VMG Health Acquires Health Care Futures, a Business Strategy and Consulting Firm

first_img Twitter WhatsApp WhatsApp Pinterest VMG Health Acquires Health Care Futures, a Business Strategy and Consulting Firm Previous articleBlackfoot Communications Is Expanding Its Home and Business Service CoverageNext articleOAT020321_Ratliff_Vaccine_JF_04 Digital AIM Web Support Twitter Facebookcenter_img TAGS  By Digital AIM Web Support – February 3, 2021 DALLAS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Feb 3, 2021– VMG Health, the market leader in providing full-service healthcare transaction advisory and consulting, is pleased to announce it has acquired Health Care Futures, a business strategy and consulting firm with offices in Minneapolis and Chicago. The transaction was recently closed, and the two firms will be fully integrated in the first quarter of 2021. VMG Health is owned by VMG Employees and Northlane Capital Partners, LLC (“NCP”). NCP invested in the company in March 2020. Health Care Futures was founded in 1996, with a focus to meet the needs of healthcare executives and board members by providing creative strategy and innovative business advice for both current and anticipated challenges. Health Care Futures provides a full suite of strategic services associated with health system, hospital and medical group positioning, mergers and acquisitions, and financial and capital planning to its clients. The Health Care Futures team will comprise VMG Health’s Strategic Advisory Services division. With Health Care Futures’ extensive experience providing strategic operational insight to hospitals, health systems, academic medical centers, and medical groups, VMG Health will now be able to seamlessly provide its current clients with these value-added services. Similarly, the Health Care Futures client base will benefit from VMG Health’s long-standing reputation of expertise in healthcare transactions, compliance, and physician alignment. “We are thrilled to announce the addition of the Health Care Futures team to VMG Health. Our firms share the same commitment to providing unmatched expertise and responsiveness to our healthcare services and institutional customers. We are committed to providing a broader array of services to meet the needs of our customers as their markets continue to evolve,” said Greg Koonsman, Founder and CEO of VMG Health. Cordell Mack, former partner at Health Care Futures and now Managing Director at VMG Health, commented, “The Health Care Futures team is excited to start its partnership as part of VMG Health. We look forward to continuing to provide our clients with high value advisory services and expanding our reach throughout the existing VMG Health network. The healthcare market is only increasing in complexity, and the combined expertise of VMG Health and Health Care Futures will benefit business leaders in accessing a broader suite of consulting and transaction services.” Eugene Krichevsky, Partner at NCP, added, “Health Care Futures represents VMG Health’s second acquisition, and further validates that strategic M&A is a compelling initiative to complement VMG Health’s proven track record of market leading service quality, organic growth, and service line expansion.” About VMG Health VMG Health is a recognized leader in healthcare transaction advisory and consulting services. Known for providing high-quality, independent advice in a timely manner, VMG Health has been delivering thought leadership and solutions to clients related to all types of healthcare organizations, facilities, and compensation arrangements since 1995. VMG Health provides compliance related transaction services including business, real estate, and asset valuation, physician compensation plan design and valuation, buy side and sell side quality of earnings / financial due diligence, coding compliance services, litigation and dispute services, and reimbursement consulting. For more information, please visit www.vmghealth.com. About Northlane Capital Partners Based in Bethesda, MD, Northlane Capital Partners is a middle market private equity firm focused on key segments within the healthcare and business services sectors, where its principals have invested $1.5 billion of equity capital. NCP’s strategy is to partner with industry leading companies and great management teams, aligning incentives to accelerate growth and build value. Northlane Capital Partners was recently named to Inc.’s 2020 Private Equity 50 list of the top founder-friendly private equity firms. For more information, please visit www.northlanecapital.com. View source version on businesswire.com:https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210203005747/en/ CONTACT: Abbey Chandler Senior Marketing Coordinator VMG Health 972-616-5925 [email protected] KEYWORD: TEXAS UNITED STATES NORTH AMERICA INDUSTRY KEYWORD: GENERAL HEALTH CONSULTING HOSPITALS HEALTH PROFESSIONAL SERVICES SOURCE: VMG Health Copyright Business Wire 2021. PUB: 02/03/2021 01:00 PM/DISC: 02/03/2021 01:01 PM http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210203005747/en Facebook Local NewsBusiness Pinterestlast_img read more

Calls for urgent action on council’s emergency call centre

first_img Calls for maternity restrictions to be lifted at LUH WhatsApp Twitter By News Highland – February 10, 2010 RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR NPHET ‘positive’ on easing restrictions – Donnelly Three factors driving Donegal housing market – Robinson Guidelines for reopening of hospitality sector published Pinterest Facebook Calls for urgent action on council’s emergency call centre Facebookcenter_img Google+ WhatsApp Pinterest Google+ 448 new cases of Covid 19 reported today Help sought in search for missing 27 year old in Letterkenny Twitter Donegal County Council is being urged to organise its own local emergency call centre next Christmas.A review of how the council handled the big freeze recently is continuing, but Cllr David Alcorn says the issue of problems with the call centre used over last Christmas and New Year needs to be addressed immediately.He told the council this week that people were ringing a centre in Cork and speaking to people whjo had no idea about the geography of Donegal, and were unable to help in any real way.He says the problem must be acknowledged and rectifiedMeanwhile, Cllr Marie Terese Gallagher has criticised the decision to stop gritting the back of Errigal and Ranafast roads during the freeze.Initially, the Back of Errigal route was not included on the council’s priority list, but it was later included at the insistence of members.Cllr Gallagher says whatever the outcome of the review, the members will give the same answer: Previous articleSenator says Airport road must be a priorityNext articleStrabane Council increases district rate News Highland Newslast_img read more

