The Wall Street Journal looks at the business practices of Transcontinental Realty Investor's Inc., managed by Gene E. Phillips, "one of the most controversial figures in publicly traded real estate." The story reports on the charges against Phillips, including "racketeering and wire fraud as a part of an alleged scheme to pay kick-backs to corrupt pension-fund officials in exchange for investing with one of the companies he controlled." The investigation reveals that Phillips was "chiefly responsible" for the collapse of Southmark, another real-estate company, according to the report of a bankruptcy examiner. The reporter sheds light on the role of Basic Capital, a real-estate advisory company, in Phillips' questionable deals.
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