USA International Raceway (USAIR) lost their appeal this week against Southwest Guaranty Ltd. (SWG). The appeal was filed in hopes of having a foreclosure judgment against the property reversed. The Wisconsin Court of Appeals upheld the Shawano-Menominee County Circuit Court judgment granting foreclosure to creditor SWG of Houston.
SWG filed the suit against SIST and its subsidiary U.S. Acquisitions and Oil (USAO) alleging that USAIR, which was operated by USAO, defaulted on a $2.2 million dollar loan. However, there is much more to this story than the alleged default.
By way of background, Midwest Amusement Park (an SIST subsidiary) purchased the property in June of 2003 from Water and Wheels Amusement Park, LLC for $350,000. It was a dinky side road amusement that only locals were aware of. In 2004, after doing much research, USAIR had Kenny Venberg design a multi-faceted racetrack. Not only was an exceptional track in progress but the landscaping was being updated too, laying new sod, putting up high class cedar fencing, thousands of dollars worth of roses and potted plants, all to create an image of distinction and to put Shawano on the map!
The World Karting Association (WKA) and the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) were several of the first two nationally/internationally known groups to take an interest in the new track at USAIR. Stars of Karting and Rotex races brought people in from around the country and the world.
One would think these advances would have been appreciated by the City of Shawano but Shawano Mayor Lorna Marquardt had other intentions…
During big events at USAIR, parking along the road was strictly prohibited, and any violators were ticketed. When USAIR purchased a wayside across the road, parking there was even scrutinized and had to be so many feet from the road. In 2005, USAIR purchased an additional lot with the intended purpose of overflow parking. After the purchase, Lorna and Shawano City officials measured the distance of the lot to USAIR, which was just over 750 feet. A city ordinance was then passed, limiting offsite parking to 750 feet or less. Endless citations were given for any racers parking on this lot or in front of USAIR, or on the wayside across the road. The purpose was to harass visitors so they don’t return.
The business interference was an everyday occurrence.
Lorna devised another scheme and that was to use a Canadian business man in the racing industry, by name of Robert Cameron, to defraud USAIR of $175,000 and with the ultimate goal of stealing the track. In October 2008, he came to USAIR under the guise of being a racing consultant, offered to increase the marketing of an Arrive & Drive program for the facility and to bring in millions of dollars in revenue. If he was hired as a promoter for the track he offered to lend $10,000,000 against the track, valued at $15,000,000. Legal documents were drawn up, both for the consulting agreement and for the loan. The agreement was for USAIR to pay a $175,000 retainer towards the consulting agreement and upon receipt of this Cameron would fund the $10,000,000 loan. USAIR paid the $175,000 and never received the loan or any service.
Thereafter he informed USAIR he had been working in conspiracy with Lorna, Shawano City officials and others, all who had been meeting bimonthly to strategize on their demise, to steal $175,000 from them, and hopefully to someway forge documents releasing the title to the USA International Raceway.
Upon Lorna’s and the Shawano City officials’ knowledge of the information leak they immediately concocted a hit list story in which, parent company, SIST was accused of hiring Robert Cameron by paying the $175,000 to kill sixty people in the City of Shawano. It was called “Red Rum”. They got a hold of the media through, television, radio, print and internet, one in particular being Channel 7, Mikel Lauber, which is part of Lorna’s Lutheran Church. The purpose of this was to slander, defame and plummet business through a media smear campaign to cover up their illegal activities.
Lorna’s wishes were not completely fulfilled yet.
She next contacted the lender, SWG’s Russ Gaines, urging him strongly to foreclose. Even though USAIR was current on their payments the lender responded by demanding extra collateral and some extra documents. He came to Shawano under the guise of looking at the track and picked out the most valuable properties and demanded SIST to surrender them as collateral. He responded by foreclosing using a technical default as the excuse.
Having been persuaded by Lorna to terminate the business relationship between them and SIST, SIST had no choice but to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy in March of 2009. In April 2009, initiated by Lorna, Shawano City officials, the Shawano Leader, and other local media there was another smear campaign regarding SIST’s bankruptcy and linking it to the hit list. On one or more of these programs the lender stated via telephone interview that his goal was to, “…own the track”.
On May 25th, 2010, after innumerous correspondence between Lorna, Shawano City officials and U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judges in Delaware, the bankruptcy was dismissed. Upon this announcement Lorna publicly exclaimed that she was glad, and that things were heading in the right direction.
On June 3rd, 2010, a secret meeting was held in Shawano discussing how to go about taking over USAIR.
On June 4th, 2010, a local attorney, Steve Krueger, who has been known for expressing his prejudicial and racial feelings openly, showed up at USAIR with numerous armed Shawano County Sheriff Deputies and Shawano City Police, although the property is located in the Town of Wescott not the City of Shawano, and seized all property and ordered all personnel off the property under threat of arrest. This was all done illegally.
Yet, now under the guise of a ‘default’ the courts and SWG have undermined progress in Shawano. All because of their common bond of race and religion and the driving necessity to make sure that a businessman from India does not succeed. Lorna has done everything in her power to make sure SIST businesses fail. USAIR was her crowning glory.
It is puzzling that these achievements would be considered successes, since in reality harming these up and coming businesses harms the local community and its economic growth. Encouraging prosperity has never been a christian attribute though, just greed, selfishness and jealousy. If I can’t have it, neither can you. That is Lorna’s motto, so in the end she will have nothing in spite of all her playacting at caring about the Shawano community.
SIST loses track foreclosure appeal
The Shawano Leader
Southwest filed suit against SIST and its subsidiary US Acquisitions and Oil (USAO) … by a series of bankruptcy filings that were subsequently dismissed.