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”

As the fools play: Pissin’ away your tax dollars

After all folks we have tax money to burn when it comes to Hollywood giveaways so first the theme song of the Mississippi legislature:

Yelling ‘Cut!’ for Moviemaking Tax Breaks: States keep discovering that the dreamed-of benefits don’t materialize. ~ Chris Hudon and Donald Bryson

And despite the overwhelming evidence these taxpayer Film incentives are spend a dollar to gain a quarter type propositions that make absolutely no economic sense, one of the major accomplishments of the 2015 Mississippi legislature was finally instituting this taxpayer funded giveaway to out of state business interests. Its not that the leadership in this state being backwards that makes this so bad. Its that the leadership is both late and backwards that helps keep us snake bit when it comes to economic development. Meantime the fools play (with your tax money). Continue reading “As the fools play: Pissin’ away your tax dollars”

Critical indicator: There is a reason Anita went snooping around at the Chevron in Wiggins

She’d really have received an education in Stone County had she gone there at 2:30 in the morning:

Whistleblower put his ‘name on the line’ in fraud case against Stone County Hospital, owners ~ Anita Lee

Looking at the roster of combatants this false claims act case looks to be a fashionable fight and those that want to read the complaint can click here to download it for free from the DoJ. RFP was also Johnny on the Spot last night with an interesting link so for those of you that want to get an understanding of why this lawsuit has electrified the news power-user community here on the coast is to understand the man who the government has set its sites upon.

The business community is fairly diverse down here but there is a cohort of businessmen that in terms of money-making have few peers and Mr. Cain fits into that elite group. Money is the way the heavyweights keep score and the elites in this group are driven to excel in a game where there is only one way to proverbially win. My personal experience is that the closer you get to what a statistician would term the “right-tail” of the distribution (ie best in class in terms of money making ability), the sharper the elbows become. Few businessmen down here on the coast throw sharper elbows than Mr. Cain, who found himself in statewide news back in 2007/2008 when the legislature sunsetted the Mississippi State Board of Health due to numerous problems in the agency which were thought to be Board of Health inflicted. Continue reading “Critical indicator: There is a reason Anita went snooping around at the Chevron in Wiggins”

Latest boondoggle proposed by Phil Bryant and the Mississippi Development Authority: Jackson Movie Studio

God help everyone hold onto their wallets because the Movie Industry is targeting the Mississippi treasury after successfully looting Louisiana’s with taxpayer funded boondoggle. Geoff Pender promotes the scheme for the Clarion Ledger:

Adam Rosenfelt, a film producer and president of Element Pictures with more than 15 feature films to his credit, including “Mr. Brooks” and “Waiting,” wants to create Mississippix Studios, based in Jackson.

And, he wants to create a new program of film incentives that would result in more money coming in to the state, and permanent jobs. Typically film productions are granted tax breaks or other incentives upfront, shoot for a few months then head back to Hollywood with states often seeing little direct financial benefit. Rosenfelt is proposing the state create a loan guarantee program that serves as a “backstop.” If his company is successful, the state pays nothing, and instead gets 10 percent of his profit.

One big clue the latest scheme is gonna be a problem is the guy in Jackson promoting it is:

  1. Spreading a BS story about how much he loves the Mississippi coast which is why he’s been 3 and a half hours away in Jacktown for the past year with his nose up Phil Bryant’s hiney. Bryant, never known for private sector financial acumen was likely sucked right in by the promise of getting to hob nob with Slabbed favorite Bull Durham, who was last seen celebrating his successful shakedown of BP back during the oil spill.
  2. Was a “pioneer in state film incentives, and helped develop Louisiana’s groundbreaking motion picture tax credit program.” This program was groundbreaking in the sheer amount of taxpayer money that has been pissed away into the pockets of people like Rosenfelt, who now splits his time between Los Angeles and Jackson.

In fact pioneering the latest movie industry scheme to fleece the taxpayers is exactly what Rosenfelt is doing in Mississippi because he’d no more live in Jackson, Mississippi than he would Montgomery Alabama if the taxpayers weren’t gonna pay for it some sort of way. Louisiana pissed away over one bllion dollars before people started to ask the critical questions that had not been previously asked about Rosenfelt’s Louisiana film tax credit boondoggle according the Louisiana Budget Project (PDF of their 12 page report can be found here).

One would naturally think that after the financial crash just 5 years ago the problems with Rosenfelt’s scheme would be apparent, especially to Lt. Gov Tate Reeves, who comes from a financial background.  Here are Rosenfelt’s talking points: Continue reading “Latest boondoggle proposed by Phil Bryant and the Mississippi Development Authority: Jackson Movie Studio”

Insurance Omnibus: Rigsby, Rossie and RE plus Pols on the take and Mississippians sold out by Team Phildo

Image courtesy of Mr Liberty Mutual
http://mrlibertymutual.com/

A bit over a week ago a print journalist familiar with Slabbed’s coverage of the post Katrina insurance wars sent me this link to a National Underwriter top 10 insurance living legends piece that featured Dickie Scruggs (one notch above true living legend Karen Clark) at the 7 spot.  We used to feature the NU a good bit on Slabbed but that ended after they ignored the insurance industry getting its ass kicked in Corban v USAA where Nationwide Insurance’s lawyers made particular asses of themselves asserting wind coverage was properly denied if, after the wind 99% destroys the covered property, storm surge destroys the other 1%.  The industry contends in such a scenario taxpayer provided coverage under the National Flood Insurance Program was the proper source of coverage and that is exactly the way they adjusted their claims here after Katrina tendering flood insurance policies pretty much sight unseen and denying any wind coverage that would come from their coffers.

For those of you folks still wondering why the country is broke after figuring out it is not the union pipe fitter that goes to work everyday for 6AM at the shipyard, or school teacher unions or Mexican ditch diggers, I’d submit if you multiply the above scenario 1000 times and you’d find the answer as most of the politicians that matter on any level are owned by some special interest.  To illustrate the point allow me to update several insurance business world stories Slabbed covered in years gone by and start with that NU story I linked above.

A few weeks ago word filtered out the Rigsby sisters false claims act complaint against State Farm would be moving to trial on the exemplar claim known around the blogs as McIntosh v State Farm.  State Farm is PR savvy and when that case heats up, invariably David Rossmiller, a partner at the Portland Oregon insurance defense firm of Dunn Carney pops up like a fly on shit regaling us with his knowledge of the minutiae of insurance contract law.  Since Rossie, as he is known on Slabbed, surfaced blogging on Hurricane wind water cases of the type he has never tried in Oregon, it naturally aroused suspicions locally that he was an adjunct of State Farm PR, a view now widely shared in the local print media in South Mississippi.  Back in the day Rossie was a darling in local insurance defense circles and on the Hard Line GOP political resource YallPolitics in the blogosphere, which still features the insurance litigation here on the coast in a section termed Scruggs scandal and it is indeed a popular insurance industry meme that the wind damage down here was all a figment of Dick Scruggs imagination thus the lumping.  Scapegoating trial lawyers in still popular in GOP circles folks but that stands to reason since the GOP is the party of big business special interests but I’m getting ahead of myself.

So how does a lawyer that has never tried a wind water Hurricane case emerge as a media expert in trade journals and business publications like the Wall Street Journal? Continue reading “Insurance Omnibus: Rigsby, Rossie and RE plus Pols on the take and Mississippians sold out by Team Phildo”