Saturday, March 4, 2017

Supreme Court rules against Watkins

Mississippi Secretary of State Englebert Hosemann issued the following press release:

Ruling Against Watkins and Watkins Development in Securities Fraud Case

“The Secretary of State’s Office has the statutory authority to protect Mississippians’ investments by enforcing our State’s securities laws. The Mississippi Supreme Court has affirmed unanimously our 2014 determination of securities fraud in this case as did the Hinds County Chancery Court and the Mississippi Court of Appeals.”


Case Background

The Mississippi Supreme Court on Thursday, March 2, 2017, upheld a 2014 final order by the Secretary of State finding David Watkins and Watkins Development in violation of Mississippi Code Section 75-71-501, Article 5 Fraud and Liabilities of the Mississippi Securities Act of 2009.  The full text of the decision is accessible here:

The litigation stems from Watkins’ August 2010 formation of Retro Metro, LLC, to revitalize the former “Belk Building” in Metrocenter Mall.  As manager of Retro Metro, LLC, Watkins entered into a development agreement with Watkins Development to undertake the project. The agreement provided Watkins Development with a $500,000 fee plus 25 percent of the “project costs” (a minimum of $ 1.125 Million).  Construction costs were estimated at $2.5 Million.  Watkins secured bond financing, and the bond documents represented that proceeds of the bonds were to be used to revitalize the first floor of the “Belk Building.”  The bond documents did not disclose the $1.125 Million financial liability of Retro Metro to Watkins Development.  Financing finalized on April 12, 2011.  On the same day, Watkins wrote distribution checks totaling $400,000 to the six members of Retro Metro.

On June 8, 2011, Watkins wired $587,084.34 from the Retro Metro checking account to a real estate closing account for an unrelated project, the purchase of land in Meridian, owned by Watkins Development.  The wired funds were supposed to be for Retro Metro construction costs.  The bond repayment for the “Belk Building” revitalization project defaulted in April 2012. 

In 2014, the Secretary of State issued a final order finding Watkins and Watkins Development failed to disclose the substantial financial liabilities of Retro Metro and had removed $587,000 of Retro Metro, LLC funds designated to renovate the “Belk Building” in violation of Mississippi securities laws.

The Secretary of State alleged four securities violations against Watkins and the Chancery Court of Hinds County affirmed three violations.  Watkins appealed.  The Court of Appeals affirmed all four violations in the Secretary of State’s final order.

The Supreme Court on Thursday, March 2, 2017, affirmed three Securities laws violations against Watkins personally and Watkins Development relating to Watkins’ failure to disclose bond proceeds would be used for another project owned by Watkins and not used for the “Belk Building”. The Court also affirmed a $50,000 penalty levied against Watkins personally and Watkins Development, $587,084.34 plus interest in restitution owed, and $18,047.39 for the cost of the State’s investigation and proceeding.  The Court also imposed the cost of appeal.


Anonymous said...

So will we have 70+ "civic leaders" writing the judge to give him a break because he's a good guy and it was just "lousy record keeping" (Jeff Good's words), and he has the area's best interests at heart?

He broke the what? He's a good ol' boy, judge! Give him a break.

Anonymous said...

Does the 12:46 poster refer to David Watkins? Sounds familiar with the Allen case. is 12:46 referring to Watkins having written a letter of support for Ben Allen? Just failing to see the comment in context with this article.

Anonymous said...

Who cares! Our state is falling apart while our legislators fund shopping centers and museums with our bond money! They should have been funding roads and bridges! Infrastructure and economic development will change the direction of our state.

Anonymous said...

been leaning to republican since got over Carter and early Ronald. thought if we put them in complete power everything would be fine. wrong. pig headed idiots won't fix the damn roads or fund mental health to ward off the feds. cuts to law enforcement and prisons.

i'm retired. thinking of moving to costa rica...

Anonymous said...

@ 6:00 PM we won't miss you.

Anonymous said...

@ 4:19 , you are a little off. The 2011 Legislature (2 elections ago) did fund two history museums through a big chunk of bond money. Since then, the only museum that I know of is a significantly lesser amount for the Grammy Museum. The outlet mall was a boondoggle, but was a tax abatement, not bond money.

