Paul Weinhold’s Secretive UO Foundation delays IRS reporting yet again

The usual deadline for these reports is 5.5 months after the end of the fiscal year, which for the Foundation would be Nov 15, 2019. But no, the Foundation has already made 2 requests for 3 month extensions, which would have made the report due today. And now they are using the coronavirus as an excuse to drag this out another 3 months. Which means we will not have public access to even the most basic information on the UO Foundation’s income, expenditures, and assets for the fiscal year that ended on June 30th, 2019 until July 15, 2020 – more than a year later:

Kelly Bosch (University of Oregon Foundation)

May 15, 2020, 11:26:33 AM PDT

Good morning,

Thank you for your inquiry. The IRS extended the filing deadline for 990 returns until July 15th due to the COVID 19 pandemic. Thus, we will be filing our returns on July 15th. The public disclosure copies will be available at that time.

Thank you,

Kelly Bosch
This information, and any attachment, is PRIVILEGED and CONFIDENTIAL property of the University of Oregon Foundation. Any unauthorized reproduction, dissemination or disclosure is prohibited.

We do know from the most recently available IRS 990, covering the 2017-18 FY, that it’s a pretty lucrative operation, for some:

In his spare time, after devoting 44 hours a week to the Foundation, Weinhold serves as Chairman of the Board of Summit Bank. I don’t know how much they pay him, or how many hours he spends at that:

UO Foundation’s Paul Weinhold and Jay Namyet each get $500K+

From the UO Foundation’s IRS 990 form, here:

Where does their pay come from? When you give to UO to support our students, the money goes through the Foundation. They take 5% off the top.

Do they charge Phil Knight the same percentage for the ~$250M Hayward Field? For the $12M Jumbotron? For the 2021 2022 Track & Field Championships? Good questions.

UO Foundation’s Weinhold and Namyet getting 9% real annual raises

Budget Crisis? Not at UO’s very charitable foundation:

$453K Paul Weinhold $469K Jay Namyet

Back in 2015 the UO Foundation was paying Foundation CEO Paul Weinhold $345K and CIO Jay Namyet $340K. Three years later Weinhold is making $453K, and Namyet $469K.\

By my math that’s a 35% increase, or about 9% a year after inflation, and not bad compared to what UO’s administration is offering the GTFF union, or what the SEIU staff are likely to get.

From the IRS:

The data for 18-19 are due Nov 15th, but the Foundation typically delays releasing them for another 6 months.

Duck’s Vin Lananna sings to feds, Tracktown gets $10M for IAAF 2021

Lananna, who’s on the UO payroll for several hundred large, asked the Governor for $40M in state subsidies. He’s now got $10M. If you think that’s the end of it you haven’t read Gibbon’s Decline and Fall, or Ken Goe’s update in the Oregonian here.

The Oregon DOJ held up Tracktown’s $10M grant from Travel Oregon for a full year by requiring that they provide a budget and a disclaimer that there were no legal issues, despite the FBI investigation. UO and Tracktown told the press that the Feds hadn’t contacted them. Lananna didn’t tell GC Kevin Reed?

The budget and reporting requirements are now hilariously out of date, and Lananna and Reilly’s admission is scrawled out in pen:

What could go wrong? Rumor has it that UO has now appointed an administrator to deal with it all. I wonder who is paying their salary.

The full grant of $10M in state funds is here:

10/8/2018 – Tracktown / Oregon21 replaces Vin Lananna with Niels De Vos as head of IAAF 2021 championship

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Paul Weinhold’s UO Foundation murky about money for Track Town / IAAF bid

Summer time, so here’s a rerun. FWIW the FBI is now on it:

12/13/2015 update: Jeff Manning’s new report in the Oregonian, here, lays out what is known so far, and quotes the French Ministry of Justice:

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“The object is to determine the conditions under which the hosting decision was taken,” said France’s Ministry of Justice said in a statement, “and whether corruption offenses, money laundering or a conspiracy to benefit from criminal association have been committed in France.”

