Group That Bought Land Near Air Base Sues Farmers

( — In late July, The Hill’s NewsNation reported that a mysterious company has been purchasing 54,000 acres of land near Travis Air Force Base in Northern California,

Flannery Associates has spent over $800 million since 2018 on land zoned for agricultural purposes. Attorneys for the group claim that it is controlled by American citizens with 97 percent of its capital coming from US investors. However, federal officials have not been able to determine who is backing Flannery Associates, despite eight months of investigations, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Since the start of the year, Flannery Associates has accelerated its purchases, prompting a federal investigation. However, it remains unclear why the group is investing in so much land near the Air Force base.

The US Air Force’s Foreign Investment Risk Review office has been investigating the mysterious group, the Journal reported.

In an interview with NewsNation on Monday California Rep. John Garamendi, who has been speaking out for five years about the land purchased by Flannery Associates, said he has spoken with the families of the farmers who sold their land the group who said they didn’t want to sell.

Since California law does not require families to sell, the land was bargained at a much higher price. But now, the mysterious group is suing the families for $510 million, claiming they conspired to inflate the value.

Garamendi told NewsNation that the suit is designed to force the families to spend tens of thousands on lawyers and eventually “bankrupt themselves.” He said that has already happened to at least one family and he has heard that another family is already admitting that they can’t afford to hire lawyers to fight the suit.

Garamendi said the concerns that Flannery Associates might be linked to a foreign enemy like China are valid, particularly since the group is choosing to purchase “all three sides of the Travis Air Force Base.”

While he conceded that it isn’t known if Flannery is bankrolled by “Chinese money,” Garamendi said, “we have a very deep suspicion” given how “Chinese money was being used in North Dakota.”

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