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Thursday, January 30, 2014

FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE TO BEYOND THE PALE: Anti-Gay Activist Gary Glenn And His Charlton Heston Radio Commercial Featured In Saginaw News Story...And Without Irony!

Dead men tell no tales, they don't wear plaid, and they cannot endorse a political candidate...except in Saginaw News Land.

With a headline that looks like it came straight from the front page of The Onion, America's favorite satirical news source, the Saginaw News picked up a story your girl Miss Fortune broke two days ago--the story of Gary Glenn's new radio commercial featuring the late actor Charlton Heston.

Only the Saginaw News played it as straight as Marcus Bachmann--sans irony, Sansabelt and a whole lot of other 'sanses' too numerous to mention.

The article, written by News reporter Mark Tower, appears to have enjoyed the full cooperation of candidate Glenn.  

Here's an excerpt from the Saginaw News story:

LARKIN TOWNSHIP, MI — Gary Glenn, Republican candidate for state representative in Michigan, has no shortage of big-name endorsements, from Mike Huckabee to Tom Monaghan.

But, arguably, his most famous political booster is Charlton Heston, the acclaimed actor and political activist who died in 2008.
Glenn, 55, has posted a radio advertisement that features Heston's voice, speaking in support of Right to Work laws and broadly endorsing Glenn.

In the ad, Heston says Glenn "tells the truth and he fights for it."
"Today, America needs leaders like Gary Glenn," he says. "I trust Gary Glenn to fight for all of us."

Jeffrey C. Briggs, Heston's longtime attorney, finally confirmed in an email to Miss Fortune that the Glenn campaign had sought and received permission from the Heston estate to use the late actor's image and voice in the audio commercial. [NOTE: The initial post that broke the news of the commercial did not include this confirmation, as the campaign did not respond to Miss Fortune's repeated attempts for a comment.]

But a check of MLive's comments on this story late this afternoon reveals this astute statement from that noted campaign ethics sage, Mark Tower:

My point exactly!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

MOSES SPEAKS?: Late Actor Charlton Heston's Voice Used By Midland Anti-Gay Activist/Aspiring Politico Gary Glenn In Tasteless Campaign Radio Commercial

Gary Glenn, who announced in August that he is seeking the Republican nomination for the 98th district of the Michigan House of Representatives, has recently picked up a number of endorsements...including, it appears, the late actor Charlton Heston.
The 98th District includes the city of Midland and Larkin, Lincoln, Homer, Midland, Lee and Jerome townships in Midland County and the cities of Pinconning and Auburn and Gibson, Mount Forest, Pinconning, Garfield, Fraser, Beaver and Williams townships in Bay County.

Glenn’s platform, as described on his campaign site, is conservative but not radical. He claims he wants to defend Michigan’s right-to-work law, prevent the implementation of “Obamacare,” and reform the educational system. 

Just your average teabagger, right?

But Glenn neglects to mention his decade-plus history of hardline anti-gay work, and he makes no reference at all to his position as president of the American Family Association of Michigan.

And there's one more thing Glenn didn't mention...he apparently has a direct celestial conduit to Heston.

Heston, shown above in a still photo from "Planet of the Apes" (admit it, back in the day the dude had major game) is prominently featured in a Glenn campaign radio commercial currently running in heavy rotation on Saginaw radio station WSGW 790 AM during the Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh shows. 

While the ad is edited to sound like a ringing endorsement of Glenn, the campaign's website carefully explains that the commercial features "the late Charlton Heston's comments about the individual freedom principle behind Michigan's new Freedom to Work law and about Freedom to Work leader Gary Glenn, now a conservative Republican candidate for state representative in Bay and Midland counties."

The campaign explains that Heston and Glenn, shown together at left in a 1987 photo, met during the successful effort to pass a Right to Work law in Idaho in the 1980's. Glenn and Charlton Heston -- who grew up in St. Helen, Michigan -- were named co-recipients of the Center for the Study of Market Alternatives' 1987 "Freedom Fighter of the Year" award. The free market think tank, located at the College of Idaho, was led at the time by former Northwood University professor Larry Reed, who later returned to Midland, founded the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, and recruited Glenn to follow him in 1998 to help promote the center's Universal Tuition Tax Credit. 

In 2011, Glenn was a founding board member of the Michigan Freedom to Work coalition, which launched the successful effort to pass Michigan's new Freedom to Work law--known outside the hyper-Calvinist areas of western Michigan as the "right to starve" law.

What a great guy!

Remember how "shameful" some people portrayed Michael Moore's "ambush" interview of Heston in his Oscar-winning documentary, "Bowling For Columbine"?

Can you hear the howls of protest about this?


Neither can I...yet.

Gary Glenn, the anti-gay president of the American Family Association of Michigan, is running for a seat in the state legislature. - See more at: http://www.rightwingwatch.org/category/people/gary-glenn#sthash.SYC5tpr7.dpu
Gary Glenn, the anti-gay president of the American Family Association of Michigan, is running for a seat in the state legislature. - See more at: http://www.rightwingwatch.org/category/people/gary-glenn#sthash.SYC5tpr7.dpuf
Gary Glenn, the anti-gay president of the American Family Association of Michigan, is running for a seat in the state legislature. - See more at: http://www.rightwingwatch.org/category/people/gary-glenn#sthash.SYC5tpr7.dpuf
Gary Glenn, the anti-gay president of the American Family Association of Michigan, is running for a seat in the state legislature. - See more at: http://www.rightwingwatch.org/category/people/gary-glenn#sthash.SYC5tpr7.dpuf
Gary Glenn, the anti-gay president of the American Family Association of Michigan, is running for a seat in the state legislature. - See more at: http://www.rightwingwatch.org/category/people/gary-glenn#sthash.SYC5tpr7.dpuf

