Saturday, August 30, 2014

How Ira Riklis trying to bury my book: The Billionaire's Woman: A Memoir


SEE SAMPLES of how Ira Riklis is trying to BURY my book: “The Billionaire’s Woman” here (there are about 100 versions of what you will see here, all a little different, placed all over the internet by people hired by Ira). I have included only 2 links:


At least one of the companies Ira has hired to spread misinformation all over the internet through various websites and blogs is Jason Lisi, attorney and owner of the following company:

http://legalisi.com/#solutions

##

In 2010 THIS blog was hijacked by, I believe Ira Riklis. Here is my original post with my comments as to where it pointed to, etc: http://kirbysommers.blogspot.com/2010/06/ira-riklis-hijacking.html

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Billionaire's Woman: Ira Riklis and Rapid American

Photo is part of a series of pictures I gave to Ira Riklis for his birthday on October 2, 1992

“It’s me,” his shrill voice slices into the small apartment from the answering machine as I listen to my messages on what I’d hoped would be a calm start to the week. “I’d like to see you again. Monday 11:00 o’clock.” It isn’t a question, but rather a statement.

He’s annoying me. My finger quickly jabs at the machine and turns it off. Ira’s desired time slot is taken and he hasn’t left a number where he can be reached. A flash of anger along with a new level of vulnerability invades my body. Breathe in, exhale. Breathe in, exhale. Breathe in, exhale. I have to remain composed to make it through my day.

One day in the near future Ira will confess that during that first weekend after we met, he dialed my number with fiendish frenzy over 100 times. Or, that he’d snuck off to fantasize about me, after having lunch with his wife and children at Rumplemeyer’s, under the pretense that he had work to do.

Like a hormone crazed teenage boy, he holes himself up in his lavishly appointed private office on the 18th floor at the glitzy Trump Tower, where the family-run Rapid American billion-dollar conglomerate occupies both the 18th and 25th floors, and jerks off while thinking about me.

All around the city women my age are just embarking on their professional careers or their young married lives. Their world is mixture of work, boyfriends, weddings, babies, social outings with friends, newfound loves; along with the excited anticipation of everything new that lays before them. Life for them is predictable and normal.

For me, nothing is normal, and with Ira, I will enter into a parallel universe, freakier even than the one am stuck in. For decades to come my life will be a series of one unpredictable event after another. What I do not know is that Riklis has already become the conductor of my life. For decades he will pull off elaborate behind the scenes machinations that will toss me about as if I were the shrunken Alice in the children’s fantasy book.

There is an unwritten code about canceling appointments.  It simply isn’t done. It’s all right to rush a guy and get him to leave earlier than he might otherwise want to, but to altogether cancel his highly anticipated appointment puts a girl at risk of losing a trusted client.

Willing myself into character I pick up the phone. “I am sick,” I lie sweetly. “I’ll make it up to you,” I promise as his disappointed voice fades away.

Something has gone horribly and irrevocably wrong with my life. It bears no resemblance at all to ‘my life’ anymore. I have stopped being an aspiring designer and have become instead a highly sought after call girl. Random series of events have altered my life in a way that makes absolutely no sense to me. I am at the core of my being a good girl. I don’t sleep around when I am not in this make believe apartment. Before being thrust into this world, I had a steady boyfriend, was a good student, had real aspirations, didn’t wear anything overly revealing, and was frankly, rather shy.

I give myself the once over in the mirror just before opening the door and the reflection of a well put together woman in a white Thierry Mugler suit stares back at me.  The image bears little resemblance to who I remember I was.

The snug jacket with rhinestone buttons flares out dramatically accentuating my narrow waist. The skirt fits snuggly around my hips and it stops three inches above my knees. My legs are covered in white fishnet stockings and I am 4 inches taller than I normally am in white patent leather t-strap stilettos. My hair is teased giving it just the right amount of tousled sexy. On the bathroom sink sinks a large red can of Aqua Net hairspray. I hold the can firm in one hand and spritz it all over my hair while squeezing my eyes shut. Spray, spray, spray – the smell of hairspray permeates the tiny apartment freezing my hair firmly in place.

In the future while sitting next to Ira in the back of a black limousine on our way to Philadelphia we will make a pit stop at a convenience store because I have forgotten to pack my hairspray. Rushing back into the car with a small can of Aqua Net, he will say to me, “we make twenty-five cents on each one of these.”

###

In the book ‘The Go-Go Years: The Drama and Crashing Finale of Wall Street’s Bullish 60s’ written by John Brooks, he writes of Rapid American’s creator:

“Meshulam Riklis, born in Odessa grew up in pre-Israel Tel Aviv in comfortable circumstances, making such frequent and intricate deals with his playmates that they took to calling him derisively the Minister of Finance. He was no ordinary Jewish boy, but it was sometimes maintained, an eighth-generation descendant of Baal-Shem-Tov, founder in eighteenth-century Poland of the celebrated ultra-orthodox Jewish sect called Hasidism. Nonreligious like his father – a Palestine businessman who had once been an officer in the Turkish army – Meshulam Riklis showed an early bent toward scholarship, leading his mother to hope fervently that he would get a Ph.D. and become a teacher. He did, for a time, become a teacher. Having served in the British army in wartime and later having lived for a while with his bride in a kibbutz, he came to the United States in 1947, graduated from Ohio State University in 1950, and then moved to Minneapolis, where he taught Hebrew at night and spent his days as a novice stock salesman for a local brokerage firm.

