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Chairman of Yosemite Motor Speedway Convicted of Fraud in New Mexico Print E-mail
News - Local
Written by B|V|N Newsroom   
Monday, 10 February 2003 00:00
MADERA - Investors were shocked to learn of the criminal past of head of the Yosemite Motor Speedway. Madera Online has uncovered forty-five pages of documents that show that the chairman of the racetrack's board of directors faced seventeen counts of fraud, two counts of racketeering and two attempted 3rd degree felonies in New Mexico less than ten years ago.

After a mistrial and a hung jury, Jerry Lowrie agreed to a plea-bargain deal in which he plead guilty to two counts of fraud. Both counts came with an 18-month prison sentence which was to be served consecutively and one year of state parole.

Lowrie's' prison sentence was suspended in favor of 36-months of unsupervised parole and restitution of $10,000. He was credited for time served in pretrial confinement.

However just six months after his conviction, New Mexico's Attorney General Office filed a motion to revoke Lowrie's probation for failure to pay restitution. In a brief, prepared by Assistant Attorney General Jerome Marshak, the state claimed the Adult Probation Office had only received one unacceptable check for $600 and Lowrie was notified the department would only accept money orders. Marshak also claimed Lowrie's was severely in arrears for the agreed payments.

On his felony convictions for fraud, Lowrie claims his innocence and says he was pardoned and the case was sealed. When asked if he could produce any documentation of his pardon to us prior to our press deadline Lowrie said, "Why should I show you anything? I've told my board of directors everything about this."

Marshak told Madera Online that he was sure no pardon was issued in this case since Lowrie took a plea-bargain on the twenty plus counts of fraud and racketeering and that New Mexico does not seal cases for convicted felons.

Local investors were shocked to learn of Lowrie's recent past. One investor of more than $25K who spoke to Madera Online under the promise we not use their name said, "This is why the financing hasn't been there. As long as Jerry is a part of this track, it isn't going to happen. NASCAR isn't going to deal with a track that has a convicted felon as it's chairman."

Lowrie, however, claims the project is still going smooth. He recently told a local newspaper that he has lined up five to ten private sources in the San Joaquin Valley for over $100 million in funding.

However, one investors is claiming that the only money Lowrie would be able to find might come from Rekom Trust out of Daytona Beach Florida. A letter of intent to fund has surfaced signed by Rekom Trust manager Andrew Milton.

Madera Online has been unable to locate Milton or anyone else associated with Rekom Trust and the city of Daytona Beach was unable to locate any records that Rekom Trust was a business in their city. Lowrie has been unreachable by phone since our story first broke. Track investor Bob Munier confirmed that Lowrie had flown to Florida following the release of our story. It is believed Lowrie has family in the Daytona area.

Edward  Pardue, who owns several acres of land on Avenue 20 where the race track is set to build, told Madera Online that Lowrie informed him escrow was set to close on nearly 800 acres of land ( including his) a week ago. An investor told Madera Online that Pardue had until last week to pull out of the deal or he would forfeit a $10K deposit and wondered if Lowrie came up with the escrow date to keep Pardue on board. Mr. Pardue said other land owners have released him from the deposits and he would not loose any money because the project could not fund.

A partner of Pardue, Robert Sabatini, told Madera Online that contracts between Pardue and the Yosemite Motor Speedway expired on December 31 of last year and if Lowrie was unable to fund the project by Wednesday, Pardue was pulling out.

Lowrie called a series of meetings three weeks ago in Madera where plans were laid out for the track. Noticeably missing from the meetings was local investor Ron Kusch, who is said to own over 32% of Yosemite Motor Speedway stock. Kusch would not comment to Madera Online on Lowrie's felony convictions but did say he was not notified of any meetings regarding the race track.

Kusch would say that if the felony convictions of Lowrie were true, there would be an emergency meeting of the investors called within the month.


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