PAGEL, Davis & Hill, P.C.
Business Lawyers First
1415 Louisiana, 22nd Floor Houston, Texas 77002
Corbett Daniel Parker, Senior Associate
Phone: (713) 951-0160
Fax: (713) 951-0662
November 27, 2018
Re: Public Sale of Omar Afra Assets
On Monday, November 26, 2018, Martyn B. Hill and Corbett Daniel Parker of Pagel, Davis & Hill, P.C. conducted a public sale of assets pledged and formerly owned by Omar Afra on behalf of FPH Chicken Holdings, LLC, the holder of the underlying debt (“FPH”) that formed the basis for the foreclosure on the assets. The debt foreclosed upon originated from that Renewed and Extended Secured Promissory Not of $850,000 for funding made in late 2015 and very early 2016 with a maturity date of February 25, 2016. The loan documents demonstrate that this was intended to be as a short term loan.
At the public sale, FPH was the highest bidder acquiring all of the assets for its credit bid of $50,000, which represented a small portion of the total debt owed to FPH. The acquired assets are defined as Collateral as set forth in the respective security and pledge agreements. FPH is now the sole owner of the entities that own the Free Press Houston newspaper assets and the Day For Night Festival assets foreclosed upon, which remain subject to the remaining debt held by FPH as a perfected, secured lender.
Due to widespread publicity following our Notice of Sale, Pagel, Davis & Hill, P.C. received a significant number of inquiries about the sale, and was notified of multiple claims by third parties of significant debt owed by Omar Afra. Many of these creditors were very upset because they believed that they had been defrauded by Omar Afra, and requested our thoughts on how to proceed against Omar Afra, including filing criminal charges. We clarified that we only represent FPH/Steve Harter in relation to the Omar Afra issues, and we recommend that such creditors contact their own lawyer, not PDH Law. Omar Afra attended the public sale, but did not bid on the assets. This public sale did not fully extinguish the debt owed by Omar Afra to FPH (or the multiple other creditors), and it is anticipated that further legal action will be taken to recover such remaining deficiency of about $670,000 owed by Omar Afra to FPH.
Below is Steve Harter’s (the owner of FPH) statement that he asked us to release regarding Afra’s debt and actions, the public sale, and FPH’s future plans. All inquiries about the public sale, or interest in acquiring any of the assets should be addressed to Corbett Daniel Parker at CDP@pdhlaw.com.
Sincerely, Corbett Daniel Parker
Statement of Steve Harter, the owner of FPH
From the start of my loaning money to Omar in December 2015, Omar was not truthful with me as to:
- Profitability of Free Press Newspaper business and Day For Night Festival business (including representing to me that the first DFN Festival was successful and that he would pay me back within a month from ticket sales he had earned but not yet collected)
- Ownership in various entities that Omar did not actually have ownership as Omar represented, including the pledged collateral for the short term loan I made to Omar (in some instances, Omar both sold, transferred and/or pledged the same assets to third parties that Omar pledged as collateral for my loans to him at virtually the same time)
- Entities actually owning all of the assets that Omar represented they owned
It is now well documented that Omar is a known, pathological liar and has bilked many individuals and entities out of millions of dollars. Only after our notice of public sale caused multiple individuals to reach out to my legal counsel and myself, did I fully understand the depth of Omar’s misrepresentations and understand that at least one such creditor has provided such information to the District Attorney believing that Omar should be prosecuted. I intend to fully cooperate with all inquiries of potential crimes committed by Omar, and will be pursuing litigation for the deficiency to recover the remainder of the monies that Omar owes FPH.
On multiple occasions, I extended Omar’s debt allowing him to try to recoup monies owed to other investors, as opposed to filing a lawsuit and foreclosing at that time.
I met with and discussed the reported allegations of sexual harassment against Omar with multiple individuals (male and female) that worked for or with Omar. Unfortunately, I personally believe the reported allegations are true. It is up to the victims to take further action, but despite it causing great harm to the Free Press Houston business I now own, we will fully cooperate providing any and all information that we have to any investigators. I believe there may be additional sexual harassment allegations against Omar that come to light since we know that victims of sexual harassment do not always want to admit what happened to them.
Speaking of damage to the value of the Free Press Houston newspaper business, after assurances by Omar that he would orderly transfer all of the assets of the business, Omar destroyed content (stories, videos and pictures) of the Free Press Houston newspaper business. I am currently working with a number of individuals (that refused to be involved if Omar had anything to do with the newspaper) including new Publisher John Mills-McCoin to relaunch the Free Press Houston newspaper business under the name of Byline Houston.
As to the Day For Night Festival, I am looking for potential partners and already entered into discussions with multiple interested individuals and parties. Unfortunately, multiple other investors in the DFN Festival have informed me that significant amounts of money cannot be accounted for after auditing the financials, and multiple unauthorized actions taken by Omar have been discovered.
So far the only positive externality of my loans to the DFN Festival is that my children enjoyed attending the shows.