Hash was initially the one who took the initiative to take over the various problems that Chase had left behind. However, his financial backer, Jared then realized that not only was Hash too young, but his skills in all aspects were also too limited. To put it bluntly, he was useless and was no match for Alex. Thus, he changed his mind at the last moment and invited Charles out.
Since Charles was Chase’s brother, it was reasonable for Charles to handle the matters that were left behind by Chase on his behalf.
In terms of personal ability, Charles was indeed above Hash.
Yet to Alex, his way of dealing with them would be the same no matter who the opponent was…
Once Chief Judge Houston had arranged for both parties to take their seats in his office, he asked, “Have you all thought about it?”
All Alex did was nod but he did not respond.
On the other hand, Charles shook his head. “No, I think it’s still necessary to talk to Alex again one last time.”
“What have you been doing? It’s been a few days since I last talked to you. Why haven’t you talked to him since then?”
“I did, but we couldn’t agree on common ground. Chief Judge Houston, can I talk to him alone for a while?”
“Five minutes. You have five minutes at most.”
Chief Judge Houston answered impatiently before he stood up and left.
After Charles closed the door, he immediately sat back down and looked at Jared. “Young Master Jared, it’s better if you say it.”
Jared lit a cigarette languidly and took a deep breath. Then, he puffed out a smoke ring before saying to Alex slowly, “We’ve already said all that has to be said before, but I don’t think you realize the severity of the problem. In that case, I’ll emphasize once again that the properties under Chase Lucas’s name should be inherited by the Lucas family. Moreover, I set my eyes on them first. If you insist on taking them, not only will you become the enemy of the Lucas family, but you’ll also become an opponent of the Xavier family…”
Alex shook his head. “Since the carrot didn’t work, you’re switching over to the stick?”
“All I’m doing is introducing you to the reality of the situation. We admit that Chase owes you money and we’re willing to pay you back, but what Charles told you yesterday is the best solution. If you’re willing to accept it, we can return 10 million to you first and I guarantee that the remaining 180 million will be paid back within three years.”
“Jared, I remember telling you before that I was looking forward to how you would use Grand Express’s strengths to deal with me, so there’s really no need to say any more nonsense. Either pay off the debt or get lost immediately. We don’t have to waste each other’s time. I have other things to do anyway, so you should go back and complain to your old father as soon as possible. After all, as far as I know, you’re not in charge of Grand Express yet.”
“Cohen, are you sure you want to walk down this path?”
“Sigh… I’ve lived for more than twenty years, but I’ve never seen a man as naggy as you.”
Alex could not be bothered to talk nonsense with Jared anymore. Hence, he stood up to call Chief Judge Houston in.
For the sake of formality, Chief Judge Houston asked one last time to confirm that Charles did not intend to pay Alex on behalf of Chase Lucas. Then, he announced, on the spot, that the court would immediately conduct a professional evaluation of the properties under Chase Lucas’s name and use them as credit for his debt to Alex. If the total value exceeded 190 million, all of the excesses would be confiscated. Though if the value was less than 190 million, it would be made up with other properties under Chase Lucas’s name, including but not limited to estates, vehicles, stocks, and other assets.
Although Jared and Charles were very unhappy, they did not dare to openly challenge the court as they did not respond after listening to Chief Judge Houston’s words. Yet when Jared stood up, he spat a few malicious words at Alex before he left in a hurry.
Meanwhile, Charles glared at Alex. He seemed as if he wanted to say something but he hesitated and swiftly followed after Jared.
Alex was in a good mood, so he did not care about Jared and Charles’s mood at all. He shook hands with Chief Judge Houston and said politely, “Thank you, Chief Judge Houston. Though there’s one thing I would like to consult you about. How much would the properties under Chase Lucas’s name be worth now?”
“That’s hard to say.” Chief Judge Houston shook his head and said, “If the stores in those properties are rented, that means they’re closed now and might even have a bad track record, so they won’t be worth much at all. However, according to my preliminary understanding, the stores were all bought by Chase Lucas. Besides, you know the current cost of housing. The expensive ones are somewhat ludicrous.”
