8:00 PM! Following his presentation are attendee sponsored receptions and hospitality rooms.
On Thursday, May 5, the conference formally begins with an opening session at 8:30 AM, with a welcome by Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, followed by a day long line-up of prominent speakers, including a luncheon, a networking exhibit hall, evening reception, and a banquet with an entertaining dinner speaker.
Our presenters include:
May 11-May 13
To view Leasing Association Events-Meetings Open to All, please click here
Acclaimed directors Mike Leigh and Peter Weir present audiences with their newest features in “Another Year” and “The Way Back,” while inspiring drama (“Secretariat”), droll mystery (“Inspector Bellamy”) and unforgettable fantasy (“Santa Sangre”) await DVD viewers.
Another Year (Sony Pictures Classics): A specialist in bittersweet human tragicomedies, British master Mike Leigh (“Secrets and Lies,” “Vera Leigh”) is in top form with this deeply affecting tale of grieving and generosity. Weaving a rigorous yet tender web of relationships, the picture centers on Tom (Jim Broadbent) and Gerri (Ruth Sheen), a London couple whose five decades of serenely happy marriage contrast with the emotional troubles of the friends who drop by their cottage over the course of several seasons. And chief among their dysfunctional guests is Mary (Lesley Manville), an alcoholic acquaintance whose miserable stories engages with the couple’s compassion. Brimming with splendidly lived-in performances and showcasing Leigh’s masterly blend of devastating feeling and humor, this piercing film sneaks up on the viewer.
The Way Back (Newmarket Films): Acclaimed Australian filmmaker Peter Weir (“Dead Poets Society,” “The Truman Show”) offers a journey to remember in this visually arresting period drama, set in 1940 Siberia. Rather than remaining isolated from the rest of the world in a harsh labor camp, a group of prisoners try their chance by escaping and undergoing a grueling trek across the pitiless terrain. Among them are brooding thief Valka (Colin Farrell), Polish rookie Janusz (Jim Sturgess), and American veteran Smith (Ed Harris). As temperatures drop and their supplies dwindle, the men grapple with their greatest challenge: hanging on to their humanity in the face of overwhelming odds. Making splendid use of icy landscapes, Weir crafts an involving adventure about the ecstasy and agony of survival.
Secretariat (Walt Disney Pictures):The crowd-pleasing Disney touch is everywhere in this energetic sports drama, set in Virginia in 1973. The fact-based story follows the underdog saga of Penny Chenery (Diane Lane), a housewife and mother whose life takes an exciting turn when she takes over Meadow Stables from her ailing father (Scott Glenn). That’s where she meets a colt named Secretariat, a remarkable animal capable of becoming one of the area’s champion horses. With the help of an eccentric French-Canadian trainer (John Malkovich), Penny enters the business of horse-racing, in the process challenging the industry’s sexist standards. Director Randall Wallace crafts a nostalgic atmosphere and sturdy racing sequences, but the movie’s strongest aspect is Lane’s graceful performance as a woman who finds faith and bravery in herself.
Inspector Bellamy (MPI): Long regarded as “the French Hitchcock,” Claude Chabrol offers one final bit of highly civilized suspense with this tasteful whodunit. The main character is one Inspector Bellamy (Gerard Depardieu), a famous investigator who’s taking some time off from the Parisian bustle with his wife (Marie Bunel) in rural France. Of course, the seasoned detective can’t avoid puzzles for long, and in no time he’s investigating an enigmatic client (Jacques Gamblin) who insists that he’s killed a local businessman. The findings of the case alternate with Bellamy’s thorny relationship with his troubled brother (Clovis Cornillac), whose arrival in town promises to trigger even more trouble. Deftly mixing mystery and character study, Chabrol reminds viewers once more of why he was for decades cherished as a craftsman and artist.
