Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Equalnet Chocomuseo Mitch Bodian,Equalnet Houston Astros Jim Crane fraud

 Equalnet Chocomuseo Mitch Bodian,Equalnet Houston Astros Jim  Crane fraud

Astros owner Jim Crane sues previous owner, TV partner for fraud ...

Nov 21, 2013 - As if 324 losses in three years aren't bad enough, the Houston Astros ownership group led by majority owner Jim Crane is suing previous ...

Jim Crane expects Comcast to make new offer in CSN Houston case

Houston Chronicle (blog)-Mar 4, 2014
Jim Crane talks with Astros catching instructor Jeff Murphy in the ..... Crane filed last year accusing McLane and Comcast of fraud related to the ...


 5/5/1998 8:00:00 PM
 Yet another post: Equalnet Holding Corp. (Nasdaq: ENET), a
national facilities-based long-distance telecommunications provider, today
announced the completed private placement of 3.4 million shares of common
stock and warrants to purchase 170,000 additional shares of common stock, with
James R. Crane, a private investor for $3.4 million. This private placement
was initiated and committed to in March 1998 and follows the previously
announced investment in Equalnet by the Willis Group.
Proceeds of the $3.4 million from the sales of securities are expected to
be used for general corporate purposes and to partially fund the cash portion
of the proposed purchase by Equalnet of substantially all of the assets of SA
Telecommunications Inc. The closing of the acquisition is subject to approval
by Equalnet's shareholders and certain regulatory authorities.
"The successful and on-schedule completion of our private placement as
well as our pending acquisition of SA Telecommunications is clearly indicative
of our expansion strategy to return the company to profitability," said Robert
H. Turner, President and Chief Executive Officer of Equalnet. "We believe
Equalnet's mission of providing end-to-end telecommunications solutions while
expanding its customer base via telecom acquisitions is significantly enhanced
with this new investment."
Equalnet's core strategy is to build relationships with small to medium-
sized business customers by offering a wide range of telecommunications
products and services; and acquire companies with complementary business lines
serving small to medium-sized businesses.
"We are pleased by the market's acceptance of the company's progress in
implementing its strategy," added Dean H. Fisher, Senior Vice President and
General Counsel of Equalnet, "and we believe this is reflected in Equalnet's
recent stock price increase."
Equalnet has made a number of important announcements including receiving
more than $20 million in new shareholder equity including cash, assets and
converted debt and elected Robert H. Turner, an industry expert with more than
25 years telecommunications experience, as its President and Chief Executive

About Equalnet
Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Equalnet is a nationwide
telecommunications company employing approximately 100 people in the Houston
area and in its California sales office. The company provides a comprehensive
array of discounted long-distance telecommunications services. Equalnet owns
and operates a domestic network utilizing digital telecommunications switches
deployed in eight major United States cities.......

From ripoff Report:


The Crane Family

The Crane Family Jim Crane, Jared Crane, Champion Energy, Incite Energy, The Houston Astros, Cirro Energy, Dominion Resources, August Reuss Illegal Cronies: Tales of the Crane Family’s Criminal Activities HOUSTON Texas

