Media

 

See also: Oneida Eye’s YouTube Channel,
and our Documents page,
and our Timeline pages.



 

In reverse chronological order :

  

November 18, 2017
GBPG:  Letter to the Editor – Law takes away local control

GREEN BAY – Changes in state law are coming that will take away the ability of cities, villages, towns and counties to have a say in what projects happen in their local communities and backyards.

Senate Bill 378 and Assembly Bill 479, the Homeowner’s Bill of Rights, passed the Legislature in its final days of the session. The bill removes the deliberative process in the issuance of conditional use permits, or CUPs. Under then proposed change, public testimony could no longer be used to deny an applicant. If the applicant meets, or agrees to meet, the criteria of the CUP, the municipality would be required to issue it.

Public input was crucial in proposed projects like the failed Walmart Supercenter in downtown Green Bay or the revocation of the CUP for Oneida Seven Generations Corp.’s planned trash incinerator.

CUPs are designed to be flexible tools for municipalities. Citizens can weigh in and their ideas and concerns can lead to specific conditions for approval within a zoning district. Denials can open municipalities to litigation. However, a local municipality should be able to decide on issuing a CUP, as long as it does not arbitrarily deny a permit or place unreasonable conditions on upon it.

The erosion of local control is not new to state lawmakers. They have already passed nearly 140 new laws that in some way erode the decision-making power of elected or appointed bodies. This needs to end. People power must be restored. I want to be able to say ‘not in my neighborhood.’

– Terry Lee


November 8, 2017
GBPG:  Menominee tribe plans to sue EPA, Army Corps over Back 40 mine

KESHENA, WI – The Menominee Indian Tribe [of Wisconsin / MITW] intends to sue the U.S. government for giving up its authority over a proposal to build an open-pit sulfide mine in the Upper Peninsula.

The tribe, represented by a national activist law firm, has issued a 60-day notice of intent to sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers over the proposed Back 40 mine on the Menominee River. The river flows into Green Bay and serves as the border between Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

The 60-day notice is a required step under the Clean Water Act, according to Janette Brimmer, a lawyer for Earthjustice, the same nonprofit firm that represented the Standing Rock Sioux in their actions against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

If the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers take back authority from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, the Menominees would drop the legal action, Brimmer said.

Michigan and New Jersey are the only states that have sought and received permission from the EPA to administer the Clean Water Act. In other states, the Corps of Engineers oversees discharge permits and rules governing dredging or filling wetlands.

Under the Clean Water Act, the EPA may delegate that authority to the states, but it isn’t a blanket rule, Brimmer said. Interstate waters, or even on waters that potentially could support interstate commerce, must remain under federal jurisdiction, she said.

But Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality has already granted three permits to Aquila Resources, which needs just one more permit to dig an open-pit mine for gold, zinc, copper and silver in the Lake Township in the Upper Peninsula.

The Canadian-based company already has invested more than $70 million in site acquisition, development and research in the project. Michigan has issued it a nonferrous metallic mineral mining permit, an air use permit and pollutant discharge and elimination system permit. It still needs a wetlands permit to proceed. …

[MITW Chair Gary] Besaw said the tribe notified the Corps and the EPA in August that Michigan doesn’t legally have authority in the application process. The Corps sent the tribe a letter in September saying it lacked the authority to re-assume jurisdiction, and after failing to hear from the EPA, the tribe hired Earthjustice. …

The interstate nature of the Menominee River, and its potential as a means of interstate or foreign commerce, means it and its related wetlands can’t be delegated to state authority, according to the notification letter Earthjustice sent to the Corps and EPA.

“The Corps’ own study in 1979 and subsequent recommendation by its counsel finds this to be true, beginning with extensive use of the Menominee River and its tributaries for commerce associated with logging and power generation through present-day use for recreation, tourism and fishing,” the letter states. “The entirety of Menominee River and its adjacent wetlands are not delegable, nor could they have been delegated, to the State of Michigan for Section 404 permitting and therefore the State of Michigan cannot exercise Section 404 jurisdiction for the Back Forty Project permitting.”

  


November 7, 2017
WiscNews:  National environmental firm to represent Wisconsin tribe in mine suit
by Steven Verburg

The Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin [MITW] on Monday formally challenged plans for a huge mine just over the state line in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in a case the tribal chairman said has national significance.

A leading national environmental law firm representing the Keshena-based tribe filed a 60-day notice of intent to sue the federal government.

The tribe says it has been deprived of treaty rights that are supposed to protect its cultural and historical sites because the federal government has delegated to the state of Michigan too much authority for permitting mines like the one proposed amid tribal burial mounds along the Menominee River.

“We tell the state of Michigan we want our rights, and the state says ‘We don’t have a treaty with you,’” tribal chairman Gary Besaw said.

Such disputes could become widespread if more states seek the extra authority under the encouragement of Trump administration officials like Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt, Besaw said.

“We know Scott Pruitt with EPA is actually pursuing that mantra of … delegating to states,” Besaw said. “We want Aquila and the potential investors of Aquila to know that we aren’t going down without a fight.”

The tribe has hired the San Francisco-based Earthjustice to represent it. Earthjustice has represented the Standing Rock Sioux against the Dakota Access Pipeline, sued the EPA over the pace of enforcement of pollution laws in poor areas and gone to court to ban the pesticide chlorpyrifos, which is linked to developmental disorders.

“This puts the federal government on notice,” Besaw said. “If we continue to be ignored we will pursue federal litigation.”

Earthjustice filed the 60-day notice with Pruitt, the EPA Regional office in Chicago, acting secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy and Army Corps of Engineers officers in Detroit and Washington, D.C. The Army Corps is involved in permitting disturbances of wetlands and waterways, while the EPA administers water and air quality. …

Earthjustice attorney Janette Brimmer said the wetlands along Menominee River that runs by the mine site and forms part of the border between the two states should be regulated by the federal government because it is a commercially navigable interstate waterway.

“The Clean Water Act makes it very clear that the authority to dig up and potentially pollute the Menominee River and its wetlands cannot be delegated down to a single state,” Brimmer said in a statement. “The waters and wetlands that will be affected by this huge, potentially very damaging industrial project do not ‘belong’ only to the State of Michigan. They must be protected for everyone, and it’s the EPA and the Corps’ mandatory duty to assume jurisdiction over the permit application.”

  

WGBA:  Federal judge keeps recently fired Menominee Tribal Police officer behind bars

GREEN BAY, Wis. – A federal judge ruled Tuesday that a former Menominee Tribal Police officer must stay behind bars as he faces charges of sending sexually explicit messages to an underage girl.

Basil O’Kimosh is accused of repeatedly contacting a 15-year-old girl and trying to get her to engage in sexual acts.

O’Kimosh was fired from the Menominee Tribal Police force after his arrest.

According to a criminal complaint, O’Kimosh started communicating with the teenager in January 2017.

On November 1, he allegedly sent an inappropriate picture of himself to an undercover officer posing as the girl, court documents said.

O’Kimosh’s lawyers argued Tuesday that he should be released based on his ties to the area and lack of criminal history, but prosecutors argued his actions should prevent him from being released.

The judge agreed with the prosecution, not allowing O’Kimosh’s family to post a cash bond for his release. He’s concerned O’Kimosh could be a danger to the community if let go while the case proceeds, he said in court.

O’Kimosh will be back in court on November 16.

  

Law360: Tax Court Backs IRS’ Rejection Of $92M Bad-Debt Deduction

The U.S. Tax Court on Tuesday upheld the IRS’ disallowance of $92 million in bad-debt deductions claimed by a Wisconsin holding company with stakes in paper mill enterprises, finding the debt at issue was not bona fide.

Family-owned VHC Inc. had contended the company owned debt and not equity in a spinoff business operated by a relative, referred to as Ronald H. in the opinion and Ron Van Den Heuvel in VHC’s petition, and that the Internal Revenue Service wrongly disallowed deductions related to the debt, which a series of bad deals had rendered illiquid. However, in sustaining the IRS’ disallowance of related deductions for the 2004 through 2013 tax years, Tax Court Judge Kathleen Kerrigan narrowed in on the debt itself, noting that “there is no bad-debt deduction without bona fide debt.”

In finding that the debt did not hold up under scrutiny, Judge Kerrigan said VHC began issuing debt in the form of promissory notes to Van Den Heuvel’s acquired companies in 1997, notes that purported to reflect advances.

Van Den Heuvel and his companies routinely failed to comply with the terms of the promissory notes and VHC failed to enforce them, Judge Kerrigan said, but VHC continued to advance funds despite an increasing outstanding balance.

VHC did not intend to create a bona fide debtor-creditor relationship, and the economic circumstances that existed during the time VHC made its advances establish that it did not reasonably expect repayment,” Judge Kerrigan said. “VHC is not entitled to related-party bad-debt deductions for the advances it made to Ronald H. and his related companies during the tax years at issue.”

•  November 7, 2017 Opinion, U.S. Tax Court Docket Nos. 4756-15, 21583-15,  VHC Inc. and Subsidiaries  v.  Commission of Internal Revenue Service [IRS]


November 3, 2017
Wisconsin State Journal:  WEDC board to review Foxconn contract before vote

WEDC board member Sen. Tim Carpenter, D-Milwaukee, told the State Journal that board members were told the delay was due to a major last-minute problem identified in the contract. He said as oridinally written the contract wouldn’t have allowed the state to recoup taxpayer funds if the company didn’t fulfill its end of the deal – something he characterized to the newspapers as a “nuclear bomb.”

Carpenter said Friday the decision to release the contract came after a “long, drawn-out fight” and that it should have been done in the first place. He said the contract should be released sooner than Monday.

“It won’t give much time to read, review and understand the contract,” Carpenter said. “The Senate is in session all Tuesday and maybe Wednesday morning with a very tough calendar.”

 

WBAY:  Memoninee Tribal Police Officer Basil O’Kimosh Jr. fired; FBI agent details crimes

KESHENA, Wis. (WBAY) – The Menominee Tribal Chairman’s office says a tribal police officer accused of crimes involving a 15-year-old girl has been fired.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office filed formal charges Friday against Basil O’Kimosh Jr. including transferring obscene material to a minor under 16, engaging in sexually explicit conduct with a minor under 18, and attempted enticement of a child.

Tribal Chairman Gary Besaw’s office says the girl’s mother reported the sexually explicit messages to her daughter to the Tribal Police Department on Sunday, Oct. 29. Tribal police contacted the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office.

According to an affidavit from FBI Special Agent Sarah Deamron, the girl said O’Kimosh started chatting with her through Facebook Messenger in January, and in April asked her to start using the Snapchat app.

The girl said O’Kimosh kept asking her to meet with him for sex, and one time she did meet him in-person near her house while he was working and she told him she was 15, but he continued contacting her.

