Three year old tip unifies Northshore criminal prosecution and Ex Rel Aldridge

I often save what I’ll term a “fragmentary tip” because of the subject matter. From my standpoint writing for Slabbed this is a warm and fuzzy moment because almost exactly 3 years ago to the day I got a tip alluding to a connection between Northshore businessman Bay Ingram, Ted Cain along with certain high profile targets of a now defunct Federal criminal investigation that I will not name at this time. Armed with that fragmentary tip and with the magic of the right google search strings Slabbed can verify the connection Mssrs. Ingram and Cain mutually share. Let’s begin with some must read links:

Covington businessman Bay Ingram sentenced to 18 months for BP oil spill fraud ~ Katherine Sayre

A major contributor to Gov. Bobby Jindal’s campaign, Ingram was appointed by Jindal to the state Mineral Board in March 2008. A the time he was listed as being the president of Healthcare Holdings of Louisiana and Ingram Investments.

In 2006, Ingram was caught up in a controversy involving the sale of a former golf practice facility along Interstate 12 near Slidell to St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Jack Strain’s office.

Ingram and frequent business partner Don McMath bought the property for $2 million, then sold it to the sheriff’s office for $2.4 million a few hours later. Strain defended the move as a good value for the money.

Ingram is a man that got around in metro New Orleans business circles and was very active in the healthcare industry on the Northshore including bringing Doctors’ Hospital in Slidell out of bankruptcy with a capital infusion. As a young man in his 20s he owned Bimini Bay in Slidell for those that remember that particular Slidell drinking establishment. Before I make the connection there is some additional vital background that is revealing IMHO:

St. Tammany Parish businessman Bay Ingram, guilty of BP fraud, was target of broader federal probe ~ Katherine Sayre

In the BP case, federal prosecutors say Ingram fabricated documents to grossly over bill the oil giant for a helicopter and helipads used to help the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office do recovery work after the April 2010 oil spill. Ingram invoiced BP for more than $1.4 million despite never receiving proper approval for use of the helicopter. Once BP denied payment, Ingram enlisted the help of then-Sheriff Jack Stephens to press the company and eventually sued BP. But according to the bill of information filed against him, Ingram had falsified flight logs and forged documents provided to BP.

A civil suit involving Ingram that was also frequently mentioned in the press during the his prosecution involved Cypress Pointe Surgical Hospital. The following early account of the suit from the local Hammond newspaper is Joe Fridayesque with a strong emphasis on presenting “journalistic facts” at the expense of analysis: Continue reading “Three year old tip unifies Northshore criminal prosecution and Ex Rel Aldridge”

Louisiana Roundup: Steve Scalise meets with scandal ridden former Mayor, Piyush completely out of touch, Mel Leavitt remembered

Like I’ve consistently said folks, Congressman Steve Scalise will meet with anyone to discuss public policy, including corrupt former big city mayors like Marc Morial per Bruce Alpert’s report for NOLA.com.

To set things up Morial’s reputation drastically declined since he left office as his former staffers were indicted and convicted on public corruption charges. Later a former top aide to Morial would also plead guilty to taking bribes and kickbacks.

More recently both Morial and former Congressman Leon Panetta joined the Board of Directors of scandal ridden Corinthian Colleges, which had previously donated heavily to the Urban League. Per a Washington Post story dated February 3, 2015, “Corinthian has become the poster child for the worst practices in the for-profit education sector, including high loan defaults and dubious programs. Clouded by allegations of deceptive marketing and lying to the government about its graduation rates, Corinthian lost its access to federal funds last year, forcing the company to sell or close its schools”

Finally, the Urban League itself was the subject of a major scandal in Seattle Washington involving vendors who received “questionable” payments from a Seattle Public Schools program that was the focus of a criminal investigation. More recently in August, 2014 as part of the HUD OIG investigation into the money designated for substance abuse programs in Rhode Island, the Federal Bureau of Investigation was brought in at the HUD’s request to specifically look into the Urban League’s role in the misuse of federal funds. Safe Haven then closed permanently.  In January, 2015 the scandal claimed the career of long time Rhode Island Housing Director Richard Godfrey who resigned his office.  This scandal continues to unfold.

