Thursday, October 28, 2021

Bond Pimp to Plead Guilty

 The Bond Pimp is apparently going to plead guilty to fraud.  A federal grand jury indicted Porter Bingham 2 1/2 years ago for bank fraud, and money laundering arising from his role as a the Financial Advisor for the City of Rolling Fork, Mississippi, in connection with the issuance of municipal bonds in 2015. The indictment charges that Bingham fraudulently obtained an additional $33,000 of the proceeds of the bond proceeds to which he was not entitled.

The court docket states:

Set/Reset Hearings as to Porter Bingham: IN-PERSON Change of Plea Hearing set for 12/2/2021 10:15 AM in Courtroom 4A

The SEC revoked his license several years ago. JJ reported on January 5, 2018:

Rolling Fork was interested in financing infrastructure improvements with bonds.  The city hired Malachi Financial Products of Roswell, Georgia  to be its financial advisor.  Malachi is owned by Porter Bingham.  Mr. Bingham recommended that the city sell bonds to raise $2 million.  However, the bond sale was lowered to $1.1 million due to Rolling Fork's limited borrowing capacity. 

Most aldermen and councilmen lack the financial expertise to understand bond deals and are thus ripe targets for some good ole fashioned plucking. Rolling Fork was no exception as the bond pimps proceeded to loot the bond sale.

Check out the fees* on this bond deal:

Malachi Financial Products: $55,000
Bonwick Capital Partners (Underwriter0: $130,000
Chambers & Gaylor (Bond counsel): $25,000
Mississippi Development Bank: $2,500
Balch & Bingham: (MDB Counsel): $5,000
Allen Woodard (Issuer's Counsel): $10,000
Trustmark (Bond Trustee): $2,500
Jackson Advocate: $150
Spence Flatguard (State bond attorney): $1,000
Munideals, Inc: $1,200
Total: $232,349. 
Percentage of Bond issue: 21%

 Rolling Fork has a population of 2,250. The city could have simply obtained a  million dollar loan from the bank. Only the services of a bond counsel and city attorney would have been required.   However, Mr. Bingham and crew talked the town into obtaining a $2 million bond issue through the Mississippi Development Bank.  Going through the development bank meant an underwriter, state bond counsel, issuer's counsel, and other services and thus fees were required.  The more the merrier as everyone got a piece of the pie. Read all about it in this earlier post. 

 The Securities and Exchange Commission sued Malachi and Porter Bingham for fraud last year for fraud and illegally acting as a municipal financial advisor.  The SEC disclosed he never passed the required Series 50 test to become a municipal financial advisor although passage was not required until September 2017.  He also took a kickback from an underwriter he recommended to the town.  The SEC permanently banned Bingham from the municipal bond business.

 Despite the hundreds of thousands - maybe millions - of dollars earned in fees over the years, Bingham faces prison over a pittance of $20,000.  Bingham faces the following penalties:

* Bank Fraud:  Prison sentence of 30 years or less and/or fine of $1 million or less.
* Wire Fraud: Prison sentence of 20 years or less and/or fine of $250,000 or less.
* Money Laundering: Prison sentence of 10 years or less and/or fine of $250,000 or less.

 Attorney Philip Hearn represents the defendant. 

 Kingfish Note:  This little group has been preying upon majority-black governments for years in Mississippi.  Porter Bingham would swoop in as the financial advisor promising all sorts of financial goodies while Tony Stovall (Rice Financial Products and then Bonwick) and Tony Gaylor (as bond counsel) would surf on his coattails into the deal.  Prime examples of this posse's plundering are the 2015 JPS and Canton School District bond deals.

Most of the supervisors, school board members, and aldermen lack any financial expertise whatsoever so rely upon these guys for their advice.  The advice means they get cleaned out while everyone gets paaaiiiiid.  Woe be the government that wised up and kicked out these scoundrels.  They would get on WMPR on Friday nights and proceed to play the Uncle Tom card and trash them for not helping minority businesses.

JJ has covered Bingham's hijinks for many years.