At the daytime occupation he made a quick success. Soon the rich Jews of Minneapolis were willing to finance him in independent ventures, and he began buying and combining small companies on a shoestring. He would line up backers to help him get control of Company A; then he would use the assets of Company A to take over Company B; and so on. In 1955 he took over a firm called American Colortype; and the combination, which was to be Riklis’ key corporate vehicle thereafter, he named Rapid-American Corporation – a title so inspiring, so beautifully characteristic of the air of guileless enthusiasm seasoned with amiable larceny of the conglomerate era, that it must endear him to any student of corporate nomenclature.

Naturalized in 1955 and a millionaire before the end of that decade, Riklis was Rapid-American in the flesh. In 1970 he told a reporter, “I am a conglomerate. Me personally.” By 1962 his Rapid-American controlled McCrory Corporation, a combine of retail stores, and Glen Alden, a consumer-products company.

Eventually Rikis came to control a complex with sales of $1.7 billion, including such well known companies as International Playtex, B.V.D., Schenley Industries, Lerner Shops, and RKO-Stanley Warner Theatres.”

###

I don’t know who Ira is at this point in time, and even if I had known, it would have made no difference. To me he is a wicked quick fly in need of a good squoozing swat.

His bulky frame marches in confidently.

“You’re not an easy girl to forget,” he chirps his twinkling brown eyes roaming the length of me before he opens his arms for a hug. A small blue Tiffany bag dangles from one of his plump hands.

“That’s not a good excuse, it’s a nice compliment, but not a good excuse. You have to make an appointment. You really cannot just show up here whenever you want.” My face doesn’t betray how peeved I really feel as I shut the door and bury my check into his shoulder surrendering to his embrace.

I pull away and he drops a kiss on my lips in a perfunctory way as if he were my lover.

“I’ve been calling you all weekend, where have you been?” He emphasizes the word ‘been’ in the same manner a child whines when he can’t have another cookie.

“I’ve been busy.”

“By the way this is for you,” he hands me the bag, a wide grin distorts his full face, as he looks at me with boyish anticipation.

“Thank you. You really don’t have to buy me anything,” I peek inside expecting to see a small blue box tied with Tiffany’s signature white ribbon but find instead a stack of $100 bills.

“What is this?” We’re glued by the front door in my work apartment. It faces the front and it’s noisy. Jarring sirens, honking horns and bracing brakes compete for attention alongside Miles Davis’ Sketches of Spain, which I have put into the cassette player for his appointment. It’s a bedlam of noise most New Yorkers become oblivious to.

“Ahhhh,” he tilts his head back and stares up at the ceiling. I stare at the short stubbles of beard along his neck and face under red patches of skin indicating he shaved this morning.

“Well…I would have preferred to buy you a piece of jewelry from Harry Winston but I didn’t see you wear any jewelry last time. I wasn’t sure what your style might be so I thought you could go out and get yourself something you liked.” He says the name Harry Winston as if it were four words: HA-rry Win-Ston.

“Thank you, really, you didn’t have to get me anything,” my anger disappears as I ponder the idea of not working for a week or two depending on how much is in the bag. I only work when I have to pay bills. Depending on how much money is in the bag, I may not have to work for a little while.

“Consider it my gift to you,” he responds magnanimously.

Before I know it he scoops me up in his arms, kisses me passionately, muttering how much he’s missed me and carries me into the bedroom. He lowers me gently on the bed and kneels down on the floor next to me.

I start unbuttoning my jacket, and he quickly grabs my hand.

“No, I’m going to take your clothes off,” he instructs feverishly, his face swelling with desire.

Slowly he removes every stitch of clothing carefully placing each item on the chair at the foot of the bed. And in less than two minutes, gone too, are the stockings, garter-belt and matching g-string, which I’d planned on wearing throughout his appointment.

His eyes narrow like slits staring at me from a sunken pool of darkness. The dark circles under his eyes look even more pronounced and I wonder if he has gotten any sleep.

“I guess it’s your turn,” I announce, now naked with this stranger, while fluffing out the pillows under my head. This appointment has become quite the upside down. He’s the one that is supposed to be fully unrobed by now, not me.

With several loud guttural grunts he gets up off his knees and stands. Impatiently he discards his impeccably tailored suit and tosses all his clothes on the floor and the chair.

I feel the bed dip next to me as he climbs in. His cold feet brush against mine as he straddles me. The bed creaks ominously as he grabs both my hands into his large sweaty palms and pins my arms back over my head.

Looking up I see his face hovering over me slack, distorted and damp with sweat. He awkwardly presses his half open mouth against my lips. I shut my eyes and let his tongue slip into my mouth.

I can’t breathe. Jerking my head to the right I free myself from his death grip.

“No, don’t do that,” he instructs hoarsely.

He repositions himself alongside of me, his eyes glazed with desire, and pushes my legs apart. His fingers find my clitoris he rubs me faster and faster, harder and harder, back and forth.

I scream out in pain, but the look on his face makes me realize he thinks I’m having an orgasm instead of feeling excruciating pain.

The 1980s gave birth to the word G-spot and for years to come Ira will remain obsessed with finding mine.

“No, no, stop, stop!” I shriek repeatedly trying to push his hands away. Whatever I do, I can’t tell him he’s not pleasing me. Some clients feel it’s their manly duty to make you happy in bed.

For a brief moment I think the nightmare is over and suddenly his middle finger pierces deep into me.

His face is euphoric as he looks at me triumphantly.

Pushing him off me he lands on his back against the cotton covered pillows.

