Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Sterling Financial Corp. Bankster is still chairman of the board

Sterling Financial paying millions to new chairman
Most board members have resigned

The Spokesman-Review August 31, 2010 in Business

Bert Caldwell The Spokesman-Review

New Sterling Financial Corp. Chairman Les Biller was paid $1.5 million to accept the position, and will receive a total $4.5 million by Dec. 31, 2012, unless he resigns.

Biller’s compensation was contained in a Monday filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The filing also disclosed the resignation of all but four members of the Sterling board of directors following completion Thursday of a $730 million recapitalization.

The appointment of Biller, a former vice chairman of Wells Fargo, helped attract private investors who participated in the recapitalization. According to the letter offering Biller the chairman’s job, he invested between $4 million and $7 million of his own money in Sterling.

Biller succeeds William “Ike” Eisenhart, who became chairman when Sterling co-founder Harold Gilkey was forced out last October by regulators.

Eisenhart remains on the board along with other holdovers Ellen Boyer, Michael Reuling and Greg Seibly, Sterling’s chief executive officer.

In addition to Biller, the board added David Coulter, representing Thomas H. Lee Partners, and Scott Jaeckel, representing Warburg Pincus Private Equity X, L.P.

The private equity investment firms each invested $171 million in the Sterling recapitalization.

Creigh Agnew, Katherine Anderson, Ned Barnes, Rodney Barnett, Thomas Fugate and Kermit Houser resigned, as did Marcus Lampros, Robert Larrabee, Dianne Spires, William Wrigglesworth and William Zuppe, Sterling’s other co-founder.

Directors in 2009 received cash compensation of $48,000 to $57,597, plus stock awards.

Here is Mr. Billings at JVS Bankwork$

According to the following article, this bankster retired for a year or two in between Wells Fargo and PG&E. Is this normal practice for the corporate elite?

 RESUME: Leslie S. Biller

February 18, 2004
ISSUED BY: Corporate Communications 1-800-743-6397

(San Francisco, CA) - PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG) today announced the election of Leslie S. Biller to its Board of Directors and the Board of Directors of utility unit Pacific Gas and Electric Company. Biller, 55, served as an Advisory Director on both Boards over the past year.

As a 30-year veteran of the banking industry, Biller most recently served as Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Officer of Wells Fargo & Co. until his retirement in 2002.

Sterling Financial Corporation of Spokane, Wash., Announces Agreements to Raise $730 Million in
New Capital
Company Release - 08/20/2010 06:30
SPOKANE, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Sterling Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:STSA) (“Sterling”), the bank holding
company of Sterling Savings Bank, today announced agreements to raise a total of $730 million in new capital from
institutional, private equity and other accredited investors. The transaction is expected to close on or about August 26,
Thomas H. Lee Partners, L.P. (“THL”) and Warburg Pincus Private Equity X, L.P. (“WP”) have amended their agreements
to increase their investments in Sterling. Under the terms of the amendments, it is anticipated that THL and WP would
each purchase 68,366,000 shares of common stock and 1,709,150 shares of Series B preferred stock, for an aggregate
purchase price of approximately $171 million each. THL and WP also would receive warrants. Upon closing, THL and WP
would each own an aggregate of 22.6 percent of Sterling’s pro forma common stock on an as-converted basis and after
giving effect to the exercise of warrants.
Sterling has also entered into agreements with approximately 30 accredited investors for private placement of
155,268,000 shares of common stock and 3,881,700 shares of Series D preferred stock in exchange for aggregate gross
proceeds of approximately $388 million in cash. In addition, as previously announced, the U.S. Treasury will convert its
$303 million investment of preferred stock in Sterling into common shares. In aggregate, the transactions with THL, WP,
other accredited investors and U.S. Treasury will result in the issuance of 4.2 billion shares of Sterling common stock,
assuming the conversion of preferred stock and the exercise of warrants.
Sterling President and Chief Executive Officer Greg Seibly said, “This commitment of $730 million in new capital
represents a major milestone in our recovery plan, and one that will substantially strengthen our capital ratios and provide
a solid base for rebuilding long-term franchise value. The focused energies of many at Sterling have helped us to
preserve and grow our core banking franchise in support of our customers and communities across the Pacific Northwest.
Today’s announcement reflects the investment community’s recognition of this value.”
Following the closing of the transaction and contingent on regulatory approval, Les Biller, former vice chairman and chief
operating officer of Wells Fargo and Company, would serve as chairman of Sterling’s board of directors, and WP Managing Director David A. Coulter and THL Managing Director Scott Jaeckel would join Sterling’s board of directors.


