A few days ago, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists released a batch of documents dubbed Offshore Leaks. Like the Panama Papers, they help expose the shady yet legal underground world of offshore tax havens, complex trusts, LLCs, public shells, and many other fancy terms you’d hear while inside the Oklahoma City Golf and Country Club locker room.
Here’s a description of the project via the ICIJ website:
The database contains information on almost 320,000 offshore entities that are part of the Panama Papers and the Offshore Leaks investigations. The data covers nearly 40 years – from 1977 through 2015 – and links to people and companies in more than 200 countries and territories.
The real value of the database is that it strips away the secrecy that cloaks companies and trusts incorporated in tax havens and exposes the people behind them. This includes, when available, the names of the real owners of those opaque structures. In all, the interactive application reveals more than 360,000 names of people and companies behind secret offshore structures. They come from leaked records and not a standardized corporate registry, so there may be duplicates. In some cases, companies are listed as shareholders for another company or a trust, arrangement that often helps obscure the flesh-and-blood people behind offshore entities.
ICIJ is publishing the information in the public interest. While many of the activities carried out through offshore entities are perfectly legal, extensive reporting by ICIJ and its media partners for more than four years has shown that the anonymity granted by the offshore economy facilitates money laundering, tax evasion, fraud and other crimes. Even when it’s legal, transparency advocates argue that the use of an alternative, parallel economy undermines democracy because it benefits a few at the expense of the majority.
I’m not going to lie to you, this stuff is way over my head. I prefer my investigative reports to focus around lawmakers hoarding tickets to American Ninja Warrior, hot lesbian Kiss Cam girls, or whether or not Lucas Ross has an odd fascination Milky Way bars. However, thanks to a Twitter tip, we searched the database for Oklahoma. It pulled up the following 14 records:
Eating well is the most important part of life to me. Food is not only what nourishes your body and keeps you healthy, but out of all of the sensory experiences, it’s the best. I’ll take a delicious, thoughtfully prepared meal over money or sex or all the other things that make life fun. Especially seafood, which seems so rare and precious in our landlocked cattle country.
But I’ve never understood the allure of caviar. Maybe I’ve never had the really, REALLY good stuff, like malossol Ossetra black caviar from Russia that sells for $100 an ounce. Sure, the caviar I’ve tried has been tasty, but for the money, I can find a lot of other ways to entertain myself. The amount you’d spend on the fleeting enjoyment of some briny sturgeon roe would afford a nice dinner at Ludivine, or even a VIP experience at Suger’s.
It has always seemed like more of a status symbol- a way to project your wealth and privilege by eating thousands of creepy unborn fish.
So it must be surprising for most Oklahoman’s to know that their Great Plains state is home to not only a growing source for caviar, but an illicit black market as well.
Back in February, word came out that American Ninja Warrior would be filming an episode at the Hell hole known as the Oklahoma State Capitol. Some of the Oklahoma Capitol-themed obstacles included on the course are the…
1. Guardian Climb – Contestants must climb a rope to the Guardian statue, pull a feather from its headdress, and then slide down the dome into a pool of raw sewage fresh from the Capitol’s broken plumbing system and put the feather in an empty disposal well.
2. The Lime Stone Drop – A dangerous and daring obstacle where aspiring ninjas must run up the capitol’s south entrance into the main building while dodging chunks of limestone falling from the Capitol’s cornices and architraves.
People who enjoy contrived, formulaic, reality TV are very excited about the event. This includes Mary Fallin. She gave the following quote to KFOR:
“It’s exciting that Oklahoma, and especially our state Capitol, will be showcased on ‘American Ninja Warrior,” said Gov. Mary Fallin. “This will allow viewers to get a glimpse of all the impressive things that are going on in Oklahoma City.”
Yeah. Those viewers from all over the country sure are going to be impressed with our decrypt capitol that’s falling to the ground. Who thought that was a good idea? Instead of American Ninja Warrior, they should have brought in one of those HGTV fixer upper shows where they rescue and flip damaged, unkept property.
State lawmakers are also pumped for the Ninja battle. I don’t blame them. According to an email we received via the Ogle Mole Network, they are being offered private tours of the obstacle course and free VIP On Camera tickets, because you know, if anyone deserves VIP treatment in this state right now, it’s the people who work in the Oklahoma State Capitol.