If the Foundation threatens to sue the French for defamation over that “money laundering” phrase, as they once did to me, I can recommend several excellent lawyers who are not impressed by the blustery language of the Foundation’s attorney, Thomas Herrmann of  Gleaves Swearingen:

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That said there is no mention in the story indicating that the French are specifically investigating the secretive UO Foundation, although Manning shows they have been heavily involved in the bidding and the efforts to secure $30M-$40M in state money:

The University of Oregon Foundation is also throwing all its weight behind the championships. “On behalf of the University of Oregon Foundation, please accept this letter as our written guarantee that the UO Foundation will cover any potential shortfall of the future organizing committee budget of the IAAF World Championships in Eugene in 2021,” wrote Paul Weinhold, the foundation’s chief executive, in a letter to the track and field federation.

Weinhold insists the guarantee poses no risk for the non-profit.

The foundation is also playing a key role in a massive renovation of Hayward Field in time for the championships. The current plan calls for the foundation to manage a privately funded rebuild that will triple seating capacity to 30,000.

(Also see video below).

FWIW, the Oregonian comments are running heavily against state subsidies.

The UO Foundation’s 990 report for the FY ending June 30 2015 was due at the IRS on November 15th. These reports give some basic financial information. However, the Foundation typically runs out the 2 allowable 3 month extensions until the last possible day, meaning we won’t know have even this basic financial data until June 15th, nearly a year after the FY closes.

Oregonian sports reporter Ken Goe has more with Lananna, here:

At a meeting in February of 2015 in Monaco, Lananna and Fasulo said they told Diack they didn’t know if they could keep their coalition of public and private partners together if they had to draw up a new bid for 2021 and go through another formal process

They said Diack listened politely but made no commitment.

“He said he would reflect upon it,” Lananna said.

Lananna said they didn’t offer Diack anything that even could be interpreted as a bribe. Nor, he said, did Diack request anything.

“Absolutely not,” Lananna said. “Nothing, in any way, shape or form. Nothing was asked, implied or suggested. We did not. He did not. No.”

Not even a Rolex?

So now our university’s foundation is subsidizing a track meet and sinking money into yet another sports project, right in the middle of what is supposedly a $2B academic fundraising campaign. No surprises as to what our VP for Development is now spending his time on:

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And it looks like UO’s Director of State Affairs Hans Bernard is going to be spending his time this session lobbying the legislature for money for sports, rather than for academics:

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And who is paying Vin Lananna to organize all this? UO’s Public Records Office really doesn’t want to answer these kinds of questions, which are now coming in from the BBC among others:

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Meanwhile the RG, London Times, BBC, WSJ and the Oregonian are asking Gov. Kate Brown’s office for more, public records, including emails going back to Kitzhaber. Maybe Cylvia Hayes got a contract for making the IAAF sustainably carbon neutral?

12/10/2015: Update: UO public records office hid Lananna / Nike emails until RG petitioned DA

That’s the report from Diane Dietz in the Register Guard, here:

French prosecutors on Thursday confirmed they have opened an investigation into the decision to award the 2021 track world championships to Eugene without an open bidding process.

The financial prosecutors’ office in Paris said it aims to determine whether corruption, money laundering or other crimes may have been committed in the International Association of Athletics Federations’ decision and, if so, whether prosecuting them might fall within French jurisdiction.

The Eugene bid effort was led by Track Town USA, a Eugene nonprofit headed by Vin Lananna, who is also a top executive at the University of Oregon Athletic Department.

…  The January 2015 email, sent three months before the surprise IAAF vote to award the 2021 championships to Eugene, was from a Nike executive to Lananna on the subject of Lananna’s pitch for the 2021 championships. The Nike official said that the incoming chairman of the IAAF, Sebastian Coe, was in favor of the Eugene bid. In addition to his IAAF role, Coe was working for Nike at the time, and Nike Chairman Phil Knight favors Eugene for the IAAF meet.

The university released the document in October only after the newspaper filed an appeal the Lane County District Attorney’s Office.

Update: Ken Goe in the Oregonian:

“We presented the bid with complete transparency in 2019,” Lananna said. “The only thing different about the ’19 budget and the ’21 budget is that we crossed out the number on the top of the budget, and it went from ’19 to ’21.”

