Wednesday, November 3, 2010
"Gimme that Wine"
This Day in American History
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HL Leasing alleged $132 million fraud---update
It has been over sixteen months that the Fresno Federal Bureau of Investigation began their investigation into HL Leasing, Fresno, California, which saw its founder John Otto committed suicide in May, 2009. Alleged claims of $132 million in leases to investors, primarily reported to be American Express Leases purchased from Key Corp., who took over the business leasing division.
Many had lost their entire savings, their retirement, their residences, and have not even been able to file a loss with the Internal Revenue Service as there has been no resolution as whether a fraud was committed or not. That UCC's do not exist nor that leases were never purchased from Key Corp. has not been brought to court.
A spokesman for the FBI told Leasing News he could not project or predict when a court action will be taken by the evidence being gathered, and the case is still "pending." He stated it is not the FBI's position to comment on cases still under investigation, and added this case was "complicated."
It appears the administration of HL Leasing was out of John Otto's residence in Southern California, and he employed two people and his wife was involved, it was reported.
The California Department of Corporations shows HL Leasing was incorporated in 2000 with Andy Fernandez as agent for service (he is reportedly the chief financial officer for Heritage Pacific Leasing, Fresno, California). It was not incorporated in California at the time of the agreements sent to investors
HL Leasing is not licensed as a California Financial Lender, although Heritage Pacific Leasing licensed 1996 as a dba of Manufacturers Acceptance Corporation. The loan agreement states the HL Leasing is licensed to conduct loans, but is incorrect. The entity was not licensed, according to a search by Leasing News.
California Department of Corporation HL Leasing:
Heritage Pacific California Financial Division License:
Previous HL Leasing Stories
NFS Leasing joins “Funder” “Funder Looking for Broker” lists
A -Accepts Broker Business | B -Requires Broker be Licensed
Specialist in Information Technology Equipment Finance
Funder looking for a broker:
"Broker/Lessor" looking for broker business
Leasing News is going to start a new list that will solely be for those in the leasing association category of "broker/lessor," who are companies that are not funders (50% or more of business is "full recourse" where they are responsible for the payments.)
There is no advertising fee or charge for a listing. They are “free.” Leasing News makes no endorsement of any of the companies listed, except they have qualified to be on this specific list.
The requirements for "Broker/Lessors" seeking broker business are to be listed on the Leasing News "Broker/Lessor A" list:
with a complete listing (answer to questions) as well as answering these questions with a "Yes" or "No":
F-Requires Broker to be licensed---Certain states require all those involved in the leasing process be licensed. If you care to make a comment on this, then please add to your comment section.
G-Sub-Broker Program—Allows a broker to pay a broker who submits and/or works with the original broker to obtain credit, financial statements, negotiate, or assist in the obtaining of leasing documents and invoices.
H—Private Label Program—offers the broker or discounter a contract that allows them to put their name on it, primarily for marketing purposes.
Leasing News reserves the right to not list a company who does not meet these qualifications.
Send company name, contact/email or telephone number as well as a URL to attach or description to:
Sales Make it Happen --- by Adrian Miller
Want to End the Year With More Revenue? Here's How!
As salespeople we all start the year with lofty goals of increasing revenue. Yet, the reality is many, very talented professionals fall short of achieving their targets because they are simply not utilizing fundamental revenue-increasing strategies.
December is not the time to start scrambling for business. Now is the time to think differently, try a fresh approach and hopefully meet, or exceed your goals. The famous Albert Einstein quote “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” certainly applies here. The same tired techniques are comfortable yet they will always bring the same disappointing results. Are you ready to reach your goals? Great! Here's what you need to do now:
Dig deeper into existing accounts.
Hey, they already know you and love you. You have credibility and demonstrated competencies. Mine the gold that's already within reach.
One way to do this is to begin with a little sleuthing. Peruse your account's company website on a regular basis. You can find valuable information by reading their press releases, company blog and other news items that are continually being updated on their site. Are there any new or upcoming projects that might require your products or services? What about mergers, acquisitions, or changes to their corporate structure? Have there been any new decision-makers hired recently? You might be surprised by the plethora of new opportunities that are prime for the picking. And you can out about them just by a little detective work and by simply, asking. (Many sales reps stop actively probing once they have landed an account and are servicing the business!)
Cross-selling is another way to dig deeper into your existing accounts. Never assume that a customer will only continue to buy what you've sold him or her. If you are not regularly introducing new products or services, you might be leaving potential business on the table that your competition just might take.
