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Independent, unbiased and fair news about the Leasing Industry

Credit and Syndication Manager
Carlsbad, California

Analysis of credits and Syndication to funding partners or
for booking into our in-house portfolio.
Experience with Vision and a plus.
Please click here for more information.
Established in 1986, ILS specializes in small-mid ticket equipment financing and working capital. Our Vendor-centric approach values long term relationships with our Lessee, Vendor
and Funding partners.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Today's Equipment Leasing Headlines

  Classified Ads---Senior Management
Greg Wells/Tamara McCourt, CLP---Out at Five Point
 Also Michael Losey and Jason Norton released
  The Dave Murray Connection
   by Kit Menkin
 The Changing Leasing Employment Picture
    Classified Ads---Help Wanted
   Career Crossroad—“Should I Tweet?”
Leasing 102 by Mr. Terry Winders, CLP
  Sales Record Keeping for the Salesman
    Regional banks 'duking it out' for loans
     By Lindsey White and David Hayes, SNL Financial
 Bank of Ozark Top Dog
   SNL's 2011 regional bank ranking
     IRS Tackles Tax Fraud and Related Crimes
       15 Ways to Spend Your Tax Refund
       by Bill Losey, CFP®
 Labrador Puppy
  Santa Fe, California Adopt-a-Dog
New Briefs---
Citigroup Shareholders Reject Executive Pay Plan
  Bank of America puts non-U.S. wealth arm up for sale
       Future of Export-Import Bank in doubt
Intel's Sales and Earnings Beat Analysts' Expectations
      Business tax cut tagged for veto
Small Illinois town rocked by $30 million CFO theft case
     Wine industry veteran DeLuca joins Wells Fargo
       Warren Buffett Says Has Early Prostate Cancer
           Jesse Campbell is eliminated at the Voice
'Dancing With the Stars' results: Kisses and a dance duel
      Michael Douglas receives Monte Cristo Award

Broker/Funder/Industry Lists | Features (collection)
Top Ten Stories Chosen by Readers | Top Stories last six months

5 housing trends in spring 2012
  You May Have Missed
     SparkPeople--Live Healthier and Longer
      Sports Briefs---
       Spring Poem
        California Nuts Briefs---
         "Gimme that Wine"
           This Day in American History
           Daily Puzzle
               Weather, USA or specific area
                 Traffic Live----

######## 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.



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Classified Ads---Senior Management

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Greg Wells/Tamara McCourt, CLP---Out at Five Point Capital
Also Michael Losey and Jason Norton released
by Kit Menkin

Five Point Capital, San Diego, California was often named one of the fastest growing companies in San Diego, who in 2005 had 120 employees.

The company had up to 210 employees at one time.


David Gilbert, CEO

In an exclusive interview with Leasing News, David Gilbert, Five Point Capital CEO, said they saw the economy changing and went heavily into working capital loans, cutting down their equipment leasing direction, sending business at one time to Marlin, but now to Ascentium and Financial Pacific. He credited Greg Wells and his team that built up the short term loan marketplace.

He said when he took over in March of this year as CEO, buying out the 50% interest of his partner Dan Feder, they only had three leasing reps, but are now up to ten, as well as 14 in the working capital loan market, and 16 in operations; total of 40 employees. The course of the company had changed and Greg Wells had seen the opportunity to start a new company.

March 25, 2009 Five Point Capital Announced:

Greg Wells

"Greg Wells was hired as Chief Executive Officer and President of Five Point Capital, San Diego, California. He was previously with Vistage International. Prior to this, he spent 18 years in leadership positions in the financial services industry, including Senior Vice President and Division Manager of Wells Fargo’s Southern California Business Banking Group. He also oversaw retail operations in several regions for Wells Fargo, including San Diego County and the Inland Empire."

Tamara McCourt, CCE, CLP

One of the first things he did was bring in Tamara McCourt, CCE, CLP, and she eventually became director of operations. (She was with the company to February of this year and is available: ). Wells also brought in Michael Losey in December, 2009 as director of portfolio management, and Jason Norton in 2010 as director of marketing.

Over the next few years, Wells changed the direction of the company, and also attempted to get the company in better order, accomplishing many things, including improving the BB rating to an A+.

He also negotiated and settled a complaint in Leasing News, getting the company off the Leasing News Complaint Bulletin Board, and made a pledge changing the police of Evergreen Clauses into full notification, as well as during all his time, made major changes to the customer relations operation.

Gilbert said, ""Those terrific results by Greg Wells, combined with improvements in the economy and leasing markets made it clear to me the time was right to return to the business. I have a huge passion for the leasing and lending markets and now as the 100% owner and CEO I look forward to leading FPC to many more successful years and helping companies throughout the US get the capital they need to grow."

Wells is now CEO of Sage Executive Group, described as a San Diego, California based start-up that forms and operates CEO peer advisory groups, with groups already operating in San Diego and plans to expand throughout the United States. He started this company with a long time friend, formerly with Vistage International. A web site is in formation and when up, Leasing News will write a more detailed story about Wells' new company.

Michael Losey, Director of Portfolio Management, was also released. Previously for 13 1/2 years he was director of portfolio management at Balboa Capital, and a collector at Amplicon Financial. He is available.

Also released was Jason Norton, Director of Marketing for two years at Five Point Capital. Today he is president of safetyNETmarketing.

Coda: Evergreen Clause

Dave Gilbert said the Evergreen clause policy will remain the same:

"“We send written notice of the impending maturity to all true leases in all states. The current FPC contract calls for notice 120 days prior to maturity. In anticipation of this, we send out certified letters to lessees notifying them of the end of the lease 180 days prior to the contract maturity.

"We handle 10% the same as a $1 buyout. We do not require notice because we assume the customer will purchase the equipment for the stated purchase option, so we would just invoice them at the end of the lease."



The Dave Murray Connection
by Kit Menkin

In the interview with Greg Wells, formerly of Five Point Capital, he said leaving the banking field with all the rules and regulations’, getting into leasing was like going back to the days of the Wild West.

It certainly has been wild in Southern California, and for quite some time, especially among partnerships in leasing. The public feud with one serving as president and CEO almost every six months that eventually led to Patrick Byrne buying out his late partner Shawn Giffin at Balboa Capital, Irvine, California was not similar to Dan Feder and David Gilbert relation. Gilbert says they always got along, had different approaches, but always remained good friends, and it was a very amicable decision for Dan to sell David his 50% interest in Five Point Capital. Wells told Leasing News Five Point will now focus better with one owner in charge.

There is a common thread between Five Point Capital and Balboa Capital: his name is David Murray. In 1999 when Five Point Capital was founded (star has five points and became their logo), it was David Murray, who was sued by Jim Raeder, CapitalWerks/Preferred Leasing for allegedly taking the software proprietary product from Preferred Lease when his company purchased it. He later made the same accusation wit Balboa Capital.

In the boom days, Five Point Capital was reportedly sending $4 to $6 million a month to Marlin Leasing, some months up to $10 million, as well as doing much business with Financial Pacific and others, all allegedly based on Dave Murray's software program. This was way before Salesforce, or any other programs that rated companies and outlined potential lessees, giving name, address, telephone numbers--allowing leasing credit cards, pre-approved alleged lease amounts, and gave marketers not just a cold call, but an informed one that got right to the point and the principal.

