Saturday, September 20, 2008
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
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Receiver's $2.1 million fraudulent transfer claim against Michael Malik likely among most substantial
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.
- 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
Sunday, September 14, 2008
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 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
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Google News: Indian Gaming
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NY Times: Shinnecock Indian Nation
NEWS: Los Coyotes Indian Tribe
NEWS: Los Coyotes / Barwest Barstow Casino Proposals
NEWS: Michael J. Malik, Sr.
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