Against that backdrop I wonder why anyone in their right minds would be associating with either the Urban League or Marc Morial but such is the job of a politician I reckon.  Here at Slabbed we’ll continue to not hold such meetings against Rep. Scalise. Continue reading “Louisiana Roundup: Steve Scalise meets with scandal ridden former Mayor, Piyush completely out of touch, Mel Leavitt remembered”

“The money is good for keeping score”: Behold the financial carnage a packaged out tampon salesman can cause

I imagine the good folks over in New Orleans at the port are still cuttin’ backflips over nabbing Chiquita’s port operations from the Port of Gulfport. Not that I’d want to wet blanket things but since I am a made banaman from way far back it only took me a few seconds with Google to nab the salient links:

Chiquita to buy Fresh Express for $855M ~ Cincinnati Business Courier 2-23-2005

The day before the deal was announced, February 22, 2005, Chiquita common closed at $22.00 and had a market capitalization of $1.035 billion dollars. The following is from the Chiquita press release on the Fresh Express acquisition:

“I believe this is the most important strategic and transformational move the company has made in decades,” said Fernando Aguirre, chairman and chief executive officer of Chiquita Brands International. “Fresh Express fits seamlessly into our sustainable growth strategy to become a world-class, consumer-driven leader of branded produce by building a high-performance organization, strengthening our core business and, most importantly, pursuing profitable growth.

Aguirre continued, “In addition to diversifying earnings, this transaction should accelerate our path to profitable growth, creating a unique opportunity to cross-sell our existing products, leveraging the excellent retail customer relationships of both companies and the foodservice expertise of Fresh Express. By acquiring an established national infrastructure and state-of- the-art technology, we gain immediate scale and an effective platform to launch new products throughout North America, including the ability to accelerate national distribution of fresh-cut fruit.” The company expects to promptly convert all fruit-based products to the Chiquita brand and retain the Fresh Express brand for value-added salads.

“Importantly, this acquisition meets our financial criteria, including average EBITDA margins that exceed 10 percent and a solid record of revenue growth, profitability and strong cash flows. There’s also a great opportunity to realize cost synergies of at least $20 million annually,” said Jay Braukman, Chiquita’s senior vice president and chief financial officer.

But time and money have a way of talking: Continue reading ““The money is good for keeping score”: Behold the financial carnage a packaged out tampon salesman can cause”

Of False Prophets and Charlatans: The Bobby Jindal way

Gov. Piyush sounds like he went to the same management school as our own Hizzoner:

Here’s how Jindal’s privatization works: OGB fund balance to be broke by fiscal year ’15 after $500M balance in 2012 ~ Louisiana Voice

And to think there are morons in the national media promoting this guy as a presidential candidate.

How I became a made bananaman and discovered that Miss Chiquita was a government subsidy whore

As seemingly everyone in the two state area now knows, Chiquita is vacating the Port of Gulfport in favor of the Port of New Orleans and the Slabbed Nation is clamoring for some sage analysis.  As luck would have it, my becoming a bananaman derives from the same event from which the name of this website derives, Hurricane Katrina.  Everyone knows that Chiquita imports bananas into the US via Gulfport’s (soon to be New Orleans) Break Bulk cargo facility from Central America.  The company backhauls huge paper rolls to Central America that are used to make the banana boxes used for shipping.  Here is what my neighborhood looked like after the storm when the rocket scientists at the Port made the call to leave everything in place before the storm:

Intersection of US 90 and Broad Avenue after Hurricane Katrina / Slabbed New Media File Photo
Intersection of US 90 and Broad Avenue after Hurricane Katrina destroyed by Chiquita Paper Rolls stored at the Port  of Gulfport / Slabbed New Media File Photo