He sighs loudly. I am exhausted and all I want to do is get him to come so he can leave. And just as I am about to get him off, he starts talking.

 “Ahhh,” he stammers. “I’ve never gone all the way with anyone but my wife.”

For a moment I’m stunned. I know from experience that you don’t talk about a man’s wife. It is sure to deflate even the stiffest erections. My eyes dart down and he’s flaccid.

Not sure what to make of what he’s just said, other than in his mind he thinks he’s been faithful to his wife, I snuggle onto his chest. He wraps his arms around me.

“What do you mean?” I tilt my head up to his and he begins rattling off the most intimate details of his sex life.

“Well, ahhhh…I’ve seen ladies, of course, but I’ve never made love to any of them. Never wanted to. But lately, all I can think of is how much I want to make love to you. To hold you in my arms and never let go.”

“You’ve been thinking about me?” I ask playfully placing my bare leg across his.

“Yes, a lot. There’s something about you….ahhhh…..that’s quite special. I’ve never seen it before. It reminds me of the first time I met my wife. It scares me.”

Men are incredibly different than women. In their minds if they pay for sex, they don’t think they’re really cheating. And, apparently, in Ira’s mind the fact that his penis has never penetrated another woman makes him feel as if he’s been a faithful husband.

In the midst of what is only a performance Ira starts ranting about his troubles with his father. A torrential downpour of hurt feelings mixed with self-doubt stream out of him.

“My father isn’t too pleased….He wants absolute control over me….He sees me as a something that belongs to him….Like one of his companies….Didn’t want me to get married….Now they’re the best of friends….I think he’s calling the house to speak with me, but it’s her he wants to talk to….He spoils the children….We have a power struggle….He never hugs me….I thought I was gay…” his words tumble out of him interspersed with long “Ahhhhhs.”

When he is calm I inch up close to his ear and take his earlobe into my mouth biting it softly.

He moans and as he does his erection grows stiff.

I sit on him pushing his schlong flat under my vagina so that it doesn’t slip in. I gyrate all over him and he pulsates against me. He jerks rapidly, his arms flailing. I jump off as he grabs himself and ejaculates all over his rounded stomach.

Forty-five minutes after his arrival he finally leaves.

###


NOTE: For over 20 years, after walking out of an unwanted relationship with billionaire and Zionist Ira Riklis, he has had one goal: to stop the messenger (me), to defile me, to work behind the scenes to make me appear crazy; and to work behind the scenes to destroy my life. My businesses have been hacked. There was an attempt on my life and for years he has a battery of people to flood the internet with a wave of disinformation and doctored stories.

SEE SAMPLES of how Ira Riklis is trying to bury my book: “The Billionaire’s Woman” here (there are about 100 versions of what you will see here, all a little different, put by Ira all over the internet):


http://articles.org/secret-life-of-billionaire-ira-riklis/

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Billionaire's Woman: Ira Riklis, Day One

Photo is part of series of pictures I gave Ira Riklis for his birthday on October 2, 1992

Chapter Four.


I don’t have a lot of time before the new guy Ira shows up. Normally I like changing the bed linens after every appointment. But it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen, and I don’t feel bad about it, since Wellesley hasn’t really left any trace of having been here. I straighten out the sheets, plumping up the pillows, and quietly stand in front of my closet trying to figure out what to change into.
The black dress I have on for Wellesley is pinching too much across my waist because my tummy is bloated with my soon to come period. As I scan the neatly assembled row of outfits I keep in this apartment for work I spot dark violet strapless suede dress I haven’t worn in a long time. I yank the expensive dress from its hanger and put it on hastily.
Scrutinizing myself in from of the full-length mirror, I decide I like the way the dress shows off my bare shoulders, and my cleavage. It’s snug and cuts across my breasts sort of pushing them in and up, making them look higher and rounder and even more inviting like the women in those oversized portraits from the 18th century hanging at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 
But when I move the dress inches up my thighs because I’m bloated. I suddenly wish I would had chosen to stay home instead of coming in to work today. Sighing I go back to my closet to pick out another dress and quickly take a look at the clock. It’s almost 1pm so I should have time. My hand reaches into the closet at the same time the doorbell rings.
This new guy is annoying me already. I slam the closet door shut and move on to the full-length mirror that covers the bathroom closet door. I peer closely and examine my face. The mascara looks intact. No smudges. My lipstick however needs an re-do and I quickly dab hot pink across my lips the color of a bad bridesmaid dress and top it off with a little gloss smack in the middle of my pouting lips.
A girl never looks tired with gloss on. I drop both the lipstick and gloss back into the drawer and skip-run to open the door bent at the waist fluffing out my hair, which is long past my shoulders and stops only a few inches away from the curve of my derriere. If there is anything I have learned during the time I am a call girl is how much one can do in just one or two minutes. One hand grabs the doorknob and the other pushes down the impossible dress which is inching up my thighs again. I inhale deeply willing myself into my sex goddess role.

The door isn’t even fully open before Ira boldly pushes it past me and spills into my apartment.
“Well, do come in,” I say sarcastically taking a step back.
Not a good beginning for the new guy. He seems overly eager and it’s off-putting.
“Good to meet you. Sorry about barging in but you never know who’s behind you!” His high-pitched voice hesitates slightly between each word.
“Ahhhh,” he says for the first time shutting the door behind him and for a moment I think he is catching his breathe. But his “ahhhs” is how he speaks and his “ahhhs” are scattered with almost every sentence until I realize he isn’t aware he makes this sound when he is thinking about what to say next.
In the future when we would replay this scene in my real apartment or at a hotel any where in the world he would at time ask me if anyone was hiding in the closet with a camera. It always threw me off and I always thought he was weird and overly paranoid until the day arrived when I knew with certainty that people were following him and that in time I, too, would be followed.

