Leasing News is a web site that posts information, news, and entertainment for the commercial leasing and finance industry. The News Edition is updated Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
The Real Strange Case of Sheldon Player!!!
How Apple Stores rewrote the rules of retailing
######## surrounding the article denotes it is a “press release” and was not written by Leasing News nor information verified, but from the source noted. When an article is signed by the writer, it is considered a “by line.” It reflects the opinion and research of the writer. It is considered “bias” as it is the writer’s viewpoint.
The Real Strange Case of Sheldon Player!!!
(press release on Jackson Hole Water, the water he was renting from his neighbor,
In the Friday the 13th story about Sheldon Player and Equipment Acquisition Resources, the oddities of this case were brought forward, including the last bit of information:
"This episode left off where Sheldon Player of Equipment Acquisition Resources claiming in court he filed personal bankruptcy and thus it stopped the action of other lawsuits, but to date, no record seems to have been found or produced to show the documents filed."
The Court record shows:
"MINUTE entry before Honorable Blanche M. Manning: Defendants Sheldon Player and Machine Tools Direct, Inc. have filed a notice of their bankruptcy proceedings under Chapter 7 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code filed in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. In light of the automatic stay occasioned by their bankruptcy filing, the case is stayed as to them. Because the case is now stayed as to all defendants, all of whom have filed for bankruptcy, the clerk is directed to place this case on the court's suspense docket. If developments warrant, either of the parties may filed a properly noticed petition to lift the stay and move this case back to the court's active docket. Mailed notice (jms, ) (Entered: 03/29/2011)"
Leasing News nor John Kenny of Receivables Management could not find the filing, and telephone calls and emails to attorneys involved in the various cases have also revealed they have not seen a copy. Many believe the judge's statement is incorrect and Sheldon Player has not filed for bankruptcy.
Calls to the Trustee have not been returned and it appears Player has pulled another fast one!!!
The Strange Case of Sheldon Player
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Royal Links Appeal Rules Back to Trial
Another of the Royal Links cases has finally trickled its way through three levels of the court system. The facts of this program are generally known by most leasing professionals. Royal Links made golf cart snack trailers with advertising placards. The idea was that the advertising revenue would generally pay for the nominal amount of the lease payments for the trailer. The actual trailers had nominal value of perhaps a thousand dollars, but were sold for 15 times that amount, with total lease payments of over $15,000. There is no question that the Royal Link's salespersons represented that the advertising revenue would essentially pay for the lease payments. Indeed, Royal Links arranged for the advertising and made the lease payments to the Lessors for about 16 months. Numerous leasing companies had a very strong appetite for these deals.
When the payments stopped, the golf courses banded together and sought a class action against Royal Links and also disseminated information on how to defend the expected lawsuits from the lessors. I personally tried a couple these cases.
The defenses of the golf courses were
At the trial court level, the Assignee, which was Frontier Leasing, prevailed on all the issues, and the Court of Appeals affirmed. However, the Lessee took the matter all the way to the Iowa Supreme Court which ruled:
--The contracts were loans, because there was a $1 purchase option. No big surprise here.
--A question of fact existed whether the salespersons were agents of the Lessor, ignoring a contractual provision to the contrary. Not a surprise here, either, although there is some case law to the contrary. Proving the agency relationship at trial will be difficult for the Lessee.
--Because the agents may have misrepresented the terms, fraud in the inducement could be asserted, ignoring a contractual provision to the contrary. This wasn't a surprise either, but again, the success on this issue will depend on the agency argument.
--The Hell or High Water provision as to defects of the goods was enforceable, but because fraud in the inducement was allowed to be raised, this seems to be a pyrrhic victory.
--Because the contract was a loan, the loan could be usurious, but since the loan was business loan, it fell within Iowa's exception. No Reg. Z disclosure needed to be given. This was a victory for the Lessor.
The matter was sent back to trial court to presumably litigate the issues of agency and fraud.
Bottom Line: The lessons of Royal Links and NorVergence should be well known to most leasing professionals.
If the vendor is selling something without any intrinsic value, coupled with fraudulent inducement of the equipment's attributes or revenue potential, the equipment lessor may not be able to paper over the fraud with lease terms.
All vendors need to be scrupulously vetted, and deals need to make sense based on the residual equipment value where the equipment is suspect. In this case, selling a $1,000 trailer for $15,000 made no sense, and some courts will find a way to pass that risk onto the lender, where fraud is proven.