Most of the rolls clustered at Broad Street and Highway 90 but a few even made it to my neighborhood proper:

West Gulfport flattened by Port Debris and Hurricane Katrina / Slabbed New Media File Photo
West Gulfport flattened by Port Debris and Hurricane Katrina / Slabbed New Media File Photo

Naturally, having witnessed the destruction first hand coupled with nothing happening in the cleanup front I felt the need to agitate and since Chiquita was the only public company among the port tenants it was the CQB message board on Yahoo that I brought the full measure of five weeks of frustration.  Within a week or so of my arrival on the CQB cyber scene, I was met at my slab by a contractor on October 2, 2005 who was armed with an ROE and heavy equipment. Word got out among my old neighbors, additional ROEs were executed on the spot and we were fast tracked for cleanup.  This internet thing is like magic in skilled hands as the following video illustrates: Continue reading “How I became a made bananaman and discovered that Miss Chiquita was a government subsidy whore”

Monday Miscellany: Thompson crash and burn continues, Juvie Court race, TeeVee lawyers gone wild plus a field politician

I hope everyone enjoyed the wonderful stretch of weather since late last week. I managed to spend copious amounts of time outdoors plus there was a visit with my peeps in Lamar/Marion County. First up was the game Friday night and that attracted field politicians. Check it out below.

WLOX.com – The News for South Mississippi

No football game is complete without a post game meal and this is what I served the teenage assemblage over at my place after the game.

But Friday was also “bad news Friday” for TeeVee lawyer Joe Raspanti over at Tom Benson’s Fox 8 as a reader pointed out: Continue reading “Monday Miscellany: Thompson crash and burn continues, Juvie Court race, TeeVee lawyers gone wild plus a field politician”

Monday Links

I was floored to the response to my vague post on DMR’s Phil Bass and I’m gratified I have so many readers here in Mississippi that took time to introduce themselves over the weekend.  Time is short for me so here are a boatload of links:

Expert: State Farm failed to follow fair claims practices for Biloxi home ~ Anita Lee

What can I say folks but ‘Gate had S.H. Anthony called back in 2011.

Jefferson Parish contracting overhaul proposals delayed for six months ~ Manuel Torres

Watching all the contortions involved with the Jefferson Parish council trying to wish this issue away is amusing.  Now supposedly it is the Black Chamber of Commerce who is worried that instituting professional procurement practices in Louisiana second largest Parish and the end of pay to play style procurement will somehow hurt them. Chris Robert’s briefcase boy Mark Spears has point on this one folks.

Biloxi’s own Russell Moore will be Southern Baptists’ voice. ~ Tammy Smith

Russell is both a Tweep and a member of the Slabbed Nation.  I could not be more delighted that a homie has done well.

Four lawyers vie to fill judicial seat at Jefferson Parish state court ~ Paul Purpura

Paul covers the 24th JDC Division D race in depth.

DHH Secretary Bruce Greenstein resigns in wake of federal investigation ~ Lauren McGaughy

Piyush’s second term is unraveling quickly it appears. Jeffrey over at Yellow Blog has been all over this story.

Mark Titus’ son asking court to allow claim on property targeted by River Birch probe ~ Manuel Torres

Hearing will be next week for Miller’s confirmation as DMR chief ~ Michael Newsom

In horsemen’s association case, the legislative auditor is the one still smiling ~ James Gill

Legion: Stop-work order planned on Bay St. Louis comfort station ~ Donna Harris

So it turns out the lease on the Legion property was not expired as previously claimed by American Legion post Commander Clayton Thompson. Something tells me the bathrooms are gonna be built lawsuit or not. And in a blast from the past for that particular intersection I conclude with the following:

Carrigee quits as DH building chief, claims ‘lies and politics running wild’ ~ Dwayne Bremer

Yes Virginia, these new age Coastie politicians are rotten to the core.