Complete transparency. Really? UO’s public records office still won’t release the bid information, or the NCAA report on who pays Lananna.

Update: French prosecutors probe Lananna  / Diack deal for Eugene’s 2021 IAAF championships

The RG has a story with the latest quotes from Lananna, here:

“We stand by our bid, we stand by the integrity of the bid and we are 100 percent confident that there has been nothing outside of what are the norms of the presentation of an IAAF bid,” Lananna said Wednesday during a news conference attended by Portland mayor Charlie Hales at the Oregon Convention Center, which will host the World Indoor meet March 17-20.

Given that past IAAF president Lamine Diack has been arrested over allegations that he took a $1M Russian bribe to cover up doping, among many other IAAF scandals, this doesn’t seem like a good time to be talking about IAAF norms. It also conflicts with the message new IAAF president Seb Coe must get out regarding his reform efforts, if he wants to keep his job. And Coe has already said that Diack’s decision was flawed:

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This video of Track Town CEO Mike Reilly promising Diack that Eugene will accommodate the “IAAF Family” in the kinds of luxurious hotels to which they have become accustomed is not going to help:

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I wonder who will pay for that? Oregon taxpayers, if UO’s Hans Bernard gets his way.

12/9/2015: The BBC’s Mark Daly has the latest, here:

The decision by the scandal-hit IAAF to award the 2021 World Athletics Championships to the American city of Eugene is being investigated by French prosecutors, the BBC has learned.

… Other emails seen by the BBC reveal that Lananna made at least one trip to Europe to visit Diack a few weeks after this email was written.

BBC sources have confirmed French investigators want to know more about how Diack arrived at the decision to give Eugene the event.

French police, instructed by lead financial prosecutor Elaine Houlette, have already arrested and questioned Lamine Diack, his legal adviser Habib Cisse and Gabriel Dolle, the former long-standing head of the IAAF’s anti-doping unit. …

Meanwhile UO’s State Affairs Director Hans Bernard plans to hit up the state legislature for ~$30M to renovate Hayward Field and subsidize the IAAF championships, while claiming this would not be a trade off for academically focused funding. Sure it wouldn’t:

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Other posts here. The RG’s Diane Dietz had an excellent series of reports on this last fall:

Bid for world track meet lined with cash:

By Diane Dietz
The Register-Guard

When the world track governing body last week turned down Eugene’s bid to host the world championships in 2019, it wasn’t for lack of multimillion-dollar promises made by officials from Oregon, the University of Oregon and the University of Oregon Foundation, newly available bid information shows.

Paul Weinhold, CEO of the UO Foundation, appeared before the international body as a man with wherewithal who “manages $1 billion worth of assets.”

Weinhold unequivocally pledged that the UO Foundation — keeper of the university’s donated scholarship, research and athletics funds — would provide financial guarantees against loss if Eugene-based TrackTown USA won the bid to bring the two-week athletics event to Eugene and the UO campus.

Weinhold also appeared to obligate university dollars.

“To be clear,” Weinhold told the 27 members of the international body, “the University of Oregon and the foundation are unified in our financial commitment to a successful World Championship in 2019.”

Meanwhile, Gov. John Kitzhaber, in a video played at the governing body’s meeting in Monaco, promised to ask the state Legislature to pony up $40 million to help fund the event. …

And UO board bars the public from ‘training’ event:

By Diane Dietz
The Register-Guard

The University of Oregon Board of Trustees excluded a newspaper reporter and a blogger from its Saturday morning meeting at the Hilton Eugene.

Board Secretary Angela Wilhelms said the board had convened for a “training” about the operations of TrackTown USA and the public — and its media representatives — were excluded.

Trustees need to understand the nonprofit TrackTown’s operations because, even though it’s not an official part of the university, TrackTown stages events at Hayward Field, Wilhelms said.

“It’s important to understand the interplay between the two,” she said.

Saturday marked a third day of meetings for the new UO board, which took charge of the university in July.

Board members and university administrators — many in yellow and green regalia — attended the 8:30 a.m. breakfast meeting it the Hilton Eugene’s 12th-floor Vista room, which has floor-to-ceiling windows and spectacular views of the city.