Wednesday, Agent Deamron posed as the girl on Snapchat. The agent says O’Kimosh asked her for naked pictures, including her privates, and sent her a naked picture, and continued asking for sex.

O’Kimosh was on duty at the time.

The agent, posing as the girl, agreed to meet O’Kimosh and he suggested a meeting place. The officer went there but then drove away, saying he was summoned but would be back.

O’Kimosh was arrested on Thursday and fired the same day, the chairman’s office says.

The criminal complaint says when he was arrested O’Kimosh admitted to sending his naked photo to the girl on Snapchat, and that he planned to meet the girl, but denied that it was for sex.

The chairman’s office says O’Kimosh passed background checks and psychological examinations when he re-joined the police department in July, six months after he began contacting the girl on Facebook Messenger.

O’Kimosh previously worked for the police department from 2010 to 2016. He resigned in April 2016 citing disagreements with a supervisor.


October 30, 2017:
WBAY:  Green Bay aldermen accuse mayor of fraud in Hotel Northland project

WLUK:  Aldermen accuse Schmitt of wrongdoing

  

WFRV:  Crystal Meth found in child’s candy

Keshena, WI – The Menominee Tribal Police department is asking the community to check their children’s Halloween candy thoroughly after a substance found in a child’s candy has tested positive for meth.

According to the police department’s Facebook page, the Menominee police received a complaint of a suspicious package located in a child’s Halloween candy.  A small yellow Ziploc type baggy containing a crystalline powder was located, that was later identified as methamphetamine.

The parent reported the child trick-or-treated in the Keshena area on the Menominee Indian Reservation.

WLUK:  Crystal meth found in trick-or-treat bag on Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin / MITW reservation

Police say once all Halloween candy is checked, they strongly encourage parents to throw it out.

Tribal leaders have set up collection stations for parents to dispose of their children’s candy. They are also asking parents to drop off the containers in which the candy was collected.

WBAY:  Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin / MITW sets up candy disposal sites after meth discovery

 

River Towns: Viewpoint: WEDC admits they are not following the law

by State Sen. Kathleen Vinehout

During the hearing of the [October 24, 2017 Joint Legislative Audit Committee – VIDEO], I found it difficult to determine if WEDC was incompetent or deliberately skirting the law.

I was most disturbed when [WEDC] Secretary [Mark] Hogan flat-out said “no” to my request to release documents to [Legislative Audit Bureau] so auditors could complete their work. The document I wanted released was a study by an independent attorney the state paid $8,600 to answer the question: “Is WEDC complying with statutes?” (are they following the law?)

This question was central to the findings of the audit. If agency leaders didn’t think there was a law they needed to follow, I had no hope they would follow the audit recommendations and adopt verification policies and procedures.

I left the hearing with many unanswered questions. Does Secretary Hogan understand he must follow the law? What is Secretary Hogan hiding in the document he refused to release to auditors? How can lawmakers stop WEDC from rewriting contracts if companies don’t deliver? How can we get an accurate count for how many jobs were created with the millions of taxpayer dollars?

But the most pressing question was; how can we possibly trust WEDC to oversee a $3 billion contract with Foxconn?


October 27, 2017:
Wisconsin Gazette:  WEDC’s history raises concerns about state’s ability to oversee Foxconn deal; Lawmakers, who recently voted in favor of the Foxconn deal, did so without seeing any contract. They put faith in a state operation known as Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. (WEDC).

by State Sen. Kathleen Vinehout

Despite being paid for entirely with public funds, the $3 billion contract with Foxconn is not public. Nor do lawmakers who approved the plan know what problems exist in the draft contract. As the saying goes, the devil is in the details. Lawmakers and the public cannot see the details and are asked to trust WEDC negotiating the deal and later overseeing the Foxconn’s compliance.

But is WEDC worthy of our trust?

In the [nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau] LAB’s own evaluation of completed economic development projects, auditors’ findings included: companies gave money for job creation without any contract requiring such, companies quitting before the end of their contract period without delivering promised jobs, contracts to create jobs were written with no specific number of jobs to be created, WEDC forgave loans even though the company created or retained a lower number of jobs than required, and WEDC counting twice the number of jobs created by a company.

If Wisconsin taxpayers cannot be confident after seven years and the investment of hundreds of millions of state dollars that promised jobs were created, how can we possibly be confident WEDC can negotiate and oversee a $3 billion contract?

No local government would ever agree to spend money without seeing a contract. No banker would agree to loan funds without a contract. No businessperson would ever commit funds without a contract.

Lawmakers bought a pig in a poke – an unknown deal.

WEDC has not earned lawmakers trust, nor that of the public. Lawmakers can and should do more to oversee this project.

  

Milwaukee Business Journal:  WEDC board must see Foxconn contract

Board members must demand to see the contract and review all the details before approving the deal to pave the way for the Taiwanese manufacturer to build its $10 billion manufacturing campus in Mount Pleasant. This deal is too important for anything less.

The response from WEDC that the process the agency is following for approving the Foxconn award is the same as for all other major awards approved by the agency is also troubling. The board should review contracts on all major incentive deals, no matter if they are for $10 million or $3 billion, as they are talking about using state tax dollars.

Gov. Scott Walker and his appointees to WEDC must do everything they can to assure the state is getting the best deal possible in the Foxconn contract. And the best way to do that is to have an open and transparent process.

 

Argus Leader:  Investigation concludes tribal leaders received payments in failed brokerage deal

Lower Brule Tribal Council members were among those who received payments from a taxpayer guaranteed loan that was used to buy a failing Wall Street brokerage firm.

But the payments to tribal members were not illegal and simply part of doing business in Indian Country.

Those are among the conclusions of a U.S. Department of Interior investigation into the tribe’s purchase of Westrock Group, a brokerage that went bankrupt shortly after the Lower Brule tribe bought it. The six-page Office of Inspector General investigation was completed earlier this year but not publicly released until Argus Leader Media filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act.

The findings contradict previous claims made by tribal officials that they did not receive money from the deal, which hinged on a $22 million loan guarantee from the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The tribe, through its entity known as the Lower Brule Community Development Enterprises, used $20 million of the loan guarantee to acquire Westrock after the Great American Life Insurance Co. bought the guarantee. The influx of cash allowed the tribe to pay off Westrock’s debt. …

The OIG investigation was also critical of the BIA’s process for issuing loan guarantees. The former chief of the bureau’s Division of Capital Investment, Philip Viles, told investigators that the loans were “inherently risky.” Despite that, there was bureaucratic pressure to use as much of the loan budget as possible regardless of risk to taxpayers, and Viles’ performance ratings were tied to issuing loans.

“Each year,” the OIG investigation concluded, “DCI received a budget (capacity) representing the amount of government funds it could obligate for future loan guarantees. Viles said DCI felt tremendous pressure to use all funds to either maintain or increase future budgets.”


October 25, 2017:
Wisconsin State Journal:
Foxconn contract contained ‘nuclear bomb’ that left taxpayers exposed, WEDC board member says; A key vote on the pending Foxconn contract was delayed last week because the state wouldn’t have been able to recoup taxpayer funds if the Taiwanese company didn’t fulfill its end of the deal, according to a member of the board overseeing the negotiation.

“We could have given [Foxconn] all this money and we wouldn’t have been able to get it back,” [WEDC board member Sen. Tim Carpenter, D-Milwaukee] said.

The state is planning to give the company $3 billion in refundable tax credits[.] …

Carpenter said the problem was “more than a technical issue.” …

Democrats on the Legislature’s Joint Audit Committee urged [WEDC CEO Mark] Hogan to release the contract details publicly before the board votes on it. Carpenter has asked that the WEDC board be allowed to review the contract before voting, but as is common practice, the board will only vote on a staff review and summary of the deal.

[WEDC CEO Mark] Hogan declined to change the process[.] …

The audit committee had been scheduled to meet Tuesday to discuss the latest state audit of WEDC, made public in May. The nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau reviewed 133 awards and found for a third consecutive biennial audit that the agency did not annually verify job-related information as required by law. …

The audit found the agency couldn’t be certain about the number of jobs created or retained as a result of those awards. It also found the agency can’t be certain about the accuracy of jobs information in its online database because it didn’t verify the information submitted by tax credit recipients, and didn’t contractually require grant and loan recipients to submit detailed information on job retention and creation.

The audit also found the amount of uncollectable loans was $11 million in December 2016, up from $1.3 million two years earlier. [WEDC CEO Mark] Hogan said $2.3 million were loans forgiven because companies had fulfilled job-creation requirements, but Rep. Terese Berceau, D-Madison, pointed out that the audit found the agency can’t prove those requirements were met.

 

Wisconsin State Journal:
EDITORIAL BOARD: Don’t Hide the Foxconn Contract

We’re skeptical of the deal and urged more taxpayer protection. The least WEDC can do is respect the public’s right to know how its money is being spent by releasing the contract before it’s finalized. Allowing public scrutiny is the best way to ensure dollars aren’t wasted.


October 23, 2017:
WLUK:  Judge rules in Oneida Nation’s favor as lawsuit over Hobart permit request continues

See:

  

Courthouse News Service:  Judge Advances Wisconsin Tribe’s Challenge to Event Permits

A federal judge in Wisconsin ruled Monday that a village must prove it has jurisdiction over the Oneida Nation [of Wisconsin / ONWI] to enforce a permit requirement for an annual festival on the tribe’s reservation.

[ONWI] filed a federal lawsuit last year against the [Village of Hobart], Wis., seeking to enjoin it from enforcing an ordinance that would require the tribe to obtain a special-events permit for events involving 50 or more people. The ordinance includes a penalty of up to $10,000 per violation. …

On Monday, U.S. District Judge William Griesbach granted Oneida Nation [of WI]’s motion to clarify the parties’ burdens of proof ahead of their expert disclosures.

The judge found that the tribe only needs to prove the creation of its reservation through the 1838 treaty and the applicability of Indian Reorganization Act to the tribe and its reservation, “except for the Nation’s actual title to the trust parcels at issue.”

Griesbach found that Hobart, on the other hand, must prove “that the Oneida Reservation has been diminished or disestablished by an act of Congress,” or that the village has jurisdiction over the tribe and reservation for some other reason.

The entire village [of Hobart] is considered Indian country under federal law, unless the village is able to establish that Congress diminished the original Oneida reservation’s boundaries,” the judge wrote.

He added, “The village seeks to regulate the conduct of the Nation and its members within the boundaries of the Nation’s reservation…Absent Congressional authorization, a state may only regulate the property or conduct of a tribe or tribal-member in Indian country in ‘exceptional circumstances.’


