Monday, March 21, 2005
Classified ads---Senior Management
######## surrounding the article denotes it is a “press release”
Classified ads---Senior Management
Long Island, NY
New York, NY, NJ, Ct Tri-State
Orange County, CA
Portfolio Management Consultant;
San Francisco, CA.,
96 “Job Wanted” ads at : http://22.214.171.124/AL/LeasingNews/JobPostings.htm
to post your free ad, please go here:
" ‘Unofficially, Unverified and Off-the Record', I understand that the closing of Preferred Capital, has caused SilverMark Capital to discontinue their private label and servicing retained by lessors programs and that the damage may be so great as to cause the closing of SilverMark Capital.
As verification of these rumors come in I will let you know. For sure they have discontinued the purchasing of lessor serviced retained portfolios with at least 2 companies, leaving them scrambling for funding.”
(very reliable source)
Ohio Banks Affected by NorVergence Bankruptcy
New Jersey company\'s legal woes involve NE Ohio companies
Saturday, March 19, 2005
Plain Dealer Reporter
Some Northeast Ohio companies are caught up in the liquidation of a telephone equipment and services reseller accused of defrauding thousands of small businesses nationwide.
NorVergence Inc. in Newark, N.J., falsely promised to cut the monthly telephone, cellular and Internet bills of small businesses, nonprofits and government bodies by at least 30 percent, according to the Federal Trade Commission, which sued the company for fraud in November. Company officials have consistently declined to comment on the charges.
The FTC suit also says:
The cost savings supposedly came from a \"black box\" installed in customers\' offices to send long-distance calls through the Internet. But the boxes were just standard telephone routers. They were rented to customers for between $400 and $5,700 a month but were probably worth only about $500.
NorVergence used high-pressure sales tactics to get small businesses to sign five-year rental agreements as well as agreements for long-distance service from companies such as Qwest and Sprint.
The company made an estimated $200 million by selling the rental agreements to finance companies nationwide, using some money to pay for customers\' telephone service.
National City Commercial Capital Corp., a Cincinnati unit of Cleveland banking company National City Corp., and Preferred Capital Inc., an equipment lease broker in Brecksville, bought some leases. That entitled them to monthly payments from NorVergence customers.
But NorVergence filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in June 2004. Soon after, a bankruptcy trustee converted the filing to a liquidation. Telephone service to NorVergence customers was cut off.
The local finance companies say they are collectively owed $3 million. National City and Preferred Capital have continued collecting on the leases, even though customers are not getting service. New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer has threatened both with lawsuits if they don\'t cancel leases for his state\'s businesses.
A National City spokeswoman would say only that the company is working with individual customers. Unlike National City, which bought the leases with its own money, Preferred borrowed from local banks.
The Brecksville company has sued hundreds of small businesses that have stopped paying on leases. But it\'s being sued itself by bank lenders. This month, Western Reserve Bank in Medina and Sky Bank in Salineville, Ohio, won judgments against Preferred for a total of $8.7 million. Preferred Capital President Alan Velotta declined to comment.
Meanwhile, many former NorVergence customers are paying twice for telephone service - on the leases for nonexistent service as well as to a regular provider.
In 2004, Guess Motors Inc. in Carrollton, southeast of Canton, signed lease and service contracts that included a long-distance and toll-free customer line for $1,200 a month, said owner Mike Guess. The car dealership had been paying an average of $2,000 a month for telephone service, Guess said.
After two months of \"lousy service,\" NorVergence filed for bankruptcy protection, Guess said. He stopped paying on his lease, so Preferred Capital sued him earlier this month for the remaining value - $63,737.
Guess understands that Preferred Capital is out the money it paid NorVergence. But he doesn't\'t understand how he can be expected to pay for service he\'s not getting.
Some state attorneys general, including those in Florida, New York and Texas, are trying to get relief for small businesses. A spokeswoman for Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro said his office is looking into the issue.
In December, General Electric Capital Corp. forgave lease payments of $2 million by former NorVergence customers in New York, in a settlement with Spitzer. GE Commercial Finance spokesman John Oliver said his company has since extended the same relief to all states, including Ohio.
