According to Oxford Languages fraud is defined as “wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain.” Deception, per Oxford Languages, means “the action of deceiving someone. “obtaining property by deception”
- a thing that deceives.
- “a range of elaborate deceptions””
The law, language, and society have for centuries tended to take a dim view of those who intentionally deceive and ‘rip off’ others. This may be especially decried when deception is used by a person or group to wrongfully take advantage of one or more ‘others’ in an aim for illicit gain that occurs through a betrayal of trust. The recent high-profile convictions of ‘white collar’ criminals in the Theranos scandal. The arrest of Sam Bankman Fried (SBF) in the FTX scandal appears to be another example of a train of such massive, often multibillion dollar rip offs that operated in plain site. For those who think this might not apply to manufactured housing, it is past time to look anew. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has already obtained a settlement with Cavco Industries. Cavco’s fallen leaders included the former chairman of the Manufactured Housing Institute. A series of legal actions are brewing around the manufactured housing profession.
But there are evidence-based reasons to believe that more such legal actions could be just over the horizon.
Christianity, Judaism, and Islam all denounce lying and deception. MHProNews has used the various Biblical and other religious and philosophical quotations shown below to make that point.
Con artists – so called confidence (con) men or women – must learn to operate in plain sight. A cast of characters is formed. Some are duped into believing and thus benefiting the central actors in a scheme. And the case can be made that some cons aren’t like Theranos or FTX. There may be an actual product(s)/service(s) that are being provided. But the bad actors may nevertheless be manipulating the markets, politicians, media, big tech, and public officials in a manner that masks their bad behavior.
Sound too outrageous to be true? History has several obvious examples that led to global conflicts and the Cold War. Adolf Hitler, the titular leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party – often called the NAZIs for short – promised ‘workers’ much and in the end delivered ashes and dust. The once seemingly invincible fascist Nazi regime used massive propaganda and illusions to manipulate an entire society which at its apex conquered a substantial part of Europe and elements of North Africa too. The Marxist-Communist Bolsheviks took control over Tsarist (or Czarist) Russia in the early 20th century. From Russia rose what became the Soviet Union which at its apex held sway over the nations of Eastern Europe behind the once seemingly invincible “Iron Curtain” and spread the seeds of communism globally. Mao Zedong (a.k.a. Mao Tse Dung) was the leader of the Chinese Communist Party. Fierce repression and massive propaganda, as in Russia, led loyal party zealots to conquer mainland China. Through ignorant (or worse) foreign policy blunders started by the 37th President Richard M. Nixon (R) and his advisor Henry Kissinger, Communist China was ‘opened’ to American and Western investments in what has been called “the week that changed the world.” Per left-leaning Wikipedia, “From February 21 to 28, 1972, U.S. President Richard Nixon traveled to Beijing, Hangzhou, and Shanghai. Almost as soon as the American president arrived in the Chinese capital, CCP Chairman Mao Zedong summoned him for a quick meeting.” “The seven-day official visit to three Chinese cities was the first time a U.S. president had visited the PRC; Nixon’s arrival in Beijing ended 25 years of no communication or diplomatic ties between the two countries and was the key step in normalizing relations between the U.S. and the PRC [Peoples Republic of China].” Fast forward 50 years to our time. America, once the dominant economic, military, and political power on earth is now rivaled by Communist China. It was western investments, often led by American corporate titans, that made the ‘Chinese miracle’ possible.
But stop and think. That close relationship between Chinese communists and corporate powers is akin to the definition of fascism that Hitler’s de facto Italian ally and leader Benito Mussolini gave to define their socialistic movement.
A close examination of the history of the U.S. and the Russian turned Soviet Union’s emergence included several examples of American money and influence intervening to start, prop-up, and ‘save’ that regime. Is it any wonder that disillusioned socialist George Orwell in his famous dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty Four (1984) created three fictional superpowers that would periodically shift sides as each kept their own people under their respective thumbs? Some Americans across the left-right divide grasp quite well the notion that our society today is packed with propaganda, brazen deceptions, and massive manipulation of the population. Aldus Huxley’s dystopian novel, Brave New World and Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty Four have been described by keen observers as seemingly supplying the operational underpinnings of modern America. Corporate powers and government power – fascism – often under the guise of ‘helping people’ who are ‘disadvantaged’ – has been slyly ruling for decades. Numbers of nations have their version of it. From the classic 1976 satirical fictional movie Network, is this epic scene that outlines a notion now heard rather commonly today: stakeholder capitalism, ‘where everyone has a share in the corporation.’ But don’t forget that fictional Network is also dystopian. Rising crime. Political chaos. People want to be left alone in their homes or apartments. Meanwhile, ‘the news’ makes it all seem normal. Sound familiar? The world is a corporation, says Ned Beaty’s corporate mogul character, Arthur Jensen.