Dave, his brother Mike (now “retired”), the Brooms founded a company called Direct Capital, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, a popular skiing and resort city, where he had developed a new model for equipment financing. It was one of the first, following the concept of several Washington leasing companies, but the main difference was Murray's genius at developing a software contact program using Dun & Bradstreet information, hiring college students to read from scripts, and make 200 to 300 telephone calls a day (the good ones.) Rarely did they hire anyone with leasing experience, as they wanted to train them their way, their commission structure, and under their corporate program.

After some managerial and personality conflicts, perhaps spending habits, reportedly, Murray left (reportedly not on his own violation, Leasing News was told) and started Preferred Capital Corporation in Nevada with Louis Schneider, an excellent leasing salesman with much experience, using the same concept.

"It was at Preferred Capital that David met Tom Allanson. David's company was generating lease contracts and selling them to a division of GE Capital - and Tom was the President of that division.

"After he sold Preferred Capital, David founded a company called Kord Marketing Group. This was a high tech consulting company with clients like Intuit, Ingram Micro and Insight. Later, Intuit hired him as the Head of Innovation for TurboTax."

"Dave and Tom Allanson sold Taxnet to H & R block and Dave netted $2 million Dave bought a house in Tahoe. I am sure the all the Preferred creditors that got stiffed including the expense in law suits that Raeder had to fight off would be happy to learn of this.

"By the way, the real genius behind the marketing was a consultant named Tom. I worked there, I know personally."

Preferred Capital, also known as Preferred Lease, was working out of Tahoe City, Nevada, mainly with college students or young people living inexpensive, liking to hike and sky during the seasons. The two partner's David Murray and Louis Schneider were running the company like a sales marketing venture, warehouse leases, and then selling them off in batches to Advanta, Colonial Pacific, and GE Capital, whoever gave them the best rate for the group of credits.

Their tax returns were not for the leasing business, but sales.

It was also the time of the beginning of the real estate mortgage syndication and the progress of software was bringing down such re-selling from $5 million packages down to $500,000 packaging, a boon for this type of market place. Many of their buyers were also packaging and selling off leases in syndication. Sales were off, but still doing well. November,1999, they did $17 million in capital equipment cost in just one month; and with 42 sales reps. They had been doing anywhere from $14 to $15 million each month, and November was their best month, according to general counsel Mark Seif in an interview with Leasing News.. As with the Balboa Capital, and allegedly Five Point, the partners had their disagreements, again reportedly about David Murray spending habits and trips overseas with top sale employees as a reward for their volume. He left on November 7, 2000, and things began to change, especially as debt caught up.

To sum it up, Jim Raeder and Mark McQuitty bought the company assets, taking over the warehouse line at Bank of the West, Leasing News was told, and also made settlements with out leasing companies, starting Preferred Lease which they later changed the name to CapitalWerks, to get away from the ill wind of the previous company name.

Preferred General Counsel Mark Seif who was basically left to clean up the mess at Preferred, eventually moved to Southern California, eventually found a position as District Attorney for the State of Los Angeles, but is now a poker pro, according to his twitter page:!/markseif and website:

He is also listed in Wikipedia as a professional winning poker player


By the way, in none of the web site biographies does Seif mention his run at Preferred Capital/Preferred Lease. I first talked with him with accusations from Larry Wagner, Dimension Fundings, Irvine, California that Raeder and another snuck in with the Dimension Fundings ex-employee (perhaps) and went through their Lake Tahoe office late one night. Raeder claimed he and Mark Seif were playing at a local casino at the time of the “forced entry.” (Wagner actually made a sheriff's report; however, the accusation was never "resolved.")

As my memory serves me right, Dave Murray's partner Louis Schneider went back to college and became an attorney.

Bloomberg reports Mr. Thomas A. Allanson is Founder and President and Mr. David Murray is Founder and Vice President of Product Development of TaxNet, Inc. provides online tax preparation services. It offers customized tax solutions. The company is based in Carlsbad, California. As of July 7, 2005, TaxNet, Inc. operates as a subsidiary of H&R Block Inc.

Jim Raeder got nowhere with his complaint about the software program with David Murray as it had changed considerably since the Lake Tahoe days, as well as he had videos of dispute with an ex-employee who allegedly sent out an email about what he was doing, which he denied, although a New York Times stories wrote a piece, and paradoxically Raeder confessed to the FBI regarding Operation Fleece. As reported in Leasing News, the alleged Balboa employee was videotaped by a Kinkcos security camera using the computer the day the email was sent out to many funders, and it renewed the David Murray clash. Reportedly a non-disclosure settlement was made.

Both Byrne and Raeder came from Amplicon, Santa Ana, also in Southern California, and seemed to always be in competition with each other.

As a side note: Jim Raeder holds the record with Leasing News, who received over 50 Bulletin Board complaints and he and specific employees (some also arrested in Operation Lease Fleece), which he settled all and never made the postings in Leasing News.

As Gilbert saw the credit markets began to dry up, life changed in Southern California and he adjusted, hiring Greg Wells, while Preferred Lease/CapitalWerks and its crew increased their holding of advance rentals or deposits, eventually the sales effort becoming part of a network that eventually brought the FBI in for doing sale/leaseback on equipment that was inflated or didn't exist to funders who thought it was new equipment. Raeder along with his partner Mark McQuitty are awaiting sentencing; most likely each will get two to four years in prison, along with requirements to permanently stay out of the financial marketplace.



The Changing Leasing Employment Picture

ZRG Partners predicts "The war for talent could be returning and the desire to grow assets is clear. In past years, Long term incentives and equity plans tended to retain key talent but with documented cutbacks in Long term compensation, the barriers to move seem to be lifted and we could see more major changes throughout 2012 as the merry-go-round of talent begins again to play the music."

"The new year did indeed bring increased hiring in the US Equipment Leasing and Finance Sector."

Leasing News has also experienced this with more help wanted ads, as well as larger ads to attract new employees. Several report very good response, including "second hand,” readers referring to non-readers about positions open.

In the free classified, the listing is down, especially in asset management, credit, collections, operations. While this may indicate lack of availability, those in these categories in asking to have their ads removed say they are getting out of the industry. This was particularly true in asset management, where the last three had little contact, in fact, one said in almost a year only one inquiry---may have been location.

Those in the free classified sales ads report most calls are from brokers who offer commission only; several here also left the industry, going back to industrial products, often where they first encountered leasing of the products they were offering.

ZRG partners noted in their first quarter employment report a "...trend that does not show up in the index but certainly will impact industry employment during Q1 was the announcements of several significant team lift-outs from major players such as Capital One, GE Capital and Sovereign Bank. Leadership and funding volume moved to new bank platforms, creating talent gaps and volume concerns that will require action plans and potential new hiring. With a continued pressure to grow for many companies in the industry, adding a new risk factor of “team lift-outs” must be considered when making plans. This, along with new players entering the lending space could signal a warning to companies to work harder at protecting valuable leadership assets in 2012 and beyond."

The ZRG Report concludes, "Overall, the Q1 2012 index ended at a 428 level, indicating the hiring retreat posted in the fourth quarter of 2011 was temporary and not the beginning of a slowdown in hiring activities."

ZRG Partners, Inc. is a global authority on talent management issues within the equipment finance and leasing 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.

Full ZRG Partners Report:



Leasing Industry Help Wanted

Advance Restaurant Finance

Looking for sales reps to call on small to medium
sized retail merchants nationwide.
Experience preferred in this industry, but open
to ambitious "make sales" self-motivators.
Base salary, commissions,full benefits available.
Email with resume to:

* Fast Approvals
* No Need to Change Credit Card Processors

"When bank financing is unavailable, we are your best alternative for an unsecured working capital loan up to $1,000,000 per location."


