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Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013 03:23 pm

Dogs and fleas and taking baths

Todd Green testifies in THR bankruptcy

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Jeffrey Parsons
Hundreds of customers, vendors and employees didn’t get paid by THR and Associates. Car dealer Todd Green wasn’t one of them.

During recent testimony in the bankruptcy case of the failed Springfield company that made and lost a fortune buying and selling precious metal and other valuables, Green said that he quickly sensed a pattern to calls from Jeffrey Parsons, THR’s founder and owner, during a series of business deals that lasted about six months in 2011 and 2012.

“I have got a couple of friends that have said when you sleep with dogs you get fleas and that maybe his character was not the kind of character that maybe I am looking for,” Green testified. “I realized that after being with him for about six weeks that the only time I communicated with Jeff was when he needed something. … I started realizing, hey man, if I’m going to do stuff, I’m going to make money on you because the only time I talk to you is when you need something because no one else will do it for you.”

And so Green made plenty.

After buying a Cessna Citation III jet for $565,000, Green testified that he sold a half-share to Parsons for $600,000 in silver coins. Parsons, whose company purchased precious metals in buying shows set up in hotels throughout the nation, paid about $300,000 for the silver, Green testified. He was an enthusiastic buyer as soon as the hangar door opened.

“He looked at it and said ‘Oh, my God. This is exactly what I’m looking for. It is black, it is my colors,’ and I said ‘Hey, hey, slow down a little bit,’” Green testified during a January proceeding akin to a deposition.

Green also bought a Panther Creek luxury home for $865,000, then transferred it to Parsons in a lease-to-own deal that included $200,000 in upfront payments, half in cash, half in silver. The deal was supposed to end with a total price of slightly more than $1 million, but Green is now seeking to evict Parsons for not making payments in January and February.

Green drove a hard bargain last spring when Parsons asked him to buy a boat for $115,000, then sell it to him for $130,000 worth of silver.

“You give me $160,000 in silver,” Green responded, according to his January testimony. The two eventually settled on $150,000 in silver, Green testified.

At the time, a court order in his pending divorce prohibited Parsons from acquiring any motor vehicles, boats or real estate without a judge’s permission. Nonetheless, Parsons also asked Green to set up a deal to acquire a $1.2 million house in Florida on the same terms used in the Panther Creek home deal, but the deal didn’t get done.

Green said that he last had contact with Parsons last summer, when Parsons got in touch shortly before the car dealer was due to testify in the divorce case.

“I said ‘I will not lie,’” Green told the bankruptcy trustee. “He says ‘Uh oh, I’m in trouble.’ I say ‘Hey, I told you I’m not going to lie.’ … He told me that we – that the boat was a rental or a lease. I said to him, ‘No, I told you I’m not going to lie.’”

Green said that Parsons at one point asked him to store a Harley-Davidson motorcycle worth $20,000 at a dealership. He agreed, but changed his mind when he heard that Parsons was trying to conceal the motorcycle from his estranged wife’s legal team, which was accusing Parsons of hiding marital property.

“I called [an employee] and said ‘Get that out of our store,’” Green testified. “ ‘You get ahold of Jeff and tell him we are dropping that, we are dropping it out at his house in Panther Creek whether he is there or not.’”

Green turned down at least one deal. Parsons once told Green, who had at least six figures worth of silver stored at The Gold Center, that he could get him more than the metal was worth if Green gave him all the silver that he owned.

“He said that he had a guy that pays $5 over the spot price, but he gets to hold the silver for six weeks,” Green testified.

“So you would be without your silver and without your money?” Richardson asked.

“Yeah,” Green told Richardson, who observed that the auto dealer likely made a wise decision in declining Parsons’ proposal.

Green said that he hasn’t spoken with Parsons since last summer, but he said that he wouldn’t hesitate if his staff told him that Parsons was holding on line two.

“I would jump right on it because I would like to know what the hell he wants,” Green said. “I would be right on it saying ‘What are you doing?’”

Contact Bruce Rushton at brushton@illinoistimes.com.
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