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(Miami Herald)   The $77 million cow pasture: "They were going to build a city. There should have been roads. There should have been homes. What do you see? A broken-down barn and a head of cattle"   (miamiherald.com ) divider line
    More: Florida, North Miami Beach, Saks Fifth Avenue, Coral Springs, Neiman Marcus, roads, Florida's Gulf Coast  
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12756 clicks; posted to Main » on 27 May 2012 at 7:35 AM (4 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-05-27 07:42:25 AM  
If you can't afford to lose it, don't invest it.
 
2012-05-27 07:50:03 AM  
Apparently no one bothered to check their "office" at their business address before investing millions? All someone had to do was stop by and see it was empty / no working phones.

Fools and their money, etc.
 
2012-05-27 07:50:55 AM  

Bob The Nob: If you can't afford to lose it, don't invest it.


True, but that doesn't excuse fraud.
 
2012-05-27 07:53:46 AM  
Arrested Development reference in 3... 2... 1...
 
2012-05-27 07:55:10 AM  
I wonder if I can get that land for cheap. Hmm.

/I want to build a shining city on a hill
//Yes, yes, it doesn't having to be shining
 
2012-05-27 08:00:12 AM  
If it sounds too good to be true... sure thing, etc... walk away.

HighlanderRPI: Apparently no one bothered to check their "office" at their business address before investing millions?


Sounds like my new landlord did a much more thorough background check of me than any of their investors did.
 
2012-05-27 08:03:50 AM  
That would be a "herd" of cattle, city boy.

Imagine! Fraudsters in Florida. Who would ever have thought it possible.
 
2012-05-27 08:05:47 AM  
Maybe try building their city on Rock and Roll?

/Yeah makes no sense to me either.
 
2012-05-27 08:11:26 AM  
The "land in Florida" swindle never gets old.

When you're done, I have a bridge you may be interested in.
 
2012-05-27 08:11:26 AM  
i1171.photobucket.com>
 
2012-05-27 08:18:19 AM  

Rodeodoc: That would be a "herd" of cattle, city boy.


Hmmm..... I had a think about this. Initially I thought you were wrong because you can, of course, talk about a "head of cattle", e.g. "In the USA, 47.7 percent of all cattle were kept in operations of 500 head or more in 2009" (from Wikipedia).

However, I think you're right... you'd describe it as a "herd" when you're talking about a specific group of cattle (as per the headline) and you really only talk about a "head of cattle" when you're talking about the number involved in an operation or an area or a farm, e.g. "This land would support 500 head of cattle, split into five herds of 100 each".

So....... as you were, essentially.

/most pointless post EVAR
 
2012-05-27 08:35:53 AM  

T-Servo: Sounds like my new landlord did a much more thorough background check of me than any of their investors did.


A lot of people are incredibly naive. Read "No-one would Listen" by Harry Markopolos about Madoff. There were fund managers who were investing in Madoff, guys managing billions, who hadn't done the a simple check on transactions he was showing them. Madoff had transactions to backup his high returns, and it would have taken 5 minutes to validate them as real.
 
2012-05-27 08:36:33 AM  

Rodeodoc: That would be a "herd" of cattle, city boy.


"Head of cattle" could've been referring to one exceptionally friendly cow. It's just outside of Austin, after all.
 
2012-05-27 08:37:52 AM  

Pert: Rodeodoc: That would be a "herd" of cattle, city boy.

Hmmm..... I had a think about this. Initially I thought you were wrong because you can, of course, talk about a "head of cattle", e.g. "In the USA, 47.7 percent of all cattle were kept in operations of 500 head or more in 2009" (from Wikipedia).

However, I think you're right... you'd describe it as a "herd" when you're talking about a specific group of cattle (as per the headline) and you really only talk about a "head of cattle" when you're talking about the number involved in an operation or an area or a farm, e.g. "This land would support 500 head of cattle, split into five herds of 100 each".

So....... as you were, essentially.

/most pointless post EVAR


Or he could just mean there is only one cow. Yeah it would make more sense to say "a cow" but it's Texas, I don' t know.
 
2012-05-27 08:38:20 AM  

Pert: Rodeodoc: That would be a "herd" of cattle, city boy.

Hmmm..... I had a think about this. Initially I thought you were wrong because you can, of course, talk about a "head of cattle", e.g. "In the USA, 47.7 percent of all cattle were kept in operations of 500 head or more in 2009" (from Wikipedia).

