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Rosanne Wilson, CLP, Award Crystal Plaque/Lifetime Membership
Rosanne Wilson, CLP, 1st Independent Leasing, Beaverton, Oregon, BPB (Best Practicing Broker), long time personal friend, supporter of Leasing News, who after serving on the National Association of Equipment Leasing Brokers (NAELB) for five years (four as Treasurer), joined the Leasing News Advisory Board and is currently still active in NAELB as she is also Chairman of the Certified Lease Professional Foundation Board. Last year she valiantly fought cancer, now in remission. She was recognized at the NAELB Denver Conference for achievements, awarded a crystal plague and lifetime membership in NAELB.
Leasing News asked her for her reaction to the conference:
"I walked away with 3 new funding sources. Really !!!! That in itself totally made it worth the expense of going. I've been financing a niche market for over 20 years and when Commercial Equipment Lease shut down, and then my good bank source said they can't finance this type of equipment anymore because of the new Dodd-Frank regulations, I was in a state of panic. Now I have 3 more really great lenders that are happy to do them as a result of this conference. Yahoo!!! There was so much positive energy flowing over the 4 days Kit.
"Everyone was upbeat and reported that lease applications were on the upswing. I was given time to speak at the Podium at the Saturday luncheon and cried, but I got through it. I thanked everyone who prayed for me and sent money towards my medical fund. Several guys started crying and told me after I stepped down from the podium that they had not cried in a long time but that my speech was so emotional they could not help it. Then I got called back to the podium for a second time & I was awarded a beautiful Crystal plaque that is now sitting on my credenza at the office. It says I am a Lifetime Member of the NAELB and it has my name on it. I got back up to the stage and almost fell apart. Geeeezzz --- it's beautiful and I am very humbled. I never have to pay annual dues again. Can you believe it? Sure wish you could have been there. I never imagined being recognized like this. It was overwhelming. I love doing work for NAELB and never thought that they would make a big fuss like this. I serve because I love this organization. I went through so many Kleenexes it was incredible.
"I won a door prize of $50.00 CASH from Financial Pacific at the breakfast the very first day and then at the farewell reception I won another $50 Visa card from NAELB. Totally random drawings. Richard and I had our 11th wedding anniversary there. He was so blown away by the blessings I kept receiving. Our anniversary frequently falls during conference time. Poor guy. He always gets dragged to the conference on our anniversary and has never complained. He actually had a great time and enjoyed seeing everyone again.
"I was working in the CLP Foundation booth on Friday and all of a sudden Don Myerson of BSB Leasing appeared in front of me. We had a wonderful visit and we also talked about your recent trip to Hawaii. Don is such a great guy as you know. He rarely comes to the conference so I was terribly surprised to see him.
"I am really looking forward to the next NAELB Conference!!!!"
Rosanne Wilson, CLP
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More than 200 equipment leasing and finance industry participants, including 40+ exhibiting funding sources, plus associate members all gathered together as one big family in Denver last Thursday, Friday and Saturday for the National Association of Equipment Leasing Broker’s (NAELB) 2012 Annual Conference. Members traveled from as far away as Ireland (yes, Ireland!) and the energy and enthusiasm reminded me of the not-too -distant past because there was an abundance of optimism and excitement from all attendees.
I spoke to dozens of participants from all aspects of the industry. Everyone expressed delight with the value and benefits they gained from attending. Attendance included many new brokers, and industry veterans attending their ‘umpteenth’ annual NAELB conference. Funding sources, both long time NAELB members and newcomers showed tremendous support of the independent broker community and included both bank funding sources and specialized funding sources that process industry specific and higher risk transactions.
The value of the conference is best expressed by attendees themselves---A 15-year NAELB member and longtime industry broker, David Wisniewski of UniSource Capital in Cummings Georgia stated: “As always when I come to an NAELB conference, I get at least one good idea. This year was no different. I thought the conference was great. I met new people and renewed some old acquaintances. This is a great organization between the knowledge that I pick up or pass on; it can’t get any better than that.”