TREASURE Forest offers landowners workshop for women

first_img Print Article Penny Hoarder Issues “Urgent” Alert: 6 Companies Are… Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, August 8, 2012 Plans underway for historic Pike County celebration The Pike County Chapter of the Alabama TREASURE Forest Association will host a “Women Forest Landowners Workshop” on Aug. 17 at First Baptist Church of Troy.Although the workshop is billed as a “landowners” workshop, Claire Murphy, Pike County TREASURE Forest treasurer, said the workshop is open to all women who have an interest in forest management.“More women are becoming involved in and have an interest in forest management,” Murphy said. By The Penny Hoarder Remember America’s heroes on Memorial Day TREASURE Forest offers landowners workshop for women Email the author Skip Book Nook to reopen Pike County Sheriff’s Office offering community child ID kits You Might Like Female Factor celebrates one year anniversary Written by Whitley Kilcrease The Studio was adorned with party hat centerpieces and decorations in several shades of pink as… read more Around the WebMd: Do This Immediately if You Have Diabetes (Watch)Blood Sugar BlasterIf You Have Ringing Ears Do This Immediately (Ends Tinnitus)Healthier LivingHave an Enlarged Prostate? Urologist Reveals: Do This Immediately (Watch)Healthier LivingWomen Only: Stretch This Muscle to Stop Bladder Leakage (Watch)Healthier LivingRemoving Moles & Skin Tags Has Never Been This EasyEssential HealthBet You’re Pretty Curious About Jaden’s Net Worth Right About Now, HuhBradofoThe content you see here is paid for by the advertiser or content provider whose link you click on, and is recommended to you by Revcontent. As the leading platform for native advertising and content recommendation, Revcontent uses interest based targeting to select content that we think will be of particular interest to you. We encourage you to view your opt out options in Revcontent’s Privacy PolicyWant your content to appear on sites like this?Increase Your Engagement Now!Want to report this publisher’s content as misinformation?Submit a ReportGot it, thanks!Remove Content Link?Please choose a reason below:Fake NewsMisleadingNot InterestedOffensiveRepetitiveSubmitCancel Registration on Aug. 17 will begin at 8 a.m. in the First Baptist Church Fellowship Hall.The workshop sessions will begin at 9 a.m. with “Timber Theft” by Tony Chandler of the law enforcement section of the Alabama Forestry Commission.“Timber theft is a big issue,” Murphy said. “For those who know how to do it, timber theft is relatively easy and it is widespread. Timber theft is something all forest landowners need to know about.”At 10 a.m., Anna Haigler of Haigler Forestry and Wildlife Management will discuss land management plans with the participants. Sponsored Content Troy falls to No. 13 Clemson By Jaine Treadwell “This workshop is designed especially for them.”The workshop fee is $10 and includes a luncheon featuring a variety of homemade salads and desserts. Informational materials will be available and drawings will be held for door prizes.“We ask those who would like to attend to make reservations by calling 566-1213 before noon on Aug. 15, because we need to make plans for the luncheon,” Murphy said. Latest Stories “To be effective as a forest landowner, you have to have a well thought-out plan,” Murphy said.“Anna will give excellent advice on plan development.”After lunch, the focus will be on different agencies and how they can help forest owners.Randy Hale from the National Resource Conservation Service, Robert Brown from the Pike County Office of the Alabama Forestry Commission and Grant Lyons from the Pike County office of the Alabama Cooperative Extension Office will discuss the many ways that their offices can provide information and services to forest landowners.The “Women Forest Landowners Workshop” will conclude the Deborah Huggins Davis’ story.“Deborah will tell the story of how she inherited forestland and how she has learned to manage it,” Murphy said. “Her story is interesting, enlightening and inspiring. It will be a great way to close out the workshop.”last_img read more