Key Equipment Finance, a unit of Cleveland banking company KeyCorp, also is a creditor in the NorVergence bankruptcy. But it appears Key leased equipment to NorVergence itself, not to the reseller\'s customers. A spokesman declined to comment because the matter is being challenged in court.
Plain Dealer reporter Teresa Dixon Murray contributed to this report.
To reach this Plain Dealer reporter:
CMC Portfolio Turned Over to USbancorp
“It has been some time since we spoke. I wish offer you an update on the servicing of the Commercial Money Center Portfolio. Stuart Allan & Associates has since turned over the majority of the servicing rights it previously held to USbancorp in Marshall, MN.
“Stuart Allan & Associates remains engaged as a servicing agent in only a handful of the servicing related matters. Stuart Allan & Associates, and or its authorized agents are hopeful that our interests in the Commercial Money Center Estate will be concluded by this fall.
Should you or your readers have any questions regarding this matter feel free to contact me direct at 605 361 7781.”
RW Professional case postponed to after June, 2005
It appears it will be three years before the Drayers face a court of law.
June 1, 2005 to respond to suppression of a motion, so postponed again, and the Drayer's remain under “house arrest” with limited movement to be approved by the court.
June 22,2002, New York Times:
Forty federal agents raided the small headquarters of a company that leases medical equipment and arrested its top officers today for what prosecutors described as nationwide bank frauds that could total $200 million.
Just 10 days of investigation into a small part of the company's dealings found $6.5 million of fraud, prosecutors said in United States District Court in Central Islip, where three suspects were arraigned. A fourth was arraigned in Boston.
Prosecutors said that the company, the RW Professional Leasing Corporation, concocted elaborate schemes using up to 100 rented mailboxes as far away as California to send phony checks, sham invoices, bogus leases and other false documents to banks in various states. Based on those documents, the banks lent RW millions of dollars to buy equipment and lease it out, prosecutors said.
The schemes included multiple loans from different banks for the same medical equipment and loans for equipment that was never bought or leased, prosecutors said.
Those arrested were RW's president and co-owner, Rochelle Besser, also known as Rochelle Drayer, 66, of Long Beach; her brother, RW's senior vice president, Barry Drayer, 62, who operated a branch in Wellesley, Mass.; another brother, Roger Drayer, 59, of Long Beach, who holds various titles; and Roger Drayer's daughter, Jennifer Tarantino, also known as Jennifer Drayer, 31, of Oceanside
This is a press release from the United States Attorney's Office, one year ago, March 12,2004:
Eight Defendants, Including Five Employees and Principals of a Long Island-based Financing Company and a Former Bank of New York Branch Manager, Arraigned on Federal Bank Fraud and Wire Fraud Charges
ROSLYNN R. MAUSKOPF, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, PASQUALE J. D'AMURO, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York, and MICHAEL J. THOMAS, Special Agent-in-Charge, New York Field Office, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, announced today that eight defendants, including five employees and principals of defendant RW PROFESSIONAL LEASING SERVICES, INC. ("PLS"), and a former branch manager for The Bank of New York at a retail branch in Island Park, New York, were charged late last week in a superseding indictment (1) with federal crimes in connection with a scheme to fraudulently induce financial institutions around the country to extend $28 million in loans to PLS, a former Bank of New York customer. Seven of the defendants are scheduled to be arraigned this morning at 9:30 a.m. at the U. S. Courthouse in Central Islip, New York, before United States District Judge Arthur D. Spatt.
The individual defendants charged in the superseding indictment are PLS principals BARRY DRAYER and ROCHELLE BESSER; PLS employees ADAM DRAYER, ROGER DRAYER and SUSAN COTTRELL; MYRNA KATZ, a former Bank of New York branch manager; and STEPHEN BARKER, who, as the owner of a California financing company known as Carefree Financial Services, allegedly recruited medical providers to obtain financing through PLS. BARKER was arrested yesterday in California.