Houston, one of America’s most successful cities, is proud of its competitive nature. Only recently have people taken a shine to the value of the city, especially its peaceful prosperity and adaptability in the face of change. Houston has become one of the fastest growing economies in the United States and has taken on the entrepreneurial mantle in many respects, promoting strong culture surrounding energy and healthcare. From restaurants to higher education to civic improvements and general work ethic of our citizenry, Houston is a place both natives and transplants have come to love. But even in the world’s greatest cities scum often exists and thrives somewhere in an office of home, planning the next step toward pillaging the city. In the case of Houston, one element of that scum is just begging to show its true colors. That element is known as the Crane Family.
The Cranes have been in the news fairly often recently, and it hasn’t always been positive. [continued below]....
..... Most Houstonians have come to know their heartlessly incompetent ownership of the Houston Astros. First, Jim Crane moved the team to the American League, rubbing sand in the eyes of fans to get an eight-figure discount on his big ticket purchase. Then, he failed to get the deal done with Comcast, denying the majority the fans the chance to watch the game on television. It’s no wonder he has stuck a hideous eyes of an advertising board in left field and let the team fall apart under the guise of “rebuilding”. The Astros’ payroll is the lowest in all of baseball, even though Crane’s take-home earnings on the value of the franchise last year was in the highest in all of professional sports. Yet baseball is simply one, rather minor arena for the Crane Family’s crimes against Houstonians. A filthy dark cloud has travelled overhead for the Cranes for a long time now, and even Houstonians who were once allies of the family have begun to distance themselves from one of the city’s most shadowy bloodlines. Most notably, Crane and Company have engaged in activities that have bilked Houston taxpayers out of hard earned dollars through illegal, fraudulent activities related to public spending and associated with rather nasty characters in ways that suggest an accomplice relationship rather than mere association. Those crimes are detailed one-by-one below, starting with some things you may know (“Past Crane Family Offenses”) before laying out the smoking gun details of the crime promised in the title of this document.
Past Offenses: Skittish Tactics in violation of Major League Baseball Negotiation Rules & Shady (embarrassing) Activity.
It’s a wonder Jim Crane was able to buy the Houston Astros at all given his previous transgressions toward former owner Drayton McLane. He backed out of his first attempt to buy the team at the 11th hour in 2008. When he finally did buy the team, he continued negotiations beyond the agreement during the final sale. Both of these incidents were detailed in Maury Brown’s (Biz of Baseball) June 2011 article in Forbes Magazine.
The article also covered an ongoing pattern of rather suspicious and untoward business behavior. Crane’s company Eagle Global Logistics (EGL) settled out of court for millions of dollars regarding a case that claimed discrimination against African-Americans, Hispanics, and women of “child-bearing” age. EGL was sued more than ten times subsequently for the same reason. The company has also been on the hook for war profiteering, fixing prices with other logistics companies, poking shareholders in the eye with a clawed finger by self-dealing through a “kangaroo business” transactional process that stacked the deck against 3rd parties and any potential competition in the deal.
Here’s Something You Don’t Know…
As is often the case with double-dealing cross-selling manipulator businessmen, the apple doesn’t fall very far from the tree. Jim Crane’s son and empire heir Jared Crane has some dirt and grime all his own, gathered with his father’s blessing but under his own direction. The younger Crane directly violated compliance and ethics rules of the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC), enforceable by Texas State Law. The State of Texas, it is illegal to apply and attain a PUC Aggregator License and be a principal of a Public Utility Commission of Texas licensed Retail Electric Provider (REP). With willful knowledge of this, Jared Crane’s Incite Energy illegally obtained a PUC Aggregator License in spite of close to a decade of tenure as a Director of Champion Energy (PUCT #10098).
“What’s the issue!?!? à Thuggery!!!
Jared Crane’s company, Incite Energy, just so happens to be the “chosen” broker for all utility services for Minute Maid Park – a contract worth up to and perhaps in excess of $250,000 annually! These contracts were secured due not just to his family connections, but by flagrantly abusing the law in a “Rob-Peter-to-pay-Paul” Ponzi scheme befitting of a modern day Wall Street crook, as not just Incite Energy profited, but so did the Crane Family’s Champion Energy. The deal further lines the pockets of the Cranes with money stolen from the hands of hard-working Astros fans willing to bleed blue for the team, citizens willing to bleed for their great city, and anyone else who works hard to pay for public services in America’s fourth largest city. While the team is taking hard-earned losses on the field, the Cranes are making dishonest gains – For Shame!!!

