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  • Exclusive Report: Troubled times at TEEMCO

    TEEMCO LLC, an oilfield engineering company based in the Oklahoma City suburb of Edmond, thrust themselves into the spotlight over the last year, signing huge endorsement deals with the Oklahoma City Thunder, The University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University, and local CBS television affiliate KWTV, among others.

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    TEEMCO made another big splash when they announced plans to purchase and renovate the historic Gold Dome building in central Oklahoma City, with their CEO Greg Lorson comparing the building's positive electromagnetic energy to golf bracelets and revealing plans that included massive aquariums and the world's largest salt crystal lamp.

    But as these audacious deals were being signed and promoted, TEEMCO and it's chief executive were mired in legal and financial issues, and the troubles appear to be quickly escalating.


    CEO has checkered past
    Gregory Damien Lorson, 57, is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of TEEMCO and has recently been portrayed by several publications and the company's press releases as a visionary leader of a successful, rapidly growing company.

    In a December 2013 “Executive Q&A” published in The Oklahoman, Lorson was quoted extensively on his personal background and professional accomplishments, and said, “For 25 years, I was an investment banker and bought and ran companies”.

    Yet court and prison records tell a very different story.


    Lorson has a long criminal history including two separate felony convictions for financial fraud and has been successfully sued over 30 times in Oklahoma alone, starting in the mid-1980's and with several cases still on-going.

    According to the Oklahoma Department of Corrections and legal records, in 1990 Tulsa courts found Lorson guilty on two counts of obtaining cash by false representation and was imprisoned for the crimes until late 1992.

    In 1994, court documents show Lorson started work for a financial services company in Tulsa which led to a 1998 conviction and 70 month sentence in federal prison for conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering. The 17-count indictment alleges that over a two year period Lorson and a co-defendant settled and collected on loans for the government's Resolution Trust Corporation and others, then diverted money to their own out-of-state bank account. Federal Bureau of Prisons records indicate Lorson was released from incarceration in late 2003.

    In 2004, legal filings show that Lorson became involved in a real estate venture near Guthrie, Oklahoma which soon failed and resulted in foreclosures, multiple lawsuits and substantial judgments against him. Related legal matters are still pending in Logan County court.

    Questionable credentials
    Lorson's self-proclaimed academic achievements seem to reflect several inaccuracies.

    TEEMCO's website features this in a bio about Lorson: “His undergraduate study was in finance at the University of Oklahoma, graduate studies in business & anthropology at Harvard, and holds a postgraduate certificate in Business Administration from Edinburgh Graduate Business School.”

    In the Oklahoman's Executive Q&A, Lorson's education is listed as "University of Oklahoma, bachelor's in finance". Lorson's LinkedIn profile claims a Bachelor of Science degree from the same school, with attendance dates from 1977 to 1981.

    However, documents obtained from the University of Oklahoma indicate "No Degree -- Enrollment Only" from 1977 to 1982.

    It is unclear how Lorson conducted "graduate studies" and achieved a "postgraduate certificate" without having earned an undergraduate degree.

    Lorson's LinkedIn profile states "Harvard University, 1995-1998", yet according to court documents he was working in Tulsa throughout this time and was in fact under indictment in September of 1997 and convicted in March 1998. The same profile lists "Edinburgh Graduate Business School, 2000 to 2002", while federal prison records show he was incarcerated during this entire time.

    Research reveals that both schools offer a variety of programs, including on-line courses open to all. However, it is not known what specific options were available during the time periods claimed by Lorson.

    TEEMCO assets in dispute
    Lorson has stated in published interviews that in 2009 he started working for 8-employee Wellstar International, the predecessor to TEEMCO.

    On 5/13/10, records indicate Lorson formed TEEMCO LLC and on 6/4/10 acquired Wellstar's operations and signed a purchase agreement for $130,000, an amount which included fixtures and equipment. TEEMCO continued to operate in the established Wellstar offices at 1600 E. 19th Street in Edmond, which is still listed as the company headquarters.