Become a strategic networker.
Develop a networking plan of action and follow through with your action steps. Screen events carefully and don't miss opportunities to make valuable connections. Set concrete networking objectives such as establishing a number of people to meet. Quantify the results of your networking efforts, and nix networking strategies that haven't been effective.
Initiate an effective touch point management program.
Falling off the radar screen is never excusable for a sales professional. There is excellent technology available to help you stay in touch. Email communications, especially those with value-added information or links, are well-received and take very little time to execute. Establish a set number of contacts that you can make each week and stick with the plan. Once you've lost contact with a customer, they're almost always gone for good, and for sure, you have to work harder to get them back. Business redevelopment is costly and unnecessary if you are diligent about staying in touch.
Refine your sales platform and value proposition.
Take a hard and critical look at your strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities (SWOT). The market is not static, and you should be continually reevaluating your position in it. A SWOT analysis is not a one-time event!
Outsource all activities that cost you time and don't bring in or drive revenue.
It's an easy trap to fall into – devoting too much of your time to taking care of administrative and clerical tasks. The reality is if you're spending your time filing, you're taking away from your time that you could be generating sales. Work smart and outsource your non-sales tasks to someone who can assist you.
Sales Makes it Happen articles:
Leasing Industry Help Wanted
Please see our Job Wanted section for possible new employees.
Representation and Warranty Follow-Up
After the Friday edition with the article regarding four prominent attorneys discussing representation and warrants of brokers and lessors, primarily in reaction to the Allied Health Care Services alleged $87 million fraud, several attorneys contacted Leasing News, asking questions, looking for more information than appeared in the stories written.
It seems lawsuits have already began, and there are brokers who have arranged more than what Leasing News originally had reported from nine, fifteen, and one is at 25, and if I heard right, 50 of the course of ten years.
Many of the "reps and warranty" forms varied, but most appeared standard, not really aimed at the seriousness of the alleged fraud. Many had site inspections, mostly by QuikTrak. Whether that company has legal responsibility is not known, although in one case the site inspector reported the equipment as new (and it was not, and was sold as "used") and there were no serial number verifications on ones that were sent to Leasing News.
Whether the same Respirators were used over and over again for the site inspection is suspected. First, it was said due to Hippa Law they could not be inspected at the clients house, so they were all done at Allied's office. Several ex-employees said there were only fifty respirator patients, and perhaps 100 units. At $5,000 each for $87 million, where are the rest? Most likely they never existed.
In the FBI filing, it is obvious to me the "informant," who is not named as a defendant, is Bruce Donner, who owned Donner Medical Equipment, who explained had the deception worked ((Charles K. Schwartz would fax him the name of the funder, and he would draw up an invoice to the funder with a list of respirators that evidently never existed. (1))
The question of the value of the equipment or its due diligence is a serious one, as a quick check by Leasing News found not only obsolete, but the going price for retail, wholesale, and renting with the option to buy for a $1 at the end of the year. Then again the funders were like lemmings, following the pack blindly. Is that the fault of the broker/lessor?
In addition, many of those who referred these leases don't have the means to make the funder whole, whether payments will be made, compromises, negotiations, or bankruptcies are to follow is not known.
There are also some other issues as a number of the transactions were really sub-brokered. Meaning the original party sent to a "broker/lessor", who in turn then found a home. One such company, Tetra Corporate Services, Salt Lake City, Utah (TCS New Jersey, LP) took as many as it could get. There are others who did the same thing.
The enforcement of "reps and warrants" has been around a long time, but not in the high number that is happening today, nor in a time when a funder cannot afford to look the other way.
(1) FBI Complaint with Vendor confession:
Four Prominent Attorneys on "Reps and Warrants"
Allied Health Care Services articles:
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Two new CLP’s-Profiles: Harmon/LaChance-CLP Book Available
The Certified Lease Professional Foundation Newsletter announced two new CLP's
Mike Helder, CLP
Highlight in the November Newsletter:
An Interview with Brad Harmon, CLP
Brad Harmon, CLP
How did you get your start in the equipment leasing and finance industry?