“Is that so? It’s good that they’re valuable. I was afraid of taking over a bunch of properties that only look impressive but are actually worthless.”
“That’s impossible. If those stores were not bought by Chase Lucas, then those properties under his name would not be worth a few hundred million, even at their peak. I shouldn’t be saying this, but after you take over those properties, you should be able to score a big profit if you operate them well. And even if you don’t operate them yourself, you wouldn’t lose money from obtaining those properties. However… it won’t be easy to get those stores to reflect the value they deserve.”
“No wonder Jared and Charles were both extremely reluctant to pay me back using the properties under Chase Lucas’s name!”
When Alex learned about this, he felt that his luck was indeed quite good. If Chase did not die, it would have been impossible to transfer those properties so easily because even if he wanted to transfer them, there would be a lot of competitors. However, since those properties had been shut down and frozen by the court which then caused them to be severely depreciated, others did not dare to take an interest in them. Hence that was why Alex had the chance to take them…
Although the matter of offsetting the debt had not been officially implemented, the fact that Alex was to take the properties under Chase Lucas’s name was already the nail in the coffin and there was no need to worry about it anymore. This way, Alex could focus on other stuff, such as buying out Quill City Media.
In the afternoon, Alex took Big Ken to the city bureau and met with Captain Pannell, where he learned that Henry Doyle had confessed to his crime. In order to lighten his sentence, Henry had voluntarily confessed some details that the police had not yet learned. It turned out that he was not the sole decision-maker of the bombing, but it was a decision made with a few core figures of Quill City Media.
On top of that, Quill City Media had a very big problem with their tax evasion, so they were ordered to suspend business immediately.
Captain Pannell had already arrested several major figures who were involved in the bombing case, as well as several other people who were responsible for the tax issue. So in just a few days, almost all core figures and executives of Quill City Media were caught.
As the saying went, a country could not be without a ruler.
The same applied to businesses.
Even if Quill City Media was the city’s largest brokerage media company and had long developed to a very mature stage, they were completely paralyzed after this incident. If not for the fact that both the leaders who were responsible for approving resignation applications and appointing a new leader were arrested, at least half of the employees would have chosen to resign.
Besides the employees, the artists who had signed contracts with the company were also left with nothing to do and no money to earn.
If the employees did not want to continue wasting time there, they could just leave. However, it was different for artists because if they had a signed contract with the company, the liability for breach of contract was exceptionally serious. Under the circumstance that their contract with Quill City Media had not been terminated, signing onto another agency or taking up private work would be considered a breach of contract, and the penalty would easily reach tens of millions or even hundreds of millions. Regardless of whether the artists belonged to high-income groups, the penalty was not something that all artists could afford.
However, even if the artists could afford it, their willingness to pay was also a big problem.
It was just like Alex a few months ago. Even though he had 50 million, he still did not want to pay 50 million in liquidated damages to Isla Sullivan for nothing.
All in all, Quill City Media was met with the biggest crisis in its history.
Although they were not yet bankrupt, the staff were all worried. Everyone was deterred by the fact that it would not be long until the company went bankrupt.
When Alex learned about this situation, he secretly sighed for a moment before saying to Captain Pannell, “Quill City Media is such a big enterprise. That cannot be the end of it, right?”
“It won’t.” Captain Pannell waved his hand. “This isn’t my area of expertise and I don’t know much about it, but I’ve seen a lot of things. Based on my experiences, some departments will not allow Quill City Media to collapse so easily. You should know that even though Quill City Media has big issues with tax evasion, they still pay tax. Correspondingly, they also play a big role in raising the city’s GDP, which in turn involves the performance of certain leaders… I’m not at liberty to go into details about this matter, but you should be able to understand.”
“Oh… I can probably figure it out.”
Alex could guess that it must not have been easy for Quill City Media to grow its assets to the tens of billions. If this pillar collapsed, no one knew how long it would take to offset the negative impact on the GDP. This also meant that if someone wanted to seize Quill City Media, the best opportunity had arrived…