Dan Frishberg and BizRadio slapped with $18 Million Lawsuit – Rehan Siddiqi and Asia Vision strike back!

March 3, 2010

As if the problems (mostly self inflicted) of Dan Frishberg and BizRadio staying on the air, and trying to continue a format that has come under intense scrutiny as of late, was not enough – now comes Rehan Siddiqi with a lawsuit claiming damages in excess of $18,000,000.  As I state in my seminars – EVERY CHOICE HAS A CONSEQUENCE – and it would seem that Frishberg’s actions are producing some consequences that far reaching and have potentially negative financial implications.

The fundamental premise of the lawsuit is as follows (please note that this is an abbreviated report of the lawsuit):

  • The lawsuit claims: breach of contract, fraud and misrepresentation, conspiracy claims, breach of fiduciary duty, conversion and theft, and many many others.
  • Siddiqi CEO of Asia Vision claims he’s operated and broadcasts daily radio broadcasts in the Houston market for over 12 years.  And, broadcasting generated substantial revenue and was Siddiqi’s core business without which, Siddiqi’s business would be decimated.
  • Prior to November 2009 Frishberg et al approached Siddiqi about entering into a long term 5 year lease to broadcast on 1110 AM for $50,000 per month.  On November 25, 2009 Siddiqi – Asia Vision, Inc. entered into said agreement.  The agreement also provided Siddiqi a purchase option of 1110 AM for $3.5 million.
  • Defendants (Frishberg et al) needing capital approached Siddiqi asking for 6 months lease in advance and agreed that if such sum were paid they would reduce the monthly lease amount to $30,000 per month requiring a payment of some $180,000.  The agreement was signed on December 29, 2009 and Siddiqi, through a series of payments, paid and Defendants accepted the total of $180,000.
  • As evidence of acceptance of said agreement, Frishberg and BizRadio began broadcasting on 1180 AM on January 1, 2010 and Siddiqi – Asia Vision moved to 1110 AM for the entire month of January 2010.
  • Frishberg, unable to pay the deposit required by 1180 AM, removed Siddiqi from 1110 AM on February 2010 which resulted in the beginning of legal actions and the seeking of Temporary Restraining Orders – one of which Siddiqi won and the second round went to Frishberg.

From that simple background (none of which is new news) the lawsuit states:

Plaintiffs have contractual obligations that depend on their ability to broadcast and air their radio programming.  As a direct and proximate result of Defendant’s actions, Plaintiffs have lost and continue to lose customers and clients.  Plaintiffs reputation and standing in the commercial broadcast and radio programming business have been harmed and damaged, and will continue to suffer and incur injuries.  Plaintiffs have other business interests that are directly and indirectly tied to their ability to broadcast their radio programs, which interests are now being jeopardized.  Given the financial standing of the Defendants; their fraud and investment scams; their moving of funds and money to a number of related entities; their hiding of funds and assets; and the on-going Federal SEC proceedings, Plaintiffs injuries and damages appear to be, and are likely to remain, irreparable and uncompensable.  Defendants have demonstrated a lack of sufficient funds to stay on radio station 1180 AM, and have shown that they lack the financial wherewithall to compensate Plaintiffs for the damages they have inflicted, and continue to inflict, on Plaintiffs.  Asia Vision continues to lose advertising revenue and advertisers as each day goes by with Plaintiffs being defrauded by Defendants, and with Plaintiffs being unable to broadcast their radio programming.  Siddiqi’s radio personality has been and continues to be severely damaged as a result of Defendants fraud, breaches and on-going conspiracy.

When I saw this hit…I made an effort to interview Rehan Siddiqi (not that I expected him to accept – considering the stonewall that I’ve felt from Frishberg, but delighted he did).  The questions are listed in bold and Mr. Siddiqi’s responses are quoted in blue.  The interview follows:

Mr. Siddiq, thank you for agreeing to this interview.  I have several questions related to your lawsuit.  I hope that you will consider candid answers, however, let me state up front, this will be published in my blog and, as such, do not share answers with me that you do not wish to have in the public domain.  Are we clear?

Yes.

Before we get to the content of your lawsuit, can you share with me your relationship prior to entering into this agreement with Mr. Frishberg and BizRadio?

Absolutely.  Mr. Frishberg was introduced to me by a mutual friend…a friend of mine and also one of Mr. Frishberg’s investors in a fund, I think called Wallace Bajjali.