I was finishing up my senior year in college in 2000 when I accepted an internship at Balboa Capital. Although I had tremendously helpful mentors in their San Francisco office, I only stuck around for less than a year. It was the height of the dot com mania and VC funding was seemingly falling from the sky. Several people from the SF office left and formed a new leasing company that was backed by a well funded technology reseller and WMI Capital was born. I was one of the youngest people involved and had about a year of experience but I was bright eyed, hungry, and ambitious. When the dot com phenomena turned out to be a bubble, WMI lost its funding and we started looking at our options. I had a backlog of approvals and faith that my pipeline of deals would come to fruition so I negotiated a higher commission split and decided to stick with it and see what happened. Over the next five years I became a top producing Regional Account Manager and eventually Vice President. The company grew impressively during my tenure and things were going well, I felt it was time to move on and pursue my own vision.
I formed First Star Capital in March 2005. My current responsibilities include marketing, sales and managing the overall strategic direction of the company. We have grown to a full time staff of eight people and persevered with determination allowing us to accomplish a lot in our first five years. I earned my CLP in 2007 with the help of respected industry veteran Paul Knowlton. In late 2007, we were approached as an acquisition target by one of our favorite funding sources and after an extensive series of discussions we joined forces with Allegiant Partners in July 2008. Eleven years later I am running a growing company and although I am still an originator at heart, today my time is spent balancing executive management responsibilities with sales and origination requirements.
What are some of the biggest challenges in your day?
Trying to sustain the success of the past while battling our way through the great recession has been a significant challenge. However, I have always wanted First Star Capital to be bigger than just Brad doing deals. My responsibilities have expanded dramatically in recent years as I have become an employer, manager, and our team even jokes that I am the in-house psychologist. I also enjoy the challenge of managing the transitions between different frames of mind required for being an individual originator on our sales team and being the architect of a growing company — the strategy of building a stable foundation and designing & implementing the processes and procedures that will allow us to break through to new levels of success and national recognition in the competitive landscape. I am learning that it takes equal parts art and science. Along with a solid team dedicated to identifying and implementing best practices we are confident that we are on the right path.
If you could be a super hero, what would be your super power and why?
Since I was never a comic book fan this is a tough question to answer because I don't really know exactly what super powers are out there. I would be interested in creating my own super hero and my own super powers. Someone that could stop time — press pause on everything that is taking place and be in a suspended state that would allow me the opportunity to strategize in more detail than would be possible in real time.
If you could transport yourself anywhere instantly, where would you go and why?
I would transport myself back in time so that I could make some key investments with information that is available today. Knowing now that Apple's stock is valued at over $250 per share and I could have purchased it for $5 - $6 per share in the mid 1990's is pretty powerful information... with the help of time travel. If I were to have used my summer earnings from high school jobs to buy some Apple stock my personal financial situation would be in a stratosphere that I can only dream about today. That is my financial answer but if I could physically transport myself anywhere in the world instantly I would definitely be standing on the top of a peak in Alaska mentally debating the next perfect powder run.
An Interview with Larry LaChance, CLP
How did you get your start in the business of leasing?
In 1983, I sold my Arnold Bread Franchise and answered an ad and got into the Car Leasing Business. Did that for 9 months and decided I did not want to do this for the rest of my life BUT I was introduced to two guys who had just left a Leasing Company to go out on their own and asked me to join them in a sales capacity. I did that for a year and then one of the owners had to relocate to warmer climate and I ended up buying his 50% interest and I inherited a partner. That lasted until 1990 when me and my partner decided it was time for a divorce and that is when we split and I started Bankers Capital from scratch. Here I am 20 years later.
Basically I had NO background in Leasing or Financing. I started in my spare bedroom in my house with a phone and yellow pages and learned everything I know today, one deal at a time. Got involved in Leasing Associations and pick the brains of bankers and others who were successful and tried not to make the mistakes that others did that are no longer in the Industry.
What are one of things you enjoy most about your day?
The Best part of my day is when a Lessee truly appreciates you giving them a second chance and they say "Thank You' and they come back for more. Good repeat Customers are the best satisfaction this business has to offer. In today's challenging Lending Environment, Business Owners need a non-conventional Leander who will listen to their story and give them a Second Chance. That is what we specialize in. The most challenging part of the day is dealing with people who are past due and they avoid you or Lie to you. The worst thing they can do. I can deal with bad news; I just can't deal with any news or Lies. I bet on people every day. I've used the motto, Bet on the Jockey, not the horse.
What does your perfect day start with?
My perfect day starts with a Local Networking Event where I may meet an influential business person for future mutual benefit.
What type of music do you like listening to?
I Love listening to oldies back when music was music. Mostly 70's My growing up era.
In the movie about your life, who would you cast to play you?