Gulf Live file photo of politician Michael Janus

If memory serves Michael Janus and our fluffer Congressman are lifelong associates:

Michael Janus, a man who Congressman Steven Palazzo described as a “close friend of my family for years” was formally named Palazzo’s chief of staff on Thursday.

The families that politic together thieve together as well:

‘Oversights’ disclosed in $3M BP grant ~ Mary Perez

“The six council members knew nothing of the agreement until after the grant was received,” said city attorney W. Fred Hornsby III. The council could have chosen not to pay Maxwell-Walker, he said, but agreed to give the firm the standard 6 percent finder’s fee of $180,000 for the grant.

The payment to Maxwell-Walker was not discussed in an open council meeting, only in executive session, Janus said.

Rather than putting a resolution for payment on the budget, it was added to the Dec. 20, 2011, docket of claims with the city’s other bills.

And then there are the obvious conflicts of interest. D’Iberville Mayor Quave works at DMR and is paying his former boss’ son. Janus, the City Manager is in business with Scott Walker via JaWa Investments LLC, a name I thought funny considering the jabberwalk BS involved in terming all this a mere “oversight”. Continue reading “Yes Virginia, these new age Coastie politicians are rotten to the core.”

Welp, looks like Piyush Jindal is running phony baloney appraisal scams in Red Stick….

Emails reviewed by The Advocate show the Jindal administration told legislative staff last year that an unfavorable appraisal on state-owned land near the State Capitol was unavailable because it had been “discarded.”

State Sen. Gerald Long’s staff asked for the appraisal while preparing for a public hearing on Gov. Bobby Jindal’s bid to sell 17 lots bounded by North Fifth Street, State Capitol Drive, North Sixth Street and Lakeland Drive.

Jindal initially hoped to generate $5 million by selling the property that once was home to Huey P. Long’s alleged assassin and now holds a parking garage.

An appraisal dated Jan. 17, 2012, by Sharon D. Pruitt valued the property at $4.9 million. The appraisal was unusable by the summer because state law requires an appraisal to be obtained within six months before the sale of state-owned land. A subsequent appraisal, by Cook, Moore and Associates, valued the property at $2.8 million.

Continue reading Emails detail conflicting appraisals by Michelle Millhollon.

In our continuing episode of Magnum J.D. Baldwin v Costner Day 2: There’s no business like show business…..

Today I’ll highlight some of the main stream media reporting on the trial and I am going to draw a sharp line and differentiate the reporting. First up though we need to examine what got everyone into Judge Feldman’s courtroom, one that is very plaintiff unfriendly if said plaintiff is an individual suing an insurance company.

Gullibility is a failure of social intelligence in which a person is easily tricked or manipulated into an ill-advised course of action. It is closely related to credulity, which is the tendency to believe unlikely propositions that are unsupported by evidence.

Classes of people especially vulnerable to exploitation due to gullibility include children, the elderly, and the developmentally disabled

I was tempted to sign into my wiki account and add the words “and National Media” because they made this lawsuit in a way back in 2010 by giving Costner huge amounts of free publicity when he showed up on the Gulf Coast like a fly circling a fresh cow pie after the oil spill. Notice I used the term “publicity” instead of “news” because the reporting was uncritical and 100% derived from controlled tests of Costner’s centrifuge technology, which were not previously commercially viable and was not used to any effect in the 2010 oil spill.

Simply put we had a ring side seat here at Slabbed when we highlighted the threatened lawsuit against Frank Levy on June 17, 2010 that was mentioned in so many of yesterday’s media reports on the civil suit. It was obvious to any local with half a brain this was the oil spill equivalent to a stock market pump and dump. But the media had stars in their eyes and made the Costner inspired scam “news” without a critical, second thought. Continue reading “In our continuing episode of Magnum J.D. Baldwin v Costner Day 2: There’s no business like show business…..”