Santa Ana mayoral candidate Alfredo Amezcua has been complaining endlessly about job creation and the state of the economy here in Santa Ana. But how did Amezcua fare when he became accountable for millions of investor dollars, when he started the Santa Ana Business Bank?
Take a look at the chart above. It would appear that Amezcua’s shareholders lost close to half of their investment. Grandpointe Capital paid them $5.96 in cash per share, according to a press release dated June 18. Their shares were initially valued at $9.75 when the Santa Ana Business Bank first opened for business.
The same hubris that led Amezcua to believe that he and a Board of Directors with ZERO experience in banking could succeed in that industry now applies to his mayoral race. He says he can do the job, but can he? Will he run the City of Santa Ana the way he ran his bank?
I criticized Amezcua and his bank when they opened. I said it was bad timing and I was right. Here is what I wrote:
What gives? Are these people really that confident that they can pull the wool over everyone’s eyes? Or are they prototypical dumb criminals who will eventually get caught red-handed? Who knows? But we do know this – right now is a bad time to be in the banking business.
Amezcua approached me after I wrote that and said that I was welcome to write about him and his family, but I should never write about his bank. I later got a letter from his lawyer.
But I was right. And now Amezcua and his shareholders have apparently lost a ton of cash.
Think back to who he selected to serve on his board. Carlos Bustamante and his twin brother. Mike Metzler. Victoria Betancourt. What made Amezcua think that bunch would succeed in operating a bank? Ironically I hear that these same former board members are now very peeved with Amezcua. Apparently they blame him for the bank’s fortunes.
One politician who wanted nothing to do with Amezcua’s bank was Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido. He didn’t stand in Amezcua’s way, but he said no thanks. Pulido serves on the board of the Fullerton Community Bank – a very successful bank. They even made money last year, during the recession.
When you compare how Pulido and his bank have fared over the years to what Amezcua and his pals did to the Santa Ana Business Bank, the contrast is stunning.
Pulido is working hard with our City Council to pull our city out of the current economic doldrums. They have been able to attract a lot of new development, which means jobs and investment in our city. Amezcua? He is opposed to most of that development and is in league with the same Usual Suspects who are suing the City of Santa Ana because one of those projects includes affordable housing.
Go ahead and vote for Amezcua if you want to, but his record in business isn’t good. Why anyone expects that to change if he becomes our next Mayor is a real mystery.