Monday, January 27, 2014

FORMER GRAND TRAVERSE ACADEMY ASST. PRINCIPAL SUDDENLY LEAVES STEVEN INGERSOLL'S BAY CITY ACADEMY: State Rep. Charles Brunner Calls For Michigan Department of Education Investigation; And On Another Note, Vacant Building Owned By Ingersoll Burns And He Says It Was "Clearly Set By Someone"

Former Bay City mayor and now State Rep. Charles Brunner says parents of students at the Bay City Academy charter school deserve answers from optometrist Steven J. Ingersoll about the sudden departure of Ryan Schrock, the school’s superintendent and principal.

Schrock, former Asst. Principal at another Ingersoll-owned school, Traverse City's Grand Traverse Academy, abruptly resigned from the Bay City school on Tuesday, January 21. In addition, Schrock's wife Melissa, who worked as a "specialty instructor" at Bay City Academy, has also left.

Parents were sent home a letter (above) last Tuesday informing them that Schrock and Smart Schools, the management company run by Ingersoll that operates Bay City Academy, had parted ways.

Schrock, Ingersoll (2nd, 3rd left)
Steve Ingersoll, the optometrist and entrepreneur who is financing the school, and who developed the school’s education model, confirmed Schrock’s departure. Ingersoll said it was an amicable decision between Schrock and the Bay City Academy board, and added that Schrock could return to the school as an educational consultant. However, local reports say the Bay City Academy board members were not informed of Ingersoll's decision, and were as surprised as the parents.

“Ryan put in 15 hours a day into this job,” said Ingersoll, who is also president of Smart Schools Inc., the management company that operates Bay City Academy and Grand Traverse Academy in Traverse City. “He put everything he had into this school, and I think our paths will cross again.”

Some parents have already removed their children from the charter school, while others have lobbied for a meeting with school officials, including Ingersoll, to discuss why Schrock no longer is with the school.

But Ingersoll's comments seem to indicate he's not having it, telling the Bay City Times that says he has no such plans and thinks the entire matter eventually "will blow over".

“It’s in our best interest to focus on the school and not be distracted by a burgeoning controversy,” said Ingersoll. “This thing just needs to pass. We had a little personnel change — it’s not a huge deal.”

Ingersoll says the school won't hire anyone to fill Schrock's role at the school.

"We are developing leadership from within," he said. "If this place depends on just one guy, then we've got a problem."

Bay City Academy, which is chartered through Lake Superior State University, has 470 students, kindergarten through ninth grade, enrolled this year. There are more than 50 people on staff at the school, which has three campuses in Bay City.

While superintendent, Schrock oversaw the expansion of the charter school's footprint across Bay City. The school opened in September 2011 at its Madison Arts building, 400 N. Madison Ave, which is geared toward humanities and the performing arts. Math, science and physical education classes are being taught at the former YMCA building in Bay City, 111 N. Madison Ave.

At the beginning of this school year, the academy opened the doors on its Farragut School campus, a kindergarten through fifth-grade elementary school.

But Bay City parents and former Bay City Academy staffers claim sudden, unexplained staff changes over the past couple years appear to have undermined the original mission of the school.

Bay City Academy teachers and staff reportedly pulled all-nighters prior to the fall 2013 opening of the Farragut Street buildingassisting the building renovation by scraping floors, painting and arranging furniture in the classrooms.

Other staffers (present and former) claim that Bay City Academy teachers and aides are required to perform janitorial tasks during their lunch hours, like taking out trash and sweeping and cleaning the buildings.

In addition, the Bay City Academy has in the past reportedly announced "layoffs" in letters to parents that stated if the financial situation changed those cut would be welcomed back. In some cases, the staffers in question were were replaced with new employees. It's unclear if the former staffers simply chose not to return, however.

And while it appears that Schrock and his family have returned to the home they own in the Traverse City area, they were living in a Bay City home owned by Ingersoll.


Ingersoll, an eye doctor and entrepreneur who splits his time living in Traverse City and Bay City, had been active in recent years purchasing properties he hoped to fix up through his now-defunct Bay City Front Porch Renaissance movement. 

616 N. Grant Street
One of those properties, a vacant home located at 616 N. Grant Street, was gutted in a mysterious fire back on January 10.

According to property records, Ingersoll purchased the property at 616 Grant St. for $7,000 on Oct. 8, 2009, from Main Street Bank.

And even while the investigation is still ongoing, in the eyes of Ingersoll, it was "the work of an arsonist".

“It was clearly set by someone,” Ingersoll said of the fire at 616 N. Grant St. “The insurance adjuster said it was clearly set by someone, it wasn’t a spontaneous fire.”

Ingersoll added that the blaze gutted the house, but said "it’s still a fine building with the best architecture and build quality on the street". He added it’s not a total loss and hopes to rebuild it back to habitable condition so a teacher from the Bay City Academy may find a local home. (I'm not kidding...he actually said that!)

Bay City Fire Chief Karey Prieur, however, disagrees with the condition of the building, saying his investigators consider it a total loss. He added that the cost of the damage is estimated at $16,600, though there were no contents. According to Bay County property records, the home has a cash value of $29,000.

Prieur also said he could neither confirm nor deny that the fire was an arson.

“As far as our end goes, it’s still an open investigation,” he said.

