Harvey Simpson picked up the IOU and looked at it. He was stunned and said, “Is this real? Chase Lucas really owed you such a large sum of money?”
Alex Cohen nodded his head and said, “It’s true! Captain Simpson, if you don’t believe it, you can call the two witnesses to confirm the situation. That said…if I wanted to extort him, I would’ve gone to Chase’s family to forcefully collect the debt. How would I dare come to you?”
“Sorry, I got excited. With your identity, you’re not short of this money. The reason why I find it unbelievable is that we’ve checked Chase’s public and private accounts and know of all the debts related to him, which didn’t include the $190 million owed to you.”
“Captain Simpson, you can look at the date on the note. It was the night before you got the warrant for Chase’s arrest. This was also handwritten by Chase Lucas himself. At that time, Sir G and Manager Ballantine were present and signed the note as witnesses. I’ve already notified them earlier that if necessary, they’re willing to come forward to help me testify.”
“No wonder there’s no record of this. He probably didn’t even have time to keep track of the accounts himself. Mr. Cohen, I can tell you clearly that a person in debt, whether he’s dead or arrested, must still pay it back. This is irrefutable. It’s just that the way to pay back the debt…needs to be negotiated.”
“Then, in a case like mine, who should I call? How should I negotiate?”
“First of all, we should find Chase’s successor to settle this. It’s only right for his children to pay back their father’s debt. If the successor refuses to pay or can’t afford it, you can go through the judicial process.”
“I’ve contacted the Lucas family and they don’t recognize the debt, so I thought of taking Chase’s assets to offset the debt.”
“Mr. Cohen, then you should go to the court and find Chief Judge Whitman. He’s in charge of Chase’s case. He’s my old classmate, so I’ll give him a heads up…Forget it, I’ll just accompany you.”
“Then thanks in advance, Captain Simpson.”
Alex did not delay further. He immediately took Big Ken with him and followed Harvey to the Municipal Court.
Although Chase Lucas was dead, Harvey still had to sort out his various incriminating evidence and submit it to the court, which will then convict him and punish him accordingly. The reason they had to go through this procedure was that it involved fines and confiscation of property, both of which could not be rashly decided on and had to strictly follow the relevant laws and regulations.
Chief Judge Whitman, for Harvey’s sake, put down all his work at hand and received Alex first. After understanding the situation, he gave a reasonable and legal suggestion without much consideration.
“Mr. Cohen, how about this? You can leave the IOU here and we’ll do a judicial appraisal first. As long as the IOU is found to be real, the court can compulsorily help you collect the money owed. If you can’t collect the money, you can take the assets of the same value under Chase Lucas’ name to offset the debt.”
Alex nodded his head and said, “Okay, then thanks in advance, Chief Judge Whitman!”
“This is just my job. Mr. Cohen, you don’t have to be so polite. By the way, Mr. Cohen, can you give me the contact information of the two witnesses? Don’t think too much. The reason why I want to verify the authenticity of the IOU is just to go through the process. I don’t mean to doubt you.”
Alex wrote down Gunner Young and Fallon Ballantine’s contact information and gave it to Judge Whitman. He then got up and left the court. He had also called Gunner and Fallon respectively to explain the situation. He had to give them a greeting in advance, otherwise, they might feel strange when they receive a call from the court out of the blue.
After he hung up the phone, Alex said, “Captain Simpson, thank you so much.”
Harvey waved his hand and said, “Mr. Cohen, you still remember Exo Quirke, right?”
“Exo Quirke? Of course, I remember. Didn’t you arrest him?”
“Yes, he has been sentenced to five years. His case was tried by Chief Judge Whitman, whom you just met. I mention this because I want to give you peace of mind. I heard him say that at that time, a lot of people wanted to bribe him to fight for leniency for Exo, but he ignored it all. Then even after he received a threatening text message, he still did not compromise. Instead, he retaliated by making Exo’s case a public hearing.”
