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Air America Steals Half Million Dollars From Bronx Kids Charity

And the kicker is they're not sorry...

Here's the short version of the story, covered first by Brian Maloney with followups from Michelle Malkin and Captain Ed.

The leader of the Bronx-based Gloria Wise Club, Charles Rosen, reportedly loaned $480,000 in the startup Air America radio network, at the request of Air America chairman (at the time) Evan Cohen. The Gloria Wise Club was to benefit from the interest that Air America would pay on its loan. At the time the alleged transfers of funds took place, Cohen was also board member of the Gloria Wise Club.

Evan Cohen was sacked at Air America, and the was company sold to new investors. No one knows where the money went (though it presumably went right into the kitty of the cash hemorrhaging radio network) , or if any of the money has been ever been repaid. Because the Gloria Wise Club depends heavily on federal and city funding for its operations, New York City's Department Of Investigation (DOI) is investigating the charity for financial mismanagement specifically related to the Air America debacle.

So what does the network of Al Franken, Janeane Garofalo, and Jerry Springer have to say about this "loan," which literally robbed seniors and kids of needed services? Brian Maloney received this response from Air America:

"On MAY 24, 2004 the newly formed PIQUANT LLC acquired the principal assets of AIR AMERICA RADIO from the prior ownership entities. PIQUANT has owned and operated AIR AMERICA RADIO since that time. The company that had run AIR AMERICA RADIO till then no longer had anything to do with the network.

"PIQUANT had no involvement whatsoever with funds from GLORIA WISE BOYS & GIRLS CLUB. PIQUANT neither received nor expended any of the sums that are the subject of the City's investigation of the CLUB.

"PIQUANT is not being investigated by the City, which is investigating a transaction that took place before PIQUANT existed."

Translation - We didn't exist as a corporate entity at the time of the swindle, so it can't be our fault. The Air America that stole that money doesn't exist anymore. Obviously this story is a diversionary tactic; plotted and orchestrated by Karl Rove to divert attention from his own troubles...

Action Items:

Call Air America (866-303-2270) on air and ask them "Where's the Gloria Wise Club's half million dollars?" You'll have to get by the phone screeners first - just say you want to talk about Karl Rove or Hillary Clinton...

Update: More information about Piquant and the purchase designed to screw the creditors (including the Gloria Wise Boys & Club) in, Air America's Charity Scam Denials Don't Ring True

Update 2: Air America defenders miss the point. It's not about "stealing" the charities money, it's about paying the money back because it's the right thing to do. For those who would like to quibble about the word "steal," think what would happen if you as an individual took out a loan under fraudulent circumstances, didn't pay it back, then skipped town...

Update 3: Air America now says they agreed to pay back the loan months ago. See Air America's Charity Scam Denials Don't Ring True for the details...


TrackBack

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Air America Steals Half Million Dollars From Bronx Kids Charity:

» Michelle Malkin linked with AIR AMERICA: DON'T BLAME US

» Tannerball linked with Air America--We Love the Green!

» Kerfuffles linked with Stealing From the Poor

» Les Enfants Terrible linked with Perfect Example of Liberal Mentality

» Conservative Outpost linked with Brother can you spare a dime?

» Ravenwood's Universe linked with Maybe they should pay people to listen too

» The Anchoress linked with Al Franken got paid how???

» The Politburo Diktat linked with She Couldn’t Find “Bronx News”

» 360 VRWC linked with Err AmeriKKKa

» Right on the Left Beach linked with Air America and I Don't Mean the CIA

Comments (36)

Liberal honesty and compass... (Below threshold)
bullwinkle:

Liberal honesty and compassion at work? I'm dying to see the lefties defend and/or justify this.

It's a good thing that Piqu... (Below threshold)
rw:

It's a good thing that Piquant only bought a company that had accepted money stolen from children and old people instead of a company that had been involved in the slave trade, otherwise they might have been on the hook for reparations.

So, when there's money on the table, liberal ideals are easily replaced with Enron tactics...