The plan was to finish the board’s business in time for kickoff at Autzen Stadium. A quorum of the board planned to attend the game. The agenda emphasized the gathering was a “social event only,” according to the board’s agenda.

The nature of the Saturday morning meeting evolved daily through the board’s fall session. On Wednesday, the agenda posted on the trustees’ website said this: “Public Meeting, Eugene Hilton, Vista Room.”

On Thursday, the first day of the board’s fall meeting, Chairman Chuck Lillis began describing the Saturday meeting — and was interrupted by Wilhelms.

“There’s nothing like having a coach,” Lillis said, before continuing.

“We’re going to hear a discussion. It will be in a nonpublic environment about the possibility of the state of Oregon hosting, centered in Eugene, the world championships of track and field.” …

UO’s Public Records Office has repeatedly stalled the release of public records related to this bid.

UO Foundation CEO Paul Weinhold breaks professor’s bequest, transfers control of ~$2.4m from faculty to CoD Dean Lindner

Technically it was Lane County Circuit Judge Lauren Holland who did this, acting at Paul Weinhold’s request. And presumably Weinhold was acting on CoD Dean Christoph Lindner‘s request, and UO General Counsel Kevin Reed went along with the money-grab because he hadn’t done his homework.

Here’s what I’ve been able to figure out. Longtime UO art history professor Marion Dean Ross was a remarkable man:

He died in 1991. He was dedicated to the field of architectural history, the State, the University, and the Department of Art and Architectural History, of which he had been the first chair. In his will he gave the UO Foundation a $1.2M endowment to buy books and photos on the history of architecture, to be selected by his department’s faculty:

Admirable and inspiring – and a lot of money. At the time the UO Foundation’s endowment totalled roughly $120M.

AAA Dean Jerry Finrow and Professor Jeff Hurwit, chair of Art History, set up a MOU to govern how to disburse of the funds in accordance with Ross’s wishes. The MOU was approved by Ross’s executors and unanimously adopted by the department. Full pdf of the MOU here. [See the comments for Finrow’s view of Lindner/Reed/Weinhold modiciation].

The MOU even spells out a procedure for any necessary revisions, as time moves forward:

Ross’s fund is now worth about $2.4M in 2018 dollars, and it generates $94K a year in expendable earnings, according to the Foundation’s regular 4% rule.

Over the years a surplus of $312k in unspent funds has accumulated. That may seem like a lot, but a library could easily drop $50K on a decent edition of Palladio’s Quattro Libri:


Not that I grew up in the shadow of Jefferson’s version of the Villa Capra, copied from this very book.

However as it happens not everyone loves books, and Oregon law has a procedure for modifying the terms of “wasteful” gifts. So on November 9th 2017 UO Foundation CEO Paul Weinhold started the legal process to modify the terms of professor Ross’s gift, claiming that “the unused surplus cannot be used for Dr. Ross’s charitable purpose”:

Things went pretty quick from there. The same day, UO Foundation lawyer Laurie Nelson had her paralegal notify the required parties:

Professor Ross’s sole surviving trustee objected, but no matter. Five days later UO General Counsel Kevin Reed, speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries of Professor Ross’s gift, notified the court that:

From what I can tell Reed wrote this without consulting the department’s faculty, the librarians, or anyone from the UO Senate. He sure as hell didn’t ask me. It’s not clear what Reed told the DOJ or Judge Laurens about the MOU, or if he’d done any due diligence to try and find out about it.

So on Dec 28th 2017 the Judge agreed with Weinhold:

This did two very different things.

1) It gave UO permission to spend some of the Ross Fund earnings for research purposes other than books and photographs – such as grad fellowships. Great.

2) It removed all control of the spending of the fund from the department faculty and gave it to CoD Dean Lindner, without oversight. WTF?

Ross was a professor who had served as a department head and as an interim dean. I think he knew exactly what he was doing when he put his money under the control of the faculty, not the dean. 

If changes needed to be made to prevent Professor Ross’s money from being “wasted” on books, the faculty should have been given a chance to make the changes. 

