Thursday, June 30, 2005

CoinGate

Jeez, this thing just keeps getting better and better. For Ohio Democrats, it should be the scandal that keeps on giving. Let's see what Tom Noe was up to as the vultures began to circle:

Three days before a judge barred coin dealer Tom Noe from selling personal assets, he collected a $35,000 windfall May 24 by selling a vintage sports car won in a raffle.

As Mr. Noe’s troubles have mounted in recent months, the Republican activist has sold a boat, a car, and a pair of houses.

But his efforts to raise cash, some of them authorized by a Franklin County Common Pleas Court judge to pay for future living and legal expenses, have been met with scrutiny by investigators looking into a shortfall of up to $13 million in rare-coin investments Mr. Noe managed for the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.

Lawyers for Attorney General Jim Petro, who obtained the order prohibiting most asset sales, said they may try to reverse transactions that took place in the weeks leading up to the May 27 court action.
...
A lawyer representing Mrs. Noe has told the court she is “destitute,” said D. Michael Grodhaus, a top deputy to Ohio’s attorney general.
“Yet it is our understanding she is living in Florida in a $4 million house,” he said.

Wow, now that's what I call destitution! Noe way!

Turns out Repug pals are helping the Noes in their time of, uh, need:

“If we demonstrate the transfer of those assets was fraudulent and with a purpose to evade creditors, we may be able to undo those transactions,” Mr. Grodhaus said.

They include the May 26 sale of the Noes’ Lake Erie resort home at Catawba Island for $990,000 to a firm headed by Donald P. Miller, a Republican activist and retired chairman of rubber products producer Roppe Holdings of Fostoria.

A reporter who went to Mr. Miller’s home and office yesterday was told he was unavailable, and he did not return phone calls.

Records in Wood County show that Mr. Miller also bought a 1961 Chevrolet Corvette convertible that Mr. Noe won last July in a raffle sponsored by a Tiffin-based charity that assists abused and neglected children.

The vehicle was worth $50,000, said Judy Reiter, director of the Court Appointed Special Advocate Program of Seneca, Sandusky, and Wyandot counties.

When it was sold 10 months later, it fetched $35,000. Used car guides say such a car is worth between $25,000 and $57,000, depending on the condition.

Hey, maybe Noe can get Randy Cunningham to buy some of his stuff!

More seriously, if Ohio Dems don't take this gift and run with it, they don't deserve to win.

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