October 22, 2017:
DailyCaller.com:  EXCLUSIVE: Podesta’s ‘Green Company’ Forced to Close Because Hillary Lost the Election

Joule Unlimited, a secretive green energy company that appears to have placed a big bet hiring Democratic insider John Podesta to its board, appears to have been doomed when former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 election.

When the 2016 presidential election ended, senior company executives admitted the prospects for their renewable energybiofuels” company evaporated. “We had a lot of prospects last year,” former Joule CEO Brian Baynes told BioFuels Digest in a rare interview in July. “But those new investor prospects walked away, particularly post-election.”

Dmitry Akhanov, the president and CEO of Rusnano USA Inc., a Kremlin-owned venture capital firm nicknamed “Putin’s child,” oversaw the Russian government’s investment in Joule and sat on its board along with two other Russians with ties to the Kremlin. Akhavov agreed that Clinton’s loss doomed the company. …

As one of the biggest power players in Washington, Podesta could open doors for Joule. Obama’s first secretary of energy, Steven Chu, visited the company in November 2011, according to WikiLeaks.

Steven Chu also met in 2011 with former OSGC & GBRE President & longtime Oneida Gaming Commission Counsel Atty. William Cornelius, along with then-OBC Member & OSGC Liaison Brandon Stevens, currently OBC Vice-Chair.

 

Wisconsin State Journal WEDC threatens legal action against Kestrel Aircraft as another deal goes south

Unlike Foxconn, one of the largest manufacturers in the world, Kestrel came to Wisconsin as a much riskier start-up company, having only built a single prototype for a new six-seater turboprop jet. The design and production had yet to be certified by the Federal Aviation Administration, a process that can take three to five years.

Investing in a start-up aviation company was a much riskier proposition than a typical start-up, said Bill Bower, a retired aerospace engineer from Albuquerque, New Mexico, where Eclipse Aviation went bankrupt in 2008 after trying to build an aircraft similar to Kestrel’s with more than $500 million in investments.

“If you had a bunch of people on the state board looking at this and there was nobody who really knew anything about the aircraft business they might get all starry-eyed and thinking this is like getting into show business,” Bower said. “If anybody on that board had talked to anybody in the aviation business, they would have rolled their eyes and thought, ‘You ought to look into that. Because everyone knows boutique aviation is loaded with dreamers and crackpots and con artists.’ ”

Kestrel CEO Alan Klapmeier didn’t respond to a request for comment. Kestrel merged with Eclipse in 2015 to form One Aviation. …

“Due to Kestrel’s inability to show measurable progress towards obtaining financing, WEDC is moving forward with legal action against the company,” WEDC spokesman Mark Maley said in a statement. “At this point, WEDC has not gone to court to recoup the funds, but we will pursue any and all remedies available to us to protect the state’s investment.”


October 18, 2017:
GreatLakesEcho.org / Capital News Service:
Major ‘recycling’ scam in Michigan & Wisconsin sparks indictment

A bogus scheme to build an eco-friendly “green energy” waste processing facility in Detroit defrauded lenders and investors — including Chinese investors hoping to qualify for U.S. visas — of $4,475,000, according to a federal grand jury in Milwaukee. …

Van Den Heuvel worked through Green Detroit Regional Center, which is owned by a Georgia law firm that is authorized to operate in Wayne, Livingston, St. Claire, Lapeer and Macomb counties, court documents said. The center finds “foreign clients, mainly from China and South Korea, to invest in large alternative energy projects,” according to its website.

“Green Detroit Regional Center promoted the EB-5 investments in Green Box Detroit based on Van Den Heuvel’s representations,” the SEC suit said. It said the chief executive officer of the Green Detroit Regional Center, Georgia lawyer Simon Ahn, marketed the project to investors through immigration consultants in China. Neither Ahn nor Green Detroit Regional Center have been charged or sued by the SEC.

Ahn said, “If the charges are true, it is completely shocking to learn about the extent that Ron Van Den Heuvel hid the truth from me,” the center and investors.

All of us visited the plants in Wisconsin many times, including the potential site in Detroit, and everything checked out fine. All the financials from a recognized accounting firm indicated that everything was proceeding on track, Ahn said.

The SEC suit said Van Den Heuvel falsely told investors that the MEDC [Michigan Economic Development Corp.] had approved tax exempt bonds for the project. However, the MEDC rejected the request after discovering five tax liens, one construction lien, two state tax warrants, four civil judgments and three civil lawsuits, according to court documents.


October 17, 2017:
Wisconsin State Journal Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. / WEDC delays vote on Foxconn contract after discovering problem

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. delayed a vote on a nearly $3 billion incentive package for Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn until November after an unspecified problem was discovered with the deal board members were set to vote on Tuesday.

Sen. Tim Carpenter, D-Milwaukee, declined to describe the problem but characterized it as a “nuclear bomb” that, had it not been addressed, would have resulted in a contract that “would not have protected taxpayers whatsoever.” …

“If WEDC has been secretive in the past with protecting taxpayers, they’re continuing that to the Nth degree,” Carpenter said.


October 10, 2017:
FOX 11 WLUK:  Ron Van Den Heuvel pleads guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud

USA TODAY / Green Bay Press-Gazette:  De Pere ‘businessman’ Ron Van Den Heuvel pleads guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud in Green Box case


October 5, 2017:
WBAY:  De Pere ‘businessman’ reaches plea deal in bank fraud case

Wisconsin State Journal ‘Businessman’ accused of defrauding Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. / WEDC pleads guilty to bank fraud

Green Bay Press-Gazette:  De Pere ‘businessman’ Ron Van Den Heuvel will plead guilty to bank fraud


October 1, 2017:
ArsTechnica.com:  Gambler hits $1.4 Million jackpot, but Native American casino says machine “malfunctioned” and refuses to pay


September 29, 2017:
Vancouver Sun:  Exclusive: How Casinos Are Used to Launder Millions in Drug Cash

Click to enlarge:


September 22, 2017:
USA TODAY / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:  
Matthew Krueger nominated by President Trump to be U.S. Attorney for Eastern District of Wisconsin


September 20, 2017:
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:  De Pere businessman Ronald Van Den Heuvel indicted in $9 million green energy fraud

WLUK:  De Pere businessman indicted on fraud charges

WBAY:  “Green Box” businessman indicted for $9 million green energy fraud

Wisconsin State Journal: Green Bay businessman idicted for defrauding state jobs agency

See also:

•  September 20, 2017 U.S. Dept. of Justice Press Release,
‘De Pere Businessman Indicted for $9 Million Green Energy Fraud’

•  September 19, 2017 Indictment, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin, Case No. 17-CR-160,  United States of America  v.  Ronald H. Van Den Heuvel


September 21, 2017:
WLUK:  Search begins for record of human remains in Green Bay’s 9/11 memorial


September 19, 2017:
WLUK:  Federal government files complaint against De Pere businessman

See also:

•  September 19, 2017 Complaint, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin, Case No. 17-CV-1261,  United States Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC]  v.  Ronald Van Den Heuvel & Green Box NA Detroit LLC


September 14, 2017:
Bloomberg.com:  How Rich Chinese Use Visa Fixers to Move to the U.S.  Have a spare $500,000 to invest in an economically distressed American area (that actually isn’t distressed at all)? China’s EB-5 fixers will help you every step of the way.


September 11, 2017:
GBPG:  Oneida Tribe appeals ruling in lawsuit against Green Bay over waste-to-energy plant


August 22, 2017:
VNReview.com:  Báo Anh: người Mỹ đừng vội mừng về khoản đầu tư 10 tỷ USD của Foxconn
(‘Americans, Do not Hurry for Foxconn’s $10 Billion Investment’)

by Văn Hoàn

 

According to Google Translate:

Americans, Do not Hurry for Foxconn’s $ 10 Billion Investment
by Văn Hoàn – VNReview.com

According to TheGuardian, the Taiwanese giant Foxconn announced that it will build a $10 billion LCD panel manufacturing facility in Wisconsin that has been warmly welcomed. However, the state has a troubled history of economic development problems, and Foxconn, the supplier to Apple, Google, Amazon and many other technology giants, have been unsuccessful in the fulfillment of his promise. Newspapers should be more alert.

The deal is expected to generate 13,000 jobs in six years in return for about $3 billion in employee benefits. Only 3000 jobs come immediately. Moreover, the Washington Post has reported that Foxconn often does not keep the promise of doing so. By 2013, the company claims to employ 500 employees and invest $30 million in Pennsylvania. This plan was quickly dismissed.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was elected in 2010 in a committed campaign that will bring 250,000 jobs to the people. So far he has not done it yet. A successful project with Foxconn will be an important step in repairing his damaged reputation.

By the end of July, he had his objections to people suspected of the project. At a stop in Eau Claire as he traveled around the state to push for an agreement, the governor said, “There are a lot of people there fighting to give a reason for dislike the project. It’s normal for you, but I think they should go away.”

This project is not only a big win for Walker, but also the Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan – his area will most likely be where the plant was built – and both President Donald Trump. At a press conference, a senior government official shared that Foxconn’s announcement was “meaningful” because “it was a milestone in bringing advanced, specialized manufacturing technology [jobs] in the electronics field to the US.”

Mr. Trump has called on workers affected by the decline in US production in his campaign, with the promise of “America great again.” He pointed to bad trading as an important reason for the country’s economic problems and could do better.

“If I’m not elected, Foxconn will certainly not spend $10 billion,” he told the White House. Ryan said the statement showed commitment to “promoting US manufacturing and bringing jobs to the country” by Mr. Trump.

Great assertions have been made. Trump told the Wall Street Journal that Apple would build three plants in the United States. Walker named the area where Foxconn’s factories would be built there, the “Wisconsin Valley.”

However, the Yahoo Finance site has indicated that Foxconn uses robots. Therefore, Wisconsin people will have fewer job opportunities than they expect. The condition of workers at Foxconn’s big factories in China is controversial, for example the well-known Longhua factory has experienced a series of suicides of workers.

Jennifer Shilling, a Democrat from Wisconsin, publicly criticized the project. “The bottom line is that this company a history of making big announcements but it’s not working, I’m skeptical about this project and we’ll have to see if there’s a legislative craving. about a $1-to-3 billion enterprise benefit package.”

The Wisconsin legislature is controlled by the Republican Party. They will not need bipartisan approval to pass [grants?] that are likely to be out of the budget process.

Warnings

Foxconn’s investment agreements in Indonesia, India, Vietnam and Brazil failed. For example, in India in 2014, the company promised to invest $5 billion over five years, creating 50,000 jobs.

According to the Washington Post, the actual numbers are much lower. Safety concerns in the workplace will also hamper the Wisconsin project; Recent “right to work” laws will affect employee relations [at] the company.

Newspaper articles say the Wisconsin plant, which is expected to be three times the size of the Pentagon, will be of the largest foreign investments in US history to create jobs.