Progressives stealing from ... (Below threshold)
Rod Stanton:

Progressives stealing from the poor? That was news 70 years ago. By 05 it is old hat. Ask Nancy Pelosi.

If you don't know the histo... (Below threshold)
Elderta:

If you don't know the history of Air America's financial troubles, then of course, you're little tirade is laughable. However, at the beginning of the station, they had a Republican financial backer who turned out to lie about how much money he had iniatially for the startup. He screwed a lot of people, including folks who worked at AAR. But of course, since most rightwingers are begging all the Gods they know that Air America goes under in order to clear the airwaves for the rightie screammongers, your little article is a call to arms to begin yet another campaign against AAR. If they have the money, they should, and probably, will, pay it back when they get it.


Good luck with your smear campaign. And just remember, John Kerry stole my shoe, too!

Wwwhhhhaaaaa!!!!!

I was writing yesterday, el... (Below threshold)
-S-:

I was writing yesterday, elsewhere, about Castro and I stlll can't get over the fact that in all his "glorious" years o' post-revolution, in his "glorious" revolutionary 'paradise,' all he and his glorious workers have come up with as an industry is a hammered metal rice-cooker, such as it is, that looks like something salvaged out of a landfill when new (the cooker, not the landfill).

Most of these sort of revolutionary liberals literally have no idea how to create capital, only how to destroy it. Their entire psychology is focused on tearing down, not building up.

If they come up with donations, you wait and see, it'll be "given" with the express description of being "donated" by their good graces, using promotion of their names, or those of others', not simply as the right thing to do to make something right, much less profitable.

rightie screammongers</i... (Below threshold)

rightie screammongers

You tell 'em, sister! YEEEEAAAAARRRRGGGGHHHHH!!!!

The question is, are any of... (Below threshold)

The question is, are any of the principals of Piquant LLC the same people who were responsible for AAR. If they are, they should answer for the money. If they are not, they shouldn't.

There's no reason why liberals should be held to a different set of business laws/ethics than everyone else.

Other people who should be held to account are Charles Rosen and the Board of GWC -- what sort of fiduciary would find it prudent to loan money to a start-up with no track record and no income? And I presume that the loan was unsecured, which is another bone-headed move.

There are plenty of smart liberals shrewdly making a lot of money in our capitalist system (check out Wall Street!). These people are apparently not among them.

'at the beginning of the st... (Below threshold)
LOSER:

'at the beginning of the station, they had a Republican financial backer who turned out to lie about how much money he had iniatially for the startup.'

WTF does that have to do with with this LOSER stealing money from the poor? Absolutely nothing, LOSER.

Oh, I see, Elderta! AAR ca... (Below threshold)

Oh, I see, Elderta! AAR can't pay back the money it borrowed from poor children and old people because of the Republicans.

Wow. A charity organization... (Below threshold)

Wow. A charity organization that relies heavily on federal and city funding has half a million dollars sitting in an account that they can just lend, in order to make money off the interest - and they can get by on the interest? That's strike one.

The loan is okayed by a board that includes a member who will benefit from receiving the money? Strike two.

Because the business is sold, the new owner thinks he can ignore the company's debts? He can, only if it's part of the contract for purchase of Air America that the old owner resolve that debt. I doubt anyone looked that deeply into the books, or whether Evan Cohen let it be recorded that the money didn't come directly from him, but from Gloria Wise Club. Strike three.

Clearly Gloria Wise needs a complete board and management overhaul, and Air America/Piquant needs to come up with repayment. Martha Stewart goes to jail and these guys play monopoly with $500,000 in government money? There are a number of things wrong here.

Elderta, what was th... (Below threshold)
jc:


Elderta, what was the Republican financial backer's name? Did you get a description? I think I saw that same guy forging memos for CBS, leading a coup of lies against Gray Davis, and sneaking FBI files into the White House unbeknownst to Hillary. He must be stopped!

