Gee updates: Textbook case, plus, “where are they now”

When news of the Gee announcement came the other day, some comments here suggested the company could have benefited from a PR campaign after the takeover. We found a company, MD Johnson Inc., that is using the whole sad story as a teaching example, suggesting Gee also could have benefited from “financial advisory services” in the deal; MD Johnson provides such services as part of its middleman role in dealership sales. Its “educational” document online (click to read) consists mostly of a Times article regarding the original scandal, prefaced with commentary such as:

This is obviously a case of the seller and the broker failing to inform the buyer of what was actually going on in the business, afraid the truth would stop the sale from happening. I can only assume that the seller and broker will be found to be complicit in their actions and will be found liable for significant damages to the buyers.

And what about the guys arrested in the heinous case that led to all this? We checked public records; one is apparently still in jail. Here’s what else we have found so far:

The criminal cases against the former Huling employees accused in the ripoff, Adrian Dillard, Ted Coxwell, and Paul Rimbey, keep winding through the court system, with more court dates set next month. Dillard and Rimbey bailed out shortly after their arrests in January, but the King County Jail Register Lookup shows Coxwell still behind bars today, apparently because his bail was upped in late January to $100,000 for failing to appear to face the burglary charge. (If you want to read the long, semi-fascinating lists of what’s been going on with these cases, including future dates, you can find the information by entering their names individually here.) County records also show property Dillard owned in Ballard (described on one blog as a “Loyal Heights bungalow”) was scheduled to be auctioned off by a foreclosure company in July; this foreclosure site lists it for $574K, about $200K below its original listing price — we can’t check on its current ownership right this moment because some local government databases are down for maintenance.

9 Replies to "Gee updates: Textbook case, plus, "where are they now""

  • JanS September 29, 2007 (3:06 pm)

    totally amazing….and Steve Huling was ignorant of all this? Are we really to believe this? He sits nice and pretty in his home on Sunset Ave…and isn’t going to be touched? Wow…amazing….

  • Alvis September 29, 2007 (5:07 pm)

    Just curious. Where is Steve’s business partner and younger brother Tom in all this? Had Tom retired or cashed out his share of the family business before this whole mess hit the fan?

  • Gina September 29, 2007 (5:25 pm)

    Did the Hulings sell this house?

  • Jan September 29, 2007 (5:47 pm)

    Alvis…good question. Tom Huling headed up the Thrifty Rental end of the business, and according to this article, sold it in Feb. of this year. He was an equal partner in the car dealership, but his time for years was devoted to the rental business, which was, as I understand it, the 3rd largest Thrifty Rental franchise in the country….

  • Jan September 29, 2007 (7:17 pm)

    Gina…nice house, don’t you think? I know the Hulings used to live on Sunset….any idea where this house is located? is it in West Seattle?

  • WSB September 29, 2007 (7:57 pm)

    Public records show them owning a 1997-built home on 50th high over Beach Drive. The official plat name is listed as “Spring Hill Park Addition” so dimes to dollars that’s the house.

  • Sharon Huling September 30, 2007 (12:35 am)

    My family and I are deeply saddened for our friends and former employees who will be losing their jobs when Gee West Seattle closes its doors. Our hearts go out to them.

    I have lived in West Seattle for 27 years. My husband and kids were all raised here. We are listed in the phone book, though we have never lived on Sunset. We love WS and will continue to be a part of this community.

    There have been many inaccurate and wrongful accusations recently in the news, in blogs and in the above quote from MD Johnson, Inc. With the Gee’s pointing the blame and threatening a lawsuit there really isn’t much that I can say except that the truth will come out in due time.

  • Gina September 30, 2007 (11:00 am)

    The house on the website is located near a family member of mine. And they are not anywhere near Sunset. The flat lawn, and view would be other clues of not being on Sunset Ave.

    I have another relative that conducts the post car sale satisfaction calls for many area dealers. She said that people either loved or hated Huling, they didn’t have many inbetween ratings. I would guess that the repeat buyers knew salespeople that may have gone to their church, or some other social group and worked only with them, and had a pleasant experience. And others may have wandered into a floor full of desperate greenhorns near the end of the month, trying to boost their sales quotas and their financing department quotas.

    Come with your own financing.

    Never give away the keys to your current car until you get a deal signed on paper. Leave yourself free to walk at anytime.

    That is the car business. And that is why the internet is such a blessing to find out what the basic sticker price is at many dealers at one time.

  • Message to Steve and Sharon September 30, 2007 (12:00 pm)

    Steve and Sharon please follow the track record of other Gee purchases. Good or bad it will show if your claims of a flawed Gee business plan are true.

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