BizRadio – As I’ve said – Something smells Frishy

February 19, 2010

The more that seems to surface the more concerned folks seem to be – and with good reason.

In an earlier blog I indicated that I, through email, made an attempt to interview Daniel Frishberg – as I felt that he (being silent other than his email broadcast in the last two weeks) should have an opportunity to express his opinion regarding the flurry of controversy regarding his actions and those of BizRadio.   Thus far no response and frankly, I do not suspect that I will receive a response.

But, in the interest of openness, transparency and full disclosure, below are the questions (in Blue) that in writing (via email) I sought Mr. Frishberg’s answer to:

QUESTIONS:

  1. According to Ron Crider, he and Mr. Frishberg are 50/50 owners of BizRadio Colorado – is that correct?  If not, what do you two own, if anything, together?
  2. Mr. Crider stated that he was brought into BizRadio in October 2009 and introduced to shareholders (in two separate shareholder meetings toward the end of 2009 or early 2010) as BizRadio CEO?  Is that correct?
  3. Mr. Crider was listed in late 2009 as the President of Broadcast Operations on the BizRadio website – was he an employee in that position?  If not, what was his capacity?  If he received no compensation, then what do you suspect motivated his association with BizRadio in a titled position (per the website) without current compensation?
  4. Mr. Crider stated that he suggested the sale of 1110 AM to Rehan Siddiqi so that BizRadio could move to 1180 AM (reportedly a station with a stronger signal)… is that accurate?
  5. Mr. Siddiqi was listed on the BizRadio web site as Vice-President of Marketing.  How long did he hold that position with BizRadio?  How would you describe his service in that capacity?
  6. You have stated something to the effect that you felt that Crider and Siddiqi attempted to obtain 1110 AM for less than fair market value (to steal it from you – my words paraphrasing yours) – when do you think that scheme got cooked up?  What motivated that action in your opinion?  What did Crider have to gain from Siddiqi’s lease/potential purchase?
  7. What caused Entravision to issue the letter to BizRadio regarding not providing the letter of credit or deposit of $150,000?  If, in fact, Siddiqi paid BizRadio $180,000 wouldn’t BizRadio have had the $150,000 needed to continue broadcasting on the strong signaled station?
  8. The Houston Chronicle reported that the check which shows a signature by Albert Kaleta was reportedly “forged” – is that your position?  If so, who do you suspect forged Mr. Kaleta’s signature?
  9. Several investors have reportedly written or called you suggesting that you turn over operations to Mr. Crider – is that a possibility?
  10. Since Mr. Kaleta is effectively barred by the SEC from interacting with any investment advisor and since you are a licensed investment advisor, does Mr. Kaleta’s disconnection with you and (one would assume) BizRadio have any effect on the ability to attract more investors?  If not, how will future investors investments in BizRadio be structured (loan with a guaranteed interest rate) or (shareholder)?
  11. It would appear that Mr. Siddiqi is out a substantial sum of money as a result of this whole ordeal.  What position does BizRadio take since it effectively kicked Mr. Siddiqi off the air?  Does BizRadio plan to reimburse him the funds he is out?  If so, when (or has it already taken place)?
  12. It has been reported that you have moved assets (DFFS Capital Management, Inc.) from your name to your wifes in order to avoid any issue with the SEC should they conduct an investigation (expanded from Kaleta).  Is that true?

Since that email was sent (with no reply as of this writing) several more questions exist:

  1. It has been reported that an announcement was made to BizRadio employees on Wednesday or Thursday that BizRadio was being sold for $3.5 million back to SALEM.  Now, if Frishberg bought KTEK for $7.7 million from Salem and Salem is buying it back for $3.5 million then does that mean that Salem is taking a $3.2 million or so loss?
  2. Wallace has (had) a lien against BizRadio assets (which logically would include KTEK) for some amount.  What impact does the sale to Salem have on the security that Wallace was to have in BizRadio?
  3. Since Frishberg originally agreed to lease/sell 1110 AM to Siddiqi for $3.5 million, then cried to the courts that he (Frishberg) was being swindled by Siddiqi and Crider, what does the sale back to Salem mean?  Is the value really $3.5 million?  If so, then how did Siddiqi and Crider swindle Frishberg?  Rather, did Frishberg use Crider to swindle Siddiqi (who is still out $180,000 and a radio station)?  Did Frishberg lie to the court when he talked about the value?  And, did Frishberg perpetrate a fraud on Siddiqi so that he could get Siddiqi’s funds (since it seems that money is a precious commodity at BizRadio these days)?
  4. Did Salem force the sale since Frishberg was reportedly behind in his lease (i.e., is Salem foreclosing)?  Is this SALE to Salem contingent on BizRadio having some lease back provision?  An what does this reported sale mean to the investors who are (as each day unfolds) seeing less and less chance that they will ever get their investment back.
  5. It is reported that Frishberg is also promoting that he has struck a deal with Salem for 3 hour daily show on at least 6 Salem station across the country.  Salem is reported to have a squeaky clean reputation and image.  So what is the truth involved here?  Sale to Salem or not?  Behind in payments to Salem or not?

NOTE: From a reliable source, I was told this a.m. that notice has been given from Salem that they need to be prepared to take over the station.  No more details, but it would appear that Salem is in play.  Further, it is reported that Frishberg is asking to be given a little more time for BizRadio to come up with the $150k LC on that last Friday before Biz was taken off KGOL.  Seems that the writing is on the wall…Frishberg will soon be off 1110 AM and is desperately trying to scramble to find funds to get back on 1180 AM.  How that could happen is beyond me, but then again…this is typical of how a fraud unfolds as it is collapsing.  Let me put it this way…if there is no investor fraud or (what I’ll refer to as) fraud against Siddiqi here…it would be a bit of a miracle.

Unrelated to the reported deal to sell to Salem other questions came to the forefront that seem noteworthy:

  1. Frishberg is reported to be paying $9,000 lease on a personal residence at Royal Oaks Country Club.  Nothing wrong with that as long as funds to pay the rent/lease are coming from sources that have not in any way negatively affected the investors who may not have had a clue of the intertangled actions of funds between Kaleta and Frishberg.
  2. Likewise, it was reported today that Frishberg uses Kaleta’s credit card for purchase and/or flights.  Now, if that is true, isn’t that playing with fire since Kaleta was banned (via SEC) from having any involvement with any investment advisor (which Frishberg is)?  I can’t honestly imagine that Frishberg would do that, but thus far most items that have been reported to me have (over time) been confirmed.  Go figure?
  3. Here’s Albert Kaleta’s LinkedIn profile.  He’s still showing here as a owner of BizRadio.  Perhaps he’s just failed to change it, but no association seems that he should have removed himself from any involvement with BizRadio.  Maybe I’m missing something?
  4. Lastly, I was told that the transmitter site’s property insurance has lapsed.  I suppose that as long as the power bill is paid the transmitter can continue to work, but at what risk if there is no insurance?

Folks…what seems to be evident are the dying gasps of an investment scam that has gone bad.  And, if not a scam…then surely evidence of folks who are inept at running a successful business.  Of course, the full truth is not yet revealed…but with all the activity surrounding what’s taking place…I suspect that the speed of the collapse will gain momentum.

Sorry, wish the news were better.  But if there has ever been something that smelled FRISHY when it comes to Business Ethics…this is it!

…and comments are welcome.

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Prospective employers checking you out on Facebook not ethical? Get over it.

November 8, 2009

Is it ethical for a company to use what you freely post on a social networking site as part of their decision making process?

I posed that question the other day to a group of students at Queen’s Business School in Kingston, Ontario.  The answers I got were interesting; they generally saw sites like Facebook as just that: a social networking tool. And they didn’t generally connect that a prospective employer has an ethical right to base their hiring decision on what a candidate posts online in their off hours.

But here’s the thing: Regardless of the ethical questions at play, what you post online will likely be found, in one form or another, by prospective employers. A recent study found that 45 percent of employers surveyed use social networks to screen job candidates.

So, here’s a question for all business students: At a time when unemployment is at a 26-year high, and competition for jobs is fiercer than ever, what are you currently doing with Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to expand, find, or grow your career? Are you taking advantage of what’s free in a way that allows you to take those steps?