At first blush he looks every bit the well-fed businessman in a tailor-made navy blue pin striped suit meant to hide 30 or more extra pounds. His perfectly groomed wavy chestnut hair parted at the side is a stark contrast to his heavily hooded eyes surrounded by dark circles.

In years to come I will remember his first words to me: “you never know whose behind you.” Having been a trust fund kid born into the lap of luxury he was always worried about his kids being kidnapped and about all sorts of strange things I only saw in mobster movies. In time I would come to know that his father Meshulam Riklis was a shady figure who did shady things with really shady people, while amassing a fortune and who, along the way created enemies from the underworld to the White House.
Ira was familiar with all types of eavesdropping devices and different spying methods and had the habit of proudly boasting how his driver, Norman, would take a bullet for either one of his two little girls. I never knew if I was talking to one of the world’s wealthiest men or to a mobster with some of the things he gabbed about.

If I had fallen into the rabbit hole when I lost my way, and ended up selling pieces of my soul by the hour, Ira’s presence in my life, made me topple even deeper past any of the exit doors I might have been able to open. In decades to come, I too, would wonder who might be standing just behind me.

I double lock the front door and wrap my hand inside Ira’s meaty palm leading him to the sofa where he quickly unbuttons his jacket before sitting down. I can feel his weight on my left thigh because he’s sitting so close to me and instinctively I shuffle away, but he immediately places his big clammy hand on my thigh gripping it firmly.
His pants stretch across his wide thighs creasing the fabric and his belly pushes his crisp white shirt up and out from inside his pants where it had been neatly tucked so that he suddenly resembles an old tired man instead of the young man he is.
The routine with a new guy is vastly different than with a regular guy and I haven’t had a new client in a long time, so I have to be especially careful with him. He is moving too fast and I am intent on slowing him down.
“Ira, tell me a little about yourself. What kind of business are you in?” I cross my legs and catch his eyes following the line of my leg all the way down to my black Manolo Blahnik stiletto pumps.
“I own a couple of companies that aren’t exciting in the least,” he gives my thigh another unwelcome squeeze.
I place my hand firmly on top of his to make sure it doesn’t go any further and in the same sweet tone of voice I keep talking.
“What sort of companies?” I don’t acknowledge his hand on my thigh, or the fact that my dress has betrayed me by inching up even higher so that the top of my stockings, along with the black lace of my garter belt, with my bare flesh are now visible.
“Nothing special,” he is unabashedly staring at the skin between my dress and the stockings. His full lower lip dangles open. For a second I think he is going to drool saliva all over himself.
“You are certainly the most exciting thing that’s happened to me today. And maybe even for a long while,” his eyes sweep up mine again and a wide grin spreads across his full face making his double chin seem even more prominent.
There is no way this guy can be a cop and so I let my guard down and intently keep my eyes locked into his now twinkling caramel colored ones punctuated by dark circles and silently give him the green light.
“I love your tie,” I place my hand on it against his chest, wanting him to start feeling my touch.
“Uhmmm,” he purrs. “Ahhhh…..You’re lovely.”
“Thank you. Come on,” I stand and make another attempt at pulling down the hem of my dress. His presses his body close behind mine wrapping his hands around my waist so that it feels as if we are one as we walk towards the bedroom.
Tearing myself away from him, I recite the usual speech.
“Make yourself comfortable, and when you’re ready, please leave it here.” I softly tap the nightstand next to the bed. I never use the word money, not even with regulars, and especially not with a new guy. “I’ll be right back.”
I leave him in the room for about 4 minutes to give him time to take his clothes off and get himself ready. When I return I find him completely naked, sitting on top of the cover sheet. He is making a serious attempt to suck in his rounded belly. His big legs are bent at the knee and his penis is fully erect.
His entire demeanor tells me he has done this before. Many times. This is certainly not his first. I quickly spot both his black Calvin Klein briefs and his black socks sitting neatly on top of his clothes on the chair at the foot of the bed. And it’s also another sign that he’s a regular. He’s someone’s regular. And because he isn’t a newbie I naively believe he is going to be an easy one.
Crisp $100 bills are neatly fanned across the table and I ignore them.
His pleading eyes are glued on my body, and slowly I strut toward him. I stop a couple of inches away from his fully extended left arm with the tips of his fingers reaching out for me.  Silently I undo the zipper of my dress, which thankfully is on my side, and not the back, making this little strip tease a lot easier to do.
I wiggle a little and the dress falls down to my waist. I then wiggle again, and it glides over my hips and down my legs becoming a puddle of fabric on the carpeted floor. I slowly step over it. Only black lingerie, sheer black stockings, and my black Manolo Blatnik’s remain.
His eyes dart up and down all over my body, and when his eyes meet mine again, I can tell he is in the red-hot fire zone.
“Turn around let me look at you,” his voice is husky with desire.
I turn around slowly stopping midpoint with my back facing him and let him take in the perfect curves of my body.  My ass is perfectly round like a globe beneath my tiny waist. Standing perfectly still I turn my head sideways, narrow my Oriental-like tilted eyes, and flash him a cat-like glance.
Swirling back around, I bend down Playboy bunny style and pick up my discarded dress throwing it about carelessly about three feet away where it lands on top of his crisp white dress shirt.
Before I can even kick off my pumps I notice his plump toes are already curled and his fully erect member is visually throbbing which is in stark contrast to his perfectly still bloated body. His arms are rigid at his side and he is lying flat on his back, as if he were a soldier. Only his head is bent in my direction and his eyes are wide open – so wide open that for a fraction of a second I wonder if he’s ever going to blink.
I try climbing over his big belly to get to the other side but Ira wraps his big arms around me and pulls me down tight against him. My breasts fall onto his face. His thick hands reach up and squeeze them. His mouth opens and he sucks each nipple, one at a time, for several minutes evenly. Is he trying to please himself or me I wonder as I fight to retain my balance while stuck on top of him staring down at his wavy brown hair now in disarray.
To check if he is still hard, I rub my leg over his groin, and it’s still fully erect. Not wanting him to lose it right away I pull my leg away and try to slow him down. I push myself off him falling onto his right side and push his arm up so I can snuggle my head on his shoulder. He wraps his arm around me.
“I love the suit you were wearing,” I whisper in his ear.
“Thank you, I love the dress you had on. Ahhhh…..Where did you buy it?”
“Bloomie’s I think.”
“Ahhh…I’ve always wanted to buy something off the rack. I always have to get my clothes made for me.” He says in a tragic tone.
“Why?” I free myself from his arms and prop myself up on one elbow.
“Well, because I have to lose about 20 pounds and nothing in a store ever fits me. So I’m jealous that you can walk into a store and just buy something. I can’t do that,” he taps his protruding belly.
My eyes follow his hand, and truth be told, he could afford to lose 20 maybe even 30 or more pounds. But then again most men aren’t in good shape. Just go to any beach and potbellied men in too-small shorts stroll by with no shame at all. A woman in the same physical condition would never go near a beach.
His full checks are flush and his eyes peer into mine. He suddenly looks very sad.
“You’re so beautiful,” he whispers caressing my face.
In response to his compliment, I run my fingers through his hair. It’s enough for him to pull me close and kiss me on the lips. We make out as if we were on our honeymoon instead of a pay for hire hour until I pull away and straddle him.
Pushing my hair over my head I crawl down his body while my hair and skin caress him like a thousand little feathers.
He quivers under my touch.
His penis begs for my attention. I ignore it and softly lick his balls planting small kisses along his inner thighs. When I notice the drops of pre-come on his cock, I flick my tongue gently along the sides of it and within seconds he erupts onto the palm of my hand.