The average wage offered, plus welfare, is $53,000. The Wisconsin Senate and Walker Office did not provide an feedback on what types of jobs would occur and what skills should be employed. Foxconn, the maker of monitors and assembled phones and computers, is best known for its iPhone.

Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is a member [partner?] of Foxconn. During Walker’s presidential race was distorted by questions about failed loans. Republican economist and donor Ron Van Den Heuvel has been indicted for borrowing $700,000 from a local bank. Many months after the WEDC was established in 2011, the agency, then led by Walker, lent him over $1.2 million, without a background check.

Similarly, the state’s production tax and agricultural taxes have been severely criticized, almost “wiping out the e income tax on industrial and agricultural producers.”

Six states are said to have negotiated with Foxconn. For the purpose of reducing property taxes and vocational training costs, the Wisconsin Budget Project (WBP) Joe Peacock has warned that the total cost of winning the race could exceed $3 billion. The same contract, he said, often ends up as a “total game 0” for the states.

Speaking in the discussion a day after the deal was announced, Walker said, “The recovery of subsidies is not the right target” and “protection measures” are being implemented. “My responsibility is to protect the state taxpayer,” he said.


August 21, 2017:
Law360.com:  Interior Dept. Sued Over Wisconsin Oneidas’ Name Change


July 28, 2017:
GBPG:  Inability to raise funds delays Green Box reorganization

A $176 million reorganization plan for Green Box NA Green Bay has been delayed by an inability to raise the cash needed to pay creditors.

GlenArbor LLC, a Chicago-based investor in Green Box, originally told U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin Judge Beth Hanan the reorganization plan would be funded and able to pay $14 million to creditors by March 31. In a June 1 motion, the company asked the court to push the date back to Sept. 30.

The reorganization would roll up De Pere businessman Ron Van Den Heuvel’s web of companies into a new company that would secure the equipment, technology and money needed to operate a system that would recycle waste that typically ends up in landfills into reusable products.

“Principals of the debtor, despite using their best efforts, were unable to raise the funds contemplated which were, in effect, the financing necessary to bridge the gap between confirmation of the plan and the roll up contemplated under the plan,” the motion reads.

GlenArbor plans to provide updated engineering reports, business plans and appraisals to reassure potential investors that the business is sound. It said even creditors understand failure to secure investors would mean no one gets paid.

“If the roll up does not come to fruition, it is unlikely that the various claims will be paid to any extent, if at all,” the motion states. “The investment bank’s study of the business plan and operations will provide a basis for potential investors to reasonably assess whether to invest in the project.”

GlenArbor has spearheaded the reorganization effort since Van Den Heuvel sought protection from creditors in April 2016. Van Den Heuvel would retain an ownership stake in the revived venture, but he would not be involved in the company’s management.

When Green Box filed for bankruptcy, Van Den Heuvel listed less than $50,000 in assets and more than $10 million in debt. The company had been the subject of a string of lawsuits from unpaid creditors, including the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.

The bulk of the $176 million sought to fund the new company would build a new sorting facility, expand existing operations, connect various parts of the operation, pay off creditors and ramp up operations.

If financing can be secured, the new company has agreed to pay:

»$605,000 in delinquent property, payroll and unemployment taxes Green Box owed to county, state and federal agencies.

»$13.1 million to secured claimants owed a total of $24.3 million, and

»$270,000 in legal fees and other administrative expenses.

•  AUDIO [IMPROVED] – July 24, 2017, 2:04 P.M. Hearing re: Green Box NA Green Bay, LLC’s Motion to Modify Plan [Run Time  02:36:10], U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Wisconsin Eastern District Docket No. 16-24179-beh, Chapter 11, Green Box NA Green Bay, LLC


July 10, 2017:
GBPG:  Man sentenced to life, with eligibility in 45 years, in Oneida double homicide

ONWI High School Principal Artley Skenandore Jr.

Citing a pre-sentence report, Outagamie County Judge Mark McGinnis said Vance Reed had stabbed his mother 11 years ago, threatened to kill people in the past and at one point started questioning his school principal about what it feels like to kill someone.

“Seems like it’s been 10 years in the making,” McGinnis said of Reed’s brutal stabbing of Harry Brown Bear, 77, and his wife, Lorraine Brown Bear, 67, in the couple’s home.

WLUK:  Vance Reed sentenced in deaths of Oneida couple

“You are a violent, dangerous person that has absolutely no remorse, very low character. You will hurt someone again,” said McGinnis.

WTAQ:  Life Sentence for Oneida Murderer

WGBA:  Man convicted of killig Oneida couple sentenced to 45 years in prison

Vance Reed stabbed Harry and Lorraine Brown Bear to death in their home on the Oneida Indian Reservation in October 2016.

During Reed’s sentencing, the judge said he is a danger to the community and will hurt someone again.

See Oneida Eye’s previous reporting:

•  $1 Million Bond For 19-Year-Old Oneida Nation of Wisconsin Member Vance Reed In “Extremely Violent” Alcohol-Fueled Stabbing Murders Of Harry & Lorraine Brown Bear On ONW Reservation; Slashed Throat & Multiple Stab Wounds Made “Incredibly Gruesome, Bloody Scene”; Brown Bears’ Gun Found At Reed’s House; Reports Of ONWI Members & Officials – Including Oneida Nation High School Principal Artley Skenandore Jr. – Seeking Access To Double Homicide Scene To Seize Brown Bears’ Belongings

Oneida Eye has received multiple reports that Oneida Nation in Wisconsin members, including Oneida Nation High School Principal Artley Skenandore, have made repeated – sometimes daily – requests to the Oneida Business Committee, the Oneida Housing Authority, and the Oneida Police Dept. (where Artley’s wife OPD Lieutenant Lisa Drew-Skenandore works) to gain access to the murder scene in order to take possession of Harry & Lorraine Brown Bears’ belongings, claiming that they had been ‘promised’ certain items by the Brown Bears.


July 9, 2017:
WLUK:  Oneida Nation of WI elects new Business Committee chair

WFRV: Oneida Business Committee election results


June 29, 2017:
WLUK:  Oneida Seven Generations Corp. appealing lawsuit dismissal against Green Bay


June 28, 2017:
GBPG:  Wisconsin Oneidas challenge New York Oneidas’ exclusive right to use trademarked names


June 6, 2017:
WLUK:  Oneida Seven Generations Corp. complaint against the City of Green Bay dismissed

In the 13-page ruling, Judge William Griesbach said that because after the OSGC won a ruling in state court reversing the Council’s decision – but did not pursue the plant any further – the decision not to build belongs to the tribe, not the city.

“The fact that OSGC ultimately prevailed and could have completed the project had it chosen to do so also makes the City Council’s decision less shocking or egregious than a substantive due process violation requires. There is no suggestion that the City Council members were aware that delay would essentially kill the project because it would lose whatever economic viability it might have had. In the final analysis, the City’s action caused a delay in the project; it was apparently a change in other factors over which the City had no control that caused OSGC to abandon it,” the judge wrote.

In a statement, Mayor Jim Schmitt said, “We just learned the Federal Court dismissed the complaint filed by Oneida Seven Generations Corporation. The suit against the City of Green Bay was based on the revocation of a conditional use permit for their intended waste-to-energy facility. This is great news for City tax payers, as OSGC sought millions in damages from the City. The decision issued by Judge William C. Griesbach states that even though the City should not have revoked the permit, due process was adequately given. We respect the ruling by the federal court, and hope to move forward with mutual respect and relationships with the Oneida Nation.”

The Oneida Nation has not responded to Fox 11’s request for comment.


May 17, 2017:
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:  Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. / WEDC double-counts some jobs, cites others from closed firms

Two-fifths of the past due loans involved awards to two companies: $3.4 million owed by aircraft manufacturer Kestrel; and $1.1 million owed by Green Box, an environmental technology company in De Pere. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel first reported that in making the loan to Green Box WEDC failed to turn up the many legal and financial problems of company Chairman Ron Van Den Heuvel.


May 4, 2017:
WBAY:  Vance Reed pleads no contest to murder of Oneida couple

Reed, 20, entered the plea to two counts of first-degree homicide Thursday and was found guilty by the Outagamie County judge.

Reed will be sentenced [July 10, 2017].

Investigators say around September 7, Reed, who was 19 at the time, had been drinking at Harry and Lorraine Brown Bears’ home on the Oneida reservation. He got into an argument with Harry and slit his throat, then stabbed Lorraine.

Police were asked to check on the couple after they hadn’t been seen in days. It was determined the Brown Bears were dead for as long as a week before they were found.

Police took DNA swabs from neighbors and witnesses, and blood stains found in the Brown Bears’ home matched Reed’s, and they say he confessed to the crimes.

WLUK:  Oneida Nation in WI member convicted in gruesome stabbing murders of elderly couple


April 20, 2017:
WLUK:  Judge declines to dismiss Village of Hobart’s lawsuit vs. Oneida Nation in Wisconsin

In a decision issued late Wednesday, federal Judge William Griesbach denied the tribe’s motion to end the case with a ruling in its favor, and said the tribe needs to turn over information on boundaries and other issues to the village.

“The blanket stay of discovery requested by the Nation will tactically disadvantage the Village because it prevents the Village from effectively responding to the Nation’s motion for summary judgment or presenting its case. Rather than render a decision based on a less than complete record, the court finds that village is entitled to a reasonable opportunity to discover and present all evidence pertinent to the Nation’s challenge to enforcement of its Special Event Permit Ordinance and the Village’s defense thereof,” the judge wrote.

No trial date has been set.


April 11, 2017:
WLUK:  Ron & Kelly Van Den Heuvels’ bank fraud trial rescheduled

The trial date for a De Pereman and his wife accused of bank fraud has been pushed back again.

Ron Van Den Heuvel and Kelly Yessman Van Den Heuvel were scheduled to go on trial July 31, but at a hearing Tuesday, that was pushed back to [October, 23, 2017].

They are accused of bank fraud for allegedly illegally arranging a series of loans regarding the operations for a company known as Green Box [NA].

Their former banker, Paul Piikkila, agreed to plead guilty and testify against the Van Den Heuvels. His sentencing has not been set.

The federal indictment alleges that Piikkila, a loan officer at Horicon Bank in Appleton, approved a series of loans totaling more than $1 million. The indictment says Horicon Bank had told Piikkila not to loan any money to Van Den Heuvel, so none of the loans mentioned in the indictment were written to him by name. The couple has pleaded not guilty.

 

WTAQ: Van Den Heuvels’ Bank Fraud Trial Delayed

Ron Van Den Heuvel and Kelly Yessman Van Den Heuvel’s trials were pushed back Tuesday from July 31 to October 23.

The Van Den Heuvels are accused of illegally arranging a series of loans in connection with their business, Green Box [NA].