Ah yes, so were charter schools privatized so eye doctors could buy them and make a profit from out tax dollars?

Something tells me this is just starting to get very interesting...especially if Miss Fortune hears from you Grand Traverse Academy folks.

Friday, January 24, 2014

PER WICKSTROM'S FRENCHTOWN KISS-OFF? Drug Rehab Mogul Appears To Back Away From Monroe County Property Acquisition, Expansion

Like a broken toy cast aside after Christmas, it appears that Michigan drug rehab mogul Per Wickstrom has relegated a Monroe County property acqusition to the dust bin.

Miss Fortune has learned that the property Wickstrom seemed so gaga about back in November is still on the market, without an offer from Wickstrom...or anyone else.

Back on November 15, your girl Miss Fortune
picked up the story, reported originally in the Monroe News, that Wickstrom and his entourage had toured the vacant Boysville Center. Located in Monroe County's Frenchtown Township, the two-story property currently sits empty on 56 acres of land with more than 41,000 square feet of space, including a kitchen, sleeping quarters, gymnasium and classrooms.

The asking price was $1.5 million, according to Joe Rosenberg of CBRE Realtors of Southfield, which is listing the property. CBRE confirmed to Miss Fortune in an email today that the property is still listed for sale, and as of today had not received any offers.

Miss Fortune wonders why Wickstrom couldn't—or wouldn'tclose that deal.

Did something happen in the days and weeks to follow that convinced him swanning around Monroe County might not be the best move?


Wonder what it was? 

I bet I know!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

OFF THE LAM: Michigan Man Suspected of Ponzi Scheme Arrested in Germany

Miss Fortune brought you the story of Saginaw resident Joel I. Wilson back on March 21, 2013, revealing that Wilson was looking for donations to his "legal fund"...an effort he launched from Dresden, Germany while on the lam.

Well, lam no more, baby! 

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announced yesterday that Joel Wilson, 31, was arrested by Dresden police on Jan. 20.

Wilson, who faces charges for defrauding at least three Michigan victims out of hundreds of thousands of dollars, fled to Germany as investigators closed in on his operation in late 2012, a media release from Schuette’s office states.

Schuette filed multiple criminal charges against Wilson in January 2013 and worked with federal officials to issue a warrant for his arrest in Europe.

Schuette’s office received notification from Interpol on Tuesday that Wilson had been arrested by European law enforcement. Schuette has filed paperwork to begin the extradition process.

Beginning in 2009, Wilson is charged with scamming investors through his operation of The Diversified Group Advisory Fund LLC, an investment company. Investors were told that their funds would be used to purchase distressed properties in the Saginaw and Bay City area. The properties would later be refurbished and sold for profit, which would go to the investors.

When funds collected from the sales of the unregistered securities failed to turn a profit, Wilson is charged with using new investor funds to pay returns to previous investors — the trademark of a Ponzi scheme. He is accused of pocketing approximately $47,000 of the investment funds to pay his personal expenses and acquire personal assets.

The following charges were filed against Wilson in the Bay County District Court: one count each of continuing a criminal enterprise, larceny by conversion of $20,000 or more, and larceny by conversion between $1,000 and $20,000; and three counts each of sale of unregistered securities and fraudulent sale of securities.
After Schuette filed charges against Wilson, additional victims came forward with allegations against Wilson and the Diversified Group. Wilson may face additional charges pending the outcome of investigation into those cases.

“Victims of scam artists deserve to see justice served, and we will fight as long as it takes,” Schuette stated in the release. “Financial exploitation is a growing crime in Michigan, and we are cracking down on these con artists. Be skeptical of anyone who promises huge returns for a small investment.”

Hmm...wonder who else the AG might be talking about, eh?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

WASHED UP MICHIGAN REALITY "STAR" ACCUSED OF RUNNING A PYRAMID SCHEME: Former "Survivor" Contestant Michael Skupin Under Investigation by Michigan Attorney General

So it's not just the GED girls from "Teen Mom" with their Dynel weaves making a mockery of reality stardom!

The putz shown at left is metro Detroit resident Michael Skupin, who appeared on "Survivor" and is best known as "the guy who took a header into the fire".

Skupin is reportedly under investigation by the Michigan Attorney General for running a pyramid scheme based on "the airplane game", an unsustainable, exponential progression financial networking scam popular in the early 1990s.

The AG is investigating Skupin's website called "Pay It Forward". Through the site, Skupin invites people to invest in his scheme, which he explains as follows: "there are 15 squares on each chart. You progress through these charts as other people like yourself enroll. When you get to the bottom of the chart or matrix, which takes as little as 16 people, you get into a position called the 'money spot'. In this post you collect the value that you came in with x8."

And if you don't believe what you read, here's the man himself to explain it in a video (OK, I did take a little poetic license with the name):
I Have Eight Kids And Two Ex-Wives...What Do You Expect Me To Do? 

It's likely that the video will be deleted shortly, but it was live as I posted this story. 

Skupin, who is a self-described "author and motivational speaker", was recently kicked out of his White Lake Township home in Oakland County...but that's what happens when you don't make mortgage payments for 18 months.

And Skupin's second wife claims he owes more than $8,000 in child support.

It looks to your girl Miss Fortune that Mike Skupin went from "Survivor" to "Reality Bites".

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


Her job was to keep track of how Dow Chemical spent its money, but a former employee claims her investigations got her fired.

Now she is suing.

You go, girl!

Kimberly Wood worked for Dow Chemical for 25 years as a certified fraud investigator. She claims last October her boss told her, 'your work here is done.'

