Let’s herd a few goats and review

Cover of the latest issue of the New Orleans Levee

Folks in my zeal to tell the story of Aaron Broussard and the Goatherders I left out a few details, connections and observations that I think everyone should consider closely. So lets make some connections, one before Broussard took a plea deal and one after he took that plea deal.

Slabbed explores Aaron Broussard’s role in selling overseas investments for Danny Abel, Charles Leary and Vaughn Perret as we reintroduce Cerro Coyote SA to the Slabb ~ 9/20/12

In that piece Brother Doug posted the letter written by Carl Eberts aka Brother Carl to Aaron Broussard aka Brother Aaron that Brother Doug obtained via public records request with Jefferson Parish. It conclusively proves that Aaron Broussard sold shares in Cerro Coyote a Costa Rican based business run by Broussard strawmen Danny Abel, Charles Leary and Vaughn Perret.

But Brother Carl appears on Slabbed in another spot too as Telemachus posted a few old T-P stories on Brother Carl’s associations with former Jefferson Parish DA John “Brother John” Mamoulides. Telemachus was somehow featured in the SLAPP suit Leary and Perret filed in Nova Scotia against Fox 8 despite the fact Telemachus never commmented at Fox 8. Trust me when Brother Doug sez 3rd world doesn’t adequately describe the Nova Scotia court system when it comes to SLAPP suits. I haven’t forgotten about Brother Tom either as he is there for me to take anytime I want. Lest I digress lets get back to those excellent comments left here by Tele on my post The Slab Nation literally stretches from coast to coast as Truth in Justice tracks John Mamoulides as the reason Telemachus was SLAPPed by Broussard’s business agents in Canada comes into sharper focus:

I’m going to admit I’m having some trouble following the allegations from afar…. but Mamo had at least one prior fling of a scandal involving HUD.

Because I’m a bit tuckered I’m gonna just post these in entirety if that’s ok. A couple notes:

It looks like this is all the work of James Gill when he was on staff, as opposed to jthe op-ed guy we all know now. His experience in JP goes way back.

Jacob Karno is a guy I posted on elsewhere here a while back, the Karno name goes back in the New Orleans mafia and the current Judge Rebecca Olivier is/was (nee) a Karno.

******************************************

5.12.96 TP:

“”AAA BUILDING A 10-story office tower in Metairie built in 1972 by Jefferson Parish developer Tom Lattie, who later developed two residential subdivisions with Mamoulides . PHOTO THE BOTTOM LINE: The failure of this investment hit the large and small. The lender took a $3 million loss, while the building’s unsecured creditors got stuck with $262,000 in unpaid bills. The mess even touched Louisiana insurance customers: the state’s guaranty fund had to come up with another $1 million to pay policyholder claims when Mamoulides ‘ company couldn’t repay a $1 million loan to a failed insurer. HOW MAMOULIDES GOT INVOLVED: Several months after Doug Allen and Carl Eberts purchased the AAA Building for $3.3 million in 1978, Mamoulides joined the partnership. The partnership borrowed $5.1 million against the property from General American Life Insurance of St. Louis in 1979. THE DEAL: Mamoulides and his partners sold and rebought the building several times over the next 12 years. With these sales the book value of the property increased from $3.3 million to $10.75 million. However, most of the deals were financed with little or no cash. In most cases, the sellers simply accepted promissory notes from the buyers. WHAT WENT WRONG: The New Orleans office market collapsed due to declining oil prices in the mid-1980s, and the AAA Building was one of the casualties. While the office tower brought in about $1.4 million in rent a year, that was not enough to cover expenses, even after General American agreed to sharply reduce the property’s interest payments. A Mamoulides company, which became the sole owner of the building in the early 1990s, defaulted on the $5.1 million loan to General American in July 1992 after three years of losses on the property.

