Press Release-Complaint filed against AlcorMarch 18 2004 at 7:44 AM
|Anonymous (no login)|
For immediate release
March 18, 2004
Contact: John A. Heer
Walter & Haverfield LLP
BY MARK AND BOBBY-JO FERRELL,
AND TED AND SAM WILLIAMS
On March 18, 2004, Bobby-Jo Williams Ferrell and her cousins, Ted and Sam Williams, filed a Complaint against Alcor Life Extension Foundation, Inc. in Superior Court for Maricopa County, Arizona. For more than two months, Bobby-Jo and her cousins, as "interested persons" under the Arizona Anatomical Gift Act (AAGA), have been requesting that Alcor produce a copy of Ted Williams document of gift a document which Ted Williams was required to sign in order to give his remains to Alcor and which Alcor is required to provide under the AAGA. Rather than simply comply with the law, Alcor has repeatedly and unjustifiably denied these requests.
Alcor's continued unreasonable resistance to the requests for Ted Williams document of gift leads us to conclude that Ted Williams never consented to his decapitation or his cryopreservation. We look forward to the Courts determination that will force Alcor to comply with the AAGA and put an end to this needless dispute. If Alcor has Ted Williams document of gift, evidence of his written consent to cryopreservation will finally bring closure to Bobby-Jo and her cousins. If Alcor does not have the document of gift, Bobby-Jo and her cousins will consider pursuing other options once that fact is established.
|March 18 2004, 8:11 AM |
Wow another court battle. This will cost more $$$. How is Alcor's budget this year? Alcor could save a hell of a lot of the MEMBERS MONEY if they would just COMPLY with the law, but again that would be something new for them. Wake up ALCOR MANAGEMENT what are you thinking?
Alcor's budget isn't good. At current "burn rates"...
|March 18 2004, 9:20 AM |
...at current "burn rates", as of July 2003, according to Chairman of the Board, Micheal Riskin, Alcor would be broke in 18 months. That puts Alcor in a position of having till Jan. 2005 to exist, financially, in terms of the general operations budget-- AS FAR I UNDERSTAND IT. Disclaimer: I'm only an Alcor member who attended a couple of board meetings and my word isn't the word of an expert. I'm merely outputting what my impression was based on what I thought I heard at the open-to-the-public board meetings, combined with my examination of whatever Treasurer's reports were available.
Re: Alcor's budget isn't good. At current "e;burn rates"e;...
|March 18 2004, 9:25 AM |
If that is fact. Wouldn't be smart for Alcor to try and quitely work out their legal problems with Bobby-Jo, Heer and Johnson without causing a whole lot of financial fallout? I mean it makes sense to me.
It'll be interesting to see what account the legal bills get paid out of.
|March 18 2004, 12:27 PM |
I don't know a lot about look at how the books are done, but it would be interesting to see how this is being credited and to what account. I don't think the "Patient Care Fund" can be billed for lawyer's fees, but I am certainly no expert. Maybe someday, we'll see online books. That would be interesting.
|March 18 2004, 1:22 PM |
No organization or business will ever do that. And don't forget Alcor has limited resources to be able to do that, anyway.
A foundation is supposed to have public records, I thought.
|March 18 2004, 2:26 PM |
Aren't foundations obliged to have open books? It takes almost nothing in terms of resources to open a free web page and publicly post some of your balance sheet every quarter. That's a start. You act like this way out of line. Alcor is not a private company or a private individual. It's a public foundation. Part of our problem as members is to determine what, exactly, is supposed to be public information and what is to be regarded as not public. I'd like to see someone do a detailed analysis on that. I think the future health of Alcor and our cryonauts depends upon as much openness as the law allows.
|Non E. Moose|
Whatever else it is, Alcor is a self-perpetuating board of directors.
|March 18 2004, 5:26 PM |
I'm not sure there is any real meaning to the term "public foundation" - it can mean too many things.
But I have been thinking lately, that possibly one very basic problem is that Alcor's Board of Directors re-elects itself every time a term is up, and nobody has to leave unless they want to or a certain percent (I'm not sure what that is) of the existing board give them the boot. They are NOT elected by the membership, which to me is a RED FLAG.
To what extent this may be a contributory factor to Alcor's problems might support a rather large thread here (well, not bigger than a Web TV screen ... I see Rick is locking threads again).
