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_______________________________________________________________

EXCERPT FROM MAY 11, 2009 SHAREHOLDER UPDATE/PRESS RELEASE

Department of Justice Investigation

The Company continues its cooperation with the United States Attorney's Office in New Jersey into allegations that individuals associated with organized crime in the Pennsylvania/New Jersey area orchestrated sales of several businesses controlled by the same organized crime figures to FPFG at inherently unfair terms in 2007. FBI agents executed search warrants in 2008 at various locations in Texas and Pennsylvania and those records remain under review by the United States Attorney's Office in Camden. Importantly, the Company has been advised that it is not a target of that criminal investigation. However, two current Board members have been advised that they are targets. (According to the U.S. Attorney Manual, a "target" is "a person to whom the prosecutor or grand jury has substantial evidence linking him or her to the commission of a crime and who, in the judgment of the prosecutor, is a putative defendant...") In addition, other individuals, including two individuals associated with organized crime, are being investigated for possible criminal charges.

Key insight into the investigation was gained by FPFG from reading the sentencing letter filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Steve D'Aguanno on September 11, 2008 in a related criminal prosecution styled U.S. v. Daniel Daidone. Mr. D'Aguanno's letter reveals how the Government's investigation, using wiretaps and seized documents, seeks to unravel the transactions that were allegedly orchestrated by the organized crime members who assumed control of FPFG.

In very graphic terms, Mr. D'Aguanno's letter reveals Mr. Daidone's affiliation with prominent members of the Philadelphia La Cosa Nostra, including its boss Nicodemo Scarfo, Sr. It details Mr. Daidone's employment with a company called CST Soil Solutions and his affiliation in 2007 with Salvatore Pellulo and Nicodemo Scarfo, Sr. (Salvatore Pellulo has a prior federal conviction in 1999 for bank fraud and making a false statement to the SEC, and a 2002 federal conviction for wire fraud in New York. Nicodemo Scarfo, Sr., and his son Nicodemo Scarfo, Jr. also have federal convictions.)

Mr. D'Aguanno's September 11, 2008 letter then states: "In early June 2007, a group of individuals headed by Pellulo and Nicodemo Scarfo, Jr. assumed control of a company named FIRSTPLUS FINANCIAL GROUP, INC ("FPFG"), a financial services corporation located in Dallas, Texas. Following the takeover, (Harold) Garber (a close associate and attorney for Scarfo, Sr.) was named the chairman of the new board of directors. A June 14, 2007 wiretapped conversation, detailed in Mr. D'Aguanno's sentencing letter, reveals Scarfo, Sr. and Scarfo, Jr. discussing Garber's takeover of FPFG as an associate of the Scarfos.

Mr. D'Aguanno's letter then outlines how FPFG, under Garber's direction, created a subsidiary called Rutgers Investment Group. Inc which then entered into a transaction to purchase Rutgers LLC, an entity controlled by Pellulo and Scarfo, Jr. through two other corporate entities. Mr. D'Aguanno's letter then states: "A review of bank records related to this transaction, as well as other transactions, has revealed that FPFG transferred several millions of dollars between June 2007 and May 2008 to corporate entities controlled by Pellulo and Scarfo, Jr., including Rutgers LLC."

Likewise, FPFG remains vitally interested in discovering the details of these transactions to determine what remedies might be undertaken on behalf of its shareholders.

As noted above, besides his focus on Messrs. Pellulo, Scarfo, Jr., Scarfo, Sr., Garber, and Daidone in connection with FPFG transactions, Mr. D'Aguanno has issued target letters to two current FPFG Board members, Mr. John Maxwell and William Handley. Mr. Maxwell has in turn, according to a Philadelphia Inquirer article published on April 11, 2009, "lashed out" at the FBI and the U. S. Attorney's Office in New Jersey.

The Board of Directors has removed Messrs. Maxwell and Handley from their officer positions within FPFG. Under applicable law, FPFG cannot remove Messrs. Maxwell and Handley from their Board positions. In order to effectively remove Messrs. Maxwell and Handley, the Board, in anticipation of an annual meeting of shareholders, has nominated a slate of directors that do not include Messrs. Maxwell and Handley.


 

 



From the Philadelphia Inquirer 5/09/2008

The plain face of an alleged fraud ring
A probe of mob-related fraud focuses on firms run from a nondescript South Philadelphia building.
By George Anastasia

Inquirer Staff Writer

The nerve center for a group of companies at the heart of an organized-crime-related financial-fraud investigation is a nondescript building in the 1200 block of Bainbridge Street in South Philadelphia.
That, according to several sources familiar with the ongoing probe, is where Salvatore Pelullo operates a consulting business.

Pelullo, whose businessmen brothers have long been identified as associates of the Philadelphia mob, was described by sources last week as one of the people who put together the business deals that are now the focus of a federal probe.

