Into the Home Stretch...We Hope
So two months after we first met Stephen L. Edwards, five weeks after he signed the Joint Venture Agreement with us, he had still not been able to produce the investment money he’d promised. The amount had changed from 1.5 million to 5 or 6, then it dropped down to the minimum of $600,000. Now, as he brought his colleagues into the mix in a last-ditch stand to save his bid at Eko Atlantic, the amount started to climb again.
October 29, 2010
Thanks a million....just to let you know how well I have worked...a friend who wants to lend me some funds above 3m was just telling me that the wire transfer was made yesterday but there was a mistake with the beneficiary details.
They hope to have it corrected today and by Monday/Tuesday he will begin re‑transmission of same to your bank. I cannot say anything more than this. if it comes thru, my intent was to do two placements same time but lets keep our fingers crossed.
So, that should have been the culmination, right? Well, not exactly.
November 1, 2010
I had a skype chat with Steve Edwards yesterday. He is expecting funds by end of this week. Possible scenario is that he'd have approximately $7M ‑ $10m. Whatever profits we generate off those funds, half would go to his investor who is putting up the funds. The other half would be yours to invest, and then you split profits with Steve as per your JV agreement. So for example, let's say it's $7M. You would have $3.5M to invest.
I'm not sure if we would split the $7M into two parts, or just invest the whole $7M and split the profits later. I'm not going to worry about it yet. Let's first see if his investor comes through. He sounded optimistic.
Steve also wanted to know about programs, profits, etc. I told him that I had two programs that just shut down, and others will follow. (But some new ones are opening up as well ‑ short window programs). Therefore, all we can do is see what's available when the funds are in your account and ready to go. If we have a high‑leverage program available, we will do that. If all we can find is a slower program, we should start with that to get the money moving, start generating profits and compound. Then when a higher‑leverage program becomes available again, we could go into that or diversify. I hope that works for you guys. He was OK with it, and I hope his investor will be as well. He says the investor will probably just give Steve the money on trust.
Wait...7-10 million??? When did that happen?
Hello, Steve --
I'm so glad you and Stephen had a chance to speak yesterday! I spoke to him Friday ‑‑ he said his investor tried to wire the money to his account on Friday but they had a glitch in the instructions; he thought they would have it in place in his account today. I haven't spoken to him today, though ‑‑ I'll see what happened.
That scenario is acceptable to us; is Steve's colleague going to invest his part as well, and then we would be dividing after the first payout? Either way, we still want to stick to our original plan with Steve ‑‑ after the first payout roll over 5 million back into a program and then after the second payout roll 20 million over. Is this still feasible, and will the CMBS we agreed on with Stephen still be available?
It was decided, with this amount of money and no line of credit to repay, that Stephen E. Would repay his investor out of his 65% of the proceeds. This seemed like a very fair arrangement to us. Panic hit Stephen Edwards on November 8th.
I am more worried than anyone because our Housing project is almost set to be canceled if we don’t move on the site, and that is why I have engaged many many interested associates & would be partners to fund us.
I move from one meeting to the other & my wife thinks I may have a break down with the way I am going, but God is strong for me: I can’t say when or how but I just know something will happen before this November clicks off.
Please, we need all your prayers & not doubts any more....this transaction will go down. I can promise you all but can’t put a date to it. Keep up the faith.
I was afraid you might lose your bid at Eko Atlantic; I understand how bad this is for you. Please believe you are in our thoughts so many times a day ‑‑ we know how much you want this, as much as the rest of us. I understand that your wife is worried for you as well; she doesn't want you to make yourself sick over this. I hope you are able to get this investment money in your account while you can still build your dream project; it would be tragic to lose that opportunity now.
We are trying hard to keep the faith here, but it is difficult. You are the most promising business partner we've ever had, but before you there were so many scammers, people who tried but couldn't get their investment together, etc. If there is anything we can do, or Steve Glanz ‑‑ if you want us to talk to people, send them information, whatever we can do to provide reassurance, we are here for you and will attempt to do whatever is needed. We send our hopes that the next meeting will be the one...