Steven Bridge responded to this issue on cryonet before
|March 18 2004, 7:01 PM |
He basically said the reason the board elects itself (and not the membership base) is to prevent outside weird groups from joining Alcor in mass and "taking over".
Given the large amount of cash Alcor has (and the patient care trust) this is a very real issue.
There are advantages/disadvantages in doing this. But the advantages are greater if you think about the issue clearly.
I can't seem to find the cryonet posting, so if anyone comes across it, please post it. Steve's writing and thinking, as usual, are very crisp and well reasoned.
|March 18 2004, 1:27 PM |
Thanks lurker. Great work. Alcor's next annual report is 4-19-04
|March 18 2004, 4:20 PM |
Here are several interesting bits of information from that site. (How did find it? )
The next annual report will be 4-19-04.
Annual reports online go back to 1994. I wonder where you go for annual reports previous to that, from a public access point of view? Alcor itself seems the only option. But working through Alcor always seems a bit awkward.
I wonder what C T Corporation System is. I've never heard of that. It appears to be associated with Alcor somehow, corporately.
|Non E. Moose|
|March 18 2004, 5:42 PM |
Did you notice some people missing from the list of Directors? It looks like all the available blank spaces were filled in, and the rest just left off.
Rick, does the $125,111 figure invested in futures, make your fingers tremble?
And, of course, there is that 6-figure "receivables" item.
I didn't notice the $125,111
|March 18 2004, 9:08 PM |
I'll look at it again. I'm trembling and spittling just reading it in your post. I've personally figured out, using my own money, that you can't trade futures options without a minimum of 50K to be able to handle the movements of prices. It's simply not possible. If Alcor has ever put money in futures trading, I think that that would be major headlines in an Alcor members' newsletter. I'd like to know who personally would be doing the trading. For the more fact-based readers- you must realize that we don't know that Alcor is trading futures yet. This is all conjecture and until I personally confirm Alcor is trading futures, I'm not totally convinced they are. I'm using this as a lead for investigation.
CT Corporate Systems
|March 18 2004, 7:20 PM |
is a clearing house for virtually thousands of companies. They simply act as statutory agent for companies and forward any corporate legal documents that they receive to the company. Very commonly used by corporate entities.
That's news to me.
|March 18 2004, 9:14 PM |
You're very good at this, lurker. Thanks for attending the Cafe. However, on the point at hand, CT is news to me. I have no concept of what a "statutory agent" for a corporation would be or why it would be. This is stuff way beyond my level of operation. They "forward corporate legal documents"? I'm sure the people in corporation-land take this all for granted, but for lay people, it's weird. Give me an example of a "corporate legal document" that CT would have to "forward" to Alcor-- that could NOT be "forwarded" to Alcor directly. I mean-- Alcor has a corporate mailing address does it not? Is CT the equivalent of a post office box for corporations?
|March 18 2004, 6:04 PM |
Re: Alcor's budget isn't good. At current "e;burn rates"e;...
|March 18 2004, 9:29 AM |
Burn rates are not immutable, cutbacks have already been made, much of that burn rate was for capital acquisitions, and it is almost impossible for alcor to simply "vanish" since the patients are taken care of by the Patient Care Trust, which is not touched and not included in the burn rate you allude to.
Worst case, they have to lay-off staff, cut salaries, and go to a bare bones operation without any R&D or other improvements. They have done it before.
Okay, I like that answer--- burn rates can be adjusted.
|March 18 2004, 4:26 PM |
Thanks Anonymous. It didn't occur to me that a burn rate would include capital acquisitions. That would certainly make a difference if capital acquisitions were not included. I should have known better than to think that the term "burn rate" meant anything from an actual accounting point of view. To me, when I first heard it, it meant simply "expenses". (The capital acquired with the burn would be things purchased once or only once in a long while. Like an ambulance. Or an ambulance roof and fence.)
It's interesting to hear that cutbacks are being made because it's also possible to raise the membership dues to cover required expenses. Are membership dues going to go up in addition to the cutbacks you refer to?
Unsurprisingly, the Ferrells are at it again.
|March 18 2004, 7:47 PM |
In the end, Alcor has no obligation to release the DOG, since it would be breaking client confidentiality. Once the Ferrells get the DOG, hopefully they'll shut up and move on with their lives. Unlikely if Ted hasn't signed the DOG, though.