Harvey's time bomb blows up on Antar.
SEC bans Porter Bingham & Malachi.
SEC suspends underwriter on Rolling Fork bonds.
The rape of Rolling Fork.
SEC sues Malachi for Rolling Fork fraud. Says muni advisor was not a muni advisor.
School bonds are...... golden showers.
Malachi & Blackmon gouging Rolling Fork?
Malachi wants half a million dollars to draft budget & review JPS finances.
The suicide of Hinds County, Part II
Malachi "audits" Hinds County finances.
Siemen's Contract & Fees
Hinds County pays Malachi $66,000 for review of Byram-Clinton corridor project.
Hinds County Supes vote to pay Malachi to study budget.
Byram-Clinton corridor project in trouble?
Hinds County rehires Malachi
Major fireworks at Hinds BOS today.
Porter made over half a million dollars on bond swap.
Jackson pays nearly $500,000 to save $1.1 million.
Uh-oh, the Bond Pimp is back.
Jackson's investment advisor finally decides to register.
Jackson paying Financial Advisor $80,000.
Jackson will pay extra $8 million to refinance bonds.
Clarion-Ledger on Convention Center Hotel Deal
More on Hinds County interest rate swaps.


Anonymous said...

I’ve never known a politician to not be crooked in some form or fashion.

Anonymous said...

@12:03pm - Thank you for sharing your anecdotal opinion regarding politicians. I feel better now reading that.

Anonymous said...

Obviously, 12:03, you've never known many politicians. Might be that the honest politicians didn't want to be in your orbit; might be that you are the rotten apple that spoils the few in the barrel you live in.

And besides, Porter Bingham, the subject of this post and the one going to jail -- is not (hold on a minute, dramatic pause) --- a poliltician.

I'm like 12:41. Appreciate your sharing such an interesting opinion (without any supporting background). Like him, I feel better now after reading your insightful comment.

Anonymous said...

@14:41pm- Thank you for sharing your snarky judgment that also adds nothing of substance. I feel worse reading that.

j'etait Charles Martel said...

Once again, politics is the second oldest profession and most politicians make the whores look bad.

And today, many politicians make the whores look smart. Lets' go Brandon!

Anonymous said...

The only people who thinks politicians are not thieves is another politician. they do know what they are doing a common person would go to jail for but they think it isn't wrong for them to steal.

Anonymous said...

KF, did you ever report how much grease was spread around for the most recent JPS bond sale that was meant to fix JPS school buildings, etc?

Anonymous said...

yet agin KFish proves himself to be the only reporter in the history of mississippi journalism to have enough guts to call out the freaks , frauds , fools, and failures.

Anonymous said...

Pretty wide range of sentences, will be interested in the follow up on this. What’s the over/under for a case like this, a year or two? Any potential they go back and look at some other past conduct or is this probably it?

Anonymous said...

@2:32 PM
A hit dog will always holler.

Anonymous said...

Delbert Hosemann, when Secretary of State, had a chance to sanction this guy several years ago through his Securities Division. As with most things Delbert, nothing happened, even after we gave the division a lot of documents and information.

Anonymous said...

I am more interested in what the City of Rolling Fork was going to spend $2mil on. There isn't much there and the majority of it gets government grants because of its location and demographics.

Is McHenry Also A Politician? said...

The largest employer in Rolling Fork is Double Quick, serving the worst fried chicken and the highest priced gas in the Delta. How ironic is that?

I'm still searching for a post at 14:41.

Anonymous said...

I've read JJ's comments revealing demographics and race of everybody except Porter Bingham, others at Malachi and the other bond-deal looters in this scenario. Selective reporting or just cutting room floor?

Who better to hoodwink a group of uneducated black city aldermen than one who looks like them? Or on the other hand...surely they would not have trusted a white man driving an SUV with dark windows and an out of state tag.

Anonymous said...

Really Fish? Every Black man has to be labeled a pimp? Get a new label for the black folks. This crap is blatantly racist labeling. I don't expect this to be posted, just wanted to point out one more time that it's obvious. There have been mountains of pure white men scamming millions, probably billions from folks and not once have I seen you refer to them as pimps. Your bias is so blinding even you can't see it.

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