Cowboys' Jones Claims $16M From Howell Estate

by Gwen Moritz  on Friday, Feb. 7, 2003 4:53 pm  

Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys football team, filed late Friday afternoon in Pulaski County Probate Court two affidavits claiming that he was owed $16 million plus interest by M. David Howell Jr., the Little Rock investor who committed suicide in California in October.

Filing under his given name of Jerral W. Jones, the Dallas resident joined a growing list of investors who have made claims against Howell's estate. His claims included copies of two promissory notes — one for $5 million executed on April 15 by Howell and Hot Springs banker Richard T. Smith and one for $11 million executed on Aug. 19 and signed by Howell.

The $11 million note, which carried an 18 percent interest rate and will come due on Feb. 15, includes "an unconditional, irrevocable letter of credit" in the amount of $11.99 million issued by Bank of America in favor of Jones. The letter will expire on Feb. 21.

Bank of America has its own lawsuit against the estate and family trust of Howell, who persuaded his Little Rock bankers to honor $1.9 million worth of checks during the first week of October even though his account was depleted. One of those checks, for $702,500, was written to Jones' brother-in-law, Danville banker John Chambers.

The $11 million note indicates that it was executed in New York.

Filed with the April promissory note was a photocopy of a check for $6.125 million signed by Howell and dated Jan. 15, 2003. Howell, who was under a cease-and-desist order from the Arkansas Securities Department at the time of his death, reportedly gave post-dated checks to investors as a form of security. The amount represents the principal and an annual interest rate of 8 percent.

Jones is represented in his claim by Little Rock attorneys Donald T. Jack Jr., John W. Fink and Gena H. Gregory of the Jack Lyon & Jones law firm.



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