However, I think you're right... you'd describe it as a "herd" when you're talking about a specific group of cattle (as per the headline) and you really only talk about a "head of cattle" when you're talking about the number involved in an operation or an area or a farm, e.g. "This land would support 500 head of cattle, split into five herds of 100 each".

So....... as you were, essentially.

/most pointless post EVAR


'Head' is one cow...city boy.
 
2012-05-27 08:39:57 AM  
I have difficulty finding sympathy for these people.
 
2012-05-27 08:44:28 AM  

Rozinante: 'Head' is one cow...city boy.


Agreed. So it doesn't make a lot of sense to say "A broken-down barn and a head of cattle".
 
2012-05-27 08:54:43 AM  
There was a shopping mall
Now it's all covered with flowers

/you've got it, you've got it
 
2012-05-27 08:56:58 AM  

Pert: Rodeodoc: That would be a "herd" of cattle, city boy.

Hmmm..... I had a think about this. Initially I thought you were wrong because you can, of course, talk about a "head of cattle", e.g. "In the USA, 47.7 percent of all cattle were kept in operations of 500 head or more in 2009" (from Wikipedia).

However, I think you're right... you'd describe it as a "herd" when you're talking about a specific group of cattle (as per the headline) and you really only talk about a "head of cattle" when you're talking about the number involved in an operation or an area or a farm, e.g. "This land would support 500 head of cattle, split into five herds of 100 each".

So....... as you were, essentially.

/most pointless post EVAR


I'm thinking you're second most pointless, at best (worst?)
 
2012-05-27 09:03:15 AM  

ArcadianRefugee: There was a shopping mall
Now it's all covered with flowers

/you've got it, you've got it


Don't leave me standin' here
I can't get used to this lifestyle.
 
2012-05-27 09:13:32 AM  

wademh: I'm thinking you're second most pointless, at best (worst?)


Quizzicaldog.jpg
 
2012-05-27 09:13:44 AM  

farkeruk: Read "No-one would Listen" by Harry Markopolos about Madoff.


No thanks, I believe you, and reading things like that makes me stabby.

/parents sold the farm (literally) to developers who were riding the bubble, and went bankrupt after paving the land and building only a few houses
 
2012-05-27 09:14:23 AM  
Not enough cities with sprawling development in Florida. Come on everybody, we have to make every square inch a CBS. We have to find this money and return it.

Herd mentality.
 
2012-05-27 09:29:11 AM  
Damn, we really need less regulation so these guys could get away with this. Same they're being prosecuted on the unfree market.
 
2012-05-27 09:33:11 AM  

farkityfarker: Bob The Nob: If you can't afford to lose it, don't invest it.

True, but that doesn't excuse fraud.


That's why the FBI is on the case.

Just because crime is illegal doesn't mean you should make yourself an easy target.

Walking down Rape Alley at midnight isn't an excuse to be attacked by a naked hobo with a broken beer bottle and throbbing hard on, but considering the city planners decided to call the street "Rape Alley" means you might wanna reconsider following your GPS down that street.

If you can't afford to be defrauded or more likely simply unlucky in business, you shouldn't be investing that money. Gambling is gambling, and often it doesn't pay off. If you can't lose it, don't put it on the line.
 
2012-05-27 09:34:04 AM  
Florida must be running out of space because for decades it was swampland that was sold for development.
 
2012-05-27 09:45:24 AM  

Omnivorous: Florida must be running out of space because for decades it was swampland that was sold for development.


Yet people act surprised at the sinkholes that swallow houses.
 
zez
2012-05-27 09:52:55 AM  
2.bp.blogspot.com

/because Arrested Development is too obvious
 
2012-05-27 09:53:09 AM  

Omnivorous: Florida must be running out of space because for decades it was swampland that was sold for development.


The "developers" lived in Florida, but the land in question is in Texas.

/"You can get stucco. Boy, can you get stucco"
 
2012-05-27 09:59:45 AM  
Sounds like the American southeast.

//build things NEAR each other, morans
 
2012-05-27 10:02:32 AM  
"This was supposed to be Austin's new stamp on the map for creating a living community. They were going to build a city. There should have been roads. There should have been homes. What do you see? A broken-down barn and a head of cattle."

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/05/26/v-fullstory/2819509/florida-swin dlers-77-million-cow.html#storylink=cpy



I see a bunch of teabaggers who wanted to build the worlds largest gated community, who got swindled, and now want the government to bail them out. Typical bootstrappy baggers.
 