    Almost immediately, the terms of the Wellstar deal were in dispute and by September of 2010 Lorson had allegedly stopped making payments. A new agreement was subsequently formed in April of 2011 but by May of 2012, a lawsuit claims Lorson stopped payment on two checks and made no further remittance. The former owners of Wellstar are now suing TEEMCO and Lorson for millions, and the case is still pending.

    Court filings also show that within two weeks of forming TEEMCO, Lorson entered into a lease agreement for a property on N. Kelly in Edmond but never occupied the space or paid rent. The landlord filed suit and won judgment against Lorson, and currently has a pending appeal to increase the amount of the award.

    Suspect regional offices
    As a part of this investigation, OKCTalk spoke to several former TEEMCO employees.

    Acting on a tip that the purported TEEMCO regional offices were false fronts, we were able to confirm that all the locations touted on their website and marketing materials are in fact either executive suites that promote inexpensive phone answering in a company's name (Houston, Washington D.C. and Pittsburgh, PA), or in the case of Pittsburgh, KS, a residential duplex.


    Greg Lorson told the Edmond Business Times in a 4/13/13 article, “Our regional offices are there to serve our clients locally.” Yet sources tell us that TEEMCO employees have never occupied these offices and they are nothing more than a phone number.

    A recent TEEMCO publication advertises three more locations without addresses: Golden, CO; London, GB; and Panama City, PA [sic].

    Gold Dome stalls
    In the fall of 2012, local investor David Box purchased the historic Gold Dome building at 1112 N.W. 23rd in Oklahoma City after it had been seized through foreclosure. The iconic geodesic dome structure was built in 1958 and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

    Box had filed for a demolition permit in March of 2013, as previous owners and potential buyers had cited high renovation costs and the impractical nature of the unique building.

    Just three months later, TEEMCO made headlines when the little-known company announced their bold plans to purchase, renovate and occupy the building.

    A large press conference was held inside the building, Box called TEEMCO "the perfect buyer” and the company promoted itself as the building's savior, with plans to move it's ostensibly rapidly growing enterprise from Edmond.


    Soon thereafter, the outside of the dome was painted and TEEMCO signs went up; the building seemed to be coming back to life.

    But sometime after the first of the year, work stopped. Pictures taken this week show overgrown weeds, incomplete improvements and little progress apart from the sign and paint. TEEMCO had previously announced their intention to occupy in early 2014.


    The Oklahoma County Assessor website confirms ownership of the property was never transferred to TEEMCO and that it is still in the hands of David Box. A representative from Mr. Box's office referred all questions about TEEMCO's involvement with the Gold Dome back to Greg Lorson.

    Huge endorsements
    On the heels of the high-profile deal for the Gold Dome, TEEMCO became an almost inescapable presence throughout Oklahoma.

    The inside cover of TEEMCO's self-published Summer 2014 edition of Service and Press Management Magazine shows a letter of commendation signed by Oklahoma governor Mary Fallin which sits opposite an introductory passage from Lorson. In that same publication, TEEMCO claims a $12 million budget.


    In March of this year, TEEMCO announced two huge endorsement deals: one for the Oklahoma City Thunder of the NBA and another with Learfield Sports, which brokers sponsorships for many major universities, and in this particular case The University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University and Tulsa University.

    Both deals were trumpeted by TEEMCO and their beneficiaries through press releases. The Thunder announced that their partnership included naming rights to the TEEMCO Commons hospitality space on the Cox Club Level at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Learfield revealed the deal with the state's three largest college athletic departments would span five years.

    Another article soon appeared in The Oklahoman, where Lorson spoke of using the sponsorships and the Gold Dome to “get young people excited about careers in engineering and the energy industry in order to meet the nation’s need for energy independence in the 21st century”.

    On April 17th, TEEMCO hosted a large fund-raising event called Uncorked within the Gold Dome.

    A month later, white TEEMCO t-shirts were draped over each of Chesapeake Arena's 18,200 seats for the Thunder's playoff game with the Los Angeles Clippers.


    Two more major endorsements in Oklahoma City quickly followed: one for music events at the downtown Myriad Gardens and another with Remington Park racetrack.