Steve Helms, CEO of Embark Capital Solutions in New York City shared this observation: “I joined NAELB in November of last year, so this was my first experience at an NAELB conference. I spent 35 years in the corporate world prior to starting Embark Capital Solutions and have been to numerous conferences, most of them gigantic with 15,000+ in attendance. The NAELB Conference was more of collegial event, where people of common interests can share ideas, but also truly get to know each other on the human level.
“I was particularly struck by how accepting everyone was of me as a new member. I left the event with new friends and confidants. I thoroughly enjoyed the networking opportunities, including the golf outing, and had dinner with new friends on both nights of the conference. I also walked away with some really good ideas about how to improve our business, both from the educational sessions and the offline conversations. It was a tremendous opportunity as a new member, well worth the price of admission!”
Heidi England (Tetra Financial Group) told me: “This year’s conference far exceeded my expectations. There was a diverse group of lenders and brokers who attended. I was able to meet some long lasting relationships that I’ve developed and some new ones as well. The speakers and education classes were wonderful and the information I got from those will be put into my everyday efforts.
“This year’s conference was well worth it, and I am so excited about the new relationships I established.”
During the Friday and Saturday sessions, there were 9 different educational workshops, 90 minutes each, covering topics ranging from sales (overcoming objections), professional development, changing technology in the workplace (cloud computing), and advanced workshops in moving from broker to lessor and an in-depth workshop providing the tools and training for financial statement analysis. Many of these sessions were at ‘overflow’ capacity. Brokers as well as funding sources were well represented in both the presenters and the audience. CPE credits for CLPs were provided for attendees at 8 of the 9 sessions.
Saturday’s business meeting included the passing of the gavel from Bud Callahan, CLP, BPB (National Equipment Leasing, Inc.), to incoming president Patrick Sponsel (Sharpe Equipment Leasing, Inc.). Remarks from the podium included stories about how the broker industry has a strong humanitarian side, recounting how brokers help their clients acquire the equipment that powers small businesses and recognizing that financing equipment impacts many aspects of human life. Thanks were also given to the funding sources that have remained loyal to the broker industry.
There were many touching moments during the business meeting, especially when the President of the CLP Foundation and past NAELB Board Member Rosanne Wilson, CLP, BPB (1st Independent Leasing) read a heartfelt letter of gratitude from LisetteJohnson, thanking her fellow NAELB members for supporting her after her personal tragedy and that without such support, Lisette would not have been able to feed her family. After that presentation, Rosanne shared her own story and thanked the membership for their financial generosity and prayers through her successful battle against cancer as Rosanne pronounced that she “is back”. She received a standing ovation. The NAELB then presented Rosanne with a lifetime membership for her contributions to the NAELB. It was humbling for me to think how small my business challenges have been over the last few years, especially in the context of the stories of strength and courage shown by these remarkable members.
Recognition was also given by the NAELB and the CLP Foundation to Cindy Spurdle, CLP, on the occasion of her retirement as Executive Director of the CLP Foundation. This was by far the most emotional NAELB annual conference of the dozen or more I have attended, marked by tears and multiple standing ovations. Again and again, we were reminded of how the NAELB really works like a family.
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CLP Spotlight Dwight Galloway, CLP
In the early 80's I raised investment funds through high risk tax shelters for various operators in beach condos, oil and gas exploration, medical research, and leasing companies but with the 1986 tax law change my expertise was rendered useless; so much for creativity. Too broken to re-enlist and having only a vague memory of my 1972 accounting degree, I had no prospects. Taking advantage of the low barriers to entry in leasing, I enlisted the aid of Charles Randall who was also unemployed (we had a lot in common) and with no training, no experience, and no understanding of risk, we started a small ticket leasing company.
Quickly gaining momentum with the vendors' file thirteen deals, we learned the hard way that start-up leasing companies operating with no knowledge lose money, fast. We held every deal on personally guaranteed lines, too dumb to know brokering existed. Like most folks in leasing we talked a good game so were able to convince a Columbia, SC bank to buy us, unfortunately we only had to pay THEM to take us.