See PUC records on Incite Energy, LLC’s license AG130005 (dates of application, and licensure) as well as Texas Secretary of State Document #800541328 for the infamous overlap in Jared Crane’s ongoing involvement in Champion Energy.
There’s more: Breach of Contract, IP Theft, and Embezzlement in Incite Energy’s Top Brass
Crane’s Incite Energy’s dealings are rife with suspicious activity and its leadership is affiliated with “professionals” molded by or magnetically attracted to the Crane-Style cronyism. Incite’s Director of Commercial Sales August Reuss, previously with Cirro Energy, knowingly logged into Cirro’s accounting database of confidential information and shared countless commercial accounts for his own personal financial gain with you know who, a flagrant violation of ethics and clearly criminal behavior that places Reuss in direct violation of Federal Law. This makes Reuss guilty of breach of contract, confidentiality, and theft of intellectual property, resale of proprietary information and embezzlement. Reuss’ former protégé has been prosecuted already for similar crimes (See Cirro Group, Inc. vs. Jonathan Shushtari, Harris County 2013), sources indicate that Reuss, the main player in this criminal operation, is currently under investigation by Cirro Energy’s parent company Dominion Resources (NYSE: D).
This is not good old-fashioned American Entrepreneurship, but is egregious self-dealing in a large portfolio of Reuss’ immoral portfolio. Worse, it has the potential to have a rippling effect on Dominion Resource’s stock share value, an effect that ill hurt the average everyday shareholder (with losses in revenue close to hundreds of millions of dollars per year) and further fasten the Crane Family’s ironclad hold on its undeserved market share.
Reuss: The Immoral Saint
Reuss tends to often mix business with pleasure, sleeping with subordinate contractors and co-workers in violation of his marital vows, drinking in excess, yet frequenting various Houston religious and charity organizations for business opportunities as he hurtled away his wife and children and into the arms of younger naïve women. Reuss’ wife filed for divorce in Harris County in the fall of 2013. If this wasn’t enough, it is rumored that Reuss also defrauded the Texas State Medicaid office by unethically obtaining health benefits by withholding information that indicated excessive income for benefits claimed. This transgression came at a time of great strain on both the federal and state healthcare systems, particularly, on CHIPS funding. While others in true need struggled to find the time off from multiple jobs to gain these benefits, often on behalf of underprivileged children, Reuss made the only kind of move he knows how: he bilked the system with a bold faced lie, likely to the detriment of those most in need.
Give Houston Justice!
The people of Houston and business professionals considering doing business with the Cranes should be fore-warned against the pitfalls of bartering with mad men. The public should know about the following to better serve the public good:
  1. The direct violation by Jared Crane of Incite Energy of Texas Public Utility Commission of Texas Aggregator-License/REP-affiliation conflict of interest rules and ethics.
  2. The funneling of public dollars directly into the Crane Family’s pockets through questionable contract awarding in utility services.
  3. The outright breach of the law by a Crane Family right-hand man in August Reuss that could result in both incarceration and widespread economic damages.
  4. Reuss’ appeal to holiness in public while double-dealing and engaging in immoral activity in private.

  1. BEGIN PRIVACY-ENHANCED MESSAGE----- Proc-Type: 2001,MIC ...

    U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
    Date Filed: N/A [EQUALNET LOGO] April __, 1999 Dear ...... Mr. Bodian and Dr. Salazar will serve three year terms expiring in 2001. ...... Information relating to ownership by James R. Crane is based on reports on Schedule 13D filed ...
  2. BEGIN PRIVACY-ENHANCED MESSAGE----- Proc-Type: 2001,MIC ...

    U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
    Date Filed: N/A [EQUALNET LOGO] June 15, 1998 Dear Shareholder: ...... 9,132,966 41.5 James R. Crane(4). ... 1,400,000 6.5 Mitchell H. Bodian(3).

    U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
    Mar 1, 1999 - ... Amended Joint Plan of Reorganization of EqualNet Corporation and EqualNet ...... 2.73 Released Parties: The ECC Parties, Mitchell H. Bodian, Zane ... James D. Kaylor, James R. Crane, MCM Partners, Byron A. Russell, ...

  1. SEC Info - Crane James R - SC 13D - Equalnet Communications ...

    May 6, 1998 - ... of Beneficial Ownership - Seq. 1 - James R. Crane for Equalnet Holding Corp - Accession Number 0000950129-98-001914 - Filing - SEC.
  2. Crane James R - SC 13D - Equalnet Communications Corp - SEC Info

    May 6, 1998 - ... of Beneficial Ownership - Seq. 0 - James R. Crane for Equalnet Holding Corp - Accession Number 0000950129-98-001914 - Filing - SEC.
  3. Equalnet Communications Raises $3.4 Million Equity for Cash ...

    www.thefreelibrary.com › BusinessPR NewswireMay 5, 1998
    Free Online Library: Equalnet Communications Raises $3.4 Million Equity for ... to purchase 170,000 additional shares of common stock, with James R. Crane...

  1. UPDATED: Jim Crane Accuses Drayton McLane and Comcast of ...

    Nov 22, 2013 - Jim Crane said he did his due diligence when he purchased the Houston ... McLane and Comcast, alleging fraud, negligent misrepresentation, ...
  2. Jim Crane - Houston

    Houston Press
    Nolan Ryan met with Astros owner Jim Crane, Astros GM Jeff Luhnow, and his ... Jim Crane Accuses Drayton McLane and Comcast of Fraud In A New Lawsuit.
  3. Astros owner sues Drayton McLane, Comcast and NBC claiming fraud

    Houston Chronicle
    Nov 21, 2013 - Jim Crane's Astros ownership group filed a state court lawsuit Thursday against former Astros owner Drayton McLane, Comcast and NBC ...