Credit and Syndication Manager
Carlsbad, California

Analysis of credits and Syndication to funding partners or
for booking into our in-house portfolio.
Experience with Vision and a plus.
Please click here for more information.
Established in 1986, ILS specializes in small-mid ticket equipment financing and working capital. Our Vendor-centric approach values long term relationships with our Lessee, Vendor
and Funding partners.

Leasing Sales Representative
Long Island, NY

Hiring experienced or new to business sales reps. Transactions in all states / all industries. Send resume to: or fax 631-414-7571.

About the Company: Sterling Capital Leasing, LLC is a national small ticket/middle market leasing company

Inside Sales Manager Irvine, California

First Year Expect $125k with base salary & commission
to direct small ticket sales team.
Click here for more information.

GeNESIS provides game-changing technology, tools and training as well as pre-qualified leads to help great salespeople be more successful and make more money.

For information on placing a help wanted ad, please click here:

Please see our Job Wanted section for possible new employees.




Career Crossroad—“Should I Tweet?”

Question: I have heard that Tweeting is a good way to connect with people/companies, what are your thoughts?

Answer: Social Media has become an integral part of our society. If interested in becoming a part of this trend, my suggestion is to join professional sites that are geared specifically towards business, such as

Truly--who has time to post daily/hourly activities? (!!) Tweeting – in MY opinion – is a Social medium.

If you decide to join Twitter, use it to follow a company for business opportunities, e.g. if they are looking for new Equipment, if they are moving, etc… Other than that, in my opinion, it is not that useful when it comes to your career. As a matter of fact, it could be detrimental if posting / tweeting activities that could shed a negative light on you – keep your personal activities to yourself.

I also would restrict a Facebook page just to your friends; not public. It may turn an employer off to see you in a situation he may not understand or appreciate.

Remember, anything you post on the internet is public, unless the site gives you the option for you to control who visits your page(s).

Emily Fitzpatrick
Sr. Recruiter
Recruiters International, Inc.
Phone: 954-885-9241
Cell: 954-612-0567

Previous Career Crossroad columns:



Leasing 102
by Mr. Terry Winders, CLP

Sales Record Keeping for the Salesman

There are many programs out there to help sales departments maintain a network customer and prospect base ---and currently these programs are evolving into cradle to grave support. That means that once the information is entered into the marketing system, it never needs to be reentered as it follows the path from prospect, to structuring and then to pricing followed by a proposal, then when excepted by the Lessee to document preparation with a proper purchase order and when the acceptance is received, into booking with all the necessary accounting functions.

This type of program allows management the ability to keep their fingers on the pulse of the business and tract how each sales person or area is performing.

I still recommend for individual salesmen their own system, as it has a different purpose.

In the old days we kept four types of reports on a weekly or monthly basis. These were the:

  1. Log report… A report that lists all transactions under consideration. It usually contains all the information on a single line such as name, address, equipment, cost, term, and additional information if known. Then slots for accepted, rejected, turned down, placed on hold and other comments that show when the deal was expected to be finalized. If it was lost or turned down then a large comment section is one of the ways to monitor business that does not make it through the system. On occasion there may be a special log sheet for each vendor or by sales person so an accurate look at the flow of business is possible. This report is the basis for looking at the marketing effort at year’s end to determine the effectiveness of the sales effort and the amount and number of transactions reviewed. Without this type of report a leasing company is functioning without a rudder.

  1. Accepted Not Funded… This report controls transactions that have accepted our terms and are in the system waiting to be complete so it can be booked. This report is critical to making sure that each transaction is not lost due to a failure to complete the process or follow the actions of the Vendor, Lessee or our own documentation services.

  1. Booked Report… This report records all the important information in one location of the business booked over a specific period of time, usually monthly. It includes a breakdown of the yield into rent value, residual value, tax value, and value of security deposits or advanced rents. It also indicates the residual as a dollar amount and as a percentage of the equipment cost. The accounting classification is noted as well as the source of the business and the person responsible. Done correctly this report can help determine where the leasing companies success has come from and an average mark up and residual assumption.

  1. Lease Termination Report: The last report records the end of lease options selected by the Lessee and any additional income from sales or renewals. This report has taken on special meaning of late as competition heats up and the importance of retaining current customers is reviewed to analyze customer service.

I would like remind the reader that the list of equipment that can be leased is endless. Too often I speak with new sales people that tell me that all the good markets have already been covered and they are fighting an up-hill battle unless they have cheaper rates or some other advantage to squeeze out some business. Balderdash! (sorry profanity is not allowed in a trade publication).

It is true that some markets are crowded but every year for the thirty-five years I have found new markets where leasing had not penetrated. However, in the conservative world of credit that we live in occasionally new markets need to be investigated in depth to prove that the credit or equipment risk is not unusual. One of my favorites was the inland marina industry with floating docks, rental fleets of houseboats, dry boat storage, boat lifts etc. At first glance the equipment looked questionable and all the credits were single business environments. There were no national credit comparisons and the biggest concern was the seasonality of the business. In the end it turned out after a good deal of investigation that the equipment was long lasting and the individual credits of the marina operators was above standard and in twenty years of leasing we never had a loss.

There is numerous markets right under your nose if you would just open your eyes to it. Perhaps now out of date, one of my favorite business exercises is to take a few lease salespersons to a large industrial park and dump them off at the entrance and make them walk and call on every door in the complex. I wait for them at the other end. Much to the surprise of the sales force, each and every one of them discovered a lease opportunity or a new vendor. Many times they explained that the opportunity was behind a door that did not indicate the nature of the business in its name.

Sales are a numbers game and the more calls you make the more opportunities you discover, so get out there and start selling. And keep records so you can make call backs or help your memory what to avoid.

Mr. Terry Winders, CLP, has been a teacher, consultant, expert witness for the leasing industry for thirty-five years and can be reached at or 502-649-0448

He invites your questions and queries.

Previous #102 Columns:


(This ad is a “trade” for the writing of this column. Opinions
contained in the column are those of Mr. Terry Winders, CLP)




Regional banks 'duking it out' for loans
By Lindsey White and David Hayes
SNL Financial

A fight for loan growth, ongoing margin pressure and a continued hunt for expense savings: These are some of the main themes industry observers expect to play out as big regional banks report first-quarter 2012 earnings.

William Schwartz, senior vice president of the U.S. Financial Institutions Group at DBRS, said regional banks are "duking it out" for loan growth.

"Everybody is looking for loan growth, but there's not a lot of it to go around," he said. "I think what we see will be very modest — the [banks] are really fighting for it."

Schwartz said some companies, like U.S. Bancorp and Fifth Third Bancorp, are skilled at asset generation and have managed to generate loan growth despite economic headwinds.

But observers say the overall lack of top line revenue will result in continuing margin compression for the regional players.

"There's just not enough demand for C&I right now to really generate some net loan growth, which is what the whole industry needs to generate some better top line results," D.A. Davidson & Co. analyst Gary Tenner said. He predicted that the group will cope by continuing to focus on controlling expenses and credit costs.

Schwartz agreed. "Everybody has an expense program in place and is trying to squeeze everything they can out of their franchise from the expense side, so we'll see the results of that," he said.

Schwartz said auto lending has been one bright spot for some regional banks like Huntington Bancshares Inc., Fifth Third, U.S. Bancorp and Capital One Financial Corp.

