Evans-owned phone books sit in Utah warehouse

by Amy McCullough

Published: November 16,2009

 

Chris Evans walks to his Jackson office recently. Evans did not answer direct questions from the Mississippi Business Journal.

Chris Evans walks to his Jackson office recently. Evans did not answer direct questions from the Mississippi Business Journal.

Phone books published by a Jackson company — operating in a building owned by a man being sued for alleged commercial real estate fraud — were due out in June but have not been delivered to the public due to nonpayment to the printer. Furthermore, ad sales representatives for the company are continuing to sell ads for more books that the company may not have the money to publish.

The Gulf States Directory Company building at 4560 Office Park Drive is owned by Charles H. Evans Jr. The company is not registered with the Secretary of State’s office and is therefore not a legal business entity, according to Pamela Weaver, spokesperson for the Secretary of State. A Utah printer said the bill for more than 45,000 Rankin County phone books that was due in April still has not been paid.

Gulf States Directory Company is currently selling ad for Metro West Jackson and Madison County phone books, promising they will be out in early 2010.

Charles Evans Jr., his brother Jon C. (Chris) Evans and more than 30 entities they own or control are being sued by Mississippi Valley Title Insurance company for alleged commercial mortgage and title insurance fraud. More than 20 Mississippi banks are suing the Evans brothers and their entities for land titles due to nonpayment on loans. Chris Evans has filed for bankruptcy. The filing states he has less than $50,000 in assets and possibly millions in debt.

The alleged Evans brothers’ commercial real estate and loan fraud is estimated to total $50 million.

Printer Liberty Press, LLC printed the Rankin County directories for Gulf States in April, said Dennis Stone, general counsel for the Utah publishing company, in an e-mail reply to the Mississippi Business Journal.

“We printed approximately 47,500 directories, but shipped only about 1,700. We have not shipped the balance due to non-payment. Payment was due in April. I have left messages for Chris and Charles Evans, however, they have not returned my calls,” Stone said. Gulf States paid for the 1,700 books that were shipped, Stone said.

 

A worker at the Rankin County Chamber of Commerce, which is listed in the directory as a location with free phone book copies, said the company has been promising books since September but has not delivered any. The Flowood Chamber received 20 books on Nov. 12 upon request. An advertiser who did not wish to be named said he received a few books after numerous phone calls to the Gulf States office and is angry that books have not been distributed to the public.

Gulf States was named as a defendant Nov. 6 in an amended lawsuit filed by Mississippi Valley Title Insurance Company suing the Evans brothers and their entities. All of the companies named in the suit, with the exceptions of the Evans law firm and Gulf States, are companies that were used for purchasing commercial real estate loans.

Chris Evans and entities under his control owned properties in Madison, Desoto and Harrison counties as well as in state of Texas. Alleged fraudulent activities began as early as 2003.

In its lawsuit MVT alleges the Evans brothers repeatedly defrauded MVT and banks by using companies they controlled to borrow funds from lenders using various parcels of land as collateral, when the title to the collateral was not owned by the entity obtaining the loan.

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