Bank fraud, Bank Default, Predatory Lending, Unauthorized Accounts, Embezzlement.
Having a computer expert access the server enabled 4S and GCHC to review hundreds of documents and pages of correspondence between the principals of Altus Venture, First State Bank Altus, Bill Grissom and others associated with the project. Over the last 4 months, (September thru January) additional documents have been obtained, including bank records, bank statements and checks; promissory notes, e-mails; and title company closing documents which indicate some, if not all, of the following may have occurred:
Bank Fraud. Investors/buyers, associated with Altus Venture, bought Mt. Harris lots making 10% down-payments (ranging from $63,000 to $72,500). MAPI carried back second mortgages at closing for an additional 10% of the purchase price. Bank financing (primarily through First State Bank Altus) was obtained for 80% of the purchase price. After obtaining bank records, 4S and GCHC discovered that these investor/buyers were rebated their down-payments without MAPI managers knowledge or consent. Buyers introduced to Mt. Harris project through 4S or GCHC did not receive a "rebate." This aggregate "rebate" amount totaled some $720,000. This money belonged to MAPI and was not authorized as a rebate.
Bank Default/Fraud/Predatory Lending. On April 26, 2006, First State Bank Altus made a loan to 4S in the amount of $9,000,000 of which only $4.8 was dispersed. The collateral value of this land parcel which secures this loan (by appraisal) is currently $22,000,000. This created three problems...by design (Mr. Sills and Johnson stated they believed):
- Not only was the balance ($4.2 million) of the loan not funded by First State Bank Altus as agreed, thus hindering efforts to develop, build and deliver marketable product and thereby generate revenue (at one time Mr. Sills and Johnson stated they had numerous purchase reservations in The Lake Village, 15 of which had been converted to contract and the majority have since been canceled), also;
- The First State Bank Altus loan tied up the collateral that would have otherwise been available to obtain financing elsewhere, and;
- If the balance of the First State Bank Altus loan had been funded, it is reasonable to assume that even without closed sales, funds would be available to pay vendors; make interest payments; retire Vectra Bank debt, pay off liens (bogus or not) and otherwise remove obstacles to delivering finished product to our customers.
4S and GCHC contend that First State Bank Altus, Altus Venture, and Robinson Construction conspired to create a default position by withholding loan proceeds and filing fraudulent liens in order to take over the assets of 4S and GCHC. It is common knowledge that a default position makes it very difficult to obtain replacement financing. GCHC and 4S do have written communication between the aforementioned members of MAPI that provides evidence of such a conspiracy.
Unauthorized Accounts/Embezzlement. While Mr. Sills and Johnson said they cannot be certain as to the exact status of these accounts at this time, it appears that an account was established at First State Bank Altus in Oklahoma under the name of "Grassy Creek Development" (which company does not exist) to which deposits were made from MAPI land sales but which were used by Altus Venture without knowledge or consent of GCHC, whose only account is at Alpine Bank in Steamboat Springs, Colo. A MAPI bank account was apparently established at First State Bank Altus and used by the principals of Altus Venture without the knowledge or consent of the
managers. A 4S account was established at the First State Bank Altus in Oklahoma from which both Bill Grissom and Don Anderson signed checks even though they were not authorized signatories on any 4S account.
Predatory Lending. Altus Venture/First State Bank Altus were in control of the finances for MAPI which included payment of the Robinson Construction invoices. After the appointment of additional managers in August 2007, even though by then some $27,000,000 in sales and loan proceeds had been generated (not including the $4.2 million portion of the loan mentioned above that was withheld) First State Bank Altus and Altus Venture apparently encouraged the filing of liens on Villages of Hayden, Hidden Springs Ranch and Mt. Harris by Robinson Construction on all of MAPI's finished product, thereby eliminating MAPI's ability to generate sales revenue.
First State Bank Altus knew that all of the Robinson Construction cost had been paid for at The Villages at Hayden. It was the responsibility of First State Bank Altus and Altus Venture to pay these invoices and they had the payment records at the time the liens were filed.