Hello, Stephen ‑‑ I spoke to Steve Glanz. He and the programs manager, Steve Edwards (why is that such a popular name?) are committed to finding us a program even during the slowdown that will enable us to get started with a sizeable payout in a short turnover. We may then move to another program in January, but we won't be left high and dry in the interim.
Now the biggest problem appears to be your ability to close with your partners in time to still utilize your bid at Eko Atlantic. Can't help with that part...sorry!
There was another person from the past, six months before, who contacted Steve Glanz in the middle of November. His name was Steve Burns, a financial adviser similar to Steve Glanz but apparently without the connections. He had a group of investors wanting to enter a high-yield trading platform for 3 billion u.s. dollars – no, that isn’t a typo – and none of his program managers appeared to be able to handle that kind of volume. Steve Glanz and Steve Schwartz could, of course, but the clients futzed about for a couple of weeks trying to get the original platforms to work for them.
November 10, 2010
Thanks for all your effort and prayers... I will not lose the Bid for Edo Atlantic; we are speaking with many prospective lenders & would be partners & from their kitty I have asked them to advance us with working capital, which in turn is what I will pledge as investment funds for the program.
My target is for the first partner to make payment between now and the end of November, which would still work for us. If the first partner moves by Monday-Wednesday of next week then OK, and anyone who comes after that, I would decline. Just have it at the back of your minds that we will cross that bridge this month. no matter how difficult.
Thank you for all the support......we are almost there.
But there were more stumbling blocks ahead for both Stephen and us. I had a note from him on the 17th that the bank signatory for his partner’s bank had decided to take his vacation the week before the four-day Moslem holiday of something-or-other, so he effectively took two weeks. He was scheduled to return on the 22nd, but the week before Stephen’s partner withdrew his offer of the loan of the financing, as he now needed the money for another project. Talk about road blocks everywhere, but we were going to stick with Stephen this time.
So there we all were, waiting for our investor to actually get us the seed investment. It was stressful enough, and then on the 19th I discovered that Frank Cmero had pulled one of his incredibly stupid moves. You wouldn’t think given the circumstances that he would go off half-cocked the way he had so many times before, but there you are. It was apparently in his nature. Frank had started to write a column (for which he must have had a ghost writer or editor; we’d seen his ability to write in English) for Culinary Hub, a cooking site. I read his first column about the use of spices, and when I went to read the second column, about wines for Thanksgiving dinner, I noticed an ad on the page for a novel called BULLSHIT. That was strange, I thought...there couldn’t be a novel of the same name he’d chosen with an ad on the page where he wrote his blog. When I clicked on the novel, I discovered it was his novel...sort of. At least, it was his name on the cover as the author.
When I went to the publishing site and clicked on the sample pages of the novel – the first 15 – it was word-for-word the novel Sandra and I wrote. Nothing resembling his first journal draft in the least except for the bare bones of the story. And it wasn’t technically finished; the last ten years of the story were so sketchy we had asked Frank to work on it, write up some more journal entries for us to use as the basis of the story and fill in around them, as we had done before. There were even characters that had been invented by us to fill in the back story of his life; he didn’t even bother to change the titles of the chapters.
So, what were we to do, given that we were on daily-weekly notice of Stephen Edwards’ money transfer and/or the possible entry of Steve Burns into the mix? We certainly didn’t want to jeopardize any of this. We spoke to Scott by telephone and decided we would wait until Stephen’s money arrived in the LMI account, then we would address the problem.
Very disappointing that Frank would do that. I would suggest not addressing it to Frank until after the funding is in place. My reasoning is that we don't know if he might try to kill the funding if his project is removed from the slate at the 11th hour. And once the funds are in place it may be better to tell him to withdraw the book or we will site a serious breach of agreement on his life story, pull the project and rightfully sue anyone who uses the his story.