"She is claiming she was wrongfully terminated and retaliated against because she was doing essentially her job," says attorney Victor Mastromarco, Jr.

Kimberly Wood has filed a Whistleblower's lawsuit against Dow Chemical, its CEO Andrew Liveris, and Vice President Charles Kalil. Her attorney Victor Mastromarco, Jr. says the company forced a severance package on her, an agreement Wood did not accept. She was fired in October.

"They said regardless of whether you take your package or not, you are gone on Oct. 31," Mastromarco said.

In the lawsuit, the claim is made that several of her investigations led to her firing.

Wood says she questioned the company's expenditures, including $13 million in cost overruns Dow spent for the renovation of the H Hotel in 2009.

Her investigations also included Liveris. In 2011, he agreed to pay back about $720,000 in personal expenses including trips for his family to sporting events, such as the 2010 Super Bowl. Mastromarco says that audit was done by Wood.

"She is like the internal police of this public company. Her job requires her to determine whether or not there are abuses and that is what she was determining and as a result of that, she lost her job," Mastromarco says.

And the most recent claim - Wood's lawsuit alleges Dow has been funneling money to a charity Liveris co-founded, The Hellenic Initiative, and the company is falsely identifying those payments as routine business expenses. The charity was started in 2012 to help Greece recover from its financial crisis.

Dow Chemical spokesperson Rebecca Bentley says, "this case is about a disgruntled former employee who is making false allegations in an attempt for personal gain. When her request for unearned benefits was denied, her regrettable response was to retaliate by attacking the reputation and integrity of Dow employees and family members. There is simply no merit whatsoever to these baseless allegations and Dow will defend the case vigorously."

Rebecca Bentley of Dow says it will file a motion Tuesday to dismiss the complaint.

Mastromarco says they stand by their suit.

And Miss Fortune will be watching!

DIAMONDS ARE A CHIROPRACTOR'S BEST FRIEND: The Story Of Robert Buckhannon and Colorado Con Man Richard Dalton

Oh how I love SEC filings...they reveal the juiciest bits of informationalmost like the inside of a pomegranate.

Your girl Miss Fortune has just been reading the sordid tale of one Richard Dalton, who is currently serving 10 years in federal stir for running a $17 million dollar Ponzi scheme out of his Golden, Colorado home.

Richard Dalton was sentenced last June in U.S. District Court in Kansas City to 10 years in federal prison for his role in engineering a Ponzi scheme so elaborate that investors remained duped long after their money had disappeared.

Dalton pleaded guilty to a single charge of money laundering.

His wife, Marie Dalton, was sentenced to five years in federal prison for her guilty plea to a charge of conspiracy to commit mail fraud.

According to SEC filings, the Dalton gang ran a scheme through their company, Universal Consulting Resources, that forestalled investor anxiety and worry with tall tales that seemed pulled from a spy novel: a foreign double-cross involving fake diamonds; offshore bank accounts tied up in government investigations; even a middle-of-the-night airplane rendezvous moving gemstones out of Africa that ended up with engine trouble in Amsterdam.

All were reasons the Daltons gave investors for why they weren't seeing any of their money — and they believed them, federal prosecutors said.

The two bilked more than 100 investors in 13 states and five countries with promises of annual returns that ranged from 48 percent to 120 percent, paying some investors off with the funds from others.

In some cases, the Daltons used investor money for their own gain, including a house in Golden that was ordered sold.

Just days after the SEC's Denver office filed a lawsuit against Richard Dalton in November 2010 — and a separate case against his mentor, Larry Michael Parrish — the Daltons hopped a plane to South Africa and stayed away from authorities for nearly a year.

South African authorities finally caught up with the Daltons in late 2011, and they were arrested trying to enter the U.S. in Atlanta.  

But what about that house, Miss Fortune? And what does this story have to do with our favorite sports bar-owning Battle Creek chiropractor?

One of Dalton's investors was Robert Buckhannon's Arcanum Equity Fund, which listed a $2 million "Joint Venture Agreement: Diamonds-Dick Dalton" in its bankruptcy filing under "personal property". (Personally, I would have listed it under "burst soap bubble".)

Buckhannon's funds offered some twists on the usual flim flam, according to the SEC’s original complaint. Rather than selling limited partnership interest, Arcanum sold notes to investors who were assured their capital would go to A-rated fixed income investments.

Aside from diverting investor cash to other businesses, the SEC alleged that the fund managers paid themselves fat salaries based on inflated asset valuations, used fake account statements to conceal losses from investors, and ultimately drove the funds into bankruptcy.

"Arcanus" is a Latin word used to describe things that are secret or hidden, as in “the ultimate fate of investors’ cash is a big, fat mystery.”

But what's not a mystery is Arcanum's role in Dalton's acquisition of that Golden home.

SEC records show that in June 2008, Dalton's firm, Universal Consulting Resources (UCR), entered into a lease/purchase agreement for a residence located at 927 Cole Street in Golden, Colorado, and paid approximately $4000 per month in rent.  

In June 2009, the lease/purchase agreement was modified to allow Marie Dalton to purchase the Cole Street Property for $936,000 and the transaction was accomplished by making a cash payment of $936,000. 

Marie Dalton purchased the Cole Street Property with funds provided by Dalton. Bank records show that UCR transferred over $1.2 million in investors’ funds to Arcanum Equity Fund, one of Buckhannon's two hedge funds (the other being the Vestium Equity Fund) and that Arcanum Commodities Group Inc. later transferred $910,356.44 to Guardian Title Agency, LLC for the purchase of the Cole Street Property...from a bank account in Liechtenstein.