But there’s no sign the Foundation’s lawyers or UO GC Reed showed the DOJ or Judge Holland the MOU, or explained the difference between having the faculty in control and having the dean in control. 

I wonder how often Weinhold and Reed have been doing this sort of thing.

Court documents and RG clippings here:

MOU here:

Secretive UO Foundation releases stale, minimally required IRS data

Update: Court rules university foundations subject to state public records law

That would be in Illinois. The Student Press Law Association has the news here. An increasing number of state AG’s, courts, and laws now require the same – but not Oregon.

5/16/2017: They are just now releasing data from the FY that ended June 30, 2016. Donations fell from $136M to $103M. CEO Paul Weinhold’s compensation increased from $417K to $444K, overall compensation for the top 5 “key employees” has increased by about 30%. (The individual pay reported in the full 990 below is for the calendar year 2014-15, while the overall number is for the 2015-16 FY – meaning that Weinhold’s pay is probably actually up 30% or so over last year. )

[table id=2 /]

They report spending only $10K on lobbying (presumably for the IAAF) and lump academic and non-academic (sports) expenditures together.

President Schill’s office is telling the Emerald they do not have records on expenditures of foundation funds by his office:

The full IRS 990 for 2015-16 is here:

For comparison, the 2014-15 990 is here:

More below the break:

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Secretive UO Foundation delays filing IRS report by 6 months

Under CEO Paul Weinhold the Foundation has cut way back on the information it shares with the public. This IRS report for July 2015-June 2016 will be 10.5 months old when it is released, and will include only the basic legally required information about the Foundation’s dealings with Vin Lananna’s Tracktown and its role in the Hayward Field tart-up and the Knight Campus project.

Thank you for your inquiry.  We will file our 990 on Monday the 15th, and it will be available on our website on Tuesday morning at 8am here;


Compliance and Deferred Gifts Administrator

University of Oregon Foundation

1720 E 13th Ave, Ste 410, Eugene, OR  97403

This information, and any attachment, is PRIVILEGED and CONFIDENTIAL property of the University of Oregon Foundation.  Any unauthorized reproduction, dissemination or disclosure is prohibited.

UO Foundation’s endowment strategies pay off – but where does money go?

Diane Dietz has the good news here:

The University of Oregon Foundation proved itself among the best in the country for shepherding university endowment cash in 2016 — and far better than Harvard or Princeton.

The overall UO endowment grew 5.5 percent last year compared with an average loss of 2.2 percent for peer endowments, according to the annual survey by the National Association of College and University Business Officers and the money manager Commonfund.

About 2.4 percent of the UO’s gains came from investment returns, placing the UO in the top 5 percent of its peers. The rest of the growth came from donations. …

Not bad, considering that the S&P returned about 1.4% for the FY, with dividends reinvested. But we’ll have to wait for the Foundation to get around to releasing its tax return to see their expenses. Their IRS 990 was due Nov 15, but they typically ask for the maximum allowed extension – 6 months.

And the Foundation is not required to release much information about where their money goes. They dropped the athletic breakout from their audited financial statements years ago, and threatened to sue me for defamation when I pointed that out publicly, and released the data I could find:

UO Divest sit-in wins the day, as Foundation’s Jay Namyet joins CO2 boycott

9/12/2016: The Emerald has the story here, and it’s on the UO Divest facebook page here. Back in April, Foundation CFO Jay Namyet was writing nastygrams like this to our students about their efforts to get the secretive UO Foundation to join the CO2 divestment movement:

Subject: RE: follow up meeting
Date: 2016/03/30 14:14
From: Jay Namyet <[email protected]>
To: [UO Divest undergraduate student]

[UO Divest undergraduate student],
No, indeed we did not. As I told you, based on your conduct, our dialogue was over. I hope in years to come you will appreciate a life’s lesson in this affair. That is what a university experience is all about.