The St. Tammany businessman who sold to Mamoulides land for this project in 1979 says he still hasn’t been paid in full. Three loans made to Mamoulides associates who bought land from him or bought land from co-developers resulted in a loss of more than $1 million to Enterprise Federal Savings and Loan of Marrero, the RTC said in court papers, and ultimately taxpayers picked up some of the tab. HOW MAMOULIDES GOT INVOLVED: Mamoulides and his wife bought 125 acres from Richard Blossman in October 1979 for $500,000. In 1980, Blossman sold 75 adjacent acres to Intrepid, Inc., run by Tom Lattie. Intrepid and Mamoulides swapped their property in 1981, with Mamoulides also getting $90,000 in cash. THE DEAL: Two banks – Enterprise, run by Mamoulides ally and then – Jefferson Parish Council Chairman Robert Evans, and Merchants Bank & Trust of Kenner, where Mamoulides served on the board of directors – lent developers money for the project in transactions bank examiners and federal regulators later characterized as questionable. Many loans directly or indirectly benefitted Mamoulides , an early co-developer . WHAT WENT WRONG: Banks were too generous. A March 1985 state examiners report on Merchants Bank said lots in River Glen were selling for below the average price that the loan was based on. Enterprise lent Magna Homes of Baton Rouge $690,000 to buy the 75 undeveloped acres from Mamoulides and his wife, but only $437,500 was needed because the Mamoulideses provided $200,000 in seller financing. Banks loaned money to Intrepid without properly checking out the development’s potential, regulators later said. At Merchants Trust & Savings Bank, which allowed Intrepid to borrow about $860,000 in 1981 when Mamoulides was a board member, examiners said River Glen’s appraised value of $1.6 million was “highly questionable” and was “not regarded as sufficient to protect against possible loss.” Enterprise and Merchants lent people regulators called serious credit risks money to buy property directly from Mamoulides or from Intrepid. RTC court papers called Tom Lattie, head of Intrepid, his son Gary Lattie, and Warren Elliot of Magna Homes “clearly uncreditworthy.” NOTEWORTHY: Enterprise in effect bailed out Merchants’ bank at least once by lending $350,000 to Intrepid that it used to make payments on a loan in default at Merchants, where Mamoulides was a director and a major stockholder. Among those who bought lots in River Glen were Carl Eberts, a business associate of Mamoulides , who spent $70,650 on three lots; Mitchell Martin, the owner of A & W Marine and a campaign contributor, who spent $103,250 on two lots; and Xavier Grilletta, a campaign contributor who owns B & G Crane Service, Marerro, spent $160,425 on six lots. THE FALLOUT: The RTC sued Intrepid and Magna Homes over the bad loans and foreclosed on the property. It sold 28 vacant lots to a group of Covington investors.

ST. CHARLES LIVING CENTER A proposed $20 million retirement community and nursing home complex on St. Charles Avenue, one block from the Pontchartrain Hotel. PHOTO THE BOTTOM LINE: The failure of a rest home project spawned at least 11 lawsuits seeking almost $4 million in damages over unpaid bills and defaulted loans. Most of the money was never collected. HOW MAMOULIDES GOT INVOLVED: Mamoulides and several others formed a real estate partnership in 1981. They subsequently purchased the old OK Storage building at 1901 St. Charles Ave. in New Orleans and several surrounding houses. The partners’ first development idea, office condominiums, was nixed in 1985 when the office market started to turn sour. THE DEAL: The St. Charles Living Center was pitched as the first project of its kind in the New Orleans area, a 322-unit development that would offer several types of housing for senior citizens, ranging from self-sufficient apartments to traditional nursing home services. Over neighborhood objections, the New Orleans City Council approved the proposal in 1986. Several pre-Civil War houses were torn down to make way for the project in 1987, but that was the last site work to take place. WHAT WENT WRONG: Mamoulides and his partners never were able to obtain financing for the venture. At one point, in an effort to receive approval for an $8.24 million HUD loan, records suggest that three nursing homes put up for collateral already had been put up as collateral for another loan. That and subsequent efforts to obtain HUD financing fell through. One potential lender backed away after taking a look at the project in 1985, citing the partnership’s lack of cash, failure to produce a marketing plan and inflated profit projections. At least five vendors, including a local law firm and two architectural and engineering companies, sued over unpaid bills that totalled $450,000. Two of the vendors won judgments against the partnership totalling $143,000, while two others settled out of court. Also were sued by two lenders over unpaid loans totalling $2.4 million. Both lenders won judgments in the full amount of their claims. NOTEWORTHY: In 1990, longtime Mamoulides business associate Carl Eberts bailed the project out of one problem when he satisfied one of the two big judgments against The Avenue Partnership. Having done that, he then sued to collect from some of the partners. But Michael Berenson, an attorney for one of the partners, said in an interview that Eberts “selectively” collected from the group. There is no record in Orleans or Jefferson parishes that Eberts sued Mamoulides . THE FALLOUT: First National Bank of Jefferson won a $1.7 million judgment against Mamoulides and his partners, but was never paid by any of the partners. The bank foreclosed on the six-story OK Storage building in 1992. Though other proposals have since surfaced for the property – ranging from a welfare office to an Italian restaurant – the building remains vacant.

