Tag: back taxes

Criminal proceedings into loan given out by Wisconsin corporate welfare agency underway

Once again, a major political scandal is brewing in Wisconsin. This time, it involves loans given out to a company called Green Box NA by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), a corporate welfare agency in Wisconsin:

An indebted De Pere business owner will provide as detailed a list of assets and debtors to his former company’s court-appointed receiver within 10 days.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., Montreal-based Cliffton Equities Inc. and De Pere-area physician Dr. Marco Araujo sued Green Box NA and its president, Ronald Van Den Heuvel, on May 20 seeking repayment of more than $5.7 million in loans. They claim Green Box is near insolvency, worry it cannot cure its many defaults and suspect the company offered the same collateral to multiple financiers.

“Van Den Heuvel’s casual commingling of assets and collateral among his many entities gives rise to a real concern that he will dispose of plaintiff’s collateral improperly or that collateral may not exist,” the plaintiffs’ initial complaint states.

On Monday, Van Den Heuvel’s attorney John Petitjean told Circuit Court Judge Thomas Walsh that Van Den Heuvel cannot provide many documents court-appointed receiver Michael Polsky has requested because Brown County Sheriff’s Office deputies executed a search warrant at Green Box’s De Pere offices and removed five truckloads of documents and computer equipment from Green Box’s offices in the last month.

(emphasis mine)

Green Box NA received nearly $1.2 million in taxpayer-funded awards from the WEDC, including a $1.1 million loan and a $95,500 job training grant. Green Box NA has not made any payments on its loan since 2013, and the WEDC officially declared Green Box NA to be in default earlier this year. Green Box NA claims to be a sustainable energy company, but, in reality, it’s actually a waste gasification scheme.

Let’s not forget that:

  • Republican Wisconsin Governor and presidential candidate Scott Walker chaired the WEDC’s board at the time Green Box received the awards (Walker is no longer the WEDC board chairman)
  • Walker and Republicans in the Wisconsin State Legislature created the WEDC in 2011
  • Green Box NA received a $1.1 million loan mere months after the WEDC was created by Wisconsin Republicans in 2011
  • Van Den Heuvel refused to disclose previous lawsuits while filing the loan application
  • The WEDC failed to identify the lawsuits in a background check

Ron Van Den Heuvel, Green Box NA, and multiple other Van Den Heuvel companies have faced multiple civil lawsuits over, among other things, failure to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in back taxes and failure to pay both public and private creditors. Now, there’s apparently criminal proceedings into the Van Den Heuvel/Green Box NA ripoff of Wisconsin taxpayers. This could have all been prevented if it weren’t for the WEDC giving out corporate welfare to businesses, and doing a downright horrible job at it.

Oneida Eye has very detailed blog posts about Ron Van Den Heuvel’s long track record of financial troubles, legal troubles, and ripping off taxpayers here and here. They’ve been publishing great blog posts on the Green Box NA scandal for quite some time.

Republican Nevada Assembly Majority Leader-designate Michele Fiore has had over a million dollars in federal tax liens filed against her

Michele Fiore, a Republican member of the Nevada State Assembly from Las Vegas who will become the majority leader (#2 Republican) of the state assembly once Republicans officially assume the majority in that chamber, has had over a million dollars in federal tax liens filed against her and her business:

Michele Fiore, the newly crowned Assembly majority leader-to-be, has had more than $1 million in federal tax liens filed against her and her business during the last decade, some as recently as this summer.

The liens […] were filed in Nevada and Colorado, and include nearly $350,000 in liability for taxes she withheld from employee wages during the last six years. Fiore’s company, Always There Personal Care of Nevada, has had nearly $700,000 in liens filed against it during the last decade, some of which (nearly $200,000) have been released.

Fiore also has had personal income tax liens totalling (sic) $58,000, which she tried to turn to her advantage when one lien was discovered by the Nevada News Bureau’s Elizabeth Crum during the assemblywoman’s disastrous 2010 run for Congress, by asserting, “My case is a perfect example of an over-reaching government using its power and bureaucracy to intimidate its citizens.”

Tax liens are usually not government overreach. They are a legally valid method used by tax collecting agencies to collect back taxes. Given how systemic Fiore’s refusal to pay taxes has been, I’m all but certain that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has a valid reason to be filing tax liens against Fiore.

Nevadans simply cannot trust Michele Fiore and her Republican allies to manage Nevada’s finances (the Nevada Legislature is responsible for, among other things, passing a state budget) when Fiore can’t manage her own personal finances.