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CAUTIONARY TALE: Quartz Mountain Aerospace and the continuing tax-credit con

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Luscombe 185-11E aircraft which were auctioned off following Quartz Mountain Aviation's 2009 bankruptcy in Altus, Oklahoma.
Fertile Ground Compost Service
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NORMAN, Okla. -- Brianna Bailey, a business writer for The Oklahoman, authored and article about a Altus banker and a real estate developer that were convicted of wire fraud and bank fraud in some $2 or $3 million dollars in loans from the First State Bank in Altus.

In the last paragraph, the author states “a series of senior life settlement noted from the First State Bank of Altus to support an Altus aerospace company.”

And the “pop up” is that the “aerospace company” in Altus is our good friend and well-known recipient of hundreds of millions of tax credits from the great state of Oklahoma: Quartz Mountain Aerospace, as operated by Altus Ventures.

The story in the newspaper is most interesting for what it leaves out, and curiously, if you check out Bailey’s story on NewsOK.com, the paper has “disabled” the opportunity for readers to leave comments. I can’t help but wonder why?

In any event, Bailey's story reported that on Friday, Paul Harold Doughty, a 67-year old Edmond man and former president of the failed First State Bank of Altus was found guilty, by a federal jury, of 10 charges of bank fraud, misapplication of bank funds, conspiracy to commit bank fraud, making a false bank entry, and the unauthorized issuance of a bank loan.

A story we featured here at Red Dirt Report, as written by blogger "The Prowling Owl," notes that Altus Ventures (which oversaw QMA), which Doughty controlled, was plagued with problems, most self-inflicted.

Doughty was working with his partner and fellow con artist, Fred Don Anderson. Anderson, interestingly, has already pleaded guilty to the feds of one count of committing bank fraud up in Oregon.

Meanwhile, over a decade ago, Doughty allegedly worked with Republican State Rep. Kevin Calvey, now 49, (who in 2015 vowed to commit self-immolation by fire over an abortion ruling), the same guy who presumably never met a tax credit he didn't like and who handily won his House District 82 primary last Tuesday as the incumbent.

As The Prowling Owl wrote in January 2009: "(Doughty and Anderson) were part of a group making a large bundled campaign donation to Kevin Calvey's 2006 run for US Congress. Calvey, at the time chairman of the House Revenue and Taxation Committee, was involved in writing an amendment to a bill that originated in the Senate to close the loopholes used by Altus Ventures. The large donation came while the amendment was in Calvey's committee. Calvey allowed Doughty to assist in writing the amendment. The amendment remained pigeonholed until the closing session leaving no time for lawmakers to read or discuss. The amendment passed with nary a nay vote in either chamber. Examining the amended law reveals the loopholes remain open, and new language appeared that attempts to prevents the state from recovering tax credits taken in violation of the law."

Anyway, many politicians carried water for Quartz Mountain Aerospace over the years. The people at the Oklahoma Tax Commission would rewrite the regulations so that all the tax credits that went to Quartz Mountain would comply.

Subsequent legislatures succeeded in getting bills passed that continued the tax credits to Quartz Mountain when it was very obvious that the company was failing. Some of the legislators during this period received significant campaign contributions from the individuals associated with Quartz Mountain, as we have noted.

The City of Altus lost several million dollars in the Quartz Mountain fraud. When the company declared bankruptcy all of the city council members in Altus were voted off. Check out this story (and many others) by investigative reporter Nick Baker - aka "The Prowling Owl" - who reported on these developments over seven years ago here at Red Dirt Report and at his blog.

So, tax credits in the state of Oklahoma continue and our representatives love to tell us how much of a benefit they are to the state's economy, forgetting to tell you how they personally benefit.

All of the tax credits that went to Quartz Mountain Aerospace only benefited the owners and the politicians. The list of tax credit embarrassments is long.

So the next time some politician tells you how important tax credit are, ask them, who they are most important to?

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About the Author

Ted H. Smith

Ted H. Smith is a 1966 graduate of Texas A&M University. He received his Master Degree in...

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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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