Dear Scott, Steve and Tom,
I spoke to Scott tonight; we won't be doing anything until Stephen's money is in the LMI account. Then we will give Frank a choice ‑‑ take his money and removing himself from the GO WEST film entirely and permanently, or it will be dropped from the film fund. He stole what we wrote; he didn't write that novel, it isn't finished in any way, and he never consulted us on the publication. He took it without consulting us, put his name on the cover as the author, and had it published. There is nothing else to say; he stole from us and we won't trust him again. We worked on that for several years; I still have all the correspondence, and about six months ago I told him we needed more material in rough draft form to finish. He said he would work on some stories for us after he finished his deal that fell through in Europe, we never heard more. He obviously had other plans; I can't imagine why he would do such a mad thing now of all times, but it doesn't matter.
November 21, 2010
Sandra and I had a telephone conference with Scott Ferguson yesterday. It is the decision of the three of us that we will not be addressing our problem with Mr. Cmero* until after Stephen Edwards' seed investment money is received in the LMI corporate account. At that time we will approach the matter as we decide will be best for the business.
Please be assured that we will involve neither you nor Mr. Edwards in this matter in any way, as it involves only the four partners of GO WEST. In order to maintain the integrity of Mr. Edwards' investment in LMI and your role as our financial adviser, it must remain thus.
Sincerely, Debora Hill
CEO, Lost Myths Ink LLC
*regarding the illegal publication of our novel GO WEST by Mr. Cmero under his original title of BULLSHIT
The last six weeks of 2010 was spent in one more insane merry-go-round of expectation and disappointment caused by the fact that none of the people he was working with appeared able to do one thing right or even construct a sentence in English. This fact made it impossible for them to actually get anyone at a u.s. bank to understand what they were doing or cooperate in any way. By the end of November I heard from Steve Glanz to tell me the programs would start to close the middle of December. We were heading into the end of another year of living on the edge, holidays coming up and no money for gifts. Every year this happened I told myself I couldn’t survive another one...
Amongst all this angst we still had decided what to do about Frank Cmero and the theft of the novel manuscript. I wrote to Scott Ferguson on the 26th in an attempt to make a decision.
Sandra and I have been discussing the options of how to deal with the Frank Cmero debacle. This is what we came up with ‑‑ we take the first sizeable payout from the investment program (I'm saying this because the initial investment will be somewhere between half a million and 3 million ‑‑ Stephen Edwards is working with his partner this weekend to get it to us) and the payout on half a million won't be enough, probably ‑‑ that can be decided once we get the program specifics ‑‑ and divide the proceeds four ways. We give Frank his 25%, we (you and us) take our 75%, pay ourselves the Executive Producer fees of 1.5 million each (they will now be for DC and Don't Breathe, which won't technically be produced until 2012 but we can still receive the fee now), our writer's fees for DC and re‑invest the remainder. You will be able to start your own film fund with your 1.5 million and still have a few hundred thousand for living expenses until your fund pays out. The three of us will retain our shares in DC and Don't Breathe.
The requirements for us doing this will be as follows:
1. Frank withdraws the novel he has published as BULLSHIT, which is the version Sandra and i wrote.
2. We will surrender any participation in the film GO WEST or the novel if both Frank Cmero and Tomas Krejci sign affidavits saying they will not use any lines, sentences, characters or concepts that Sandra and I brought to our version of the screenplay and novel. Krejci needs to sign as well as Frank because Krejci lives here in California, and it would cost way too much to make it worthwhile to sue Frank if he does steal from us again.
3. If those conditions are met we will release Frank's story as he wrote it and surrender any part in the production or novel ‑‑ but we will retain the script and novel we wrote, as it was our work and we were never paid for it; Lost Myths Ink still owns the copyright. Frank may take his original story and hire a new scriptwriter and/or ghostwriter for the novel version, but he may use only his original story, characters and concept ‑‑ nothing we brought to it.
Please give us your thoughts on this.