"In the new economy your car is critically important to your employment — that's the basic equation," Schwartz said. "Now that it has become a desired sector, the space has become a little more competitive also."

Stock prices suggest that investors are perhaps a bit wary when it comes to the big regional names. The median performance of the dozen large regional bank stocks that SNL examined has been consistently below that of the SNL U.S. Bank & Thrift Index in the year-to-date.

The worst performer of the 12 stocks was KeyCorp, which consistently underperformed the SNL U.S. Bank & Thrift Index in 2012. As of April 11, KeyCorp had returned 8.2%.

Meanwhile, Regions Financial Corp.'s stock price fared the best of the group, returning more than 44% in the year-to-date.

The Birmingham, Ala.-based bank has had a busy year so far. The company passed the Federal Reserve's Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review, completed a $900 million capital raise, closed its deal to offload Morgan Keegan & Co. Inc. to Raymond James Financial Inc. and, in early April, repaid TARP.

Schwartz said this TARP repayment gave investors hope for Regions. "Nobody should get ahead of themselves. It's a good story and they're clearly recovering, but they've been a little behind others obviously in terms of asset quality," he said. "They came to the party late and they're leaving the party late."

Despite the headwinds facing regional banks, several in the group — Regions, Fifth Third, SunTrust Banks Inc., BB&T Corp. and Zions Bancorp. — are expected to post higher earnings per share compared to the prior-quarter and year-ago period, according to FactSet consensus EPS estimates.


Bank of Ozark Top Dog
SNL's 2011 regional bank ranking

Two regional banks from Arkansas are on top of SNL Financial regional bank rating. The top dog was Bank of the Ozarks, Little Rock, who finished first. First Security Bancorp, Searcy, came in second.

Bank of the Ozarks CEO George Gleason II said 2011 represented the 11th consecutive year of record net income for the company. The bank posted a 28.1% return on average tangible common equity, the highest of the top 25 in terms of profitability. Gleason has been Chairman and CEO since 1979. He was named American Banker magazine's Community Banker of the Year, 2010.

Bank of Ozarks purchased three failed banks in 2010: Chestatee State Bank, Dawsonville, Georgia, December 17, 2010, Woodlands Bank, Bluffton, South Carolina July 16, 2010, United National Bank, Cartersville, Georgia March 26, 2010. Bank of Ozarks recognized a $65.7 million gain on bargain purchase in 2011.

According to SNL Financial, "The strength and appeal of the Texas market, combined with strong management, put Houston-based Prosperity Bancshares Inc. in the No. 3 spot in the rankings. It was the most efficient company in its class with an efficiency ratio of 40.1%. Prosperity also made headlines Feb. 26 when it announced the acquisition of American State Financial Corp. The target company placed 10th in SNL's ranking of top community banks with total assets between $500 million and $5 billion. This deal, valued at $529.2 million at announcement, is the second-largest bank deal in the U.S. announced thus far in 2012."

SNL ranked the best-performing regional banks using six core financial performance metrics that focus on profitability, asset quality and growth for the 12-month period ended Dec. 31, 2011. The metrics used were: return on average tangible common equity, net charge-offs as a percentage of average loans, adjusted Texas ratio, efficiency ratio, net interest margin and loan growth. SNL measured each company's standard deviation from the mean of each metric. The standard deviations, which were equally weighted, were then added together to calculate a performance score for each company.

For the purposes of this ranking, SNL defines regional banks as banks below $50 billion in assets with a branch network consisting of greater than 60 offices. Additionally, to be included in the analysis, banks had to be well-capitalized according to regulatory standards. Based on these criteria, 96 companies were included in the ranking. Thrifts were excluded from the analysis.


#### Press Release #############################

IRS Tackles Tax Fraud and Related Crimes

“The IRS Criminal Investigation takes violations of tax law very seriously,” said Leslie P. DeMarco, Special Agent in Charge of the IRS Criminal Investigation, Los Angeles Field Office. "Tax Return Preparers and individuals who choose to prepare and file false tax returns, steal refund payments, misuse client’s identity, or in any other manner undermine the honesty and integrity of our tax system risk prosecution.”

In the greater Southern California area, IRS Criminal Investigation special agents are actively investigating those involved in alleged criminal violations of involving alleged return preparer fraud, questionable refund fraud, and identity theft. United States District Court records for the Central District of California reveal the following legal actions this week:

Costa Mesa Tax Preparer Indicted for Aiding and Assisting In the Preparation of False Tax Returns

Ronald Vernon Strawn, 67, of Costa Mesa was arrested in Prescott, Arizona.

On April 11, 2012, in Santa Ana, a federal grand issued a 50-count indictment charging Ronald Strawn, 67, with preparing and filing false Federal Income Tax Return Forms 1040 in the Central District of California.

The indictment alleges that Strawn prepared tax returns claiming false Schedule E (used to report losses from rental real estate, royalties, partnerships, S corporations, estates, trusts, REMICs) losses or false Schedule C (used to report profit or loss from a sole proprietorship business) losses.

According to the indictment, Strawn knew that the taxpayer for whom the tax returns were prepared were not entitled to the fictitious business losses he claimed on Schedule E and Schedule C.

Strawn is alleged to have claimed over $6.5 Million in false business losses on at least 50 tax returns.

Strawn previously pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of filing a false tax return in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7207 in the United States District Court for the District of Arizona on December 16, 2008.

Each count of preparing and filing a false Federal Income Tax Return carries a maximum penalty of three years in prison, one year of supervised release, and a $100,000 maximum fine. Strawn faces a total maximum penalty of 150 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $5,000,000.

The investigation of Ronald Vernon Strawn is being conducted by IRS Criminal Investigation and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Todd T. Tristan of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of California. Assistant United States Attorney Todd T. Tristan may be reached at (714) 338-2829

Apple Valley Women Indicted for Tax Fraud and ID Theft

Lynda McNeal, 57, of Apple Valley was arrested in Phoenix, Arizona.

On April 6, 2012, a federal grand jury in Los Angeles issued two separate indictments charging, Lynda McNeal and Ayeesha Stallworth, both from Apple Valley, with multiple counts of making false claims against the United States by filing federal tax returns that claimed false tax refunds. McNeal was also charged with identity theft.

McNeal is charged with filing seven false tax returns for others, each claiming a refund of between $15,846 and $31,968. Two of these returns were for individuals whose identities she stole. McNeal also filed two false returns for herself, for 2007 and 2008, each claiming over $30,000 in false refunds. Altogether, these nine returns claimed over $140,000 in false refunds.

Similarly, Ayesha Stallworth, 40, is charged with filing four false tax returns for others and one for herself, claiming a total of nearly $70,000 in false refunds.

Each tax count of making false claims against the United States carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison, one year of supervised release, and a $250,000 maximum fine. Each identity theft count carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine. McNeal faces a total maximum penalty of 40 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $2,500,000. Stallworth faces a total maximum penalty of 25 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $1,250,000.

The next court appearance scheduled for Lynda McNeal is today, April 18, 2012 in Riverside before U.S. Magistrate Judge Oswald Parada.

The investigation of Ayeessa Stallworth and Linda McNeal is being conducted by IRS - Criminal Investigation and is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Ignacio Perez de la Cruz for the U.S. Justice Department's Tax Division and by Assistant United States Attorney Jerry Yang of the U.S. Attorney's Office Central District of California. Assistant United States Attorney Jerry Yang may be reached at (951) 276-6221.

An Indictment and Information only contain allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Each defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty in court.

