ASouthern Roofing Contract With UofL After Sham-Randal Waldman
Y'all Gotta Read This Evidence Of GREED All Around: Fame, Fortune Desert Louisville Self-Claimed Multi-Millionaire Randall Waldman.
Over the past three years, Randall S. Waldman has claimed to have a net worth of $38 million and pledged $1 million to the University of Louisville, which put his name on its new field hockey building.
When Waldman promised to build an electric car plant in Simpson County that would employ as many as 4,000 people, the governor and lawmakers rushed to court him with incentives.
The Kentucky Association of Manufacturing said Waldman's Integrity Manufacturing in Bullitt County set “the gold standard” for others to follow, and Business First named it the “emerging company of the year.”
Editor's comment: this goes to show you that many people will sell their souls to the devil. In this story, you read that many people were lined up to do so.
But the company has gone bankrupt, the electric car plant was never built and Waldman's name was unceremoniously removed from the field hockey center when he failed to come through with his pledge to UofL.
Waldman, 53, now says in court papers that he is selling roofing for $500 a week for a company owned by his ex-wife and that he has barely enough money to pay his utility bills.
His $178,000 Mercedes Benz AMG and Cadillac Escalade have been repossessed. His 9,300-square-foot, nine-bath, $1.4million home is in foreclosure. And a trail of creditors, including two banks and a finance company to which he owes more than $7million, are searching for any remaining assets.
Friends and associates say in court records and interviews that he also exaggerated his own accomplishments — falsely claiming that he played basketball for UofL, that he owned Brown & Williamson Tower and that he made $150million “bailing out” a computer company that says he was a regional sales manager.
A federal bankruptcy judge who issued a $3.2million fraud judgment against Waldman in October denounced his “propensity for self-aggrandizement.”
Greg Schaefer, a neighbor in Eastwood's Locust Grove subdivision, said: “I consider him a friend, but you can't believe everything he says.”
Waldman, who with his companies is named as a defendant in more than 20 lawsuits in Bullitt and Jefferson counties, declined to be interviewed or respond to questions submitted to him in writing. His attorney, Kenneth Bonhert, also declined to comment.
The lawsuits include one filed April 1 by Action Capital Corp., which claims that Waldman and Integrity collected a portion of $4million in financing from the Atlanta-based company by fraudulently presenting invoices for 2,828 utility trailers that hadn't been manufactured. Former suppliers and contractors who did business with Waldman say it is ironic that he called his company “Integrity,” because, they contend, he avoided phone calls and refused to pay his company's bills.
“He took advantage of a lot of people and ruined a lot of lives,” said Dan Flynn, owner of Innovative Tooling Inc., who won a $10,000 judgment against Waldman's company for an unpaid bill but was unable to collect it after Integrity filed for bankruptcy protection last September.
They say Waldman's failure to pay his company's debts was especially stunning, given his claims to be worth millions.
In 2008, for example, seeking to increase Integrity's line of credit with Alro Steel Corp. of Jackson, Mich., Waldman e-mailed a financial statement to the company claiming he had a net worth of $38,218,420.
“Please keep this confidential,” Waldman said. “I need this increase done ASAP.”
The company, in a lawsuit to recover $432,467 in unpaid bills, including $300,000 Waldman guaranteed personally, said Waldman knew the statement was false.
In 2007, as part of his application for a $1.5million loan from National City Bank, Waldman submitted a statement saying he owned assets of $25.3million and had liabilities of $4.3million, according to court records.
But when questioned by the bank's lawyer in September, he said, “I think there's some items on there that don't seem to be correct.”
While he claimed to own $8.6million in property, for example, including his home on Weatherford Circle in Eastwood, he conceded that he failed to list about $6million in mortgages.
He claimed to own $243,000 in luxury vehicles, but acknowledged that he leased them. And while he listed $464,840 he owned in stock and options from a former employer, he admitted in court records that they were expired and worthless.
Under federal law, it is a crime to make a false statement willfully overvaluing any property or other assets in a loan application to a federally insured bank. But local and federal law enforcement officials won't say whether they are looking into Waldman's statements.
Waldman blamed his accountants for the errors and omissions, though asked in his deposition why the mortgages were left out, he said, “I would have no clue.”
ZAP plans go south
Waldman first broke into the news in 2004, as CEO of a newly formed boxing company to promote a comeback fight by heavyweight Riddick Bowe.
“Our goal is to have a fight here every 60 days,” Waldman said. “We want to revitalize Louisville Gardens.''
But Bowe hurt his shoulder and canceled.
Two years later, Waldman opened a 120,000-square-foot metal fabrication plant, Integrity, on Ky. 44 in Bullitt County. He said in news accounts that he had spent $15million on it, including some of his own money.
By 2007, Integrity, which made utility trailers and other metal products, appeared to be growing so rapidly that Martin Kish, then vice president of communications for the Kentucky Association of Manufacturers, told Business First that it belonged in the company of such state manufacturing powerhouses as General Electric and Toyota.
“The industry has some things to learn from them,” Kish said in the article.
By May 2008, though, Integrity was unable to repay the debt on its $1.5million loan to National City, court records show.
Still, when Waldman announced in July 2008 that he intended to build a company — Integrity Automotive — that would make electric cars for a California-based company called ZAP Corp., Gov. Steve Beshear pushed through an executive order allowing slow-moving electric vehicles on Kentucky's roadways in an effort to land the plant.
The Santa Rosa-based ZAP had originally planned to build its cars in China.