Debora Hill and Sandra Brandenburg
In the meantime, Frank was still behaving as if nothing had happened to breach our trust. Stephen was casting about himself everywhere he could, attempting to draw in his own investor’s pool. At that point we didn’t even have an idea how much the seed investment would be, if it ever did materialize. At the end of November there was another false positive – we actually thought 3.5 had been wired from a bank in Dubai and would arrive the following day in our bank. The last day of the month arrived, however, and we were still broke.
On the first of December we were waiting, but the explanation was that it took a few days for a wire transfer from overseas. On the second Steve Glanz started to worry that the chosen program would close AGAIN before the money arrived in our account. On the 2nd I wrote this to Frank Cmero:
Last night I spoke to Stephen and he said he'd called the sending bank and they assured him it had been ordered and would be gone by the close of business today, which would have been this morning for them. Then I talked to Steve Glanz a little before noon; he said if Stephen can get a confirmation that the money has been wired, then I can have a phone conference with the platform trader tomorrow ‑‑ if the money is actually enroute he will extend the program deadline for us. I just got home, I'll see if there's anything from Stephen.
In December, most of our time was taken up trying to figure out a complicated investment program we were never able to utilize, by Stephen Edwards and a slew of mistakes made by his investment partners, and our attempts at a good holiday season with very little money. Apparently the money was wired to a branch of Chase Bank in Florida, although there was never an explanation as to why this would happen. From there a flaming idiot named Rakesh Shing became involved and from there it all went to hell. Languished at that bank for about a week before the investors become irritated and had it sent from there to another branch of Chase in New Jersey.
December 7th to our corporate banker, Charmaine Boyd at The Bank of the West:
Hello, Charmaine ‑‑
Wow, if this happened to anyone else I wouldn't believe it. Our money was sent from Chase bank in Dubai to a branch in NY but was supposed to go to a specific person in Florida. So now it's been sent from NY to Florida and as soon as it arrives will be wired to our account. But...there's a good chance all the investment programs will be closed for the year; not sure yet, but a good chance. So the money will have to sit in our corporate account until the middle of January when the programs open. Will this bring the IRS to our doorstep?
Confused, dazed, bruised...still breathing...barely.
The middle of December was approaching and still that money was stuck somewhere in the east. We went to see Steve Glanz and his fiancé Adriana sing with the Mayflower Chorus in Marin on the 11th, and he told us about a CMO program, a late opener that would last only a couple of weeks, that became available that week. If we could get that money out from the east we could get into it. But that, like so many plans before it, was not to be.
Around the middle of November we realized it might be another holiday season with little money, so we started our round of baking and freezing our signature cakes – eggnog, pumpkin spice with bourbon, and chocolate liqueur. The eggnog was the one I needed to make the most; everyone loved that cake. And we started making plans for cookies and fudge, and assembled our lengthy joint gift list...shopping for things on clearance, great deals, whatever we could find.
December 14th to Stephen Edwards:
Hello, Stephen ‑‑
How did Tuesday go? I have been thinking about this problem overnight, and although I admittedly don't know or understand a lot of this situation, it does seem as if the people who originated this money transfer should be assisting you on getting it completed. They must have done business with this Mr. Singh before; if not, then he must have been recommended by someone ‑‑ it seems as if it should now be time to start playing hardball with him and insisting he stop dragging his feet and perform, or none of them will do business with him again.
Also, I know your business connections promised you 5 million (at least that was the last figure I had reading over your correspondence, although perhaps it was changed to 3.5 million at some point) but the message from Mr. Singh doesn't seem to indicate that there will be anything like this amount available. We are curious about this.
I hope things are going better for you today than they did yesterday.
December 15th to the team:
I had an instant message from Stephen Edwards this morning ‑‑ Rakesh Singh was apparently trying to hold their money release hostage for a larger percentage. The initiating bank is going to have to reissue the Swift to another receiver tomorrow; don't know if it will still be through Chase bank yet.
We will probably have to face the fact that there will be no programs for us until January ‑‑ not something we wanted to happen, obviously. But our lovely Steve Glanz can only offer us what is available, and we have already passed the beginning of the dead zone. We'll see what happens; the important thing