Saturday, January 10, 2009

Strather partnered with Slaviks on affordable housing development in 2001

A Crain's Detroit Business story published 10.21.01 about the development by Scripps Park LLC of a new affordable housing project reported:

Scripps Park is turning the Jeffries West housing project into 347 privately-owned houses and rental units. The group is made up of of businessman Herb Strather; The Slavik Co., based in Farmington Hills; Rosenberg Housing Group, based in New York City; Premier Property Management, based in Fenton; and local nonprofit Core City Non-Profit Housing Corp.

Scripps Park was supported by attorneys at Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn L.L.P.

Brothers Richard (now deceased) and Stephan Slavik, along with Len Wolman, chair of Connecticut-based Waterford Group, and South African Sol Kerzner, chair of Kerzner International, were members in Trading Cove Associates which bankrolled development of the Mohegan Sun casino resort in Connecticut. Then in 2006, Strather announced he'd handed over controlling interest in a proposed Mashpee Wampanoag casino on Cape Cod to the same group of investors.

J. Ronald Slavik, cousin of Richard and Stephan Slavik, was one of the so-called "investors" in Atwater Entertainment Associates LLC, another casino-related syndication that Strather organized in the mid 1990s to jump-start MotorCity Casino.

Using borrowed money, Ilitch made overnight millionaires out of her Atwater partners


Atwater investors due MotorCity sale windfall

By R.J. King / The Detroit News

DETROIT -- Original investors in Atwater Entertainment Associates LLC, a local group with a stake in MotorCity Casino, are poised to net sizable profits this week as Marian Ilitch positions herself to become sole owner of the gaming operation.

A $25,000 investment in Atwater Entertainment in 1994 has increased 22 times and is now worth $550,000, said Herb Strather, shareholder and founding member of the investment group.

Strather and more than 100 investors who own 266 units of Atwater Entertainment had previously received $150,000 per unit in profits, and will soon collect an additional $400,000 per unit once the sale is completed, he said.

At that rate, Atwater Entertainment, which owns 11.5 percent of the casino, would be selling its interest to Ilitch for around $106 million.

Atwater Entertainment Associates, LLC: List of Investors

NOTE: Atwater "investors" including Michigan State Senator Samuel "Buzz" Thomas received large windfalls from Marian Ilitch during 2005. What votes might Sen. Thomas have taken part in during 2005 that benefited Marian Ilitch or her family's affiliates including Ilitch Holdings, Inc., Detroit Red Wings, Olympia Entertainment, Olympia Development, MotorCity Casino, Blue Line FoodService Distributing, etc.? Did Sen. Thomas abstain from voting in such matters? OR what votes might Sen. Thomas have made that negatively impacted any competitors of those Ilitch affiliates?

Where there other Atwater "investors" benefiting from Marian Ilitch's buyout in 2005 who were in a position to help her family's businesses as a result?

$300 million SEC Fraud Case includes related actions against Paris Hilton and Michael Malik


MIAMI (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) -- Attorney Michael Goldberg, the receiver for Jack Utsick's Worldwide Entertainment has filed a lawsuit against heiress socialite Paris Hilton seeking recompensation for profits allegedly lost in a promotional contract for the 2006 film "National Lampoon’s Pledge This!"

According to the South Florida Business Journal, Goldberg filed the lawsuit as a part of his duties as receiver.

Hilton had been hired by one of Worldwide's subsidiaries, Entertainment Group Fund, at the sum of $1 million to promote the film that she also starred in. However Goldberg now contends that she didn't hold up her end of the bargain and is seeking in excess of $75,000 in compensation from Hilton.

In the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District court in Miami, Goldberg asserts that "Hilton failed to attend any talk shows or telephonic or in-person interviews."

Goldberg has been serving as the receiver for Jack Utsick's Worldwide Entertainment for two years after the SEC sued Utsick for fraud, finding that his entire company was in essence a ponzi scheme.

Hilton's attorney was unavailable for comment.

NOTE: Receiver Goldberg has also gone after others whom he alleges unduly were awarded "profit payments" by various of the Receiver Entities. Among those, is Michael J. Malik, Sr. of Detroit whom Goldberg alleges received such fraudlent transfers of more than $2.1 million. Malik and his affiliates are partners with Marian Ilitch whose family owns Detroit's Fox Theatre; manages Detroit's Cobo Arena, Masonic Lodge Theatre, Comerica Park and Joe Louis Arena; and owns the Detroit Tigers, Detroit Red Wings, MotorCity Casino, Olympia Entertainment and Little Caesar Enterprises. Malik shares offices with other Ilitch Holdings Inc. executives in the Fox Theatre Building.