Did someone break up your marriage? In six states, they might owe you money

first_imgdomnicky/iStock(NEW YORK) — After a North Carolina man was awarded a $750,000 judgment against his ex-wife’s lover, the “alienation of affections” law is back under the spotlight.Kevin Howard, of Greenville, brought an “alienation of affections” claim against a man who was having an affair with his then-wife. In August, a judge ruled in Howard’s favor. The law allows individuals to sue others for ruining their marriages. While most states got rid of it years ago, it’s still on the books in Hawaii, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Dakota and Utah.“A lot of people, quite frankly, think it is antiquated and should be abolished,” Cynthia Mills, a lawyer who represented Howard, as well as dozens of other plaintiffs under the claim, told ABC News on Thursday.The concept of “alienation of affections” comes from old English law when women were considered property and “a man could sue another man for stealing his wife, like when he could sue a man for stealing his horse.”The law has since evolved, such that women can now sue.The basic element, Mills said, is that two people had a happy marriage until “a third party came in and basically seduced the other spouse to leave the marriage and the family.” Sex is not a legal requirement to make the claim.She noted that the North Carolina law recognizes that all marriages have their ups and downs, but that the marriages could have sustained such tumult “until this third party comes.”Howard might have been awarded a hefty sum of money, but it’s far from the highest price paid out.A woman in North Carolina won $9 million in a 2010 lawsuit against a woman she said was involved with her husband of 33 years.A big payday, however, is not always the driving force, according to Mills.“They’re concerned about making a statement about the morality of the issue,” she said.She is currently working with five separate aggrieved spouses, and she guesses that in her 31 years as a lawyer, she has handled 30 such cases. The largest sum a plaintiff she represented received was $5.9 million.She said that while there have been attempts to repeal the law, including constitutional challenges, it remains “very prevalent” in North Carolina.Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Why real estate is still tangled up with the mob

