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Put a fork in Level 5

Discussion in 'Other Racing' started by PCA Hack, Apr 4, 2012.

  1. Nuvolari

    Nuvolari F1 Veteran
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    I watched the Netflix documentary twice and found the message it gave somewhat divided. Of course you always need to consider that a production like that will have certain inherent biases in one direction or another. Doing my best to read through all of that I came to the following observations:

    - It was never made clear why what ST did was illegal. Sure it was said many times but this parrot way of doing things does not sit well with me. I think that ST unearthed a HUGE loophole in the system that was very embarrassing for the government to acknowledge its existence. As such much of the prosecution of ST and his lawyer was political grandstanding and just shear horsepower the government can pile on you. Sending 15-20 armed SWAT team members to arrest ST when his actions never indicated such an act was warranted is a good example of this.

    - That said it appears as though ST pushed the freedoms offered by this loophole well into the territory of interpretation of what is allowed or not. Combine this with the fact he did this with a segment of the population that gets its fair share of sympathy and the optics look terrible regardless of if it was legal or not. I'm sure he could have gotten plenty wealthy with a less aggressive scheme.

    - ST showed some interesting facets of his personality. Being broken up the way he was about his brother yet being so cold when his stuff was being re-possessed was fascinating to me.

    - Lastly I quite liked the way Ed presented himself and I think he came off as truthful and factual. For sure his comment about not caring where the money came from would make many people's blood boil but I don't slight him the slightest for it. Fact is that ST was not doing any outwardly known illegal activities . Sure what he was doing was 'thought' to be illegal and while Ed was getting paid that was still to be determined. As much as we all would like to think we are better than that I have been around racing long enough to know that there would have been a line a mile long to take ST's money and most of the stone thowers should take an honest look in the mirror as they are tossing in a glass house. I don't know Ed at all but I do feel for any negative things he has had to go through from people who enjoy preaching their virtue but when really tested will rarely follow through with it.

    Overall I thought the documentary was actually kinda poor although I thought the one guy they profiled with his debt story for $500 was quite good.
     
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  2. PDX_214

    PDX_214 Formula Junior

    Apr 25, 2010
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    They mentioned what he was doing was against state law. The interest rates they were charging were illegal, that's why they used the tribes for their immunity, and why they said they were in a different state if asked by a customer. Either way he scammed over $1B, that's insane.

    I like how he named his companies AMG and CLK.... but drove Ferraris :eek:

    He's also charged with tax fraud for not reporting over 100 million. Guys a crook through and through.
     
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  3. Gran Drewismo

    Gran Drewismo F1 Rookie

    Jan 24, 2005
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    I finally watched it last night and agree with the above. One thing I will add is I saw a repeated lack of understanding, empathy, morals, etc (not sure the exact term) among ST, his wife, and the lawyer. They really clung on to the "But it was legal!" motto.

    And they're probably right, maybe at one point it WAS legal but then it wasn't and they were pervasive about dodging the rules. That to me was their downfall. Like Nuvolari said, I feel a much less aggressive scheme would have resulted in less wealth, but also much less prison time.

    I thought Ed's analogy about the white man vs Indian man's rule books was good, but I think it also highlighted the whole downfall. From what I have seen in the racing world the stewards hardly go: "Great job! You circumvented our rules and thumped the competition, please continue to do so!" No, they usually clamp down pretty hard on and make things illegal going forward. Moving the operation to an Indian Reservation to skirt state rules, printing off the weather reports, setting up confusing contract terminology, and setting up re-payment schedules that they knew would result in consumers mistaking things and not paying on time, resulting in more income, MIGHT have been legal at various points but is highly morally objectionable and after long we saw the results.
     
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  4. GuyIncognito

    GuyIncognito Six Time F1 World Champ
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  5. Nuvolari

    Nuvolari F1 Veteran
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    In for a penny in for a pound. At this stage what does it really matter the number they choose to re-posses. You can't take more than everything and I'm sure ST is not too bothered either.
     
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  6. Gran Drewismo

    Gran Drewismo F1 Rookie

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    Yeah at this point it doesn't really matter. I know the Court is making a statement but it's not like he's ever going to repay it.

    Wait, maybe he could get a short term loan......
     
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  7. CornersWell

    CornersWell F1 Rookie

    Nov 24, 2004
    4,564
    As a lawyer, I wanted to make a comment on Nuvolari's and Drewismo's posts about legality. Generally, adhering to the letter of the law provides you protection. That, however, is not always the case. A prosecutor can still make your life a misery, even if what you've done complies with the letter of the law. In certain instances, the law looks at the intent as opposed to the technical compliance. I'll give you an example.

    In tax law, it's well know that schemes with the intent of avoiding the payment of income taxes are illegal. EVEN IF they are entirely in compliance with the relevant rules.