Goldberg v. Malik.

Friday, January 09, 2009

SEC v. John P. Utsick, Robert Yeager, Donna Yeager, Worldwide Entertainment, The Entertainment Group Fund Inc., et al

John P. Utsick, Robert Yeager, Donna Yeager, Worldwide Entertainment, Inc., The Entertainment Group Fund, Inc., American Enterprises, Inc., and Entertainment Funds, Inc.

On April 17, 2006, the SEC obtained permanent injunctions and other relief by consent against Worldwide Entertainment, Inc., Entertainment Group Fund, Inc., and their principal John P. ("Jack") Utsick, American Enterprises, Inc., Entertainment Funds, Inc., and their principals Robert Yeager and Donna Yeager. The SEC’s complaint alleged that from at least 1998 through late 2005, the defendants raised more than $300 million from over 3,300 investors nationwide in connection with their fraudulent sale of unregistered securities used to fund entertainment ventures produced and/or promoted by Utsick. For more information about the SEC’s action, you can read Litigation Release No. 19659 (Apr. 17, 2006).

On April 20, 2006, the Court appointed Michael I. Goldberg, Esq. as Receiver over the corporate defendants. For the latest information about the Receivership, you can visit the Receiver’s website.

Among the other related cases brought by court appointed Receiver Michael I. Goldberg:

Defendant in SEC's alleged ponzi scheme case has taken asylum in Brazil

Concert/entertainment promoter John P. Utsick (Jack Utsick) is a Defendant in an alleged $300 million ponzi scheme fraud case filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 2006. (SEC v. John P. Utsick, Worldwide Entertainment, et al).

The SEC wishes to seek a final judgement against Utsick but requires some discovery and his deposition. It appears that Utsick has fled the U.S. and is living in Brazil.

Utsick has confirmed that he had been based in Miami during the period of the alleged fraud. In recent months the SEC has sought to compel Utisck to appear for deposition. In his latest move, Utsick has submitted an affidavit in which he swears that since 11.29.07 he has made Brazil his primary home.

In email communications the SEC now reports Utsick is refusing to attend any court deposition in the U.S. including one set for 1.15.09; and Brazilian law prevents Utsick from being deposed by U.S. officials in that country.

Michael I. Goldberg is the court appointed receiver in the fraud case in which other defendants include Worldwide Entertainment, Inc. and Entertainment Group Fund, Inc. as well as American Enterprises, Inc. and Entertainment Funds, Inc. and their principals Robert Yeager and Donna Yeager.

In a related $2.1 million fraudulent transfer matter, Goldberg v. Malik, Judge Paul C. Huck has set the dates for trial to begin 4.20.09 in a Miami U.S. District Court.

In this case, the Receiver Goldberg alleges that Defendant, Michael J. Malik, Sr., invested in the business affairs of the Receivership Entities and ultimately received back more than he invested. The Receiver alleges that any "profits" that Malik earned are unlawful because, over time, the Receivership Entities became nothing more than a ponzi scheme.

According to the original complaint, Receiver indicates specifically that The Entertainment Group Fund Inc. (TEGFI) paid Malik $2,100,669.90 in excess of Malik's original investment.

Malik has yet to deny the charges filed by Goldberg; rather, he's sought to have the case tossed out or delayed based on procedural or administrative causes.

In a related matter, Receiver Goldberg has also filed charges against Paris Hilton.

You may wish to review these related posts:

MGM Mirage to take $1.2 Billion Writedown on Mandalay


MGM Mirage to Take $1.2 Billion Writedown on Mandalay


NEW YORK (Reuters) - MGM Mirage said on Friday it would write down the value of the Mandalay Resort Group, the casino company it bought in 2005 for about $5 billion.

In the last year or so, the Las Vegas gambling boom has ended and the real estate market deteriorated sharply, sending the value of casino properties plunging and putting a financial squeeze on operators.

In a regulatory filing late on Friday, MGM Mirage said it will recognize a non-cash impairment charge of about $1.2 billion in its fourth-quarter results, representing substantially all of the goodwill it recognized when it closed the deal.