first_img(Illustration by Daniel Castro Maia)During a court hearing this winter, alleged loan shark Mark “Chippy” Kocaj urged a federal judge to allow him to work for a Bronx-based construction company.Kocaj was out on bail, awaiting trial for his alleged role in a mafia-connected construction bribery scheme. In the meantime, he wanted to return to the industry where he’d spent most of his career — but prosecutors weren’t keen on the idea.“We do have concerns about that company and its connections with organized crime and other misconduct they may have committed,” Assistant District Attorney Keith Daniel Edelman said of the contractor offering the job, according to a transcript of the hearing. “He may be exposed to further violations. He may be exposed to other associates.”Ultimately, the judge rejected his request. Kocaj is the cousin of John “Smiley” Simonlacaj — a former managing director at Ziel Feldman’s development firm HFZ Capital Group — and their relationship helped enable a wide-ranging scheme that ensnared at least two New York developers and three construction management firms, prosecutors allege. Kocaj’s attorney, Christopher Booth, and Simonlacaj’s attorney, Glenn Colton, both declined to comment.One of the projects at the heart of the case is HFZ’s $2 billion condo tower at 76 11th Avenue, known as the XI.Simonlacaj, who has since been fired from HFZ, is accused of letting the Gambino crime family skim hundreds of thousands of dollars from the condo development and other projects in New York through CWC Contracting — a carpentry subcontractor that allegedly doled out bribes to employees of multiple companies in exchange for work and larger payouts.“HFZ has not been the target of the government’s investigation, and there has never been any suggestion that HFZ did anything inappropriate,” a spokesperson for the developer said in a statement. “Rather, it appears that HFZ, like the other developers described in the indictment, may have been a victim of the alleged acts.”In addition to HFZ’s Simonlacaj, an employee at RXR Realty was also allegedly offered kickbacks by CWC, court documents show.The subcontractor is accused of inflating bills for work that, in some cases, the company didn’t even perform. Instead, the money was allegedly used, in part, to pay for work performed at construction executives’ personal homes. The alleged scheme played out in just one year, from June 2018 to July 2019. But according to prosecutors, in that time period, the little-known subcontractor was able to quietly manipulate some of the biggest names in Manhattan real estate and exploit multibillion-dollar projects.In addition to HFZ and RXR, CWC’s developer and general contractor clients over the past decade include Gary Barnett’s Extell Development and Tishman Construction, according to an archived version of the CWC’s website and permits filed with the city Department of Buildings. It worked for these firms despite the fact that CWC owner Andrew Campos had previously been accused of mob-related activities. None of the larger development firms or general contractors have been accused of wrongdoing.The indictment, filed last December against Kocaj, Simonlacaj and nine others, is a case study on how organized crime can still infiltrate New York development projects even at a time when mob activity is much lower than it was in the 1980s and 1990s.Dozens of subcontractors can work on any given job at one time, creating myriad opportunities to inflate bills and strong-arm workers who may already be indebted to the mafia, several former prosecutors told The Real Deal. And unless a developer is closely monitoring who is working on their site, such behavior can go undetected.Still, the influence of organized crime in construction isn’t as “systematic or unbridled” as it was decades ago, said Bruce Maffeo, an attorney with Cozen O’Connor and a former prosecutor with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York who served on an organized crime task force in the 1980s. “You couldn’t pour a yard of concrete in Manhattan without kicking money to the Genovese or Gambino crime family,” he said. “My sense is that it’s not as dramatic as it was 30-plus years ago.”Federal prosecutors declared last December, however, that the Gambino family is “thriving.” And while the mafia may no longer have as strong a hold on individual trades, real estate in New York will always pose enticing, albeit illicit, opportunities, according to Maffeo. “This is one of those problems that is never going to go away,” he said. “There’s just too much money involved.”Tangled tiesHFZ’s luxury condo project along the High Line was already facing headwinds in early 2019, and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic will only make it harder to move units going forward.No sales had been recorded at the project as of late March, according to property records. However, a spokesperson for Douglas Elliman, which is handling sales at the property, said that eight contracts at the project were signed prior to the coronavirus’ rampant spread and that closings are not planned until the end of the year.The twisting luxury condo towers have long been viewed as an ambitious and risky undertaking for HFZ, due in part to predevelopment costs of about $1 billion and a $1.25 billion construction loan. And that was all before the indictment dropped last December.Executives at HFZ, which oversees more than $10 billion in development, were well aware that Simonlacaj had a previous brush with the law, court records from a separate case show.In 2016, he was charged with and pleaded guilty to instructing someone who did business with a company he owned to file a false tax form five years earlier. Managing principal Nir Meir — who helped found HFZ in 2005 — penned a letter to the court on Simonlacaj’s behalf at the time, calling him a “key member” of the firm who “has a reputation for being fair and honest within the industry.”In the latest case involving CWC, Simonlacaj pleaded not guilty to charges of tax fraud and wire fraud and was released on $250,000 bail on Dec. 6, 2019.Court documents indicate that HFZ’s Belnord, a landmarked pre-war building on the Upper West Side, was also a target of the CWC scheme. During a recorded conversation last March, alleged Gambino “crime family soldier” Vincent Fiore discussed hiding payments for work done on an HFZ employee’s Bronx home, according to a detention memo written by U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue and filed with the court in December 2019.Fiore wanted the expenses to be attributed to work done on the Belnord, according to the detention memo.Fiore said CWC had sent employees to work on a home owned by an HFZ employee on Delanoy Avenue in the Bronx, according to the letter. In the recorded conversation, Fiore instructs an unnamed co-conspirator to account for CWC’s payments for work on the Delanoy Avenue home by putting them “against the Belnord.”A similar scheme is at the center of the charges against Simonlacaj, according to the detention memo.