December 19, 2007

Some of you nice folk out there may remember that three weeks ago I wrote about a giant corporation screwing old ladies and retired people who have worked all their lives just to see their life savings go up in smoke. I will not bore you with details. Suffice to say that a giant corporation did not do its due dilligence and put “little peoples” savings into a deal which was much too risky for the kind of return which was promised to the investors.  Around 6 or 7 per cent. It all has to do with real estate, with Section 1031 TIC investments which defer taxes from sales of properties by reinvesting the proceeds in a “like kind exchange” within 45 days.

So far so good. CBREI is a multi-billion dollar conglomerate, the numero uno real estate company in the world, which uses brokers to go out there and find elderly people who are spread around the United States and are looking to invest their gains after they have sold their homes or properties. Once my article came out, and I named the CEO of the company, Mr Brett White,  while demanding his billion-dollar company pay back the investors due to CBREI’s lack of diligence, I must admit I was seredipitously surprised to hear that Brett White not only called a board meeting about the scandal, he also obviously gave orders for something to be done. Janet Whitman of the New York Post followed up and suddenly, out of the blue, the “little people” had a kind of response.

Sixty cents on the dollar, take it or leave it. As I stated in my previous article, I have absolutely nothing to do or gain from this. I am doing this simply because it is fair. To his credit, and if my informants are correct, Brett White has taken the trouble to look into it. The trouble, is one of his minions, Paul Chapman, the CEO of CBREI, an unctious, venal, rude bully who has made the offer of 60 cents on the dollar but has put a rider on it which is more of a ukase than a counter offer. Sign by Thursday, or you get nothing. In view of the fact that the investors are mostly very old, hardly rich and infirm, it is not quite cricket. So I appeal to Mr White: Call in your attack dog. Chapman is bad for your company. You have acted honorably and fairly.  Now give these poor folk a break.


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