High Tech Expansion

Torkelsen to Jail

Whose ‘Obit’ Is It?


Corrections or additions?

These articles were prepared for the May 17, 2006 issue of U.S. 1

Newspaper, and a typo was corrected on June 26, 2006. All rights


Life in the Fast Lane

What price peace and solitude? A gentleman’s farm in Hopewell might go

for a bargain price when the bidding starts on Thursday, May 25, at 4

p.m. Prospective bidders may register at an open house set for

Thursday, May 18, from 4 to 6 p.m. Call 888-299-1438 or go to


Last year Mercer County spent $2 million for 248 Pleasant Valley Road,

which came with 25 acres bordered by the Howell Living History Farm,

preserved open space, and a creek. Then the county carved out the

eight acres next to a creek (to be used as farmland by the Howell

Farm) and slapped on restrictions to development. The restrictions

might cool the bids.

"Our expectation is that it will sell for nowhere near $2 million,"

says Max Spann. Before the restrictions were applied, in October,

2004, it listed with Coldwell Banker for $2,250,000. "But I learned a

long time ago never to predict, and the final price is subject to the

freeholder’s approval."

At age 42, Spann is a graduate of Fairfield University in Connecticut

and the Missouri School of Auctions. His great grandfather began by

auctioning cattle that he had shipped from the Isle of Jersey.

Spann, whose Clinton-based auctioneering firm focuses on real estate,

reports that more than 100 potential buyers have seen the house, and

they are talking about prices of from the $600,000 range to more than

$1 million.

Though there is a restored 180-year-old shed on the 16-acre property,

the house is just 10 years old and has five bedrooms, five baths and

two half baths, full basement, art studio, geothermal heating, and

in-ground pool. A 3,000-foot barn has a big loft.

On the day of the auction Spann plans to set the stage with a tent and

chairs, light refreshments, and a live blue grass band. Tire kickers

are welcome. "It’s show business," says Spann. "Auctioned houses

rarely fail to sell."

Top Of Page
High Tech Expansion

Universal Display Corporation Inc. (PANL), 375 Phillips Boulevard,

Ewing 08618; 609-671-0980; fax, 609-671-0995. Steven Abramson,

president. Home page: www.universaldisplay.com

Universal Display Corporation will showcase its new, 40,000

square-foot research laboratory at an invitation-only open house on

Monday, May 22, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.. Congressman Rush Holt is

scheduled to speak on how Universal Display has led the revitalization

of `Einstein Alley,’ the high tech research corridor for Central New


Universal Display is a pioneer in organic light emitting diode (OLED)

technology that was incubated at Princeton University. OLEDs

(naturally existing chemicals that glow when electrically charged)

could revolutionize displays on TVs, cell phones, and even buildings.

Consumer products using OLEDs are scheduled to debut in 2006.

The company’s revenues doubled for the first quarter of this year,

compared to last, thanks to a contract with a major display

manufacturer. It owns or has exclusive license rights in approximately

725 issued and pending patents.

Top Of Page
Torkelsen to Jail

John Torkelsen has another day in federal court on Friday, May 26. He

was sentenced in March to 70 months imprisonment, to be followed by

five years of supervised release, as part of a plea bargain for his

2005 conviction for Making a False Entry in the Books, Reports and

Statements of Acorn Technology Fund, formerly based on Vaughn Drive.

The plea bargain terms were supposed to include "soft time" in a

minimum security prison known as the "camp" in Fairton, New Jersey, 92

miles south of Princeton, near Bridgeton. Instead Judge Reggie Walton,

in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia, sentenced

Torkelsen to a medium security prison at Fairton. "The placement of a

defendant at a specific facility for security reasons is a

classification decision for the Bureau of Prisons to make, and this

court should not have attempted to influence the decision through its

recommendation," Walton wrote.

For a prison term of that length, the first part of the sentence is

generally in a medium security prison because of the perceived

security risk, says Peter J. Henning, a law professor at Wayne State

University who has been following the case.

One difference is that inmates at the minimum security camp can have

unlimited visitors, but the medium security jail allows each inmate

just nine "visitor points" per month, with a weekday visit counting

for one point and a weekend visit for three points.

Torkelsen, 60, is also supposed to pay restitution to the SBA in the

amount of $1,905,634. Torkelsen got funding from the Small Business

Administration for Acorn Technology Fund (ATF) to invest in start-up

businesses. "During the year 2000," says the FBI, "Torkelsen converted

at least $5 million ATF received from the SBA. He thereafter falsified

ATF’s records to make it appear to the SBA that $5 million in

‘pre-paid management fees’ had been repaid with funds from outside of

ATF, when in reality the ‘repayments’ were made with loan proceeds

secured by ATF’s assets. Torkelsen also submitted false reports and

statements to the SBA representing that none of ATF’s assets were

pledged as security for any liability."

Pamela Torkelsen, Torkelsen’s wife, has a status hearing on the same

day in the same court. She had entered a guilty plea and is

cooperating with investigators in connection with an ongoing criminal

investigation into the affairs of her husband’s former client, law

firm Milberg Weiss, according to Justin Scheck of CalLaw.com.

No one is saying whether John Torkelsen is cooperating with the Los

Angeles grand jury that is investigating Milberg Weiss and former

Milberg Weiss attorney, William Lerach. "If Torkelsen is cooperating,

his contribution will have to come quickly because the statute of

limitations is ticking," wrote Henning in a legal blog.

Top Of Page
Whose ‘Obit’ Is It?

Maybe you saw the glamorous advertisement for a new magazine with an

odd name, Obit, and a puzzling mailing address – architect Robert

Hillier’s headquarters at 500 Alexander Park.

By writing about "lives well lived," (yes, they do mean obituaries),

Obit hopes to be, according to the brochure, the "voice of the

generation of Americans who refuse to passively slip into old age, who

realize that life reinvents itself every moment."

"It is research that we are conducting on behalf of one of the firm’s

important clients," says a Hillier spokesperson.

Will this new magazine be, as it predicts, the hottest thing in

periodicals since the golden years of Esquire and Playboy?

"The advertising will be extremely challenging," suggests Lanny Jones,

a former managing editor of People Magazine and a Princeton resident.

"But it could have a very strong editorial franchise, because

assessments of someone’s life get very high readership. You don’t see

the arc of a person’s life until they die."

Top Of Page

Teresa Honnen, 53, on April 20. An artist, clothing, designer, and

tailor, she worked at the Jaeger Store in Princeton.

Barbara LaTourette Prosser, 59, on May 5. She had worked at

Bristol-Myers Squibb in virology and infectious diseases.

Next Story

Corrections or additions?

This page is published by PrincetonInfo.com

— the web site for U.S. 1 Newspaper in Princeton, New Jersey.

Facebook Comments