Worthington Properties (Vancouver, Downtown Eastside ) Linked to World Organized Crime Syndicates
Worthington Properties (Vancouver, Downtown Eastside )
Linked to World Organized Crime Syndicates
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Worthington properties, owns the Pantages theatre and the adjacent properties up to the Brandiz bar in our Downtown Eastside, Vancouver. According to the Vancouver Sun, Marc Williams is the point man for Worthington properties in Vancouver. Worthington has given our community 30 days to come up with $6.5 million to buy the properties, or they'll build Condos. Literally putting a stake into the Heart of Our community or as a community member put it , it's like a bomb hitting our hood but also symbolically breaking our hearts. As you are reading this the time has elapsed.
The story of Worthington properties, however goes back to the shady developer, Dan White.
The media at times refer to White as the owner of Worthington. Mr. White now claims that he is only the point man for the developer ( he was also president and ceo). Dan White is missing, last heard fleeing to Russia. Pursuing Mr White and Worthington properties, is like going on a dangerous wild goose chase, but here goes..
Part of “Dan White's” Worthington Group of companies, is Worthington Mackenzie. In 2008,
Worthington bought a distressed pulp mill, north of Prince Rupert, B.C. For $6.5 million in receivership from Price CoopersWaterhouse, with Judge and provincial gov't approval.
Since then, this has been an ongoing scandal for the Liberal B.C. Gov't. Why? Because Worthington broke all of it's promises leaving 200+ people jobless and an environmental devastation of a toxic chemical clean-up, which has to date cost B.C. Taxpayers over $50 million for all associated costs to the failed Worthington mill, including $4 million in unpaid taxes to the District of Mackenzie, according to it's Mayor Stephanie Killam.
If Price CoopersWaterhouse, the Judge and the Campbell Liberal gov't did their due diligence,they would of found that Dan White, was associated with B.C.'s most notorious underworld figures, including the Hell's Angels, contract killers, Asian gangs, and convicted felon, Martin Chambers. And today we would have to presume Russian Syndicate Mob.
Dan White, was the only board director at Worthington. He stepped down and fled to Russia.
He was replaced by Drago N. Puskaric (interestingly in slavic his last name means “rifle”. He is supposedly located in Slovenia.
Wally Oppal, Pat Bell, the Liberal Attorney's General's office and the Forest Ministry said they were personally holding Dan White responsible. It looks like they will have to go on a dangerous wild goose chase to Slovenia and Russia.
To make matters worse and all to clear, in March of 2009, Worthington properties headquarters in Edmonton, AB were deliberately set on fire, according to Edmonton police.
In April, 2009 an arrest was made for arson, one Micheal O'Reilly, 54 a known associate of Worthington properties was charged.
Mr White and Worthington properties specialized in distressed property. They got into the Downtown Eastside Vancouver by developing and gentrifying the Koret Lofts at 55 east Cordoba into elite condos. They also bought the Pantages theatre, next to the Regent hotel, the place made infamous by the murder of 22 year old Ashley Machiskinic, presumably by gang violence ( thrown out of the 5th floor window).
In the 1990s, Mr. White was the prime target of a joint Vancouver police-RCMP investigation, into a vicious criminal gang. The F.B.I. was also part of the investigation. White was convicted for money laundering, illegal liquor and cigarette smuggling and sales. White received a slap on the wrist, paid a fine of $267,000 and served no time.
Others found to be “partners” in the ring were, one James Markovitch, a self-proclaimed “Godfather” of Vancouver's Underworld, two well known contract killers, the Hell's Angels and Asian gang associates.
White claimed afterwords to have turned his back on that page of his life, also saying he did not know all the players or how deeply it went.
To this date Worthington properties or it's associated companies has not been held accountable by the provincial gov't. Worthington, without question is playing a criminal shell game with it's associated companies. And should be exposed and held legally and morally accountable.
*What the provincial government and the City of Vancouver gov't needs to do is purchase this property outright from Worthington for $4.5 million or less, and build our community 100% affordable social housing on that site. You can even throw in a community swimming pool.
That's what we call Revitalization of the Downtown Eastside. You need to do right by our community. We do not deserve crumbs but the poor and working poor should have the whole loaf of bread to share in.