Yahoo / Market Guide - Equalnet Communications

University of Wisconsin‑Madison
Profile - Equalnet Communications (OTC BB:ENET.OB) ... Net loss applicable to Common fell 63% to $8.5 million. Revenues reflect ... Mitchell Bodian, 48

Equalnet Holdings -- ENET | Stock Discussion ... - Silicon Investor

Jan 5, 1999 - 10 posts - ‎7 authors
... they are expecting to get into e-commerce in a big way, they will be initiating an elaborate ... I am still doing some DD but ENET keeps coming up as a good one. ... to Pay Costs; Subscribers Acquired by Internet/Network Marketing ... said Mitchell H. Bodian, Equalnet's president and chief executive officer.

Equalnet Holdings -- ENET | Stock Discussion ... - Silicon Investor

May 5, 1998 - 10 posts - ‎8 authors
(Nasdaq: ENET), a ... This has to be a solid internet play? ... they are expecting to get into e-commerce in a big way, they will be initiating an elaborate ... said Mitchell H. Bodian, Equalnet's president and chief executive officer.

Jim Crane is set to become the new owner of the Houston Astros — and the parties involved might even get around to officially announcing it someday.
Current Astros owner Drayton McLane confirmed what's been largely known for weeks Friday, telling reporters at the Pink in the Park charity event at Minute Maid Park that he has an agreement in place to sell the team to Crane. McLane says he expects that the deal will be announced by the middle of next week, which would start the official transfer of the team to Crane and get Major League Baseball's approval process rolling.
It's expected to take a month to six weeks after that announcement for ownership of the team to officially transfer to Crane and his partners in the deal — and there are some high-powered partners — as MLB must approve the deal and the new owners. McLane — "Uncle Drayton" as he's sometimes affectionately, and sometimes derisively, called by fans — has had the final say on Astros' matters for 19 seasons, becoming more of a fixture in Houston sports than most of the town's stadiums.
Everyone has an opinion on McLane. But even many longtime Houstonians don't have much of a read on Jim Crane. Though Crane first moved to Houston in 1982 and built several fortunes here, he doesn't even have a Wikipedia page dedicated to him.
So who is this man of (relative) mystery? Here are 10 things you probably don't know about the soon-to-be new owner of the Houston Astros:
1). Crane actually played the game. At a relatively high level too. No, Crane wasn't close to a Major Leaguer. But Crane was a Division II baseball star at the University of Central Missouri (enrollment 9,088) in the 1970s. He was an honorable mention Division II All-American as a pitcher, going 21-8 with a 2.42 ERA for UCM.
This isn't someone who started loving baseball after he became rich — and capable of putting together a group with the cash and credentials to join MLB's ultra-profitable owner's club.
Crane is still a proud Mule (UCM's mascot), who is certainly aware that Bill Clinton said of his school, "This campus is a place that is creating the possibilities of the future" at a commencement address earlier this month. Clinton probably wasn't talking about the future of the Astros, but it certainly applies.
2). He's the best CEO golfer in the country. There are a ton of high-powered CEOs who love golf — and many of these ultra-competitive souls get quite good at it. But none are quite as good as Crane.
Crane ranked No. 1 in Golf Digest's rankings of the nation's top CEO golfers in 2006 with a 0.8 handicap index (2006 was one of the last times that Golf Digest did the once-regular CEO rankings as executives grew wary of being associated with playing a lot of golf).
At the time of the ranking, Crane revealed that he always kept a set of golf clubs on his private jet.
3). Crane is friends with Tiger Woods' old coach. Celebrity swing coach Butch Harmon may have had a famous falling out with Tiger Woods. But the long-standing friendship of Crane and Harmon is going strong.
After Crane bought the Floridian National Golf Club for $25.6 million from former Dolphins and Marlins owner H. Wayne Huizenga last year, he brought in Harmon to open one of his signature learning centers and teach at the club.
"I've known Jim forever," Harmon said in a press release announcing the deal. "I enjoy the Floridian. I think it's a cool place. I really like what he's trying to do and I'm proud to be part of it. I'm looking forward to spending time there."
4). He came to Houston pulling all his possessions in a U-Haul trailer. Like many Houstonians, Crane is a transplant who followed opportunity to the Bayou City. And he did it traveling in a much different manner than he does these days, driving from Kansas City with that trailer.
5). He sold his first company for more than $300 million. When Crane started Eagle Global Logistics, it wasn't very global. In fact, it had one employee and one truck.
By the time, Crane unloaded his shares of the company it was an international freight power player with 11,000 employees that handled the needs of mammoth clients like Nike, 3M and Target around the world.
6). He has homes in Houston, Pebble Beach and Nantucket. The Pebble Beach estate gives Crane easy access to the golf he loves. The Nantucket residence (which is actually an eight-acre spread with three homes on it) is a particular favorite of Crane's wife Franci, who held memorable 50th and 60th birthday bashes there, that brought many Houstonians into the mix on the island.
7). Crane credits his former college baseball coach with saving him from dropping out of college — twice. The first time was when Crane first showed up on campus and baseball coach Robert Tompkins saw a gifted pitcher who wasn't a great student.
"You know, my grades out of high school weren't fabulous and coach made a special effort to make sure I made it through the first couple semesters," Crane says in a video he filmed for the NCAA that promotes the impact college athletics can have on its participants' lives outside of the playing field.
Crane came even closer to leaving school when tragedy struck his family with the death of his father between his freshman and sophomore year at Central Missouri. Racked with grief, Crane seriously considered staying in St. Louis (where he grew up and his family lived) and not returning to college.
Only Tompkins wasn't having any of that. He drove to St. Louis and talked the pitcher who still holds the school record for strikeouts in a game (18) back.
"Coach made a special effort to say, 'Hey, you need to get back to school and finish school,' " Crane says in the NCAA video.
8). Crane pays back his debts. The small school baseball coach who made such a difference in Crane's life died suddenly at age 55 in 1996 from a massive brain tumor.
Crane gave one of the eulogies at Tompkins' funeral. Soon after, he donated most of the $1.2 million needed to transform the University of Central Missouri's baseball facilities and the complex was renamed Jim Crane Stadium/Robert N. Tompkins field. His coach's legacy would not be forgotten.
Crane, who by every indication usually seeks to avoid interviews, even did that NCAA video which praised Tompkins.
Speaking of that bent for privacy ...
9). Crane's small circle of close friends is extremely loyal. Frank Hevrdejs, the co-founder and chairman of the Houston-based Sterling Group, has been a close friend of Crane's for years. In fact, he's one of the few names that immediately come to mind when people in the know think of Crane's confidants.
That's suddenly made Hevrdejs an extremely popular call for reporters seeking to write stories on the Astros' new owner. When Hevrdejs' assistant Kendal Rotan took a CultureMap call, she noted that Hevrdejs has received a number of interview requests about Crane and turned them all down.
No one is talking about Jim Crane until he wants them to talk.
10. Fourth time's a charm. This isn't Jim Crane's first ownership rodeo. He's tried to buy a Major League Baseball franchise at least three other times. He infamously walked away from a handshake deal with McLane to purchase the Astros in 2008, attempted to buy the Chicago Cubs and was a main player in the Mark Cuban group that chased the Texas Rangers hard.
OK, you probably knew that. But did you realize that Texas Ranger lenders say that Crane, and not the group awarded the team, made the highest bid for Rangers last summer?
No matter now. Crane's baseball dream is coming true. And he will be the unquestioned ownership face of the Astros, something he never would have experienced with Cuban involved in the Rangers.
A certain coach would no doubt be proud.

