consultants are sandburs

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

An Indiana blogging lawyer writes of our good friends, Mr. Flaherty and Mr. Collins.

Take the post as one man's opinion, with David Flaherty's opinion likely to differ:

Real estate experts with whom I've spoken tell me there is no way the proposed 28-story, $121 million luxury apartment tower Flaherty & Collins plans to build at the site of the former Market Square Arena site can ever cash flow. It perplexed me why even with the nearly $25 million the City of Indianapolis contributed to the politically-connected developer for the costly tower that any lender would ever loan money to the company that has a past history of building costly high-rise buildings only to file bankruptcy before work was completed. It turns out that the hucksters are relying on the controversial EB-5 immigrant investor program to raise a substantial part of the capital it needs for the project.

Under the EB-5 program, wealthy foreign investors from countries like China, India and Saudi Arabia can purchase green cards to immigrate to the U.S. by investing between $500,00 and $1 million in a qualified business project in the United States. The program has been rife with fraud. [...]

[...] shouldn't Indianapolis City-County Councilors have been told that Flaherty & Collins planned to bring dozens of foreigners to the U.S. as part of its plan to build it's city-backed deal before they signed off on it? I recently inquired of council sources about rumors Flaherty & Collins was having trouble financing the project. The council was assured there were no hang-ups in financing.

[...]

It's not like drug money or something? The truth is that Flaherty & Collins will have no idea where these investors got their money and won't care. As long as they're ponying up their $1 million contribution to an investment doomed to be a colossal failure, who cares where they got their money. The firm is ensured of making a large sum of money from development fees from the project so whether it succeeds or fails as a going concern is of no concern to them. It's other people's money, after all. One point that's not mentioned is there is an annual cap of 10,000 visas that can be issued each year under this program. That cap was reached for the current fiscal year on May 1, which means new visas won't become available until the next fiscal year begins on October 1.

The Star wasn't much concerned at the time, although Russell does include in his story the fact that Mayor Ballard's former deputy mayor of economic development, Deron Kitner, who brokered the deal between the City and Flaherty & Collins, is now working as the company's general counsel.[...]

The post is dated May 17, 2015, so do not regard it as current news.

But is it currently relevant, to Ramsey? That would be if the town government contemplates any further involvement with the Flaherty firm. Let us hope it is news that is irrelevant to Ramsey.

One phrase in that story that is a bellringer, "... other peoples money ...". The author uses the term "hucksters," and that reminds me of the Darren Lazan - Ryan Cronk mischief over who Ryan Cronk really was in things, and whose table he really fed at.

And then the part about the influential public official's after-the-fact employment by Flaherty's firm. Champion a deal and who knows what may happen.

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