2012-05-27 10:03:12 AM  

Rodeodoc: That would be a "herd" of cattle, city boy.


Sometimes you see a big plot of land with a single head of cattle on it, to qualify for some tax exemption. Such a setup would not be out of place in a story like this.
 
2012-05-27 10:03:52 AM  
content.newsinc.com

Anyone else spot this suggestive picture?

//aisle seat, please
 
2012-05-27 10:05:08 AM  

Bob The Nob: If you can't afford to lose it, don't invest it.


So, if I have some extra money saved up, I should just put it all into gold bars and pay someone to guard them. Oh, wait, that didn't work for the people who bought gold from MF Global...
 
2012-05-27 10:09:04 AM  
"Years after the Wolfs fled the country, the failed project has caught the attention of federal postal inspectors and state agents in a widening investigation"

This never would have happened if Wilford Brimley were on the case.
 
2012-05-27 10:12:57 AM  

doglover: farkityfarker: Bob The Nob: If you can't afford to lose it, don't invest it.

True, but that doesn't excuse fraud.

That's why the FBI is on the case.

Just because crime is illegal doesn't mean you should make yourself an easy target.

Walking down Rape Alley at midnight isn't an excuse to be attacked by a naked hobo with a broken beer bottle and throbbing hard on, but considering the city planners decided to call the street "Rape Alley" means you might wanna reconsider following your GPS down that street.

If you can't afford to be defrauded or more likely simply unlucky in business, you shouldn't be investing that money. Gambling is gambling, and often it doesn't pay off. If you can't lose it, don't put it on the line.


being as those folks were already on charges for one swindle makes one think their TX clients did not do their due diligence. handsome sums of money should be incentive enough for a investor to know very well who they are dealing with. following good business procedures is hopefully adequate to throw up the caution flags most of the time.

Mrs.Kritter is in the hospitality industry. they have to thoroughly investigate present and potential hotel owners/investors before doing business with them. over the years a few names were red-lighted for being on a 'no can do' government list. those names are dropped like hot potatos as uncle sam gets notified asap.
 
2012-05-27 10:15:37 AM  

YouSaidWhat: [i1171.photobucket.com image 640x426]>


www.redbrick.dcu.ie
 
2012-05-27 10:19:15 AM  

Pert: Rozinante: 'Head' is one cow...city boy.

Agreed. So it doesn't make a lot of sense to say "A broken-down barn and a head of cattle".


Of course what you are both missing is the possibility that this was a lazy journalist who edited someone's quote. He didn't add anything, just took out the number of cows present in the field. So maybe the guy was correct in his assessment of the cows involved, but the city boy journalist didn't understand and dropped the number in front to give it a more colloquial feel.
 
2012-05-27 10:22:34 AM  

Summercat: I wonder if I can get that land for cheap. Hmm.

/I want to build a shining city on a hill
//Yes, yes, it doesn't having to be shining


If it's not shining, I'm NOT in!

/shiny objects are good!
 
2012-05-27 10:42:05 AM  

FTA:

Government leaders even jumped on board, pledging up to $25 million in utilities in the largest such deal ever struck by the city of Austin.



Which Government officials? Are they still holding office? How much would one bet that they are Republicans?


Begin Capital Tale Brother:

My dad divorced (finally) a raving lunatic who had gone behind his back to bail her daughter out of a couple of very expensive cocaine-related jams. One for about $60 thousand and the other for maybe around $40-$45 thou. The second time sneaking in a second mortgage on the house to do so, eating up his savings and my own and my brother's college fund. While my Pop is rather stupid and unimaginative, this did not excuse the fact that he accepted her shenanigans and stayed married to her for another couple of years, and he didn't find out the Cocaine aspect until I told him about it several years later.

When the divorce settled out, he'd payed her off for half the value of the house so he could keep it and she would walk away with about $300 thou. She immediately turned around, and "invested" in an "artists colony" somewhere in northern New Mexico. The investment was supposed to get her a house, and a share in the community that was going to be full of "artists" and "freethinkers". In other words, a group of phony plastic rich white trash Yankee Hindus who had been through EST and the fake East Indian capitalist faiths, crystal power and Cosmic Meaning Of Life through Understanding (whatever the fark that means.) In other words, all that phony cheap plastic spirituality bullshiat that came out of the 70's that the small-minded spiritual hippie crowd had bought into, hook, line, sinker, rod and the whole goddamn boat.

She packed up her things, had a professional crew load a truck full of her crap, shipped her dog to a kennel in Albuquerque and drove to New Mexico with all of her life's possessions.

