|Partners that share culture and values tend to stay together|
The more one digs into the 15 plus years that Michael Arlen Davis (MAD) and Rudolf Steiner Foundation (RSF) have been working together, the more one finds evidence of a concerted effort to conceal the partnership's coordinated activities to accumulate control over premier agricultural assets.
It has been discussed elsewhere how MAD has used RSF as a convenient place to "park" Cyanotech stock as he surreptitiously funded his secret takeover of the company in 2010/2011. This undisclosed “group” was successfully concealed until exposed by another shareholder in 2016, and finally admitted to by the MAD/RSF group in March 2017.
Review of the MAD/RSF investment partnership’s earlier transactions around Filigreen Farm shows a similar pattern of using shell entities to conceal related-party transactions.
#11550 Anderson Valley Way, Booneville, CA 95415: a MAD/RSF case study.
Filigreen Farm is a farming property in Mendocino County, California that has been pieced together over a period of years. It is currently comprised of 12 separate parcels. RSF/Yggdrasil own 7 of these parcels and MAD owns 5. One of Davis' 5 parcels is #11550 Anderson Valley Way. IRS Form 990 filings and Mendocino County records reveal that during 2007, Skywords Family Foundation (created and controlled by MAD) purchased that parcel for $950k.
That same year, the Form 990 filed by RSF discloses a $950k loan to Skywords. Now, making loans for small agricultural transactions is a large part of what RSF does. But, MAD is a very significant donor to RSF. MAD's donations quite clearly make MAD and Skywords “disqualified persons” under IRS regulations, thus prohibiting MAD and Skywords from entering into any commercial transactions or receiving any benefit from RSF. Such transactions and benefits would be treated as "self dealing" and prohibited as a matter of public policy. Non-profits are supposed to pursue the general good, not give benefits back to the people controlling and/or donating to them (read more, MAD's Altruism Goes Mostly to Himself).
Quick observational aside: See the partnership at work - in 2007, RSF provided MAD with $975k to finance MAD's purchase of #11550 AVW; in 2011, MAD provided RSF with $2,500k to finance RSF"s purchase of a block of Cyanotech stock. In neither transaction did MAD or RSF disclose their relationship and collaboration with each other - the only way anyone would find the evidence would be to go looking for it.
As a “disqualified person,” MAD is quite clearly prohibited from receiving the $950k loan from RSF to purchase the the #11550 AVW property. This is so obviously a violation of IRS rules that it begs to be examined more carefully.
Shady Michael Davis and his shady RSF partners playing “Shady Shell Games"
Davis ostensibly purchased the #11550 AVW property from Alan and Stephanie Carlson, a private couple. County records show the Carlson's bought the property in 1999 $125k. Here is the Carlson transaction history:
8/31/1999 $125k purchase from Christopher Mann/Skylark
8/31/1999 (75k) “seller loan” from Christopher Mann
2/09/2006 97k cash received from mortgage refi.
10/09/2007 638k cash received from mortgage refi.
10/22/2007 950k cash received from sale to Davis/Skywords
The entity that sold #11550 AVW to the Carlsons was “Skylark." Skylark helped facilitate the the Carlson's purchase by providing a $75k seller's loan. Skylark is an investment vehicle controlled by Christopher Mann. Mann (surprise, surprise!) just happens to be the original President, and then a long-time Trustee/Director of Yggdrasil Land Foundation. Yggdrasil is a wholly-owned subsidiary of RSF and it is through Yggdrasil that RSF owns its parcels at Filigreen Farm.
Skylark acquired the #11550 A.V.W. land parcel by donation (e.g. for free) in 1995 from Laurie Wayburn, co-Founder/CEO of Pacific Forest Trust which (surprise, surprise!) has an address in the same San Francisco building complex as RSF.
It is extremely unlikely that Alan and Stephanie Carlson were an independent couple who bought #11550 Anderson Valley Way in 1999 in an "arms-length" transaction from an RSF-related entity and then sold that property to an RSF-related entity in another "arms-length" transaction. The fact that Mann's "Skylark" provided seller financing in the first transaction and RSF provided buyer financing in the second transaction makes the transfers even more suspicious.
- Pacific Forest Trust (RSF address) ⇨ Skylark (RSF/Ygg trustee)
- Skylark (RSF/Ygg trustee) ⇨ Alan and Stephanie Carlson
- Alan and Stephanie Carlson ⇨ Davis/Skywords (RSF/Ygg investment partner)
Another observational aside: In 2011, MAD provided RSF with $2.5 million to acquire a large block of Cyanotech stock in a transaction arranged by Davis. From the filings, it seems that RSF needed less than $2 million to actually make the purchase. In 2017, MAD and RSF reversed their staunchly-held position that they were not a "group." This occurred after MAD made another roughly $2.5 million donation to RSF, with $2 million of that in the form of Cyanotech stock and $500k in cash. It has been discovered that all the Cyanotech stock that MAD has donated to RSF is held in trust for another entity controlled by MAD ----- but, each time MAD needed RSF to do something for him (purchase the Cyanotech block in 2011, and agree to a "group" SEC filing in 2017) RSF picked up around $500k in unrestricted cash. Nice for RSF!