The purchase of Mandalay, which operates the Mandalay Bay, Luxor and Excalibur resorts in Las Vegas, propelled MGM Mirage into the position of the world's No. 2 casino company, behind Harrah's Entertainment.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Lawsuit alleges Ilitch, agents committed Conspiracy following 2004 Assault & Battery incidents

Lisa Wood, a Harrison Township (MI) woman, has filed a five count lawsuit in Wayne County's 3rd Circuit Court against Little Caesar Enterprises Inc., Michael Ilitch, his son Ronald Ilitch and including allegations of Breach of Contract, Negligence and Conspiracy. (Lisa Wood v. Little Caesar Enterprises, Michael Ilitch, et al; Case No. 08-018537-CZ).

The conspiracy claims appear to be directly related to an 8.01.04 domestic violence incident in which Troy Police were called to the Caitlin Court home of Ron Ilitch. When police arrived on the scene that day they were unable to locate Ilitch. Newspaper accounts report he was later arrested and charged with two counts of assault and battery.

As reported on 8.12.04 in the Detroit Free Press that call to police was the culmination of a series of domestic violence incidents:

    "According to the Oakland County Prosecutor's Office, Ilitch and Wood argued at Ilitch's Troy home on Caitlin Court on June 24. He allegedly hit her, causing bruising and a swollen eye and hand. She initially did not report the incident, said Charles Claus, warrants division chief with the prosecutor's office.

    "Later, they went on vacation to Colorado, Claus said. On the way, they stopped at Valley Community Hospital in Peru, Ill., where Wood was treated for her injuries, Claus said.

    "On July 10, Wood reported she was assaulted again, Aurora Police Detective Larry Martinez said.

    "On Aug. 1, after the couple returned, Wood told police she was assaulted a third time.

    "She said Ilitch hit her in both arms. She ran from the house to a neighbor's home, called Troy police and went to a local hospital for treatment, Claus said."
Ron Ilitch plead "No Contest" to the 2004 assault and battery case.

This new lawsuit brought by Wood against Little Caesars, Mike Ilitch, and others alleges that Wood had been working with the Ilitches and Ilitch affiliates and agents on a new concept for their pizza businesses and that agreements had been executed to compensate Wood for her efforts.

However, as the complaint expresses, after the series of domestic violence incidents and Wood’s call to Troy police, the Ilitches and their agents took part in a conspiracy to cover up crime scene evidence and also destroy any evidence of their existing contractual relationship.

Following the 8.01.04 beating incident, Wood apparently was not personally allowed to return to Ron Ilitch’s home to retrieve her personal belongings. She says her copies of the executed agreements were among her things in the Ilitch home.

The complaint suggests that in the days immediately following the third beating, even authorities were blocked entry to the home. Wood believes Ilitch family members and their agents were working to clean up and destroy crime scene evidence in order to conceal the full extent of the crimes committed by Ron Ilitch; and that the Ilitches and their agents rifled through her personal belongings to locate and destroy the contracts and other things.

Wood believes the Ilitch crew intended to sever the contractual relationships they had previously executed with her to the point of deniability. Wood says in doing so, the Ilitches and their agents took her rightful property and robbed her of evidence to pursue legal remedies.

Although some previous news accounts wrongly suggest Ron Ilitch is not affiliated with any of the Ilitch family enterprises; in fact, since 1999 Ronald Ilitch has been a Director and Vice President of the Ilitch family's Seven I's Inc. (See: Seven I's Coporate Records) And according to Wikipedia, Ronald Ilitch was included as a "minority owner" on the Stanley Cup's Champions Roster in 2002 & 2008.

According to an Appearance document filed in this latest case, attorneys Irwin Alterman (Kemp Klein Law Firm) and Harold S. Fried (Fried Saperstein Abbatt PC) are representing the defendants.

Harold Fried represented Ron Ilitch in the 2004 assault & battery case and other actions. Following Ron Ilitch's 2004 arrest & arraignment, Fried saw to it that the matter was conducted outside of a public forum.

Fried has repeatedly represented members of the Ilitch family and several of Ilitch’s Detroit Red Wings players in potentially high profile or criminal cases during the last two decades.

Archived News Coverage of the 2004 Assault and Battery Incident:

Judge Huck denies Defendant Malik's Motion to Stay Discovery, orders exchange of documents yet again

In Goldberg v. Michael J. Malik, Sr., Federal District Court Judge Paul C. Huck has denied a request by Malik to Stay Discovery.