As Republic Leasing and after a merger name change, NetBank Business Finance, our team of bright hard-working employees flourished in our innovative (read trial and error) style and we funded over $2 billion solely with brokers. In late 2007 our parent bank was closed by the FDIC. We were auctioned off to LEAF Financial and over the next three years we had to dismantle the fantastic team of dedicated professionals that had worked together for two decades. A heart-rending task many in leasing experienced during the recent recession. Respected? I have been around a long time, learned by making a lot of mistakes, and was merely the public face of a team of great people that worked hard and treated folks fairly.
The last few years were challenging times for everyone; can you tell us what you are doing now?
Last year Gary Shivers invited us to join Navitas Lease Corp. to build a broker funding division. We created RLC Funding in June and began "putting the band back together". Signing on many of our long-time brokers and new sources as well, we have been thrilled to find the number of surviving broker/lessors who have weathered the long storm and are beginning to grow again. We are funding A-, B+ credits using the same flexible criteria that served us well in the past. Best of all, we are reforming the team of that was the heart of Republic/Netbank's great service.
What is your favorite thing about the equipment finance industry?
Beside our employees, my favorite part of the broker/lessor/funding segment of leasing has always been the innovative thinking that allows our industry to provide the financing the banking industry can't or won't offer. Working with brokers who are smart, hard working, and creative is simply fun!
If you could be a super hero, what would be your super power and why?
If I could have a super power it would be the ability to give a positive self image and personal confidence to young people, especially women. Without self confidence, without the belief in one's own ability, members of our next generations won't be happy or successful.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Other than my family, I have no hobbies, don't work out, and don't play golf. Much of my off work time is spent speaking to civic clubs, churches, college classes, and other groups about the problem of domestic violence. As a board member of a local non-profit that assists battered women and their children, I try to make a difference by spreading awareness, raising money, and helping the victims of spousal abuse.
Banks exit lower-income areas
According to SNL Financial Services, while the industry boasts more than 2,500 more branches that it did at June 30, 2005, the industry shift has been to build or acquire branches in higher-income areas.
Markets with median household incomes between $50,000 and $100,000 gained the largest absolute number of branches, netting 1,919 new branches in the nearly six-year span.
There are now more branches in areas with median household incomes of $100,000 or more than there are in areas with median household incomes of $25,000 or less.
According to SNL Financial, Wells Fargo closed a net 367 branches in sub-$50,000 markets, the most of any bank in the U.S. However, closures in the sub-$50,000 segment accounted for less than half, or 47.0%, of the company's total closures across all income levels.
Even though Wells Fargo nearly doubled its branch count since 2006, branch distribution across income segments has remained relatively static. Branches in markets with median household incomes above $50,000 accounted for 50.6% of all branches at April 17, up from 47.6% at June 30, 2006. Wells Fargo's $1.161 trillion commercial bank subsidiary, Wells Fargo Bank NA received a rating of "outstanding" from the OCC on its latest Community Reinvestment Act examination Dec. 1, 2009.
After the company's transformative acquisition of Wachovia Corp. on Dec. 31, 2008, Wells Fargo has since shed a number of branches that it acquired in the deal. Since Jan. 1, 2009, Wells has closed 345 branches that were once owned by Wachovia or an affiliate.
Regions Financial Corp. closed the second highest amount of branches in lower- and moderate-income markets, shuttering a net 261 since year-end 2006. Closures in the sub-$50,000 segment accounted for 74.4% of Regions' total closures, yet 53.5% of total openings were also made in that segment, thus offsetting some of the impact. Regions Bank, Regions Financial's commercial bank subsidiary, received a rating of "satisfactory" from the Federal Reserve on its most recent CRA examination June 14, 2010.
Since year-end 2006, Old National Bancorp had 63 net closures in lower- and moderate-income markets. The company's closures in sub-$50,000 markets accounted for 77.9% of all closures. Old National Bank received a "satisfactory" rating from the OCC on its most recent CRA exam June 30, 2008.
SNL Financial notes since 2007, Woodforest Financial Group Inc. opened the largest number of branches in markets with median household incomes below $50,000, netting 333 additional branches. At April 17, branches in lower- and moderate-income markets accounted for 58.5% of Woodforest's total branches, up from 48.6% at year-end 2006.