    So, it's possible that ST got a little lost in that distinction. It is also alleged that he was not truthful in his disclosures about the agreements with the different tribes. So, it's not entirely clear to me whether what he did was technically compliant or not. There will be appeals that will go on for years. But, in the meantime, ST will likely NOT be released from custody while those are pending. And, as to the award amount (which will also likely be appealed), it's pyrrhic, at best, I think. It sends a message, but, if there were victims who were entitled to restitution, they'll probably get nothing more than pennies on the dollar. In this instance, I have no idea how much was even asked for in terms of restitution.

    Anyway, it's a sad ending all the way around.

    CW
     
  8. the_stig

    the_stig F1 Rookie

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  9. the_stig

    the_stig F1 Rookie

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  10. the_stig

    the_stig F1 Rookie

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    FastLapp likes this.
  11. fatbillybob

    fatbillybob F1 World Champ
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    Aug 10, 2002
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    Funny...I don't understand Warren's outrage. She just isn't that smart. Who better to understand FTC violations than a person privy to the potential and confirmed misdeeds of others? Is the lawyer who defends a murder also a murderer? Nope he is just a lawyer...
     
  12. FastLapp

    FastLapp F1 Rookie
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    Reading that, Scott sounds like he’s sorry that he’s being made out to be a villain, rather than sorry of what he actually did.

    It’s tragic, in the classical sense, because I’m sure he’s a smart, talented business person who just has an ethical flaw. I’ve met the type before - they are capable of rationalizing anything and the moral dilemma just doesn’t “click” in their head. I bet Scott truly believes he did nothing wrong.

    Thanks for sharing.
     
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  13. the_stig

    the_stig F1 Rookie

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    Yes that's exactly it - the "apology", if you can even call it that, is way "off". He's sorry he's been misunderstood is what it amounts to. As for the rest it has been discussed earlier in this thread but the gist of it is classic sociopath.

    Like many sociopaths - in person he's a nice guy, pleasant to talk to, seems warm enough and genuine, etc.
     
  14. dave timms

    dave timms Rookie

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    Scott even had a track side merchandise program at all the alms races. It was high end cool looking stuff. The guys i bought from were really cool. and often said we get treated
    very very well $$. we get what ever we want.
     
  15. the_stig

    the_stig F1 Rookie

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    Top Promotions out of Wisconsin. Good guys.
     
  16. Texas Forever

    Texas Forever Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Texas!
    Well said. Look at what happened to the Enron cases.
     
  17. dave timms

    dave timms Rookie

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    I think one of guys still operates a huge track side fan apparel programs in imsa, with several huge name teams.. its quite impressive. I saw it at watkins glen a few weeks ago.. all pro look and merchandising. like i never saw before. he launched Patrick Dempsey program when he was running as well.
     
  18. Gran Drewismo

    Gran Drewismo F1 Rookie

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    Styled Aesthetic is the shop:

    http://styledaesthetic.com/

    I have some Extreme Speed Motorsports merch by them (also bought at the Glen last year), and it's great.
     
  19. dave timms

    dave timms Rookie

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    No it was not them..That always looked like filming on the set out of a Sanford and Son episode ropes holding clothes with pins everything all wrinkled etc. This had much larger name teams better branding
    and way better visual appeal..I will ask a friend of mine and update. This was all pro like what Tucker would have had.. larger than life.
     
  20. dave timms

    dave timms Rookie

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    This guy i remember started or invented the dempsey program his bio was he started the dempsey program and printed all the goods.. I am sure he is the same guy that did L-5 I later saw him doing Risi Ferrari, Audi r-8 R-10 R-15 goods,Porsche, Now he had even bigger brands. I did not have a chance to stop by but saw it up close.I find out in short order.. He also pit crewed for a few teams including L-5 and others . I remember that when i met him through Truckie for L-5.
     
  21. dave timms

    dave timms Rookie

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    I think that is them.. I think one of the guys does a ll pro set up with big teams in imsa now..
     
  22. the_stig

    the_stig F1 Rookie

    Sep 19, 2005
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    It was definitely TP when Scott had a program but I'm not sure about the others. ESM always did it themselves until very recently and Dempsey had a deal with a sponsor - Spyder - right up until he had to sue them over missing payments. Risi I think did their own with Oakley for awhile. The setup you saw at Watkins Glen is a relatively recent operation and, oh btw, IMSA farmed out their operation to a new company this year and their designs still (mostly) suck.
     
  23. GuyIncognito

    GuyIncognito Six Time F1 World Champ
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    didn't IMSA go with Fanatics?
     
  24. the_stig

    the_stig F1 Rookie

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    Yes.
     
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  25. the_stig

    the_stig F1 Rookie

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