August 9, 2000

Byrne is Out!!!!
Ken Ross Moves Up the Ladder
Dell Expands Internet Leasing
Two LeaseX Go to Jail for Fraud in Spokane, Washington
( took committment fees, up-front lease payments...)

Byrne Rumor is True!---Confirmed by two more sources.

Patrick Byrne, CLP - 50% owner and CEO of Balboa Capital Corporation, Irvine, CA was voted out as CEO by the Board of Directors and no longer "works" for the company.

"Founded in 1988 by Patrick Byrne and Shawn Giffin, Balboa Capital has grown into a national company with 150 employees. Balboa is headquartered in Irvine, California, and has offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Phoenix, and New York. A two-time member of the Inc. 500 list, and named Orange County's Entrepreneurs of the Year for 1997, Balboa has become a leader in the leasing industry."

The above is from their former website ( saved in cache, as this has been replaced without any reference to Byrne.)

Their job application contained this to describe Balboa Capital:

"Fun Despite the high expectations we have for ourselves, we don't feel that an approach to life that merely emphasizes work accomplishments is healthy or desirable. Let's face it, if all you do is work, you end up being one boring individual. That is why we also stress fun on a daily basis. We promote an atmosphere that makes coming to work enjoyable. Balboans are encouraged to seek excellence both in and out of the office. We sponsor company softball teams, hold company functions (including our infamous annual meeting), encourage employees to exercise daily, promote further education, and try to make every day entertaining. We believe that personal and professional growth are equally important. Well-rounded, happy individuals are the cornerstone of our success."

We can surely look for more news about Balboa Capital in the next few months--editor

Kit-- Reviewed your e-rag and it's a scream. The comments are in line with the way everyone speaks but are fearful of articulating to print.

Keep up the good work - I appreciate your sharp edge and editorial comments. This leasing business is serious yet has a humorous side that transcends the ridiculous nature of some of its' most stuffy characters.

Dave (and you can quote me) Fisher
David W. Fisher

Thought this would be of interest -
Best regards,

o Former Extricity CEO Ken Ross Becomes RRE Ventures Partner NEW YORK -- RRE Ventures, a New York-based venture capital firm, said it appointed Ken Ross as a partner in the firm's newly opened Silicon Valley branch office. Mr. Ross is the co-founder and former chairman and CEO of Extricity Software, an RRE portfolio company. Mr. Ross remains a member of Extricity's board and a major shareholder in the company. He is also former president and CEO of Pillar, an enterprise budgeting software firm. RRE Ventures has $350 million under management.


Aaron Ross CEO,

The Lease Exchange has been named one of the Top 10 to Watch for 2000 by RedHerring Magazine!

Dell caters to dot-coms with expanded leasing plan
By Ian Fried
Staff Writer, CNET

Who wants to lend capital to Internet businesses these days? Apparently, lots of computer makers do.

Dell Computer said today it has expanded a program that leases computers to Internet start-ups and companies looking to take their businesses onto the Internet. The move follows a similar program unveiled by Gateway last week.

In both cases the computer makers are touting the fact that e-businesses can preserve their venture capital by leasing computer equipment. The idea is that today's start-up might be tomorrow's


"As they get larger we like to stay part of that business," said David Clifton, marketing director of Dell's small-business group. "It's great."

Dell has programs that target pre-IPO companies as well as companies that have gone public. In the program that targets newer companies, Dell requires businesses to have the backing of at least one venture capital firm and works only with companies that plan to spend $400,000 or more on tech gear in the next 12 months.

Both Dell and Gateway scrutinize the business plans, examine the management team, and sometimes take an equity stake in the companies before leasing equipment. For Gateway, an equity stake is sometimes a condition of the lease approval, while Dell said it can affect how much financing a company gets.

Neither company seems worried about the current shakeout affecting dot-coms.

"There's always going to be some amount of risk," Clifton said. The venture leasing is part of the company's Dell E Works program for Internet commerce and infrastructure companies as well as traditional companies that want to streamline their businesses by using the Internet.

That effort began in February with Web hosting for small businesses and has been expanded to offer services such as online accounting and marketing. Dell also plans to expand the services it offers to larger companies.

Businessmen face trial in $2 million fraud case--

LeasX executives indicted; little recovered so far by FBI

Bill Morlin - Staff writer

Spokane _ Two men indicted for allegedly swindling five companies out of almost $2 million go to trial Monday in U.S. District Court in Spokane.

