Why did The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians really lose the Greektown Casino? And how does this all tie into Pinnacle Race Course.

The Michigan Gaming Control Board had the sole hand in the sabotaging this Indian Tribe’s deal. So what makes anybody think that the same thing won’t happen in any endeavor they may attempt on Pinnacle Race Course’s land? 

Sault Tribe loses grip on Greektown Casino

By Staff reports
The Evening News
Posted Jun 29, 2010 @ 05:50 PM
Detroit —

Michigan regulators have approved an ownership change that allows Detroit’s Greektown Casino to emerge from bankruptcy protection, according to Associated Press reports.

The Michigan Gaming Control Board voted 4-0 at a special meeting, transferring ownership from the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians to new investors, The Detroit News reports. The new owners include 10 hedge funds and mutual funds that have been granted an “institutional exemption” from the formal licensing application, because there are too many partners to approve individually.

The casino entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection two years ago with a U.S. bankruptcy judge approving an exit plan in January, according to the Associated Press.

The decision angered at least a portion of the Sault Tribe’s membership.

“In a significant and dangerous departure from past practice, the Michigan Gaming Control Board has chosen to turn a blind eye to its own rules and abandon how it has traditionally granted regulatory clearance for people who seek an ownership stake in a Detroit casino,” said Director Lana Causley. “By approving a transfer of ownership to people who have not yet passed the background checks the MGCB has demanded and performed of all previous owners, the MGCB has set a dangerous precedent and potentially harmed the integrity of commercial gaming in Michigan.”

“It’s not fair to us,” said tribal member Denise Chase, according to Detroit News accounts. “You investigated us for two years.”

Causley expanded on that argument in her statement.

“Today’s decision unjustly applies a double standard that benefits private hedge funds and out-of-state investors, and compromises the MGCB’s own mission statement to ‘protect the interests of the citizens of the State of Michigan’,” she said.

The Associated Press reports the casino will be jointly owned by a public company, Greektown Superholdings, Inc., and a private group, Greektown Newco Sub Inc. The new owners, according to published accounts, have raised approximately $200 million in equity by selling preferred stocks.

End

***

Seems to me the MGCB who wants specific details of Pinnacle Race Course before it proceeds in giving out 2011 Race Dates, needs to be asked some pertinent questions of their dealings with Greektown and the deal there as well.

And just who is  Greektown Superholdings, Inc?

 A board of directors will oversee the casino. Board members are:

• Mike Duggan, Detroit Medical Center CEO.

Freman Hendrix, former deputy mayor under Dennis Archer and mayoral candidate.

• George Boyer, former president and COO of MGM Grand Detroit from 2002 to 2008.

• John Bitove, a Toronto-based radio and sports investor.

• Benjamin Duster, executive managing director of Watermark Advisors LLC, a strategic advisory firm.

• Joel Ferguson, owner of offices and apartments in 16 Michigan cities and founder of F&S Development Co. and Lansing’s WLAJ-TV, an ABC affiliate.

• Yvette Landau, chief legal counsel for the Mandalay Resort Group from 1993 to 2005.

Hendrix Freman the Man who ran for Mayor in Detroit twice and lost twice. I don’t know did he want to be Mayor or be a director on a Casino’s board? Guess he took what he could get.

In 2009  Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians filed a suit again formar chairman of the tribe family: BERNARD BOUSCHOR, and their law firm and MILLER, CANFIELD, PADDOCK AND STONE, P.L.C. and Seven Others  DANIEL T. GREEN; PAUL W. SHAGEN; JOSEPH M. PACZKOWSKI; DAVID E. SCOTT; JOLENE M. NERTOLI; JAMES M. JANNETTA; DANIEL J. AWEAVER jointly and severally.

AND WON ( see below )

Contained in the court document.

In advance of Defendant Bouschor’s bid for re-election, Defendants planned and executed a scheme to secretly take approximately $2.6 million in the middle of the night from the Tribe if Defendant Bouschor lost the election. About a month before the election, the Defendants began drafting secret severance agreements that purported to “terminate” the seven employees (Defendant Bouschor’s long time allies) and pay them lump-sum “severance compensation.” About two weeks before the election, in the evening when everyone was gone, they secretly went into the Tribe’s payroll system, fraudulently circumvented the Tribe’s financial controls, and wrote themselves massive checks. Then, they waited forthe outcome of the election. Defendant Bouschor lost the election. The next morning, Defendants literally took the money and ran — they passed out the secretly-written checks and were the first customers at the bank when it opened, where they converted the payroll checks into cashier’s checks to prevent the Tribe from stopping payment.

Defendants Take the Money and Run.