The IRS encourages taxpayers to visit the IRS website for the latest updates on tax schemes and scams and what to avoid. The IRS website at provides various tips in what to look for - and what to look out for - when choosing a tax professionals and tips for protecting your identity.

If you suspect tax fraud or know of an abusive return preparer, you can report the subject directly to IRS – Criminal Investigation in person at one our local offices or over the phone. In the Los Angeles area, you can call (213) 576-3232 to report suspected tax fraud.

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15 Ways to Spend Your Tax  Refund
By Bill Losey, CFP®

Is a tax refund coming your way?  If you have already received your refund for 2012 or are about to receive it, you might want to think about the destiny of that money. Here are some possibilities.

  1. Start (or add to) an emergency fund.  Many people don’t have a dedicated rainy day fund, only the presumption that they might have enough cash in case of a financial tight spot.

  2. Invest in yourself. You could put the money toward education, career training, personal improvement, or some sort of personal experience with the potential to enhance your life.

  3. Put it into an IRA or workplace retirement account. If you haven’t maxed out your IRA this year or have a chance to get an employer match, why not?  

  4. Help your child open up a Roth IRA. Has your under-18 son or daughter worked and earned money this year? He or she can open a Roth IRA. Your child’s contribution limit is $5,000 or the amount of his or her earned income for 2012 (whichever is lower). You can actually make this Roth IRA contribution with your own money if your child has spent his or her earnings.

  5. Pay down debt.  Always a smart choice.

  6. Establish a financial strategy. Some financial advisors work on a fee-only basis.  They can perform a review of your current financial situation and give you   pointers for the future for roughly $1,000 with no further   obligation.

  7. Pay for that trip in advance. Instead of racking up a bigger credit card bill, consider pre-paying some costs or taking an all-inclusive trip (some are not as pricey as you might think).

  8. Get your home ready for the market. A four-figure refund may give you the cash to spruce up the yard and/or exterior of your residence. Or, it could help you pay a professional who can assist you with staging it.  

  9. Improve your home with energy-saving appliances. Or windows, or weather-stripping, or solar panels – just to name a few options.

  10. Create your own food bank. What if a hurricane or an earthquake hits? Where would your food and water come from?  Worth thinking about.

  11. Write a proper will. Your refund could pay the attorney fee, and the will you create might end up more ironclad.

  12. See a doctor, optometrist, dentist or physical therapist. If you haven’t been able to see these professionals due to your insurance situation or your personal cash flow, the refund might provide a way.

  13. Give yourself a de facto raise. Adjust your withholding to boost your take-home pay.

  14. Pick up some more insurance coverage for cheap. The typical flood insurance policy in a low-to-medium risk area costs less than $1,000 (and sometimes less than $500).  A $1 million personal liability umbrella policy can usually be bought for $400 or less.

  15. Pay it   forward. Your refund could turn into a charitable contribution (deductible on your 2012 federal tax return if you itemize deductions).

In the past two years, federal tax refunds have averaged about $3,000. That’s a nice chunk of change – and it could be used to bring some positive change to your financial life and the lives of others.
Bill Losey, CFP® specializes in secure retirements for women and couples over age 50.  He is President of Bill Losey Retirement Solutions, LLC, and an independent fee-based registered investment advisory firm.  Bill is the author of Retire in a Weekend! The Baby Boomer’s Guide to Making Work Optional and he also publishes Retirement Intelligence®, a free weekly award-winning newsletter.  Learn more at

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Spring Poem


  by W.H.Auden

For us like any other fugitive,
Like the numberless flowers that cannot number
And all the beasts that need not remember,
It is today in which we live.

So many try to say Not Now,
So many have forgotten how
To say I Am, and would be
Lost, if they could, in history.

Bowing, for instance, with such old-world grace,
To a proper flag in a proper place,
Muttering like ancients as they stump upstairs
Of Mine and His or Ours and Theirs.

Just as if time were what they used to will
When it was gifted with possession still,
Just as if they were wrong
In no more wishing to belong.

No wonder then so many die of grief,
So many are so lonely as they die;
No one has yet believed or liked a lie,
Another time has other lives to live.




