Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Paul McCartney, Nancy Shevell wed in London
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Western Equipment Finance
Devils Lake, ND – Western State Bank announced that, effective Monday, October 17, 2011, its equipment finance subsidiary, Western Finance & Lease, will officially change its name to Western Equipment Finance. Western Equipment Finance is a leading small ticket equipment finance company in the lease and finance industry.
Western Equipment Finance provides a wide variety of equipment finance solutions for targeted industries nationwide. The company specializes in select industries including: agriculture, construction, franchise, funeral, healthcare, lawn and tree, media, office, rental, technology and waste management. Focused on vendor partnerships and customer relationships, the company drives its success through a well tenured sales team lead by Chad Palmer, National Sales Manager. The national business development team includes Randy Freeman, Galen Busse, DuWayne Miller, Joel Schuman, Tony Shomento and Caleb Boyd.
Laurie Bakke, President
"Our core focus is providing customized equipment finance solutions for both our vendor partners and end-user customers,” commented Laurie Bakke, President of Western Equipment Finance. “We believe our name change more accurately signifies our core focus as well as clearly indentifies our product offerings.”
Western Equipment Finance has partnered with companies nationwide since 1990 to provide commercial equipment financing. Western Equipment Finance is a subsidiary of Western State Bank, an employee-owned, community-focused bank, offering superior full-banking services, investments, and real estate financing to personal and business customers. Western State Bank’s locations are in the North Dakota communities of West Fargo, Fargo, Devils Lake, and Towner and in Chandler, Arizona.
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Are They Licensed in California to Dispense Cash
While many companies advertise "merchant cash advance," none are licensed in California under the California Finance Lenders Law, although one is in the process of applying for such a license. In its "kicking it up a notch," Leasing News will not only be reporting, but will be contacting the California Department of Corporation for their opinion whether these companies should be licensed in this state.
The California Finance Lenders Law provides limited brokering authority. A "broker" is defined in the law as "any person engaged in the business of negotiating or performing any act as broker in connection with loans made by a finance lender." Brokers licensed under this law may only broker loans to lenders that hold a California Finance Lenders license.
The requirements for a license are set forth in Section 22100, et seq. of the California Financial Code. The law requires applicants to have and maintain a minimum net worth of at least $25,000 and to obtain and maintain a $25,000 surety bond. In general, principals of the company may not have a criminal history or a history of non-compliance with regulatory requirements. (1)
There are a number of "non-loan" transactions, such as bona fide leases, automobile sales finance contracts (Rees-Levering Motor Vehicle Sales and Finance Act) and retail installment sales (Unruh Act), that are not subject to the provisions of the California Finance Lenders Law.
Brad Peterson of Channel Partners, a Leasing News advertiser and long time friend, was told by his attorney that Channel Partners does not need to be licensed in California. After reading stories in Leasing News, and visiting with others in the industry, including the estimated cost of obtaining a license is $1500, he has made application to obtain a license, believing it is better to be safe than sorry.
AdvanceMe. Inc agreed to an $11.5 million settlement in California. It seems to have been settled regarding other issues, but the license was not a requirement, which doesn’t seem to make sense if California requires they have a license. (2) The company is part of the Capital Access of Advance Me, Inc. Neither today appears to be licensed in California. They do have a “loan arm” that is licensed:
NEWLOGIC BUSINESS LOANS, INC. (2a) It should be noted that Advance Me has advertised in Leasing News and is considered a very reputable company.
In a March 20, 2011 interview, "Mark Lorimer, Chief Marketing Officer of AdvanceMe, Inc. told Leasing News: “This was a vigorously contested, protracted and costly litigation. It has been resolved on terms mutually agreeable to the parties and the settlement agreement prohibits further comment.” (2b)
In an interview with Thomas Burnside, CEO, he told Leasing News, "Through a ‘loan,’ they basically advance on credit card charges and pay a referral fee to those who provide customers. It is also similar to factoring as they do not run credit on the party receiving the money, nor require a company or personal guarantee. It is based solely on the credit card receipt history of the company." (3)
Leasing News attempted to reach the Chief Legal Officer for Capital Access Network, Parris Sanz, Esq., who joined the company in 2004 and "Previously, Sanz was an attorney in private practice at Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker in San Francisco and Latham & Watkins in Los Angeles, where he handled a wide variety of corporate, securities, transactional and commercial matters." (4)
A voice mail was made, but his email address was considered confidential and his secretary could not divulge it. Leasing News also attempted to reach the attorneys representing AMI in California.