Malik has yet to deny charges filed by Receiver Michael I. Goldberg on 6.09.08 in what allegedly amounts to a $2.1 million fraudulent transfer case related to SEC v. John P. Utsick, Worldwide Entertainment, et al. Rather, Malik's attorneys have been relentless in their efforts to get the case postponed or dismissed on procedural or administrative grounds.

At a hearing on 12.10.08, Judge Huck ordered the parties to exchange documents "right away." When Malik's attorneys were contacted to initiate the exchange process, his attorney Abe Singer (Pepper Hamilton LP) appeared to respond with disdain for Judge Huck and informed Plaintiff's Counsel that Malik would instead file a Motion to Dismiss.

In ordering the parties, yet again, to exchange documents, Judge Huck set a deadline of 1.15.09.

(Fraudulent Money Transfers: Malik Complaint)

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Contributions to Nevada's Governor stick out like sore thumbs

On 7.19.06, then-Congressman Jim Gibbons (R-NV) held a Washington D.C. fundraiser to benefit his campaign for Governor of Nevada. He raised more than $43,000 at the event from 24 people, primarily D.C. lobbyists who gave $200 - $500 each. (See: Campaign Contributions Report, pg. 34)

Two of those contributions, however, stick out like sore thumbs because they were five and ten times the amount any other single guest contributed:

  • Richard Alcalde (Potomac Partners D.C.) - $5,000

  • MJM Manistee (Michael J. Malik, Sr.) - $10,000
MJM Manistee is one of the many affiliates of Detroit casino syndicator Michael J. Malik, Sr. That enterprise was formed by Malik when he was involved in developing the Little River Band of Ottawa Indian's Little River Casino Resort in Manistee, MI. Among other things, MJM Manistee owns a luxury fishing boat (the Renegade) that the former chairman of the Little River Band of Indians uses in a commercial charter fishing venture (Renegade Charters LLC) established by Malik.

Malik has been under investigation in California because in 2006 Malik/MJM Manistee failed to report $26,500 in contributions he directed toward California lawmakers; rather he perjured himself when he signed and submitted a disclosure initially reporting he had contributed $0.00 during that period. And this was on the heals of another similar investigation that found Malik/BarWest LLC guilty on two counts for failing to report a $26,600 contribution made in 2004 to Rep. Richard Pombo's County GOP Victory Committee.

Malik is facing a $2.1 million fraudulent transfer charge in Florida Federal Court related to a $300 million ponzi scheme case brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission. (Goldberg v. Malik)

Michael Malik and a partner, Marian Ilitch are behind various Indian casino schemes in California, Michigan and New York. The pair were founders in MotorCity Casino along with Mandalay Resort Group (MRG). But in 1999, when Malik was disqualified from receiving a state gambling license, he transferred his interests to Ilitch. In 2005, Ilitch bought out Mandalay Resort Group's 53% share of MotorCity Casino in order to make way for MGM Mirage's acquisition of MRG.

Ilitch and her husband Mike Ilitch co-founded Little Caesars Pizza and own the Detroit Red Wings hockey team. Mike Ilitch also owns the Detroit Tigers baseball team.

Richard Acalde is a controversial lobbyist who represents various Malik/Ilitch affiliates and partners. Alcalde has also been at the center of several D.C. lobbying/political corruption scandals including the ongoing investigation into a $10 million earmark that was advanced by Alaska's Congressman Don Young. The funds were designated to improvement of a Florida Interchange (Coconut Rd.) that would have benefited a Michigan developer Daniel Aronoff (Landon Companies) who owns property in Florida near or adjacent to Coconut Rd. Aronoff is one of Alcalde's most loyal clients. They flew Young to Florida and held a fundraiser for him there.

Republican James A. Gibbons is now Governor of Nevada.

Reporter: Kerzner & Wolman have money troubles, Strather seeks new investors for Cape Cod Casino scheme

Taken from a story by Stephanie Vosk published on 1.05.09 in the Cape Cod Times:

    Tribe's longtime investor seeks new blood

    ...For years, Herb Strather and his investors bankrolled the tribe's quest for federal recognition from the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, upping the ante to $40,000 a month, and later $100,000, according to court documents.

    But the process, officially ongoing since the 1970s, still took a lot longer than anticipated. In December 2006, about 10 months after the tribe received a preliminary thumbs up on its federal recognition application, the man from Detroit officially handed over the vast majority of his stake in a proposed casino to a company called Trading Cove, headed up by South African casino developers Sol Kerzner and Len Wolman.