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This Day in History

    1631 - English colony of Massachusetts Bay granted Puritans voting rights and John Winthrop was elected 1st governor of Massachusetts. 
    1675-- Katen Tekakwitha - Mohawk- Algonquian, baptized this day. She was the first Native American proposed for sainthood in the Roman Catholic Church. Raised by an anti-Christian uncle after her parents died when she was four. When she was 19 she followed in her mother's footsteps and was baptized Christian. It is said she faced bigotry by Mohawks who opposed Christianity and saw it destroying their way of life. She was pious and refused to marry further separating her from the Indian culture. It is said she lived a "life of great spirituality and asceticism." After her death at age 24 miracles were attributed to her and in 1884 a plenary council of the Roman Catholic Church, meeting in the U.S. petitioned Rome for her canonization. The move was seen as a step to influence Indians to accept the church that accepted them as well as to recognize miracles attributed to her. In 1943 she was "recognized as possessed of heroic virtue," but no further action has been taken for her canonization. 
    1775- Paul Revere, William Dawes and Samuel Prescott started at about 10pm, Eastern Time, to warn American patriots between Boston, Massachusetts and Concord, Massachusetts of the approaching British. Revere never completed the ride as he was captured by the British. The poem only remembers the one rider. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem about Paul Revere, published in 1861, was written to impress northerners during the Civil War of the necessity of fighting for liberty:
“One, if by land, and two, if by sea:
And I on the opposite shore will be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex village and farm
For the country fold to be up and to arm.”
From Richard Shenkman’s, “ I love Paul Revere whether he rode on Not:
President Harding worries about Paul Revere:
“Imagine for a moment in 1923, Al Capone is assembly an army of gun-toting henchmen in Chicago. (They will number 700 before he is through.) Cotton farmers in the South are sunk in depression. The Ku Klux Klan is on the rise. Newspaper headlines tell of corruption in the Veterans Bureau (the director has had to resign). Rumors in the capital hint of the coming Teapot Dome Scandal (Eventually two secretaries in the cabinet will go to jail, convicted of corruption.) But these are not the things that concern the president of the United Sates. What worries Warren Harding---touring the country on a campaign swing that will prove to be his last---is a recent attack on the legend of Paul Revere. An iconoclast had noted that Revere never completed the ride made famous by Longfellow. Before giving warning to Concord, Revere was discovered by the British and captured. They kept his horse, but released him, not knowing his mission, but wanting his horse as “tribute.” Dawes horse fell during the long and rough trip and could not finish. Harding, however, told the crowd he didn’t care. “I love the story of Paul Revere,” the president intoned in his most presidential-sounding voice, “whether he rode or not.” The fact is Paul Revere did ride, but it was Samuel Prescott who finished and actually made the warning known. The Minutemen were prepared for the British attack on April 19.
    1818 -- A regiment of Indians and blacks is defeated at the Battle of Suwanna, in Florida, ending the first Seminole War.
    1829--Birthday of Katherine Russell (Mother Mary Baptist), established homes in San Francisco for prostitutes, unemployed women, the aged and infirmed, and founder of St. Mary’s Hospital
in San Francisco. A House of Mercy for unemployed women opened in 1855, a Magdalene Asylum for prostitutes in 1861, and the home for the aged and infirmed in 1872. The daughter of a well-to-do family, she became a nun in her native Ireland. She headed a group of eight sisters sent to San Francisco to establish a convent and school. During a cholera epidemic her order worked with the city to care for dependent patients at a government hospital. Religious problems arose and Mother Mary purchased the building and named it St. Mary's Hospital, the first Catholic hospital on the Pacific coast. Under her direction the convent opened branches and hospitals in several California cities.
    1839---Violinist Frantz Jehin-Prume, the first musician of international reputation to choose Canada as his home, was born in Spa, Belgium. He made many successful concert tours of Europe and in 1863 was appointed "violinist of the king's own music" by Leopold the First of Belgium. Jehin-Prume later visited Mexico, then toured the US and Canada. He settled in Montreal in 1871, becoming a Canadian citizen. Jehin-Prume and his wife, the singer Rosita del Vecchio, played an important role in the development of Montreal's musical life. In 1891, he formed Quebec's first professional chamber music society. Jehin-Prume continued to give concerts and also was a prodigious composer. But in 1896, failing health forced him to reduce his activities. Frantz Jehin-Prune, now considered one of the most accomplished musicians in Canadian history, died in 1899.
    1847 -- U.S. forces defeat Mexicans at Cerro Gordo in one of the bloodiest battle of the war, one of the turning points of the war. After
purchasing all the land from France, the Southwest was seized in
war with Mexico.
    1856-Senator J.B. Weller of California urged passage of a bill to authorize and facilitate the construction of a railroad and magnetic telegraph to the West.
    1857-birthday of Clarence Darrow, American attorney often associated with unpopular causes, from the Pullman strike in 1894 to the Scottsboro case in 1932, born at Kinsman, OH. At the Scopes trial, July 13, 1925, Darrow said: "I do not consider it an insult, but rather a compliment, to be called an agnostic. I do not pretend to know where many ignorant men are sure--that is all that agnosticism means."
    1864 -At Poison Springs, Arkansas, Confederate soldiers under the command of General Samuel Maxey capture a Union forage train and slaughter black troops escorting the expedition. The Battle of Poison Springs was part of broad Union offensive in the region of Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas. General Nathaniel Banks had led a Yankee force through Louisiana in March and April, but a defeat in northwestern Louisiana at the Battle of Mansfield on April 8 sent Banks in retreat. Union forces nearby in Arkansas were moving towards Banks' projected thrust into Texas with the intention of securing southwestern Arkansas for the Federals. Union General Frederick Steele occupied Camden, Arkansas, on April 15. Two days later, he sent Colonel John Williams and 1,100 of his 14,000-man force to gather 5,000 bushels of corn discovered west of Camden. The force arrived to find that Confederate marauders had destroyed half of the store, but the Yankees loaded the rest into some 200 wagons and prepared to return to Camden. On the way back Maxey and 3,600 Confederates intercepted them. Maxey placed General John Marmaduke in charge of the attack that ensued. Williams positioned part of his force, the 1st Kansas Colored Infantry, between the wagon train the Confederate lines. The regiment was the first black unit in the army, comprised primarily of ex-slaves. The determined soldiers of the 1st Kansas stopped the first two Rebel attacks, but they were running low on ammunition. A third assault overwhelmed the Kansans, and the rout was on. Williams gathered the remnants of his force and retreated from the abandoned wagons. More than 300 Yankee troops were killed, wounded, or captured, while the Confederates lost just 13 killed and 81 wounded. Most shocking was the Rebel treatment of the black troops. No black troops were captured, and those left wounded on the battlefield were brutally killed, scalped, and stripped. The Washington Telegraph, the major Confederate newspaper in Arkansas, justified the atrocity by declaring "We cannot treat Negroes taken in arms as prisoners of war without a destruction of social system for which we contend."
    1865 -Union General William Tecumseh Sherman and Confederate Joseph Johnston signed a broad political peace agreement at Durham Station, North Carolina. The agreement promised a general amnesty for all Southerners and pledged federal recognition of all Southern state governments after their officials took oath of allegiance to the US. The new administration reneged on this, Sherman was roundly criticized publicly in drawing up the agreement that former President Lincoln and General Grant had instructed him to negotiate. The agreement was rejected by President Andrew Johnson, and Sherman and Johnston were forced to reach a new agreement with terms virtually the same as those given Robert E. Lee.
    1880- Birthday of Samuel Earl “Wahoo Sam” Crawford, Wahoo, Nebraska.. Wahoo Sam played pro ball for 20 years with the Detroit Tigers, racking up a career batting average of .309. His record of 312 career triples still stands. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1957.
    1880 -a major tornado outbreak occurred from Arkansas to Michigan with 22 tornadoes rated F2 or greater. Three F4 tornadoes in Missouri did most of the killing with 68 people killed at Marshfield, Missouri. Another F4 tornado in Missouri was on the ground for 93 miles. 165 peopled were killed in this outbreak and over 500 were injured.