Anonymous said...

@9:54. Maybe I know too much. The legislatures have funded not one but two shopping centers. The bond bill passed by the legislature and signed by the gov is 90 percent junk. It is full of funding for aquariums (40 million) junky economic development projects like the failed car plant in tunica. I can go on and on. We are paying debt on junk!! Not on long term assests that last and build our state. I'm sorry man, but the truth hurts. I want smarter spending!

Anonymous said...

Do we have anyone with a brain who is not tied to a political bent?

Anonymous said...

Talks out of both sides of his face. And talks and talks and talks. A legend in his own mind.

Anonymous said...

Missing the good part of this story. The COA upheld SOS on the three things he appealed and the fourth which the all-knowing, never wrong and always sure Hosemann didn't bother to raise. Supreme upheld COA except for the fourth claim because Filbert didn't raise it on appeal.

What happened Dilbert - thought you were the smartest person in the room --no, the state! How did you screw up and miss raising #4 in your appeal? Legal mind slipping in your advancong age?

And don't feed me the argument that someone representing Gilbert wrote the appeal. Anyone that has ever dealt with that sanctimonious SOB, oops, meant SOS knows that he went thru the appeal not word by word but letter by letter before it left his new offices to the Gartin Bldg and decided every minor detail that was to be included and how.

Anonymous said...

Davey's notorious cash flow problems just went exponential.

Anonymous said...

Watkins is lucky the SOS enforcement powers are limited to civil remedies and not criminal. He's also lucky that the people with criminal enforcement powers for the last eight years (RSS, Hood, Davis) have all been partisan Democrats.

Delbert made a small fortune doing real estate development deals before running for SOS. The man knows how to spot a fraud.

Anonymous said...

I'm sincerely sorry to learn this. David is a "good guy". Many thought he was Jackson's hero when he stepped up to attempt to better Jackson through risky projects. When some did not come to fruition, the project accounts ran dry, and someone made a bad decision to rob Peter to pay Paul. Would have been ok in privately funded projects with a planned payback to the appropriate account. He is not a criminal.

Anonymous said...


This is a case of a typical "DUMBASS", David was to arrogant to know that he did not know how to develop anything---he is a lawyer. It's like Ben Allen---he is a salesman not a city planner, to arrogant to know he did not know. It takes a set of BRASS BALLS to be a true real estate developer---a true developer has to put it all on the line everyday. I did it for 28 years and went broke three times but always got up and went at it again and I finally made it. I have a degree in construction management and a degree in hard knocks---hard knocks taught me more than 4 years in college. David needs to stick to being a lawyer. GRASS IS NOT GREENER !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Watkins continual chasing of one tax credit scheme after another left too many of his "projects" appearing to be funding Ponzis. This bond fiasco was too cute and too far.

Anonymous said...

10:52, several points . . .
Why do you keep comparing to Ben Allen?
Why is it ok for you to go broke three times, yet Mr. Watkins is not entitled to these same learning opportunities before making it? You are a mighty angry successful true real estate developer. You were given 4 chances, yet you don't allow the same for your fellow man.
For your future reference, the word that you've misused twice in your tirade should be "too", rather than "to". You are "too" angry or ignorant "to" know that you did not know.

Anonymous said...

Thanks 1:51---another lesson learned. I'm not angry about anything just frustrated at your lack of right and wrong---I never took money that did not belong to me and move it around. If all you can get out of this is correcting me for using to instead too----you are very f----d up !!!!!! Do you want to correct me again ?????????

Anonymous said...

Sure, 2:18, since you asked. It's not necessary to use 10 exclamation points and question marks all over your comments on this post and the post on this page about Ben Allen. That is, unless you really are too angry to know that you did not know. Seriously, be happy for your good fortune, and don't wish ill on others.

Anonymous said...

Bye David.

Anonymous said...

5:52. She "does not know what she does not know", but will know loud and clear soon.

2016 Hottest Reporter Poll

Suscribe to latest on JJ.

Recent Comments

Search Jackson Jambalaya

Subscribe to JJ's Youtube channel

Who is the hottest reporter?


Who is the Hottest Reporter in Jackson?

Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS