Tall Tales from Solar Valley, NM Part II of the Green2V Story
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For a company that had already landed $1.5 billion in industrial revenue bonds from an Arizona city, solar start-up Green2V should have at least had a website. And the investment firm that procured that deal for the company, one would think, would have had more in the way of corporate offices than a couple of UPS rental boxes. But New Mexico officials giddy with the prospect of a major addition to Governor Bill Richardson’s “Solar Valley” economy didn’t do any due diligence before telling the state a company that had never produced anything and didn’t have a website was bringing 3,000 high-paying jobs to the Land of Enchantment.
In Part I of “Tall Tales From Solar Valley, New Mexico,” we said enormous clues in early communications from Green2V’s investment firm would have tipped off anyone with the slightest bit of common sense and objectivity that the promoters’ glowing picture of Green2V was amiss. The key communication with the big clues was an e-mail from Gil M. Olguin, Sr., J.D., the chairman of OCS Capital Group, to Brian Condit, Richardson’s chief of staff. What sort of clues did it contain? For starters, Olguin said that the president of Green2V, Bill Sheppard, had been the Democratic nominee running for the House of Representatives from New Mexico’s First Congressional District in 1980. In fact, the nominee was Condit’s boss, Bill Richardson.
But there’s more, a lot more, that would have raised alarms if Richarson’s office had not been drunk with the prospect of landing the next big thing in solar power for Solar Valley, New Mexico. Like those letters “J.D.” behind Olguin’s name. And the address from which he sent the e-mail.
And there’s also that little matter of the $1.5 billion in industrial revenue bonds from an Arizona city Olguin said he had procured for Green2V. The city in question, El Mirage, a Phoenix suburb, knew Olguin. He had been city manager there in the 1980′s. But as for Green2V and a $1.5 billion bond issue from a city of under 50,000 people, well that was news to them.
The Law Institute of Washington, D.C.
The November 12, 2009, e-mail to Condit, coming four days before Richardson’s meeting the Green2V’s CEO, was sent by “Gil M. Olguin, Sr., J.D., Chairman, The Law Institute, 2020 Pennsylvania Ave, NW – Ste. 711, Washington, D.C.” It was sent from a Law Institute e-mail account. Olguin, though, is not a lawyer. And there is no office of The Law Institute at 2020 Pennsylvania Avenue. There’s only a UPS store with a mail box numbered 711. This image at right is a photo of that location.
This address is also supposedly the physical location of OCS Capital’s Washington, D.C. “office.” The three telephone numbers for both organizations are identical. We called all three several weeks ago. We were given an OCS “directory” that referred us to Gil Olguin, Vice President Bruce Adams, and Ira Robinson, former New Mexico Court of Appeals Judge. We called Mr. Robinson and asked if he was in Washington, D.C. He answered “no,” then asked us to call back the next day. We did that as he was just about about “to go into a meeting.” We called again but were unable to speak with Judge Robinson and ask about his affiliation with OCS.
When we called this week, instead of an OCS recorded message, we were given a computer operator for the Law Institute. The only offerings in the directory were the chairman, Gil Olguin, and an unnamed vice chairman.
OCS seems to use UPS rental boxes as its “corporate offices” on both ends of the continent. Its website identifies the corporate office for OCS American Capital as 9030 West Sahara, Suite 664, Las Vegas, NV. But, as previously reported, when New Mexico Watchdog checked that address, we found it was also nothing more than a rental box in a UPS store.
We were eventually able to reach Mr. Olguin, who said he was in Switzerland. He said that Adams was only a contract employee, though he is described on the OCS staff list as Senior Vice President. When asked about the UPS rental box in Las Vegas, Olguin said that OCS’s “real” corporate office was in Suite 960, 9090 Alta Drive, Las Vegas, Nevada. He said he had seven employees at that address in a very large business suite. He gave us the specific dollar amount of monthly rent and told us they were current on their rent–a strange thing to add, we thought. So we checked it out.
The Suncoast Casino is located at 9090 Alta Drive, Las Vegas, Nevada. According to the nice receptionist, there is no company called OCS working out of their casino. And Suite 960 is only a guest room, which was vacant and available for a reservation.
Gil M. Olguin, Sr., J.D.
Olguin almost always uses the letters “J.D.” after his name. Those letters stand for “juris doctor,” and indicate he holds a law degree. But Olguin is not a lawyer. According to the New Mexico Bar Association, they have no record of him ever being admitted to practice law in New Mexico. His on-line civilian biography (he also has an on-line military biography) says he earned his law degree from “La Salle University, a very old-established, well-recognized, and highly accredited Jesuit Institution. He graduated from law school in 1969.”
There is no LaSalle University Law School in Chicago. There used to be a LaSalle Extension University known for its aggressive advertising practices. It advertised on matchbooks, ink pens and pencils, and ran full-page ads of a happy man under the caption “Look who’s smiling now!” In 1973 the Federal Trade Commission charged LaSalle Extension University with “misrepresentation about obtaining law degrees through a correspondent course.” The FTC ruled that LaSalle Extension University include in its ads a disclaimer that no state accepts a law degree obtained through its correspondent courses “as sufficient education to qualify for admission to practice law.” In 1980, LaSalle Extension University closed its law program following the FTC litigation.
The $1.5 Billion Industrial Revenue Bonds: A Mirage in El Mirage
Green2V was a stunningly hot prospect in the solar power industry, according to Olguin. It had succeeded in procuring $1.5 billion in industrial revenue bonds to fund its Arizona solar projects. The City of El Mirage, Arizona had issued those bonds. Olguin’s company, OCS Capital Group of Las Vegas, Nevada (that of the UPS rental box) was, according to Olguin, “the investment firm that provided the permanent financing for Green2V Energy Company’s Arizona solar energy projects.”
That’s news to B.J. Cornwall, city manager of El Mirage, Arizona. This Phoenix suburb has never issued any bonds in any amount for Green2v’s solar or other projects. Cornwall had never heard of Green2V until we inquired. But he had heard of Olguin, who had been city manager for El Mirage in the 1980′s. Cornwall said Olguin had “pitched a solar project to us, he pitched all kinds of projects to us. But nothing ever came to fruition.” As for that $1.5 billion in IRBs that Olguin told Richardson’s chief of staff had been issued by El Mirage for Green2v–it is nothing more than a mirage in the most literal sense of the word.
The Council on Ethics Goes After New Mexico Watchdog and Rio Grande Foundation
Following our reporting on the suspicious and troubling aspects of the Green2V story and its application to Rio Rancho for $500 million in industrial revenue bonds, we received various e-mailed threats from Mr. Olguin. The Rio Grande Foundation also received an inquiry from a Washington, D.C. organization called “The Council on Ethics.” This organization requested detailed information on RGF’s corporate existence, its officers and directors and its arrangements with us. It also requested the physical address of the registered agent authorized to accept service of legal process. The e-mail was signed Gil M. Olguin, chairman of the Council on Ethics. The Council on Ethics, in turn, is associated with something called Judicial Watch New Mexico. They have shared a Washington, D.C. address just blocks from the White House. That address is 2020 Pennsylvania Ave. NW – Ste. 711–the same UPS mail box that is the “office” for Olguin’s other corporate alter-egos.
NEXT: Richardson’s “Due Diligence” or Good Enough for Government Work in Solar Valley
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