 The morning after the election, after learning that Aaron Payment had defeated Defendant Bouschor, the seven Key Employees met at a restaurant in Sault Ste. Marie, handed out the checks and ran to the bank to cash them. The bank records show that they started cashing them at 9:07 a.m., right after the bank opened. Exhibit 14 They did not just cash the checks — they had them converted into cashier’s checks. Exhibit 15. They have admitted that they converted the money into cashier’s checks so the Tribe could not stop payment. Exhibit 16, Jolene M. Nertoli Dep. at 79 (they “wanted to make sure they got the money and nobody could stop them”). Then, they deposited the money in different banks all around the Upper Peninsula and in Petoskey. 15 At about 10:30 a.m., Defendant Bouschor announced that he had terminated the seven Key Employees because he wanted to “clear the way for Mr. Payment.” He did not mention that they had been paid “severance pay.” About three hours later, at 1:30 p.m., someone went back into the Tribe’s computer and entered the ledgers they had deleted on June 8. Defendants do not deny these facts. Instead, they claim (among other things) that Defendant Bouschor was authorized to enter into the severance agreements vis-a-vis a 2001 resolution passed by the Tribal Board.

*****

” But Bouschor did not have that authority and they knew it”  I suggest the reading of this court document in its entirety.

****

A mediation agreement has netted the Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians $1 million from the law firm of Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone, P.L.C. as the firm opted to settle following a hard-bargained session lasting more than 12 hours Tuesday.

“This was a contested case,” said law firm CEO Michael Hartmann on Wednesday afternoon. “No one admitted liability.”

In extricating itself from the pending lawsuit in exchange for $1 million, Hartmann indicated both sides were satisfied with the resolution.

“Everyone thought it was in the best interest of the firm,” he explained.

“On behalf of the board of directors and myself, I’m confident to say this is the best possible outcome for our tribe and the status of the case,” said Tribal Chairman Darwin “Joe” McCoy in a press release issued shortly before 10 a.m. today. “I’m pleased we were able to hold one party responsible for its role in the litigation and that we are free to continue on with the other defendants, soon we can put this behind us as a tribe and move forward.”

The lengthy mediation saw the Sault Ste. Marie Tribal Board of Directors go in and out of open session throughout the day before the final deal was reached.

John Hatch, one of the few tribal members who monitored the day of mediation, said the board was unanimous in its decision.

“I think it was an excellent deal,” said Hatch. “The board did an excellent job.”

Hatch said not only did the Sault Tribe get some of its money back, but it also preserved the abuse of government civil suit against the former chairman, Bernard Bouschor.

His analysis coincides with this morning’s press release which states: “The settlement allows the Sault Tribe to recover a substantial amount of money without the uncertainty of a trial. It also preserves the tribe’s ability to continue its lawsuit against those most responsible for the unauthorized transfer of tribal funds to key employees”

The Sault Tribe has been looking to recover approximately $2.6 million which was distributed to upper-echelon employees in the wake of Bouschor’s 2004 failed re-election bid. Tribal representatives have contended that the payments were illegal and Bouschor did not have the authority to release those individuals with hefty severance packages.

A jury trial to settle the civil suit is scheduled for October in the 50th Circuit Court.

***

“This was a contested case,” yet they paid. Sounds like another Bill O’Reilly number. No wrong doing but I’m willing to pay so the tapes with my voice on them cannot be heard. Yeah Right. Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone didn’t have to admit wrong doing. They paid didn’t they?

No wonder they pay so much attention to this Blog and the doings of this Tribe concerning any news on Pinnacle Race Courses Land Deal.

I’m questioning The MGCB vote to transfer Greektown to different owners while a bankruptcy court judge ruled that this tribe could reorganize under chapter 11?

 But this is what it might have come down to.

Ownership of the property.

http://www.saulttribe.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1218&Itemid=2

Last week,  Bart Stupak urged the U.S. Department of Interior and the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate if it is legally possible for the Sault Tribe to lose its real estate interest in the Greektown Casino property located at 1010 Beaubien Street, saying the land has been placed in trust. Stupak wrote that property placed in federal trust cannot be conveyed to another party without congressional approval.

This prompted the investors, through their legal firm, Dechert LLP, to pen their own letter to the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Department of the Interior.

DeWitt argued, however, there is no evidence that the land was ever placed in trust on the federal registry and Stupak’s assertions lack merit.

“The Tribe never obtained title or any ownership interest in the Beaubien Street Property, as is clearly disclosed in the May 1998 disclaimer of interest by Bernard Bouschor, the chairman of the Tribe at the time, which states that the Warranty Deed ‘was never delivered to the Tribe or on its behalf, nor was the Deed accepted by the Tribe or accepted into trust by the United States Department of the Interior’,” according to a letter written by the legal firm Dechert LLP, representing the investors.