Elderta,Guess you ... (Below threshold)
mesablue:

Elderta,

Guess you didn't see that documentary about the first days of Aire Amerika that was supposed to chronicle the rise of the next great American free speech radio station. It turned out showing all involved as a bunch of amateur, naive, unskilled and brainwashed nincompoops. None of them being Republican, most certainly not the idiot that promised them all of the money. And oh yeah, most of their so called investors pulled out because AA's numbers were so horribly bad. Thus paving the way for this scandal which will make it through the MSM with about a week of simmering.

Can't wait to hear Al Franken "lie" about this one.

Hey Mesablue,Read ... (Below threshold)
Elderta:

Hey Mesablue,

Read the article and get the name, do your own research: Evan Cohen.

"Air America was started as part of Progress Media, which said it had amassed $30 million in venture capital prior to its debut, a claim which later turned out to be untrue (only $6 million was initially collected). Two individuals from Guam, Rex Sorensen and Evan Montvel Cohen, were involved in raising the capital but denied any wrongdoing. [2] Cohen had an unusual history for his position in a progressive-left radio network since he was a Republican political operative in Guam and former chief of staff for Republican Governor Tommy Tanaka. [3] Cohen dismissed concerns by saying he was committed "progressive" and that Republicans in Guam "are left of Paul Wellstone." It was reported that Cohen had unpaid business debts in Guam, although Cohen denies this. [4] Tommy Tanaka pleaded guilty to corruption charges in 2003."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_America_Radio

And yes, I've seen the documentary folks, but I guess, as per usual, it wasn't the same documentary that you all happen to see. Good luck, folks, I hope the charity gets the money back.

And just remember, John Kerry stole my shoe!

Elderta,Well, if h... (Below threshold)
mesablue:

Elderta,

Well, if he was a Republican who is left of Wellstone and an avowed progressive, he probably doesn't think of himself as a Republican anymore. He came off as pretty much of a goof in the documentary.

I got a kick out of how many people involved in the launch of AAR said that, "I've never done anything like this before". Great bunch to have start up a new network.

Watch your other shoe, Cam's on his way.

Cam? I actually think Karl ... (Below threshold)
Elderta:

Cam? I actually think Karl is lurking for my other shoe. It's rather cute how you ignore what the article said: "Cohen had an unusual history for his position in a progressive-left radio network since he was a Republican political operative in Guam and former chief of staff for Republican Governor Tommy Tanaka." Bless you, mesablue... one day, you'll comprehend!

Have a great day!

This is easy enough to solv... (Below threshold)
John:

This is easy enough to solve -- all anyone in the media (or the blog world) has to to is get in touch with Evan Cohen and find out if the deal to transfer Air America's assets over to Piquant included transferrence of the company's liabilities as well.

The airing of the commercial on June 15 of this year for the summer camp that was a joint effort of Air America and the Gloria Wise Club indicates there was still a connection between the two organizations, though if Cohen agreed to shoulder the entire $480,000 debt, there wouldn't be anything wrong with that. However, given Cohen's history over the previous year of not wanting to shoulder anyone's bills, it doesn't seem likely he'd be willing to take on a nearly half million dollar repayment out of the goodness of his heart, as opposed to being ordered to by by a judge.

A Republican from Guam? Ma... (Below threshold)
joe:

A Republican from Guam? Maybe they have different issues out there.

Elderta,"Cohen dis... (Below threshold)
mesablue:

Elderta,

"Cohen dismissed concerns by saying he was committed "progressive" and that Republicans in Guam "are left of Paul Wellstone." "

What exactly did I miss?

I don't think I'm the one that needs to worry about "someday". I've got both my shoes and both are firmly planted on the ground--feet included.

Ok, I get it. Evan Cohen wo... (Below threshold)
bullwinkle:

Ok, I get it. Evan Cohen worked for Karl Rove! Another evil plan from the right. And we all know if Wikipedia says it's true it must be. We all know how republicans were behind the founding of Air America and how Air America only has people working for the (besides Cohen) who are known for their honesty.

As far as I can tell, Tommy... (Below threshold)
joe:

As far as I can tell, Tommy Tanaka ran for governor of Guam and lost. He wasn't the governor.