The Elkins Park resident did not return numerous phone calls last week seeking comment.

The investigation is focusing on companies based here, in Texas and in Florida. Their businesses include financial services, construction and development, auto sales, a corporate-jet service and a chartered-yacht company.

Pelullo and Nicodemo S. Scarfo, the son of jailed mob boss Nicodemo "Little Nicky" Scarfo, are two of 20 individuals listed in a search warrant executed Thursday as part of the ongoing investigation.

FBI agents, in a series of coordinated raids Thursday morning, seized scores of documents from nearly a dozen locations, including Scarfo's home in Atlantic County, his lawyer's office in Cherry Hill, and the offices of FirstPlus Development, a company based on the second floor of 1231 Bainbridge St.

Sal Pelullo, 41, maintains an office on the third floor. His brother, boxing promoter Arthur Pelullo, 53, runs his company, Banner Promotions, from the first floor of the three-story brick building.

Officials with the U.S. Attorney's Office in Camden, which is coordinating the investigation, declined to comment Friday.

Sal Pelullo is described by several individuals familiar with the probe as a consultant for both FirstPlus Development and its parent company, FirstPlus Financial, which is based in Irving, Texas.

A spokesperson for FirstPlus Financial contacted by telephone on Friday declined to comment.

In addition to records and documents, three individuals familiar with the investigation said authorities seized a yacht, a plane and a luxury automobile, a Bentley, during Thursday's raids.

The yacht and the Bentley were in Miami. The plane was in Texas.

The investigation is focusing on allegations of wire fraud, bank fraud, money-laundering, extortion and the interstate transport of stolen property, according to one of the search warrants.

Pelullo has a federal conviction for fraud and served about six months in prison. His older brother, Leonard, was convicted of fraud in a separate case. His brother Arthur was, at one time, denied a license to promote boxing in Connecticut casinos because of his alleged mob ties.

That ban was later lifted.

A third brother, Peter, was identified in a 1990 Pennsylvania Crime Commission report as an associate of "Little Nicky" Scarfo's.

Scarfo's nephew and former underboss, Philip "Crazy Phil" Leonetti, also testified about alleged mob ties to the Pelullo brothers after he became a cooperating government witness.

The brothers have denied those allegations.

Salvatore Pelullo, the youngest of the four brothers, was described as tough-talking and arrogant by business asociates here and in Texas.

He is, they said, fascinated with the underworld and constantly quoting lines from poplar gangster moves.

Once weighing nearly 300 pounds, Pelullo is said to be very health-conscious and trim. Now weighing about 150 pounds, he shows up for work most days in tight-fitting jeans, cowboy boots and a tailored blazer over a form-fitting sports shirt, another associate said.

How Pelullo connected with the younger Scarfo and what role Scarfo has played in the companies now under scrutiny remain two unanswered questions in the case.

Scarfo's lawyer, Donald Manno, declined to discuss specifics of the investigation, but said Scarfo intended to "deal with this situation aggressively."

"No charges have been filed, and we hope none will be because in our estimation none are warranted," Manno said.

One of the search warrants executed last week was for documents and records from Manno's office.

The warrant asked for all documents and materials related to the various companies and individuals listed in the probe for a period from August 2006 to the present.

The companies listed included FirstPlus Financial and its subsidiaries.

Sources said the plane that was seized was operated by Velia Charters Inc., one of those subsidiaries.

On its Web site, Velia describes itself as "an aviation specialist used exclusively to aid in the travel needs of FirstPlus Financial Group, its subsidiaries and any other company interested in top of the line service."

The yacht seized in Miami was owned by P.S. Charters, another company listed in the search warrant. It was unclear if it was connected with FirstPlus.

On a Web site touting its business, P.S. Charters describes itself as specializing in "corporate entertainment and events."

"Through years of experience in the yachting as well as entertainment industry, you can rest assured that P.S. Charters will leave a lasting impression on you and your guests."

Calls to the company's phone number in Miami on Friday went unanswered.

A woman answering the buzzer at FirstPlus Development on Bainbridge Street Friday morning said no one was available to talk about the investigation.

Calls to company president William Bianco also were not returned.

The company lists its business as general contracting, restoration and development.

Three of its executives, Bianco, field superintendent Alfredo Ferraro and Anthony Persiano, senior vice president of estimating, were also named in the search warrant issued last week.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Contact staff writer George Anastasia at 856-779-3846 or ganastasia@phillynews.com.


___________________________________________________________

Philadelphia Inquirer 5/12/2008

The plain face of an alleged fraud ring
A probe of mob-related fraud focuses on firms run from a nondescript South Philadelphia building.
By George Anastasia

Inquirer Staff Writer

The nerve center for a group of companies at the heart of an organized-crime-related financial-fraud investigation is a nondescript building in the 1200 block of Bainbridge Street in South Philadelphia.
That, according to several sources familiar with the ongoing probe, is where Salvatore Pelullo operates a consulting business.