    Five years ago, Strather said, he may have been able to maintain about 20 percent of the project. Today, he controls a little more than 5 percent.

    The financial problems of Kerzner and Wolman, who are the "operators and the funders" of the project, have been well publicized. The credit rating for their Rhode Island "racino," Twin River, has been downgraded by at least two companies, and Moody's Investor Service cited a high probability the company will seek bankruptcy protection.

    Strather's not in trouble as far as the Mashpee project is concerned — he doesn't have those kind of debt obligations for the casino, he said.

    It's his other various projects that are suffering from the current economic recession. "We have other businesses, real estate businesses, and yes that business is tough," he said.

    But many of his original investors — including O.J. Simpson's attorney Johnnie Cochran and his kindergarten teacher — have died since his business with the tribe began, and new blood — and money — are welcome, he said.

    "Many of these people who came in are gone. I've had at least a dozen investors die," he said. "They helped make a dream come true, and their legacy will live on, although they are not alive now to reap the benefits of it."

    Strather is likely looking for investors who can not only help financially, but have political influence at the local level, experts say... (See Original Story)

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Waterford Group affiliate placed a lien against AtMashpee LLC

A Secured Party, KSW MASS, LLC c/o Waterford Group Investments LLC, P.O. Box 715 Waterford, CT 06385-0715 filed a Michigan UCC Lien (Filing No. 2008101916-9) against a Debtor, AtMashpee, LLC, on 6.26.08.

The UCC Lien is described as “Security Interest and Proceeds.”

* * *

A limited liability company known as KSW MASS, L.L.C. was organized in Delaware on 11.29.06.

Is it possible that "KSW" stands for Kerzner, Slavik, and Wolman? Those parties are reportedly now in control of any future Mashpee Wampanoag casino resort on Cape Cod, MASS. ( Meet the Money Men).

Those parties were also part of the Trading Cove Partners that financed and developed the Mohegan Sun in Connecticut.

Sol Kerzner is Chairman and CEO of Kerzner International

Slavik Suites, Inc. was formed by Michigan-based brothers Richard Slavik (deceased 3.11.08) and Stephan Slavik (Slavik Builders, Inc.).

LMW Investments, Inc. is a Connecticut-based enterprise formed by brothers Len Wolman and Mark Wolman. The Wolmans are officers and directors of Slavik Suites.

Slavik and LMW are the members of Waterford Group LLC. Len Wolman is Chairman of Waterford. Waterford partnered with Kerzner to form Trading Cove Partners.

Waterford Gaming LLC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Waterford Group LLC. A 10-K filed with the SEC by Waterford Gaming LLC provides more details into the relationship complexities of the businesses owned by the Wolmans and the Slavik family.

AtMashpee LLC, the "debtor" subject to the KSW MASS UCC Lien was organized by Detroit casino syndicator and real estate developer Herbert Strather.

Kerzner and Wolman (and by some accounts Slavik) took control of the Mashpee Wampanoag casino project from Strather once the tribe received Federal Recognition. Strather is reported to have bankrolled that tribe's efforts up to that point to the tune of $15 million. If what's been represented were true, wouldn't Kerzner, Slavik, Wolman by buying-out AtMashpee rather than placing a lien against the enterprise? Or did those parties also finance AtMashpee? Was Strather fronting for KSW all along?

And further do AtMashpee's investors know about the KSW MASS/Waterford Group UCC lien? In the wake of the wide-reaching Bernard Madoff ponzi scheme should AtMashpee "investors" be looking more closely at their circumstances?

Not so favorable report of casino syndicators Strather, Varner, Malik, Slavik et al

Excerpts from a 4.26.99 article published in the Las Vegas Sun:

    Circus Detroit partners under scrutiny

    DETROIT -- As state investigators probe the suitability of those seeking to run casinos here, a newspaper says some investors in the Atwater/Circus Circus group have troubled histories...

    The Detroit News reported Sunday on its review of public records on the local investors.

    It said companies owned by local investor group leaders Herb Strather and Nellie Varner of Detroit have paid taxes late, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development cited a real estate company they own for several violations.

    A bad real estate deal in 1986 led to the foreclosure of nearly 40 properties. This month, HUD issued five violations against a Detroit apartment building they own; courts have awarded their tenants about $750,000 in negligence claims...

