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Letter to the editor: Where's the pea?

Where’s the pea?

To the editor:

As a young, naïve farm boy, I remember going to the circus side shows. The shill had a pea and three half walnut shells. He bet you two bits against a dollar you could not guess which shell the pea was under. Of course, it was in his hand all the time.

April 26, 2012: John Babikian’s foreign company, Middlebay Trade Ltd., with the help of James Martin, purchased three parcels of land, a 480-acre wheat farm near The Dalles from Jack and Sally Hay for $2 million cash. And the 3.79 acres across the road, where they live today, I’m told was sold back to them for a dollar.

In 2013, James Martin is alleged to have poured some $5 million of Babikian’s questionable money into their joint venture project.

Oct. 31, 2013, Martin, who claims to have Babikian’s authorization, quit claim deeds two parcels of farm land to his company, Sunshine Mountain Vineyards and the third parcel to himself for 1 cent.

December 12, 2013: John Babikian’s divorce in Canada is settled and five days later the pea went back under his shell.

Dec. 17, 2013: Martin deeds back two of the three parcels to Middlebay, but keeps the farmhouse and property for himself.

Jan. 21, 2014: The pea moves again. Just ahead of the SEC freezing his assets, John Babikian sold the farm for $2 million to First Power Enterprise Ltd., a company registered in Hong Kong, China and Oregon (and sold $100 million private shares the same day). Is First Power another Babikian shell company? That’s a pea for the IRS and the SEC to uncover.

March 21, 2014: Wasco County sheriff serves an SEC writ of attachment on Babikian’s Oregon property at 4455 Emerson Loop Rd., The Dalles, at the same address where Martin continues to build a vineyard for the new owners, First Power, a company he claims to know nothing about? But with 100 acres of newly planted grape vines, someone better pray for rain as Babikian/Middlebay never sold their water rights, and with his assets frozen, probably can’t. So what shell (company) is the pea under now? I’ll bet two bits Uncle Sam will soon have it all, for John Babikian is alleged to have fraudulently taken billions of dollars — a penny stock at a time. But this is just my opinion and I could be wrong again.

Al Hayward

Washougal, Wash.

Editor’s note: According to officials at the Oregon Water Resources Department, water rights in Oregon transfer with the sale of the land.


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