|"You lost how much money from the Foundation?|
You must be WELS. They have the magic touch.
Ask the MilCraft widow, who took WELS to court."
- HAVE YOUR SAY
- CONTACT US
- WEEKEND SUPPLEMENT
Marvin M. Schwan Foundation and Michael Ryan mystery
October 11, 2012 by 1 Comment
If RC Cayman Holdings sells the Ritz-Carlton Cayman Development for less than the amount owing, which is in excess of $250M the biggest loser could be The Marvin M. Schwan Charitable Foundation.
Developer of the Ritz-Carlton, Michael Ryan, formed a company IRR Limited that was incorporated in the Cayman Islands on 21st April, 1998, to develop the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman project.
According to a 2009 US tax return The Marvin M. Schwan Charitable Foundation loaned IRR Limited $210,828,153 with an owing balance of $202,218,186. The Return says that IRR Limited were not in default.
The Foundation has a written agreement with IRR and the loan was approved by the Foundation Board.
The Executive Director of the Foundation is retired Lutheran priest Rev. Lawrence A. Burgdorf and his son, Erik Burgdorf is Associate Director.
Rev. Burgdorf attended Lutheran High School and College earning an associate in arts degree in 1950.
This is where Burgdorf met Marvin M. Schwan.
Marvin Schwan worked his way through Bethany Lutheran College in an ice cream factory. A factory he founded as part of Schwan’s Sales Enterprises, Inc. (SSE)
in Marshall, Minnesota, in 1948 that was first a milk processing operation.
SSE subsequently expanded, first to become a cafe and an ice cream manufacturer, and eventually into a profitable provider of both home and retail delivery of selected frozen foods. By the early 1990s, SSE had become a sizable producer, wholesaler, and retailer of food products employing about 16,500 people.
SSE operates an estimated 2,300 computerized vans that deliver frozen food, including meat, vegetables and juices, to customers’ homes. The yellow vehicles, bearing a swan logo, have been described as traveling 7-Elevens.
The company also expanded into the nation’s leading supplier of frozen pizza to school cafeterias and grocery stores under the Tony’s, Better Baked and Red Baron brands. It also owns the Ram Center robotics company in Red Wing, Minn.
70th Richest American
Forbes magazine in the early 1990’s rated Mr. Schwan among America’s richest people. He ranked No. 70 on their 1992 year’s list, with an estimated worth exceeding $1 billion. Corporate Report magazine estimated the company’s annual revenues at $1.8 billion at about the same time.
Mr. Schwan’s personal life was reclusive and his company highly secretive.
Marvin died unexpectedly on May 9, 1993, at the age of sixty-four, leaving SSE without its founder and President. He left the bulk of his estate to church-related organizations principally to his foundation that bears his name. The foundation and his company was (sic) both managed by his brother, Alfred Paul G Schwan who has also died. Alfred Schwan was only listed as a Trustee in the 2009 Tax return.
SSE would fund the foundation by buying back the shares. Marvin’s children objected, but it was known that Marvin did not think much of his adult children. Obviously he did not think much of their mother, either.
Marvin’s children sued the trustees, one of which was Uncle Alfred, alleging that they had not followed Marvin’s wishes. The trustees indicated that they had done exactly what Marvin wanted and were bewildered that his children had filed a lawsuit.
Some settlement was reached, however, and the children stopped suing for more monies.
Marvin’s first wife committed suicide soon after they were divorced!
It was known that Schwan had a weakness for women and Cadillacs and this was borne out by the settlement. $1 million and a Cadillac! A pittance. All four of his children were from his first marriage and that might be the reason for his dislike of them.
He was having an affair with his manager, whom he married after the divorce, and gave lots of money to the Lutheran Church as part of its Church Growth Movement.
One of Marvin’s close friends, Herman Ottwen, said, “Wealthy adulterers love the Church Growth Movement, and the Church Growth Movement loves them.”
Schwan, in contrast of giving his divorced wife only $1M gave the Thoughts of Faith, a Lutheran Church Charity, given to bringing the message of the Gospel to European Communist Countries, $15M!
So where is the connection with Ryan and Rev. Lawrence Burgdorf? Burgdorf is an Advisory member of the Board of Regents Bethany Lutheran College. Is Ryan a Lutheran?
The 2009 Tax Return lists Marvin M. Schwan Foundation having investments in the Cayman Islands of:-
The Kings Foundation Investment Cayman Ltd. Cost $15,366,382
The Kings Funds Holding Company, LLC $19,199,929
Grand Cayman Condominium Units $11,500,000
Real Estate Grand Caymans $ 408,300
The Lutheran Church in the Cayman Islands is called Safe Harbour and meets at the Ritz-Carlton Conference Centre every Sunday at 10am.
That is the very least the Ritz-Carlton can do to host the Safe Harbour Lutheran Church there. But is this the only connection to Michael Ryan?
Why did Rev. Lawrence Burgdorf agree to it and how did Ryan and Burgdorf meet? Our calls to Burgdorf and Ryan have met with no success to solving the mystery.