“I owe [the Worker] some money. I forgot to pay him,” Fiore said, according to court documents. “One is John Si’s house; we owe him some money there.” Fiore then said he also owed the worker some money for working on the HFZ employee’s Delanoy Avenue home, according to the memo.An employee of HFZ has owned a home on Delanoy Avenue in the Bronx since 1999 and is listed on DOB documents as a representative for the Belnord, according to city records. The employee previously worked for Extell when the company owned the Belnord and was hired by HFZ when Feldman’s firm bought the property in 2015 for $575 million.There is no indication in court documents of the employee being involved with a quid pro quo. The employee was not charged in the indictment.HFZ said it fired CWC and its affiliates from all of its projects after learning about the federal investigation, months ahead of the December indictment. Omnibuild, the general contractor on the XI, declined to comment. Omnibuild has not been accused of wrongdoing in the case.Overall, CWC’s kickback scheme involved employees at two development companies, HFZ and RXR, and three general contractors, one of which appears to be Hudson Meridian, court records show.Court papers identify a firm as “Construction Company #5,” and the indictment says it worked as the general contractor on an unnamed Yonkers project. Donoghue’s December 2019 memo identified the Yonkers project as Larkin Plaza, RXR and Rising Development’s residential and retail development, where Hudson Meridian was the general contractor.Hudson Meridian said it fired CWC after the subcontractor abandoned Larkin Plaza following the release of the indictment. CWC is accused of overbilling “Construction Company #5,” and Hudson Meridian has not been charged with any crimes in the case.“Hudson Meridian has fully cooperated with the U.S. Attorney’s office, and we will continue to do so,” said Daniel Katz, an attorney for the company, who would not comment on whether or not the general contractor is one of the unnamed construction firms in court documents. “Hudson Meridian has not engaged in any wrongdoing and, as far as we know, is not the subject of any investigation.” The same goes for the company’s employees, Katz said.According to Donoghue’s detention memo, a project manager for Larkin Plaza was offered bribes in the form of free construction materials for a jiu-jitsu gym in White Plains that the manager is “associated with.” In exchange, the project manager was expected to approve change orders at Larkin Plaza, according to the detention memo. The employee is not named, but Matthew Kachmar is listed on LinkedIn as a senior property manager at RXR and is listed on the website of East Coast United Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in White Plains as its CEO.The detention memo details another recorded conversation where Fiore expresses frustration with the project manager (Kachmar), saying, “The kid is not even making an attempt,” despite labor and materials for the jiu-jitsu gym costing north of $40,000. RXR confirmed that the change orders mentioned in the letter were never actually performed, and Kachmar did not have the authority to sign off on them in the first place.Kachmar left RXR sometime in February. He declined to comment for this story. Neither he nor RXR have been accused by prosecutors of wrongdoing. The XIAlthough the indictment has already embroiled two major developers, former New York State attorney general and governor Eliot Spitzer framed the federal case as more of a singular event than a widespread problem in the real estate industry.“I think people see it and view it more as a one-off kickback relationship, rather than something that speaks to a systemic form of organized crime infiltration,” Spitzer, who now runs a private development firm, told TRD. “We did a lot of cases way back in the late 80s and early 90s. It was a different moment back then. Organized crime played a much more significant role in a multitude of industries in the city.”Family affairStationed outside Andre Campos’ Westchester home in February, undercover FBI agents descended on him and his daughter, who had just come back from a doctor’s visit in Connecticut.The agents searched Campos and his car because, they claimed, he’d used a cell phone, something the court had explicitly prohibited as a condition of his release on bail, according to a motion seeking to revoke his bail. Prosecutors feared he would try to contact organized crime affiliates while awaiting trial.Though prosecutors moved to revoke his bail based on the incident, they ultimately decided against it, citing “new information in the case.” The nature of that information has not yet been made public, though Campos’ attorney noted that his client had held a paging device — provided by doctors to alert him once his daughter was ready to leave her appointment — that was the same size as a cell phone. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn, which is handling the case, declined to comment. Campos, along with the other defendants in the case, has pleaded not guilty.“The government is guilty here of considerable overreach in the scope and nature of the charges,” Henry Mazurek, an attorney for Campos, said in a statement to TRD. “We are looking forward to a fair and accurate presentation of this evidence before the court and at trial, if necessary.”December 2019’s indictment wasn’t the first brush with the law for Campos. He and Richard Martino, another defendant in the case who allegedly had an ownership interest in CWC, were indicted in 2003 and both served prison time in connection to an internet pornography and adult entertainment phone-cramming scheme. They had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud in the case. Campos and Martino were respectively accused of being an associate and soldier of the Gambino family in that 2003 case, but prosecutors ultimately agreed to drop racketeering charges against the two and other defendants in the case. After they served their prison terms, they went into construction. James Gatta, who was chief of the criminal division in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York from 2007 to 2018, said it’s not surprising that a Gambino crime family member would emerge from prison convicted for illicit activity in one industry, only to enter another.“Their whole MO is to make money through illegitimate means,” said Gatta, who is now a partner at Goodwin. “Doing it off the backs of large-scale construction projects is as tried and true a mafia play as can be.”Campos founded CWC in December 2013, though it appears he was affiliated with a different company with nearly the same name long before that.Larkin PlazaCity Wide Consultants, which is registered to his sister Lisa Campos, was formed in September 2008, according to state records, roughly eight months after Andrew Campos was released from prison. The company shares addresses with CWC Contracting and its other affiliate companies. City Wide, which billed itself as a woman-owned business, also appeared on permits as a superintendent of construction on CWC Contracting projects. On those jobs, both companies are registered through the DOB to Andrew Campos.City Wide was officially dissolved in June 2016, records show. Lisa Campos, who is not involved in the December indictment, did not return calls seeking comment. CWC is tied to multiple other affiliates that share the same address or principals, including an interior design company formed in May 2016 called Eastern Interiors and GAC Contracting, which is registered to Campos’ father, George Campos. He is also a named defendant in the December indictment and has pleaded not guilty.CWC quickly built up its clientele. A review of permits filed with the DOB shows the company kept busy with a slew of smaller projects, including single-home renovations and restaurant and pizzeria rehabs in the Bronx.Campos’ attorney defended CWC’s work, saying the company “always provided quality interior construction services at reasonable and negotiated rates.”