The El Paso County District Attorney’s office is investigating certain transactions allegedly made by Ray Marshall and/or entities under his control.
Marshall and his company LandCo are the primary developers of the three-way project involving the city and the U.S. Olympic Committee to build a downtown headquarters for the USOC, among other things.
The investigation was triggered by information given to the DA in connection with a lawsuit filed by Colorado Springs investor Jack W. Mason against Marshall and other entities.
During 2007, Mason Investments filed suit against Marshall and LandCo.
Mason demanded that Marshall and LandCo provide him with a detailed analysis of the “capital accounts and advances/borrowings which North County Land LLC disbursed to unrelated entities (owned or controlled by Marshall/LandCo).”
Saltzman Hama Nelson Massaro LLP was hired by LandCo and conducted an analysis.
On Oct. 31, 2007, Saltzman submitted its analysis. It found that “outstanding unrelated advances/borrowings” by LandCo/Marshall in the amount of $1,665,067 had been removed from the accounts of North County Land.
A settlement was reached, terms of which included a “reconciliation of distributions, allocations, and expenses” no later than Dec. 19, 2007. Mason subsequently agreed to several extensions, the last expiring on April 30, 2008.
After not receiving payment, Mason filed a new complaint calling for the appointment of a receiver. Since then, most of the related court filings have been sealed.
Colorado Springs investor Ward Berlin also filed suit against LandCo, Marshall and related entities July 10, 2008, alleging misappropriation, self-dealing and securities fraud.
Linda Dix, an investigator with the Economic Crimes Unit of the DA’s office, left a voicemail for CSBJ this morning about a story published yesterday on www.csbj.com detailing Mason’s and Berlin’s complaints.
When Dix was contacted by CSBJ, she referred questions about the investigation to Deputy District Attorney Robyn Cafasso, who heads the Economic Crimes Unit. Cafasso confirmed that a criminal investigation is in progress that involves Marshall’s activities in connection with an account established at financial services firm UBS.
The records of the UBS account, into which North County land funds were allegedly deposited by Marshall without the knowledge or consent of other investors, were subpoenaed by attorneys acting for Mason and his company.
Acting upon a request from Marshall’s attorneys, the court sealed the records.
In a court filing dated Feb. 20, 2009, District Judge Ronald Crowder granted a motion by Marshall to stay a scheduled hearing regarding Mason’s request that a receiver be appointed to take charge of certain of the entities controlled by Marshall, in which Mason was a minority investor. The order reads: “Marshall motion for stay due to criminal allegations by Mason to DA – Granted.”
Marshall’s lawyers argued that, facing a possible criminal investigation, Marshall could not testify under oath.
Cafasso was asked whether any other individuals have been or will be interviewed in connection with the case.
“We have a lot of folks that we need to talk to,” she said.
Asked specifically whether Mayor Lionel Rivera, an investment officer at UBS, would be interviewed, Cafasso said, “He very likely could be – there’s a long list of people that we need to contact. We know that there’s a lot out there, and we want to move as efficiently and as expeditiously as possible.”
Two members of City Council have called for an emergency closed session of council at 4 p.m. Monday to discuss the issues surrounding Marshall, LandCo and the U.S. Olympic Committee project.