With that tee up, flash back to this previously published op-ed by this writer on the WND Newscenter’s site made available by agreement to MHProNews. Note that this pithy romp foreshadowed the outcome of the Theranos scandal and names others that should clarify what’s been occurring in the U.S.A – and by extension, in our industry too.
The solution to Big Tech and the oligarchs
Readers offer views on government regulation, vote fraud, cultural division
Email to the Editor Published May 11, 2021 at 7:16pm
Anyone who thinks Big Tech will be reined in by regulations has not been paying close attention. The following cases exposed years of documented corporate, regulatory and accounting failures. They spotlight massive corruption and mainstream media misses.
· VW “Diesel-Gate”
· Bernard “Bernie” Madoff
· Lehman Brothers
· Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac (Government Sponsored Enterprises/GSEs).
Collectively, that list involved hundreds of billions of dollars in losses by investors. Various types of fraud, corruption and deception occurred. Because taxpayers and the broader economy were impacted by Lehman Brothers and GSEs housing-finance scandals, those cost Americans trillions of dollars.
John Kenneth Galbraith said: “Regulatory bodies, like the people who comprise them … become, with some exceptions, either an arm of the industry they are regulating or senile.” Bingo.
Modern robber barons are dominating information and capital. Cold Fusion’s documentary about the Theranos’ scandal observed: “It’s the illusionary effect where if you repeat a lie enough times people start to believe it, especially if you have credible names surrounding the product.”
Problematic products are from corrupt companies.
President George W. Bush (R). Those establishment politicians are sufficient to make the point of the “illusionary effect” of “repeating a big lie enough times” when “credible names” are involved.
Harry Markopolos and his colleagues spent years trying to get public officials and mainstream media to expose the massive Bernie Madoff fraud they knew existed. Forbes says Madoff losses may have exceeded $50 billion.
Other regulatory failures are hiding in plain sight. The New York Times quoted Warren Buffett: “There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”
Buffett’s “class” profited wildly in the 2008 and 2020 economic upheavals. How? CNBC quoted billionaire Bill Gates: “I didn’t even want to meet Warren because I thought, ‘Hey this guy buys and sells things, and so he found imperfections in terms of markets, that’s not value added to society, that’s a zero-sum game that is almost parasitic.'”
The CDC defines parasitic: “A parasite is an organism that lives on or in a host organism and gets its food from or at the expense of its host.”
Buffett said, “The most important thing for me is figuring out how big a moat there is around a business. What I would love, of course, is a big castle and a big moat with piranhas and crocodiles.”
When carefully examined, these oligarchs and their businesses employ “parasitic” “moat” and “sabotage monopoly” methods. They create a slow-motion monopoly of various markets.
Experts like James Schmitz say monopolies “inflict great harm on low- and middle-income Americans.”
The solution? Enforce existing laws. Break these pernicious giants up. They cause social, economic, and moral harm. Once broken up, watch the economy and America soar.
L. A. “Tony” Kovach ##
More in this Masthead following these linked items, below.
And arguably related to that is the latest on MHLivingNews.
Seeking Paradise on Earth? Energizing the Faith Community – The Garden of Eden and Biblical Christmas Insights for 2022, 2023 and Beyond
When an author submits a op-ed or “opinion” column to a publisher, they may suggest a headline. The editor of that section of a newspaper has the right to change the headline, but routinely does not change the content.
Writing about the Theranos scandal, Investopedia said: “After more than ten years of fundraising and reaching a peak valuation of roughly $10 billion, the tide started to turn in 2015 thanks to skepticism from the press.” That same source said: “Based largely on the company’s claims, Theranos reportedly raised roughly $724 million of capital from venture capitalists and private investors.” “By June 2016, Elizabeth Holmes’ net worth reportedly dropped from $4.5 billion to nothing.”