Liechtenstein? What, the country that has a reputation as a place whose custom of bank secrecy makes it attractive for hiding money of illegal origin, or for hiding legitimate income from the tax office?

Yes, that Liechtenstein!

And the nearly $300,000 difference? 

Wonder if that was the tip?

Friday, January 17, 2014

ANOTHER BUCKHANNON MYTH DEBUNKED? State of Colorado Confirms No Record Robert Buckhannon Ever Held A State Liquor License!


In a January 7, 2013 story that appeared in the Battle Creek Enquirer, Robert Buckhannon told reporter Jennifer Bowman that "he previously owned a sports bar in Colorado" before returning to Michigan.

But Miss Fortune can reveal exclusively that a state official confirmed just moments ago that there is no record of Buckhannon ever holding a Colorado liquor license.

In an email to Miss Fortune, Daria Serna, Communications Director for Colorado's Department of Revenue (the body that regulates liquor licensing in the state) confirmed that a complete search of the state's license database shows no one by the name of Robert Buckhannon ever holding a Colorado State Liquor License.

That's right, Taylor Swift, never ever ever!

Is it possible Buckhannon invested in or managed a Colorado sports bar or dragged a wet rag across the bar?

Sure, but why stretch the truth?

But, in the words of the Dennis Rodman (by way of Groucho Marx), who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?

Thursday, January 16, 2014

ANOTHER DAY IN BUCKHANNON BANKRUPTCY HISTORY: Robert Buckhannon Claims $5,000 Monthly Income From Ethanol Company That Never Built A Processing Plant Or Sold A Drop!

Publicly available documents are a real treasure trove, even when you have to pay for them through pacer.gov!

Your girl Miss Fortune has spent some time with Robert Buckhannon's filings, and my efforts have turned up quite a few verrrry interesting tidbits!

No, not the $37 million 2011 bankruptcy that was just discharged about a month ago. And not the 2000 bankruptcy he filed in Tampa.

I'm talking about the Chapter 13 bankruptcy Buckhannon filed in Colorado on October 24, 2006. And although it was ultimately dismissed (official records indicate that Buckhannon never made any of his 60 required $2,170 monthly payments), a review of the income information provided is quite interesting.

Buckhannon's Morrison, CO home

Living at the time in an $800,000 home mortgaged to the hilt, Buckhannon estimated his income during the look-back period as follows:

48,450.00 2006 YTD from mortgage brokering and managing car wash

37,600.00 2005 - Mortgage Loan Business

42,540.00 2004- Medical consulting; Mortgage brokering

In addition, Buckhannon revealed that he had received a $100,000 insurance payout in June 2005, proceeds of his ex-wife Tanya's life insurance. Tanya Buckhannon Heller died in Florida, and her 19 page will was filed on April 21, 2005 in Sarasota County.

Buckhannon claimed assets of $886,315 and liabilities totaling $1,134, 973.97.

Included in that tally were significant amounts owed to the IRS, a six-figure student loan debt, three deficiencies "from repo" and attorney fees.

Buckhannon estimated his monthly income at the time at $10,731.00.

Included in that figure was "approximately $5,000 monthly from Silver State Ethanol", $3,000 from "mortgage brokering" and another "$2,000 a month managing the Lakewood Car Wash".

A check of Colorado's official database shows no evidence Buckhannon was ever licensed as a "mortgage broker", and there appears to be no record of him ever having held a realtor's license in the state.

In addition, Silver State Ethanol, Inc. is a company that was ostensibly formed in Nevada to build an ethanol plant in Burley, ID.  Buckhannon is not listed in any of the corporation's Nevada filings and, although I dug like a honey badger, I found nothing officially linking Buckhannon to the company.

The Idaho plant was never built, and neither was another one pitched by Las Vegas attorney and Buckhannon crony C. Dean Homayouni to the economic development team in Ashland, Ohio.

Money for nothing? Maybe.

Wonder if he gets his chicks for free?

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY: BUCK DYNASTY-The Day Robert Buckhannon Wired Nearly $900,000 To A Ponzi Schemer


In 2004, a 25-year-old named Anthony Vassallo started a hedge fund in Folsom, California. He was devoutly Mormon and obsessed with the stock market. He had studied investing since high school and had developed trading software that he said could deliver average returns of 3.5 percent per month. Vassallo named his firm Equity Investment Management and Trading, Inc. (EIMT).

Vassallo claimed to investors that his software program would identify the slightest movement in the Russell 2000 Index fund. The implementation of the program would generate profits on microscopic movements whether the market went up in value or down. Vassallo represented to his investors that open positions were closed each day and money was never left in his trading account overnight. Vassallo reported fictitious monthly profits from this program reportedly in the range of 3 percent to 5 percent per month.

Of course, there’s no reason why stocks can’t decline significantly in a single trading day or over a succession of days. But to more than 400 people, it sounded great, and they invested nearly $45 million.
Vassallo drew his investors largely from fellow members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, according to federal investigators.

According to court filings, Vassallo had a series of computer monitors displayed in his office in Folsom which he led investors to believe was the real-time trading activity for EIMT.  By mid-2007, Vassallo was barred from trading at TradeStation Securities. In an attempt to continue trading at brokerage houses, Vassallo deposited large sums of investor funds at Ameritrade, Deutsche Bank and Options Express for a short period of time, later claiming to his investors that his software was not compatible with trading houses other than TradeStation.

