Leonard Ray Blanton and Betty Blanton - Page 11

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            criminal trial, he did not investigate the oil partnership as he                            
            would have investigated a regular investment because he "did not                            
            consider it an investment."  Rather, he purchased the interest                              
            "for one reason, and that was to clear [his] debt" with                                     
            petitioner.  He never asked petitioner the value of the oil                                 
            partnership interest; however, he thought it to be worthless                                
            because South Texas Drilling had no intention of improving its                              
            operations, and there had been no checks coming in on the wells                             
            for quite some time.                                                                        
                  In late 1978, petitioner again called Nelson at Commerce                              
            Bank and told him that he wanted to pay off his bank debt because                           
            the "interest was eating him alive".  Petitioner indicated that                             
            he had found someone to purchase his interest in the oil                                    
            partnership.  Nelson was pleased because the cash-flow from the                             
            oil wells was not sufficient to service the debt, and therefore                             
            the bank was concerned about the loan's stability.                                          
                  On November 20, 1978, Jack Ham met with James D. Harris                               
            (Harris), a commercial loan officer and vice president at                                   
            Commerce Bank.  Jack Ham told Harris that he and petitioner were                            
            close friends, that he owed petitioner some favors, and, that he                            
            along with some other friends of petitioner, wanted to see                                  
            petitioner's debt at the bank cleared up before petitioner left                             
            office.  Jack Ham, who knew the debt was around $38,000, told                               
            Harris that he and Redi-Built, his nephew's company, would like                             

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