###



Many years from now when I stride the streets of New York as the owner of a real estate firm, when gray strands of hair find their way onto my temples, when Ira becomes independently wealthy aside from the riches bestowed upon him from him father, I will think about this day and wish I’d never given him an appointment. I would be reminded of this day whenever something bad happens to me in the future. When someone destroys my apartment or my business or my love life. I will feel overcome with a sense of both hatred and terror and I will know Ira is behind it all.

###




Copyright Kirby Sommers. All rights reserved.

##

NOTE: For over 20 years, after walking out of an unwanted relationship with billionaire and Zionist Ira Riklis, he has had one goal: to stop the messenger (me), to defile me, to work behind the scenes to make me appear crazy; and to work behind the scenes to destroy my life. My businesses have been hacked. There was an attempt on my life and for years he has a battery of people to flood the internet with a wave of disinformation and doctored stories.

SEE SAMPLES of how Ira Riklis is trying to bury my book: “The Billionaire’s Woman” here (there are about 100 versions of what you will see here, all a little different, put by Ira all over the internet):


http://articles.org/secret-life-of-billionaire-ira-riklis/

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Billionaire's Woman: Prologue


The Billionaire's Woman: Prologue


Telling my story about the man who turned me into his sex slave without dipping into history and sharing with you the story about his father, Meshulam Riklis, would be like inviting you to share a meal and presenting you with an empty plate.

In order to understand the way Ira processed information, and the way he manipulated me into becoming his property, you have to understand how his father built an empire in the United States by raping and plundering well known companies, destroying the lives of thousands upon thousands of people who believed they were sharing part of the American dream by owning pieces of paper called stocks.

So, for a brief moment, indulge me and follow me back to another time and another country.

Meshulam Riklis was born in Turkey in 1923 to a wealthy couple – his arrival was two months premature, before his Russian-born parents, Pinhas and Bathia Riklis, could return to Palestine from a business trip to Istanbul.

Pinhas, a graduate of University of Liverpool, was an export manager for the Jaffa Citrus Exchange in Palestine. Although he immigrated to the United States for quite some time, he passed away in Israel in 1986. Israeli newspapers carried obituary notices identifying Pinhas as a “descendant of the Ball Shem Tov.”

This is a claim also made by Meshulam Riklis, and if true it makes him an eighth-generation descendant of Ball-Shem-Tov, founder, in eighteenth century Poland, of the celebrated ultra-orthodox Jewish sect called Hasidism. It also means Ira is a ninth-generation descendant – which brings a second well-known bloodline to this drama.

TO BE CONTINUED....

Riklis Family Corporation: A Historical Overview of Rapid American

Riklis Family Corp.