Michael Douglas. Would the movie be a drama, a comedy, a romantic-comedy, action film, or science fiction? -Drama.
If you could be a super hero, what would be your super power and why?
I would love to be able to read minds. I feel I'm a pretty good judge of character. It is what I try to do every day. Get into people's head as to how they think and see if there is something in common with my thinking. If there is, the relationship is a Win-Win for both of us.
Would you like to share an interesting hobby or accomplishment?
I graduated from High School at 16 years old. Only have a high school diploma, no college degrees, no accounting or financial background before getting into this business. Everything I have learned over the last 25 years has been self taught, roll up your sleeves and the school of hard knocks. I have been Self Employed for myself since 16 years old when I bought my first business.
The 4th Edition of The Certified Lease Professionals' Handbook is NOW AVAILABLE for purchase. New chapters include Agriculture and Insurance with expanded sections on Lease Pricing and Asset Management - Collections. History, Classification and the Tax and Accounting chapters have also been updated to reflect the pending changes in the FASB and IASB Exposure Draft.
The book was originally written for leasing practitioners. It was the intention of the original authors to provide an in-depth action handbook for those already on a career path in leasing. Recognized leasing professionals were contacted and asked to write chapters in their areas of expertise and share their secrets of success.
This is an ideal text for business or finance student. It provides detailed information and tools for financial and investment managers, executives, accountants and business leaders. Whether you're a college student, entry level leasing associate, or an old pro, this book is a great resource. The Handbook may also be utilized as the cornerstone of a candidate's path toward achieving CLP designation.
For more information, please go here:
November CLP Foundation Newsletter:
### Press Release ############################
Somerset Capital Group, Ltd. Purchases $22 Million Portfolio
Milford, CT, – Somerset Capital Group’s Indirect Originations Group announces the acquisition of a $22 million middle market equipment lease portfolio from an independent Lessor. Due to a strategic shift, the unidentified Lessor was looking to monetize their leveraged and unencumbered lease portfolio to refocus efforts within the venture leasing space.
“The word is out… Somerset’s ability to underwrite a diversified portfolio, not only from a credit perspective, but also from an asset standpoint, was one of the driving factors to properly price and ultimately be awarded this middle market portfolio. Not many companies have the breadth of experience and diverse product knowledge to price assets ranging from communication and IT to printing presses and machine tools” said Brian Stearney, EVP of the Indirect Originations Group.
Evan Bokor, President and CEO of Somerset added, “At the end of the day, it is about execution. Our staff of professionals combined with our strong liquidity provides us with the tools and resources to consider and to execute on the acquisition of a broad range of asset acquisition opportunities. The consummation of this transaction adds new customers and some solid assets to our portfolio and we expect to consummate similar transactions in the near future.
About Somerset Capital Group, Ltd.
#### Press Release #############################
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New Milford, Connecticut---Adopt a Dog
"SHORTY is a shepherd mix and we weren't sure of her other mix until all of the dogs started barking at the shelter. She howled like a basset hound! She is good with other dogs and loves kids. She is very good on a leash and is housebroken."
AWS ADOPTION PROCESS:
1. Telephone the shelter at (860) 354-1350
ANIMAL WELFARE SOCIETY, INC
Adopt-a-Pet by Leasing Co. State/City
Adopt a Pet
Decisive At-Bat Is Again Renteria’s
Harlem Learns Immortalizing Mays Isn’t Easy
The 10 most disappointing NFL teams of 2010
JLohr (my neighbor) wins American Winery of the Year
New Wineries Sprout Coast-to-Coast
Debts unsatisfied, bank takes control of Kluge winery
NY Grape harvest done; crop is fabulous, growers say
A Sturdy Red for Winter
Texas vintners blend Mediterranean grapes and great harvest in hopes of helping $1.35 billion wine industry grow
Wine Prices by vintage
US/International Wine Events
Leasing News Wine & Spirits Page
This Day in American History
1493 - Christopher Columbus discovered the island of Dominica. Also on this day, the country became independent in 1978.
by Rudyard Kipling
If you can keep your head when all about you
If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)
Kipling is said to have written the poem 'If' with Dr Leander Starr Jameson in mind, who led about five-hundred of his countrymen in a failed raid against the Boers, in southern Africa. The 'Jameson Raid' was later considered a major factor in starting the Boer War (1899-1902).
The object is to insert the numbers in the boxes to satisfy only one condition: each row, column and 3x3 box must contain the digits 1 through 9 exactly once. What could be simpler?
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