Paul Piikkila, the Van Den Heuvel’s former banker, has agreed to plead guilty and testify against the couple.

According to the federal indictment, Piikkila approved a series of loans for the Van Den Heuvels when he was a loan officer with Appleton’s Horicon Bank location.  

Bank management reportedly told Piikkila not to approve loans for the Van Den Heuvels so they were made out in other names.


March 2, 2017:
NBC 10 WCAU – Philadelphia: Temple University Graduate Admits to Running $54M Green-Energy Ponzi Scheme; The scam allegedly ran from 2005 until 2009, even after the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil lawsuit against Wragg and Knorr’s Bala Cynwyd-based Mantria Corp.

Philadelphia Inquirer: Two years out of Temple, he built a $54 million Ponzi scheme

Their 2015 indictment came six years after the Securities and Exchange Commission filed suit against the company in Colorado, shut down the firm, and obtained a court order barring its principals from raising new funds. Various people linked to the company and its associated entities have agreed to a $6 million settlement with investors.

Minneapolis Star Tribune: Man admits to running $54M green-energy Ponzi scheme


February 20, 2017:
WBAY: City Council falls one vote short of removing Green Bay mayor

The Green Bay City Council fell one vote short of removing Mayor Jim Schmitt from office. The council voted 8-4 to remove him but state law required nine votes — a three-quarters majority. The vote came at 11:13 p.m., after more than four hours of arguments and deliberations.

GBPG: Schmitt narrowly survives removal vote

The City Council found there was cause to remove Schmitt from office, but Alderman Randy Scannell’s decision not to back Schmitt’s removal kept him in office.

The council voted 9-3 to find there was cause to remove Schmitt after a tense, hourlong hearing and close to three hours of closed session deliberations.

But Scannell’s decision not to support removing Schmitt deprived the council of the nine votes needed to remove Schmitt from office.

WLUK: Judge denies Mayor’s request to halt hearing

GBPG: Judge allows Schmitt hearing to go forward

WBAY: Judge denies Green Bay mayor’s request to stop removal petition hearing

Schmitt used his official position as Mayor to direct the City Clerk to conduct an audit of his campaign finance reports, thus merging his acts as mayor with his acts as a candidate. As a result, the Common Council has shown that it is proceeding on alleged wrongs connected to Schmitt’s actions as Mayor. …

ORDER

Schmitt’s Petition for a Writ of Prhohibition is DENIED. Schmitt is not entitled to an award of his costs and disbursements.

PUBLIC HEARINGS (TO BEGIN AT 7:00 P.M.)…

Quasi-Judicial Hearing on petition for removal of Mayor James J. Schmitt from the Office of Mayor.


February 17, 2017:
GBPG: Green Bay officers punished for harrassment

WBAY: Two Green Bay police officers resign amidst harassment investigation

WBAY: Community stands behind Green Bay Police Chief during department harassment investigation


February 16, 2017:
WBAY: Green Bay Police investigation leads to officer’s resignation, disciplinary actions

WTAQ: Green Bay Mayor Questions Aldermen Mental Health

Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt lashed out at a trio of city council members during a recent Political Radar podcast, alluding that some aldermen may be dealing with mental health problems or broken home lives.

  

WLUK: City Council Attorney says hearing on mayor should move forward


February 15, 2017:
GBPG: Schmitt asks judge to halt removal hearing; Mayor says he was not in office while campaigning

Schmitt’s lawyer, Patrick Knight, on Wednesday filed a petition asking Brown County Circuit Court Judge Marc Hammer to stop the hearing. …

In January, Council President Tom De Wane and Vice President Mark Steuer hired Milwaukee attorney Jeremy Levinson to guide the council through the removal hearing. On Feb. 7, the council notified Schmitt it would hold the hearing on Feb. 20. …

“He feels we don’t have the right to do this. The attorney we hired says we do,” De Wane said. “I really expect whoever looks at this filing will allow us to go forward.”


February 14, 2017:
GBPG: Aldermen: Mayor’s tactics ‘deceitful’ in ‘retaliatory’ finance probe he knew was called off; Schmitt’s motives for misleading media questioned

VIDEO: Alderman Chris Wery statement on campaign finance probe


February 13, 2017:
WTAQ: Green Bay Alderman Cleared A Year Ago In Finance Case

…Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt was told a year ago that a campaign finance investigation against three aldermen had been closed but said nothing. Schmitt, in December 2015, requested the investigation after one was launched into his campaign finances. The probe into the Mayor’s finances ultimately led to misdemeanor conviction charges against him.

WFRV: Green Bay aldermen learn investigation against them ended a year ago


February 11, 2017:
MediaTrackers.org: Green Bay Mayor Sat for a Year on Letter Clearing 3 Aldermen


February 7, 2017:
WLUK: Green Bay wants Oneida Seven Generations Corp. suit dismissed

Instead of responding to the OSGC claims, the city’s attorneys make a two-fold argument for why the case should be dismissed: the tribal company failed to exhaust its options in state court, and it doesn’t make a valid due process violation claim.

On the first point, the city notes that after the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled in May 2015 that the city improperly revoked the plant’s permit, OSGC never followed up with the courts to have the court order implemented. …

On the second point, the city argues that OSGC fails to meet the federal standards for making a due process violation claim. … 

The city’s brief also argues that the OSGC wasn’t authorized by the Oneida General Tribal Council to pursue the lawsuit.


December 28, 2016:
GBPG: Green Bay sued over waste-to-energy plant


December 27, 2016:
WPR.org: Oneida Tribal Corporation Suing Green Bay Over Failed Power Plant: $21 Million Lawsuit Seeks To Cover Damages From Project

FoxBusiness.com: Tribal Corporation sues Wisconsin city over power plant


December 23, 2016:
WLUK: Oneida company sues Green Bay regarding waste-to-energy plant

WBAY: Oneida tribal corporation sues city over revoked waste-to-energy plant

WGBA: Oneida company sues Green Bay over waste-to-energy plant


December 22, 2016:
GBPG: Mayor Schmitt’s conviction is 2016’s top story


December 20, 2016:
GBPG: Green Bay Common Council will hire lawyer for Mayor Jim Schmitt removal petition case


December 19, 2016
Wisconsin Gazette: 2016 Rewind: Another year, another WEDC scandal


December 9, 2016:
WLUK: City attorney declines to provide clarity about Schmitt petition

WBAY: Learning more about the Removal Petition filed against Mayor Schmitt

WFRV: Green Bay man files complaint against Mayor Schmitt


December 8, 2016:
WLUK: Green Bay resident files petition to remove Mayor Schmitt from office

WBAY: Green Bay man files petition to remove Mayor Schmitt from office


December 6, 2016:
GBPG: After conviction, Schmitt might not seek re-election


December 5, 2016:
WLUK:  Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt sentenced

WGBA:  Mayor Schmitt found guilty for accepting contributions over the legal limit

WFRV:  Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt sentenced to $4,000 fine, 40 hours of community service


November 21, 2016:
GBPG: New charges filed in Green Box fraud case


November 17, 2016:
WLUK:  New Trial Date In Van Den Heuvel Bank Fraud Case


October 26, 2016:
GBPG: Village of Hobart Board urges caution with Oneida Nation of Wisconsin business receipts


October 12, 2016:
GBPG:  Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt campaign worker quit over recordkeeping


October 4, 2016:
WBAY:  Ron Van Den Heuvel pleads not guilty to six more bank fraud charges


September 21, 2016:
WLUK:  De Pere businessman facing more charges


September 17, 2016:
GBPG Editorial Board:  Green Bay City Council must act on mayor


September 14, 2016:
GBPG: Records show extent of Mayor Jim Schmitt’s violations of Wisconsin election laws

The Guardian U.S.:  Money, power and secrets: what the John Doe files lay bare

The Guardian U.S.:  Leaked documents reveal secretive influence of corporate cash on politics; Sealed Wisconsin court documents from Scott Walker investigation expose extent of corporate influence on democratic process rarely seen by the public

The Guardian U.S.:  ‘Because Scott Walker asked’; Leaked court documents from ‘John Doe investigation’ in Wisconsin lay bare pervasive influence of corporate cash on modern US elections

MJS:  Report: Lead paint makers helped Gov. Walker

WISJ: Leaked John Doe documents paint fuller picture of case against Scott Walker


September 12, 2016:
WLUK:  Documents give more perspective on Mayor Schmitt investigation

WFRV:  Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt charged in campaign finance investigation


September 9, 2016:
GBPG Editorial Board:  Green Bay mayor must step down

WFRV:  Fallout on Green Bay City Council


September 8, 2016:
WLUK:  Judge Timothy Hinkfuss recuses himself from Schmitt case

GBPG:  Wisconsin law may prohibit Mayor Jim Schmitt from continuing to hold public office


September 7, 2016:
GBPG: Schmitt to plead guilty in campaign finance probe; Green Bay aldermen call for Mayor’s resignation

WBAY:  Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt charged with violating Wisconsin campagin finance law

WBAY:  Alderman outrage to charges: “the mayor needs to resign”

WLUK:  ‘I have made mistakes’; Green Bay Mayor charged in campaign probe

WTAQ:  Green Bay Mayor Agrees To Plea Deal

AP/WPR:  Green Bay mayor charged with violating election law


September 2016:
Plastics Engineering SPE Magazine:


July 25, 2016:
Law360.com:  IRS Asks To Nix Expert Report In $92 Million Bad Debt Write-Off Row


July 17, 2016:
MJS – On, Wisconsin: WEDC Gag Order: Another bad idea from government officials


July 14, 2016:
Wiscsonsin Gazette: Lawmakers blast Republican attempt to impost gag order on WEDC board members


July 13, 2016:
MJS: WEDC backpedals on gag order for board members


July 10, 2016:
Wisconsin GazetteEx-Banker to plead guilty in fraud case against WEDC recipient


July 9, 2016:
WISJ: Loan officer in Ron Van Den Heuvel bank fraud case enters plea deal


July 8, 2016:
GBPG:  Van Den Heuvel banker pleads guilty in fraud case


July 7, 2016:
WBAY:  Defendant in loan scheme reaches plea agreement

WLUK:  Former Fox Valley loan officer agrees to testify in federal bank fraud case


June 30, 2016:
Law360.com:  Wisconsin Firm VHC Inc. Wins OK To Subpoena Accountants Schenck SC In $17 Million Tax Row


June 12, 2016:
GBPG: 5 Federal Agencies investigating Green Box


May 26, 2016:
Law360.com:  Pennsylvania Woman Pleads To $54 Million Green Energy Ponzi Scheme


May 25, 2016:
The Morning Call:  Hellertown, Pennsylvania Woman Admits Guilt in $54 Million Ponzi Scam