It looked like you were listed as a Vice-President with BizRadio sometime this past fall 2009.  What was your position?

Being in the South Asian market, I come across a lot of national and local advertisers and I was asked by Mr. Al Kaleta to bring in some more business and talk with some of my current advertisers or advertisers that I know.  They were struggling.  They had a great format and perhaps some of these advertisers would want to target that market.

So you were offered commission to bring them advertisers?

Yes sir.

And, how long did you hold that position?

Actually until the day they hijacked my frequency.

I’m confused.  They reflected you on the web site as a VP of Marketing, but basically that was a commissioned sales position?  You weren’t on the payroll as a salaried person?

No.  I was basically on a project to project commission.  And, to answer your question, I was not only listed on the web site, but was given business cards by Mr. Al Kaleta.

I’m sorry I missed that, but how long were you connected with BizRadio doing sales and so forth?

I was introduced to Mr. Kaleta and Mr. Frishberg some two years ago.  Mr. Sargent Hussain suggested that he had invested with a company that owned a radio station and that I might want to know them.

You sound like a fairly young man and your suit states you’ve been broadcasting for some 12 years.  How did you get into the broadcasting business?

I was one of the very first to initiate a 24/7 South Asian radio format.  I’m from a market that’s a minority.  There are some 300,000 or more South Asians in the market.  Prior to the 24/7 format, I would broker time on stations to serve my market segment.

Let’s move on to the lawsuit.   Did you approach Frishberg and Crider about leasing/buying 1110 AM or did they approach you?

Well actually Sargent Hussain told me that Mr. Kaleta would like to meet me and maybe there is a business deal that can be made out of 1110 AM.   I met with Mr. Kaleta and we had about a 45 minute meeting.  They were not happy with 1110 AM: (a) they felt that the broker ripped them off by selling them a station that was worth $3 to $3.5 million for $7.7 million; and (b) they were not happy with the coverage from the station. They said they would like to be on 1180 AM with 24/7 coverage and a strong signal.

About that time Mr. Frishberg walked into the room and says to Mr. Kaleta, “What ever deal you need to make with the radio station needs to be made through my CEO.  We don’t know this business.  If we knew this business well we wouldn’t have bought the station for $7.7.   Now we have a radio man working for us and his name is Ron Crider.”  Mr. Frishberg gave me Mr. Crider’s phone number and said he would be in town sometime next week.

When you were approached about leasing 1110 AM – do you think now that you were being scammed at the beginning or do you think they were serious?

No…I thought they were very serious.  They had a good business plan.  The reasons they gave me for why they needed to be on 1180 AM and why I needed to be on 1110 AM and how it was going to help them and how it was going to help me … it just completely made perfect sense.

In your opinion, do you think that the funds requested (that you paid) some $180,000 were requested so that BizRadio and Frishberg could pay 1180 AM the deposit they required?

Well, they desperately needed money.  They were not getting their RIA at the time and needed cash flow.  They did not have money to pay for their payroll.   There money was with Fidelity and I was told they were going to be changing banks.  There money (with that change) would start making their RIA again and starting January 15th (2010) things would get back to normal because they would begin again getting their commission.  Apparently, that didn’t happen so they did not give 1180 AM the letter of credit and got kicked off the station.

Do you think that Frishberg truly wanted to broadcast BizRadio on 1180 AM?  If so, how did he think he could do that considering the financial meltdown that seems to have been already started when you entered into the lease?

If Frishberg didn’t want to be on 1180 AM then why would he sign a contract and give them $75,000 to broadcast in January.  I think he expected the financial maneuvering to work and he would be able to meeting the demands of 1180 AM.  At that time Frishberg was, I think, on in Dallas and certainly on in San Antonio along with Crider’s other stations through his network.  I think he got stuck with Fidelity cause they truly did not want to do business with him and he hoped the other company would quickly come in.

I had no reason to believe that Frishberg would be a problem.  To be honest I had no reason to believe that Frishberg was a scam artist, a liar, or that there was a whole fraudulent thing going on with these investors until the day he surprised me in the court by perjuring himself by saying that Ron Crider was not the CEO.

You state in your lawsuit, that Daniel Frishberg has interfered, and continues to interfere, with your business and contractual relationships.  How?