    Investor Michael Malik of Grosse Pointe was arrested in 1997 and accused of hitting his girlfriend's 12-year-old son, the newspaper said. The child is now Malik's stepson, but the boy's biological father is seeking custody. The charge was dropped after Malik served one year of probation and met conditions set by the judge...

    Strather, Varner, Malik and Thomas Celani, along with minor investors James Blain and J. Ronald Slavik, are accused in lawsuits of fraudulently cutting two other developers out of the Atwater Group, the News said. They deny the allegations, which are pending in courts in Wayne and Oakland counties.

    Also, Varner's adopted daughter, Janniss Scott Varner, is accused of attempted murder in an alleged shooting in Nellie Varner's garage... (See: Original Article)

Monday, January 05, 2009

Michael Malik's Counsel seems to demonstrate disdain for Federal Judge Paul Huck

It appears Defendant's attorney has disdain for federal Judge Paul C. Huck. In an email reply from Michael Malik's attorney Abe Singer it appears as if he thinks Judge Huck is "a piece of work" and doesn't believe anything the Judge says?

Or was the attorney simply referring to his own client Michael Malik when he made those comments in an email reply to opposing Counsel?

In Goldberg v. Michael J. Malik, Sr., the $2.1 million fraudulent transfer mattter (Case No. 0:2008cv60870) underway in Florida Federal Court, Plaintiff's attorney filed a "Notice Compliance to Advise Defendants' Counsel to Exchange Documents" on 12.26.08.

The Notice includes as exhibit an e-mail exchange between Plaintiff's Attorney Jeff Sonn (Sonn & Erez) and Defendant's Counselors Abe Singer (Pepper Hamilton, LLP) and Gary Stiphany (Garbett, Stiphany, Allen & Roza, P.A.); presumably to demonstrate to the Court that Sonn had engaged in good-faith communication with Malik's Counsel as directed by the Court.

Sonn explains in his original email (12.26.08, 2:19 PM) that he's contacting Defendant's attorneys because Judge Huck had requested the parties exchange documents right away. Sonn reviews circumstancs surrounding a status conference the Judge held on 12.19.08. And Sonn indicates the Judge has scheduled a 1.05.09 status conference at which Sonn believes Judge Huck intends to pick a trial date and set pretrial deadlines.

Here's the verbatim email response from Defendant's Counsel Abe Singer:
    "This guy is a piece of work. I do not believe a word he says. Please call me on Monday to discuss this and motions to dosmiss [sic]."

UCC Filing ties Malik, Ilitch headquarters to Royal Oak Theatre affiliates?

Casino syndicator Michael J. Malik, Sr. is facing $2.1 million fraudulent transfer charges in Florida Federal Court (Golderg v. Malik). That complaint is related to an investigation and charges by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) against entertainment promoters Worldwide Entertainment, Entertainment Group Fund, Inc., American Enterprises, Inc., Entertainment Funds, Inc., Jack Utsick Presents, et al.

Michael I. Goldberg (Akerman Senterfitt) is the appointed Receiver in the matter. Goldberg is represented by Jeffrey R. Sonn (Sonn & Erez).

Circumstances surrounding the Royal Oak Music Theatre in Michigan have been of interest to Receiver Goldberg.

Curiously in 1993, Michigan National Bank, a creditor, originally placed a UCC lien (Filing No. C731010) against the six related debtors listed below; and has twice since renewed that filing: 1998 (Filing No. D339142) and 2003 (Filing No. 2003042961-4).

Those six debtors facing lien by Michigan National Bank include:

  1. Fourth Street Asylum
  2. Paragon Investment Company
  3. Paragon Investment Company
  4. Paragon Investment Company dba Paragon Theatres dba Royal Oak Music Theatre dba Fourth Street Asylum
  5. Paragon Theatres
  6. Royal Oak Music Theatre

Curiously, the ongoing UCC lien indicates five of the six debtors are located at:

2211 Woodward Ave.
Detroit, MI 48201

That’s the address of Detroit's Fox Theater building which is the headquarters of Ilitch Holdings, Inc. and its affiliates as well as the address of record for numerous other Malik affiliates. (See: Compiled List of Affiliates)

Until now, there have been few details directly linking Ilitch or Malik affiliates to the Royal Oak Theatre circumstances or circumstances that would explain how it is that Malik is tied into the SEC complaint against Worldwide Entertainment, Utsick Presents et al.