When she got there, what she found was: a 500 acre desert with a few cul-de-sacs surrounded by a wall. No water, no electricity, no streetlights, and no houses. 50 miles away from the nearest town. The guy that sold her and so many other people on this idea had fled back to India with around $20 million, and nobody ever heard from him again.

She bought the place sight unseen. Had bought into the whole thing. She then tried to sue my Pop over some nuance in the divorce agreement, and got laughed out of court. As far as I know, she ended up having to move into her cokehead daughters apartment and let a lot of her shiat get sold off at auction to pay off the storage fees.

And you know what? My Pop still can't get his mind wrapped around the fact that she left, and still thinks that he could have made it work.

/End CTB
 
2012-05-27 10:48:20 AM  

Deathfrogg: And you know what? My Pop still can't get his mind wrapped around the fact that she left, and still thinks that he could have made it work.


Cracking yarn, mon frere!
 
2012-05-27 10:54:48 AM  
FTFA: Another partner in the flips, Jeff Turner, a mayor of the nearby town of Manor, collected more than $189,000 in consulting fees from the project. Turner did not return repeated phone calls from The Miami Herald.

LOL. I guess the good folks of Manor needed to grift on something after the airport expansion failed in the mid 90s.

For those of you who don't live near Austin, the town of Manor is pronounced "May-norr".
 
2012-05-27 11:01:15 AM  
Did anyone else read this in Marlon Brando's voice, a la On The Waterfront?
 
2012-05-27 11:02:11 AM  

Deathfrogg: FTA:
Government leaders even jumped on board, pledging up to $25 million in utilities in the largest such deal ever struck by the city of Austin.

Which Government officials? Are they still holding office? How much would one bet that they are Republicans?


Most of the local government folks in Austin are Democrats. The article mentions Manor, though, which is not the same as Austin.

I've never heard of this development - it certainly never made the news in the Austin area so it must not have been very far along.. There are tons of new developments in the Austin area, most of them successful, like Mueller.

Oh, nevermind, here's an article about it: http://www.bizjournals.com/austin/stories/2010/04/05/story5.html?page= all

Looks like it got sold around A LOT.
 
2012-05-27 11:19:37 AM  
Just before fleeing the country, Victor and Natalia Wolf launched a national project that wiped out investors of millions - leaving nothing but cattle and sage brush behind

Now, with the Wolfs already indicted in a land scandal in Florida, federal agents are investigating the spectacular collapse of a Texas project - one of the largest of its kind, wiping out dozens of investors with millions of dollars still missing.


Is this some new meaning of the phrase "to wipe out" that I was not previously aware of? Why do they keep using a construct like this?
 
2012-05-27 11:22:01 AM  

theorellior: FTFA: Another partner in the flips, Jeff Turner, a mayor of the nearby town of Manor, collected more than $189,000 in consulting fees from the project. Turner did not return repeated phone calls from The Miami Herald.

LOL. I guess the good folks of Manor needed to grift on something after the airport expansion failed in the mid 90s.

For those of you who don't live near Austin, the town of Manor is pronounced "May-norr".


Yeah, Manor is cursed. The russian mobsters are probably going to be able to defend this in court as a casualty of the failure of the trans texas corridor.

I found another article that said that Austin had $30 million in incentives in the mix too though. Lovely.
http://corridornews.blogspot.com/2008/08/poster-child-of-austins-desi r ed.html
 
2012-05-27 11:26:26 AM  

mesmer242: Yeah, Manor is cursed. The russian mobsters are probably going to be able to defend this in court as a casualty of the failure of the trans texas corridor.


I don't know what it is, but east of 35 just can't get developed. It's like the culture of Austin is allergic to the East Texas coastal plain. I was there for 25 years, and by the time I left you had people moving to Georgetown, Lakeway and San Marcos and commuting 45 miles to the city, but try to get something going less than ten minutes away on 290 and it's nothing but crickets.
 
2012-05-27 11:38:46 AM  

Rodeodoc: That would be a "herd" of cattle, city boy.

Imagine! Fraudsters in Florida. Who would ever have thought it possible.


A what?

A herd. Herd of cattle.

Of course I've heard of cattle.

/Ba Dum Tsssshhhh! We miss you A&C.
 
2012-05-27 12:07:35 PM  
Dishonest land developers!?
The HELL you say!!!
 
2012-05-27 12:22:08 PM  
I am not playing the world's tiniest fiddle, per se, but it isn't big.
 
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