C&J Appeal Decision:
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Charlie Chan Saying "Contest"
I have been a Charlie Chan movie fan after seeing them on early television and then collecting them of VHS. Most of the sayings reprinted in Leasing News come from "The Complete Sayings of Charlie Chan" http://charliechanfamily.tripod.com/id6.html
Sometimes an up-dated one is used that applies to one of the stories.
This is an announcement to ask for readers to submit either their favorite saying or one they make up that fits a current leasing story. The top ten will be chosen, with each winner receiving a prize, with number one a very good bottle of wine.
If you also do not want your name used in the announcement of being in the top ten, we will oblige and still send a prize. So you can submit "off the record."
It's easy. Send an email to me with subject: Contest
Another Misrepresentation from LEAF?
Leasing News for the last several days has been trying to reach LEAF Commercial, newly named from prior LEAF Financial Corporation for a comment on their May 17th press release that claimed, "LEAF Commercial Capital said it has completed renovation of its corporate headquarters. The upgrade is designed to best support LEAF’s customer focus on the equipment vendor and manufacturer sales channels. LEAF’s 106 Philadelphia employees are now all located in this 30,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility."
As Leasing News wrote on January 24, 2011, "As predicted by Leasing News, the new company by the founder of LEAF Financial is underway; moving to the 14th floor, 2005 Market Street, Philadelphia setting up a web site, and it appears this will be the concentration. Resource America, Inc at 1845 Walnut Street, Philadelphia moved to the Navy Yard, and Resource Real Estate is now moving to 2005 Market, 15th floor."
From following SEC filings where employee count is included; the numbers didn't jive. In the press release the 90 employees in Moberly, Missouri for the copier division were mentioned (SEC says less, but not worth quibbling as new hires may have been added) and according to a highly reliable source, there are seven sales personnel in the direct call center in Santa Ana, California, as well as other LEAF sales personnel tell us they work out of their residence in Southern California. But the 106 Philadelphia employees is another subject and the main theme of this article. The Leasing News count is 62.
After several days of trying to get how the count got so high from LEAF Commercial, Leasing News conducted a "site inspection:"
“...its more like 22,000 feet on that floor with a quarter of it the data center. Then you have about three large spaces for conference and board rooms. Our count is 50 in total (consisting of) 20 in collections and litigation, 30 in accounting and finance. There are 7 in senior executives, 5 in administration staff..."
"...not really any sales, there is one vice-president of business development, Bryan Spence, counted as executive."
Leasing News is aware of a press release of a salesman in the field from "New Hires:” Fred Crivlare, "Regional Sales Manger for the Midwest Territory."
But the count in Philadelphia from Leasing News: 62---not 106.
January 24, 2011 Story
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These sites are not only chosen because they have one of the best web pages but also have many views and other sites linked to them. Most leasing web sites have poor ratings or are not rated by Alexa (the lower the number, the higher on the list of being opened by viewers.)
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In tribute to the men and women braving natural disasters, this week we offer a collection of Netflix recommendations that illustrate human strength and perseverance in the face of overwhelming odds.
Backdraft (Ron Howard, 1991): Real-life heroes always ready to delve into danger, firefighters finally get a proper cinematic tribute in this sturdy tribute from Oscar-winning filmmaker Ron Howard (“A Beautiful Mind”). The story follows two brothers, Stephen (Kurt Russell) and Brian (William Baldwin), who have to push aside their troubled personal history to work together with the Chicago fire corps. As fires break out around the city courtesy of a mysterious arsonist, the brothers must pull together to forgive each other, keep their families together, and learn the true meaning of being a hero. As in “Parenthood” and “Apollo 13,” Howard crafts a crowd-pleasing ensemble piece (the large cast also includes Robert De Niro, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Donald Sutherland) that pays homage to the bravery and humanity of firemen.
Twister (Jan de Bont, 1996): Following up on the white-knuckle thrills of "Speed," director Jan de Bont offers audiences another nonstop ride with this breathless box-office hit, which combines special-effects and stunts with personal urgency for its characters. The story centers on Bill (Bill Paxton) and Jo (Helen Hunt), a couple of nature-related specialists (he's a TV weatherman, she's a tornado researcher) whose marriage is on the rocks. Their bond gets a second chance, however, when they're both sent on a dangerous assignment in Oklahoma, where a group of stormchasers (including Bill's rival for Jo's affections) is squaring off against a series of twisters. An exciting and often witty portrait of a relationship crystallized during crisis. Look for future stars like Philip Seymour Hoffman and Jeremy Davies in supporting roles.