From: [UO Divest undergraduate student]
Sent: Wednesday, March 30, 2016 2:11 PM
To: Jay Namyet <[email protected]>
Subject: RE: follow up meeting

Hi Jay,
I know we didn’t end our last meeting on the best note, but we’d be happy to try and get a fresh start and meet again to discuss divestment sometime this term if you’re willing. Let me know.
[UO Divest undergraduate student]

On 2015/04/09 18:30, Jay Namyet wrote:
Great, we are in agreement then, no more dialogue.
Sent from Outlook [1]


On 2015/04/09 10:05, Jay Namyet wrote:

[UO Divest undergraduate student],

When I asked you all why you were meeting with the president, the response I got was to learn his personal thoughts about this issue.

Turns out, not really.

As is indicated by [UO Divest undergraduate student] below in [pronoun redacted] email to the president’s office, and just as you three did with me this morning, this is about pressing your argument for divestment even though you have already received responses from all parties involved.

I offered an olive branch to you all last meeting and was the basis for today’s meeting. You all chose to ignore that and continue to beat the same drum of divestment.

I don’t appreciate being lied to about your intent of meeting with the president and I don’t appreciate your not honoring the reason for meeting today with me.

As a result, you have now lost the opportunity for further dialogue with me.


I’m mystified as to why Namyet didn’t want the students to talk to the President of their university, but whatever.

After a Johnson Hall sit-in, a free-speech controversy that sucked in FIRE, and some outraged letters from UO donors he and Weinhold came back to the table, and are now true believers:

Investment Management Statement

The University of Oregon Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization that exists for the sole purpose of supporting the academic mission of the university. We carry out our mission through prudent investment management, maximizing the value of private gifts for the benefit of the university and honoring donor intent.
Our strategy is to invest in a diverse set of smart, longer-term investments. This approach has created a well-diversified, progressive portfolio whose performance ranks in the top 10 percent nationally of all university endowments. Our philosophy and approach are guided by making prudent, socially and environmentally responsible investments that advance the financial objectives needed to support the university’s academic mission.
We are proud to lead the Pac-12 in adopting the first ever environmental, social and governance considerations to help inform our investment decisions. We believe that green energy initiatives, such as solar and wind power, sustainable forestry, and organic farming will steadily replace investments in carbon-based fuel sources, and we do not have any investments in coal. We intend to let those carbon-based investments –which were initiated many years ago– expire without renewal, ending our investment in carbon-based fuel sources.
Our responsibility is to balance financial support for today’s students, faculty and staff, with those of future generations at the university. We are currently providing more than $45 million each year in direct student, academic and operational funding to support the academic growth of our university and students. We are pleased that with our approach, we continue to successfully deliver on that mission.
Jay Namyet
Chief Investment Officer


4/22/2016:  Students arrange marriage of Duck & CO2, mock secretive UO Foundation

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The UO Foundation’s IRS 990 was due Nov 15. They’ve taken 2 extensions.

Their final deadline is May 15th. The IRS 990 form  is one of the few sources of information the secretive foundation will now reveal, other than a bare-bones state required independent audit. The Foundation used to also publish an annual report with data on how much money went to athletics, etc. But since Paul Weinhold took over as CEO, that has been stopped.

Why the filing delays? I don’t know, the OSU Foundation always manages to get theirs in on time. Here is the UOFs 990 for last year, filed on the last possible day. These delays mean that the data on salaries and perqs for the Foundation’s top officials is almost 2 years old by the time it’s public. A few years ago, in response to complaints, the IRS tightened the rules on second extensions and required non-profits give an explanation for the delay. As you can see there’s there’s not much teeth behind that:

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NYT: UO Foundation’s Namyet and Weinhold agree to divest from coal!

The New York Times has the wonderful news here.

Sorry, the sad truth is that Namyet and Weinhold are still fighting our students’ calls for divestment. So Wall Street is doing it for them. JH banner or no JH banner. Or, as the libertarians would say, Free Minds and Free Markets. Too bad the Foundation didn’t listen to our students and get out in 2013:

The world’s largest coal company, the Peabody Energy Corporation, warned on Wednesday that it might have to file for bankruptcy protection as it struggles to keep up with its debt payments.

In a securities filing, Peabody said waning demand for coal around the world and stiffer regulations had raised “substantial doubt” about whether the company could continue to operate outside bankruptcy.

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