Monday, December 30, 2013

BREAKING NEWS! Battle Creek's On Deck Sports Bar and Grill Destroyed By Suspicious Fire!

Battle Creek Enquirer photo

Local "Hot Spot" On Deck Burns In Early Morning Fire; Battle Creek Fire Department Investigating Cause Of Blaze

The former home of the Arcanum & Vestium Cocktail, named in honor of two now-defunct Bradenton, Florida-based hedge funds, Arcanum Equity Fund LLC and Vestium Equity Fund LLC, decimated in a $34 million dollar investment fraud, is gone.

In a scene reminiscent of the Bamboo Lounge "bust-out" from the movie "Goodfellas", Battle Creek's barely-reopened On Deck Sports Bar (owned by the "crooked chiropractor" Robert Buckhannon and his live-in girlfriend Kelly Demoss) was torched early this morning, resulting in the spectacular blaze shown above.

The Battle Creek Enquirer reported that the four-story building at 225 W. Michigan Ave. was heavily damaged by the fire, first reported to the Battle Creek Fire Department at 4:21 a.m.


Battle Creek Enquirer photo
The photo at left shows the roof and a portion of the rear west wall collapsed. Battle Creek firefighters were pouring 2,000 gallons of water per minute on the fire and water was running out the front door of the building.

Battle Creek Enquirer photo
The business was in the former Sports Page Restaurant and Lounge which closed in 2011. On Deck opened in April but closed a month later amid allegations by one of the business partners that the project was over budget and that employees were not being paid.

A settlement between that partner, Stephen Anderson and Kelly DeMoss, left the business in the hands of DeMoss and her fiance  Buckhannon.

DeMoss reopened On Deck in late November along with Buckhannon, who had been involved with the business from the beginning.

DeMoss told the Battle Creek Enquirer in November that about 45 people were employed at On Deck and that thousands of dollars had been spent to refurbish the business.

“We are coming back even twice as better as before,” DeMoss said last month, demonstrating her weak grip on proper grammar. “I’m thrilled about that.”


On December 6, Buckhannon received an early Christmas present. His Nevada bankruptcy case, filed on July 15, 2011, was finally settled. Buckhannon completely walked away from his obligationstotaling $37,083,936.16. Don't forget the 16 cents--the feds didn't.

Buckhannon filed for bankruptcy in the wake of his hedge fund debacle, outlined by your girl Miss Fortune in this prophetic June 13 post

For those of you just tuning in, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed suit in December 2010 in federal court in Tampa, Florida, against Buckhannon and codefendants involved with two now-defunct Bradenton, Florida-based hedge funds, Arcanum Equity Fund LLC and Vestium Equity Fund LLC.

The SEC said the funds, which worked with "investment adviser" (and reputed On Deck silent partner) Christopher T. Paganes' Imperium Investment Advisors LLC, told investors they would earn handsome profits through conservative investments. 

Paganes, a Detroit area native and disgraced former investment adviser, is running a so-called "charity" website that claims to give a portion of its revenue to charities. However, a five-part exposé that appeared on this blog established that most of Paganes' claims are built on sand. 

Here are the links to my series on Ship4Charities:

Part 1:

Part 5:


Much of the investor money was misappropriated, the SEC alleged in its lawsuit.

The defendants from early 2008 through April 2010 "commingled investor money from three separate offerings and then looted and bankrupted the hedge funds by steering millions of dollars to themselves,'' the lawsuit alleged.

For instance, the SEC said Buckhannon was involved in a deal to steer $6 million in investor money to Shea Mining and Milling LLC for a project called the "Tonopah Mine.'' Buckhannon, however, didn't disclose he had a conflict of interest because he was a founder of Shea Mining and planned to enter into an employment contract with Shea and receive a share of the firm's revenue, the SEC alleged.

The SEC also complained Buckhannon had funneled at least $390,000 of investor money to himself, his father, two brothers, his fiance's cousin and a friend. The SEC said in August 2008 he wired $60,000 out of a fund account to a jewelry store for the purchase of an engagement ring for his fiance and in July 2009 he wired another $80,000 to a title company for the down payment on a Las Vegas home.

"Buckhannon knew he was not entitled to these funds because he asked the funds' controller to classify these personal expenditures as business expenses of the funds without any reasonable basis for such classification,'' the SEC lawsuit alleged.

The suit said the defendants told investors in 2009 the funds were profitable when in fact they had lost $8.1 million in 2008 and 2009.

"Buckhannon knew the monthly account statements and newsletters (sent to investors) were false because he simply made up a monthly percentage return figure and reported it to the Vestium Management Group consultant who prepared the funds' monthly statements,'' the lawsuit alleged.

Buckhannon, Terry Rawstern, Dale St. Jean and Gregory Tindall were the managing members of the two Bradenton, Florida-based hedge funds, Imperium and Vestium.

With defendants Richard Mittasch, Christopher Paganes, Glenn Barikmo and Imperium Investment Advisors, the gang "commingled investor money from three separate offerings and then looted and bankrupted the hedge funds by steering millions of dollars to themselves," the SEC said.

Along the way, the men "took more than $1.3 million in profit-based feed and compensation to which they were not entitled," and "steered more than $15 million into loans and other deals with companies in which they had undisclosed financial interests," the complaint stated.

Without admitting or denying the allegations, Buckhannon agreed in early 2011 to return $1.349 million to investors and to pay a $130,000 fine, an SEC settlement agreement filed stated.


A “bust out”, for those weak on their popular culture and lacking Miss Fortune's advantage of having lived in Brooklyn, is where a group takes over some business, usually a restaurant or store. They help themselves to free food, booze, or merchandise, perhaps harassing or abusing the staff in the process. They then buy as much easily sold stuff as they can on the store’s credit and sell it elsewhere for cash. When the corpse is completely picked clean they burn it for the insurance money.

This has been portrayed fictionally on “The Sopranos”, where it involved a sporting goods store owned by a schnook gambler, and in “Goodfellas”, involving a restaurant.

The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire!
We don't need no water—Let the motherfucker burn!
Burn, motherfucker, burn!

Due to this breaking news, Miss Fortune will bring you her "2013 Year In Review" tomorrow.

Guess which two "spin cycle" brothers might be making my list?

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