Exec said to be trying to stop project collapse
Fraud indictments against LeasX, two men cast pall on plan for call center here
Linn ParishJanuary 28th, 1999
A Spokane real estate executive says a California businessman is trying to prevent the collapse of a call-center project here after two men and a company that allegedly were involved in the project were indicted by a Spokane grand jury for federal wire fraud.
The two men, Louis Robert Bories and Michael David Booth, both were indicted along with the company, LeasX Inc., on four counts of wire fraud Jan. 12 in connection with a scheme that the indictment says bilked a South Carolina business of $250,000.
The Spokane executive, Bruce Miller, vice president of WAM Enterprises Inc., said last month that he had leased an office structure at 627 E. Sprague to LeasX. Miller now says the lease for the building still is intact, and that the California executive, Ed Figlioli, plans to move forward with LeasXs previously announced plan to open the call center in the 70,000-square-foot building.
Were going forward with business as usual, Miller says. Were optimistic that this isnt going to derail our transaction.
Figlioli, whom Miller says is based in Irvine, Calif., was reached by phone and said that he is a vice president of LeasX, but declined to answer questions about the status of the company or of the project here. He referred questions to an attorney, who couldnt be reached for comment.
Lance Tornow, a customer service specialist with the Washington state Secretary of States office, says that agency dissolved LeasXs corporate registration last November because the company had failed to pay its annual corporate registration renewal fees. While the indictment says Bories had represented himself as president of LeasX, and Booth had represented himself as a director of the company, Tornow says a list of officers and directors that was a part of LeasXs corporate filing didnt include either Bories or Booths names. Miller says LeasX has reincorporated in California.
At the East Sprague building that Miller has leased to LeasX, crews from Garco Construction Inc., of Spokane, were pulling out of a remodeling job last week when a reporter stopped by. Garco project superintendent Mike Creighton said Garco decided to pull out when credibility problems surfaced.
Crews had demolished half of the buildings interior, were prepared to remodel that space, and had completed about one-eighth of the overall job, Creighton said. Miller said he expected that the remodel would resume in a matter of days.
Last month, Bories claimed that Angular Communications Inc., a telemarketing subsidiary of LeasX, would occupy the entire building and would employ 200 people here in leasing activities within two years.
Angular Communications incorporated in Washington state last August and still is registered with the Secretary of States office, but hasnt filed an initial list of officers and directors, Tornow says.
The indictment alleges that Booth and Bories told Irvine Flexible Packaging, of South Carolina, that for a payment of $200,000, LeasX would buy $5 million worth of equipment and lease it to Irvine for 66 months. The indictment alleges that the defendants didnt intend to carry out those plans, but did receive $250,000 from Irvine.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Tom Rice says he has been investigating the case against Bories, Booth, and LeasX since late November.