Again, at attempt was made to obtain a comment for this article, but none was received by press time.
One of the largest "Cash Advance" is "On Deck,” who is a press release stated:” In January, On Deck passed the $100,000,000 milestone; today's announcement represents a 50% growth surge in just 8 months. This growth, which has accelerated steadily month over month, further validates the company's technology platform as a key solution to America's small business lending challenges." (5)
Gordon Brott, Director of Marketing for "On Deck" told Leasing News:
"On Deck...(does) not offer a merchant cash advance - we offer a true business loan with fixed payments.
"In regards to California, On Deck does not make loans in the state. In California we are a loan servicer and an eligibility screener for a federally chartered bank. This bank makes the loans in California; the customer signs a loan document with that bank etc. If a business owner in California contacts On Deck, we refer them to this bank for the actual loan - we do the eligibility screening and they make the loan."
www.merchantcashandcapital.com was not found as being licensed in California. On October 4, 2011 they sent out a press release: "...one of the nation’s leading “merchant cash advance” funding companies, today announced the completion of a new $25 million senior debt facility provided by Comvest Capital and Community National Bank. In addition, the company also extended its $10 million sub-debt facility for 5 years. The financing will allow MCC to create new and innovative programs, better serve existing customers and aggressively market its services to grow its already burgeoning business. To date, MCC has provided over $370 million in funding to more than 10,000 merchants nationwide." (6)
They were contacted and asked about the deadline for a response, but none was received.
www.merchantcashinadvance.com perhaps was the most interesting:
The above, according to its "owner," Mike Butler is a “web portal." He said he was not required to be licensed as his site is neither a broker nor a lender, but a marketing web site that refers telephone calls.
It may be that the California Finance Lender’s Law does not cover the internet, which is national.
It seems Brad Peterson is the only one who listened to the advice from Los Angeles Attorney Tom McCurrin in the March 30, 2011 article:
Leasing News asked perhaps the best expert in California, who also won a major case in the Commercial Money Center (CMC) case against the insurance companies as CMC was not licensed:
"Lets see--- you just paid $25 million settlement, not counting your time or your attorney and court fees, and you could have only paid $1,500 to procure a lenders license," Tom McCurnin, Barton, Klugman & Oetting, Los Angeles, told Leasing News. "These are top flight bankers and lawyers. I don't get it.
"I’ve never understood the reluctance, indeed outright pushback, from industry professionals obtaining lenders licenses. Details can be found here -> http://www.corp.ca.gov/fsd/lender.asp. The downsides might include cost, the bonding requirements and the annual audits, but upsides are huge, in my opinion.
"The advantages bullet-proof you lease documents from usury claims, and assuming the lessor has a good 'choice of law' clause and 'forum selection' clause, it will bullet-proof the documents out of state as well. Basically, the lessor can charge any amount of interest it chooses, except for those States which have criminal usury statutes such as New Jersey, which is 50%. I can’t speak for other lawyers here, but when one of my clients is involved in broker-funder dispute, or a lessor-lessee dispute, the first thing I look for is a license.
"The failure to procure a license may subject that lessor or broker to class action claims, criminal prosecution, and cease and desist orders by the Department of Corporations. Those downsides often settle many of my clients’ claims against non-licensed brokers or funders." (7)
(1) California Finance Lenders Law
(2) Clark v. AdvanceMe.Inc.
(3) AdvanceMe not a Leasing Funder
(4) The Story behind Capital Access Network---AdvanceMe
(5) On Deck September 19, 2011 press release
(6) www.merchantcashandcapital.com press release
(7) Up-Date: $23.4 Million Settlement-Not Licensed in California
Letters! ----We get email!
"It was nice of you to salute Rick for publishing Leasing News while you were on vacation. He did a damn fine job Kit."