3101 WEST NAPOLEON STREET A two-story office building that houses a state mental health clinic, the Jefferson Parish Human Services Authority and commercial offices. PHOTO THE BOTTOM LINE: Mamoulides , a company he controlled, and an associate defaulted on a $2 million loan, and taxpayers were saddled with a tab of at least $1.05 million in bad debt. HOW MAMOULIDES GOT INVOLVED: He and former Parish President Doug Allen, a frequent business partner, bought the building for $1 million in April 1977 under a partnership called Phoenix American. The partnership in 1980 sold the building to another Mamoulides associate, Carl Eberts, for $1.65 million, partly in promissory notes. Eberts sold it back to the Mamoulides -controlled Commercial Resources Consultants, Inc., in 1988. THE DEAL: Eberts used the building as collateral in 1983 to borrow $2 million from Enterprise Federal Savings & Loan in Marrero. Jefferson Parish Council Chairman Robert Evans, a Mamoulides ally, was also chairman of the bank. WHAT WENT WRONG: Eberts was supposed to use the loan money to pay off the promissory notes and other debts. Federal regulators could only account for $1.55 million of the $2 million loan. Regulators could not account for the other $445,000. Commercial Resources Consultants bought back the building from Eberts and assumed primary responsibility for paying off the loan. Then the company defaulted and the building was seized by U.S. marshals in 1993. Enterprise Federal went under in 1989 and was taken over by the Resolution Trust Corporation, which later documented a number of improper loans approved by Evans’ bank, including the one to Eberts. The Resolution Trust Corporation said the loan to Eberts was inappropriate because the building’s value was exaggerated so much that even if the building was 100 percent occupied, it would not have broken even. NOTEWORTHY: Beginning in 1991, The Jefferson Parish Council approved $500,000 to rent space in the building for five years to house the mental health clinic, and spent another $100,000 on renovations. Several council members later that year said they didn’t know the building was owned by Mamoulides , and passed a measure to require public officials to disclose their real estate dealings with the parish. THE FALLOUT: In March 1994, after a suit filed by the Resolution Trust Corp., a federal court issued a judgment of $2.6 million against Commercial Resources Consultants, Mamoulides and Eberts. Three months later, Clovis & Roche, a collections company renting space in the building, bought 3101 West Napoleon for $1.2 million as part of an undisclosed settlement with the RTC. No records could be found of the RTC pursuing Mamoulides and Eberts for the $1.4 million remaining on the $2.6 million judgment.

On Oct. 18, 1989, two months before he sold the AAA Building to Pecora, Mamoulides ‘ office dismissed a DWI charge against her. Pecora, through her attorney, declined to comment.

The dismissal was one of 25 traffic charges – ranging from expired brake tags to speeding to driving while intoxicated – filed against Mamoulides associates or their family members that were dismissed by his office in the past 10 years:

In 1988, Mamoulides ‘ office dismissed a DWI charge against Carl J. Eberts Jr., son of the district attorney’s longtime business partner Carl J. Eberts. The younger Eberts pleaded guilty to reckless driving and received a 90-day suspended sentence. He also had to attend a driver’s education program and pay a $200 fine. Eberts declined to comment.

The families of lawyers John Amato and Gordon Konrad each have had six traffic tickets dismissed by Mamoulides ‘ office. Charges included speeding, failure to obey traffic signs and driving with expired license plates. Konrad is a former assistant district attorney who went on to handle much of Jefferson Parish’s bond work. He also once guaranteed a $218,000 loan to Mamoulides . Amato contributed $10,000 to the Mamoulides campaign in 1984.