The Scheme to Defraud
The superseding indictment charges that PLS, which maintained business locations in Island Park, New York, and Wellesley, Massachusetts, obtained loans from financial institutions, including FDIC-insured banks (collectively, the "funding institutions") for the purported purpose of financing purchases of medical equipment and then leasing that equipment to medical providers. The leases and medical equipment were supposed to serve as collateral for the loans made by the funding institutions.
According to the indictment, PLS, BESSER, BARRY DRAYER, ROGER DRAYER, ADAM DRAYER and COTTRELL (the "PLS defendants"), KATZ and BARKER obtained the loan proceeds under false pretenses. Specifically, the PLS defendants and BARKER misrepresented the actual purpose of the financing which, in many cases, was not used to purchase medical equipment at all, but was instead used by medical providers as working capital. Since working capital loans, which were not collateralized by medical equipment or medical equipment leases, were not favored by the funding institutions, the defendants provided the funding institutions with phony documentation creating the false appearance that the medical providers were leasing medical equipment purchased by PLS, that the financing was needed for that purpose, and that the funding institutions would have an undivided security interest in the lease and the medical equipment. The PLS defendants and KATZ also falsely represented that The Bank of New York (hereinafter "BONY") would act as escrow agent for certain of the funding institutions.
The BONY Escrow Agreements
The government alleges that the FDIC-insured funding institutions
(the "bank funding institutions") required that PLS execute escrow agreements in connection with each loan. Each escrow agreement required the establishment of an escrow account in which lease payments would be deposited and held in escrow by BONY as escrow agent for the bank funding institutions. The escrow agreements required BONY, among other things, to disburse the funds on deposit in the escrow account in accordance with a particular payment schedule and only to the bank funding institutions that were financing the leases identified in the escrow agreements.
The indictment charges that KATZ, for the purpose of inducing the bank funding institutions to make loans to PLS, executed and supervised the execution of numerous escrow agreements for BONY between 1991 and 1998, fully aware that she was not authorized to do so and that BONY policy prohibited BONY retail branches from establishing escrow accounts. The indictment also charges that KATZ and the PLS defendants knew that the escrow accounts would not be maintained pursuant to the terms of the escrow agreements, that the lease payments would not be forwarded by BONY to the bank funding institutions, and that BONY would not actually perform any of the other obligations assigned to it as escrow agent in the escrow agreements.
According to the superseding indictment, the PLS defendants fraudulently obtained and converted at least $28 million of loan proceeds and lease prepayments through the fraud scheme.
"We will not hesitate to prosecute wrongdoers to protect the public from abuse of our financial institutions," stated United States Attorney ROSLYNN R. MAUSKOPF. "In this case a bank employee violated a position of trust, and thereby enabled PLS, the PLS defendants and BARKER to plunder the banking system for their own personal gain. Now they must face the consequences." Ms. MAUSKOPF emphasized that the investigation is continuing.
FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge PASQUALE J. D'AMURO stated, "This scheme induced banks to advance millions of dollars in what they believed to be secured loans for equipment financing, when in fact the loans were entirely un-collateralized. The defendants misled the lending institutions through blatant fabrication and deception, putting the banks and their depositors at risk."
The Charges and Maximum Sentences Each defendant is charged with conspiracy to commit bank fraud and wire fraud. (2) In addition, PLS, BARRY DRAYER, BESSER and BARKER are charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering; PLS, BARRY DRAYER and BESSER are charged with multiple counts of bank fraud; BESSER and KATZ are charged with making false statements to an FDIC-insured bank; and KATZ is charged with issuing bank obligations without authority. The charges carry the following maximum terms of imprisonment -- conspiracy (five years), unauthorized issuance of a bank obligation (30 years), false statements to an insured bank (30 years), conspiracy to commit money laundering (20 years) and bank fraud (30 years). On each count of conviction, each defendant faces a maximum fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss resulting from the offense, whichever is greater; the payment of restitution; and a maximum of three years supervised release (conspiracy charge) and five years supervised release (bank fraud, false statements and issuing obligations without authority charges).