To further gentrify our community and neighborhood by building more Condos, would make Developers, the Provincial Government and the City of Vancouver partners in crime with known Organized Crime Syndicates. Our Community seeks Justice. We demand it. The time to act is now!
By Anonymous Zero
The Original version appears in the DTES Vancouver Carnegie Newsletter
Added Important Notes
ROBERT MATAS CHILLIWACK— From Saturday's Globe and Mail
Published April, 12 , 2008 Updated June, 15, 2010
Mr. Van Maren said he gave his complete file on the land deal to the RCMP. He assumed Mr. Les's interest in the subdivision was known. "Information or dialogue between ourselves and Mr. Les went via the mayor's office, via the fax machine through his secretary," Mr. Van Maren said.
Mr. Van Maren said he had nothing to do with the approval process. He told the RCMP they were welcome to call him after they read through his file, but he has not heard from them. "To me, it's pretty transparent," he said. "This thing is just going to be a nothing at the end of the day."
Costs and expenses
How much did John Les make in the deal? His financial partner, Bernie Van Maren, declined to provide specific figures. He confirmed that the land, assessed at $433,000, cost roughly $400,000. Then there were expenses for roads and servicing such as water wells and storm drains. Some costs incurred as part of the development process were set out in city hall documents, including $19,561 for development cost charges.
Mr. Les's company had conditional offers to purchase the properties, Mr. Van Maren said. The deals were closed after municipal approvals had been obtained. The lots were later sold for a total of about $800,000.
HOW THE AGREEMENT WORKED
John Les had a joint-venture financing agreement with Bernie Van Maren. "It was John's responsibility to do all the work," Mr. Van Maren said. "So he had to get all the rezoning approvals etc. If he failed to get those approvals, then losses would be split 50-50. If he got all the approvals, then he did not get paid for his effort. ...
"But out of the proceeds of sales, we would get our capital paid back first, until 50-50 in capital. Then the balance would be repaid to us, 50-50. Then we got 12-per-cent return on the capital we provided. ... And then after that, it was 50-50.
"He got a proportionally higher share of the profits, proportionate to the cash he put up, in return for the work he did. That's a very typical deal we do."...
Mortgage terms doomed Mackenzie mill from the start
Financier charged buyer 42 per cent a year
By Gordon Hamilton , VANCOUVER SUN January 30, 2009
The Alberta owner of the Mackenzie pulp mill financed the purchase with a mortgage charging interest at 42 per cent a year, a rate that points to the likelihood of the venture failing, say industry specialists.
According to documents obtained by The Vancouver Sun, Worthington Mackenzie founder Dan White took out a $10-million short-term mortgage on the Mackenzie mill at a rate of 3.5 per cent a month through Chilliwack financier and developer Bernie Van Maren.
“There’s no way that anybody writes a debt instrument at 42 per cent with any expectation that they are actually going to collect that money,” said financier Richard Bassett, instrumental in restarting the Port Alice pulp mill in 2006..
The 42-per-cent mortgage rate adds one more intriguing element to a sad tale that has left the province of B.C. on the hook for millions in Mackenzie pulp mill costs and liabilities and the town of Mackenzie without its last major employer...
The mill was sold in September for $6.5 million to White, an Edmonton developer with no background in forestry and a past that includes a conviction for money laundering. He used a chain of companies, which have only one director and no executive officers, to make the purchase..
“They have destroyed thousands of lives up here,” said former employee Rick Berry, referring to the court-approved sale of the pulp mill. “They are the professionals. We are supposed to put our trust in them. They let us down. And the Supreme Court approved it?”...
Don Lamoureux, owner of Faltech Resources Canada, a Prince George company that put a proposal together on the mill that included the fibre supply, wondered how PWC failed to do a background check on White.
“They did a thorough background check on us,” he said.
The province also could have stopped the process at any time, said Bassett. The B.C. government had already set the precedent. It stepped in earlier by urging the court to take into account bigger issues — employment — in determining the fate of Pope & Talbot’s Harmac pulp mill.
Les probe wider than publicly known: prosecutor
Updated: Thu Apr. 03 2008 7:42:49 PM Jon Woodward, ctvbc.ca
The investigation into the land dealings of B.C.'s ex-solicitor-general goes beyond the two properties CTV has uncovered, according to the special prosecutor overseeing the investigation.
