Saturday, September 20, 2008

Ilitch and partner contributed to Rep. Rangel who's embroiled in corruption charges

According to, Detroiters Mike & Marian Ilitch, and their associate/partner Michael Malik each contributed the maximum $4,600 (two contributions of $2,300 each) to U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) on 8.23.07. That’s a total of $13,800 to Rangel’s campaign committee. Charlie Rangel is chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) has labeled Rangel one of the “20 Most Corrupt Members of Congress.” Rangel has come under intense scrutiny for a series of alleged ethics lapses, including failure to disclose income on real estate property and raising money for an educational center bearing his name. Rangel is currently the focus of a self-initiated House Ethics Committee investigation.

Marian Ilitch owns Detroit’s MotorCity Casino and Michael Malik was once her partner in that venture. The pair has partnered subsequently on Indian casinos proposed in California, Michigan and New York. Mike & Marian Ilitch are the co-founders of Little Caesars Pizza and own the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings. Mike Ilitch owns MLB’s Detroit Tigers.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Ilitch drops to #301 on Forbes List; family's struggling Casino primary reason

Forbes magazine is out with its 2008 "400 Richest Americans" rankings. Detroit's Michael Ilitch dropped to #301 on this years list and Forbes estimates the combined net worth of Mike Ilitch's family at $1.6 billion which is unchanged over 2007.

The primary reason: Forbes reports that MotorCity Casino, technically owned 100% by Mrs. Marian Ilitch is "facing new competition from MGM Mirage" as well as an "economic downturn depressing casino valuations."

Ilitch Holdings, Inc. is the parent company of such privately held brands as Little Caesars Pizza, Detroit Tigers (MLB), Detroit Red Wings (NHL), MotorCity Casino, Detroit's Fox Theater. Other Ilitch owned-ventures manage many of Detroit's sports facilities and theater venues.

The Ilitch family is extremely guarded about releasing any detailed financial data for these entities.

MotorCity Casino, however, must publicly disclose its total monthly gross revenue figure to the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB). Those figures are disclosed to the public regularly by the MGCB.

During the summer months (Jun - Aug), combined gross revenues at the gambling hall fell 6.5% over the same period in 2007; despite the additions of a 400-room luxury hotel (Fall 2007) and opening of an expanded gaming floor (June 2007).

MotorCity Casino is a d/b/a for Detroit Entertainment LLC which is owned entirely by another entity, CCM Merger Inc. Marian Ilitch reportedly assumed 100% control of MotorCity Casino in 2005 when she bought outstanding shares in the property from Mirage Resort Group (MRG) and various minor investors. Her buyout of MRG helped pave the way for the merger of MGM and MRG. Subsequently MGM Mirage built an entirely new $800 million casino resort in Detroit.

Since Marian Ilitch acquired control of MotorCity Casino, both Moody's and Standard & Poor's have been forced to put the casino's parent, CCM Merger, on negative watch and subsequently downgraded the entity's credit ratings. Ilitch has borrowed somewhere in the neighborhood of $1 billion from investors and creditors to acquire and remodel MotorCity Casino. Among other things, the credit ratings agencies site concerns that MotorCity Casino is leveraged beyond what investors were originally told to anticipate during the remodeling and construction phase.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Receiver's $2.1 million fraudulent transfer claim against Michael Malik likely among most substantial

Michael I. Goldberg, the Florida federal court appointed Receiver who filed a June 2008 $2.1 million fraudulent transfer case (Goldberg v. Malik) against Detroit “business developer” and casino syndicator Michael J. Malik, Sr., has filed a new Receiver’s report (Receiver’s Seventh Report) with the U.S. District Court's Miami Division.

In this latest report (on page 22 of 27), Receiver Goldberg indicates he’s initiated 150 fraudulent transfer claims totaling more than $20 million; claims against parties whom the Receiver alleges profited illegally from so-called “profit payments” or “client representative fees.”

While not mentioned specifically in the Receiver’s report by name, it sugggest the $2.1 million claim against Malik may be one of the most substantial the Receiver has filed to date – at least 10% of all the claims. Averaging the balance of the claims against the other 149 defendants suggests those claims might average $120,000 each -- or put another way, each of the other 149 cases represents just 6% -- a fraction -- of the total claim against Malik.

What was Malik's relationship with the defendants and their affiliates (Jack Utsick, Robert & Donna Yeager, Worldwide Entertainment, Inc., et. al.) named in the original $300 million fraud case brought by the SEC? ... seems Malik was more than just another of their run-of-the-mill investors. Was Malik fronting for other investors? Did he have investors of his own?

