NEUTERING CADDO COMMISSION’S ELIO / LICHTER BLACK-OUT
Tuesday, May 16, 2017 … 12:43 P.M.
As we now know, and as I reported last Friday, our Caddo Parish Commission is working on behalf of Elio Motors to shred the most basic tenets of governmental transparency.
To begin, Paul Elio wanted to (illegally) meet with Commissioners as a group in private. When that failed, he somehow recruited our parish attorney to draw up non-disclosure agreements – “NDAs” – Commissioners would be compelled to sign before meeting with him individually.
In spite of this full-court press to drop a cloak over this fiasco, Elio Motors and other public companies must file very revealing federal reports.
Most notable, in context, is the SEC – Security and Exchange Commission – “1-K.”
The latest one for Elio Motors – all 183 pages of it – was filed two weeks ago, on May 1st, with information through December 31, 2016.
There is much in the report to warn any still unsuspecting Caddoans about both the genesis AND likely future of this debacle.
At best, this deal between the Commission on one side, and Stuart J. Lichter / Paul Elio on the other, is headed the wrong way.
Here are details:
… General Motors filed for bankruptcy on June 1, 2009, but operated into the fall of 2012.
… In March 2011, our G.M. facility and 88 others were taken over by a federal entity, Racer Trust … Revitalizing Auto Communities Environmental Response.
… In 2013, Racer Trust sold the physical plant to the Commission and its Industrial Development Board (IDB) for $7.5 million. The equipment went to Elio Motors for $3 million in cash, plus a $23 million promissory note.
… The Racer Trust contract directs that IDB lease the plant to two Lichter companies, Industrial Realty Group (IRG) and Shreveport Business Park, LLC, with IRG operating and managing the plant for the Commission.
… Elio Motors was to go into production in April 2014, and provide 1,500 jobs.
… Too, Lichter has been on the Board of Directors of Elio Motors since 2012, and owned, at the end of 2016, 28.5% of Elio Motors stock … 8,913,998 shares.
… Elio Motors has taken in just under $48 million in deposits for its supposed 3-wheel cars: $2,340,000 refundable, and $45,623,236 non-refundable.
… As of December 31, 2016, Elio Motors had debt of $129,518,027, of which $40,936,292 must be paid in “less than 1 year.”
… In three separate transactions in 2014, Lichter loaned Elio Motors $1,900,500, and separately advanced the company $5,770,000 in 2016.
… A $9.85 million piece of the $23 million loan which secured Elio’s purchase of the plant’s “machinery and equipment” is held by CH Capital Lending, another Lichter entity. First due on July 31, 2015, Lichter has extended payment until July 31, 2018.
… As of December 31, 2016, Elio has received $5.08 million – net – by selling G.M. plant equipment, money which went to CH Capital Lending. Another $1.3 million is said by Elio to be “available for sale.”
… Lichter / Elio money juggling is one thing, but the heavy debt to Racer Trust for plant equipment is another:
“The note to Racer Trust is secured by a lien subordinated to the lien of CH Capital Lending on certain machinery and equipment and is non-interest bearing, but has default interest of 18% per annum. The note, as amended, requires a monthly principal payment of $173,500 on June 1, 2017, with the remaining outstanding principal due on July 1, 2017.”
As I earlier reported, Lichter personally put up $5,000 to help a downtown Shreveport PAC try to pass the Commission’s recent list of property tax millages.
Given how much information in this SEC filing is unfavorable for Elio / Lichter, taxpayers are very wrongly left to wonder what some Commissioners and top staff know that we do not.
Here is the SEC 1-K report:
… to be continued …
© 2017 Elliott Stonecipher … ALL RIGHTS RESERVED