Number 1 – he took my station away.  Number 2 – all the business that I had, all the contracts that I had I basically have lost.  Plus since I had paid six months in advance, I felt that the money coming in from ad revenue would be positive cash flow that I could use to pay my loans and contracts.  Now I will be forced to default on my obligations.

The radio business is about consistency.  The contract that I have right now is a month to month contract.  I don’t even have a contract for the month of April.    I cannot sign a contract with my advertisers for April.  I have lost sponsors and advertisers.  I can’t provide a letter of credit to any station.  Why?  Frishberg took my money.

You state that Frishberg committed PERJURY in his testimony before the court?  Give me an example of what you mean?

Frishberg stated that Ron Crider was not the CEO for BizRadio.  Here’s what I believe.  They introduced me to their CEO.  Every meeting I’m in they either see me talking to him or are sitting with me in that meeting.  The money that I gave them…they put that in their account.  They send out press releases.  They put it on their web site.  They give me a business card.  Ron Crider has a business card.  Frishberg is in the meeting.  Kaleta is in the meeting.  The entire office staff is in the meeting.  Flyers, advertising and radio promos were put together.  I would never believe in the world that Frishberg was going to come in the court and say “Crider was never my CEO.”

He shocked me.  Now I am going to rewind from the day I started talking to him.  Everything this man said was a lie!

Likewise, you claim that Frishberg and BizRadio (the Defendants) stole money from you.  In the lawsuit it is referred to as Conversion and Theft.  Do you think that was there intent at the beginning or do you think that it was a result of the collapse of Frishberg’s financial position?

Once somebody lies to you, then when you look back you begin to think that all they told you was a lie.  Was it set up on me from day one, I truly believe that now.  He was trying to solve his issues, his problems and basically he did that with my money.  He (Frishberg) decided to send me an email, late in the night, hours before he was going to take me over, to give me notice.  I begged Mr. Kaleta at 1:00 o’clock in the morning, “Let me go on the air for one hour and say, hey guys there’s a problem there’s a situation, but we’re going to get that handled.”  But NO!   He was more concerned to impress his $300 million dollar investors – to let them know that Frishberg was still on the air.

He (Kaleta) decided to get me out of business.

GALLAGHER COMMENT:  I am amazed by this revelation.  I thought that Kaleta was to have NO CONTACT with investment advisers and since Frishberg and BizRadio had been enjoined by the SEC receiver – that seemed to be a gutsy – NO STUPID move.

You also claim CONSPIRACY.  From what I’ve seen and read, Ron Crider was active with you in the negotiation of the lease purchase option for 1110 AM.  Do you think Crider conspired as an agent of Frishberg?

No…I have nothing but respect for Ron Crider.   Mr. Crider has treated me with respect and fairly.

When you paid the money to BizRadio who was involved?

Mr. Al Kaleta.  He was the one who took the payment from me.  Now the question is, Mr. Al Kaleta offices next to Mr. Frishberg gives this money to Mr. Frishberg who gives it to Entravision (1180 AM).  So yes, they were using my money to pay for there other bills including the one month lease to 1180.    Only $75,000 went to 1180.  What happened to the rest of that money?  It went to payroll, office rent, etc.

Now knowing that Mr. Kaleta was to have nothing to do with Frishberg and BizRadio, with the SEC review I think they are in more trouble that they ever thought they would be.

What do you think the outcome of this will be?

You know, I really don’t know what the outcome of this lawsuit will be.   For all the fraud, scam and con artists these people appear to be, I would be glad if investors, that Mr. Frishberg is trying to get and scam, could see the facts and protect themselves and their investments.

BizRadio and Frishberg seems to lack funds to operate what they have, how do you think that you’ll gain financially if you are the victor in this lawsuit?

First, I need to be compensated for my loss, if that can truly happen.  But, if I can save the millions and millions of dollars from future potential investors from being scammed then I will have success.

GALLAGHER COMMENTS:

The story continues to unfold.  What do I think about the Siddiqi lawsuit?  While not an attorney, he damn sure has a case.  Where there is smoke there is fire and I feel soon this one will be blazing.