Vassallo had essentially stopped all trading for EIMT by mid to late 2007, although he continued to do a small amount of trading with EIMT investor funds at Options Express into 2008 under the name of the Vassallo Group.

Vassallo continued to represent to investors that he was trading as late as November 2008, fully a year after all significant trading had stopped.

Vassallo had lost $9,378,296, not including $2,886,507 of trading losses at the Vassallo Group.

With his losses rising faster than a expertly baked soufflĂ©, Vassallo began to use EIMT investor funds for property acquisitions and “loans”, most of which were not repaid.

And he began looking for a “big payout” to cover his colossal trading losses.
And that’s when Vassallo began investing in Robert Buckhannon’s hedge funds.

Vassallo sent the Vestium Fund two $2 million wires in June and July 2008. An additional $1,330,000 investment was made by Vassollo in Buckhannon’s three Arcanum funds in June.

And here’s where the story gets really interesting—when Battle Creek’s own “crooked chiropractor” meets an amateur “money recovery team”, headed by a former fiber optics exec, in a Las Vegas hotel room.

Dave Sanders, a fiber optics industry executive and former bodyguard, was driving home from work one evening in early December 2008 when his insurance agent, Will Sassman, called. It sounded like people were yelling in the background.

“Can you come to my office?” Sassman asked, sounding nervous. “I need some help.”

Sassman had handled Cathy Sanders’ life insurance policy at the time of her death two and a half years earlier. He was also a financial adviser and explained that he was trying to help a group of people who were having trouble withdrawing money from a local investment fund. He’d invited them to his office, and the meeting had turned ugly. Some investors were accused of receiving preferential treatment from the fund; tempers were flaring. Sassman was worried that the situation might get violent, but he didn’t want to call the police. He remembered that Sanders had once been a bodyguard. Would he mind stopping by to help calm things down?

When he arrived at Sassman’s office, the conference room was packed with about 30 very upset people. Some were shouting, others were crying. Sassman pulled him into another room and explained the situation: the conference room was filled with Anthony Vassallo investors.

Investors knew something was wrong in December 2008, when Vassallo stopped answering his phone and wouldn’t immediately honor withdrawal requests, according to court records.

A few days later, Sanders says, Russ Putnam called and asked if he was free for dinner. Putnam was one of the investors at the meeting, and he said he was out approximately $10 million. He said he had spoken with the FBI and little appeared to be happening. He was getting desperate, and if Sanders was willing to help him track down his money, Putnam would be willing to donate to a charity in Sanders’ wife’s name.

During a meeting at Putnam’s home, Sanders was introduced to Anthony Vasallo.

For the past several months, Vassallo had claimed he was “killing it”. In reality, he’d suffered heavy losses and essentially stopped trading stocks in mid- to late 2007, according to court documents. In the hope of making the money back, he’d started investing in other, more speculative ventures.

“There’s another $20 million still out there, and I know where it is,” Vassallo claimed.

Vassallo admitted that he had $872,306 on deposit with an investment firm in Las Vegas.

The money was managed by a man named Robert Buckhannon. Yes, the one and only former owner of Battle Creek's On Deck Sports Bar and Grill...who said he only deals in small change?

It was time for Sanders to gear up again and go get it.

In early February 2009, just a few short months before Buckhannon rekindled his romance with classmate Kelly Buksar Demoss at their Michigan Center Junior-Senior High 30th reunion, Vassallo called him to say he was in Vegas with a prospective investor, IRS and FBI documents say. Vassallo said that his friend was interested in investing with Buckhannon and wanted to talk to him. Buckhannon was busy Saturday—his teenage son was in a wrestling tournament—but he was free on Sunday, February 8.

At 11 am, just as expected, Buckhannon arrived. Vassallo met him at the door and led him back to a conference room, where Tim Homan, who was playing the part of Vassallo’s investor friend, was waiting. Everybody shook hands and then Vassallo said, “Would you like something to drink?”

This was the cue. Sanders and his team burst into the room with their hands on holstered pistols, ready to draw.

“I’m with the federal government,” team member Craig Anderson declared. Technically, he wasn’t lying, since he worked for the post office. “You are Robert L. Buckhannon?”

Buckhannon managed to say yes, and Anderson explained that he was there unofficially to recover money for the victims of certain financial crimes. He said that Vassallo wasn’t supposed to be outside of California and ordered Sanders to handcuff him. Sanders pulled the cuffs off his belt and tried to slap them onto Vassallo in one smooth movement like he’d learned in bodyguard school.

It didn’t work. The cuffs bounced off. Everybody was watching. He tried again, hitting Vassallo’s wrists harder this time. No luck. As tension mounted in the room, Sanders tried a third time, but it wasn’t working.

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Smartt thought.

Finally, Sanders unlatched each cuff and placed them on Vassallo the slow way. One of the team members then marched Vassallo out of the room.

“What the hell is going on here?” Homan shouted with well-rehearsed indignation as he was also led away.

Anderson turned his attention back to Buckhannon.

“I need to inform you that you can leave anytime you want,” Anderson said, hoping that the phrase was enough to shield them from charges of kidnapping.

Sanders then complimented Buckhannon on his son’s performance at a wrestling match the group had secretly attended and cautioned him to go easy on the kid.

Buckhannon was terrified. Not only were these people heavily armed, but they appeared to be surveilling his family.

Sanders told him he had to immediately initiate a wire transfer of $872,305, the amount Buckhannon allegedly owed Vassallo’s investors. If Buckhannon cooperated, he’d have no further problems. If he refused, court documents show, Anderson told him that federal agents would harass him and that his business would be ruined.