Nevertheless, Wikipedia says he was in this article about Air America, but not in their list of Guam governors.

Hey RW,Michelle Ma... (Below threshold)
mesablue:

Hey RW,

Michelle Malkin quoted you on her blog!

wavemaker: Piquant is prett... (Below threshold)

wavemaker: Piquant is pretty much the original investors and management, minus Cohen and some other clown who are now being set up to take the fall, while "Piquant" acts like they are a whole new team and had nothing to do with the orginal corporate ownership of Air Idiot. That guy Drobny was there from Day One, and he's still there now.

At least Al Franken Got Pai... (Below threshold)
Al:

At least Al Franken Got Paid. And he ain't givin nothin back!!

I speak truth to power. Fre... (Below threshold)

I speak truth to power. Free government money?? Where's mine?? Who ate my cheetos??

Of course the Republicans w... (Below threshold)
Bruiser:

Of course the Republicans were behind the Air America startup...you wouldn't expect any liberals to amass enough capital and business knowledge to take the entreprenurial plunge, now would you? Also, this all sounds so eeeevil, and we all know only the Republicans are capable of stealing and being eeevil.

Elderta -Mr. Cohe... (Below threshold)

Elderta -

Mr. Cohen is what we on the right sometimes refer to as a "RINO" -Republican in name only.


Mr. Cohen might would certainly seem to agree with usQuestions were raised about Cohen's previous ties to the Republican Party on Guam. Cohen dismissed concerns about his political past by saying he was a committed "progressive"

His past actions might suggest that as well:
Around 1998, Cohen testifed on behalf of Governor Gutierrez (and against the Republican challenging the election) in the contested Guam governor election case of Joseph Ada v. Carl T.C. Gutierrez.

See the attached link for my source for these quotes

In any case, whether Mr. Cohen, or Peter Pan, was responsible for the original agreement, an interesting question remains: Has Air America repaid any of the money slated for charitable causes ?

I will assume that you don'... (Below threshold)
Graham:

I will assume that you don't understand how law suits work therefore your headline which is over the top. When fraud takes place you should be aware that whether a person is an agent of a company is a huge factual issue.

Also you probably don't know that when a sale takes place between two entities that the selling company makes a declaration. In this case Cohen ripped off the performers you refer to also. The new company rightly states that it had no knowledge of the loan.

Then again maybe you do know you are slandering Air America. Just in case I thought I might give you some info to chew on.

It is a pity that what seems to be an acceptable web page has to take this smear approach. Most of us moderate types would appreciate something more well thought out and respectful to the facts.

Great job, WizB!! ... (Below threshold)

Great job, WizB!!

To Elderta and others using smoke and mirrors on this issue, you can b*tch all you want about an early money source (a republican "who lied" BFD!) for AA...

...BUT you are simply trying to DEFLECT from what appears to be factual (as well as the appearance of IMPROPRITY!!!) information of AA taking money from a entity that they should not have.

"If they have the money, they should, and probably, ...." etc etc. We all know IF the dog hadn't have stopped to poop he would've caught the rabbit.

Again, the Liberal psychos offer nothing constructive to this (as usual), only deflection and smokescreens. Keep it up though, continue to implode. It's much fun watching all the Libs self destruct.

Statement from Air America ... (Below threshold)

Statement from Air America Radio
http://www.airamericaradio.com/press/gloriawise

Statement:
If the allegations of mismanagement and corruption at Gloria Wise Boys and Girls Club are true, it is absolutely disgraceful.

As reported in the Wall Street Journal and the HBO Documentary, Left of the Dial‚ the company that the Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club officials gave money to, Progress Media, has been defunct since May 2004. That company was run at the time by Evan Cohen who has not had any involvement in Air America Radio since May 2004.

The current owners of Air America Radio have no obligation to Progress Media‚s business activities. We are very disturbed that Air America Radio's good name could be associated with a reduction in services for young people, which is why we agreed months ago to fully compensate the Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club as a result of this transaction.