The Perfect Storm (Wolfgang Petersen, 2000): Based on his acclaimed handling of the 1981 submarine drama "Das Boot," Wolfgang Petersen was a natural choice to direct this big-screen telling of the true-life "Perfect Storm" that in 1991 hit the coast of Massachusetts. George Clooney stars as Billy, the captain of a fishing ship who ventures into the sea in hopes of breaking his unlucky streak and finds himself, along with his crew (including Mark Wahlberg, John C. Reilly and William Fichtner), smack in the middle of this monstrous gale. Billy and his men must figure out a way to survive and get back to their families, even as the rain grows stronger and the waves larger. An absorbing, fact-based adventure with solid special-effects and an emphasis on working-class resilience.
### Press Release ############################
Las Vegas Credit Union Embezzled by manager
Credit Union Primarily Served Employees of 3M
Los Angeles – A Las Vegas couple pleaded guilty late yesterday afternoon to federal charges related to the wife’s scheme to embezzle funds from Sharebuilders Federal Credit Union and the failure to report the embezzled income on their jointly filed tax return.
Mireya Guadalupe Gonzalez, 37, and her husband, Jorge Luis Gonzalez, 35, each pleaded guilty today to one count of subscribing to a false income tax return for the 2006 tax year. In addition, Mrs. Gonzalez pleaded guilty to embezzling funds from a federally insured credit union.
According to the wife’s plea agreement, between January 2005 and March 2007, Mrs. Gonzalez worked as the manager of Sharebuilders Federal Credit Union. Mrs. Gonzalez had access to the computerized records of the credit union, and was able to authorize transfers between accounts.
During her employment at Sharebuilders FCU, Mrs. Gonzalez identified various “dormant accounts” that were inactive and had minimal or no customer funds on deposit. Mrs. Gonzalez used the computers to generate electronic transfers of funds to accounts over which she had signatory authority, including a joint checking account with her husband, and two accounts in the names of her children. The source of the funds deposited to the Gonzalez family accounts were the dormant accounts and the general ledger accounts of Sharebuilders FCU.
After transferring the funds to the Gonzalez family accounts, Mrs. Gonzalez and her husband withdrew money and used it to buy personal items such as jewelry, automobiles, and luxury items.
The withdrawals from the dormant accounts caused those accounts to have large negative balances. Mrs. Gonzalez covered up the fraudulent deposits to the Gonzalez family accounts by altering names and numbers assigned to the dormant accounts, transferring balances to the dormant accounts from other accounts, and providing false information to auditors hired by Sharebuilders FCU.
The embezzlement scheme perpetrated by Mrs. Gonzalez substantially jeopardized the safety and soundness of Sharebuilders FCU, and the National Credit Union Administration Board seized control of the credit union in April 2007 due to insolvency.
During tax years 2005, 2006, and 2007, Mrs. Gonzalez and her husband received income related to her scheme to embezzle funds from Sharebuilders FCU and did not report that income on their tax returns. According to Mrs. Gonzalez’s plea agreement, she admits that she and her husband received unreported income of $676,000 for 2005, $338,000 for 2006, and $150,000 for 2007.
As a result of today’s guilty plea, Mireya Gonzalez faces a statutory maximum sentence of 33 years in federal prison and fines up to $1,100,000. In addition, Mrs. Gonzalez will be required to pay full restitution to Sharebuilders FCU, as well as the IRS. The amount will be determined prior to the time of sentencing. Jorge Gonzalez faces a statutory maximum sentence of 3 years in federal prison and fines up to $100,000. Both are scheduled to be sentenced on September 26, 2011 by United States District Judge Dolly M. Gee.
The investigation into Mireya and Jorge Gonzalez was conducted by the IRS - Criminal Investigation in Los Angeles in conjunction with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
#### Press Release #############################
Sherman Oaks-- Adopt-a-Dog
Breed: Blue Heeler/Terrier/Labrador
"Morton was rescued from Baldwin Park Shelter. He is about 4- years old and is a Australian Cattle Dog, lab mix. Loves kids, people, is house trained, non destructive- good with dogs, no cats.”
Strangest Angels Animal Rescue
Adopt-a-Pet by Leasing Co. State/City
Adopt a Pet
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This Day in American History
1638- Dorchester, MA voted to establish a property tax to support public schools: “It is ordered the 20th of May,1639, that there shall be a rent of twenty pounds a year for ever imposed upon Tomsons Island to be paid by every person that hath property in the said island according to the proportion that any such person shall from time to time enjoy and possess there.”
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