Silver Saddle gets shut down and accused of fraud. Will the company - and the dream Ben Perez believed - survive?
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A familiar sales pitchCarlos Novelo and Antonio Garcia, who say they bought into Silver Saddle, claim the place has potential. They want other investors like Ben Perez to all take over the ranch together and run it themselves. In this PowerPoint, which they present at meetings of Silver Saddle investors and owners around California and Nevada, they distance themselves from the company's owner, Tom Maney. Their discussion of the ranch’s potential sounds strikingly similar to the talking points used by Silver Saddle’s salespeople.
Chava Sanchez/KPCCSilver Saddle: no trespassing!After the California Department of Business Oversight sued Silver Saddle, the court appointed a receiver who took control of the company and shut down the ranch and its headquarters in Burbank, CA.
San Diego County Superior CourtThe DBO makes its caseIn this civil complaint, the California Department of Business Oversight alleges that Silver Saddle, saleswoman Marian Ducreux, owner Tom Maney and other defendants committed fraud and sold unlicensed securities.
San Diego County Superior CourtSilver Saddle “drastically overpriced” the Galileo ProjectThe California Department of Business Oversight alleges Silver Saddle “deeply misled” investors about the value of its landbanking project. They paid up to $31,990 for their investment, but the shares were worth approximately $337.59, according to an investigator with the state’s Department of Real Estate.
San Diego County Superior CourtSilver Saddle targets Asian investorsThe DBO submitted numerous company records as part of its lawsuit against Silver Saddle, including a 2005 memorandum written for owner Tom Maney that explained why Silver Saddle targets Asians.
San Diego County Superior Court“Make it difficult to trace how investor money was spent”When DBO experts analyzed Silver Saddle’s finances, they found that many bank accounts had low balances and the accounting records were difficult to interpret. Lisa Medina, a senior corporation examiner at the DBO, believes this was an attempt to make it difficult to trace how money was spent.
Emily GuerinYou made it to Silver Saddle!This sign is taped to the door of Silver Saddle’s office in Burbank, California.