Pelullo, whose businessmen brothers have long been identified as associates of the Philadelphia mob, was described by sources last week as one of the people who put together the business deals that are now the focus of a federal probe.

The Elkins Park resident did not return numerous phone calls last week seeking comment.

The investigation is focusing on companies based here, in Texas and in Florida. Their businesses include financial services, construction and development, auto sales, a corporate-jet service and a chartered-yacht company.

Pelullo and Nicodemo S. Scarfo, the son of jailed mob boss Nicodemo "Little Nicky" Scarfo, are two of 20 individuals listed in a search warrant executed Thursday as part of the ongoing investigation.

FBI agents, in a series of coordinated raids Thursday morning, seized scores of documents from nearly a dozen locations, including Scarfo's home in Atlantic County, his lawyer's office in Cherry Hill, and the offices of FirstPlus Development, a company based on the second floor of 1231 Bainbridge St.

Sal Pelullo, 41, maintains an office on the third floor. His brother, boxing promoter Arthur Pelullo, 53, runs his company, Banner Promotions, from the first floor of the three-story brick building.

Officials with the U.S. Attorney's Office in Camden, which is coordinating the investigation, declined to comment Friday.

Sal Pelullo is described by several individuals familiar with the probe as a consultant for both FirstPlus Development and its parent company, FirstPlus Financial, which is based in Irving, Texas.

A spokesperson for FirstPlus Financial contacted by telephone on Friday declined to comment.

In addition to records and documents, three individuals familiar with the investigation said authorities seized a yacht, a plane and a luxury automobile, a Bentley, during Thursday's raids.

The yacht and the Bentley were in Miami. The plane was in Texas.

The investigation is focusing on allegations of wire fraud, bank fraud, money-laundering, extortion and the interstate transport of stolen property, according to one of the search warrants.

Pelullo has a federal conviction for fraud and served about six months in prison. His older brother, Leonard, was convicted of fraud in a separate case. His brother Arthur was, at one time, denied a license to promote boxing in Connecticut casinos because of his alleged mob ties.

That ban was later lifted.

A third brother, Peter, was identified in a 1990 Pennsylvania Crime Commission report as an associate of "Little Nicky" Scarfo's.

Scarfo's nephew and former underboss, Philip "Crazy Phil" Leonetti, also testified about alleged mob ties to the Pelullo brothers after he became a cooperating government witness.

The brothers have denied those allegations.

Salvatore Pelullo, the youngest of the four brothers, was described as tough-talking and arrogant by business asociates here and in Texas.

He is, they said, fascinated with the underworld and constantly quoting lines from poplar gangster moves.

Once weighing nearly 300 pounds, Pelullo is said to be very health-conscious and trim. Now weighing about 150 pounds, he shows up for work most days in tight-fitting jeans, cowboy boots and a tailored blazer over a form-fitting sports shirt, another associate said.

How Pelullo connected with the younger Scarfo and what role Scarfo has played in the companies now under scrutiny remain two unanswered questions in the case.

Scarfo's lawyer, Donald Manno, declined to discuss specifics of the investigation, but said Scarfo intended to "deal with this situation aggressively."

"No charges have been filed, and we hope none will be because in our estimation none are warranted," Manno said.

One of the search warrants executed last week was for documents and records from Manno's office.

The warrant asked for all documents and materials related to the various companies and individuals listed in the probe for a period from August 2006 to the present.

The companies listed included FirstPlus Financial and its subsidiaries.

Sources said the plane that was seized was operated by Velia Charters Inc., one of those subsidiaries.

On its Web site, Velia describes itself as "an aviation specialist used exclusively to aid in the travel needs of FirstPlus Financial Group, its subsidiaries and any other company interested in top of the line service."

The yacht seized in Miami was owned by P.S. Charters, another company listed in the search warrant. It was unclear if it was connected with FirstPlus.

On a Web site touting its business, P.S. Charters describes itself as specializing in "corporate entertainment and events."

"Through years of experience in the yachting as well as entertainment industry, you can rest assured that P.S. Charters will leave a lasting impression on you and your guests."

Calls to the company's phone number in Miami on Friday went unanswered.

A woman answering the buzzer at FirstPlus Development on Bainbridge Street Friday morning said no one was available to talk about the investigation.

Calls to company president William Bianco also were not returned.

The company lists its business as general contracting, restoration and development.

Three of its executives, Bianco, field superintendent Alfredo Ferraro and Anthony Persiano, senior vice president of estimating, were also named in the search warrant issued last week.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Contact staff writer George Anastasia at 856-779-3846 or ganastasia@phillynews.com.