    1906-- Over 3, 000 lives were lost in the San Francisco earthquake, primarily due to the fire that practically destroyed San Francisco after a series of major earthquakes; some 10,000 acres were affected, as far as Mendocino, where farms near the coast actually fell into the ocean. While much damage was caused by the earthquake, it was the seventh Great Fire that burned for four days that contributed to the deaths. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of trapped persons died when South-of-Market tenements collapsed as the ground liquefied beneath them. The earthquake shock was felt from Coos Bay, Oregon, to Los Angeles, and as far east as central Nevada, an area of about 375,000 square miles, approximately half of which was in the Pacific Ocean. There were 135 aftershocks on April 18, and 22 on April 19. 
    1913-Birthday of American composer Kent Kennan, born Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Died: 1 November 2003 , Austin, TX
    1921-Birthday of Barbara Hale, U.S. actor best known for her TV portrayal of Perry Mason's dutiful secretary Della Street.
    1922--Birthday of calypso music pioneer Lord Kitchener, whose real name is Aldwyn Roberts. Died 2000.
    1923- More than 74000 fans attended Opening Day festivities as the New York Yankees inaugurated their new stadium. Babe Ruth christened it with a game-winning three-run homer into the right-field bleachers. In his coverage of the game for the New York Evening Telegram sportswriter Fred Lieb described Yankee Stadium as “The House That Ruth Built,’ and the name stuck.
    1924 - Simon and Schuster, Inc. published the first "Crossword Puzzle Book". 
    1925--the Woman's World Fair, in Chicago opened. The exhibits showed women's progress in major industries and professions and historians considered it as a landmark in the recognition of women's contribution to civilization.
    1927-- Canadian composer and pianist Marian Grudeff was born in Toronto. She and another Canadian, Ray Jessel, were engaged by producer Alexander H. Cohen to write songs for the musical "Baker Street," which premiered in Boston in December 1964. After revisions, the show opened in New York the following February. "Baker Street," based on the story of Sherlock Holmes, was called one of the best musicals of the 1960's.
    1929 - Red Nichols and his Five Pennies recorded the Glenn Miller arrangement of "Indiana" for Brunswick Records in New York City. Players included Benny Goodman, Gene Krupa and Jack Teagarden . The movie “The Five Pennies”
    1932—birthday of gospel vocalist Rev. Cleophus Robinson, Canton, MS
    1934—birthday of vocalist Neal Kimble, New Orleans, LA
    1934-J. F. Cantrell opened the first Laundromat. He called it the”washateria” in Fort Worth, Texas. Four electric washing machines were rented by the hour to those who wished to do their laundry. Hot water and electricity were supplied, but users were obliged to furnish their own soap.
    1936-The singing cowboy, Gene Autry, records "Back in the Saddle Again."
    1938--singer Charlie Pride birthday
    1941-Sideny Bechet, playing six instruments, records “Blues of Bechet,” Victor 27485)
    1941—birthday of singer Wilson Pickett, Prattville, AL
    1941-Mike Vickers, saxophone player and guitarist with the British group Manfred Mann, was born in Southampton, England. Leader Manfred Mann, whose real name is Manfred Lubowitz, immigrated to England from South Africa in the early 1960's. His group became part of the "British Invasion" of the North American record charts with such hits as "Do Wah Diddy Diddy," "Pretty Flamingo" and "Mighty Quinn." After the demise of his group, Manfred Mann formed another band called Chapter Three in 1969. In the following decade, this evolved into Manfred Mann's Earth Band, a heavy metal group.
    1942 - Birthday of Pete Gogolak (football: 1st soccer-style kicker in pro football: Buffalo Bills, NY Giants), Budapest, Hungry
    1942-The Toronto Maple Leafs completed the greatest comeback in Stanley Cup playoff history by defeating the Detroit Red Wings, 3-1, in Game 7 of the finals. The Leafs were down three games to none before they evened the series with 4-3, 9-3, and 3-0 victories.
    1942-16 B-25 airplanes of the 17th Bombardment Group,8th Air force, led by Colonel James Harold Doolittle, took off from he U.S. Hornet. Traveling low over the water, they dropped bombs on the cities of Tokyo, Kobe, and Nagoya, and then continued straight on until they ran out of fuel and crash-landed in the Chinese countryside. The raid took the Japanese military establishment by surprise and demonstrated for the first time the vulnerability of the Japanese home islands.
    1943 -- Traveling in a bomber, Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, the mastermind of the attack on Pearl Harbor, is shot down by American P-38 fighters.
    1944 - California experienced its worst hailstorm of record. Damage mounted to 2 million dollars as 2 consecutive storms devastated the Sacramento Valley destroying the fruit crop.
    1944 - No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit: ``It's Love-Love-Love,'' Guy Lombardo & His Royal Canadians. It is one of Lombardo's 26 No. 1 pop songs. Lombardo's is the only dance band to ever sell more than 100 million records.
    1945 - Ernie Pyle was killed by enemy fire on the island of Ie Shima. After his death, President Harry S. Truman spoke of how Pyle "told the story of the American fighting man as the American fighting men wanted it told." He was buried in his hometown of Dana, Indiana, next to local soldiers who had fallen in battle. During World War II, journalist Ernie Pyle, America's most popular war correspondent, is killed by Japanese machine-gun fire on the island of Ie Shima in the Pacific. Pyle, born in Dana, Indiana, first began writing a column for the Scripps-Howard newspaper chain in 1935. Eventually syndicated to some 200 U.S. newspapers, Pyle's column, which related the lives and hopes of typical citizens, captured America's affection. In 1942, after the United States entered World War II, Pyle went overseas as a war correspondent. He covered the North Africa campaign, the invasions of Sicily and Italy, and on June 7, 1944, went ashore at Normandy the day after Allied forces landed. Pyle, who always wrote about the experiences of enlisted men rather than the battles they participated in, described the D-Day scene: "It was a lovely day for strolling along the seashore. Men were sleeping on the sand, some of them sleeping forever. Men were floating in the water, but they didn't know they were in the water, for they were dead." The same year, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished correspondence and in 1945 traveled to the Pacific to cover the war against Japan.
    1945 - The last German forces resisting in the Ruhr Pocket surrender. Field Marshal Model, commanding German Army Group B inside the pocket, commits suicide. About 325,000 German prisoners have been taken in this area by the Allied forces. Meanwhile, the US 9th Army captures Magdeburg and troops of US 3rd Army cross the Czechoslovakian border after a rapid advance.
    1945--DALY, MICHAEL J. Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: Captain (then Lieutenant), U.S. Army, Company A, 15th Infantry, 3d Infantry Division. Place and date: Nuremberg, Germany, 18 April 1945. Entered service at: Southport, Conn. Born: 15 September 1924, New York, N.Y. G.O. No.: 77, 10 September 1945. Citation: Early in the morning of 18 April 1945, he led his company through the shell-battered, sniper-infested wreckage of Nuremberg, Germany. When bl1stering machinegun fire caught his unit in an exposed position, he ordered his men to take cover, dashed forward alone, and, as bullets whined about him, shot the 3-man gun crew with his carbine. Continuing the advance at the head of his company, he located an enemy patrol armed with rocket launchers which threatened friendly armor. He again went forward alone, secured a vantage point and opened fire on the Germans. Immediately he became the target for concentrated machine pistol and rocket fire, which blasted the rubble about him. Calmly, he continued to shoot at the patrol until he had killed all 6 enemy infantrymen. Continuing boldly far in front of his company, he entered a park, where as his men advanced, a German machinegun opened up on them without warning. With his carbine, he killed the gunner; and then, from a completely exposed position, he directed machinegun fire on the remainder of the crew until all were dead. In a final duel, he wiped out a third machinegun emplacement with rifle fire at a range of 10 yards. By fearlessly engaging in 4 single-handed fire fights with a desperate, powerfully armed enemy, Lt. Daly, voluntarily taking all major risks himself and protecting his men at every opportunity, killed 15 Germans, silenced 3 enemy machineguns and wiped out an entire enemy patrol. His heroism during the lone bitter struggle with fanatical enemy forces was an inspiration to the valiant Americans who took Nuremberg.
