Soldier of Misfortune

Buffalo Soldier with sights on the Super Bowl has a long record of financial and legal problems

Long's turbulent relationship with his girlfriend spilled over into a complicated paternity suit in Superior Court. Once again, Long was picked up by police and spent four days in jail in September 1994 for failure to pay child support.

During the same period that Long was scrapping with the law because of personal problems, he also was soliciting friends and fellow Buffalo Soldiers for tens of thousands of dollars, which he promised to repay upon completion of a motion picture he claimed to be producing called Cry Vengeance.

"Nobody ever got any money back, not a penny," says Ginny Bowen, who owns Triple A, a Mesa set, costume and prop shop that lost nearly $10,000 on Long's project. "He just lives off other people's money."

Two months after Charles F. Long II was appointed to the motion picture advisory board, he began negotiations with Charter International Productions Ltd., a Berkeley, California, independent film producer, to secure financing for Cry Vengeance.

Billy Clark, a principal with Charter, wrote Long in March 1992, stating that Long needed to put up some money before Clark could begin securing $7 million to finance the film. Clark figured he needed about $15,000 to get the ball rolling--not much, considering the amount of money at stake.

But Long didn't have that kind of cash. Clark grew impatient and, in July 1992, notified Long that the relationship was suspended until Long could make an advance payment.

By August 1992, Long convinced Clark that he would produce some cash, and the two agreed to new terms for movie rights--Clark was to get 51 percent of the proceeds from CryVengeance, Long would get 49 percent.

The agreement required Long to forward $15,000 to Clark, but despite his assurances, Long still lacked the cash.

Long turned to Buffalo Soldier Darryl Khalid, who agreed to invest at least $10,000, records on file at the Attorney General's Office show.

Khalid and Pam Abbott signed an agreement on September 5, 1992, to provide the money to Long's company, M.T.C. International, to produce the movie. Over the next few months, Khalid and Abbott gave Long nearly $9,000--the money coming from proceeds of a second mortgage on their home. The couple says it expected Long to forward the money to Clark to cover his expenses.

Instead, Long kept the money while allegedly telling Clark that Khalid and Abbott were having trouble coming up with the cash, records at the AG's Office show.

"His whole thing was a scam," Khalid says.
Clark, meanwhile, wrote letters of complaint to state officials and Glendale police.

"If you're in California or any other place in the civilized world and he did this stuff, he would find himself in jail or in a shallow grave," Clark says.

Long says he did nothing wrong.
He says the money Khalid and Abbott gave him was used to try to raise additional money through a "Wild West show" that was a financial loser. The contract called for Khalid and Abbott to be paid from proceeds from production financing to be secured by the end of 1992. No production financing was secured within that time frame, Long says.

"Everything that was promised to these people to do, was done," Long says.
Glendale police forwarded their report to the Attorney General's Office, which investigated but decided not to prosecute Long.

"He may not be the world's greatest, but whether or not he made serious misrepresentations or acted criminally, I don'tthink we could prove that," says Kari Dozer, a spokeswoman for Attorney General Grant Woods.

The Attorney General's Office appears to have overlooked one small detail.

Records at the AG's Office indicate that during the summer of 1992, when Charles F. Long II was looking for cash, he prepared a package of materials for P. Robert Fannin, chairman of the state Motion Picture and Television Advisory Board.

Long's June 1, 1992, letter describes Cry Vengeance, and goes on to deplore the state's poor support of Arizona movie producers. The letter also seeks Fannin's support for Long's project.

Gaining Fannin's endorsement could have been a boon to Long's movie project; Fannin, a close associate of Symington's, is considered one of the most influential lobbyists in Arizona.

According to records obtained from the attorney general, Long prepared another letter to Fannin, also dated June 1, 1992. In that letter, Long describes in detail the production budget for Cry Vengeance and asks Fannin to invest.

The letter asks Fannin for $150,000 in return for a 5 percent stake in the film's proceeds. (The language of the proposal is nearly identical to one offered threemonths later to Khalid and Abbott; only dollar amounts and percentage of return are different.) The investment offer to Fannin is signed by Charles F. Long II.

Beneath Long's signature is a line stating "Accepted by" with Robert Fannin's name typed beneath. Under Fannin's name is his title--"Chairman/Governor's Motion Picture and Television Advisory Board."

Fannin says he never invested in any project offered by Long.
"I have never been involved in any kind of venture with him. I haven't personally and neither has the board," Fannin says.

Then whose signature is that on the line above Fannin's name?
Fannin declined to comment on the signature after receiving a faxed copy of the document Monday.

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