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Was a corporate jet bought for personal use with tax credits gained from another phantom investment?

September 3, 2009

Following Scissortail's claimed $31 million investment in the phantom MG auto plant, we now have information to challenge Scissortail's claimed investing another $22 million in Westheimer Aviation. Both investments were claimed under the 30% rural program. These claims netted $9.3 and $6.6 million in tax credits.

Research reveals that Westheimer Aviation is a P.O. Box in Shawnee, and registered to Josh Brim. A name that will keep cropping up in more and bigger tax credit deals.

The only other information that could be found on Westheimer Aviation was the purchase of a Beech 400A corporate jet, 1991 vintage, tail (N number) 16HD. Valued in the $1 to $1.5 million range. FAA records show the planes certificate (like car title) was issued January 25, 2007, the same month the $6.6 million in tax credits became the equivalent of cash.

The plane is parked at Wiley Post Airport in Oklahoma City, which in not rural by any stretch. I suppose the justification for moving the plane to Wiley Post is that after buying the plane they learned it wouldn't fit in a P.O. Box. (That is said to illustrate the idiocy of justifications used by those taking tax credits that state officials find acceptable. If you have a problem with that accusation, then go read the just released Securities and Exchange Commission watchdog report on how the SEC bungled the Madoff scheme.)

Meaning only the P.O. Box meets the qualification for a rural investment. That is just one of the many issues with the claim. Misrepresenting investments as rural is the most common element found in all false claims. Claiming a rural investment gets 50% more in tax credits. In this case $2.2 million more. Why not? Once you break into the bank vault it doesn't matter whether you fill your pockets, bags or your truck parked outside.

Before you go jumping to the obvious conclusion that this might be for a charter or rental service, go do your homework.

The cover for these schemes is they are all wrapped in at least one layer of answers for the obvious questions. That works, because people will always accept the obvious without proof. It's even worse than that: here is a quote from the SEC watchdog report.

"Even when Madoff's answers were seemingly implausible, the SEC examiners accepted them at face value,"

Back to the Scissortail/Westheimer Aviation story. Where is the other $4.4 Million? Don't know yet, but plan to start checking out all the yacht docks. But, I digress.

The big question is what and where can one find a real investment that met the requirements for a rural $22 million and is operating as a legitimate business with a future?

Brim worked this deal through Scissortail, but now Brim has his own tax credit schemes, which are much bigger. To refresh your memory: Brim along with Barry Switzer and Foxborough where central subjects in the September 22, 2007, article in the Oklahoman "Tax credit letter causes public outcry."

Capital West Securities mailed the letter to Oklahoma bankers in an effort to find potential investors in Foxborough's $150 million fund promising to pay investors "$2 of tax credits for each $1 invested."

State officials, as usual, for public consumption, expressed great dismay, over that letter. What did state officials do? They had the State Securities Dept drop by and have coffee with the folks at Capital West Securities then make a announcement they saw no securities violations, which was totally off-point. The issue was not Capital West, but Foxborough and tax credits. It was the new owner of Capital West, Keith Geary, who just took over one month before that sent the letter out. One could view the State Securities Dept's visit as a warning to the new owner how business was done in Oklahoma and to not a mistake like that again?

More new cases, more new names are coming.

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