“All contracts were the result of an open bidding process, and all submitted invoices by CWC were based on pre-negotiated values of labor rates and materials,” Mazurek said. “The work was supervised by third-party construction managers and verified by owner representatives. This process was open and transparent, and subject to multiple levels of reviews.”The company and its related LLCs also completed work for a convicted mafia member. In 2011, City Wide Consultants was hired to renovate a four-unit building in East Harlem owned by Joseph Urgitano, a Colombo crime family affiliate known as “Joey Cupcakes.” Urgitano was sentenced to 18 months in prison in 2018 for stabbing his girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend.Passing the buckDevelopers aren’t often involved with vetting subcontractors who work on their sites — meaning that responsibility largely falls to construction management firms. However, some owners do ask outside firms to investigate companies before they are hired.Paul E. Ryan, who conducts reputational reviews of construction and real estate companies and formerly served on a labor racketeering task force for the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, said organized crime is “still a major factor” that his firm K2 Intelligence checks for when conducting reviews of a subcontractor’s reputation.“It’s not something that has diminished over time,” he said.A key part of such reviews, Ryan added, is an investigation into the subcontractor’s principals. Some companies may risk hiring a firm whose leader has a record of indiscretions, but they often build clauses into their contracts to enable the removal of the firm should the project go south. But to have such foresight, he said, an owner or construction manager must have a clear picture of the subcontractor’s history.“You can’t get there without knowing what you are dealing with,” he said.CWC’s general contractor license is registered to Campos, according to the DOB, and his criminal history is readily available online. The 2003 indictment involving the Gambino family was covered by multiple media outlets, and federal prison records online show he spent nearly two years behind bars. At the time, the New York Sun even wrote a profile detailing Campos’ legal woes, as well as his friendship with hip-hop mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs.It’s unknown if the construction managers that hired CWC were aware of his record — and if they weren’t, how this information slipped past background checks.    If owners take more of an active role in the vetting process, such risks could become less of an issue, according to Ryan.“When owners and developers are involved in the process for selection and the oversight of subcontractor selection, it mitigates these types of concerns,” he said. “The more people who are looking, the less this would become an issue.”Katz, the attorney for Hudson Meridian, said Campos’ previous indictment did not come up in the background check on CWC, and the firm is now reviewing their process for vetting subcontractors. Hudson Meridian is no longer using the vendor who conducted the background check, but it  did not make this decision because of the CWC case, according to Katz.RXR indicated that as a result of this case, the company “no longer relies on construction managers or general contractors to perform background checks.” Every trade contractor working on an RXR job now must “be prequalified and fully vetted.”HFZ said it has commissioned “a top-to-bottom review of those policies to ensure the integrity of our operations going forward.” The company has also hired outside attorneys, auditors and investigators to assess if the firm was financially harmed by the defendants, according to HFZ’s spokesperson.Multiple developers who CWC has claimed it worked with either downplayed their relationship or denied that one exists at all.Campos’ firm worked on Extell’s 11-unit condo project at 1010 Park Avenue, for instance, where it was a carpentry and drywall subcontractor for Gilbane, the project’s construction manager. But a spokesperson for Gary Barnett’s development firm said, “Extell has no contractual or other relationship with CWC, who completed their work for Gilbane and was paid in accordance with their contract.”CWC was one of 68 subcontractors who worked on the Park Avenue condo tower, according to Gilbane. A spokesperson for the company would not comment on the specifics of the company’s vetting process for subcontractors.“Gilbane has maintained the highest standards of business conduct and ethics throughout its 150-year history,” a company spokesperson said in a statement. “Gilbane has cooperated fully as a witness in the government’s investigation and will continue to do so.”But the December indictment hasn’t deterred other construction companies from seeking out some of the defendants.Although the court denied Kocaj’s request to work for the Bronx-based construction company that prosecutors claimed had ties to organized crime, for instance, a federal judge is now reviewing his request to work for an elevator company instead.Gerald McMahon, a defense attorney who has represented multiple clients with alleged mafia connections, said that, while certain industries are barred from hiring people who have any suspected affiliations with organized crime, construction is not one of them.“It’s pretty much ad hoc. Whatever companies want to do, they can do, and so I think that’s why you would have disparate treatment in the construction industry, as opposed to some other industries,” he said. “There is no hard and fast rule. This is America. If you’re charged with a crime, you’re presumed to be innocent.”Reputational riskDenying or minimizing the relationship between a developer and a controversial subcontractor is a fairly common coping strategy for companies looking to mitigate  damage from a scandal, but it may not be enough to protect a firm’s reputation.The division of labor in construction makes it particularly vulnerable, said Glen McGorty, a former federal prosecutor and an attorney with Crowell & Moring, who also serves as the federal monitor for the city’s carpenters union — which has been under court supervision for decades, due in part to former leaders’ involvement with organized crime.“There are many layers, and anytime there are layers, there’s the opportunity for fraud,” McGorty said.Michael Bachner, a former prosecutor in the Manhattan DA’s office who now heads his own criminal defense firm, said that prosecutors have recently started to take a closer look at the mob’s continued involvement in real estate.“Over the last year, it appears that various law enforcement agencies have now refocused their attention on what they are claiming to be involvement of organized crime in some levels in the construction business and businesses related to that area,” he said, adding that recent cases might be the first sign of more crackdowns to come.Gatta said the ebb in organized crime activity in New York City can largely be attributed to law enforcement’s persistence in targeting the mafia. This includes large-scale takedowns that federal prosecutors led in Brooklyn in 2007 and 2011, which led to the arrests of several “made members” in La Cosa Nostra families.“The mob is a hierarchy,” Gatta said. “When you incapacitate the leadership of a mafia family, the administration, the captains and the soldiers, it makes it much harder for the organization to operate. It takes a while for them to go through the system and get back out again.” Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Share via Shortlinkcenter_img TagsCommercial Real Estatelast_img read more

