Although he was a top financial officer at Triad America Corp., Democrat Arthur Miller says he was not involved with decisions at the company and does not believe his former job will hurt his campaign for state auditor.
Miller acknowledged Tuesday his signature appears on many of the bankrupt company's financial transactions because he was senior vice president for finance and administration. However, he was just an employee following orders from the company's board and, ultimately, from its principal, Adnan Khashoggi, he said Tuesday.Democrats chose Miller to replace South Salt Lake Mayor Jim Davis in the race during the party's state convention in June. Davis accepted Ted Wilson's invitation to join the ticket as the candidate for lieutenant governor.
"I was one of several hundred people working for Triad," Miller said. "We worked . . .hard because we wanted to make it continue to function."
Miller said he is helping the company's creditors regain their money. He doesn't think Triad's woes should reflect on his own abilities as a financial manager. Several Utah businesses were hurt by the company's collapse.
"I was not making the decisions," Miller said. "That was handled by a board of directors."
However, Miller is mentioned in several court documents filed in connection with Triad's bankruptcy proceedings.
A copy of a letter addressed to Triad's auditing firm in March 1985 states that Miller and two other company officials considered a $40 million loan from Triad to a Cayman Islands corporation called Sigma X (controlled by Khashoggi) to be collectible. The letter purported that Khashoggi's multimillion-dollar financial commitments to the company would be fulfilled.
Yet a company shareholder's report to Khashoggi dated July 1985 says that, as a result of that loan and previous financial agreements, "the asset base of Triad America has been seriously eroded." As a result, the report said officials were "reducing (company) overhead, selling certain assets and negotiating financing in an effort to solve (the company's) financial requirements."
In that report, officials also questioned whether the $40 million loan, plus $49 million more that Khashoggi had drained from Triad during the previous year, would have to be written off as uncollectible.
Miller said he does not remember specifics about the loan.
"My name would be on a lot of that stuff," he said. "I signed most of those documents."
Miller's name also surfaced in a sworn statement by Emmanuel Floor, former Triad executive vice president. During a hearing in bankruptcy court late last year, Floor detailed his resignation from the company, and