Prosecutor Robin McFee told CTV News that there are more land transactions that have brought the attention of the RCMP than those at Bell Road and Rosebank Place in Chilliwack -- deals that made John Les hundreds of thousands of dollars during and after the years he was mayor of the Fraser Valley city.
"I can say that the scope of the investigation is broad and has been fully pursued by the RCMP," Robin McFee told CTV News.
"And while I can't confirm or deny the scope of the investigation, it's beyond the two properties that CTV through its diligence has identified," he said...
The RCMP has questioned neighbours and business partners of Les about developments he spearheaded on two sites north of downtown Chilliwack. When the investigation was made public on March 28, the solicitor-general immediately resigned, but denied wrongdoing.
In both situations, the owners of properties in the Agricultural Land Reserve -- B.C.'s protected farmland -- had applied and failed to develop cheaper farms into lucrative residential lots...
Documents show that John Les, his business partner Bernie Van Maren, lawyer Lawrence Stinson, and Chillwack approving officer Grant Sanborn all signed off on the land deal.
John Les faces second probe
APRIL 3, 2008
The Agricultural Land Commission said today it will open an investigation into land dealings in Chilliwack involving then-mayor John Les.
Les stepped down as B.C. solicitor-general — a job that put him in charge of all police in the province — last Friday after it was revealed he was himself the subject of a police investigation into land dealings in Chilliwack while he was mayor.
Chilliwack Times August 20 2010
CHILLIWACK TIMES FRIDAY, AUGUST 20, 2010 A07
BY TYLER OLSEN email@example.com
Saving downtown core now up to `task force'
can stimulate the environment for good development" downtown, Gaetz told the Times. "We've been talking for some time about downtown and how do we revitalize an area that needs more than a facelift, that needs investors," she said.
According to a report prepared by task force co-ordinator Kurt Houlden, the new group has been asked to: recommend improvements to city bylaws and policies that would encourage development; find areas "essential to redevelop;" develop "a financial plan that could include an annual funding commitment from the city;" and "make other recommendations that could accelerate interest and investment or redevelopment within the downtown core area."
Coun. Ken Huttema will chair the task force, which will also include Coun. Pat Clark, downtown businessman John Vermeer, developer Eric Van Maren, along with the presidents of CEPCO, the Business Improvement Association and the Chamber of Commerce. One of the main challenges for Huttema and company will be finding a way to make demolishing and building in the downtown core as financially attractive as building on untouched greenspace. Gaetz noted that the cost of buying a downtown property, tearing down an old building and completing necessary environmental surveys can cost several times more than the purchase of virgin land elsewhere in the city. That needs to change, she said, to entice developers back to Chilliwack's core. The task force will focus on turning what the city would like to see happen downtown into reality. "What we hope for is a mix of retail," said Gaetz. "We're looking for residential up on top and we're look-
Mackenzie pulp mill ownership situation goes from bad to worse
BY GORDON HAMILTON, VANCOUVER SUNMAY 9, 2009
A Vancouver stock promoter's high-priced option to purchase the Mackenzie pulp mill from a cash-strapped Edmonton businessman is raising alarms with Mackenzie Mayor Stephanie Killam...
Earlier this week, penny stock Range Gold made a cash-and-share offer to buy the shuttered pulp mill from Worthington Mackenzie, the company founded by Edmonton entrepreneur Dan White...
Range Gold's entry into the Mackenzie saga is the latest twist in a sad tale that Killam said could not be more far-fetched if she had made it up herself. The mill was considered the strongest pulp mill in bankrupt Pope & Talbot's B.C. portfolio. It had every prospect of returning to production when it was shut down last May and sold three months later by receiver PricewaterhouseCoopers.
The shutdown was considered to be so temporary that PwC made no provisions to prepare it for winter. But after the sale, the mill became entangled in White's bizarre business web, crushing the dreams of employees waiting for the jobs to return..
White also has business enterprises in Vancouver. His company, Worthington Properties, redeveloped Koret Lofts on the Downtown Eastside and still has an ownership position in the Pantages Theatre...