In MHVille, we don’t think that those who are engaged in apparently illegal schemes to manipulate the market will be discovered to have a valueless company. But akin to some mega-scandals, a blatant pattern of wrongdoing exists. The Masthead on MHProNews is specifically an editorial blog. Here we blend facts, evidence, reason, and then apply industry expertise plus good old fashioned common sense. The case has been made that manufactured housing ought to be operating a far higher levels of production. The zoning and placement obstacles that exist were supposedly solved by Congress over 20 years ago. The lack of competitive and more affordable financing was supposedly solved by Congress when the Duty to Serve (DTS) Manufactured Housing, Rural, and Underserved Markets was enacted as part of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA 2008). These are occasionally mentioned by MHI. They are the subject of periodic MHI messages to this or that organization, politician, or bureaucrat. But where are the lawsuits by MHI and their corporate masters to enforce those good, existing federal laws? Who benefits from the status quo? Who is harmed by it?
The list of those harmed is long. The list of those who seem to benefit from the status quo is far shorter. The status quo is maintained not by honesty, but through every more obvious deception and misdirection. But it may take some level of expertise to explain the nuances of why manufactured housing (MH) is underperforming, why some corporate leader or billionaire may want the MH Industry to underperform.
Other than the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), who else is routinely spotlighting the problems and the potential for HUD Code manufactured housing in anything like the specific and evidence-based claims presented on MHProNews/MHLivingNews? Good luck trying to find it from an MHI ally. They are busy either ignoring the issue or decrying those who don’t join their amen corner.
And that is how the underperformance ruse is kept alive in MHVille. By underperforming, barriers to entry, persistence, and exit are erected. Smaller firms over time get tired of the battles and quit or sell out. While they may think they sold out for a fair or good price, it should be obvious that they might have earned more in several cases if their businesses were roaring instead of snoring. No wonder paltering, posturing, and projecting onto others their own apparent missteps occur.
The Twitter Files and other recent revelations confirm what some across the left-right political divide believed for years.
Danny Glover, without naming manufactured housing, summed it up well. It is a monopoly on information and capital access. That is how this game is played. But George Orwell was right too when he said that we have a right to tell those who don’t want to hear the truth what the truth is about this rigged system and how it hurts millions whose main wish is to have their own slice of the American Dream. To fix this artificially rigged and crooked system, education and understanding must precede legal action. People of good will can be part of the solution by helping others grasp the causes and cures. Those capable of being part of the solution should put their hands to the plow to alleviate the disappointments and suffering of millions. The modern deceptive fascists, as defined and described herein, must be brought to justice. ###
[cp_popup display="inline" style_id="139941" step_id = "1"][/cp_popup]
Senator Sherrod Brown Pokes Legacy Communities, Fannie Mae Charged-Turn Manufactured Homes 'From Affordable to Unaffordable,' Related Antitrust Raised by Brown; plus MHVille REITs, Stocks Update
Senator Sherrod Brown (OH-D), Pokes Legacy Communities, Fannie Mae Charged, Turn Manufactured Homes 'From Affordable to Unaffordable,' Related Antitrust Raised by Brown; plus MHVille REITs, Stocks Update, 12.20.2022, manufactured home communities, land lease communities, manufactured home community Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), production, factories, retail, finance, dealer, brokers, suppliers, Navarre Village, Twin Lakes, Patrick O'Malley CEO Legacy Communities LLC,
Stay tuned for more of what is 'behind the curtains' as well as what is obvious and in your face reporting that are not found anywhere else in MHVille. It is all here, which may explain why this is the runaway largest and most-read source for authentic manufactured home “News through the lens of manufactured homes and factory-built housing” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (Affordable housing, manufactured homes, reports, fact-checks, analysis, and commentary. Third-party images or content are provided under fair use guidelines for media.) (See Related Reports, further below. Text/image boxes often are hot-linked to other reports that can be access by clicking on them.)
By L.A. "Tony" Kovach - for MHProNews.com.
Tony earned a journalism scholarship and earned numerous awards in history and in manufactured housing.
For example, he earned the prestigious Lottinville Award in history from the University of Oklahoma, where he studied history and business management. He's a managing member and co-founder of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.
This article reflects the LLC's and/or the writer's position, and may or may not reflect the views of sponsors or supporters.
Connect on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach
The text/image boxes below are linked to other reports, which can be accessed by clicking on them.
Construction News Today-'MHI Does Not Represent Entire Industry' Manufactured Housing Assoc Slams Manufactured Housing Institute on Energy Rule, Homestar's Jayar Daily Redux; MHVille Markets
Construction News Today, 'MHI Does Not Represent Entire Industry', Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform, MHARR, Manufactured Housing Institute, MHI, Energy Rule, American Homestar Corp, F.R. Jayar Daily COO, Congressional testimony, 3.15.2022, MHVille Markets, mobile home park investing, REITs, factories, production centers, retail, suppliers, finance, brokers,