“You won’t even be able to convince your own mother to invest $10 with you on a corner Kool-Aid stand,” Anderson said, playing the role of lead agent with gusto.

Sanders handed Buckhannon wiring instructions for SJB’s purported account in the UK, and Buckhannon hastily pulled a laptop out of his satchel. He used an open Wi-Fi connection to log in to his bank account and ordered the transfer. When it was done, he showed them the confirmation screen, Sanders recalls.

SEC filings show that Vassallo directed Buckhannon to wire the money to Sir Joseph Birch, a principal in Phlorian Racing.

Anderson and Sanders looked at each other. They didn’t think it would be this easy.

“You’re free to go, then,” Anderson said.

Buckhannon stood up unsteadily and started walking toward the door. Then he paused and said something surprising.

“Can I hire you guys?” he asked.

In March 2009, the federal government filed civil and criminal complaints against Vassallo, charging him with multiple counts of fraud, conspiracy, money laundering, and securities violations. 
The court appointed Stephen Anderson, a retired banker, to act as a receiver to recover funds for investors, and he soon went after Buckhannon’s firm. 

And Vassallo was indicted on April 15, 2009 by a federal grand jury in Sacramento in for running his massive Ponzi scheme from 2006 to 2009.

After repeated demands for payment, Buckhannon’s Vestium and Arcanum Funds refused to disgorge any funds to Anderson, EIMT’s court-appointed receiver.

On Friday, April 9, 2010, just days before an evidentiary hearing scheduled before a federal magistrate, Buckhannon’s hedge funds hastily filed for bankruptcy, which automatically stayed the EIMT receiver’s evidentiary hearing.

In preparing for the hearing, Anderson and his team reviewed mountains of Vestium and Arcanum documents and concluded that the entities were not legitimate investment funds and were in fact “themselves operated as Ponzi schemes”.

And Anthony Vassallo? On February 1, 2013, he plead guilty to a single fraud charge in connection with his defunct investment firm, Equity Investment Management and Trading Inc.

He’s scheduled to be released from FCI Beaumont, a low security federal facility in Texas...on April 14, 2026.

And what about Robert Buckhannon, the former owner of Battle Creek's On Deck Sports Bar and Grill?

That story is still being written.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

IT'S GETTING HOT UP IN HERE: Bay City Home Owned by Traverse City Charter School Hustler Steve Ingersoll Burns...Police and Fire Department Investigating

A Bay City home owned by Traverse City optometrist and charter school hustler Steven Ingersoll was destroyed by "an undetermined fire" late Friday afternoon.

Bay City Fire Chief Karey Prieur said yesterday that the fire appeared to have been burning for some time before neighbors spotted the flames just after 5:00 p.m. Prieur said there was heavy fire and smoke on the second floor and burned up into the attic of the house.

Bay City property records listed a taxable value of just under $8,500.

The vacant home, shown in the photos above and left, was part a renovation plan Ingersoll promised when he purchased $750,000 worth of properties between 1991 and 2010. The properties include homes on Bay City's East Side, commercial structures and the Bay City Academy charter school.

On April 15, 2013, Ingersoll stood in front of the Bay City Commission, explained that he had fallen behind by $29,081.02 total in paying taxes on eight properties that are receiving city and other tax breaks in order to concentrate funds both on a bed and breakfast known as the Perry House, 2230 Center, and Farragut School near the corners of 9th, 10th and Grant streets. Although Ingersoll claimed at the time that both establishments would open later that summer, both remain closed.
You can read Miss Fortune's previous stories about Ingersoll at the following links:




Wednesday, January 8, 2014

GONE, BABY, GONE! Dr. Robert Buckhannon's Facebook and LinkedIn Pages Disappear!

It appears to your girl Miss Fortune that Robert Buckhannon is sweeping up his digital breadcrumb trail.

Buckhannon's Facebook page disappeared overnight, replaced with the "sore thumb" message shown at left.

I suppose if you can't stand the heat, you will get out of the kitchen.

Hey, is anyone watching the airports?

2:00 pm UPDATE: Another domino just tumbled this afternoon when Buckhannon deleted his LinkedIn profile.

What, no networking?

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


Nice place, right?

Come back tomorrow and learn more about this Colorado home that Buckhannon shared with live-in girlfriend Marlena Michaels.

And much more, only from Miss Fortune!

Monday, January 6, 2014

EXCLUSIVE: Battle Creek On Deck Bar and Grill Honcho And Romantic Overlapper Dr. Robert Buckhannon's Secret 121 Day Marriage (And His Church) Revealed! After Tanya—But Before Marlena and Kelly Overlapped—There Was Eva! And Miss Fortune Has Her Picture!


Miss Fortune has discovered Robert Buckhannon's secret Florida marriage—an unholy union that ended 121 days later with an annulment settlement agreement sealed tighter than a doomsday vault.

Official Sarasota County records show Buckhannon and one Eva Gallova Katz, a naturalized American citizen born in the Czech Republic, were married on May 17, 2003 shortly after taking out a marriage license on April 7. 
Eva Gallova Katz Buckhannon

Buckhannon's divorce from his previous wife, Tanya, was final on November 26, 2002.

Proving that those who marry in haste DO repent at leisure, "Rebound Rob" Buckhannon filed a petition for annulment in Manatee County, Florida, on August 22, 2003. The terms of the settlement are confidential and known only to the two parties involved, so even your girl Miss Fortune cannot determine all the gooey details.