PLS faces a maximum sentence of five years probation and a fine of $500,000 or twice the gross gain or loss resulting from its offenses, whichever is greater, and the payment of restitution. The indictment also seeks forfeiture of any and all property of each of the defendants constituting or derived from proceeds traceable to their offenses, which is valued at a total of at least $28 million.
The government's case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Geoffrey Kaiser and Kevin Mulry A recent repercussion of the pending trial resulted in Bank of New York Chief Executive Thomas Renyi received $6.2 million in compensation last year, 41 percent less than a year earlier, as the No. 10 U.S. bank addressed regulatory issues and its shares lagged those of its peers.
Bank of New York has set aside money for an expected settlement of a federal criminal probe into the alleged fraud of RW Professional Leasing Services Corp., which arranges financing for health care providers leasing medical equipment.
The Wall Street Journal has said the bank was negotiating to avoid a possible indictment in the matter, over a failure to report suspicious activity at a branch.
Separately, the SEC is investigating the bank and its BNY Hamilton mutual fund family over marketing and distribution costs.
Bank of New York said Renyi and Hassell recommended to the compensation and organization committee that their bonuses and performance share grants be reduced ``in view of the RW Leasing matter and other regulatory issues.''
A $20 million dollar suit originally brought by American Express against RW Professional for the portfolio inherited from Sierra Cities was put on hold, pending the outcome of this criminal trial. There are several other civil suits claiming money is owed to approximately 15 community banks in alleged “double dipping” of the same lease sold to several different banks with RW Professional making the monthly payments until the alleged Ponzi scheme fell apart.
Classified Ads---Help Wanted
Middle Market Sales Representative
"Over 30 individuals representing funding sources, service providers and brokers attended the Northern California UAEL Regional Meeting Thursday the 17th. Excellent conversations abounded as the general consensus was that activity is picking up, though the optimism was cautioned. Most people agreed that continued hard work will be rewarded. A presentation on the topics of Sales & Marketing was presented and well received. The conclusion was that knowledge is a key ingredient to success in our industry.
CLP “Lite” Discussed at UAEL S.F. Bay Area Regional Meeting Paul Knowlton of Bank of Walnut Creek hosting a United Association of
Equipment Association Northern California Regional meeting on Thursday, March 17 th . One of the hot topic discussed, he reports was:
“The idea of a CLP ‘Lite' ..... There were approximately 10 CLP's in the audience with 3 CLP Foundation Board members in attendance. Almost all of the audience was aware of the CLP designation and agreed that it is a respected title in the industry.
“Excellent conversations abounded as the general consensus was that leasing business is picking up, though the optimism was cautioned. Most people agreed that continued hard work will be rewarded. A presentation on the topics of Sales & Marketing was presented and well received. The conclusion was that knowledge is a key ingredient to success in our industry, which ties right into the Certified Leasing Professional program.
“The five year industry requirement for the CLP designation was cited as a big reason that people were not pursuing their CLP currently. It was pointed out that other industries have length of service requirements for "Certified" status, but that course studies and exams are taken prior to reaching that requirement.
“There is nothing to keep individuals from taking CLP classes now. It was agreed that education for people new to the industry was very valuable and an important way to curb poor operating practices and that CLP could provide a vehicle for this, though the Foundation has limited resources.
“ It seemed that the current CLP did not want to "devalue" their work, but were open to discussing ways to encouraging people to pursue the course of study to lead to the CLP. It was thought that a different CLP version had been discussed before and not gone anywhere. It is sure to be a topic at future CLP and association board meetings."
“Thanks to the sponsors of the event Belvedere Equipment Finance…..Allegiant Partners…..Bank of the West….Bank of Walnut Creek “
Others have expressed a similar sentiment by e-mail to Leasing News f not wanting to “dilute” the value of the designation.
“In my opinion it would be a grave error on the part of the foundation to even consider a "CLP Lite" designation as you call it.
If I read your comments correctly the idea would be to lower the bar on the CLP requirements so that more people could leverage whatever credibility CLP has or is beginning to garner in the industry. I can't help but reflect on my own decision to become a CLP.
