Sunday, April 23, 2017

Yes Weekly; "Powell embezzlement charges could have derailed megasite project"

“It is a miracle the mega-site project survived this,” said Sam Simpson, founder of Simpson Commercial, a real estate firm based in Greensboro, who worked with Powell on the mega-site project.

The News and Record never reported it

Simpson said Powell sold the mega-site idea to Jim Melvin, head of the Joseph M. Bryan Foundation, a former mayor of Greensboro and a member of the board of directors at PTP. Powell hired Simpson and attorney Robert David Joseph to oversee the land acquisition and development of the mega-site, Simpson said. But once the team was in place, Powell was not very involved in the mega-site project, Simpson said. Simpson brokered the deals and Joseph handled PTP’s legal work.

“He handed it off to us,” Simpson said. “And then, he was off to Triad First Capital.”

Triad First Capital was an investment fund started by Powell under the PTP regional economic development umbrella. According to Simpson, Powell planned to target companies with aging owners and match these companies with younger investors and provide capital for transition of ownership.

The News and Record never mentioned Triad First Capital

“There were a lot of people who were skeptical,” Simpson said. “I remember we met with a lot of companies, but never did anything.”

“Everyone was shocked looking around the room, first of all we didn’t think he was capable of doing that,” when the alleged theft was discovered, Simpson said. The discovery created a hurdle at a critical time in the mega-site deal, he said. The long-standing, local, individual reputations of Melvin, Joseph, and himself, convinced investors the accusations were “isolated to David (Powell), and gave us the benefit of the doubt.”

Powell became toxic in the business community. Simpson said the last time he spoke with Powell he said “There is a perfectly good explanation for everything that’s happened.” Simpson told him he hoped so and that “we couldn’t be associated with each other anymore until this is cleared up.”

...Andy Dreyfuss, former fund director of the Piedmont Angel Network (PAN), worked briefly with Powell when PTP absorbed the capital investment fund. Dreyfuss expected PTP to raise PAN’s profile in the investment community. Powell promised to lower their operating costs. Dreyfuss remembers Powell told him, “Well, tell me what your operating expenses are, I think I can help you with that.”

Dreyfuss began to think it wasn’t a great fit, as Powell focused investment in already established companies and less on start-ups. Powell was also frustrated by some of the procedural controls imposed by PAN’s board of directors, Dreyfuss said. A few months before Powell resigned from PTP, he ended the relationship with PAN. He told Dreyfuss PTP’s board didn’t want to do it anymore. Dreyfuss said Powell often “waffled and changed” his focus week to week.

Don't expect any more news on this subject from the News and Record,
as they are all in on the grift

...Forms filed with the NC Secretary of State reveal Triad First Capital LLC., Triad Advisors LLC., Whitaker Park Studios, LLC., Alpath LLC., and a dozen other companies related to the mega-site deal, and other development projects, were incorporated by David Joseph, attorney for PTP. Many of those companies have now been dissolved. Joseph, reached by phone, cited his legal duty to PTP and declined to comment."