Santa Sangre (Severin): A unique visionary, director Alejandro Jodorowsky makes movies like no other, and this extravagant 1989 gem is no exception. It tells the colorfully twisted tale of Fenix (played by Axel Jodorowsky), a young magician traumatized by horrific childhood events involving his parents, Orgo (Guy Stockwell) and Concha (Blanca Guerra). Just released from an asylum, he is reunited with his mother, who joins him in a bizarre revenge scheme. As they lure victims with their circus act, it looks as though Fenix is doomed, until he meets Alma (Sabrina Dennison), the mysterious, pure-hearted girl who was his old sweetheart. At times suggesting Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho” remade as a vivid Mexican mural, the film is a blend of horror and fantasy that bursts at the seams with unforgettable images.
### Press Release ############################
CIT Opens Washington, D.C. Office
NEW YORK---CIT Group Inc. (NYSE: CIT), a leading provider of financing to small businesses and middle market companies, announced the opening of its Washington, D.C. office and the appointment of Lon N. Goldstein, 39, as Senior Vice President and Director of Government Relations. He will report to Margaret D. Tutwiler, Executive Vice President and Head of Communications & Government Relations.
Goldstein, with more than 15 years of political and legislative experience, will oversee CIT’s public policy initiatives and head the office. The Government Relations group also includes Karl Haddeland, Vice President, and Annette Valenzuela, Assistant Vice President.
John A. Thain, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said, “As a leading provider of financing to small businesses and middle market companies, it is important that we take a more active role in the public policy issues affecting these important sectors. Having an experienced team located in Washington D.C. will help us forge constructive relationships and an ongoing dialogue with members of Congress and the Administration.”
Prior to CIT, Goldstein served as Vice President, Government Relations at the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, where he was responsible for the cable industry’s federal lobbying efforts. Goldstein also worked in the government relations offices for Merrill Lynch & Co., T-Mobile USA and CTIA – the Wireless Association. Goldstein, a New Jersey native, began his career on Capitol Hill working for Congressman Dick Zimmer (R-NJ) after earning an M. Phil degree at Glasgow University (Scotland, UK) and a B.A. at Lehigh University (PA). Goldstein can be reached at Lon.Goldstein@CIT.com.
Haddeland was most recently a Professional Staff Member for Chairman Barney Frank (D-MA) and Subcommittee Chairman Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) on the House Committee on Financial Services, where he worked on the formation of Dodd-Frank, bank capital and regulatory policy as well as consumer credit issues. A former legislative assistant in the office of Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), he previously served as a committee administrator at the Minnesota State Senate. Haddeland graduated from the College of Wooster with a B.A. in International Relations. Haddeland can be reached at Karl.Haddeland@CIT.com.
Valenzuela worked on Capitol Hill for Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID) and then as a technical writer for the National Latino Council on Alcohol and Tobacco. She joined the Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. Government Relations office in 2004, where she oversaw office operations, the Merrill Lynch PAC and supervised the student internship program. Following the acquisition of Merrill Lynch in 2008, she remained with Bank of America’s Government Affairs office until 2010, where she worked on mortgage, deposit account and credit card issues. She is currently pursuing an M.A. degree in International Commerce and Policy at George Mason University and will graduate in May 2011. Valenzuela can be reached at Annette.Valenzuela@CIT.com.
Former CPA from Encino, CA Sentenced to Prison
Los Angeles –The owner of Airport Medical Supply, a Van Nuys company, was sentenced to spend 51 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to healthcare fraud and tax charges detailed in a plea agreement filed by prosecutors last year.
Eli Gichon, age 73, of Encino, the owner of Airport Medical Supply (AMS), was also ordered by United States District Judge Manuel L. Real to pay restitution of $4,093,263 to Medicare and $1,400,353 to the Internal Revenue Service and to spend 3 years on supervised release after serving his prison sentence.
According to court records, Gichon was a Certified Public Accountant who operated AMS from within the premises of Eli’s Airport Cleaners, a dry cleaning business he owned and operated in Van Nuys.
In his plea agreement, Gichon admitted that he employed co-defendants Christopher Hill and Feliciano Dy to work as marketers for AMS. Hill and Dy were each indicted on multiple counts of health care fraud.
From January 2003 through March 2009, Gichon admitted he obtained beneficiary information needed to bill Medicare for durable medical equipment by paying kickbacks to Hill, Dy, and others to recruit beneficiaries for AMS. To recruit the Medicare beneficiaries for AMS, the marketers would promise the beneficiaries cash and/or free durable medical equipment. Additionally, they would transport the recruited beneficiaries to AMS.
