By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal
BALDWYN – Construction businessman Earl Stone wonders what he’ll do if he wins a chunk of downtown Baldwyn.
“I really don’t have any idea what I’ll do with it,” said Stone with a laugh Monday.
The property in seven pieces goes on the auction block at 10 a.m. Aug. 30.
The auction, conducted by Coldwell Banker/Tommy Morgan Realtors of Tupelo, is set for Morgan’s downtown Tupelo office.
The property once belonged to James M. Davis, former chief financial officer of the notorious Stanford Financial Group.
A Sunday Daily Journal classified ad promoting the sale labeled Stone as holder of “a stalking horse contract” for $173,057.50. That’s where the bids will start.
“We just turned a bid in,” said Stone, a longtime Baldwyn businessman, about going after the real estate.
He said most of it is in pretty good shape, and he hopes soon to see downtown experience a bit of a revival.
It was headed that way in 2002 as Davis bought up numerous properties to convert into restaurants, a needle shop, an interior design store and professional offices.
Their fate was frozen in early 2009 when Davis, his boss R. Allen Stanford, fellow Baldwyn native Laura Pendergest-Holt, two other Stanford executives and an Antiguan bank regulator were federally indicted on charges they participated in a $7.2 billion Ponzi scheme on Stanford certificate of deposit investors.
By September 2009, Davis pleaded guilty for his part and waits to testify in their criminal trials in Houston, Texas, where SFG had its headquarters.
A few months ago, Tupelo businessman V.M. Cleveland was the successful stalking horse on Stanford’s former downtown Tupelo offices.
The property sales are part of liquidation efforts by a court-appointed receiver for a pool to help the investors.
Scores of Mississippians lost their life savings and retirement funds when the Stanford financial empire collapsed in 2009 under the weight of an investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Officials say as many as 30,000 worldwide were victims of the company’s demise.
Stanford is slated to go on trial in January. The others’ trials are expected afterward.
Want to Bid
SEVEN DOWNTOWN BALDWYN LOTS, once owned by ex-Stanford executive James Davis, go on the auction block Aug. 30. They are:
– 112 E. Main St. (known as the A.N. Starling Bldg.)
– 111 and 113 W. Main St. (known as Hassell Bldg.)
– 108 Front St. (vacant lot)
– 101 and 103 W. Main St.
– 107 E. Main St. (known as Kirk