Total Gabon to sell stakes in seven offshore fields to Perenco

first_imgThe deal includes Total Gabon’s stakes in seven mature non-operated offshore fields as well as its interests and operatorship in the Cap Lopez oil terminal Perenco will pay $290-350m to acquire the assets. (Credit: Adam Radosavljevic/Pixabay) French oil and gas company Total’s 58% owned subsidiary Total Gabon, has agreed to sell its stakes in a portfolio of mature non-operated offshore assets to an Anglo-French oil and gas company, Perenco.Under the terms of the deal, Perenco will acquire Total Gabon’s stakes in seven mature non-operated offshore fields as well as its interests and operatorship in the Cap Lopez oil terminal.The fields include Grondin, Gonelle, Barbier and Mandaros in Grondin and Girelle, Pageau and Hylia in Torpille.Based on the future Brent prices, Perenco will pay $290-350m to acquire the assets, which recorded a production of around 8,000 SEC b/d of oil in 2019.The deal is subject to approval from the Gabonese authoritiesTotal Exploration and Production president Arnaud Breuillac said: “This transaction demonstrates our ability to high grade Total E&P’s portfolio by monetizing mature fields with high breakeven point.“We remain fully committed to Gabon through our operated production clusters at Anguille-Mandji and Torpille-Baudroie-Mérou, where we continue to maximize value for all stakeholders.”Furthermore, the company said that the deal is subject to approval from the Gabonese authorities.In 2018, Assala Energy, an oil exploration and production company, agreed to acquire Total Gabon’s remaining 32.9% stake in the onshore Rabi-Kounga field in Gabon.Recently, Total has agreed to sell the Lindsey refinery to a UK-based petroleum products company Prax Group.The deal includes the sale of the facility’s associated logistic assets, all related rights as well as all of the related rights and obligation.Located in Immingham (Lincolnshire) in England, the refinery has an annual production capacity of 5.4 million tonnes.last_img read more

Let’s stop these dodgy tricks, says leading estate agent

first_imgHome » News » Let’s stop these dodgy tricks, says leading estate agent previous nextLet’s stop these dodgy tricks, says leading estate agentLee Pendleton lists the worst practices he’s seen in the sales market and says more needs to be done to raise standards.Nigel Lewis25th September 201703,196 Views The most common “dodgy practices” undertaken by estate agents within the sales market have been revealed in a bid to usher in greater regulation of the sector.Lee Pendleton (pictured, below), who runs ten-branch estate agent James Pendleton, also believes that not enough is being done to raise standards within the industry.He says putting for sale boards up outside properties is the most common dodgy practice followed by passing on offers from fictional clients, not telling clients when real offers do fall through – to give themselves time to find a fresh offer – and gazumping their own clients when a late offer comes in.“This is the truth about the underbelly of this industry. It is unregulated and, as a result, attracts some pretty unscrupulous characters,” he says.“You’ve got to remember that someone a day out of prison with no qualifications or ethical compass can set up an estate agency and sell your home.“All estate agents have to be a member of an ombudsman scheme and, like regulation, there is a cost attached. There’s scant evidence in my view that enough is being done to raise standards sufficiently where it’s most needed.”Other practices Lee highlights include:Under-valuing a property so that they can sell it to a developer or a mateMaking up fake offers so that a buyer then raises their own offerRefusing to hand over keys to rival agents when the property is listed with multiple agents; Not passing on ‘reasonable’ offers in the hope that they later go higher and boost the agent’s commissionRecommending offers from buyers just because they’re signed up to use the agency’s solicitor or mortgage brokerDeleting applicants and their offers from the firm’s database to remove bidders introduced by competing colleagues.“It’s vital consumers realise this and shop around. Don’t fall into the trap of assuming all estate agencies are born equal, far from it,” says Lee.“Regulation may be the only way to stamp out the poor practices that undermine the hard work of the vast majority of agents.”   James Pendleeton Lee Pendleton September 25, 2017Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021last_img read more

Got the Blues?

first_imgPERHAPS Oxford’s least-trumpeted asset is its ability to offer its students almost unparalleled opportunities to become involved in competitive sport whilst at university. Finding your own way through the maze that is Oxford sport can be daunting and difficult, however, so Cherwell has put together a brief, and hopefully informative, guide to explain sport underneath those dreaming spires.University SportAt the top of the Oxford sports pyramid are the university teams (referred to generally as the “Blues”), which compete in a range of sports from the traditional (rugby, netball) to the obscure (real tennis, fives). Blues sport generally requires a level of commitment that can leave little time for much else when work is also taken into account. The rewards, however, are worth it, especially if you are selected to play in a Varsity match against Cambridge. The Tabs, as the Light Blues are known in these parts, are the sworn enemy of every Oxonian, and the experience of defeating them in a Varsity fixture, no matter what the sport or level, is one that you’ll never forget. Others, however, will tell you that it’s “all about the stash”, which Blues sportsmen and women are particularly fond of showing off everywhere from your 9am lecture to The Bridge. You simply cannot escape stash in Oxford as its students, for some mysterious reason, still really want to show off that Oxford University Trampoline Club hoodie that they “earned” in Michaelmas of their first year. But Blues sport at its best is more than deserving of all that embroidered nylon. The rugby side draw large crowds as they take on Premiership sides with bold, running rugby. The netball girls will blow you away when you catch them in action and the rowers aren’t too bad either…College SportFor the slightly less gifted and the much less committed, inter-college sport offers a truly fantastic mix of leagues, rivalries and legends. Colleges range from the über-sporty (Teddy Hall, Catz) to places where balls and exercise are practically banned (Merton, Trinity). The most popular sports have leagues that are keenly contested and reported and all sports have a Cuppers competition – essentially a knock-out tournament between the colleges.College sport itself also offers many levels of participation – you’ll spend as much time playing alongside a Blue in the first XV as you do frustrated at the dropped catches of the quiet kid from biochemistry you spoke to once in fresher’s week. Most of all, however, you’ll drop to your knees and thank UCAS that you go to university in a town that must have the highest number of picturesque, well-maintained sports grounds in the world per head. On the stash front, college kit is generally a bit cheaper and less dark blue than its university equivalent. It is still highly prized, however, especially cheap polo shirts from Primark that can be printed by those helpful chaps at Elmer Cotton. RowingRowing is an integral part of Oxford life, and you really should experience it in some way at least once if you get the chance. What you get from the Isis will depend on whether you’re an ultra-competitive, tireless monster, or someone who just wants to mess about on the river. The first option is to jump right in this term, with 6am wake-ups, frostbite and discovering a mythical machine known as the “erg”. Training for college first and second boats is extremely serious, especially at the “Big Three” of Pembroke, Oriel and Magdalen. You’ll certainly make lots of friends very quickly but, unfortunately, they’ll all be rowers. An alternative is to wait until Trinity term and catch crabs while the sun shines. Afternoon training, silly costumes and copious amounts of Pimm’s are the order of the day, and Summer Eights is an event not to be missed in the Oxford sporting calendar.last_img read more