“Well, the law enforcement department needs people like Chief Judge Whitman and you. You’re all exemplary. By the way Captain Simpson, how is Exo Quirke’s Quill City Media doing now?”
“I heard that times aren’t good for them, but I’m not too sure about the details…”
Harvey finished speaking and bid Alex goodbye, putting off Alex’s proposed lunch invitation to the evening, then hurried back to the bureau.
Alex returned to the car and secretly made some plans.
Recently, there were too many things going on and he was too busy. If Harvey did not mention Exo, he would’ve forgotten about him and Quill City Media. In the beginning, Alex and Kevin Lindstrom were thinking of taking a stake in Quill City Media. Later, he just planned to take it over directly. By now, the investigation of Quill City Media headed by Director Wade Lewis should be almost finished.
This also meant that if there was an opportunity to acquire Quill City Media, it would come soon.
That was because when the investigation was over, it was time to recuperate, which was also the most difficult time for Quill City Media.
Alex thought of this, immediately gave Wade Lewis a phone call to make an appointment, then asked Big Ken to drive him to the entrance of a restaurant, where he met with Wade and had a meal together.
During the meal, Wade briefly explained the progress of the investigation of Quill City Media.
As Alex predicted, there were indeed problems with Quill City Media. There were big problems, mainly in the taxation area, and many of its stars were involved in dual contract agreements. This so-called dual contract agreement was basically signing two copies of the contracts for the same business. One of them was official and was used for tax reporting. Generally, the amount marked on this agreement was far less than the actual labor compensation. The other contract was kept hidden and the amount on this one was the celebrities’ real salary.
Celebrities’ labor fee is very high, often millions or even tens of millions.
Stars belonged to the high-income group, so their tax rate was quite high. With dual contract agreements, they could save a large sum of money.
However, this was illegal!
The dual contract agreement was only one of the tax problems Quill City Media was involved in.
The investigation against Quill City Media was not completely done yet, but according to Wade Lewis’ estimation, the back taxes and corresponding fines that Quill Media needed to pay this time might add up to more than $3 billion! This was astronomical and unbearable for Quill City Media.
Although Quill City Media had a valuation of $10 billion, that was only based on the company’s heyday. They had a certain amount of wealth, but now that they were in trouble and the company had a lot of problems, their business conditions were not as good as before, so valuation shrinkage was unavoidable.
Even if all the funds on the books of Quill City Media were taken out, it was definitely not enough to make up $3 billion.
By then, Quill City Media would face the most severe test since its formation.
If they could not get a new capital injection, it was very likely that they would file for bankruptcy and liquidation. The downfall of the company was still secondary. If this was not handled well, some people might also be jailed. After all, that large amount of tax evasion was illegal and was considered a felony, so the police could hold them criminally responsible!
Henry Doyle, as the CEO of Quill City Media, most likely would not have thought that just because of their cash cow, Exo Quirke, the butterfly effect his small fan club created would be so big that it was critical to the survival of the company.
After the meal, Alex sent Wade Lewis off and immediately called Kevin to tell him about the situation of Quill City Media. As long as there was not too much trouble, after the land acquisition project, the two brothers would soon be working together again to do a bigger job…
In the evening, Alex invited Harvey for dinner and called Gunner and Fallon along. He had also asked Harvey to invite Chief Judge Whitman.
Regarding the matter of debt collection, Alex could not go through the back door and there was also no need for that.
It was the right thing to do for those who owed money to pay off their debts. A son paying off his father’s debts was also natural.
Therefore, Alex simply invited everyone to dinner as a gathering of friends and did not specially prepare any commission of sorts. With Chief Judge Whitman’s nature, even if Alex had prepared to bribe him, he would certainly not accept it. It might also cause resentment towards Alex, which would not be worth it.
Thus during the meal, Alex did not mention the matter of debt collection and just let Chief Judge Whitman follow the process strictly.
After dinner, the group of them went to the basement parking lot.
Alex watched as everyone went back to their respective cars before he headed over to his own car.
Suddenly, Alex heard a deafening explosion…