Reno Gazette-Journal from Reno, Nevada on January 11, 1987 · Page 15
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Reno Gazette-Journal from Reno, Nevada · Page 15

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Reno, Nevada
Issue Date:
Sunday, January 11, 1987
Page:
Page 15
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Reno Gazette-Journal Sunday, January 11, 1987 15A Saudi billionaire's money woes leave Salt Lake City in lurch By Michael IsikoffWashington Post SALT LAKE CITY - It was only two years ago that Saudi billionaire Adnan Khashoggi flew here and, in his typically flamboyant style, threw a grand party to celebrate his latest vision for the city's downtown. Dignitaries from the governor to the president of the Mormon Church were on hand as Khashoggi boasted of the glittering $600 million downtown complex his U.S. holdine comDanv THaH plans and major business miscal-( culations. Emanuel Floor, who until; recently was executive vice president of Triad America and was a! top company official for more; than 12 years, said it is unfair to' conclude that Khashoggi has "run; out" on Salt Lake City. ; "There were a lot of people here! who wanted to see this community; change they wanted to see more; development and, when things! were going well, they loved it. . . J Now all of a sudden, they're say-, ing, 'He dumped on us.' " He added, "You can't dislike Adnan. He's not mean-spirited . . .' and he's a consummate said Friday that Khashoggi was out of the country and would not be available for an interview for 15 days. KHASHOGGI OPERATES his various overseas investments through a secretive, privately held company called Triad International Corp. and based in the Cayman Islands, making it impossible for outsiders to obtain a clear picture of his finances and worldwide business operations. Nevertheless, court records and former associates here indicate that Khashoggi has experienced severe cash-flow problems over the past two years that have been exacerbated by overly ambitious medical education building but provided $300,000. The financial problems of Triad America have attracted new attention in recent weeks because of disclosures about Khashoggi 's role in providing $31 million in "bridge loans" to help finance the Reagan administration's secret arms shipments to Iran. WHILE PROVIDING no definitive answers, court records and interviews with knowledgeable sources shed some light on the transactions. They indicate that Khashoggi, experiencing personal and corporate financial problems, put up his U.S. corporate assets to raise at least some of the cash for the arms shipments. Moreover, the failure of Khashoggi to earn anticipated profits on the arms sales apparently has contributed to his financial difficulties here. The relationship between Kha-shoggi's arms financing and Triad America's problems in Salt Lake City may become clearer as depositions in one of the lawsuits are taken this week. Lawyers for the Sheraton Corp. have alleged that Khashoggi is "dismembering" his company in part to repay two Canadian investors who helped him finance the arms shipments. While company lawyers have denied the allegations in court, one Triad executive has confirmed that Khashoggi transferred $84 million in Triad America funds out of the country in recent years to support his overseas business ventures. Khashoggi's executive assistant in New York, Robert Shaheen, mostly from creditors demanding more than $100 million in unpaid notes and bills. THESE AND other disclosures have angered many local officials who have accused Khashoggi, who played a key role in helping to finance the secret U.S. shipment of arms to Iran, of, in essence, skipping town without paying his bills. "We've been putting up with this for over a year. And I'm getting a little frustrated," said Salt Lake Mayor Palmer DePaulis, once an avid booster of the company. "I understand he (Khashoggi) is reputed to be the world's richest person. I think the question we have is, here's this guy flying around in a gold-plated plane ... so why can't he make good on his debts?" The list of those who say Triad owes them money includes not only banks, construction firms, insurance companies, architects and office suppliers, but also the LDS Hospital, to whom Khashoggi pledged $1.37 million for a new America Corp., planned to build. It was to be anchored by two gold-colored 43-story office towers that would dwarf the nearby Mormon Church otuce building, the tallest structure in town. Last spring, however, construction on the project suddenly stopped, leaving an unseemly dirt THE WARMEST SEAT IN TOWN! noie iwo uiocks irom me Mormon Tabernacle. 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