So why does the Michigan National Bank filing identify those five entities at that Woodward Ave. address? After all, that's not the address of record those entities have on file with Michigan's Department of Labor & Economic Growth.

Filings to date in Goldberg v. Malik have yet to disclose the true nature of Malik’s involvement/relationship with Worldwide Entertainment, Jack Utsick Presents, etc. Currently counsel for Malik is arguing the case on procedural and adminisrative grounds. Malik has yet to deny the charges.

Could the UCC lien provide a hint of what that relationship might be?

It's noted that Ilitch affiliates, namely Olympia Entertainment, own or manage many of the concert halls, theaters and sporting venues in the greater Detroit area (Comerica Park, Joe Louis Arena, Fox Theater, Cobo Arena, Detroit’s historic Masonic Temple Theatre, etc.). The Royal Oak Music Theatre has never publicly been acknowledged in the Ilitch portfolio.

While Malik is reportedly not an employee of Ilitch Holdings, Inc. or any of its subsidiaries, his office is among the executive suite of offices at Ilitch Holdings, Inc. and many ways he acts in a capacity as senior employee or affiliate -- often in the capacity of "bad cop" or "tough guy." And despites such denials by Malik and Ilitch spokespersons, according to, Malik has made contributions totaling $24,100 to 16 different political committees which recorded his employer as Ilitch Holdings.

Defendant Malik is represented in Detroit by Abraham Singer and James D. VandeWyngearde (Pepper Hamilton, LLP) and in Miami by Gary T. Stiphany (Garbett, Stiphany, Allen & Roza, P.A.).

List of Michigan donors to Alaskan's Midnight Sun PAC is rather Dis-Honorable

The list of donors from Michign who have ever given money to the Midnight Sun PAC, Rep. Don Young's so-called leadership PAC, is rather short as one might expect given Young hails from Alaska. Just five donors. But those five donors, some bordering on infamous, made seven contributions totaling $23,500.

Further, a review of the short-list reveals a rather "Dis-Honorable Roll" of donors.
Ironically, book-ending this list are Detroiters Herbert J. Strather and Michael J. Malk, Sr.; one time partners, who respectively made the first and last contributions Midnight Sun PAC has ever received from Michigan donors. And sandwiched in the middle is Daniel J. Aronoff.

Malik and Strather were behind the legalization of commercial gambling in Detroit and were considered founders of Detroit's MotorCity Casino. However, the pair were among a handful of "investors" who were disqualified from receiving gaming licenses by the Michigan Gambling Control Board (MGCB) and as such had to dump their interests in the casino before it could open its doors. Among various considerations, Malik had recently been arrested for beating the 12-year-old son of a girlfriend and reportedly had IRS issues; and Strather, among other things, had previously been convicted of bribery.

For nearly a decade, Mike Malik has sought Rep. Young's help advancing unorthodox plans the casino syndicator is bankrolling for an Indian Casino in Port Huron, Michigan; and other earmark matters involving the Bay Mills Indian Community. (Anchorage Daily News: Alaska's Young a leader in Michigan Indian casino fight).

In 2005-06, Malik and his partners, members of Detroit's Ilitch family, were among the top five donors to Young's political committee and they gave Young the highest grossing day of fundraising he had in that entire two year campaign cycle . Only those affiliated with Veco (Bill Allen, Rick Smith), JHT Holdings (Dennis Troha) and Carnival Corp. contributed more than Malik/Ilitch Family. Vecco execs have plead guilty to political corruption charges and Troha has already been indicted on similar charges he "reimbursed" family members who contributed to various candidates.

Mike Malik is developing a pattern of political campaign finance violations. His affiliate Barwest LLC (another of his partnerships with Detroit's Marian Ilitch) was found to have violated California's political reform laws on two counts for failing to disclose a $26,600 contribution it made to former Rep. Richard Pombo's County GOP Victory Committee. Malik used Barwest to front private aircraft travel for Rep. Young.

Malik is the subject of an ongoing investigation by California's Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) because he denied making another $26,000+ in contributions to the committees of various California lawmakers in 2006 -- at the same time the previous FPPC investigation was concluding.

Strather & Dalgleish
Similarly, Herb Strather has bankrolled efforts to get approvals needed to build a large casino resort on Cape Cod in partnership with the Mashpee Wampanoag Indian Tribe. Young sat as Chair, Vice Chair and then ranking member of the House Resources Committee which has oversight for Indian matters.