May 6, 2016:
GBPG:  De Pere businessman pleads not guilty to fraud

WBAY:  Van Den Heuvels, banker enter not guilty pleas to bank fraud

WLUK:  De Pere businessman pleads not guilty to federal bank fraud charges


April 29, 2016:
WGBA:  Indicted De Pere businessman filed for bankrupcy protection

WBAY:  Van Den Heuvel files for bankruptcy protection

WLUK:  Indicted businessman filed for bankruptcy protection


April 26, 2016:
WBAY:  Ron Van Den Heuvel becomes wanted in Brown County


April 28, 2016:
WISJ:  Company at center of WEDC fraud investigation files for bankruptcy

GBPG:  Ron Van Den Heuvel’s Green Box files for bankruptcy


April 21, 2016:
WISJ:  Judge issues arrest warrant for Ron Van Den Heuvel

WTAQ:  Legal Troubles Continue To Pile Up For De Pere Businessman


April 20, 2016:
GBPG:  Judge issues warrant in Green Box case; Van Den Heuvel in contempt of court

GBPG:  Local Christian businessman & businesswife indicted for bank fraud

WISJ:  De Pere businessman, under investigation for WEDC loan, charged with bank fraud

WBAY:  Van Den Heuvels, loan officer face federal bank fraud charges


April 19, 2016:
WBAY:  Van Den Heuvels, loan officer face federal bank fraud charges

WGBA:  Loan officer, De Pere couple indicted for bank fraud

WLUK:  Businessman, wife, loan officer face bank fraud charges

MJS:  Businessman who landed $1.2 Million in state Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. loans indicted

Dept. of Justice Statement, United States Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Wisconsin: Horicon Bank Loan Officer Paul Piikkila & De Pere couple Ron & Kelly Van Den Heuvel indicted for mulitple Federal Counts of Bank Fraud


April 12, 2016:
WSJ:  Businessman repays taxpayers dime on dollar for troubled WEDC loan


March 31, 2016:
GBPG:  Heidi Cruz and Carly Fiorina visit De Pere


January 25, 2016:
WISJ:  Catching Up: Green Box owner says he plans to repay WEDC


January 14, 2016:
WISJ:  Gov. Scott Walker backs bill making WEDC fraud a felony

 



 

December 23, 2015:
WLUK:  WEDC says loan to De Pere’s Van Den Heuvel not repaid; Businessman says money’s coming


November 10, 2015:
WISJ:  Sen. Tammy Baldwin calls for federal investigation into some WEDC loans

WLUK:  Baldwin wants DOJ to review Wisconsin economic agency’s loans


November 6, 2015:
Letter from U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin to U.S. General Attorney Loretta Lynch requesting review of May 20, 2015 Letter by WI Sen. Julie Lassa & WI Rep. Peter Barca, and the September 21, 2015 Letter from 42 Enrolled Members of the Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin asking for the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) and WEDC recipients Oneida Seven Generations Corp./Green Bay Renewable Energy, Oneida Energy Inc., and Ron Van Den Heuvel’s Green Box NA Green Bay, and the involvement of Artley Skenandore’s Swakweko LLC and Abdul Latif Mahjoob’s American Combustion Technologies Inc./ACTI

GBPG:  Gas drive-offs linked to illegal car sales


October 29, 2015:
MJS:  Kenosha man sentenced to prison for car export scheme


October 15, 2015:
WBAY:  De Pere businessman denies defrauding investors

 

WBAY: WEDC responds to fraud investigation of De Pere businessman


October 15, 2015:
WISJ: Warrants allege Green Bay businessman defrauded WEDC for more than $1 million

WLUK:  De Pere businessman denies fraud involved in $1.2 Million state loan

GBPG/AP:  Green Bay businessman denies defrauding state


October 14, 2015:
Law360.com: Justices Say Tribe Is Immune To Energy Project Lease Suit


September 23, 2015:
[mailed in late-October] Letter from the Oneida Business Community regarding litigation updates in Meyers, et al. v. Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin; and ACF Leasing, ACF Services & Generation Clean Fuels v. Green Bay Renewable Energy, Oneida Seven Generations Corporation & Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin


September 21, 2015:
Letter to United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch from 42 Enrolled Members of the Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin asking the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate possible Fraud against the Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin by Ron Van Den Heuvel & Green Box NA / Environmental Advanced Reclamation Technology HQ LLC (E.A.R.T.H.); Latif Mahjoob & American Combustion Technologies (of California) Inc. (ACTI); and Oneida Seven Generations Corporation & its subsidiaries, IEP Development LLC, Oneida Energy Inc., and Green Bay Renewable Energy LLC [PDF with 42 signatures]


September 16, 2015:
WISJ:  Democratic lawmakers call for new state agency to replace WEDC’s ‘broken brand’


September 15, 2015:
MJS:  State Sen. Lassa & State Rep. Barca propose bringing WEDC back into state fold


September 3, 2015:
U.S. Dept. of Justice:  Statement about Mantria Corporation ‘green energy’ Ponzi scheme

U.S News & World Report:  3 charged in $54 million green-energy Ponzi scheme based on trash-to-fuel promise


September 11, 2015:
MJS:  WEDC board puts off outsourcing issue for a month


August 19, 2015:
Daily Times-Call: Longmont, Colorado, Considers Single-Bin Composting Waste System


July 31, 2015:
NMPJ:  UPDATE on KELLERGATE – Blue Stone Strategy Group LLC Asks For Delay In Discovery In Nikishna Polequaptewa Lawsuit


July 30, 2015:
NMPJ:  UPDATE on NM State Auditor and Blue Stone Principal Tim Keller: Let’s Spell it out. Blue Stone Whistleblower Nikishna Polequaptewa Releases Devastating PowerPoint about Keller. Keller will have a Difficult time Explaining PowerPoint Because It Contradicts His Repeated Stories To The Media.


July 28, 2015: 
NMPJ: Exclusive Interview: Whistleblower Nikishna Polequaptewa Releases Devastating Document Exposing New Mexico State Auditor Tim Keller Training Blue Stone Strategy Group “Pitch Men” To Grub For Tribal Consulting Business Deals


July 27, 2015:
NMPJ:  Tim Keller Cover Up Continues. Albuquerque Journal Takes a Look. But the Duke of Disclosure Misleads Them.


July 23, 2015:
New Mexico Political Journal:  New Mexico State Auditor Tim Keller Accused In Federal Lawsuit. Highly Honored American Indian Activist says Keller was “improperly paid.”


July 22, 2015:
MJS:  WEDC gave loans to entrepreneur in case with ‘earmarks of fraud’

MJS:  Troubled De Pere firm that received WEDC loan now under criminal scrutiny


July 20, 2015:

Buzzfeed: How A Ponzi Scheme Hoodwinked Immigration Authorities – U.S. Visa Program For Wealthy Investors Marred By Fraud; America’s multibillion-dollar immigrant investor program is overseen by an agency that many say is not equipped to smell out financial fraud.

A report released in February by Congress’s U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission agreed, singling out EB-5 as especially vulnerable to fraud and laying the blame in part on USCIS. “Given that USCIS is tasked primarily with customs and immigration matters, it is questionable whether this federal agency has the capability to properly oversee the economic dimension of the EB-5 application process at the local level,” the report says.

This is what allowed Luca International Group, a California oil company, to fleece Chinese investors out of $8 million dollars, as the SEC charged this month. The investors thought their money was going toward oil rigs in Texas and Louisiana when in fact, the SEC charged, it was simply being used to prop up a huge Ponzi scheme and fund the lavish lifestyles of the company’s owners. Luca also paid former president George W. Bush $200,000 to speak at a conference designed to encourage Chinese investors to put their money in American oil.  …

By the time the SEC began to suspect that Luca was a pyramid scheme, the company had already obtained approval from USCIS to solicit funds and netted $8 million from Chinese investors. The company trumpeted this approval on one of its websites, calling itself “USCIS approved” and boasting that it “can get you a green card with a $500,000 investment.” 

To get USCIS approval for projects and so-called regional centers — corporate middlemen set up to facilitate the investments — companies have to submit detailed business plans and documentation attesting to the financial health of the businesses involved. Often, as in Luca’s case, both the regional centers and the projects themselves are set up by the same people. According to the SEC, Luca’s entire operation was a pyramid targeting Chinese and Chinese-American investors, which evidently went unnoticed by USCIS.

GBPG:  Dan Ariens to chair troubled WEDC

MJS:  Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker calls for legal steps to recover bad state loans

GBPG: WEDC seeks records on De Pere business’ unpaid loans; The newspaper version of the article adds:

WEDC provided the $1.1 million loan to Green Box NA LLC in 2011 in exchange for a pledge to create 115 jobs by Dec. 31, 2014.

The company stopped making payments in 2013, got the loan terms restructured in 2014 and WEDC declared the company in default in March. …

Brown County court records indicate that SC Acquisitions LLC of Winnetka, Ill., sought repayment of $28.3 million in a 2010 mortgage foreclosure case filed against four Van Den Heuvel companies – Eco Fibre Inc., Custom Paper Products Inc., Partners Concepts Development Inc., and Tissue Products Technology Corp.

The company’s struggle to repay existing debt didn’t stop Van Den Heuvel from continuing to pursue loans from WEDC. …

A WEDC statement on Green Box indicates it authorized Green Box’s 2011 loan less than a month after the quasi-public agency was created [by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker].