Rosanne Wilson, CLP
Bob Fisher to attend NAELB Conference for Ascentium Capital
"I was up late tonight here on EST and reading your first issue back from time away. It appears you have used your vacation well, coming back in with a roaring article that you are stepping up the pressure as an industry watchdog on questionable practices that in time will invite regulatory challenges unless eliminated. Moreover, I agree with you, Kit, that such practices may cause lessors to lose business to other forms of financing available to customers when they are acquiring equipment for their businesses.
"Best wishes for your continuing success,"
Steve Dinkelaker, President
"Yeah. Refreshed, refocused and re-feisty! Go gettum, tiger!"
Bob Teichman, CLP
"It’s been to quiet. We need some action. The Lone Ranger is back in town."
"Refreshed after a vacation. What a concept! Look out leasing world malefactors, is what I say."
"Full of bad guys with bad schemes. Hang em' High. "
Banks and Creditors Could Just Cry
"Creditors complain that a Court ordered investigation is costing too much and the lawyers and accountants are burning through the money, so the creditors may never see a dime.
"I have three responses
"--Of course, the Court ordered professionals could be doing nothing. What would the likelihood that anything would be recovered in that event?
--Nothing prevents the Creditor from instituting his/her own investigation using his/her own professionals.
--None or little equipment exists in the Allied scam, as it was double or triple financed. Even with the most frugal investigation, the Creditors will receive nothing.
"This reminds me of taxpayers that want more government services (roads, prisons) but don't want to pay for them."
Vendor Bruce Donner Pleads Guilty in Allied Health Care Scheme
"The FBI is full of it! Without you getting into it, this fraud and all its enablers would still be operating. How many bank Presidents, Brokers and Funders visited out there and came back enamored with Charles Schwartz? Where are all your detractors now?"
Bernie Boettigheimer, CLP
"Kit, I think what is so great about this is that you "red flagged" this before everybody woke up and saw what it was."
(Yes, I can remember for three months getting criticism on stories about Charles Schultz and Allied Health Care Services. I was right almost nine months before it hit the fan. Brican they attempted to sue me---the case is on going. Sheldon Player and E.A.R. was right about that almost two years before others realized what Leasing News was writing about his past and repeating it. NorVergence, RW Professional, IFC Credit and the many complaints before they folded; they were going to sue me then for what I was writing. There are others…Editor)
BBB: Rating Leasing Companies
“Greetings from the beautiful Pacific Northwest!
"I know accuracy is important to you so wanted to point out that as of August 10th of this year Financial Pacific is proud to be BBB Accredited. The list below in your 9/18 email reflects only our A+ rating – not the accreditation.
"Thank you in advance for updating your list!"
(Thank you for wanting to keep us “accurate.” I know you have been through changes at Financial Pacific and it is not the company it used to be. BBB Ratings are done every three months and are not on “a list,” although your belief they should be is a good idea and after the next one, will add to “http://www.leasingnews.org/All_Lists.htm)
And you are correct, we try to be accurate. By the way, when the new Financial Pacific changes its Evergreen Clause policy and stops funding those on the Complaint Bulletin Board, such as Benchmark Financial Group in your top three of funders in Southern California, please let us know. Editor)
Financial Pacific is Licensed, Benchmark is Not!
Evaluating Credit Reports
"In your article “Evaluating Credit Reports”, an excerpt from “How Far Out On A Limb Are You Willing To Go”, by Richard Boswick, the author gives the following credit score range and evaluations:
"Score Range Score Description
"In my experience in the small ticket equipment leasing industry (which may be different than other industries that the author is engaged in), lenders are more rigid in evaluating credit. We are seeing something more like the following:
Score Range Score Description
"A couple of other interesting points; we are seeing more people bring copies of their own credit report with score factors, due I’m sure to the wave of commercials from credit agencies who are selling consumers credit monitoring products. In every case I’ve seen the score factors in the credit reports that the consumers provide are much higher than the scores we see when we pull credit (we use Experian/Fair Issac Personal Model Finance V3 and others). This creates a communication issue when you have to explain to the client that the credit he or she believes is a great 725, you have as a just a marginal 665. We also believe that the credit agencies have tightened their scoring model meaning a credit profile today will have a lower score than a similar profile would have had three or more years ago (we determined this by looking at the credit reports of repeat customers over a period of several years).