Watch Jim Crane in a video interview:

  1. Yahoo / Market Guide - Equalnet Communications

    University of Wisconsin‑Madison
    Profile - Equalnet Communications (OTC BB:ENET.OB) ... Net loss applicable to Common fell 63% to $8.5 million. Revenues reflect ... Mitchell Bodian, 48
  2. [PDF]

    September 12, 2012 - Town of Red Hook

    2012 - ‎Related articles
    Sep 12, 2012 - 7:05 Appeal of 12-08, Mitchell Bodian application for an interpretation of Section 143-41. D(4)(a) of the Town Code regarding whether storage ...
  3. Equalnet Holdings -- ENET | Stock Discussion ... - Silicon Investor

    Jan 5, 1999 - 10 posts - ‎7 authors
    ... they are expecting to get into e-commerce in a big way, they will be initiating an elaborate ... I am still doing some DD but ENET keeps coming up as a good one. ... to Pay Costs; Subscribers Acquired by Internet/Network Marketing ... said Mitchell H. Bodian, Equalnet's president and chief executive officer.
  4. Equalnet Holdings -- ENET | Stock Discussion ... - Silicon Investor

    May 5, 1998 - 10 posts - ‎8 authors
    (Nasdaq: ENET), a ... This has to be a solid internet play? ... they are expecting to get into e-commerce in a big way, they will be initiating an elaborate ... said Mitchell H. Bodian, Equalnet's president and chief executive officer.

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