Private Company
Incorporated:
 1980
Employees: 21,000
Sales: $1.5 billion
SICs: 5331 Variety Stores; 5199 Nondurable Goods, Nee; General Merchandise
Riklis Family Corp. is a privately-held conglomerate of variety retail businesses that have included Rapid-American Corporation, McCrory Stores, Faberge/Elizabeth Arden, Samsonite luggage, Collagen, Schenley Industries Inc., and E-II Holdings Inc. The company is almost wholly owned by the Riklis family, including Meshulam Riklis and his second wife, singer Pia Zadora, as well as his five children and six grandchildren from a previous marriage. Besides closed ownership, Riklis Family Corp. is private in another fundamental way: Mr. Rikliss deals have been so labyrinthine and secretive that few Wall Street firms or investors have been able to follow them. Fulfilling his reputation as a financial wizard, Riklis combined a penchant for complex financial transactions with $750,000 borrowed in the 1950s to create a multibillion dollar empire. By the 1990s, with substantial losses in McCrory Stores and numerous legal and financial setbacks, some analysts questioned whether the debt that had fostered the companys growth would prove too heavy to bear.
The history of Riklis Family Corp. reflects the unconventional profile of its founder. Meshulam Riklis was born in Turkey in 1923, while his parents were en route from Russia to Israel. He grew up in Tel Aviv, where he graduated from the Herzliya Gymnasia. In 1947, he traveled to Columbus, Ohio, and enrolled in Ohio State University. After receiving a B.A. degree in mathematics in 1950, he taught Hebrew in the Talmud Torah School in Minneapolis. A year later, he joined the investment firm of Piper, Jaffray and Hopwood in Minneapolis as a junior stock analyst.
Riklis quickly demonstrated his insight, talent, and ambition. As a stockbroker, he developed his conglomerate philosophy of paying with debentures and selling for cash. After talking several clients into creating a pool of $750,000, he began a spree of acquisitions that would culminate in the formation of Riklis Family Corp. and would situate him on the Forbes list of the 400 wealthiest people in the United States by the 1980s.
By 1956, Riklis had advanced from stockbroker to chairperson and CEO of Rapid Electrotype Company and American Color-type Company. In 1957 he merged the companies and became president of Rapid-American Corp., an office machine, printing, and Christmas-card company. Largely through high-yield debt and stock swaps, he began buying merchandising, tire, apparel, and packaging companies.
In 1960, Riklis acquired 38, and later 50 percent of the stock of United Stores Corporation, a subsidiary of H. L. Green Company, Inc., which had merged McCrory Stores, McLellan Stores, and H. L. Green Stores in 1959. The McCrory-McLellan-Green (M-M-G) relationship resulted in approximately 850 stores with an estimated annual volume of more than $310 million. Within 15 years, M-M-G, renamed McCrory Stores (a subsidiary of McCrory Corporation), would represent the keystone of Riklis Family Corps variety store business.
The McCrory acquisition brought to Riklis a legacy extending back to 1882, when John G. McCrorey joined the countrys earliest variety retailers by opening his first five-and-ten store in Scottdale, Pennsylvania (the e was later removed from his name, allegedly to save costs on the growing number of store signs). The stores offered wide varieties of items at bargain prices, including brooms for ten cents and Boss handsaws at 24 cents each. In 1901, with 20 stores grossing roughly $498,000 a year, McCrory established a New York City headquarters. Operations quickly expanded to 69 stores in 1911 and 128 stores in 1915, when McCrory was incorporated under the laws of Delaware.
In 1922, McCrory Corporation opened one of the worlds largest variety storestwo floors with 2,500 lineal feet of counter spacein Brooklyn, New York. The company had expanded to 159 stores with annual sales of $14,400,000.
The 1930s marked significant changes in management and planning. In 1931, John G. McCrory vacated the presidents office after nearly 50 years of service and was succeeded by C. T. Green, who had been with S. H. Kress Company for 30 years. Green, and his successors, R. F. Coppedge and R. W. Paul, moved to modernize operations through construction of new stores, personnel training programs, and extended price ranges and merchandise assortments. However, McCrory Corporation and its 203 stores slipped into bankruptcy in 1933.
In 1936 the Morrow Brothers bought the debentures and preferred stock of both McCrory and its competitor, McLellan Stores, which was founded in 1916 and had also declared bankruptcy in 1933. Working through their United Stores Corporation, they negotiated a reorganization wherein they received about 37 percent of the new common stock. Under the direction of R. F. Coppedge, thedime store image was elevated with improved facilities and presentation, including more accessible window displays and consumer-friendly color schemes for store interiors. The June 1950 issue of Chain Store Age reported that McCrory had become one of the leaders in the chain variety store field in fashion and ready-to-wear assortments. By 1957, sales reached approximately $112 million and net profit after tax totaled $3.5 million.
In 1958, Albert M. Greenfield, chairperson at Bankers Securities Corporation and Variety Stores Corporation, acquired a large percentage of United Stores Corporation stock. In January 1959, McCory and McLellan, 37 percent owned by United, effected a merger. Then on February 18, 1959, H. L. Green Company, Inc. acquired Greenfields equity in United Stores Corp. H. L. Green Co. dated back to 1932, when Harold L. Green acquired five retail companies in the limited price field. With its 1959 McCrory-McLellan-Green acquisition, United had control over 850 stores.
Meshulam Riklis appeared on the scene in 1960, when he acquired a significant amount of the stock of United Stores. In 1961, the financier bought full control of the H. L. Green Company, Inc., temporarily taking over as president of Mc-Crory Corp. but soon passing on responsibility to a line of carefully chosen managers. The new officers upgraded existing stores while expanding to new locations. They decentralized and realigned field management and appointed regional and district managers to better control sales and profits. Despite such efforts, M-M-G experienced several difficulties. Profits during the 1962-63 fiscal year were negligible. Declining earnings at McCrory Stores forced Riklis to liquidate all Rapid holdings except 51 percent of McCrory. From 1960 to 1964, the company had gone through four presidents and one acting president, contributing to general malaise and low morale.
This downswing was in part reversed by Samuel Neaman, who assumed the presidency of M-M-G in 1964. In addition to streamlining operations, Neaman focused on incentive plans, increasing salaries across the board and tripling bonuses over 1963. In a 1966 plan to increase efficiency, the company headquarters were moved from New York City to York, Pennsylvania, home of M-M-Gs distribution center. The company experienced a dramatic upturn in profits.
Also in 1966 Riklis completed his masters degree in finance at Ohio State University. In an MBA thesis examining the early years of his career, he outlined his strategies for buying companies with borrowed cash. In the thesis, Riklis lauded the effective use, or rather non-use, of cash. This strategy governed his dealings with McCrory and with the rapidly growing Riklis Family Corp. in general.
M-M-G continued to grow into the 1970s. In 1969 the company purchased 22 superstores in the south. In order to better service small variety chains and independent variety stores, M-M-G established the York Distribution Company (YDC) in 1970. Two years later, Rapid-American Corp. acquired the J. J. New-berry Company and merged it with McCrory Corporation, joining 650 M-M-G stores with 439 Newberry units, including select William Tally House Cafeterias. Renamed G. McNew, the resulting chain was decentralized and broken into six separate subdivisions, referred to as MAC companies.
After severe losses in 1973 and the 1974 resignations of McCrory Corporations chairperson as well as the G. McNew divisions president, the company again moved to stimulate growth. Emphasis was shifted from decentralization to strong central control from the Pennsylvania headquarters. On February 1, 1975, the chains name was changed from G. McNew to McCrory Stores. In addition, measures were taken to close unprofitable stores, to rehabilitate low budget stores, to monitor and tighten overall efficiency, to launch an aggressive sales program, and to tailor cost-effective distribution in face of escalating transportation costs.