Don Sheldon has a 25-year history of operating public companies, according to the Range Gold website. The site says he oversaw fundraising of over $40 million as president of another Vancouver stock, Pure Gold Resources, between 1992 and 2005.
According to the Vancouver publication Stockwatch, Sheldon ran Pure Gold in the 1990s with his associate at the time, Jack Purdy. In 2002, when Purdy was arrested in the U.S. on money-laundering charges, Sheldon helped meet his bail obligations and provided a letter attesting to Purdy's good character. Purdy was found not guilty on those charges.
Neither White nor Sheldon returned The Sun's telephone calls this week.
The Van Maren Group.of
The Van Maren Group of Companies was formed in 1973 by brothers Bernie and Eric Van Maren. In its initial years the company acted as a framing and concrete subcontractor on a variety of projects.
During the 1980's the Van Maren Group of Companies acted primarily as a general contractor on a wide variety of projects in BC, Washington State and California, as well as developing a number of projects on their own.
In the 1990's the company started a financing division, which rapidly became Bernie's primary focus. Eric headed up the construction company and developed an expertise as a design-build contractor for government housing and other institutional projects. The company also developed a number of large scale residential communities.
At the present time the company's efforts are focused on financing and real estate development.
Our references (as of Dec.20.2010)
The Van Maren Group of Companies has developed successful business relationships with many clients and partners. The following people may be contacted for a reference on our firm.
Worthington Properties (Edmonton, Alberta)
Mr. Dan White
Phone: (780) 930-1888
We provided a number of loans on properties in Edmonton and Calgary, Alberta.
Wolf & Company (Abbotsford, BC)
Mr. Bryan Locke
Phone: (604) 850-2356
Bryan Locke has audited our financial statements since 1982.
Sliman, Stander & Company (Chilliwack, BC)
Mr. Bruce Davies
Phone: (604) 824-7777
Bruce Davies does a lot of legal work related to real-estate lending and investments.
Fasken Martineau (Vancouver, BC)
Mr. John McKercher
Phone: (604) 631-3131
John McKercher has provided general business advice to our firm for over 20 years.
Spier Harben (Calgary, Alberta)
Mr. David Prasow
Phone: (403) 263-5130
David Prasow provides legal advice on real-estate transactions in Alberta.
Biskund, Hunt and Taylor (Phoenix, Arizona)
Mr. Neil Biskind
Phone: (602) 955-1822
Neil Biskind provides legal advice on real-estate transactions in the U.S.
Witten (Edmonton, Alberta)
Mr. Richard Craddock
Phone: (780) 428-0501
Richard Craddock provides legal advice on real-estate transactions in Alberta.
CIBC Real Estate Group (Vancouver, BC)
Phone: (604) 665-1715
The CIBC has been our primary lender since 1982.
Strand Development Corporation (Vancouver, BC)
Mr. John Mackay
Phone: (604) 687-1919
John Mackay participates in many of our lending activities.
Paragon Capital Corporation (Calgary, Alberta)
Mr. David Yung
Phone: (403) 263-6446
David Yung participated in a number of our loans.
Argo Development Corporation (Burlington, Ontario)
Phone: (905) 334-0266
We provided Argo with a number of participating land development loans in Brampton, Oakville, Mississauga, and Burlingon Ontario.
Mr. Gary Gray
Phone: (253) 396-4356
We made in excess of 20 bridge loans to this limited partnership syndicator who syndicated primarily B quality multi family rental residential properties in B locations all over the U.S.
Trillium Residential (Phoenix, Arizona)
Mr. David Dewar
Phone: (602) 333-3600
We made in excess of 15 bridge loans to this real-estate syndicator.
Anthem Properties (Vancouver, BC)
Mr. Eric Carlson
Phone: (604) 689-3040
We provided a number of bridge loans to acquire investment real-estate.
Bruckal Properties (Kelowna, BC)
Mr. Myles Bruckal
Phone: (250) 712-1110
We provided a number of bridge loans and an equity loan for a single-family subdivision in Denver, Colorado.
Worthington Properties (Edmonton, Alberta)
Mr. Dan White
Phone: (780) 930-1888
We provided a number of loans on properties in Edmonton and Calgary, Alberta.