We at Air America Radio strongly believe in the mission of Boys and Girls Clubs to provide a safe and nurturing place for young people to learn and grow. As a result, we recently allowed the same club, Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club, to use our name in a fundraising effort for a summer camp for children in their community.

The funding for Camp Air America was raised and collected entirely by the Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club, and Air America promoted the camp on air and urged support for it. A link on our web site sent those interested in contributing to the camp to the Gloria Wise web site. Regrettably, the camp did not survive the closure of the Gloria Wise organization. We have offered any individuals who contributed to the camp as a result of Air America's promotion the option of a refund paid for by Air America Radio and the Club offered the alternative option of having their donation redirected to Kip's Bay Boys and Girls Club.

LoL Neocons to the last. Al... (Below threshold)
Ozy:

LoL Neocons to the last. Always twisting reality.

Looks Like David Tuck Bent You Idiots Over.

Air America Rocks! The Wrong wing Media Blows!

Another Hate Blog "Timeless"

Graham:1. It was a... (Below threshold)

Graham:

1. It was an asset purchase -- they bought the assets only, and do not incur the liabilities. No declarations are made other than that each party has the power and authority to sell/buy, and that the assets are unencumbered (they should have been encumbered with a UCC statement, if the charity were properly represented).

2. As TC pointed out in response to my original question, there is continuity of control between selling and buying parties: sufficient evidence of intent to defraud that the loan should not be dischargeable in bankruptcy and the individuals may be personally liable.

3. Being written comments, they would be libelous, not slanderous.

Well thought out indeed.

According to Political Mone... (Below threshold)
David:

According to Political Money Line, an Evan Cohen in Brooklyn (right name, right place) donated $2000 to John Kerry and no other donations made. Typical Republican behavior. I see no evidence of an Evan Cohen in the New York area donating any money to a Republican candidate for anything since the money started being tracked.

Furthermore here is a list of Governors of Guam since WWII:

1946 - 1949 Charles Alan Pownall
1949 - 1953 Carlton S. Skinner
1953 - 1956 Ford Quint Elvidge
1956 - 1956 William T. Corbett
1956 - 1959 Richard Barrett Lowe
1959 - 1960 Marcellus G. Boss
1960 - 1961 Joseph F. Flores
1961 - 1962 William Patlov Daniel
1962 - 1969 Manuel Flores Leon Guerrero
1969 - 1975 Carlos Camacho (Republican)
1975 - 1979 Ricardo Bordallo (Democrat)
1979 - 1983 Paul McDonald Calvo (Republican)
1983 - 1987 Ricardo Bordallo (Democrat)
1987 - 1995 Joseph F. Ada (Republican)
1995 - 2003 Carl T.C. Gutierrez (Democrat)
2003 - Felix Camacho (Republican)


No Tommy Tanaka, Senator Tanaka ran but lost in 1994. Evan Cohen supported Gutierrez in '98

Evan Cohen had brain cancer in 2001, I leave the jokes to the rest of you.

I want to see two young thu... (Below threshold)
capitano:

I want to see two young thugs force their way into Al Franken's house and shove his head into a toilet while yelling:

Thugs: "Where's the f**kin' money, Franken. Your wife is Bunny and that means you owe a half-mil to the little kids."

Franken: "It's down there somewhere, let me have another look."

Air America Dances with ... (Below threshold)
Emma Morrow:

Air America Dances with the Devil

The Pinstripe slick and Pale-skinned lawyers at Air America never cease to find lower ditches to troll.

They can't be honest about their ratings, they can't pay their 'talent', they threaten the President on-air, they're amateurs, they're proven wrong 98.7% of the time.

You know why Liberals can't get ideas across over the radio?

Their schtick is already being done by Howard Stern, and there's few left of an audience that's willing to swill where Air America dredges ditches.

... and the Bush DoJ is ju... (Below threshold)
yup sure:

... and the Bush DoJ is just letting this slide?

al franken is a dumb assed ... (Below threshold)
wcforman:

al franken is a dumb assed jerk who cant make an honest living so he has to steal from the poor. no wonder the democrats are in trouble




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