The Plain Dealer has hit rock bottom. When normally reliable Terry Pluto makes a mistake that no blogger would make, it should be a wake up call.
Investigation of downgrade does not equal downgrade.
Above is a screen cap of the cle-dot-com webpage of Pluto’s Sunday article. It states a downgrade occurred at PFJ.
That’s major news.
I wondered how I’d missed it. I knew there was nothing in the WSJ piece revealing a new downgrade of PFJ debt; but the sentence is written as though a downgrade occurred in addition to the WSJ article. (Use of the word “and” is important.) So I checked Moodys (who have announced an investigation) and S&P (who have not). (more…)
UPDATE 7/29: Two more yellow boxes. Fenwick and Welch pled guilty, it was reported today.
DOJ is up to five guilty pleas in the PFJ fraud investigation. Adding in CHS-1 and CHS-2 (Greco), that adds up to seven cooperating PFJ employees in the investigation. I thought it might be useful to see where these people are in the org chart and check into how it’s mapping out. In particular, are there are any straight lines to Jimmy Haslam?
The org chart is based on the info in search warrant linked here; it’s a best effort, but in some cases I’ve guessed who reports to whom. (Stinnett is a question; I’m assuming discounting coordinator is part of accounting and rolls up to the CFO.) If you’re not up to speed on the case, here’s the best review I’ve read on it.
Who has pled guilty?
- Arnie Ralenkotter, Eastern Regional Sales Director based in Hebron, KY (Cincy suburb). Uttered the immortal line, “He thinks you’re fuckin’ em. So you might as well be fuckin ’em.”
- Ashley Judd, Inside Sales (unclear whose account she handled). Judd told CHS-2 that if anyone ever came in the office that that file would be first one that Judd would burn.
- Kevin Clark, Sales Rep based in KC. Unlucky for him, his boss was a DOJ informant and was rolling tape when Clark said: “You’re gettin’ like cost-minus-1 but we were really givin’ him like cost-plus-3. And the fucker never checked in the optimizer! To me, I felt like sayin’ Well you’re the moron that didn’t check it!”
- Jay Stinnett, unclear his official role or who he reports to. He was an outside rep, was promoted, and was at Freeman’s lake house meeting with other sales directors. As near as I can tell, he seems like a Sales Productivity and/or Training jack-of-all-trades. He didn’t teach the manual discount break-out session, but he planned it. Among his damning tape: “Our advantage is their ignorance.” (Male voice) “Yeah, AKA, we’re fuckin’ ‘em. (Laughter.)”
- Holly Radford, Inside Sales for Hanscomb. In the fateful breakout session she coined the phrase, “Welcome to the gray side.” She also handled Stinnett when he was on the road and ‘kept his shaved accounts straight.’ (more…)