"Our experience also is that small business equipment lenders today, even more than in the past discount 'good' credit and elevate negative items, such as two guarantors, weighting the one with the poorer score higher than the good one. Or weighting any other negative item higher than a good credit score. This certainly happened in the past, but it happens more today."
(The article was by Richard Boswick, not written by us or abbreviated by us:
(May 18, 2011 we reported the Freescore.com
(I think the consumer ranges vary with companies, as well as those who interpret them. The article, by the way, was more about commercial credit reporting and how it changed.
(It is my experience that 650 is considered the poor range, which your rating below appears to be what is being used in the leasing industry. I would also agree more and more companies are looking at other aspects than the credit scoring because a high score can also be manipulated, as well as a low score from a dispute, or as simple as the customer is shopping rates. Editor)
Need Help on $1.00 Out Evergreen Clause IFC Credit
"We’ve had the same problem. IFC residuals are being handled by a bankruptcy trustee who and is enforcing the (Illinois) law that allows them to legally steal additional money by enforcing the “evergreen” theft on $1.00 options by converting them to FMV if notice isn’t received. To help protect our assigned IFC lessees, back in 2010 we sent out a form letter (copy attached) to every IFC customer we discounted, informing them to mark their calendar, reread their documents and basically protect themselves from this predatory practice.
"Receiver Contact address is:
"The evergreen clause is a real relationship killer.
"It is an unfathomable condition for a $1.00 / $101.00 purchase option lease. It just makes everyone look bad, including the leasing industry."
Who Has Not Responded on Evergreen Clauses
"Our policy is not to support any unethical activity by transaction originators we work with. Should your organization learn of said activity we gratefully thank you for informing us. We read your publication regularly and have used the information provided to our benefit.
"I am proud of the lease originators we work with and let our history with these originators stand on its merit. Should we discover a transaction originator is engaging in unethical practices we will take appropriate action. We consider it good management to deal with these issues privately should they arise.
(Asked if they utilized Evergreen Clauses or if their discounters used Evergreen Clauses or were required to notify the lessee about the termination of the original lease contract)
"We manage our affairs privately. We will take appropriate action should we find a lease originator doing something we feel is unethical."
(Leasing News is going to “kick this up a notch,” contacting vendor associations as to their policy about letter their members know who abuses Evergreen Clause and plays games with purchase options. Look for news reports on their reaction. Editor.)
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CNH Capital to Offer Retail Financing in Russian Federation
From Left: Carlo Alberto Sisto, Senior Director CNH Trade Finance and Carlo van Kemenade Chief Commercial Officer Global Vendor Program De Lage Landen at the signing agreement ceremony
MOSCOW, Russia – – CNH Global, a Fiat Industrial company and a worldwide leader in the agricultural and construction equipment industry, is strengthening its relationship with De Lage Landen to provide its customers in the Russian Federation with competitive retail finance programs, which will be offered under the CNH Capital name. To this end, CNH International and CNH-KAMAZ Commerce, subsidiaries of CNH Global, have entered into an enhanced program agreement with De Lage Landen. The activity will be run collaboratively and managed by an Executive Committee comprising equal representation.
The financing program, which will be operational from the beginning of 2012, will be staffed by a dedicated sales team that will work closely with CNH’s four brands: New Holland Agriculture, New Holland Construction, Case IH and Case Construction Equipment, their dealers, and their customers.
CNH and De Lage Landen first established their relationship in Poland in 2007. On the back of the success of this collaboration, the two companies turned their attention to the Russian market, where they established a standard vendor program agreement in 2010. This new enhanced program agreement replaces the previous one, extending the opportunities for the two partners and offering operators in the agricultural and construction equipment industries competitive retail financing plans.
"I am very pleased to see this relationship expanding further into the Central and Eastern Europe region,” commented Frans Janssen, Senior Vice President CEE region De Lage Landen. “CNH is a key partner and we expect continued success in the Russian market. While the vendor lease model is unique in Russia, the completion of this agreement proves that our efforts are working and vendors are seeing the benefit that partnership financing can bring to their sales."
