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Four Color Politics

Mainly the Quotes of the Morning, with occasional Other Crap.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: Noe Problem

“Follow the money.”
-Mark ‘Deep Throat’ Felt

"The rush to divest Noe contributions started after the state seized control of Noe’s coin investment funds May 24 and his lawyer admitted May 26 that up to $13 million may be missing from the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation’s investment of $50 million with Noe.
Within days, officials ranging from Gov. Bob Taft to U.S. Sens. George V. Voinovich and Mike DeWine to Montgomery all agreed to give up contributions from Noe, a noted GOP power broker who has yet to be charged with a crime."
-Columbus Dispatch, June 7, 2005

"Huh.. I wonder why this seems so bad. I mean, Mr. Noe was just a major Republican fundraiser (and one of Dubya's 'Pioneers') who had been handed $50 million of taxpayer money to invest in rare coins. What could go wrong?"

"The U.S. attorney's office is investigating whether Mr. Noe broke federal campaign laws by giving money to others in order for them to contribute to the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign.
A number of current and former politicians appeared before the grand jury this week, including City Council member Betty Shultz, Lucas County Commissioner Maggie Thurber, former mayor Donna Owens, and former state representative Sally Perz.
All are Republicans."
-Toledo Blade, June 4, 2005

"An official at the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation - the agency that gave Mr. Noe $50 million to buy rare coins as investments for the state - said Friday the bureau also is concerned. A bureau spokesman said Mr. Noe took almost a year before informing them - in an audit report - of the loss of 119 of the coins.
They were purchased using Workers' Compensation money from a Boulder, Colo., coin dealer by Michael Storeim, hired by Mr. Noe to run Numismatic Professionals. The firm is a Noe subsidiary funded with Ohio money to buy and sell rare coins out of an office in Evergreen, Colo., where Mr. Storeim lives."
-Toledo Blade, May 8, 2005

"As previously set forth, Mr. Noe had hired Mark Chrans to manage Visionary Rare Coin for the express purpose of assisting the Capital Coins Funds with the purchase and sale of BWC investments. During the course of their business relationship, Mr. Noe and/or his related business entities lent or fronted Mr. Chrans approximately $835,000.00-$850,000.00 of BWC funds. Those funds were never repaid to or recouped by the Capital Coin Funds. The Capital Coin Funds have written off those funds as a bad debt. Additionally, Visionary Rare Coin recorded a business loss of approximately $350,000.00 in bad coin deals. Mr. Chrans has publicly stated that during 1998 and 1999 he had purchased and sold approximately $20,000,000.00 worth of coins for Mr. Noe [and/or his related business entities]. Based upon information and belief, these transactions included BWC investment properties."
-ABC13, Toledo Ohio, June 1, 2005

In 1986 Mark Chrans plead guilty to two federal offenses stemming from his involvement in the laundering of drug money during a numismatic coin deal. Those charges were conspiracy to defraud the United States Government for lying to an IRS agent and perjury for lying before a federal grand jury. According to court records, Mr. Chrans laundered $33,000.00 of what he knew to be drug proceeds, earning $3,000.00 compensation for his efforts. Mr. Chrans was sentenced to 5 years probation on the fraud charge and one year in prison on the perjury charge. Mr. Chrans was released from the federal penitentiary on or about February 25, 1987.
-ABC13, Toledo Ohio, June 1, 2005

"According to records pertaining to Numismatic Professionals and obtained by state authorities, a coin assigned identification number NP44032749 was purchased at a cost of $122,990.00 on or about November 20, 2001. Subsequent inventory records from Numismatic Professionals indicates that this coin was sold to 'One Time Customers' on or about September 10,2002, for one cent - incurring a net loss of $122,989.99. Based upon the education, training and experience of this Affiant as well as that of other officials involved with this investigation, the latter transaction constituted a theft offense believed to involve BWC property.
-ABC13, Toledo Ohio, June 1, 2005

“Investigators seized hundreds of rare coins, Cuban cigars, computers, documents, and took custody of 3,500 bottles of wine over the weekend during searches of the home and office of a former employee of Tom Noe, a spokesman for the Jefferson County, Colorado, Sheriff’s Office said today.
As many as 10 investigators and lab technicians spent 12 hours on Friday scouring the Evergreen, Colorado, home of Michael Storeim, a former manager of Numismatic Professionals, which is a subsidiary of Ohio’s $50 million rare-coin venture.
Investigators then turned their attention to the offices of Michael Storeim Inc., where they spent six hours seizing documents, invoices and computers, said Jacki Tallman, a spokesman for the sheriff.
Mr. Storeim has filed a lawsuit against Mr. Noe, claiming the Maumee coin dealer directed at least two associates to take $500,000 worth of his property. Mr. Noe’s attorneys told Ohio authorities last month that at least $10 million of the state’s assets are missing.”
-Toledo Blade, June 6, 2005


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