Approximately 61.9% of Woodforest's branch openings since the start of 2007 were in markets with median household incomes below $50,000.
Of Woodforest's 761 active and de novo branches, 720 are in-store branches and 701 of those are located in either a Wal-Mart or Sam's Club.
Capital One Financial Corp.'s net addition of 40 branches in lower- and moderate-income areas helped offset net closures in upper-income areas. Despite only building a net 15 branches across all income segments since July 1, 2007, Capital One's total branch count increased by 664 with help from the company's acquisitions of Chevy Chase Bank FSB and North Fork Bancorporation Inc. Now, branches in markets with median household incomes above $50,000 account for 65.3% of Capital One's total branches, up from 37.6% at year-end 2006.
While Royal Bank of Canada opened a net number of 14 branches in sub-$50,000 markets from the beginning of 2007 to now, its current branch count is significantly lower due to the sale of RBC Bank (USA), including its 400-plus U.S. branches, to PNC Financial Services Group Inc.
Bank of America Corp. closed a net 201 branches in lower- and moderate-income markets since year-end 2006, yet that has not affected the company's branch concentration in those areas. In 2011, branches in sub-$50,000 markets accounted for 46.3% of total branches, up from 46.0% at year-end 2006.
Note: In order to make comparisons between years more consistent, SNL used census tract market definitions and median household incomes as of July 1, 2011, as the basis for analyzing branch openings and closings in markets for all years. Years are based on the Summary of Deposits cycle and are either as of, or reflect changes in the last-12-months ended, June 30 for the stated year. SNL defines lower-income markets as those where the median household income is less than $25,000 and moderate-income markets as those where the median household income is between $25,000 and $50,000.
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#### Press Release #############################
ZRG Partners Expands in Europe with 4 New Offices
Westborough, MA ---ZRG Partners, the global leader in executive search and talent management for the equipment leasing and asset finance area has announced a major expansion of the team in Europe.
Joining the ZRG team in Europe, Adam El Din, based on the Geneva, Switzerland area will be the European President. Adam brings extensive industry and search experience to ZRG.
He said, “Combining our successful relationships and market knowledge with ZRG’s tools and global footprint creates a valuable combination that can truly serve clients like no other executive search and talent management firm”.
Graham Johnson will also open ZRG’s Basel, Switzerland offices and join ZRG as a Managing Director.
Graham Johnson, Basel Switzerland
Graham also brings 20+ years of industry experience and history with a global executive search firm to ZRG Partners.
Rounding out the senior team in Europe, Lydia van der Meulen will be opening ZRG’s offices in the Netherlands where she will focus on serving global clients with search needs in the Benelux region.
Lydia van der Meulen, Netherlands
Lydia has been serving executive search clients in the UK and Benelux for 15 years.
Joining the support team that will drive execution of key client projects, Fiorella Seiler PHD and Christian Moll will operate in the Dusseldorf, Germany area, joining existing Managing Director, Stephan Breitfeld in Germany. Patricia Durieux PHD and Helene Johnson join the firm’s Basel offices with Roberta Reis working in the Geneva offices. Marlies LeCroix will support the firm’s clients in the Benelux area.
“We completed searches in 30 countries in 2011 but we felt we needed to increase our feet on the street in Europe, Larry Hartman, Managing Partner said. “ Our global clients value our tools and analytics that support critical hiring in Europe where the cost of a poor hire is more expensive than in other parts of the world. The team we have hired has a long history of successful operations together and we are looking forward to growing our business worldwide with the addition of this team”.
ZRG Partners is a global authority on talent management issues in the Equipment Leasing and Asset Finance markets. ZRG provides its clients with specialized market expertise in executive recruitment, consulting and advisory work with a focus on data and analytics to drive great business decisions. www.zrgpartners.com
##### Press Release ############################
$250 Million Tax Fraud Scheme
SANTA ANA, California – Arturo Villarreal-Alba, 44, an alien, living in Whittier, California was indicted in September of 2011 as part of a larger scheme charging 55 individuals in a huge fraud scheme involving hundreds of false income tax returns that sought more that $250 million in tax refunds. He was recently brought to court for another fraudulent federal income tax return filing scheme and vehicle registration title washing scheme. Villarreal was originally indicted for aiding and assisting the filing of two false individual income tax returns for others claiming fraudulent tax refunds in the amounts of $1,568,044 and $452,472. named in a 34-count superseding indictment returned by a federal grand jury last week.