Facebook – Nude Student Photos and a College IT Administrator: Robert T. DeCampos, Jr. – Dumb and Dumber!

March 6, 2009

I never cease to be amazed at the stupidity of what people will do with social networking.  Dumb – don’t put nude pictures on your facebook account!  That most would say that is common sense, but it seems that “common sense” goes out the window with some folks when it comes to their Facebook or MySpace pages.

Perhaps someone will get a clue – these are public and can be found!

ADVICE:  Don’t put anything on Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn or any other site that you wouldn’t want your mother or boss to see.  If you feel that you could be fired or severely scolded for your entries – don’t put it on the site.

Enough Said!  facebook-logo

CRIMINAL ACTIVITY:

According to SouthCoasttoday.com – Robert T. DeCampos Jr., 30, a Dartmouth resident, and computer administrator, faces charges that he illegally obtained nude and semi-nude photos of about 16 female students by hacking into their UMass e-mail accounts and Facebook files.

What did he allegedly do and how?  According to published reports:

His first step, according to court documents, was to search Facebook for female UMass Dartmouth students. Next, he checked the names with the campus Web site.

Then he would use his administrative authority to access their e-mail, where he would attempt to log into their personal Facebook accounts. When that failed because he lacked their Facebook passwords, he would have Facebook send a link for a new password back to their e-mail. The hacker would then open the e-mail to reset the password, then enter Facebook with all the privileges and access of the student.

At that point he could view all of the students’ photographs, including private ones, and do further searches for their friends.

According to The Chronicle of Higher Education:

The university fired Mr. DeCampos last fall after police searched his home and found a portable flash drive containing the photos. Mr. DeCampos, who was released on his own recognizance after the arraignment, is being charged with 13 misdemeanor counts of unauthorized access, which carries a maximum penalty of 30 days in jail and $13,000 in fines. He is also being charged with one count of felony larceny, which could mean up to a five-year jail term and a $25,000 fine.

The Boston Herald also reported:  “Robert T. DeCampos Jr. also attempted to snap “upskirt” images of shoppers at an electronics store in Dartmouth, authorities said yesterday, following a four-month probe into the alleged cyber snooping, according to the New Bedford Standard-Times.”

THOUGHTS:

It appears obvious that DeCampos (while innocent until proven guilty) is experiencing the consequences of his choices.  As an ethics speaker, there is little doubt that DeCampos will likely serve time in prison for his actions.  But there is another question that deserves attention: why would someone put nude or partially nude photos on Facebook?  Is there really a thougth that Facebook is private – that there are no consequences of the student’s actions?

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?


Social Networking, Social Media, Social Web and Ethics – Are They Compatable? Ethics Speaker Chuck Gallagher Comments!

January 29, 2009

For a 51 year old former Sr. VP of Sales and Marketing, current business ethics speaker and fraud prevention consultant, I am finding web 2.0 and/or social media (or whatever title you give it) to be a vast open space for opportunity and/or disaster. And for those of us who are growing into this new frontier the pitfalls can be dramatic and costly.

One year ago I had no clue what web 2.0 was or meant. Frankly neither did most of my counterparts. Those of us in the Baby Boom generation just didn’t get it. As far as we were concerned sites like MySpace and Facebook were for kids. And, frankly, we didn’t have a clue what the fascination was all about. Just really seemed like a colossal waste of time. Either the “young” folks were texting – seemed like speed dial and a call was quicker – or they were writing in some unknown code that was designed to keep those of us with budding grey hair confused. And confused we were.

Then, for reasons I still don’t fathom, I began – like many others of my generation – to find some attraction to just what the fuss was all about. Viola…Baby Boomers connect and the world for us changes.

AMAZING FACTS:

According to site analytics reported on in compete.com for December 2008 the following amazing statistics are available:istock_000007298729small

Number of Unique Visitors:

Facebook 59,675,502

MySpace 59,544,152

LinkedIn 9,349,996

In all three cased the number of people visiting these sites increased for the month of December 2008 and increased for the year for both Facebook and LinkedIn.

