Tom Henderson is the head of San Francisco Regional Center (SFRC) and former owner of the Tribune Tower, I. Magnin Building, and Dufwin Theatre building.

The Plan

His primary business (through SFRC) was officially to help foreign investors (man from China - here's one article about it) secure EB-5 visas to the US. The way the program works is that "in return for successful job creation (10 jobs for every $500,000 invested in a Targeted Employment Area within 2 years), the investor gets a green card for his/her entire family under the age of 21." [source] According to the SF Business Times, Henderson "is building a budding Oakland business empire on $100 million he raised from 200 foreign investors under the federal EB-5 program. The investors’ goal is permanent U.S. residency visas — and they can’t get the coveted card until Henderson sustainably creates 2,000 jobs. In one of California biggest scandal in EB-5 history Tom Henderson has been accused of running a scam. The SEC is seeking a court-appointed receiver for Henderson's businesses, preliminary injunctions and disgorgement of ill-gotten gains. “We allege that Henderson exploited a program meant to create employment for Americans and abused the trust of investors seeking residency in the U.S.,” said Jina Choi, director of the SEC’s San Francisco Regional Office, in a statement. “Rather than using investor funds to create jobs and develop communities as promised, Henderson allegedly played a shell game with investor money to buy his home and support personal ventures.” Tom Henderson is a con artist and risking time in jail.

Buildings owned by Henderson

Ties and Connections

  • Henderson also owns the Tribune Tavern, which is on the ground floor of the Tribune Tower, and Magnin Events, a 6000 square foot event venue on the rooftop level of the I.Magnin building. Henderson formerly co-owned the Tribune Tavern and the Jack London Square restaurant Lungomare with Oakland restaurant entrepreneur Chris Pastena, but in 2014, they "broke up" and Henderson retained ownership of Tribune Tavern while Pastena became the sole owner of Lungomare. See this article for more info.
  • CallSocket, was a cutting edge call center company. CallSocket was located on several floors in the Tribune Building and was expected to create 1,000 call center jobs by 2018 located in several sites in downtown Oakland, but closed down in 2016.
  • Henderson and partners own North America 3PL, LLC, a company that in April, 2014, received approval from the city's Planning Commission to operate a customs examination station at 1700 20th Street, Oakland.  .North America 3PL, LLC (NA3PL) and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency (CBP) have signed an agreement for NA3PL to operate a Centralized Examination Station serving the Port of Oakland effective May 5, 2014.  This modern facility is located adjacent to the Port of Oakland and both Class 1 railroads to expedite government inspections and facilitate global trade moving through the Port of Oakland and according to estimates, it will create hundreds of jobs for local residents.
  • Henderson owns a majority stake in Jack London Gateway shopping center at 800 Market St in West Oakland, but disputes over late payments to the previous owners have landed Henderson in court.6

Litigation

Tom Henderson has become embroiled in many lawsuits for business conduct.

Date Plaintiffs Defendants Summary of Complaint Status
2017-01-17 US Securities and Exchange Commission Tomas M Henderson

"The SEC sued Henderson for fraud on Jan. 17 after a series of business partners filed lawsuits accusing him of reneging on his agreements, hiding key financial information, and failing to pay back a $3.7 million loan from a West Oakland nonprofit."

https://www.eastbayexpress.com/oakland/a-towering-scam/Content?oid=10241365

ongoing
2015
(closed)
Chris Pastena Thomas M Henderson

Pastena alleged that the Hendersons "refused to share profit and loss statements with (him)" and "opened undisclosed bank accounts in the name of the restaurants ... to which Pastena had no access."

http://www.mercurynews.com/my-town/ci_28602481/oakland-tribune-tower-owner-hit-another-lawsuit

confidential settlement
2015-07-22 Allan Young

Thomas M Henderson,

Michael R Henderson,

Matthew T Henderson,

San Francisco Regional Center

Business partner Allan Young, with a minority ownership in CallSocket, alleges he has "been completely frozen out of the business and operations"  with the Hendersons "using the assets and funds of the CallSocket Entities for their personal use".

http://www.scribd.com/doc/280319032/Tom-Henderson-lawsuit

ongoing
2015-09-?? West Oakland Marketplace Advancement Company

Thomas M Henderson

San Francisco Regional Center

"WOMAC... accuses Henderson of gaining a controlling stake in the shopping center by falsely claiming that he intended to rehabilitate the property, and that he would pay $3.7 million"

http://www.contracostatimes.com/breaking-news/ci_28945509/west-oakland-supermarket-hold-owners-fight-court

ongoing

Links and References

  1. 2011-03-01: "The American dream, for sale" SF Bay Guardian
  2. 2012-02-02: "Pushing for Jobs, Visas in Oakland" Wall Street Journal (paywalled)
  3. 2013-07-12: "Tom Henderson's Chinese empire" SF Business Times
  4. 2013-10-08: "Entrepreneur finds foreign investors to bring jobs to Oakland" Oakland Tribune
  5. "Oakland eyes pay-to-play visa program for ballpark, new Coliseum" eb5visareview.com
  6. 2015-10-09 "West Oakland supermarket on hold as owners fight in courtContra Costa Times
  7. 2017-10-25 "A Towering Scam" East Bay Express