    CFO leaves amid allegations
    OKCTalk has learned Lorson has told creditors and employees that former TEEMCO Chief Financial Officer Michael S. Dixon embezzled company funds and was fired for the same in June. However, no charges appear to have been filed in this matter.

    Dixon's LinkedIn profile verifies he left TEEMCO in June, 2014. It also indicates that he started at TEEMCO's predecessor Wellstar International about the same time as Lorson.

    Further investigation has revealed another parallel to Lorson: Dixon has spent substantial time in federal prison for fraud.

    In September 2000, Dixon pleaded guilty to nine criminal counts of wire fraud, mail fraud and money laundering before a Kansas district judge. Dixon had been president of South Kansas Title in Wichita and admitted in federal court that he devised a scheme to take more than a million dollars from south-central Kansas home mortgage holders and real estate investors.

    Prison records show Dixon was discharged from incarceration in April of 2004, which means his sentence coincided with Lorson's for the majority of the time each man served.

    OKCTalk was told by several former employees that CEO Lorson and ex-CFO Dixon met while behind bars. We were also told that at least one other TEEMCO employee came to meet Lorson in the same way, and were able to confirm an overlapping federal prison sentence of a long-time employee who has recently left the company.


    Unpaid bills, near eviction
    In addition to the issues at the Gold Dome, OKCTalk has learned that TEEMCO is currently more than 60 days past due on several debts.

    At least three of their endorsement contracts are in serious arrears with two never receiving any payment whatsoever.

    Multiple creditors report that after repeated broken promises to pay, TEEMCO will no longer return their phone calls.

    Court records show that on September 7th, 2014, Lorson was served with eviction papers for warehouse space TEEMCO was renting on N. Santa Fe Avenue in Oklahoma City. That matter was later dismissed when neither party showed for a hearing.


    Lavish spending
    A reliable source told OKCTalk that the cost to TEEMCO for one endorsement deal alone is over $600,000.

    Lorson has been recently seen driving a late model Jaguar. A June photo of his residence shows a black Jaguar XJ in the driveway, a car valued between $75,000 and $100,000. There is also a late model black Land Rover in that same driveway photo. According to records, Lorson was ticketed early this year while driving a black Land Rover. And in 2011, Lorson's then 16 year-old daughter who listed Lorson's home address as her own, was cited while driving a Mercedes Benz.

    Records also indicate that TEEMCO purchased a 58 foot Hatteras yacht valued at $200,000 to $300,000 and that the boat is still registered in the company name. A newsletter for a marina on Lake Texoma, Texas shows TEEMCO LLC is leasing two boat slips.


    Social media reveals a TEEMCO private suite at Chesapeake Arena as well as courtside tickets for Thunder games, several extravagant company parties, and a Hummer vehicle with TEEMCO logo and contact information.


    OKCTalk's investigation of TEEMCO is on-going and updates will be provided as more information becomes available.



    Related Information
    3/13/98: “Two Guilty of Fraud”, Tulsa World

    7/16/98: “Tulsan faces 70-month term for fraud”, Tulsa World

    Lorson's failed appeal of prison sentence

    9/26/00: "TITLE COMPANY OWNER ADMITS CRIMES", Wichita Eagle

    6/20/13: "Landmark Gold Dome in Oklahoma City set to be sold, preserved”, The Oklahoman

    6/21/13: “New Gold Dome owners prepared to do 'what it takes' to renovate OKC landmark”, The Oklahoman

    12/22/13: "Executive Q&A: Consulting company chief promotes positive energy, environmental harmony", The Oklahoman

    3/13/13: "Thunder Partners with TEEMCO", Official website of the NBA's Oklahoma City Thunder

    3/30/13: "TEEMCO calls new college sports agreement a victory", The Oklahoman

    3/31/13: "TEEMCO UNDERWRITES MAJOR SPONSORSHIP FOR OKLAHOMA, TULSA AND OKLAHOMA STATE UNIVERSITIES", Learfield Sports website

    4/1713: "Outlook 2014: TEEMCO recruits next generation of energy industry with several tools", The Oklahoman

    TEEMCO's Services and Press Magazine, Summer 2014

    http://www.theteemco.com/
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