Any connection with  Daddy Warbucks is purely co-incidental.

 From this point on I'm skating on thin ice, but I've dug up some info on Sterling Financial Investment Group, a financial services company that was based in Florida until it was sold in 2005. 
On a map on their web site it shows that it had a location in Oregon. it was sold to Pointe Capitol and vFinance.



PHONE: 305.728.1669
FAX: 305.728.1641

~Click map to enlarge~

Charles Patrick Garcia


Sterling Financial Insurance Group, Inc., a wholly owned insurance company encompassing a nationwide network of 225 insurance agents.

The creation of, Inc. in 2000 cost over $5 million. Also in 2000, García struck a deal for almost $3 million to hire 140 brokers from the recently bankrupt Boca Raton-based Joseph Charles & Associates. To finance this expansion, particularly for the creation of the subsidiary, García completed two funding rounds of private placement venture capital funding that raised a total of $8 million. Crossbow Ventures, based in Florida's Palm Beach County, was the lead investor in both funding rounds. As a result of the transactions, Crossbow Ventures obtained a minority equity stake in Sterling.

By 2001, SFIG claimed a worldwide network of more than 400 independent agents working out of more than 50 offices in the United States and eight offices in other countries including Panama, Spain, Chile, Greece and England. In years 2001 and 2000, Sterling Financial Investment Group was named by the University of Florida Fischer School of Accounting as the number one fastest growing privately held firms in the State as well as the fastest growing minority owned firm in Florida. In mid-2002, the firm earned state certification as a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) which helped attract larger companies wanting to include minority firms as part of their syndicate offerings.

In August 2002, Hispanic Business magazine named Sterling the number one fastest growing Hispanic company in the United States and it made Inc. Magazines “Inc 500 List” as the # 8 fastest growing privately held company in the United States. Mr. García received the “Outstanding Business Leader” award by Northwood University. In December 2004, Mr. García was selected by Hispanic magazine for the "Entrepreneur of the Year” award. Sterling Financial Investment Group issued a number of press releases between 1998 and 2003 that described an explosive rate of revenue growth, shown below. However, the company never reported profit.

Year Reported revenue
1997 $100,000
1998 $800,000
1999 $4.2 million
2000 $14 million
2001 $16.3 million
2002 $24 million
2003 $31 million
2004 $28 million

By 2003, García recognized that the, Inc., Internet subsidiary, was unsuccessful and had to be closed. Sterling Financial was then seeking outside investors to provide a cash infusion to continue to fuel expansion in the remaining businesses. But, this effort was hampered by a string of adverse regulatory findings. From 2002 to 2005, García’s company, without admitting or denying any allegations, accepted six fines totaling $456,000 for NASD rule violations. Reported problems included issuing research reports that contained errors and exaggerations, lax record keeping, and weak monitoring of branch offices.

Sterling was also named in a 2004 lawsuit launched in Texas by a number of disgruntled investors of DOBI Medical Systems. Sterling was an underwriter or agent in four DOBI stock sales prior to a 2004 private placement offering. From 2000 through 2004, Sterling also selected one member of DOBI's board of directors. In the DOBI lawsuit, plaintiffs, mostly from Texas, maintain they were defrauded of several million dollars after they bought stock in DOBI in a 2004 private placement offering in which Sterling was the placement agent.

García closed the Sterling Financial Investment Group’s research division in April 2005. In June 2005 Sterling sold its 30 independent brokerage offices in 20 states to Pointe Capital of Delray Beach for about $1 million. Finally, in May 2006, Sterling sold its remaining assets to vFinance, Inc., located in Boca Raton, for $3.4 million. As part of the sales transaction, vFinance agreed to hire Garcia at an annual salary of $262,000. Since vFinance bought the assets of Sterling Financial and not the company, lawyers expect vFinance will not face any liability in the Texas suit.vFinance was then under CEO Tim Mahoney. Following Mahoney’s election to U.S. Representative for Florida's 16th congressional district, Leonard J. Sokolow took over as CEO and board chairman of vFinance, Inc. Under Sokolow, García serves as President of the Sterling Hispanic Markets Capital Group.

Political ties in Florida

On June 6, 2001, Florida Governor Jeb Bush appointed Charles Patrick Garcia, the Chairman and CEO of Sterling Financial Investment Group, one of the nation's fastest growing investment banks with headquarters in Boca Raton, Florida to the 7-member panel of the newly created Florida Board of Education, (FBE), frequently referred to as the "super-board," a government entity charged with the responsibility of executing revolutionary changes to Florida's educational system.