The pair, Michael D. Booth and Louis R. Bories, are accused of using the money for lavish lifestyles, including chartered jets, $37,000 mountain bikes, hotel suites and Mercedes-Benz cars.

A 12-member jury will be asked to decide if the businessmen are guilty of 105 counts of wire fraud, money laundering and unlawful monetary transactions.

The two were executives of LeasX Inc., a Spokane-based business that began operating in 1997.

LeasX advertised nationally and took "advance fees" from struggling companies, promising to find investment capital or equipment.

The LeasX executives were indicted on charges of fraudulently obtaining $1,969,000 from five businesses.

A federal grand jury and FBI agents spent almost two years in an attempt to retrieve assets, including two missing Mercedes.

FBI agents recovered only $1,951 in cash and seven pieces of jewelry from Booth's fiancee, a standout volleyball player at Gonzaga University.

Booth, 38, and Bories, 29, were arrested by FBI agents in January 1999, culminating an investigation begun the previous year.

A month before their arrests, Booth and Bories formed another company, Angular Communications Inc.

The two businessmen said that company would create 200 new jobs in Spokane with a telemarketing operation in a 70,000-square-foot former bank on East Sprague.

But by then, FBI agents and a federal grand jury were investigating Booth, Bories and LeasX.

Booth -- who is a semipro golfer -- moved to Spokane in the mid-1990s on federal supervised release after serving 18 months in prison for a $620,000 fraud scheme in Sacramento.

The FBI began its investigation of his new company, LeasX, when a Rock Hill, S.C., business, Irvine Flexible Packaging, reported losing $250,000 in four separate payments.

The South Carolina company was promised that by paying the advance fee, LeasX would help the business find a "master lease" line of financing for $5.3 million worth of equipment, court documents say.

The defendants "provided nothing to the victim," and Irvine Flexible Packaging lost its $250,000, court documents allege.

Its owner, Bruce Irvine, is expected to be among the first of 40 prosecution witnesses called to testify.

The trial is expected to last at least two weeks. It had been postponed several times at the defendants' request.

During the past 19 months, Booth has had five lawyers. He is now represented by attorney Jeffry Finer.

"We're looking forward to complete exoneration," Finer said Friday.

In a trial memorandum prepared for Judge Edward Shea, Finer argues that the "operation of LeasX was never intended to defraud the alleged victims."

Finer said the conduct of Booth and Bories "was not fraudulent."

The alleged victims' leases were near completion, had been postponed or were subject to refund when the government indicted the two men, Finer said. But Assistant U.S. Attorney Tom Rice said in court filings that Booth and Bories were involved in a conspiracy to obtain money by "fraudulent pretenses, representations and promises."

"It was part of the scheme that the defendants, operating through a corporation known as LeasX Inc., offered financing and leasing of equipment and financing in the form of loans," Rice said.

The defendants received advance fees "typically representing prepayment of the first and last month lease or loan payment," Rice said. The payments were sent to the defendants' bank account by interstate wire transfers.

Wire fraud counts accuse the men of defrauding Crawford Forest Products, of Hillman, Mich., out of $96,036, which was an advance fee for a $3 million master lease line of credit.

Besides the $250,000 obtained from Irvine Packaging, the LeasX executives are accused of obtaining $124,552 from Avigen Inc. after promising that California company a $5 million line of credit.

Quad-Cities Construction Inc., of Lewiston, gave LeasX $450,613 for a $5 million lease. Quad-Cities got a $100,000 refund from LeasX after the FBI investigation was begun.

The fifth victim, 21st Century Telesis Inc., a high-tech California telecommunications firm, was bilked out of $965,000 by LeasX, the federal indictment alleges.

Investigators say Booth bought expensive jewelry and mountain bikes, chartered private jets and lived for extended periods at a downtown hotel.

He also rented a limousine to take the Gonzaga University women's volleyball team to a pizza place, associates say. Booth was engaged to player Nicole Lamoure, of Garden City, Calif. The two got a marriage license in Spokane County a year ago.

Bories has been out of jail on a $50,000 bond. He will be represented by Deputy Federal Defender Gerald Smith.

Booth has been held in jail without bond until recently, when the judge approved releasing him to live in a halfway house so he could spend time preparing for his defense.

Bill Morlin can be reached at (509) 459-5444 or by e-mail at

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