July 11, 2015:
Shawano Leader: Former Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin Superme Court Chief Justice Joseph R. Martin sentenced on child porn charge


July 10, 2015:
MJS:  Jobs agency lent $1.2 million to businessman with troubled finances


June 29, 2015:
MJS:  Seized luxury cars to be auctioned today


June 4, 2015: 
MJS:  He keeps the Porsche but Kenosha man faces prison in export scheme


May 29, 2015:
Wisconsin Supreme Court Decision w/ Dissenting Opinion of Chief Justice Patience Roggensack, Case No. 2013AP591Oneida Seven Generations Corporation & Green Bay Renewable Energy, LLC v. City of Green Bay

WLUK:  Supreme Court rules in Oneida Seven Generations Corporations favor in plant permit case

 

WFRV: Oneida Seven Generations Corporation wins lawsuit against City of Green Bay over proposed waste-to-energy plant

• Click here for the WFRV video report

WGBA: State Supreme Court sides with Oneida Seven Generations Corporation in suit against City of Green Bay

WBAY: Wisconsin Supreme Court rules favor of Oneida Seven Generations Corporation in waste-to-energy suit

GBPG: Oneida Seven Generations Corporation’s plant permit wrongfully revoked, court rules


May 23, 2015:
MJS:  Judge OKs sale of fancy cars seized in money laundering scheme


March 30, 2015:
OC Weekly:  Hopi Indian Activist Nikishna Polequaptewa Fights Back Against Federal Lawsuit Claims


March 18, 2015:
MJS:  Man accused of identity theft, fraud in car export scheme arrested


March 12, 2015:
Shawano Leader: Former Menominee tribal prosecutor Joe Martin pleads to child porn charge


March 11, 2015:
Law360.comPaper mill co. Van Den Heuvel Holding Company / VHC Inc. seeks void of $17 Million IRS Deficiency Notice


January 23, 2015:
MJS:  Gov. Scott Walker rejects Menominee Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin bid for Kenosha casino


January 15, 2015:
GBPG: Mayor Schmitt returns $2,000 in campaign donations


January 5, 2015:
WLUK: Mayor Schmitt, Green Bay aldermen call for audit of campaign finances



December 28, 2014:

New York Times: In North Dakota, a Tale of Oil, Corruption and Death


October 21, 2014:

GBPG: Oneida plant fight goes to state Supreme Court


September 10, 2014:
MJS:  Gov. Walker names campaign attorney’s brother to judgeship


July 16, 2014:
Grist.org:  Houston’s one-bin-to-rule-them-all ‘recycling’ plan smells a little like Racism


April 5, 2014:
GBPG: Oneida plant dispute headed to state Supreme Court


March 31, 2014:
WLUK: Green Bay to appeal Oneida Seven Generations decision


March 26, 2014:
WLUK: OSGC wins appeal on waste plant permit

GBPG: Appeals court: Green Bay improperly rejected Seven Generations plant


March 14, 2014:
GBPG: City of Green Bay wants Oneida energy firm’s appeal thrown out


March 13, 2014:
GBPG: Oneida Tribe targeted in $400 million suit over energy deal


January 18, 2014:
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Green energy plan raises red flags in City of Adams; Controversy centers on charges of conflict of interest involving mayor

The City of Adams in central Wisconsin is making a big push into green energy, but questions are being raised about whether the gambit will heap too much risk on taxpayers.

The controversy centers on charges of conflict of interestinvolving the mayor and details of the deal in which the city — with a population of just under 2,000 — gives big incentives to a company that says it will build a world headquarters and manufacturing plant in a local industrial park.

Adams’ mayor, JanAlyn Baumgartner, now works for the company, GEITS Corp., which has U.S. offices in Madison and lists other offices in Italy, Australia and Singapore. The city has also given GEITS office space in Adams City Hall.

One critic of the project estimates the city’s commitment will cost $22 million over the next 25 years.

GEITS stands for Global Environmental Infrastructure Technology Solutions, and according to its website, it specializes in renewable powergeneration, wastemanagement, watermanagement and urban renewal. … 

Among the skeptics is Jim Gately, a retired lawyer who lives in Adams County.

“There’s a lot of things that don’t pass the smell test,” Gately said. “If they can do what they say they can do, God bless them; Adams County needs it.

“But I don’t want to see the city of Adams taken for a ride and become the first city in Wisconsin to file for bankruptcy.”

In his analysis for opponents, attorney McFarlin said the city’s contract with the GEITS revealed numerous deficiencies, including a failure to seek other bids for wastewater equipment and to obtain a performance bond to ensure the work will be completed.

When Julie Giese, a loan specialist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development program, was told at a meeting last year there would be no competitive bidding for the wastewater project, she said that alone disqualified the project from being considered for funding.

Everything was real secret,”Giese said. “They provided no documents. I asked for copies of plans, or information on the technology, and the contract — and I’ve got nothing.”

Ehlers, a firm hired by the city to assess the implications of the project, warned in a letter that the city needed to take steps to minimize risk to taxpayers. It also suggested that Adams officials review GEITS’ corporate financial statements and financial commitments it’s received for the project.



December 24, 2013:
WLUK: Chairman wants OSGC dissolution reconsidered


December 18, 2013:
WGBA: Oneida Chairman Asks Tribe To Reconsider OSGC Vote


December 15, 2013:
WGBA: Tribe Votes To Dissolve OSGC

GBGP: Oneidas vote to dissolve company behind trash plant

WFRV: Vote dissolves Oneida Seven Generations Corporation

WBAY: Oneida Tribal Members Vote To Dissolve Seven Generations Corporation


November 22, 2013:
GBGP: Oneida company questioned about ‘open burning’ in plant

WGBA: Oneida Nation Concerns Over Possible Incinerator


November 8, 2013:
Milwaukee Journal SentinelMenominee offered Oneida inducements to support Kenosha casino


September 12, 2013:
GBPG: No grounds to remove Oneida tribal chairman, panel finds


September 3, 2013:
WGBA: Leadership Changes For OSGC


August 19, 2013:
GBPG: Oneida tribal chairman fights ouster effort


August 8, 2013:
Palm Beach Daily Mail:  North End house sells in wake of court judgment; Seller Michael Han lost fraud suit by former defense chief Frank Carlucci III


July 24, 2013:
GBPG: Oneida tribal chairman targeted in ouster effort


July 10, 2013:
GBPG: Petition aims to dissolve Oneida Seven Generations Corp.


July 9, 2013:
WFRV: Petition filed to dissolve Oneida Seven Generations Corp.

WGBA: Oneida Tribal Members Turn In Petition

WLUK: Petition to dissolve tribal corp. filed

WBAY: Petition Filed to Dissolve Oneida Seven Generations Corp.


June 27, 2013:
WGBA: Tribal Members Seek to Dissolve Tribe’s Business Corporation


June 25, 2013:
Zero Waste World: Oneida Nation & Green Bay Ban the Burning of Waste


June 11, 2013:
Godrey & Kahn S.C.: ‘Financing Green Energy: Developing Tribal Energy Resources and Economies’ PowerPoint by John Clancy & Brian Pierson of Godfrey & Kahn [as presented at the Sandia Resort & Casino Hotel in Albuquerque, New Mexico]


June 3, 2013:
Daily Mail UK:  Former Secretary of Defense wins $37 Million payout in fraud case


May 31, 2013:
AOL News:  Ex-CIA Deputy Director Frank C. Carlucci III Fell for This ‘Plastics-to-Oil’ Scam. WOULD YOU?


May 30, 2013:
Courthouse News Service:  Carlucci Demands His $37 Million


May 16, 2013:
Kailhwisaks: GTC Weighs Future During Special Meeting


May 6, 2013:
GBPG: People have spoken on gasification plant; time to move on

WGBA: Future of Waste to Energy Plant Uncertain

GBPG: Oneida tribal members reject proposed recycling plant

WTAQ: Oneida tribal council approves petition saying no to building plant on reservation


May 5, 2013:
WLUK: Tribe says no to plant in Oneida

WFRV: Oneida Gasification Plant Vote


April 26, 2013:
WFRV: Oneida tribal members protest proposed waste-to-energy facility


April 18, 2013:
Kalihwisaks: GTC to Hear Petition Asking for Ban on Energy Projects Within Reservation


April 11, 2013:
GBPG: Oneida Business Committee reaffirms alt-energy support; Board still stands behind Green Bay gasification plant (In reality, the OBC voted to reaffirm OBC Resoluton 12-08-10-B which says the OBC supports OSGC & subsidiary Oneida Energy Inc. “as corporations wholly owned by the Tribe constructing this facility on the Oneida Reservation, OSGC and Oneida Energy are bound to comply with tribal land use and environmental laws as well as federal environmental laws,” and the Hurlbut St. parcel in the City of Green Bay is NOT on the Oneida Reservation. On May 5, 2013 General Tribal Council voted to prohibit OSGC & its subsidiaries from engaging in ‘gasification,’ ‘waste-to-energy’ and ‘plastics-to-oil’ anywhere on the Oneida Reservation.)

 
WTAQ: Oneida tribal committee backs gasification plant

WLUK:


April 4, 2013:
AP: Oneida tribe split on gasification plant

GBPG: Tribal foes of Oneida plant might try to dissolve company

WLUK: Oneidas split on gasification plant

WGBA: Group Aims To Halt Waste To Energy Plant


March 12, 2013:
WTAQ: Developer of trash to energy incinerator files notice of lawsuit appeal

WGBA: Oneida Seven Generations Files Appeal


March 11, 2013:
WFRV: Oneida Seven Generations appeals gasification plant decision


February 25, 2013:
5280 Magazine:  Exclusive: An Update on “The Biggest Green Scam in America”


 

February 14, 2013:
WGBA: Recycling Plant Draws New Opponents

WLUK:


February 13, 2013:
WFRV: Oneida Land Commission approves waste-to-energy plant


February 11, 2013:
WFRV: Gasification plant vote delayed


January 31, 2013:
WFRV: Outagamie County new site for proposed waste-to-energy facility


January 30, 2013:
WTAQ: OSGC looking at new site for waste to energy facility on Oneida tribal land


January 9, 2013:
WTAQ: Judge sides with city of Green Bay in court fight over gasification plant

WFRV: Judge rules against Oneida trash-to-energy plant

WLUK: Judge rules for Green Bay in trash-to-energy lawsuit

WGBA: Judge Sides with Green Bay in Energy Plant Suit



November 11, 2011:
Press Release by Susan Finco of Leonard & Finco Public Relations, Inc.: U.S. Dept. of Energy Issues Final Environmental Assessment Approval for Oneida Seven Generations Corporation Renewable Energy Facility


November 10, 2011:
ABC 8 WFAA – Dallas, TX: City junket to Europe leads to more waste for South Dallas with Orgnaic Energy Corp. & EcoHub Houston

See also: EcoHub.net affiliated with Glen Arbor LLC’s EcoHub Wisconsin, LLC & EcoHub USA


July 2011:
5280 Magazine:  The Biggest Green Scam in America – Denver’s Wayde McKelvy raised tens of millions of dollars for a new, clean-energy company that the SEC says was nothing more than an old-school Ponzi scheme



May 4, 2010:
PatrickPretty.com: THE MODERN PONZI: Federal Judge Orders Parties Not To ‘Harass’ Receiver In Mantria/Speed Of Wealth Case; Dozens Of Companies Now Ensnared In Litigation



January 1, 2007:
The Washingtonian:  Living the American Dream
by Madhu Jain

Mahinder Tak, a radiation oncologist and retired US Army colonel, is another player on Washington’s cultural scene. Her home in a wooded area in Bethesda, where she lives with her entrepreneur husband, Sharad, houses arguably the largest personal collection of modern and contemporary Indian art in the United States. Last year Art & Antiques magazine listed her among the top 100 collectors of art in the country.

Sharad Tak, the entrepreneur who lives in Bethesda, was the pioneer. In 1974, he lobbied for Indian-Americans to be considered minorities, enabling them to take advantage of incentives given to minority-owned businesses.

Tak’s company, ST Systems Corporation, provided programming and systems integration to agencies including NASA and the Federal Aviation Administration. He brought in other Indian-Americans to work with him, including Frank Islam[.]