Key bakers to attend opening

first_imgDan Lepard and Syd Aston will be among the key bakers gathering at the opening party of the new Town Mill Bakery Too in Lyme Regis, Dorset on 8 October.The venture is the brainchild of artisan baker Aidan Chapman, formerly of Celtic Bakers in London. He opened the Town Mill Bakery 12 months ago in an ancient flour mill in the Georgian seaside resort of Lyme Regis. The Town Mill Bakery Too – set in a nearby converted boat yard – will offer a wider range of organic loaves, pastries and cakes, freshly baked on the premises every day, along with a new collection of wheat-free produce. Baking produce, such as organic flour and fresh yeast will also be available.last_img read more

Spring Gardening: Getting Ready

first_imgHome Garden Transplants, Leaflet 128. Next, take a soil sample to your county agent. This is probably the most importantthing you do as a gardener. Soil-test results tell how much residual fertilizers are inyour soil and how much to add to get good plant growth.A soil test also tells the pH of your soil, which is the basis for limingrecommendations.If you’re an organic gardener, the Extension office can give you a formula to convertfertilizer recommendations to organic ones.Good soil is the key. Remember, all plants grow better in soil that allows good rootdevelopment, drainage and nutrient uptake.If you’re following regular gardening practices, turn the soil and bury the top litteron the bottom of the trench. Also, incorporate organic matter — compost, peat moss orsimilar materials — into your soil now.Proper plant growth depends on site selection, too. If you can, put the garden in fullsun, near the house and near a water supply. Try to avoid areas infested with nut grassand other troublesome weeds.Sun. Most vegetables need full sunlight (eight hours or more). Plant leaf crops, suchas broccoli, collards, and spinach, in partial shade (four to six hours of sun).Near the house. Being close to your garden will help you notice insect, disease, andweed problems and take steps to control them before they can cause serious damage.Water supply. You’ll need water to grow a garden anywhere in Georgia. Mulches andorganic matter will greatly improve the soil’s moisture-holding capacity and reduceevaporation loss.Paying attention to these things now will help ensure your gardening success all year. Vegetable Gardening Calendar, Leaflet 174. Home Vegetable Gardening, Leaflet 171. Now that spring is just around the corner, gardeners are eager to start planting.However, there are several important steps to take now to make this year’s garden the bestever.First, make a garden plan that includes a list of vegetables and varieties you want,and how much of each the family needs.If you have limited space, replace vegetables your family may not eat. Remember,lettuce will produce a lot more food than cabbage from the same space.Lay out the garden on paper. This is important, because you need to rotate crops fromone place to another to reduce disease and insect pressure. Simply stated, don’t planttomatoes in the same place year after year.Once you know what you want to plant, and how much, order seeds or buy them from areputable local dealer. Buy the best seeds. STAY AWAY FROM CHEAP SEEDS — they’re never abargain. Cheap seeds may not be adapted to your area and often will have low germinationrates.If you’re going to buy transplants, look them over carefully. If you see any sign ofinsects (look under the leaves) or disease, put them back on the shelf and ask when thenext shipment is coming in. Or go somewhere else to buy.Don’t take insect and disease problems home and put them into your garden. Leave allinfected, weak or damaged plants at the store.See if your local supplier can get that new tomato and pepper. If he can’t, look intogrowing your own. They’re easy to grow, and you know exactly what you’re getting. And youcan show off those white, yellow or Italian paste tomatoes that weren’t in the store. Beadventuresome!Learn about gardening by visiting the county Extension office. Most areas havewell-informed green-thumb gardeners who will share their knowledge with novices.The Extension office has these publications, among others. Gardening, Bulletin 577.last_img read more