A ZAP spokesman told The Courier-Journal at the time that it hadn't talked to Waldman about his plan, even as the state promised $48million in tax incentives if Waldman's company fulfilled its promise to employ 4,000 people and bring in $176million in investments.
Kentucky Economic Development Secretary Larry Hayes insists the state wasn't “snookered” by Waldman and that no incentives were paid.
“We knew financing wasn't in place,” Hayes said.
Jim Brown, who was then Franklin's mayor, said that while the city didn't lose money on the failed plant, it was left with “a lot of our egg on our face, because we all embraced it and had high hopes for it.”
Brown, now Franklin's city manager, said Waldman was a salesman “who made a lot of statements that obviously proved false,” including that he had an ownership interest in ZAP.
“It was a house of cards, and once it started crumbling, it crumbled fast,” Brown said.
So did Integrity Manufacturing in Bullitt County.
Loan-shark allegations raised
Waldman claimed that as many as 400 people worked at Integrity, but Bob Fouts, executive director of the Bullitt County Economic Development Authority, said employment was probably half that at its height.
“We found out he wasn't paying suppliers and other creditors,” Fouts said in an interview. “The more dialogue we had, the more questions we had.”
Waldman was forced out as CEO in February 2009 by the company's lenders, and Integrity shut down a few months later.
John Anson, whom Waldman hired as a consultant, said the problem was that Waldman's background wasn't in manufacturing.
“He didn't know what he was doing,” said Anson, who sued Integrity for nearly $400,000 in compensation but collected nothing because it discharged its debts in the bankruptcy.
In October, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Joan Lloyd issued a scathing order against Waldman after he failed to uphold his promise to bail out a tool-machinery company owned by Ronald Stone.
Instead, the judge said, Waldman and lawyer Bruce Atherton, in what she described as among the most blatant frauds she'd ever seen, took Stone's assets and drove his company out of business.
Waldman and Atherton have filed notice that they will appeal the judgment.
Lloyd also criticized Waldman for lending Atherton's secretary $20,000 to buy a BMW, and then having two employees whom he called “his leg-breakers” repossess the vehicle after she defaulted on her payments.
Testifying in bankruptcy court, Waldman was asked if he sent “two large men” to repo the BMW. He responded: “Do you have a problem with fat people? I don't.”
Growing up in Jeffersontown
Waldman's father, stepfather and grandfather were all pharmacists, according to their obituaries.
Waldman, a Jeffersontown High School graduate, has two adult daughters, has been married twice, and has lived in a house on Weatherford Circle that in 2003 was described as probably the largest and most expensive ever shown as part of Homearama.
The Deutsche Bank National Trust Co. has sued to foreclose on it, but a deputy sheriff said in court records recently that Waldman has evaded service.
After his father, Alan Waldman, died in 2007, Waldman was removed as the executor of his estate when he was accused of concealing $134,963 that otherwise would have gone to his stepmother, Carol Waldman, according to probate court records.
He used to own an 80-unit apartment complex, Chateau Village, in Okolona, as well as a majority interest in the Poplar Level and Woodland shopping centers.
The facts surrounding his professional career are murkier.
Boxing promoter Chris Webb said Waldman once told him he owned Brown & Williamson Tower and Computer Associates, a $4billion publicly traded company. A spokeswoman for CA, as it is now known, said Waldman worked for the company for about six years as a sales manager in Mason, Ohio.
A company bio for another former employer, iChargeit, an online retail mall company, says Waldman graduated with a bachelor's degree in marketing from UofL in 1984, while the university's registrar says he attended for one semester, in the summer of 1976.
Stone said Waldman told him he owned two motorcycle companies that would generate as much as $3million in business for the tool-machinery company. But on cross-examination in his bankruptcy trial, Waldman couldn't name either company.
Schaefer and others say Waldman also has boasted of playing for UofL. In his deposition, Waldman said, “I tell people that I'm an MVP, a most important payer, but I don't say that I played basketball.”
Other claims are impossible to check, because of the passage of time.
Waldman testified in bankruptcy court that he was the youngest store manager in the history of Radio Shack, that he “closed a little account called UPS” when he was a salesman for the now defunct Wang Laboratories, and that at Oracle, the computer giant, he worked with CEO and founder Larry Ellison, closing deals worth “tens and hundreds of millions of dollars.”
David Braughler, a former colleague at Computer Associates, where Waldman worked until 2006 and said he made $560,000 a year, described him as “one of the best salesman I knew” and said he may have been paid that much.
In his deposition, Waldman told the banks to which he personally guaranteed loans that he is virtually penniless, in part because he has generously lent money to people who didn't pay him back.
“I sunk every frigging penny that I had into this thing,” he said of Integrity, “living the dream, thinking it was going to, you know, be the next coming of the Messiah.”
But creditors and their attorneys say they believe Waldman may have assets left.
For example, in 2008, he transferred a lake house in Grayson County he said was worth $775,000 to a corporation called RSW LTD III, which he couldn't identify at his deposition.
State records list him as the company's sole officer.
And the roofing company he works at and says is owned by his ex-wife, Hila Barker, was organized by an accountant who used to work for him at Integrity, according to state records.
“I suspect Mr. Waldman has funds in places that he doesn't want people to know about,” said attorney Dennis Murrell, who helped win the $3.2million judgment for Stone. “We will look to find them.”
Reporter Andrew Wolfson can be reached at (502) 582-7189.