If convicted of all counts alleged in the indictment, the statutory maximum sentence Villarreal could receive is 270 years imprisonment.
Villarreal worked with Old Quest Foundation, Inc. in Fontana, and De La Fuente Ramirez and Associates in Rancho Cucamonga, two Southern California companies charged in the scheme used to file fraudulent federal income tax returns containing bogus claims for refunds.
Old Quest and DLFRA allegedly filed thousands of Forms 1099 that falsely reported to the IRS that more than $1 billion in fictitious federal income tax had been withheld or secured property had been acquired or abandoned, when no such amount of federal income tax had been withheld and no such amount of secured property had been acquired or abandoned.
Old Quest allegedly filed more than 400 false federal income tax returns with the IRS, which together fraudulently claimed more than $250 million in false income tax refunds, and DLFRA filed more that 35 false federal income tax returns with the IRS, which allegedly claimed more than $19 million in fraudulent income tax refunds.
As a result of those alleged false federal income tax returns that Old Quest and DLFRA filed with the IRS, the IRS erroneously issued millions of dollars in tax refunds to Old Quest and DLFRA customers, including one refund for $816,594 who was defendant Villarreal’s customer.
The First Superseding Indictment alleges Villarreal would refer customers to Old Quest and DLFRA to have false Form 1099-OID based federal income tax returns prepared and filed with the IRS, which would routinely claim six-figure tax refunds to which the customers were not entitled.
The First Superseding Indictment alleges that at the same time Villarreal was engaged in committing tax fraud against the United States, he was also engaging in other frauds and committing identity theft against other victims. Villarreal allegedly contacted customers of his fraudulent OID tax scheme and urged them to participate in a fraudulent vehicle title-washing scheme.
According to the First Superseding Indictment, Villarreal would tell customers with good credit that there was a special program for them where they could use their good credit to purchase several new vehicles. After the purchase of the vehicles, Villarreal’s non-profit organization would make all the payments due on those vehicle loans, and the customer would end up owning one of the vehicles, while the remaining vehicles would go to the non-profit organization. In actuality, there was no such organization.
Villarreal allegedly would strip or “title wash” the liens from the vehicle titles. To do so, Villarreal would cause false documents to be prepared and filed with the California Department of Motor Vehicles to fraudulently remove the legal owners from the titles of the vehicles. In addition, Villarreal would cause false documents to be prepared and filed with the DMV to remove the registered owner from the titles of the vehicles. Vehicles used in the scheme included a 2008 Cadillac Escalade, a 2010 Toyota 4Runner, and a 2010 Honda Pilot.
Villarreal is further charged with 15 counts of aggravated identity theft. In order to execute the “title wash” scheme, the First Superseding Indictment alleges that Villarreal knowingly forged the name and signature of the customer or notary on the required DMV forms. If convicted, each count of Aggravated Identity Theft contains a two-year mandatory minimum sentence.
The First Superseding Indictment charges Villarreal with 34 counts, including one count of conspiring to file false claims against the U.S. government, nine counts of mail fraud, three counts of bankruptcy fraud, one count of re-entering the U.S. illegally, four counts of filing false claims against the U.S. government, one count of identity theft fraud, and 15 counts of aggravated identity theft fraud.
An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.
Note: Original Issue Discount (OID) reported on IRS Forms 1099-OID is a form of interest income typically realized on debt instruments that were issued at a discount to, or purchased for less than, the ultimate redemption value of the debt instrument, such as Treasury bills (but not U.S. savings bonds), zero-coupon bonds, and other debt instruments that pay no stated interest until maturity. The defendants in Operation Stolen Treasures allegedly utilized 1099-OID forms in a fraudulent manner.
The case is being investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation, with the cooperation of the California Highway Patrol-Task Force for Regional Auto Theft Prevention (CHP-TRAP), in conjunction with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.
### Press Release ############################
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