 

PostSubject
#1117   I think you're exactly right, and it does flemsnopes 07/31/20 08:31:28 AM
#1116   I would not say that I have a malp2009 07/30/20 02:58:51 PM
#1115   malp, do you have any expertise in valuing flemsnopes 07/22/20 08:13:26 AM
#1114   Cash as of 2020-06-30 $442,874 malp2009 07/21/20 03:28:46 PM
#1113   Dan Marino’s NASCAR tenure was an example of SW44 06/17/20 11:37:10 AM
#1112   My previous post may have been confusing, so flemsnopes 05/15/20 06:40:06 PM
#1111   At least with the Mob, you expect to flemsnopes 05/14/20 06:41:06 PM
#1110   Status as of 4/9/20 - The end is malp2009 05/13/20 02:43:13 PM
#1109   Cash as of 2020-03-31 $450,616 malp2009 05/13/20 02:35:33 PM
#1108   This notice is to inform you that WILLIAM SW44 05/12/20 06:41:48 PM
#1107   This notice is to inform you that NICODEMO SW44 04/29/20 04:26:53 PM
#1106   There I hope he meets up with a jog49 04/28/20 11:57:18 PM
#1105   see my latest post for more bad news SW44 04/21/20 05:12:25 PM
#1104   This notice is to inform you that JOHN SW44 04/21/20 05:11:12 PM
#1103   Got a notice from my brokerage today that TJude 04/19/20 12:48:10 PM
#1102   John Maxwell will be released on January 2, jog49 03/30/20 02:27:45 AM
#1101   The Madoff victims fared a lot better than malp2009 02/28/20 04:18:56 PM
#1100   I am using the amount to lower my philargyry 02/23/20 07:48:17 AM
#1099   How are you guys handling the 2019 distribution SW44 02/21/20 04:56:28 PM
#1098   This notice is to inform you that JOHN SW44 02/21/20 04:55:01 PM
#1097   Wow really,so I guess the bankruptcy court Windsome52 02/14/20 06:58:22 PM
#1096   Sad day for us waiting for another distribution. Scratchgolf 02/11/20 06:55:15 PM
#1095   Nope. This "liquidation" will play out when the jog49 01/30/20 04:18:48 PM
#1094   Is it possible we might get one more flemsnopes 01/27/20 04:39:24 AM
#1093   Q4 2019 – Cash as of 12/31/2019 $438,119 malp2009 01/22/20 04:50:24 PM
#1092   Q3 2019 – Cash as of 9/30/2019 $411,851 malp2009 10/24/19 11:53:12 AM
#1091   Jog 49 Windsome52 09/05/19 10:28:57 AM
#1090   Jog 49 Windsome52 09/05/19 10:28:23 AM
#1089   Jog 49 Windsome52 09/05/19 10:28:21 AM
#1088   Thanks for the reply Windsome. I think the jog49 09/05/19 12:13:16 AM
#1087   Jog49 Windsome52 09/04/19 06:51:05 PM
#1086   "Sentencing is complete: jog49 09/02/19 01:59:31 PM
#1085   Q2 2019 – Cash as of 6/30/2019 $415,183 malp2009 07/23/19 01:20:52 PM
#1084   Hi Malp Windsome52 06/01/19 11:36:11 PM
#1083   Distribution finally showed up in my etrade account wolffdp 05/21/19 09:37:32 AM
#1082   Malp, I posted this earlier, but I think flemsnopes 05/10/19 08:56:34 PM
#1081   Windssome52, when you say that Kkr had the malp2009 05/10/19 03:27:49 PM
#1080   Received payment today. cruszin 05/06/19 06:29:21 PM
#1079   Received payment today. cruszin 05/06/19 06:29:20 PM
#1078   Not that it matters at this point, but flemsnopes 05/03/19 08:19:44 PM
#1077   Overall, I think I may have come out flemsnopes 05/03/19 07:39:05 PM
#1076   Same for me too . . . . jog49 05/03/19 05:39:14 PM
#1075   Ditto, for me. flemsnopes 05/03/19 04:03:33 PM
#1074   Today, at 11:58 AM PT, I got $.01234394 malp2009 05/03/19 03:42:59 PM
#1073   I also received 2 letters (from Schwab) via SW44 05/02/19 05:42:16 PM
#1072   Kcc needs to call Ameritrade and Windsome52 05/02/19 11:12:08 AM
#1071   wolffdp and SW44 are both reporting as have jog49 05/02/19 01:27:17 AM
#1070   You nailed it Winsome52, and furthermore, they editorialized flemsnopes 05/02/19 12:35:29 AM
#1069   I too called Ameritrade and they don't know anything. Windsome52 05/01/19 11:01:36 PM
#1068   TD Ameritrade stated there has been no distribution flemsnopes 05/01/19 10:58:25 AM
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