These measures paid off, increasing chain performance and spurring a new round of Riklis acquisitions. Rapid-American Corp., which already held 62.5 percent interest in McCrory Corporation, acquired full control on March 12, 1976. Through the acquisition, Rapid-American operated a total of over 2,000 stores, including 883 McCrory Stores. Later that year, McCrory further expanded by taking over the leases on 15 locations of the beleaguered W. T. Grant Company. Continued expansion included the takeover of eight variety stores from Neisner Brothers in 1980 and the acquisition of 46 S. H. Kress and V. J. Elmore stores from the S. H. Kress Company in 1981.
By the late 1980s, McCrory Stores was again experiencing heavy losses. To address the problem, Riklis retained an elite group of managers, whom he retrained in management, marketing, and sales skills, dubbing them the companygreen berets. From this group Riklis chose 30 members to serve as a squad of shock troops, dubbed unit 101 after Israeli Industry and Trade minister Ariel Sharons anti-terrorist unit. These special trainees were sent to McCrorys top 100 stores equipped, among other things, with a powerful incentive plan shared on all company levels: if the companys pre-tax profits were 10.4 per cent, all employees would receive a bonus of seven days pay; 11.4 per cent on sales would yield a bonus of 10 days pay. In June 1989, Riklis rewarded 2,000 McCrory employees and their spouses with a company-paid, two-week tour of Israel, Greece, and Egypt.
Other moves to improve McCrory business included streamlining and consolidating operations. In June 1990, the companys Bargain Time Inc. affiliate moved its main buying office to the McCrory headquarters in Pennsylvania and closed its buying office in Newark, New Jersey.
The 1980s were also marked by a series of new and convoluted financial feats at Riklis Family Corp. Riklis bought out Rapid-Americans public stockholders in 1985 but left its debt in public hands. In doing so, he owned 100 percent of the equity in a debt-ridden but cash-generating conglomerate. By 1988, Rapid and McCrory held 23 debt issues totaling $750 million. Though the companys bond rating hovered at CCC, Riklis had little trouble raising approximately $150 million per year to service the debt. Even if McCrorys earnings plunged, as in 1987, other subsidiariessuch as Schenley Industries, Faberge toiletries, and McGregor apparelprovided necessary cash.
Keen on making further acquisitions but short on the necessary assets, Riklis engineered yet another ingenious solution in 1986. In May, he transferred the cash-generating Schenley and Faberge/McGregor assets from Rapid/McCrory to his Riklis Family Corp., paying for them largely in paper: nonvoting, cumulative preferred stock issued by the new Schenley company and the newly merged Faberge/McGregor.
In possession of the Schenley and Faberge/McGregor assets, Riklis was ready to conduct new deals. In 1987, Riklis Family Corp. sold Schenley to the United Distillers plc division of Britains Guinness plc for $480 million. Schenley Industries Inc., was the sixth largest distributor of spirits in the United States and included in its portfolio Dewars White Label, the countrys leading scotch whiskey.
Like many of Riklis deals, the Schenley sale did not pass without controversy. The press issued reports that the sale was a result of Riklis entanglement in Guinness scandal-ridden 1986 takeover of United Distillers Co. According to a June 19, 1989, Business Week article, among other sources, Riklis feared that Guinness would endanger his U.S. distribution of Dewars whisky. Riklis and Guinness allegedly worked out a deal: Riklis purchased more than five percent of Guinness to help boost the price of stock with which Guinness was acquiring Distillers. In return, Riklis earned an indefinite extension of his Dewars distribution contract, as well as the U.S. trademark for the whiskey, for a small fee. When Guinness top managers resigned after the scandal came to light, new executives threatened Riklis with legal action. Even though the subsequent sale of Schenley incurred a pre-tax loss of $46 million, it enabled Riklis to wash his hands of the deal, according to Business Week.
In July 1988, an affiliate of the Riklis Family Corporation again attracted media attention with the acquisition of E-II Holdings Inc., a subsidiary of American Brands, Inc. The sale included Culligan International, Samsonite, Samsonite Furniture, Home Fashions, Beatrice Food Ingredients, Frozen Specialties, Lowreys Meat Specialties, Martha White Foods, and Pet Specialties. Even before Riklis entered the picture, E-II had a turbulent history. In 1987, Chicago entrepreneur Donald P. Kelly launched the company by patching together a group of strong brands including Samsonite. After trying to use E-II to take over American Brands Inc., however, he lost his fledgling company to American Brands. Eager to bail out of E-IIs massive debt, American Brands sold the company to Riklis in 1987 for $1.2 billion and assumption of $1.5 billion in debt. Riklis installed his long-time friend Steven Green as CEO of E-II and began a pattern of lopping off debt by selling assets.
E-II bondholders resisted the sale to Riklis, whom they feared was using E-II coffers to prop up ailing Riklis Family Corp. enterprises. They also were wary of Riklis relatively low credit rating and feared that E-IIs rating would sink to the level of its new parent. John Canella, a federal district court judge, ruled their complaint a moot point, and denied an order barring the transaction. Yet E-IIs fears were partly justified. E-II bonds which had sold at 110 percent of their face value fell to about 80 percent after the sale. In addition, many Riklis deals proved less than favorable to E-II interests: in December of 1989, Riklis sold E-II the money-losing Bargain Time Inc. retail chain from McCrory for $170 million plus preferred stock; six months later Bargain Time shut down and dumped its $221 million loss onto E-IIs books; and in August of 1990, E-II paid $16 million for a group of California television stations owned by another Riklis affiliate.
The problems intensified, and, outraged by Riklis alleged use of E-II funds for other interest, bondholders ousted him in 1990.
In July 1992, financier Carl Icahn scuttled Greens restructuring plans for the ailing company, arguing that Green was continuing to serve Riklis interests. After filing for Chapter 11 in July, E-II announced a plan to sue Riklis for roughly $500 million siphoned out of the company. By April 1993, court rulings were still pending regarding Greens plans for overcoming bankruptcy and legally pursuing Riklis.
During this time, Riklis continued to work deals on other fronts. In October 1988 Riklis entered another segment of retailing with the purchase of Odd Lot Trading, Inc. by OLT-I Corp. and OLT-W Corp., subsidiaries of Riklis Family Corp., for approximately $37.1 million. Odd Lot was a 103-store chain specializing primarily in discounted merchandise.
After several years of negotiating a deal with Unilever PLC, Riklis finally sold its Elizabeth Arden cosmetics company to the consumer products titan in August 1992. With the introduction of Red Door, its first new fragrance since 1930, total retail sales jumped 29 percent, sending Arden in a positive direction under its new parent.
By the early 1990s, the highly leveraged debts supporting Riklis Family Corp. were in danger of losing much of their leverage, ensnaring Riklis enterprises in more setbacks. In 1992, Riklis Las Vegas casino, the Riviera Hotel, filed for bankruptcy protection after some of its creditors refused to accept a restructuring plan. Riklis was still fighting the bondholder suit filed by E-II Holding Inc. Furthermore, in December of that year, McCrory Corp. announced it would close nearly one-quarter of its 1,000 stores. In February 1992, McCrory missed a payment of $3.37 million in debt securities and hinted that it might file for bankruptcy court protection. Lets just say that Im not eating any milk and honey, said Meshulam Riklis in a January 13, 1992, Business Week article.
Nevertheless, the story of Riklis Family Corp. was far from over. Known for his resilience and resourcefulness, Riklis would likely find a way to shore up losses, even if it incurred more debt.

