Archive for the ‘Steve Phipps’ Category

Sunday Extra: Commentary on Oklahoma’s Bonny & Clyde

January 20, 2008

Only an absolute moron would take a picture like this, while at
the same time, allegedly engaging in bribery and other illicit
schemes

An event that was as inevitable as the sun rising in the east occurred last Friday. Jeff McMahan and his wife Lori were FINALLY indicted on conspiracy and
bribery charges.

McMahan, who claimed he didn’t know shyster Steve Phipps – accepted gifts, in addition to, hunting and gambling trips from him. It makes you wonder? Are these people just that stupid, cocky, or both? How could you not think that people weren’t going to notice your alleged illegal dealings?

Here’s one example of their stupidity and greed. Lori McMahan allegedly received a pair of $500 earring as a gift from Stipe. Now, instead of getting rid of the earrings – that you can never wear in public again – she stashes them at her sister’s house! If she wasn’t so greedy, that one less count could have knocked a few years off that long prison term she’s facing.

Surprises in Stipe v. Phipps

August 10, 2007

By James Beaty
Senior Editor

Immunity for straw donors who made illegal campaign contributions in 2004?

That’s one of things Steve Phipps testified to during a hearing at the Pittsburg County Courthouse on Thursday.

Phipps was called as a witness in connection with a motion filed by his wife, Brenda Phipps, to dissolve Phipps Enterprises Inc.

The company was owned by former District 7 state Sen. Gene Stipe and by Steve and Brenda Phipps, until last March, according to testimony from Brenda Phipps.

She said her husband, Steve Phipps, signed his interest over to her in March as part of “estate planning” as he prepared to plead guilty to a charge in federal court.

Federal agents have served search warrants on property owned by Stipe and Steve Phipps as part of an investigation into corruption and related criminal activity in Eastern Oklahoma.

Read more…

Anatomy of a Scandal

July 29, 2007

By Gary Jones
OKGOP Chairman

1) Larry Witt and Steve Phipps conspired to funnel corporate contributions into the 2002 State Auditor campaign of Jeff McMahan. FBI affidavits and witnesses have testified that such money was paid to them for the purpose making said contributions. Estimated totals range from $75,000-$100,000. These funds made up a large portion of McMahan’s total contributions and had a significant impact on the election results.

2) Steve Phipps met on numerous occasions in the office of the State Auditor with legislators including Mike Mass to discuss and arrange for state funds to be funneled into a scam non-profit foundation, Rural Development Foundation, located in an abstract company owned by Phipps and Gene Stripe in Antlers, Oklahoma. Both Mass and Phipps have pleaded guilty to federal charges and are now waiting sentencing to connection to the scheme.

3) After denying for months McMahan admitted to going on fishing and gambling trips paid for by Phipps. Such trips would constitute something of value received by an individual regulated by McMahan and his office and may be grounds for removal from office.

4) Duane Smith from the Oklahoma Water Resources Board has reported that he was called into a meeting with the State Auditor Jeff McMahan, Mike Mass and Steve Phipps. During the meeting Smith said he was advised that Mass had put wording in the agency appropriation bill to funnel funds to a trust authority setup by Phipps to aid in selling water from Lake Eufaula. McMahan advised Smith to help get that done and he would make the audit look clean. In 2006 McMahan asked the governor to perform an audit on OFRW. The audit failed to reveal the connection between McMahan and Phipps the principle person being audited and also failed to disclose items which should have been reported and in effect provided the cover-up McMahan had promised.

5) Larry Witt (Ry-son Oil) is seeking to purchase shares in several abstract companies owned by Steve Phipps. The sale of Phipps’ shares can not take place without approval of Jeff McMahan, State Auditor.

6) Witt was named in the university housing bond scandal involving Senate president Pro-Temp Mike Morgan. Morgan is also said to responsible for funneling state funds to but Stipe and Phipps’ train that is sitting and rusting in Guthrie.

Jeff McMahan and his office should be removed from the approval process as there exist a clear conflict of interest by McMahan in this matter.

A cause of action should be filed against Phipps, Stipe and Witt to recover state funds illegally obtained. The corporate assets of Phipps Enterprises and Corporate Finance Group should be frozen until such action has been litigated.

Related:

ObserverBlog: “The Education of Jeff McMahan”

Follow The Money: Stipe, Phipps Business Details Raise Questions

July 27, 2007

From the McAlester News-Capital:

By James Beaty
Senior Editor

A court-appointed receiver in the lawsuit between former District 7 state Sen. Gene Stipe and his estranged business partner, Steve Phipps, has demanded that National Pet Products pay $310,000 in delinquent accounts to Phipps Enterprises, Inc.

“The deadline for a response has passed and lawsuits are being prepared to recover such substantial funds,” receiver Kraettli Q. Epperson said in documents filed at the Pittsburg County Courthouse.

National Pet Products is the dog food plant on the north side of McAlester built on property sold by Stipe, according to court documents and other records.