Although reportedly not an employee of Ilitch Holdings, Inc. or any of its affiliates, Malik's various affiliated entities are headquartered among the offices that make up the executives suites at Detroit-based Ilitch Holdings, Inc. Malik has partnered with Detroit's well-known Iilitch family on casinos and other ventures for nearly a decade and a half.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Ilitch holds celebration marking the end of construction at MotorCity Casino which was over budget and dealyed by almost a year

The Detroit News has reported that the Ilitch-owned MotorCity Casino celebrated the “the completion of a $300-million, three-year expansion and renovation of the site” last Friday, 9.12.08

A press release issued 11.30.05 to coincide with a formal groundbreaking for MotorCity Casino’s renovation and expansion reported the project would be completed in late 2007 and was budgeted to cost $275 million.

That seems to suggest completion of the construction project was nearly a year behind schedule; and, given that MotorCity Casino’s owner Marian Ilitch isn’t required to file full public financial disclosures, the project was at least $25 million over budget.

Consider this:

  • MotorCity Casino is a d/b/a for Detroit Entertainment LLC which is owned by CCM Merger, Inc., an entity reportedly controlled solely by Mrs. Marian Ilitch, and as such she has no requirement for full public financial disclosure beyond what she chooses to include in a press release.

  • Marian Ilitch reportedly borrowed hundreds of millions from investors and other creditors creating debt of more than $1 billion in orderto fund her acquisition of MotorCity Casino from MGM/Mirage Resort Group and other investors; fund the cost of construction; and fund debt service during construction.

  • Since Ilitch acquired MotorCity Casino (Detroit Entertainment LLC) and established CCM Merger, Inc., that company’s credit ratings have been placed on watch lists and downgraded by both Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s. Among concerns, Ilitch has leveraged the entity beyond what investors were originally told to anticipate during construction.
  • MotorCity Casino’s expanded gaming floor opened in June 2007 (15 months ago) and Ilitch reported a 3.5% bump over the previous year for the subsequent four months (July-October 2007); but so far that's not been sustained during those same months in 2008. Revenues reported for Summer 2008 (Jul-Aug) dropped 6.5% over Summer 2007. (MGCB)

  • A 17-story, 400-room hotel with resort amenities opened at MotorCity Casino in November 2007 but revenues for eight of the last ten months (Nov. ’07 – Aug. ’08) have been down compared to those same months the previous year. (MGCB)

  • Ilitch has desperately leveraged her family’s affiliated charitable foundation, sports teams and other business interests to promote and drive traffic into the expanded MotorCity Casino property; and still, revenues reported for the new and improved MotorCity Casino through August 2008 are down 1.65% over the previous 12 month period. (MGCB)

    Source of revenue figures: Michigan Gaming Control Board

Summer not good for Ilitch's MotorCity Casino; revenues drop 6.5%

According to revenues reported to the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB), MotorCity Casino's revenues for Summer 2008 (Jun-Aug) were down 6.5% over Summer 2007; a cummulative drop of $7,360,114.51 in reported revenue for the period. In June alone, revenues fell 10%.

Given Moody's and Standard & Poor's have both previously indicated concerns that MotorCity Casino's parent company CCM Merger, Inc. was over leveraged and reflected those concerns by downgrading the entity's credit ratings during the last year; the 6.5% drop in Summer revenues would understandbly be of renewed concern to investors and creditors who are owed upwards of $1 billion -- especially if either Moody's or Standard & Poor's were to downgrade CCM Merger's credit ratings again.

Summer 2007 - cummulative revenue: $126,101,544.42
Summer 2008 - cummulative revenue: $118,741,429.91

It appears the bump in revenues that Marian Ilitch's Detroit gambling hall realized after she opened its expanded gaming floor (25% larger) in June 2007 hasn't been sustained during 2008 -- not even with the November 2007 addition of a 400-room luxury hotel and other amenities to the casino resort property.

In recent months, Ilitch has leveraged her family's affiliated foundation, sports teams and other businesses in a desperate attempt to pull out all the stops and drive traffic to MotorCity Casino -- but even that hasn't helped sustain revenues.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Ilitch, Malik contribute $13,800 to Rep. Bart Stupak

According to, on 5.05.08 Mike & Marian Ilitch and Michael J. Malik, Sr., (Mike J. Malik) contributed $13,800 to U.S. Rep. Bart Stupak (D - MI 1st).

While neither the Ilitches or Malik live or work in Michigan's 1st Congressional District it does include the Bay Mills Indian Community. The Bay Mills tribe has partnered with Mike Malik on various casino proposals and other business ventures in Michigan. Mike & Marian Ilitch have supported the projects too.

MotorCity Casino revenues down for third straight month


    MotorCity Casino sees declines...