Carlo Alberto Sisto, Senior Director Trade Finance CNH International added "We are very pleased with the new agreement with De Lage Landen, which will expand the offer of financing programs available under the CNH Capital name. Our collaboration with them, both in Poland and in the Russian Federation, has been extremely positive for us and I have no doubt that this new, enhanced agreement will be of mutual benefit for our companies and for our customers."
Tom Meredith, President Global Business Unit Food & Agriculture De Lage Landen commented on the two companies’ relationship “De Lage Landen has been working closely with CNH on this opportunity and we believe that our collaborative relationship will allow us to creatively and profitably support the CNH brands in Russia."
"This agreement aims at improving the level of service offered to our customers,” concluded Mario Gasparri, General Manager of CNH International. “By making available dedicated financial packages and tailored options to meet our customers’ business requirements, this agreement will increase their buying power and the competitiveness of our brands’ reliable equipment and high productivity technologies.”
The extensive size of the agricultural and construction equipment markets in Russia, combined with the focus of the Russian government on developing these industries and the market position of the CNH brands, provides considerable potential for growth for both partners as a result of this new agreement.
CNH Global is a world leader in the agricultural and construction equipment businesses. Supported by approximately 11,300 dealers in about 170 countries, CNH brings together the knowledge and heritage of its Case and New Holland brand families with the strength and resources of its worldwide commercial, industrial, product support and finance organizations. CNH Global N.V., whose stock is listed at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE:CNH), is a majority-owned subsidiary of Fiat Industrial S.p.A. (FI.MI). More information about CNH and its Case and New Holland products can be found online at www.cnh.com.
CNH International, a subsidiary of CNH Global, is the company responsible for the manufacture, sales, distribution and after sales operations of agricultural and construction branded equipment in over 120 countries throughout Africa, the Middle East, the Commonwealth of Independent States, Asia and Oceania, encompassing Australia, China and India. CNH International was established in 2007 to strengthen CNH’s brands focus in emerging and high-growth markets.
CNH-KAMAZ Commerce is a subsidiary of CNH-KAMAZ Commercial, a joint venture between CNH and OJSC KAMAZ established in 2010 to distribute and service agricultural and construction equipment in the Russian Federation.
De Lage Landen, a fully owned subsidiary of Rabobank Group, is specialized in asset-based financing programs for equipment manufacturers, dealers and distributors all over the world. Our programs cover our customers’ total distribution chain, as well as the entire lease lifecycle. We offer customers a single source for leasing, administration, risk and asset management solutions. De Lage Landen’s diversified solutions include car leasing in the European market and consumer finance and factoring in the Dutch home market. Establishing a close and long-lasting relationship with our customers is at the heart of our company culture. This requires a genuine interest in and a thorough understanding of our customers’ business needs and goals. We partner with our customers to tailor solutions and develop programs that support mutual growth and profitability. We care not only about our customers, but also about the communities in which we operate. We strive to have a positive social and environmental impact through our products and the way we conduct business. For more information, visit www.delagelanden.com
Pleads Guilty to Million Dollar Investment Fraud
Robert Schroy, 66, of California, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Joel A. Pisano in Trenton federal court to a criminal Information charging him with one count each of wire fraud and tax evasion.
U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman brought the case forward where Schroy admitted to from 2004 through 2009 soliciting people to invest in an alleged "international bank trade." He admitted that he and his co-schemers falsely promised prospective investors extraordinary gains — ranging between 10 and 100 percent per week for a minimum period of 25 weeks — plus the return of their principal investment. Based on Schroy's misrepresentations, numerous investors, including investors in New Jersey, wired investment monies to accounts controlled by Schroy and his co-schemers. The money was wired to the designated accounts; however, Schroy admitted it was not invested in any supposed bank trade. Instead it was used by Schroy and his co-schemers for personal expenditures, including automobiles, vacations, and meals at restaurants. In total, Schroy admitted he and his co-schemers misappropriated at least $1 million in investor money.
In pleading guilty to the tax evasion count, Schroy specifically admitted he failed to file a 2007 U.S. Individual Income Tax Return and failed to report $479,566 of taxable income, upon which an additional tax of $151,781 was owed to the IRS.