In his report, Epperson said Phipps Enterprises Inc. also owes a substantial amount of taxes.

Phipps Enterprises, Inc., is identified in court documents as the company owned by Stipe, of McAlester, and Phipps, who is from the Kiowa area. Read more…

OKGOP Chairman: "Special Prosecutor Needed to Probe Campaign Contributions"

June 25, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Gary Jones
June 25, 2007 405-528-3501

This Wednesday Steve Phipps is scheduled to plead guilty as part of a plea agreement with the United States Government in connection with an FBI investigation of political corruption in Southeast Oklahoma. His estranged business partner, former Democratic State Senator Gene Stipe, will be back in court Thursday for a probation revocation hearing. Stipe, who is in the midst of a 5 year-probation sentence for illegal campaign activities, appears to be facing the judge in connection to similar charges of illegally funneling contributions to Congressman Dan Boren’s 2004 congressional campaign.

The federal investigation into the corrupt political shenanigans of Gene Stipe has sparked a grassfire of additional illegal activities and has grown to include a number of high level Democrats. While the federal government is doing its job, the same can not be said of the State of Oklahoma. While federal prosecutors are handing out indictments for federal crimes, justice will not be served without a state investigation and charges sought at that level. The feds have filed charges in connection with donations to Boren, but what about more than a hundred thousand dollars in contributions to State Auditor Jeff McMahan, Attorney General Drew Edmondson and Governor Brad Henry? To add insult to injury it appears that it was our own state tax dollars illegally funneled into these campaigns.

The Oklahoma officials normally responsible for investigating and prosecuting state related crimes have been implicated and may very well be involved themselves. It is imperative that Governor Brad Henry name a special prosecutor to pursue charges in this corruption ring. Attorney General Drew Edmondson has made comments that state charges may be pursued. However, he himself has been caught up in the straw donor scam along with the state auditor, not to mention the Democrat Leader of the Oklahoma Senate, Mike Morgan.

It’s time for an independent state investigation. It’s time for Governor Henry to show leadership and name a special prosecutor. We need someone to investigate these crimes and stop those who are abusing our state and our citizens. Sadly, political corruption has been a part of our past hundred years. It need not be tolerated in our future.

Related

BUBBAWORLD dot NET:Big Week for Gene Stipe”

Mike Mass Indicted

April 13, 2007

There is a popular board game called Jenga, that we believe symbolizes perfectly the alleged tangled and complicated financial scheme unraveling before our very eyes involving Gene Stipe, Steve Phipps, and State Auditor & Inspector Jeff McMahan.

The object of Jenga, is for each player to take take turns taking a block out of the tower of narrow wooden blocks, and then replacing it at the top. The remaining structure, sometimes seems to defy the laws of nature, but eventually, the whole thing comes crashing down and you lose. The Mike Mass indictment is another block removed from the Rural Development Fund Jenga tower. The Tulsa World has a surprisingly in depth piece on the indictment and scandal.

UPDATE: Former Lawmaker Pleads Guilty

MUSKOGEE, Okla. (AP) _ Former state Representative Mike Mass pleaded guilty Friday to a charge that he earmarked state money to benefit a businessman. Mass, 55, entered the plea in federal court in Muskogee to mail fraud conspiracy.

Mass admitted that he received payments from the unnamed businessman in return for money he sent the businessman’s way.

The businessman has been identified in other court documents as Steve Phipps, who owns a dog food plant and a gambling machine company, both in McAlester.

The maximum penalty for the conspiracy to commit mail fraud charge is 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, however Mass could face more time than that, according to the financial loss calculated by prosecutors.

Stipe’s Personal Photographer Called By Grand Jury

April 12, 2007

MUSKOGEE, Okla. (AP) The personal photographer of former state Senator Gene Stipe says he’s been called to testify before a federal grand jury.

Allen Cherry of McAlester says the subpoena also tells him to bring every photo he’s taken of Stipe during the past five years. Cherry says he’ll be taking about 150 photos with him to the federal courthouse in Muskogee.

The grand jury initially looked into a McAlester dog food plant built on land owned by Stipe. The investigation now includes allegations of kickbacks to three former lawmakers and possible illegal campaign contributions.

Stipe resigned from the state Senate in 2003 and pleaded guilty to a straw donor scheme involving the 1998 congressional campaign of Walt Roberts.

RELATED:

Political observers are scratching their heads. Why would a man who was given a great deal after being convicted of paying straw donors, turn around and allegedly commit the same crime again? This 1998 interview by the The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, regarding President Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewsinsky, may give us insight into Stipes‘ thinking.

GENE STIPE, Oklahoma State Senator: There’s always a temptation to jump on somebody on somebody that’s down.