    1946--MERRELL, JOSEPH F. Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Army, Company I, 15th Infantry, 3d Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Lohe, Germany, 18 April 1945. Entered service at: Staten Island, N.Y. Birth: Staten Island, N.Y. G.O. No.: 21, 26 February 1946. Citation: He made a gallant, 1-man attack against vastly superior enemy forces near Lohe, Germany. His unit, attempting a quick conquest of hostile hill positions that would open the route to Nuremberg before the enemy could organize his defense of that city, was pinned down by brutal fire from rifles, machine pistols, and 2 heavy machineguns. Entirely on his own initiative, Pvt. Merrell began a single-handed assault. He ran 100 yards through concentrated fire, barely escaping death at each stride, and at pointblank range engaged 4 German machine pistol men with his rifle, killing all of them while their bullets ripped his uniform. As he started forward again, his rifle was smashed by a sniper's bullet, leaving him armed only with 3 grenades. But he did not hesitate. He zigzagged 200 yards through a hail of bullets to within 10 yards of the first machinegun, where he hurled 2 grenades and then rushed the position ready to fight with his bare hands if necessary. In the emplacement he seized a Luger pistol and killed what Germans had survived the grenade blast. Rearmed, he crawled toward the second machinegun located 30 yards away, killing 4 Germans in camouflaged foxholes on the way, but himself receiving a critical wound in the abdomen. And yet he went on, staggering, bleeding, disregarding bullets which tore through the folds of his clothing and glanced off his helmet. He threw his last grenade into the machinegun nest and stumbled on to wipe out the crew. He had completed this self-appointed task when a machine pistol burst killed him instantly. In his spectacular 1-man attack Pvt. Merrell killed 6 Germans in the first machinegun emplacement, 7 in the next, and an additional 10 infantrymen who were astride his path to the weapons which would have decimated his unit had he not assumed the burden of the assault and stormed the enemy positions with utter fearlessness, intrepidity of the highest order, and a willingness to sacrifice his own life so that his comrades could go on to victory.
    1946 - Lead vocalist Skip Spence of Moby Grape is born in Windsor, Ontario.
    1950 -- The first transatlantic jet passenger trip is completed.
    1954-Birthday of American composer Robert Greenberg, born Brooklyn,New York.
    1956---Top Hits
Heartbreak Hotel/I Was the One - Elvis Presley
The Poor People of Paris - Les Baxter
Long Tall Sally - Little Richard
Blue Suede Shoes - Carl Perkins
    1957-Army reserve Lieutenant Buddy Knox whose "Party Doll" was a recent Number One, is called up for six months of active duty. Roulette Records' A&R team, Hugo Peretti and Luigi Creatore rush Knox to the studio to cut over 20 songs to ensure his career does not stall while he's in uniform. It does anyway.
    1959--Birthday of Susan Faludi - U.S. author and journalist. known especially for her exploration of the depiction of women by the news media. She won the 1991 Pulitzer Prize for explanatory journalism. Her best known book is Backlash, the Undeclared War against Women. She worked for the New York Times, San Jose Mercury, Miami Herald among other newspapers and was managing editor of the Harvard Crimson when she attended that university.
    1960-Dr. William M. Chardack inserted a wire implant into the heart of Frank Henefelt, a cardiac patient, to test the invention by Dr. Chardack and engineer Wilson Greatbatch, both of Buffalo, NY, patented this day. The battery-powered pulse generator unit tested successfully and was implanted into Henefelt’s abdomen. He lived for 2.5 years with the device. Swedish doctors first implanted a similar device in 1958.
    1964---Top Hits
Can’t Buy Me Love - The Beatles
Twist and Shout - The Beatles
Suspicion - Terry Stafford
Understand Your Man - Johnny Cash
    1965 - No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit: ``Game of Love,'' Wayne Fontana & the Mindbenders.
    1966 - 38th Annual Academy Awards celebration at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium in Los Angeles. Bob Hope was the host, for the sixth time. He received a gold medal, the Honorary Award for unique and distinguished service to the film industry and the Academy. Other award recipients included Shelley Winters for her Best Supporting Actress role in "A Patch of Blue"; Martin Balsam, Best Supporting Actor for his performance in "A Thousand Clowns". The Best Actor Oscar went to my former Latimer Road neighbor in the Pacific Palisades, Lee Marvin ("Cat Ballou"); and Julie Christie picked up the Best Actress Oscar ("Darling"). The Oscar for the Best Music/Song from a 1965 movie was "The Shadow of Your Smile" from "The Sandpiper" (Johnny Mandel-music, Paul Francis Webster-lyrics). It’s a good thing that the "Oscars" were being broadcast in color this night (the first time) because the Best Director and Best Picture winner was "The Sound of Music" (Robert Wise, producer and director).
    1971-- The Diana Ross television musical special Diana, featuring guest stars Jackson 5, Bill Cosby, and Danny Thomas, airs on ABC.
    1972---Top Hits
The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face - Roberta Flack
I Gotcha - Joe Tex
Rockin’ Robin - Michael Jackson
My Hang-Up is You - Freddie Hart
    1974 - James Brown, the ‘Godfather of Soul’, received a gold record this day for the single, "The Payback". Of the 44 hits that Brown would put on the charts over three decades, he received only one other gold record -- for "Get on the Good Foot - Part 1" in 1972. His biggest pop hits include: "I Got You (I Feel Good)" at number three in 1965, "Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag" at number eight in 1965, "It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World" at number eight in 1966, "I Got The Feelin’" at number six in 1968 and "Living in America" at number four in 1986. This song was featured in the Sylvester Stallone film, "Rocky IV". He has been in and out of jail for “Spousal Abuse” and other ailments, but started the singing-dance craze imitated by all those followed him in Rhythm n Blues, including Michael Jackson.
    1975-James Benton Parsons was appointed chief justice of the Illinois Supreme Court by President John F. Kennedy. He is the first African-American chief justice of a state supreme court. Died June 9, 1993
    1975-Alice Cooper's first TV special, "Welcome to My Nightmare: The Making of a Record Album" airs.
    1977 - No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit: ``Don't Leave Me This Way,'' Thelma Houston.
    1978 -- The U.S. Senate approves the transfer of the Panama Canal to Panama. 
    1980---Top Hits
Another Brick in the Wall - Pink Floyd
Call Me - Blondie
Ride like the Wind - Christopher Cross
Honky Tonk Blues - Charley Pride
    1981-British progressive rock band Yes announces its break-up. During its 13-year career, the group became one of the world's most popular exponents of intricate, mystical, symphonic rock, despite the fact that they only had one big chart hit, "Roundabout." It went to #13 in 1972. Of course, they reunite on numerous occasions over the years.
    1983-- A suicide bomber kills U.S. Marines at the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon.
    1983 - No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit: ``Come on Eileen,'' Dexys Midnight Runners.
    1985 - Tulane University abolished its 72-year-old basketball program, and shocked the college sports world with the announcement. The school said that charges of fixed games, drug use and payments to players contributed to the shutdown of the basketball program. 
    1985-Wham's "Make It Big" LP is released in China, making it the first Western album to be released there.
    1985-- Liberace breaks his own record at Radio City Music Hall, pulling in two million dollars for his latest engagement.
    1987-When her newest release reached the top of the Billboard chart, Aretha Franklin set a record for the artist with the longest gap between US #1 singles. It had been 19 years, 10 months from "Respect" (June 1967) to "I Knew You Were Waiting for Me" (With George Michael).
    1987-The Philadelphia Phillies’ Mike Schmidt hit the 500th home run of his career with two outs in the sixth inning of a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. the Phillies rallied to win, 8-6. Schmidt finished his career with 548 homers, seventh on the all-time list at the time.
    1988-Miles Davis played at the San Francisco War Memorial Opera House view the Original Poster for this event at Wolfgang's Vault.
    1988---Top Hits
Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car - Billy Ocean
Devil Inside - INXS
Where Do Broken Hearts Go - Whitney Houston
I Wanna Dance with You - Eddie Rabbitt
    1990 - Heavy snow blanketed the west central valleys and southwest mountains of Colorado with up to 18 inches of snow. Nine cities from the Mid Mississippi Valley to the Middle Atlantic Coast Region reported record low temperatures for the date, including Fort Wayne IND with a reading of 23 degrees.
    1992 - Albums by Def Leppard, Bruce Springsteen and Wynonna debut in the top four spots on Billboard's pop album chart. The albums are Def Leppard's ``Adrenalize,'' Springsteen's ``Human Touch'' and ``Lucky Town'' and Wynonna's ``Wynonna.'' (Wynonna Judd launches her solo career with the album and drops her last name to distance herself from her success as half of the mother-daughter duo The Judds.)
    1998 - Country group Diamond Rio are inducted into the Grand Ole Opry. The band opens their performance with their first number one hit "Meet in the Middle.
    2001--The San Francisco Board of Supervisors committee approved a plan to give sex change benefits to city employees.
    2003-- In four barricaded cottages in conquered Baghdad, Iraq, US troops find $656 million in US currency, in $100 bills stacked inside galvanized aluminum boxes sealed with blue strapping tape and green seals stamped "Bank of Jordan." On 22 April 2003, in the same Baghdad neighborhood, US troops would find another $112 million, similarly packed, hidden in seven dog kennels.
    2004 - Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker opens a franchise of the popular restaurant chain Wahoo's Fish Taco in Norco, Calif.

NBA Finals Champions This Date

    1962 Boston Celtics

Stanley Cup Champions This Date

    1942 Toronto Maple Leafs
    1959 Montreal Canadiens
    1963 Toronto Maple Leafs




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