The wire fraud charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and the tax evasion charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison. Both charges carry a maximum fine of $250,000. Sentencing before Judge Pisano is scheduled for Jan 25, 2012.
U.S. Attorney Fishman praised special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in charge Michael B. Ward, and special agents of the IRS, under the direction of Special Agent in charge Victor W. Lessoff, and the N.J. Bureau of Securities, under the direction of Bureau Chief Abbe R. Tiger, with the investigation that resulted in the guilty plea.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Kelly of the U.S. Attorney's Office Economic Crimes Unit in Newark.
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(Leasing News provides this ad “gratis” as a means
Fargo, North Dakota -- Adopt-a-Dog
Ashton is an adorable 3-year-old Miniature Schnauzer mix. He is incredibly cute, and he loves to chase balls and play with toys. Ashton also loves to play tug-of-war with his canine foster sibling, and enjoys the company of the resident cat in his foster home. Getting along with other animals seems to be easy for him! When it comes to human companionship, Ashton takes some time to warm up. Once he knows that you are someone he can trust, Ashton is one of the sweetest pups around!
Ashton is looking for an adopter he can depend on and would be happiest in a home with at least one other friendly dog or cat to show him the ropes and encourage him to play. Ashton's foster family reports that he has bonded with them and with his dog-walker, and that their relationships grow all the more each day! His foster family writes: "Ashton is a very curious, somewhat cautious boy. But he's really a big cuddle-bug, especially when it's bedtime. Ashton gets along well with our other dog and cat. He's potty trained and isn't destructive. We trust him fully alone in the house."
Ashton is currently in foster care and not at the shelter. To learn more about him call the Seattle Humane Society at (425)649-7563 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
As with all of our dogs, Ashton has been neutered, microchipped, vaccinated and behavior tested. He will go home with a certificate for an examination by a King County veterinarian and an identification tag. PLUS, most dog adoptions include six weeks of training in one of our on-campus dog behavior courses -- a great way to start off on the right paw!
Introduce to children over the age of 12. Resident dogs are required to visit with Ashton prior to adoption. Introduce to cats.
Open Seven Days a Week and New Extended Hours!
Thursday-Friday-Saturday: 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.
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Special report: Medical equipment leasing holds steady
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This Day in History
His name was Cristoffa Columbo, but in English: Christopher Columbus. He never landed in either South or North America, and thought it was India, that's why we call natives of the America's: 'Indians.' ("Indios" but in English, Indians. They were Lucayan.) He is celebrated today for landing in what is now known as the Bahamas. Columbus called the island San Salvador; the natives called it Guanahani. Exactly which island in the Bahamas this corresponds to is an unresolved topic; prime candidates are Samana Cay, Plana Cays, or San Salvador Island (so named in 1925 in the belief that it was Columbus's San Salvador). Dutch sailor Piet de Stumi, or DeStynie, persuaded Columbus to change the log and make it seem that Oct 12 was the date of the first New World landing. The real date, Oct 13, might have caused superstitious fear in the other sailors or in potential investors in later voyages. The change was detected by an Italian history study group named the Colombiani.
Columbus Day was first celebrated on October 12, 1792, to mark the tercentennial of Christopher Columbus's first landing in the New World. A monument was dedicated in Baltimore, MD, for this occasion. The colonials were "infatuated" with Columbus and at one time the most popular name of our country was to be Columbia, and a one vote changed it from the United Colonies to the United States after a compromise was made to name the nation's capital Columbia. Later it became known as the District of Columbia.
Contrary to popular belief, his four trips to the New World made him a very rich man. He should be credited for bringing back Tobacco that addicted everyone in Europe, plus introduced other plants, but his product was not gold, but a lot of native "Indian" slaves. After four trips to the Caribbean Islands, he basically began the de-population of the area and thus the reasons slaves were eventually kidnapped from Africa to do the labor. The area became the debarkation for Europe for several centuries. The population today in the Caribbean is primarily European and African in origination, very few 'Indian' descendants on the islands.
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- Who Has Not Responded on Evergreen Clauses