DeWitt characterized the Stupak letter and the Sault Tribe’s eleventh hour claims of trust land status are a last-ditch effort to derail the pending bankruptcy court ruling which he anticipated would be handed down sometime before the end of the month.

 ***

So the former Chairman didn’t follow proper protocol in the filing of documents? And  The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians ended up suing him and won. But it seems  Bernard Bouschor and his law team of Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone, P.L.C. made out like bandits, and in end the Tribe loss even more than what they originally stole from this tribe. The Chairman caused the Tribes eventual loss of Greektown. Again back to the Suit Filing, A jury trial to settle the civil suit is scheduled for October in the 50th Circuit Court. I hope they can win even more but reality is Greektown will remain in the hands of who the MGCB handed it to.

OH but The Detroit City Council: Published: Friday, February 05, 2010,

Detroit City Council approves settlement with Greektown Casino; bankruptcy could end by June.

Feb. 5, 2010 DetNews.co

The Detroit City Council on Thursday approved a settlement with Greektown Casino that pays the city $13.1 million and paves the way for the casino to emerge from bankruptcy under new ownership.

The settlement will “resolve all open disputes” between the city and the casino over a development agreement and tax issues, said Charles Moore, the casino’s lead restructuring adviser with Conway MacKenzie Inc. in Birmingham. The settlement includes an immediate payout of $3.5 million for legal fees upon court approval and an additional $9.6 million upon the casino’s exit from bankruptcy.

Under Greektown’s reorganization plan, the casino will emerge from bankruptcy under new ownership, including MFC Global Investment Management in Boston, and OppenheimerFunds Inc., Brigade Capital Management and Solus Alternative Asset Management in New York.

Much to their chagrin, a group of local investors will not receive any compensation.

A U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge last month approved the reorganization, but as Crain’s reports, the Michigan Gaming Control Board must still approve the plan by the end of June.

Now this was FEBUARY 5th, 2010. Yet above on Freman Hendrix’s link.

Commissioners debating succession rules, next meeting *** July 27 ***
  
Hendrix’s position on the casino’s board presents a conflict of interest with his elected position on the charter commission, according to state law.
  

Gee, you think so? The council knew this fact then in Feb. What took so long?

And in essence  Greektown Newco Sub Inc.  is the same bank that walked out on Jerry Campbell and Pinnacle Race Course. COMERICA.

 7: EX-10.14    Material Contract  HTML     92K     http://www.secinfo.com/dScj2.r2X1.1.htm#1stPage

So Comerica Bank: dated April 26, 2010 agrees to provide to Greektown Superholdings, Inc. (“Borrower”) with a $30,000,000 revolving credit facility, but told Jerry Campbell we are pulling out of our Prior Commitment and Agreement with Pinnacle? Fantastic.

I still have to laugh though. The Michigan Gaming Control Board voted 4-0. Well considering it only has 4 members???

You see this is the very troublesome part of all this. 4 lone individuals with all this power over so many. In fact it is absurd. I mean do they ever disagree with one another?

4 People, Vote and you’re done with your day. But the ramifications of their actions can destroy a many of people.

Enter Pinnacle Race Course.

This tribe buys a parcel of land and now all hell breaks loose. Ed Boike questions the Land Deal and investigations start. And The Michigan Gaming Control Board now has control of Horse Racing. They handed over what belonged to The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians to a group that seems to be made up of Politicians, Hospital CEO, a Former President of a rival Casino, Real Estate mogul and a few out of towners.

So the MGCB wants some answers do they? Well I’d like a few myself on why they didn’t feel the need to investigate the backgrounds of all the individuals regarding the Greektown Casino Deal? Yet a Bankruptcy Judge approved an exit plan in January for this Tribe. And not in the form of losing the Casino.

And you say the MGCB of 4 aren’t in the hands of Detroit’s/Michigan Politicians Players? Well they screwed The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians out of a Casino on a ” Warranty Deed ” technicality that was never recorded by a corrupt former Chairman and his Law Firm they sued and won. And now there are sure a lot of people’s bowels in a twist over Pinnacle’s Land deal with this same Tribe. With a lot of writers in the same spectrum and with the same Agenda’s. Otherwise they wouldn’t sound so damn familiar all the time.

Detroit City, Freman Hendrix, Detroit Council, Wayne County Warranty Deeds, Ed Boike, The Michigan Gaming Control Board, Michigan’s Governor. It’s hard to tell with this Manangerie who has been influencing whom.

No, the more digging that gets done the more questions I and others should have. Something is very wrong with this whole picture here, but the pieces into this puzzle are starting to fit into place.

Stay Tuned…….

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Filed under Detroit News, Government, Law, Michigan News, News, Pinnacle Race Course, Politics

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