IMPACT FOR ADULT SOCIAL MEDIA CONNECTIONS:

While the number of uses for MySpace (mostly high school and college aged users) has remained flat, the more adult related sites has skyrocketed. The number of unique visitors to LinkedIn over 2008 has increased 153.9% and unique visitors to Facebook has increased 85.7%. While there may be those who disagree, I submit that the great majority of the increased visitorship to these sites is coming from adult users that are beginning to learn how to tap into the value of social media connections.

The growth is incredible as I am seeing daily (yes daily) the number of people in the Baby Boom group who are beginning to figure out that they will be left behind if they don’t join the social media revolution. The message that one might share is instantaneous and the access to data is vast. The power for branding, marketing and media messaging is limited only by the narrowness of ones mind.

INTERCONNECTED – FOR BETTER OR WORSE:

First, let me say, you do have control over when and how you use these tools. That said, the reality is you are interconnected. For example I am working with a social media site called twitter. Now for those who twitter it makes perfect sense (I guess). For me, well…I’m trying to figure it out. But one thing I do know is that since my twitter postings are linked to my facebook account, every time I make a post to twitter my facebook is updated.

That interconnection can be a great benefit. But, it has to be one that is managed. As a baby boomer and professional speaker and consultant I quickly got the value of these social media site from a marketing and branding perspective. And, I promise for those who really get it, I’m no where close to truly maximizing the value that can be gained there.

Here’s an example of the power of social media at work. As I began writing this blog I posted a comment on twitter (which like Facebook and LinkedIn is growing exponentially). I stated that I was writing this article and would be open to suggestions. The request was posted on twitter – which linked to my facebook page. Just a moment ago I looked on my facebook page and has two responses, both of which were very helpful.

Here are their comments with some minor edits:

A professor from Texas writes: “Who owns my data?” Guess what – Facebook owns what you put on your profile. Not you. Take your page down? Doesn’t matter, they still have, and own, that information.

A professional speaker from Florida writes: I am amzaed how social media has taken off the way it has…. I do not like it when people think it is the perfect place to push their MLM or any other products or services.

Don’t get me wrong I think that MLMs are a great business to get into. But please first read the secret behind “Permission Marketing” as taught by Seth Godin. If you use this (read More Strategy )it does work. I know I have people who write me and call me and I don’t really know them but they feel like I am there best friend. This is all done by “Permission Marketing” not by pushing yourself upon your friends list.

Also becareful what you post on someone’s “Wall” where everyone can read it. I will sometimes post something on their Wall and then follow-up with a direct private message to further explain the details or the private information. There are somethings you don’t want everyone to know without the permission of the other parties involved.

ETHICS, CHOICES AND CONSEQUENCES:

Every choice has a consequence. Every time you call someone or write a note, you make a choice that has a consequence. Perhaps your call or note is received with joy and the consequence is deemed positive. Likewise, many in turbulent economic times are receiving calls or notes that result in the loss of jobs and – the consequence is much different.

The same applies to every entry or contact in a social media environment. I, for example, write about ethics and fraud – white collar crime mostly. I am aware that with the touch of the keyboard, I publish data that some find helpful and refreshing and others find offensive. Believe me I have heard from those who do find my work distasteful. In any event, I understand that the way we interact on the web is much different and substantially more powerful than what we have previously been accustomed.

So here are some questions (feel free to comment below – who knows where the dialogue will take us):

  • If you use social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter for business promotion, are you concerned more about your privacy or the promotion of your business?
  • If you had to choose between LinkedIn or Facebook – which site would you select and what motivates that selection?
  • If you use Facebook, do you feel that it is ethical to look at the friends of your friends and request a connection to them?
  • Would you rather expand your network of “friend” or “connections” or maintain your privacy?
  • How do you feel social media networking is different than networking – say through a chamber of commerce event?

As times passes, like with anything, we will all learn and grow. Meanwhile, the issues of what, how and where to use social media and what is fondly called web 2.0 are unfolding.

One last comment before this entry is closed out… As I speak often to university students I find that they too have an amazement at this whole social media issue. This comment just came through on my facebook page. It is accurate and demonstrates just how we need to think about the balance between social, marketing and privacy. Here’s the comment:

Fascinating. I find the balance of being public and yet wanting privacy control a tight balance. Companies are using FB as an HR research/background tool.

Your comments are welcome…