Mr. Glenn Woolsey
Phone: (780) 421-4000
We provided a number of bridge loans and five participating loans on industrial properties in Edmonton, Alberta.
Tara Group (Dallas, Texas)
Mr. Dave Morgan
Phone: (214) 668-3420
We provided 2 participating loans to acquire approximately 20 land parcels in Ohio, and Florida, and we provide a mezzanine loan for a single-family subdivision in Texas.
Jaymor Group (Markham, Ontario)
Mr. Fab Lucchese
Phone: (905) 882-1212
We provided a number of bridge loans to close rental apartment acquisitions in Florida and Ontario.
HCT Investments (San Francisco, California)
Mr. Jim Hunter
Phone: (510) 337-7991
We provided in excess of 12 participating loans for the purchase of office buildings in Oakland and San Francisco, California.
Land and Timber:
Jemi Holdings Ltd. (Gabriola Island, BC)
Mr. Mike Jenks
Phone: (604) 247-9135
We provided Jemi with a number of participation loans on logging and land development projects in BC and Ontario.
Construction and Development:
Davidson Yuen Simpson Architects (Vancouver, BC)
Mr. John Davidson
Phone: (604) 697-7700
John Davidson was our design-build partner on numerous residential and commercial projects since 1981.
Barnett Dembek Architects (Surrey, BC)
Mr. Dave Walls
Phone: (604) 572-5431
Dave Walls was our designer on over 30 residential and commercial projects since 1980.
Affordable Housing Society (New Westminister, BC)
Phone: (604) 521-6771
We built several hundred residential units for Affordable Housing.
City of Vancouver
Mr. Cameron Gray
Phone: (604) 873-7207
We built a number of residential projects, two underground parkades and a day-care centre for the City of Vancouver.
City of Chilliwack
Mr. Eric Dyck
Phone: (604) 793-2739
We were private sector partners with the City of Chilliwack on the Chilliwack Five Corners Public-Private Partnership project in 2002.
BC Housing Management Commission (Burnaby, BC)
Mr. Craig Crawford
Phone: (604) 439-4733
We built several thousand homes for BC Housing.
Killick Metz Bowen Rose Architects (Vancouver, BC)
Mr. Witmar Abele
Phone: (604) 732-3361
Witmar Abele was the architect on two of our design build projects.
Ledingham McAllister Properties Ltd. (Vancouver, BC)
Mr. Ward McAllister
Phone: (604) 662-3700
Ward McAllister was our partner in the development of the Bakerview Shopping Centre in Abbotsford, BC.
Brothers Bernie and Eric Van Maren started the Van Maren Group of Companies, in 1973. During the initial years the company acted as a framing and concrete subcontractor on a variety of projects.
By 1976 the company expanded into real estate development and general contracting, completing projects all over British Columbia.
In 1985 the company opened an office in Seattle and, over the next 10 years completed approximately 1,000 housing units, as well as a variety of commercial and industrial projects. During the late 80’s and early 90’s the company also completed two large projects in California.
In 1994 the company decided to concentrate its construction and development activities in British Columbia. The largest project developed was a 500 unit multi-family project in Abbotsford.
From 1985 to 2002 the company specialized in the design and construction of affordable housing all over British Columbia. The company has also completed design-build projects for other government clients such as the Cities of Vancouver, Merritt, Chilliwack and Langford; ICBC; Ministry of Defense; Ministry of the Attorney General; and BC Buildings Corporation.
In 2002 it completed an award-winning public private partnership project involving the City of Chilliwack and the Province of British Columbia. Also in 2002, it completed BC’s largest ever non-market housing project; C-Side, a 284-unit, 30-story apartment in Vancouver.
In total the company was involved in the design, development and construction of over 15,000 housing units as well as a wide variety of commercial, retail and industrial projects.
In 1994 the company started a real-estate finance and investment division, which is managed by Bernie Van Maren. This division specializes in providing short-term bridge financing to real-estate developers all over Canada and the US, as well as investing in real estate projects in Ontario, Alberta, BC, California, Texas, Arizona, Colorado and Hawaii.
At the end of 2002 the company discontinued the design-build and construction parts of their business and now concentrates on developing, financing and investing in real-estate projects all over North America.
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