KWAME HOLMAN: Sitting in the office of his successful law practice in McAllister, Oklahoma, Democrat Gene Stipe reflected on the rough and tumble world of politics, of which he’s uniquely qualified to do. Stipe, an Oklahoma state senator, has served 50 years in the legislature, longer than any other state legislator in America. Considered one of the last of the old political deal makers, Stipe is also as much a legend in Oklahoma as Carl Albert, himself. When we asked him about President Clinton’s trouble, Stipe blamed it on the tabloid-minded media.

GENE STIPE: It’s no different than it’s always been, except that the exploitation of the media of problems that used to be ignored because they were private, that no longer exists. No one has any privacy.

KWAME HOLMAN: But Stipe said President Clinton shouldn’t be counted out yet.

GENE STIPE: The first year I was elected I rode the train with Harry Truman-if you thought of the national press, he didn’t have a chance-we were all wasting our time riding around with him because he had no future-but he won the presidency and became one of the greatest presidents in a long time in my opinion. I still think there’s hope for Bill Clinton.

Stipe’s Personal Photographer Called By Grand Jury

April 12, 2007

MUSKOGEE, Okla. (AP) The personal photographer of former state Senator Gene Stipe says he’s been called to testify before a federal grand jury.

Allen Cherry of McAlester says the subpoena also tells him to bring every photo he’s taken of Stipe during the past five years. Cherry says he’ll be taking about 150 photos with him to the federal courthouse in Muskogee.

The grand jury initially looked into a McAlester dog food plant built on land owned by Stipe. The investigation now includes allegations of kickbacks to three former lawmakers and possible illegal campaign contributions.

Stipe resigned from the state Senate in 2003 and pleaded guilty to a straw donor scheme involving the 1998 congressional campaign of Walt Roberts.

RELATED:

Political observers are scratching their heads. Why would a man who was given a great deal after being convicted of paying straw donors, turn around and allegedly commit the same crime again? This 1998 interview by the The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, regarding President Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewsinsky, may give us insight into Stipes‘ thinking.

GENE STIPE, Oklahoma State Senator: There’s always a temptation to jump on somebody on somebody that’s down.

KWAME HOLMAN: Sitting in the office of his successful law practice in McAllister, Oklahoma, Democrat Gene Stipe reflected on the rough and tumble world of politics, of which he’s uniquely qualified to do. Stipe, an Oklahoma state senator, has served 50 years in the legislature, longer than any other state legislator in America. Considered one of the last of the old political deal makers, Stipe is also as much a legend in Oklahoma as Carl Albert, himself. When we asked him about President Clinton’s trouble, Stipe blamed it on the tabloid-minded media.

GENE STIPE: It’s no different than it’s always been, except that the exploitation of the media of problems that used to be ignored because they were private, that no longer exists. No one has any privacy.

KWAME HOLMAN: But Stipe said President Clinton shouldn’t be counted out yet.

GENE STIPE: The first year I was elected I rode the train with Harry Truman-if you thought of the national press, he didn’t have a chance-we were all wasting our time riding around with him because he had no future-but he won the presidency and became one of the greatest presidents in a long time in my opinion. I still think there’s hope for Bill Clinton.

Is Time (Finally) Running Out For Jeff McMahan?

March 29, 2007

State auditor took trips with target of probe

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) State Auditor and Inspector Jeff McMahan says he took three trips in recent years with the owner of an abstract company who’s now being investigated by a federal grand jury.

Two of those trips he took with Steve Phipps were paid for by Phipps.

McMahan’s office regulates the abstract industry and state Ethics Commission officials say McMahan isn’t allowed to take anything of value from a person or entity he regulates.

McMahan spokeswoman Terri Watkins says Phipps paid for a fishing trip to Lake Texoma for McMahan and former Auditor Clifton Scott. She says he also paid for a trip to Biloxi, Mississippi, where McMahan held an educational course for Phipps’ abstractors.

The two also traveled to New Orleans but Watkins says McMahan paid for his expenses.

Phipps and former state Senator Gene Stipe are under investigation by a grand jury in Muskogee which is looking into several abstract companies the men co-own and possible illegal campaign contributions.

The Ties That Bind

March 19, 2007

State Auditor & Inspector Jeff McMahan hypnotized at a Steve Phipps Christmas party.

From The McCarville Report Online:

Jeff McMahan’s claims that he knows Steve Phipps only casually are wilting under scrutiny. Here are the public facts at this time: 1 – Phipps’ son sang the jingle McMahan used in his 2002 campaign; 2 – McMahan was a guest of honor at a Phipps’ Christmas party where he was hypnotized as part of the entertainment; 3 – Gene Stipe at one point described Phipps as McMahan’s campaign manager; 4 – Phipps and Stipe were described as McMahan’s “money machine” in the 2002 campaign; 5 – Phipps was an active fundraiser for McMahan in 2002 and, some claim, early in the 2006 campaign as well; 6 – Democratic consultant Pat Hall, McMahan’s 2002 primary campaign operative, was listed as a paid consultant for Phipps’ Rural Development Foundation according to the latest FBI affidavit filed in the Stipe-Phipps investigation. Read more…