James Noe's $26,000 share - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

James Noe's $26,000 share

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Internal documents from Independent Oil and Gas (formerly the Win or Lose Corporation) reveal the financial shape of the company 14 years after its founding.

The report obtained by FOX 8 News covers the year 1948 and shows the company's profits from oil leases started to grow.

The report shows Independent Oil also owned a 25 percent share of Farrell and Company. Independent Oil and Gas had a piece of State Lease 494 and State Lease 495, which was awarded to Farrell and Company.

But the majority of money came from the lucrative leases that Governors James Noe and O.K. Allen awarded to W.T. Burton, and that Burton assigned back to the governors' company, Win or Lose.

The most interesting part of the report comes on the third to last page -- a detailed look at who made money that year off the lucrative oil leases.

Members of Independent Oil and Gas received a total of $212,248.55 -- but one thing sticks out in the document.

You'll see that James Noe received one share of capital stock. Noe pledged his remaining 30 shares to Citizens Bank to pay off a loan.

For that one share, Noe received $26,000.  But look at Earle Christenberry, Huey Long's former secretary and another member of Win or Lose (Independent Oil). He also received one share of stock, but Independent Oil and Gas only paid Christenberry $2000.

So for Noe's one share, he received $26,000 and for Christenberry's one share he received $2000.

Loyola CPA Patrick Lynch reviewed the documents and concludes that they don't add up.

"Generally you declare a dividend and every share gets a proportion of dividend -- same dividend per share," Lynch says.

For all other members of Independent Oil and Gas, the numbers do add up. Children of O.K. Allen get four shares and are paid $8200; for six shares, Russell Long is paid $12,000; for 26 shares, Huey Long's widow makes almost $27,000.

So why does Noe receive a dividend of $26,000 for having one share of the company?

"It's in a dividend column," Lynch notes. "If it truly is dividends, then it was inappropriate."

If in fact it is inappropriate, Lynch says Noe could have been taking money from his partners' share of the profits.

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