It was much harder back then as you not only had to pass the test but you had to demonstrate service to the industry and service to WAEL (the association that originated the CLP program). This entailed accumulating "points" for speaking engagements, promoting the industry in your community, serving on committees, and continuing education from attending WAEL and other industry conferences.
These requirement were eventually dropped because they were too "association specific" and to grow the program the requirements had to be more generic.
I also disagree with making the test easier. If anything the test should encompass more material as the leasing and finance business continue to evolve.
In my opinion Steve Reid had summed it up correctly. The CLP designation should be something that people strive for. Thank you,
Bob Rodi, CLP
1-800-321-LEASE (5327) x101
( The idea was to create another category, more a junior category, rather than dilute the original intention. The original concept was to further help regulate the leasing industry, with a by-produce of it would increasing the income of the foundation, further promote their goals, and educate young people in the industry, hoping that the more they learn, the more they want to increase their knowledge. Of course, the first decision is for the CLP Board of Directors to either approve the concept or bring up the matter to the approximate 200 CLP's listed at www.clpfoundation.org . Editor )
Questionnaire ---CPA “Lite” –Leasing Professional
To perhaps help the CLP Board of Directors in making their decision, we would like to ask our readers how many are interested in becoming a Certified Leasing Professional?
How many would be interested in becoming a different category, such as “Lease Professional?”
Those who are not familiar with the program may want to visit
LeasePlan USA Selects LeaseComplete© for Asset Remarketing System Solution
Richmond, VA, -- Dominion Leasing Software and LeasePlan USA announces the successful conversion of LeasePlan's former financial tracking process for its Truck Division. The new system, LeaseComplete, was launched in the first quarter of 2005 and provides automated financial accountability and structure for the Truck Division‘s asset remarketing.
According to Bob Tynan, LeasePlan's vice president of finance,“LeaseComplete was selected because of Dominion's proven track record in the leasing industry, impressive customer satisfaction ratings, and clear technology vision. Additionally, we wanted a solutions provider that shared our values, commitment to service, and interest in developing a long-term partnership.”
“Dominion's responsiveness to our needs far exceeded our expectations. The cooperation and positive interaction between the two project teams were instrumental to the success of the implementation,” said Tynan. “Dominion's ability to understand our needs and translate them into the final product was also critical to the project's success. We now have a system in place that can assist us with managing our growth and addressing future system needs.”
About LeasePlan USA
LeasePlan USA, a subsidiary of LeasePlan Corp. N.V., is a global leader in vehicle leasing and fleet management solutions. LeasePlan Corporation manages more than 1.4 million vehicles worldwide and offers its clients customized plans for total fleet cost reduction through technologically advanced products and proactive customer service excellence. LeasePlan USA's Truck Division provides competitive leasing programs to some of the most recognized global and Fortune 1000 companies. For more information on LeasePlan USA, please visit www.us.leaseplan.com.
About Dominion Leasing Software
Dominion Leasing Software is a leading provider of Web-enabled software and services to the equipment finance and retail leasing industries. LeaseComplete, its flagship lease accounting and asset management system is widely recognized as the premier custom solution for both equipment and vehicle lease portfolios. Dominion's software and services are used by a diverse group of clients including banks, credit unions, trucking companies, automobile dealerships, and independent lessors. For more information on Dominion Leasing Software, please visit www.dominionls.com.
David F. Hill
Day in American History
1595- Pocahontas, daughter of Powhatan, born , near Jamestown, VA, leader of the Indian union of Algonquin nations, helped to foster good will between the colonists of the Jamestown settlement and her people. Pocahontas converted to Christianity, was baptized with the name Rebecca and married John Rolfe Apr 5, 1614. In 1616, she accompanied Rolfe on a trip to his native England, where she was regarded as an overseas "ambassador." Pocahontas's stay in England drew so much attention to the Virginia Company's Jamestown settlement that lotteries were held to help support the colony. Shortly before she was scheduled to return to Jamestown, Pocahontas died at Gravesend, Kent, England, of either smallpox or pneumonia. According to the March edition of Atlantic Magazine, the Indians had no immune system to ward off European diseases, including smallpox and pneumonia.
NCAA Basketball Champions This Date