Strather put $4 million into a hidden fund that enabled his partner, former tribal chairman Glenn Marshall, to carry out a scheme of illegal campaign finance activity including reimbursements to other so-called "donors." Marshall and other such "donors" from the tribe contributed to Midnight Sun PAC on the same date Strather and Mary Ann Dalgleish, a Strather & Associates Vice President, contributed to the PAC. We will assume Strather knew better than to reimburse Dalgleish for her contribution.

Dalgleish was apparently one of 100+ "investors" Strather recruited to syndicate Atwater Entertainment Associates LLC in the mid-1990s although Dalgleish had a personal history of financial hardship. AEA is the entity Strather syndicated to bankroll the legalization of gaming in Detroit and start MotorCity Casino. Dalgleish may also have been an investor in AtMashpee LLC, the syndication Strather organized to bankroll the Mashpee Wampanoag casino plans.

Appearing predictably on the PAC list three times -- and of all things, at the center of the list -- is Daniel Aronoff, perhaps so far the most publicly notorious donor on this list. (Note that the entry for Aronoff's most recent contribution has his last name misspelled as Aaronoff -- error or intention?).

Aronoff owns land in Florida and is the Michigan-based real estate developer at the center of the scandal and investigation into a $10 million earmark advanced by Rep. Young that was designated for improvements to the Coconut Road interchange off Florida's I-75. The project would have significant value to Aronoff who was a prodigious fundraiser for Young.

Aronoff, Malik and Strather have similar patterns of interaction with Young and have been significant bundlers/fundraisers for Young's various political committees, GOP causes and closest allies (former Reps Richard Pombo, John Doolittle, etc.). They've flown Young around in private aircraft, organized fundraisers, hired the some of the same notorious lobbyists and in exchange, sought help from Rep. Young above and beyond the norm.

The fifth Michigan donor on the list is Dennis Wend, who is referred to as a government employee albeit the only government employee from Michigan to contribute to Midnight Sun PAC -- and contribute $3,000.

Wend is executive director of technology transfer at the United States Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center, located at the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command in Warren. He contributed to Midnight Sun PAC only after he was given the spotlight in 2004 & 2005 at Alaska's Clean Energy Symposium I & II.

Celebrity-like visit by Ilitch Holdings CEO to U.S. Attorney's Office highlighted

A 2007 Annual Report published by the U.S. Attorney Stephen J. Murphy, Eastern District of Michigan gives (see pg. 53) celebrity-like stature to a visit to the U.S. Attorneys Office by Christopher Ilitch, CEO of Ilitch Holdings, Inc., the parent company of Little Caesar Enterprises, Detroit Tigers, Detroit Red Wings and MotorCity Casino. (See photo and caption right).

Given the complex Michigan-based business holdings of the Ilitch family, and the proclivity for legal challenges, this sort of favorable, start-struck, celebrity-like treatment of Ilitch seems inappropriate and raises questions of objectivity. Members of the Ilitch family -- particularly Christopher's older brothers Ronald and Michael Jr. -- and their closest partners have a deep history of professional and personal legal challenges allegedly involving illegal substances, assault, domestic violence, prostitution, impaired driving, campaign finance violations, etc.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

List of Ilitch/Malik affiliates updated to include these 29 additional entities

TVT has added the following to the comprehensive list of companies and affiliates maintained by and for Detroit's Ilitch family (Mike & Marian Ilitch) and Michael J. Malik, Sr., their casino and real estate partner:

It is worth noting that Seven I's Inc., established in 1978, is the only Ilitch affiliate that TVT is aware of which includes Mike and Marian Ilitch and each of their seven children in executive and board capacities.

Mike serves as Seven I's President and Marian as its Secretary/Treasurer. Each of the Ilitch's seven children is both a Vice President and Director of Seven I's: Denise D. Ilitch, Ronald Tyrus Ilitch, Michael C. Ilitch, Jr., Lisa M. Ilitch Murray, Atanas Ilitch (born Thomas Ilitch), Christopher Paul Ilitch (CEO of Ilitch Holdings, Inc.) and Carole M. Ilitch Trepeck. (See: Report of Officers and Directors).

TVT wishes to express its regards and thanks to all those who forwarded tips and details that contributed to this update.

See: Comprehensive Compiled List of Affiliates

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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.

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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

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