  



November 2, 1997:
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

Businessman’s support may have been against law

by Daniel Bice

Businessman Ronald Van Den Heuvel says he donated money through Wisconsin residents to Gov. Tommy Thompson’s campaign for several years while living in Georgia – an apparent violation of state election laws.

In a recent interview, Van Den Heuvel was questioned about $10,000 in campaign donations that he and his wife [Jan Marie Summers Van Den Heuvel] made one day before the state approved a large issue of tax-free bonds for one of his businesses. Van Den Heuvel responded by saying he had given similar amounts in the past.

When asked why reporters had not spotted those earlier donations on Thompson’s financial reports, Van Den Heuvel said, “Yeah, you may not have because when I was a Georgia resident, I gave it to people here.”

Those Wisconsin individuals, whom he did not name, then turned the money over to Thompson, he said. Van Den Heuvel, owner of VOS Electric in Green Bay and other businesses, said he moved to Wisconsin three years ago.

“I didn’t want to do it as a non-resident, which is fine,” he said. “You got to do some separate things if you’re a non-resident. I didn’t want to do that.”

Kevin Kennedy, executive director of the state Elections Board, said state law specifically bars people from laundering campaign donations or knowingly accepting laundered funds. Kennedy said it could be either a civil or criminal offense, depending on whether prosecutors believe they can prove the campaign money was given or received in intentional violation of the law.

Kevin Keane, spokesman for the governor, said the governor and his campaign were unaware of any laundered money. If Van Den Heuvel did pass money through others to Thompson, Keane said, the governor will return the money immediately once it is identified.

C. David Stellpflug, Van Den Heuvel’s lawyer, called the Journal Sentinel to say that his client was talking about giving money to political parties. But in his interview, Van Den Heuvel was critical of parties, specifically saying he did not give to the Republican National Committee.

“To me, parties – they kind of get in the way,” Van Den Heuvel said. “I like to know the person and what kind of person that person is.”

 

The Journal Times Donations to Thompson’s campaign led to favors

Investigative Reporters & Editors: Moneyed Interests

 

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

It pays to know Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson

by Steve Schultze
and Daniel Bice

Like others before him, Ron Van Den Heuvel, a Green Bay-area entrepreneur, found the route to state largess with the help of Gov. Tommy G. Thompson.

Van Den Heuvel hit the jackpot in late September when an obscure state board awarded $24 million worth of tax-free bond financing to help him reopen an Oconto Falls tissue factory – the largest such approval this year and among the largest ever made by the state.

The award culminated nearly a year’s effort that included a formal application through the Commerce Department. But Van Den Heuvel worked informal channels to Thompson as well. And last May – the day before an initial financing award was made by the state – Van Den Heuvel and his wife [Jan Marie Summers Van Den Heuvel] donated a total of $10,000 to the governor’s campaign fund. Van Den Heuvel said he had been asked for the donation by Thompson’s fund-raiser in November 1996.

When asked by reporters last month about the campaign donations, Thompson moved quickly to return the money.

The subsidy will save Van Den Heuvel’s company at least $2 million in short-term financing costs, Van Den Heuvel said. The financing covers nearly half of the $52 million cost of renovating the Oconto Falls factory.

The circumstances of the case and others reviewed by the Journal Sentinel in an eight-month investigation suggest a trend in which donors and well-connected firms enjoy a close and mutually beneficial relationship with the Thompson administration.

“You don’t pay, you don’t play,” said a veteran lobbyist, speaking of state government generally, including the governor and legislators.

Most public attention has focused on Thompson’s upbeat personality and bulldog tenacity in achieving his goals during his unprecedented 11 years as governor. The newspaper’s investigation found another side of the Thompson story: an administration marked by the strong appearance of favoritism.

Thompson has relied on a close-knit group of lobbyists, corporate executives and friends to pull the strings of government, with many moving in and out of state jobs, the paper found. Some of those who were Thompson’s closest staff advisers now work as private consultants and lobbyists, trading on their access to the governor and blurring the line between government and private interests. …

As governor, Thompson has raised record sums, more than $6.5 million in his last run for governor and almost $15 million overall since his first gubernatorial bid in 1986.

The method for getting campaign money from firms interested in state help includes pleas made at opportune times.

In the Oconto Falls case, fund-raiser Prange called on Van Den Heuvel last November for a donation, a few months after Van Den Heuvel’s request for state aid had first been broached, according to Van Den Heuvel and state Commerce Department records. Prange was aware of Van Den Heuvel’s pending request for state financing aid when he asked for a donation, Van Den Heuvel said. Prange had approached him for donations in previous years.

“I made that $10,000 commitment to him in November (of 1996), OK?” said Van Den Heuvel. He claimed he’d been a longtime large donor to Thompson’s campaign, but the governor’s campaign finance records show just two other, smaller donations from Van Den Heuvel before the big donations were made last May.

Thompson insisted he never personally solicits donations and knows few details of how his campaign operation functions, despite his aggressive hands-on approach to campaigning and governing. But interviews with Thompson insiders, phone records and his own campaign records suggest the governor has taken a much more active role in his campaign money-raising machine.

The governor’s Capitol phone records, dating to January 1996, show 32 calls to fund-raiser Prange’s line at the governor’s campaign office, 26 calls to the state party or to state GOP chairman Dave Opitz, and 60 calls to the four businessmen who coordinate Thompson’s fund-raising strategy. They are Fred Luber, chief executive of Milwaukee’s Super Steel Products Corp.; J. Carleton “Sandy” MacNeil, a Mequon investment broker; Butch Johnson, president of Johnson Timber in Hayward; and San Orr Jr., chief executive of Wausau Paper Mills.

Thompson regularly phones and meets with those who run his fund-raising operation, including Klauser and other informal advisers outside of government. Although Klauser downplays his role, Klauser has expanded his campaign role since he left state government late last year to return to political consulting and lobbying, Thompson said. The governor only occasionally turns to Klauser for policy advice, he said, though others said Klauser’s policy role remained large.

Allegations of influence peddling in the Thompson administration are the subject of an ongoing state Justice Department investigation. The investigation has focused on whether state favors have been granted in exchange for political donations. That probe started early this year with utility deals but has broadened to include other areas of state government, according to persons close to the case. The department declined to comment.

A Case Study

The Oconto Falls paper mill financing provides a case study on how influence works in the Thompson administration and who can help get deals done.

Last year, Van Den Heuvel’s Re-Box Packaging Co. hired investment banker P. Nicholas Hurtgen, a former top aide to Thompson and the brother-in-law of Thompson’s paid fund-raiser, Phil Prange. Hurtgen was hired as the project’s financial adviser, but he also helped open doors for Van Den Heuvel with the governor and other administration officials.

At a face-to-face meeting with Thompson in his Capitol office last January, the governor made a point of telling Van Den Heuvel that granting state aid wasn’t his call, but he encouraged him anyway. “I told him to work with (Commerce Secretary) Bill McCoshen. I’m almost positive of it.

He also said: “I encourage people, that’s my style,” Thompson added. ” ‘Sounds good! Let’s do it! Let’s get it done!’ That’s Tommy Thompson,” he said.

Van Den Heuvel says he recalled Thompson saying to him: “I think it’s a hell of an idea.”

Van Den Heuvel said that he and his wife, Jan, donated a total of $10,000 to the governor’s campaign account earlier this year — the checks were delivered May 15, one day before Re-Box Packaging won state approval for $9 million in tax-free bonds. That approval was intended for financing to build a De Pere factory for Re-Box.

Van Den Heuvel and two partners also each gave $500 to the governor three days before the state’s five-member Volume Cap Allocation Council voted on the financial aid. Three other partners gave a total of $2,100 between late April and June.

An hour after the newspaper asked Thompson about the donations, Thompson’s press secretary, Kevin Keane, said the Van Den Heuvels’ donations would be returned because “we are just not comfortable about” the timing of the cash gifts. Van Den Heuvel later confirmed that $10,000 of his donations were returned. Keane said the other donations might be returned.

Before using the $9 million in state financing, Van Den Heuvel decided to drop his aid application for the De Pere plant and apply for even more aid for PCDI Oconto Falls Tissue Inc., the tissue-mill project. The council that awarded the earlier sum readily agreed to authorize the $24 million in financing aid.

Commerce Department staffers who reviewed the Oconto proposal, however, declined to make any recommendation on the request, also noting the large sum, if approved, would “significantly impact” the amount of tax-free bonding authority available for other projects. Numerous other projects proposed by other firms were not funded by the council.

Van Den Heuvel made the project switch, he said, because the Oconto Falls mill offered the opportunity to get government financing aid for a much larger portion of that project’s overall costs than the $9 million financing offered him for the De Pere project.

Van Den Heuvel, Thompson and other administration officials say the project was approved on its merits and there was no link between the campaign cash and the state aid.

“None whatsoever,” Thompson said. “Absolutely none.”

The donations “wouldn’t have anything to do with” the state aid, Van Den Heuvel said.

Officials said the Oconto Falls mill will provide 160 jobs in an area hit hard by this year’s plant closure. The $24 million in financing aid, while large, was far less than the total of $70 million that Van Den Heuvel originally requested for the De Pere Re-Box project, state officials noted. …

However, lobbyists for major firms and interest groups who do business with the state, and business executives interviewed by the newspaper, said the fund-raising events are sold as prime opportunities to bend the governor’s ear on state issues – often worth millions to major players in issues ranging from utility regulation to Indian gaming. The fund-raisers often include discussion of those issues.

 

A second lobbyist said Thompson’s fund-raising machine “systematically and methodically” milked firms with state business for donations. “Everybody understands if you go and ask the government to do something, you are going to have to make contributions.”

Both lobbyists asked not to be named, saying they feared retribution for speaking out.

State phone records also showed top aides to the governor, with whom he regularly confers, made numerous calls to the Thompson campaign office and GOP fund-raisers.

Klauser, in his last three months as Thompson’s top aide, called Prange 19 times, his phone records show. And Commerce Secretary McCoshen, who oversees a wide range of state subsidy programs for businesses, including the Oconto Falls financing, called Prange and the governor’s campaign office 21 times since January 1995.

State phone records show a series of calls during the period Van Den Heuvel was negotiating for his state financing aid, including a string of calls linking Thompson, his campaign, top state officials and Hurtgen, Van Den Heuvel’s project manager.

Thompson acknowledged that he might have talked to Hurtgen, his former aide, about Van Den Heuvel’s request for state financing aid.

“Possibly could have,” Thompson said. “I don’t know.”

Hurtgen declined to comment. Matthews and McCoshen said their calls to Hurtgen were not related to the Van Den Heuvel project.

I’ve been a supporter of Gov. Thompson for a long time. I happen to think he’s the best governor,” Van Den Heuvel said.

 


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