DA investigating Marshall

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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.

2 Responses to DA investigating Marshall

  1. I was against the Springs doing backflips for the USOC and now we may very well end up looking like idiots because of the same people who claimed that all this financing had been arranged, including Lionel Rivera.

    Arthur Vigil
    March 25, 2009 at 8:44 pm

  2. Regardless of who/whom was or is responsible, and I believe the investigation needs to continue and abuses revealed and prosecuted, the USOC has been, is, and will be an important entity to the history, culture and future of Colorado Springs. There were important and sincere reasons the negations were held, deals made, etc.-the real issue is whether or not personal agendas and greed were involved. Those are the legal, ethical, and moral issues that should be addressed.
    In the mean time, Colorado Springs, our citizens, future, and an important component of our community are in jeopardy and we need to come together and find common ground to move things forward. Let the legal process continue, as it should, but please don’t let this immobilize and paralyze us, create divisiveness and distraction from what the real issue is…we need the USOC to remain in Colorado Springs! This is such a unique opportunity and component in our quest to continue to carve out what makes Colorado Springs so unique! Growth will happen, needs to continue for survival, requires a managed plan to include ALL stakeholders (including those who resist development and growth-I used to hike around Austin Bluffs when Academy Blvd. was a dirt road and there was only a farm house east of Maizeland and Chelton so I understand!), but is inevitable. We still have a chance to impact and influence what and how our community grows and develops….but we can’t be naive, uneducated, biased and stubborn. We must get together and find what brings us together, our commonalities, shared visions, and LISTEN to those who have opinions that are contrary to ours. Stubborn opposition, uninformed opinions and personal agenda’s will not bring us to a common understanding or solution.
    We have the opportunity, right now, to come together and define what Colorado Springs should be while considering our culture, history, values, standards and goals….for all citizens. I am a native, my father was from Colorado, I love this city and community and we can be awesome! This is a perfect opportunity to come together and figure out what we want our city to be, affirm the things that have made us unique, explore where we want our future to go, and define and direct where we end up! What an opportunity for creativity and collaboration…we just need to focus and come together!! Everybody’s ideas and opinions have value, we ALL matter, we ALL are stakeholders in our community and our future. I would love to see a venue/format/agenda where all opinions are heard, considered, valued respected…take the best of all ideas and let’s define who we are, what we want to be, and how we can accomplish the goals! We have a unique opportunity to define OUR community and create an example/model for other communities to imitate!

    Mikki Andersen
    March 27, 2009 at 1:05 am