Check out this email that Oklahoma Speaker of House Jeff Hickman sent to all of his colleagues late last week:
The woman pictured above with a very large, fancy ring on her finger is Jennifer Saba. The dude pictured with her is G. Edward Evans. He’s an uber wealthy executive who owns Oak Tree Country Club, is a former co-owner of the Oklahoma City Thunder, and really really really wants to get that ring back.
Who gets to keep the ring when love turns bad and an engagement is called off?
In one story involving an Oklahoma City couple, the fate of a $46,000 diamond engagement ring may be decided in court.
G. Edward Evans, who purchased Oak Tree Golf Club in 2008 and was an original owner of the Oklahoma City Thunder, filed a lawsuit Thursday in Oklahoma County District Court against his ex-fiancee.
Evans, 55, says he and Jennifer Saba, 50, agreed that if their engagement ended she would return the ring. The lawsuit states the ring was purchased for $46,000 but is estimated to be valued at $75,000. He says he is the ring’s “rightful owner,” according to the lawsuit.
Boy, I wish I could have seen that marriage proposal at the Ironwood Bar and Grill:
“Jennifer, I love you. Will you marry me?”
“Oh my goodness. Yes, Edward. Yes, I will marry you. I love you so much.”
“Great, now if you can just sign this contract that stipulates you will return this $75,000 ring to me if our engagement is called off, we’ll be good to go.”
Seriously, that’s insane. Find me a woman who would agree to something like that and I’ll propose to her immediately. Well, if she’s rich or hot.
The Oklahoman’s Kyle Schwab pulled a TMZ and caught up with the ex-fiance. Here’s what she had to say:
Remember the guy above? He’s the bandana wearin’, truck nut danglin’, Red Dirt singin’ local musician Stoney LaRue. You know, the guy who ripped off that Hosty song and made it popular.
Back in July, Stoney was charged with one count of domestic assault and battery after he allegedly pushed his girlfriend down some stairs following a long night of boozin’ and partyin’ with another woman probably down by the old dirt road in his pickup truck. After a quick check of OSCN, it looks like the charges still stand and he has a jury trial scheduled this October.
In case you forgot, here’s a recap of the incident via NewsOK.com:
The successful local country musician known as Stoney LaRue was arrested in the early morning hours of Monday on a domestic violence complaint, according to a police report.
Stoney LaRue Phillips, 38, of Oklahoma City, who goes by the name Stoney LaRue as a country music performer, was taken into custody around 7:30 a.m. Monday after his live-in girlfriend called police, alleging Phillips pushed her down the stairs after an argument.
According to the report, Phillips and a friend, Richa Chandra, 43, of Nashville, Tenn., came home to the couple’s apartment on N. Robinson around 4 a.m. after a night of drinking. Phillips’ girlfriend, Amanda Winsworth, told police Phillips and Chandra were making so much noise it woke her up, and she went to her car to continue sleeping.
At 6:50 a.m., Winsworth woke up and went back inside to get ready for work. She told officers that the sound of her hair dryer woke Phillips up, and he started an argument with her over the noise. Phillips then threw Winsworth’s makeup bag, toiletries, and curling iron down the stairs, according to the report, and when she bent down to pick some of the things up Phillips “pushed her from behind causing her to roll head over heels down the staircase.”
Winsworth, who had scratches on her left leg and back, then attempted to call the police, at which point Chandra tried to stop her from making the call.
After police arrived on the scene, Chandra was arrested for obstruction and public intoxication after she did not comply with officers who told her to leave the premises.
Phillips was booked Monday morning into the Oklahoma County jail and posted his $4,000 bail later that day. Chandra was also booked into the jail, and she bailed out Tuesday morning.
After the fiasco, Stoney issued the following statement to his fans:
“I want to apologize to my family, my friends and my fans for the recent circumstances that have come to light. I am going to take some time to work on myself. I will be entering an intensive and extensive program, and I appreciate your thoughts and good wishes for me during this trying time. Please check my website and Facebook page for updates on my upcoming tour dates, but most importantly, I appreciate your support during this time,” he said in the statement.
Well, I guess Stoney’s “intensive and extensive program” must have worked, because he’s now partnering with folks to open a bar in Bricktown. It’s called Stoney Larue’s Music House. It’s located where Moonshiner’s used to be. It’s the number one destination for fans of live Red Dirt music, alcoholism and domestic violence.
Here’s a Facebook post promoting the new venue:
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