A Criminal Misunderstanding
Written By: JaMarlin Fowler
Chapter 2-The Beginning
Jerrold was first informed about Dave Scott when Thursa told him on a trip to Vegas in October of 2006 about her decision to invest in real estate in Boston. “She told me that she brought investment property back in August and that everything was fine” as the two of them walked along side me though “New York New York” as he and I were also arguing about the $25 poker chip I had just lost at the Playboy Club at the Palms.
To me losing the $25 wasn’t a big deal, I was making $45,000 plus a comps and benefits package at my job and Las Vegas was a cheap flight on Southwest Airlines from Tucson. Jerrold, who was on a tighter budget and becoming annoyed by my “carelessness”, storms off leaving me and one of my friends from Tucson standing in the middle of the casino and he heads to the craps table. Thursa follows closely behind Jerrold and while they are throwing dice she informs him of her idea to make extra money.
As Jerrold and Thursa were dating at this time he tells me his first reaction was “why didn’t you tell me about this?” Her reply he said was simply “I don’t have to tell you everything I’m doing.” After the week in Vegas is over, Jerrold returns back to Norfolk and the first thing he does is sit down at a computer to figure out exactly who Michael David Scott really was because what she told him seemed too good to be true.
Upon searching the internet Jerrold comes across a Boston Globe article from 2005 giving Scott a sense of legitimacy and with Scott seeming more like a philanthropist, and with the referral from Thursa, two days later Jerrold was put in contact with Dave Scott to purchase what he thought would be the foundation for the beginnings of his future IT company.
A couple weeks later Jerrold was on his was to Boston for the first time and on this trip Jerrold would end up purchasing two properties from Scott, one of which he eventually plead guilty too almost 9.5 years later.
Scott purchases two tickets: one for Jerrold and one for Thursa to meet with him in Boston to close to deal. From the rainy departure out of Norfolk that early morning to the light snowy weather in Boston upon landing, the flight for Jerrold was filled with the wonders of what Boston would actually look like and if all the plans that he made with Scott would actually come to fruition.
Jerrold and Thursa exit the plane sans luggage as they only intend to stay in Boston long enough to do a short meet and greet, head to the properties and close and make it back to Norfolk later on that evening. As they exit the airport Thursa calls Dave to see where he is and they are told to go get breakfast because he is running a little late and he will call them when he gets close.
As Jerrold and Thursa are consuming their Dunkin’ Donuts, Dave shows up driving his Lexus SUV and they hop in and are taken to one of the units that he has converted into an office on Ashmont Street in Dorchester, Massachusetts.
On the ride over Dave small talks Jerrold asking him things like “how the flight was? Did I like the city so far?” as they drove through the city and Jerrold is taking in all the sights that he has never seen before. Jerrold was in awe of the magnificence of Boston because in 2006 this was the first major city he had ever truly been too as a stranger.
After arriving at his office and entering Dave tells Jerrold “you are standing in a $450,000 unit.” Jerrold looks around and takes in the unit that Dave is talking about- the unit is approximately 1100 sq. ft, hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, two bedrooms, one bathroom and a fireplace. Upon looking at the unit Jerrold thinks to himself “this is a nice unit, but I’m shocked that it costs $450,000.”
Jerrold turns to Scott and tells him “wow you really don’t get much for your money here?” and Scott replies back to him “this is Boston.” Scott then leads Jerrold back to a converted office that was a bedroom where he has the article from the Boston Globe in a frame hanging prominently on the wall along with pictures of his friends and family.
Chapter 3-The Pitch
“[Scott] said the buildings I’m buying ‘already have tenants so we can’t go inside’. [Scott] said ‘I will let you know what’s going on positively in the neighborhoods’ because essentially that was going to help my property values.”
So Jerrold, Scott and Thursa depart from Dave’s office and head to the units that Jerrold would later on that afternoon be buying. While touring the properties “Dave was pointing out different things that were being built in the area that would help my property values even more.” Upon finishing the tour and returning back to Dave’s office, Jerrold and Scott sit down to talk about the finer details of the purchase.
“Dave tells me basically in brief detail how he was able to afford to give people money to invest in properties when they needed down payments, because I needed $25,000 to close one of the units I was purchasing.”
Scott explains the process telling him “he would negotiate a cash price for the entire building, then he would then convert it into two or three units depending on the property, then he would then get the property appraised for being apartments instead of a single family home, and out of the additional money from the conversions he was able to help out buyers with the down payment.”
“Essentially his pitch came down to ‘if I have to give you guys $90,000 and I also put in $30,000 in overall building improvements and then I pocket the difference I’m still making $150,000-$180,000’ and that made complete sense to me at 22.” “I saw it as profit sharing and because he was giving people money it seemed to me that he cared more about volume than making a profit.”
Jerrold suddenly pulls the phone away mid conversation and checks the time pausing the screen. He pops back up and tells me that he has to go, but he will call me back. I tell him that I want to at least get to where he signs the loan documents with Anderson and Scott and he dismisses me trying to get ready to head to our mother’s house for Thanksgiving dinner.
I sit here now looking at a blank screen, not knowing what to type necessarily, but realizing that pretty soon as this story gets longer and the days pass my brother will be serving 729 days incarcerated. He already has one day knocked off his sentence the day he was processed when he was processed into the system back in 2010.
I never knew what type of prison my brother was going to so after getting off the phone with him I decided to look it up: FCI (Federal Corrections Institution) Petersburg…I wanted to know what my brother was in for. FCI Petersburg is an All Male camp located in Eastern Virginia.
According to the Bureau of Prisons website it houses 1,342 inmates: 1,040 in the institution itself and another 302 inmates stay in an adjacent satellite camp (this is where my brother believes he will be staying). The satellite camp is a “no fencing, low risk inmate facility” my brother told me.
As my brother heads towards our mother’s, I decide to give her a call to wish her a Happy Thanksgiving and see how she is taking the news of Jerrold’s impending incarceration. It turns out from talking to her that both my father and my maternal grandmother have both worked at facilities just like that at one point in their lives, so she takes comfort in having some idea of what her son is about to endure.
Chapter 4-The Deal
Dave and Jerrold are sitting back in Dave’s office and it is around 10:45 am. Dave tells Jerrold that he needs to go to the bank to make a deposit and then they would head north to Stoneham to meet with the closing attorney. Dave, Thursa and Jerrold exit the converted apartment-office and climb back into the Lexus and make their way to Bank of America.
When they arrive at the branch, Dave asks Jerrold and Thursa to get out and meet with the Branch Manager Arthur and the assistant Branch Manager Clarista. Little did Jerrold know at the time that Clarista Bramble would be pleading guilty to nine counts of wire fraud and would be sentenced on February 22nd, 2011 and Arthur Samuels would be pleading guilty to six counts of wire fraud and is still awaiting sentencing as of Thanksgiving Day 2015.
As the three of them enter the branch they are greeted by Arthur and soon after the pleasantries, Dave and Arthur walk back to Arthur’s office. While Dave and Arthur are away, Clarista tells Jerrold and Thursa that Dave is a big deal around there and that Dave is a good guy and that Jerrold could learn a few things from him. They continue to talk about Jerrold being new to the city and trying to learn the business until Dave re-emerges and they head back outside.
The three of them exit the branch and are greeted by a strong, cold blast of fall air that ushers them hurriedly back to Dave’s SUV.
Come back for Chapter 5