Konrad and Amato bought the AAA building from a Mamoulides partnership, which financed part of the deal by issuing the two lawyers $1.2 million in promissory notes in 1980.

Amato said, “I have never asked Mamoulides to dismiss a ticket.” He said buying the AAA building on credit from Mamoulides does not make him a business associate.

Gordon Konrad said he doesn’t remember asking Mamoulides or any of his assistants to dismiss any tickets. In one case, he said he was part of a group that all got their tickets dismissed in court because a one-way sign they were ticketed for ignoring had just been put up.

Records do not indicate that the district attorney personally intervened in these cases or that the Mamoulides ‘ associates asked him to step in.

Folks this is a lengthy sampling of the 30 great comments left on that old post. And Mamoulides is still there in Jeffeson Parish lurking in the shadows pulling the strings of his puppets.

Now for the post conviction connection for everyone to consider. We have to start with Timothy Gillespie’s excellent piece Continued legal hassles for Trout Point Lodge, specifically this quote:

In addition to Broussard “naming names” in what is believed to be a broad network of corruption centred on Broussard’s activities, he apparently “has left a broad path of people who feel betrayed by him and now see an opportunity for payback.”

I didn’t tell Gillespie that so Who Dat is feeling betrayed.  Even better there is an implication from the Concrete Busters amended lawsuit they filed against the River Birch Landfill that the betrayer is cooperating with Randy Smith over at Smith Fawer.

Lets pop some popcorn folks and consider the implications while I ready the next nuke for detonation.

12 thoughts on “Let’s herd a few goats and review

    1. Doug Handshoe

      I hear the latest copy is waiting for me on my desk Jr. LOL. I updated the post with the cover of the paper.

      Reply
  1. Kidd

    A little depth to Amato/Konrad : John Amato’s sister was Judge Nancy Amato Konrad, then and subsequently “ex” wife of Gordon Konrad. Gordon was paid much by Jeff Parish to research ownership to both the “canal bottoms” of East Jefferson and the notorious “Bonnabel alley’s” that were found to have never been properly deeded to the parish as Alfred Bonnabel subdivided & developed large tracts . Jeff Parish paid and paid again….. Gordon et al bought “quit-claim deeds” from the Bonnabel heirs; and traded title to the waterbottoms to the Parish in exchange for a Parish-owned (and occupied) office building (parish then started paying rent to Konrad et al for its formerly owned building).
    Any questions as to who may be on “the friends and family plan”?

    Reply
    1. Doug Handshoe

      This is the social context the good guys need. Carl Ebert ran with those folks. And Mamou is still slopping at the trough via ONGO. If this investigation only takes out Fred Heebe, like Operation Wrinkled Robe, the job is left undone.

      Reply
      1. Sock Puppet

        Doug:

        What you and Kidd are describing should become known as the “Sandusky effect.” When someone in power has perpetrated bad acts for so long (with some of them being so remote in time) that the community becomes desensitized to them, the aura surrounding that person becomes sort of the “wink and nod” joke. Then, something cataclysmic has to happen to “out” that person.

        The same is true with corrupt political figures and politically-connected people, a few of whom have been referenced here. We will call this the “Edwards effect.” Another prime example is a certain La. State Senator who recently switched political parties. The aura around these people is that they are “dirty,” but it becomes laughable because they have gotten away with so many misdeeds spanning so many decades. This is why even the ones who do get prosecuted and convicted act as if they’ve done nothing wrong. It’s why Aaron Broussard was so jovial after pleading guilty. He views himself as a folk-hero, and he undoubtedly sees his fate and legacy as being comparable to that of Edwin Edwards. And of course, the majority of the public does not received EWE as a felonious scumbag, but as a celebrity. This is how AB will be received when he is done with his sentence and returns to the JP power structure.

        I will not step down from the soap box and remove my tin foil hat.

        Reply
        1. Tom

          I agree Sock with one exception we have until recently no investigative news venue that would go the extra step . Even the Gambino famaily had those uninformed that admired them it’s about exposure and they had little of that back then.

          Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>