However, a deeper dive into the murky waters of Sarasota County's official records shows that the marriage may have been doomed by another case our "crooked chiropractor" was simultaneously involved in—the violation of a personal protection order taken out against him by the former Treasurer of the Buckhannon Family Ministries, Inc.

What, Dr. Rob had his own church, and does that mean Miss Fortune can finally call him the "sinister minister"?

Not so fast.Your girl Miss Fortune could find no evidence that Buckhannon ever launched a church, but will provide an update if any evidence of a congregation surfaces.

Formed as a non-profit corporation by Buckhannon in November 2007 under Florida statues, the "church" received its "unconditional exemption" from the IRS in July 2002.

Classified as a "Protestant Religious Organization" by the IRS, the "church" is completely exempt from federal taxes. While a "church" is required to file a return with the federal government, it is not required to file a Form 990.

Property records for the address shown in Florida's corporation database indicate the Buckhannon Family Ministries, Inc. headquarters location, shown at left, as a 3,341 square foot, five bedroom, 3.5 bath home located located at 364 Avenida Leona in Sarasota. It sits at the end end of quiet cul-de-sac on a big corner lot within walking distance to Siesta Key Village. 

No mention of an organ, steeples or a choir loft.

(Funny, my church does not have a lanai.) 

A further check with Sarasota County appraiser records adds local flavor to a narrative that seems to run through Dr. Rob's life on a continuous loop—buy property, borrow money, lose property.

Records show that the Buckhannon "church" property did indeed have a real house of worship on the site owned in 2001 by the Florida District of the Wesleyan Church. Located at 5005 S. Beneva Road in Sarasota, the building now houses the Life Church of Sarasota and is owned by the Peninsular Florida Assemblies of God Church, Inc.

Official documents show the property was seized in 2003 by the Wesleyan Church after the Buckhannon Family Ministries failed to make a nearly $500,000 balloon payment, an obligation established in the 2001 transaction financed by a promissory note held by the Wesleyan Church.

I guess that gives new meaning to the term "laying on of hands".

So what else don't we know about Robert Buckhannon? 

Leave it to Miss Fortune to discover it—and reveal it right here! 

Friday, January 3, 2014

FACEBOOK...OR FADEBOOK? On Deck Abruptly Deleted Facebook Page Hours After Fire Discovered

Although you'd expect Facebook posts by the owners of the On Deck Sport Bar & Grill to be popping up like mushrooms in a rainforest during the last week of December, the promotional activity came to an abrupt halt...on December 28.

And while if your girl Miss Fortune owned an establishment that burned a couple days before New Year's Eve, I'd be communicating with my customers and telling them that I'll be back very soon.

But not if I disabled my Facebook page less than 48 hours after the fire was discovered. 

Wonder what's going on?

Thursday, January 2, 2014


Trace Christensen of the Battle Creek Enquirer reports today that the investigation of the On Deck fire is under way, and police say it's an active investigation and a cause has not been determined.

Miss Fortune encourages anyone with information, especially former On Deck employees, to contact police and fire department investigators or Silent Observer.

You may call with tips to Silent Observer at 269-964-3888, Lt. Quincy Jones of the Battle Creek Fire Department at 269-966-3521 or Battle Creek Police Detective Scott Silverman at 269-962-0896.

Silverman's email address is: slsilverman@battlecreekmi.gov


Less than two months after being unceremoniously booted out of Battle Creek's historic Fell Mansion at 200 Wahwahtaysee Way after a land contract forfeiture action was filed against her and her erstwhile fiance Robert Buckhannon on August 29, Kelly Demoss pulled together a down payment and a new mortgage and moved into a new home she purchased in the same neighborhood. 

And although she and Buckhannon reportedly spent the interim bunking at a local hotel after being bounced from the Fell Mansion for non-payment, official Calhoun County records show Demoss financed the $172,000 purchase of the formerly vacant home from Bank of America with a $137,600 Amerifirst Financial mortgage.

Miss Fortune was not a math major, but calculating a down payment, closing costs, and property registration fees still leaves a gap of roughly $40,000. Wondering where the money came from? So am I.

But more about the new house.

Located at 224 Wahwahtaysee Way, the home is a step down from the large home Demoss shared with Buckhannon for nearly 18 months.

Shown in a photo at left, Demoss' former home was originally acquired by Robert Buckhannon on April 16, 2012 and financed with a land contract. However, on October 1, 2012, Buckhannon filed a quit claim deed, granting the property solely to Demoss.

A bit of background about Robert Buckhannon, for those who are just joining this movie midway through the first reel:
In 2010, Buckhannon agreed to pay nearly $1.5 million to settle a federal complaint that he participated in a $34 million investment fraud victimizing hedge fund investors.

The Securities and Exchange Commission filed suit in federal court in Tampa, Florida, against Buckhannon, and codefendants involved with two now-defunct Bradenton-based hedge funds, Arcanum Equity Fund LLC and Vestium Equity Fund LLC.

The SEC said the funds, which worked with investment advisor Imperium Investment Advisors LLC (run by Chris Paganes), told investors they would earn handsome profits through conservative investments. Instead, much of the 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 example, the SEC said Buckhannon was involved in 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 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.

Now back to the real story--the money!

Is it possible that the "hard money" mortgage deal Demoss signed on October 8 had anything to do with her sudden rush to become a homeowner?

Would the fact that she, in her capacity as the "Managing Member" of the On Deck Sports Bar and Grill, just borrowed $456,000 have been the reason she could buy a home--when less than a few weeks before couldn't pay her land contract?

Just sayin'.