Gichon admitted that he used the recruited beneficiaries’ information to prepare false claims for durable medical equipment, such as power wheelchairs and accessories, hospital beds, and mattresses that were not provided to the beneficiaries and/or were not medically necessary. He and others created false invoices from a non-existent medical supply company to substantiate that AMS had purchased the non-existent durable medical equipment.
Gichon’s scheme resulted in a total loss to Medicare from the fraudulent claims that AMS submitted of approximately $4,093,263.
In addition to the health care fraud scheme, Gichon admitted that he subscribed to a false tax return for the 2006 tax year, upon which he failed to report over $912,000.
As a part of his plea, Gichon admitted that, for the years 2004, 2005, and 2006, he received over $3,813,000 in receipts from Medicare through AMS that he did not report on his personal income tax returns. Gichon’s failure to report the income to the IRS resulted in tax due of over $1,400,000.
As a part of his plea, Gichon has agreed to file amended tax returns with the IRS correctly reporting the unreported income, prior to sentencing, for the years indicated above. Additionally, Gichon has agreed that he is liable for the civil fraud penalty assessed by the IRS on the understatements of his tax liability for the years 2004 through 2006. The civil fraud penalty is assessed at a rate of 75% of the tax due to the IRS.
Gichon also admitted that $1,734,074.30 seized by law enforcement on April 17, 2007 from bank accounts he maintained at California National Bank and Washington Mutual Bank were proceeds of health care fraud. Gichon has agreed not to contest the forfeiture of the seized funds to the government.
At the conclusion of today’s sentencing hearing, Judge Real ordered Gichon to begin serving his sentence on March 14, 2011.
Last week, related defendant Christopher Hill was sentenced by Judge Real to spend 27 months in federal prison. Hill previously pleaded guilty to health care fraud charges in a plea agreement filed with the court last year. Hill was further ordered to pay restitution of $116,078.00 and to spend three years on supervised release after serving his prison sentence. Judge Real ordered Hill to begin serving his sentence on February 14, 2011.
Feliciano Dy pleaded guilty to a health care fraud charge last July and was sentenced on September 27, 2010 to 5 years of probation and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $193,412.99.
The investigation and prosecution of Gichon, Hill, and Dy was conducted by IRS - Criminal Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Los Angeles in conjunction with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.
#### Press Release #############################
Westlake Village, California---Adopt-a-Dog
"Mopsy is female Yellow Lab with a sweet temperament and good manners. Mopsy loves kids, and they love her back. Mopsy is housetrained and just such an easy dog to have around. She is not only beautiful, she is loving and gentle. She is, in fact, the perfect, dog. Mopsy’s adoption fee is $400 because Mopsy wants to help pay for tiny little Peachs surgery bill."
Labs And Buddies Animal Rescue, Westlake Village, CA
Adopt-a-Pet by Leasing Co. State/City
Adopt a Pet
(This ad is a “trade” for the writing of this column. Opinions
Work E-Mail Not Protected by Attorney-Client Privilege, Court Says
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Pac-10: Chasing down Oregon, Stanford
Tim Kawakami: Al Davis seethes in latest installment of Raider theater
49ers coach Harbaugh adds to his staff
California leads nation in implementing health care reform
20,000 to 30,000 may be turned away UC no money
Oregon Pinot Noir is superb---Eric Asimov
Direct Shipping Coming Soon to New Jersey?
Young Drinkers Try Pricier Wines, Letting Constellation Ditch Plonk Labels
Sonoma County Vintners Learn Why They Need Social Media, but Most Still Wonder How and How Much
The "Somewhere-ness" of California's Santa Cruz Mountains
Wine Prices by vintage
US/International Wine Events
Leasing News Wine & Spirits Page
This Day in American History
1778 - Captain James Cook discovered Hawaii when he landed first at Waimea on Kauai Island. A graffiti marked plaque honors the spot, although the town has a statute of the famed explored, evidently not liked to this day by the islanders.
Super Bowl Champions This Date
1980 Pittsburgh Steelers
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