Better Business Bureau


Pointe Capital LLC

Company Overview

Pointe Capital LLC offers financial advisory services to individuals, families, and institutions. It offers portfolio management programs, college savings plans, estate planning, corporate client services, online client access to accounts, and check-writing ability. Pointe Capital also offers electronic security trading services. The company was founded in 2004 and is based in Boca Raton, Florida. As of December 11, 2009, Pointe Capital LLC operates as a subsidiary of JHS Capital Holdings, Inc.

4800 T-Rex Avenue

Suite 100

Boca Raton, FL 33431

United States

Founded in 2004





 vFinance Inc.

Company Overview

vFinance, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides various financial services in the United States. It buys and sells securities for its customers. The company, through its brokers, offers a range of financial investments, including equities, corporate bonds, municipal securities, collateralized mortgage obligations, mutual funds, and insurance products. vFinance also provides liquidity services to national and regional full-service broker-dealers, electronic discount brokers, and institutional investors. In addition, it offers a range of services, including trading technologies, routing software, hedge fund incubation, capital introduction, and custodial services to institutional traders, hedge funds, and professional traders. The company was founded in 1992 and is headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida. As of July 1, 2008, vFinance Inc. operates as a subsidiary of National Holdings Corp.
Hide Detailed Description

World Headquarters

1200 North Federal Highway

Suite 400

Boca Raton, FL 33432

United States

Founded in 1992

91 Employees



Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Proud G'Pappy hears that his Gramdodder is in Japan helping with earthquake relief

U.S. Navy steps up earthquake relief efforts in Japan

By Erik Slavin
Stars and Stripes
Published: March 13, 2011

Some normalcy returns to bases, relief for Japanese rolls in
American rescue teams arrive at Misawa

Misawa power returning, school canceled; other Japan bases return mostly to normal
Stars and Stripes coverage of the earthquake in Japan

MH-53 helicopters land aboard the amphibious dock landing ship USS Tortuga. Tortuga is operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility ready to support earthquake and tsunami relief efforts in Japan as directed.
K. Madison Carter/Courtesy U.S. NavyNAVAL AIR STATION ATSUGI, Japan — The USS Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group delivered four drops of humanitarian supplies Sunday and began ongoing support of Japanese search-and-rescue helicopters, U.S. 7th Fleet officials said Sunday afternoon.

Read more here

Here's some pictures after the tsunomi from the Washington Post.

~Click Here~

Friday, December 24, 2010

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Large Hadron Collider Is Cool

Some brief history from Wikipedia

On 27 March 2007 a cryogenic magnet support broke during a pressure test involving one of the LHC's inner triplet (focusing quadrupole) magnet assemblies, provided by Fermilab and KEK. No one was injured. Fermilab director Pier Oddone stated "In this case we are dumbfounded that we missed some very simple balance of forces".

This fault had been present in the original design, and remained during four engineering reviews over the following years. Analysis revealed that its design, made as thin as possible for better insulation, was not strong enough to withstand the forces generated during pressure testing. Details are available in a statement from Fermilab, with which CERN is in agreement. Repairing the broken magnet and reinforcing the eight identical assemblies used by LHC delayed the startup date, then planned for November 2007.

# Problems occurred on 19 September 2008 during powering tests of the main dipole circuit, when an electrical fault in the bus between magnets caused a rupture and a leak of six tonnes of liquid helium. The operation was delayed for several months. It is currently believed that a faulty electrical connection between two magnets caused an arc, which compromised the liquid-helium containment. Once the cooling layer was broken, the helium flooded the surrounding vacuum layer with sufficient force to break 10-ton magnets from their mountings. The explosion also contaminated the proton tubes with soot.

# Two vacuum leaks were identified in July 2009, and the start of operations was further postponed to mid-November, 2009.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A really big shoe in Portland

Yep, that's me, in P Town, showing the kids how to boogie in size 20 shoes. We had a yahdsell and made a few bucks over the week end.

Went out to dinner too. Walked down what my nephew says is about six blocks, which seemed more like a half mile, but it was worth it. A taco place to die for...I had what was called a flying saucer, for 4 bucks, and was so full that walking back seemed like a mile.

My grand daughter was there selling brownies without a licence.

But, we didn't have one either, it's called free enterprise. Just put a ad on Craigs list, put a sign out and sold a bunch of stuff, except for those size 20 shoes. There was a sign on them that said, free if they fit you, otherwise 20 bucks.

That's my nephew out front hawking bicycles. P Town is a bike town and he sold three of them.