    ..Detroit's other two gambling halls, Greektown and the Illitch-owned MotorCity casinos, recorded slight declines. MotorCity was down 0.07 percent to $41.07 million from $41.09 million a year ago. Greektown, which entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy May 29, said its take declined 3.5 percent to $26.82 million from $27.8 million in August 2007...

    ...MotorCity Casino opened its new hotel last fall and has unveiled other elements of its new facility in stages. So far, the piecemeal launches of the enlarged gaming floor and convention space have produced modest gains at best.

    Many of those new elements have been operating for the better part of a year, but ongoing work to renovate and expand MotorCity's gaming floor and add restaurants and a state-of-the-art performance theater forced patrons to dodge construction for months while the facility remained open.

    This week, the casino/hotel complex began getting the word out to customers that the finishing touches are done. Executives showed off the slick new bars and restaurants and expanded gaming floor to reporters Tuesday. On Friday, MotorCity plans a VIP party to kick off the casino's new post-construction era.

    The casino is introducing an onslaught of new advertising as well. Broadcast and print ads touting the end of construction have been blanketing Metro Detroit media outlets this week.

    MotorCity CEO Gregg Solomon said he expects the response to be positive for both customers and MotorCity's bottom line.

    "We're interested in pushing the envelope here," Solomon said. "We're making a bold statement not just about us, but about the future of the city of Detroit." (Complete Story)

Michigan Gaming Control Board: 2008 Detroit Casino Revenues Report

TVT has welcomed more than 178,000 unique vistors

TVT, founded in December 2006, has averaged more than 20,000 visitors annually. It is produced with the support of scores of individuals from coast-to-coast, each a volunteer citizen activist/jounalist, who review tips and compile the verifiable details and documents that are the hallmark of our content.

Since our first post, more than 178,000 visitors have accessed the details compiled uniquely at TVT.

The citizen activists behind TVT wish to extened a big "THANK YOU" to all those who have provided "tips" -- contributed pictures, documents, link suggestions, leads, reports, insight and comments. Your trust and confidence in TVT has allowed us to create a comprehensive resource that thousands of others -- including bloggers, journalists, Members of Congress and other local citizen activists around the country -- have come to rely upon.

We invite feedback and constructive comment and want you to know you are welcome to do that here in "comments" or by contacting us directly and confidentially via

Google News: Indian Gaming

NEWS: Bay Mills Indian Community & Casino Proposals

NEWS: Shinnecock Indian Nation (Gateway Casino Resorts) Casino Proposals

NY Times: Shinnecock Indian Nation

NEWS: Los Coyotes Indian Tribe

NEWS: Los Coyotes / Barwest Barstow Casino Proposals

NEWS: Michael J. Malik, Sr.

NEWS: Marian Ilitch Mapping Social Networks

Play with the interactive tool here or visit

TIP: Search for multiple entries in the database simultaneously by separating their names with the word and

certainly must reads!

Ilitch has backed loosing sports teams and pizza, but casinos in Detroit? 10.09.06 ● Marian Ilitch #1 on "25 Most Powerful People" to Watch 2006” global gaming business o1.oo.o5 ● My Kingdom for a Casino Forbes 05.08.06 ● Big Lagoon’s casino dream awakens north coast journal 07.28.05 ● Shinnecocks launch legal claim to Hamptons land 06.16.05 ● Ilitch Plans to Expand Casino Empire 07.05.05 ● Ilitch outbids partners 04.14.05 ● Ilitch enmeshed in NY casino dispute 03.20.05 ● Marian Ilitch, high roller 03.20.05 ● MGM Mirage to Decide on Offer for Casino in Detroit 04.16.05 ● Secret deal for MotorCity alleged 02.15.05 ● Los Coyotes get new developer 02.08.05 Detroit casino figure to finance Barstow project 07.07.03 ● Indian Band trying to put casino in Barstow 06.04.03 Pizza matriarch takes on casino roles 10.23.02 ● Vanderbilt gets short straw in negotiations for a casino Lansing Journal 10.06.02 ● Indians aim to drive family from tribe in vicious dispute san diego union tribune 04.09.00 ●Malik owns 2000 Michigan Quarter Horse of the Year 01.01.00 ● Detroit Team to run Michigan’s newest Indian casino 05.23.99 Tiger ties tangle Marian Ilitch 04.29.99 ● Three investors must sell their Detroit casino interests 04.25.99 ● Partners’ cash revived election; They say money was crucial to Prop-E 04.25.99 Investors have troubled histories las vegas review journal 04.27.99 ● Investor served probation for domestic assault on 12 year old boy 04.25.99 Can a pair win a jackpot?: local men hope to... 03.17.97

The Verifiable Truth