Principal Subsidiaries

E-II Holding Corp.; Riklis Holding Corp.; McCrory Stores; Rapid-American Corp.

Further Reading

American Brands To Sell Part of E-II, Reuters, June 13, 1988.
Cashman, Greer Fay, The Superstars Have Come, The Jerusalem Post,June 8, 1989.
Grover, Ronald, Joseph Weber, and Peter Krouse, Lets Just Say Im Not Eating Any Milk and Honey, Business Week, January 13, 1992, p. 38.
Guinness PLC Buys Schenley, Business Wire, September 17, 1987.
Lataniotis, Dolores, There Are Two Kinds of Money, Forbes, July 25, 1988, p. 40.
Lawsuit Filed On E-II Sale, The New York Times, August 5, 1988, p. D12.
Light, Larry, Did Riklis Play it Straight? Business Week, March 22, 1993, p. 75.
McCrory Is Expecting To Miss Debt Payment, The New York Times, February 15, 1992, p. 39.
McCrory Stores 100 Year History In Variety Retailing, New York: The Riklis Family Corp., 1982.
McCrory Stores To Close Affiliate Headquarters, Reuters, June 6, 1990.
Revco Announces Intention To Sell Odd Lot, PRNewswire, October 18, 1988.
Rice, Faye, Elizabeth Arden; Profiting By Perseverance, Fortune, January 27, 1992, p. 84.
Riklis Family Subsidiary To Purchase Odd Lot Trading, PR News-wire,October 19, 1988.
Rothman, Andrea, Riklis Fancy Footwork May Be Tripping Him Up, Business Week, June 19, 1989, p. 86.
Kerstan Cohen