  • One, I know that the SEC receiver is looking in every nook and cranny to find funds to make who investors who have been defrauded.
  • Two, I would not be surprised if the SEC investigation focused their white hot spotlight on Frishberg.  My guess is it is there, but no one will admit to it.
  • Three, if I were an investor, for any liquid asset I had, I would take it from Frishberg and invest elsewhere.  Think about this…the folks who liquidated their investments with Bernie Madoff are likely better off than those who rode that sinking ship all the way into the ocean.  Frishberg has too much baggage now to truly be effective.
  • Four, I AM AMAZED that the criminal investigative arm of the SEC, FBI or IRS hasn’t yet jumped into the fray.  Seems that Kaleta got a bit of a pass.  Of course, the criminal side has a much longer statute of limitations to do their work than the civil side, so that might explain why civil first.  God help Mr. Frishberg if he finds himself on the other end of criminal investigators as they usually get their man.  Just ask “The Talented Mr. Madoff!”

As I’ve said in past blogs…MORE TO COME.

AND COMMENTS ARE WELCOME.


Dan Frishberg and Bill Heath of Barrington Finacial Advisors, Inc. UNITE? – Investor Alert

March 1, 2010

Don’t let the title put you off.  There may be nothing here other than information provided by several investors or former investors of Daniel Frishberg and DFFS.  But, with all that has been swirling lately, it would seem that transparency is the order of the day and the email I am received thanking me for what I am able to share seems to support the need and desire for transparency.  So here goes…

I was told sometime back that in light of the SEC agreement with Kaleta and KCM (Kaleta Capital Management), Dan Frishberg was rapidly moving his investment funds from A to B in order to (ostensibly) take advantage of a better brokerage deal, but (perhaps) to change “ownership” so that the SEC would find nothing in Dan’s name.  Then today I was notified of the following (please note that names and identifying information has been removed as the source is not relevant):

I am a victim of KCM and also a client of Dan Frishberg.

I have been following your articles and I have some additional information you may find useful.

Shortly after KCM blew up, Dan’s “chief trader” Karl Eggers (http://karleggerss.com) suddenly stopped appearing on Dan’s show and his own show ‘Through a Traders Eyes’ on BizRadio went off the air.  It looks like he has since started Eggerss Capital Management http://www.eggersscapital.com/. It is not clear if Karl was involved but it seems like he distanced himself from Dan.  According to the ADV Part II form on the site Karl left DFFS in December.

I was told personally by DFFS/BizRadio/KCM employee (NAME REMOVED) that Ron Crider was the new CEO of bizradio just a few weeks before the legal action. (THAT SEEMS TO BE SUPPORTED BY MANY OTHER SOURCES) In this same conversation I was also informed that they were moving their managed accounts from Fidelity to Schwab for better trading rates and wider availability of bonds. (THAT TOO IS SUPPORTED BY OTHER SOURCES).  They were also joining with Bill Heath, CEO of Barrington Finacial Advisors, Inc.  Barrington will become the registered investment advisor and Dan will serve as portfolio manager and consultant. (THIS IS WHERE THE SUSPICION COMES IN – SINCE FRISHBERG AND BIZRADIO WAS A PARTY TO THE SEC AGREEMENT WITH KALETA – THE CONCERN WAS THAT FRISHBERG WAS MOVING ASSETS IN ORDER TO AVOID SEC SUSPICION AND POTENTIALLY REPAYMENT RESPONSIBILITY.  HOWEVER, THAT HAS NOT BEEN SUPPORTED WITH FACTS).

At this point I am pondering if I should continue having my money managed by Dan/Barrington. I only got in trouble when I got involved with KCM and accounts are held at fidelity/schwab which I believe is in contrast to what Madoff was. I got caught in the KCM trap just as the doors were slamming shut. I only invested a small amount (as learned by listening to Dan) of my total worth but others were not as fortunate. I only ever received one partial interest payment and then the hammer fell.

This whole mess is just terrible. I love BizRadio and even attempted to become an investor because I believe in the format. I have followed Dan since he came to Houston and was even listening to his last broadcast on AM 650 when he decided to create his own station because 650 had been ruined by bringing in Howard Stern and changing formats.

Thank you for continuing to follow this story.

First, you’re welcome.  I am still mystified that Dan Frishberg has not been forthcoming, considering the media attention, with an ethical explanation of what is taking place, his plan to take care of the investors and willingness to answer questions (which I have repeatedly asked through various forms) which would show acceptance of responsibility and transparency.

Let me state for the record, if, in fact, Dan has changed DFFS’s assets to Barrington Finacial Advisors, Inc. and that change is to benefit the investors – then that would be a positive move.  If, that change has taken place, and the motive is, as some assume, to hide or shelter assets from a further SEC investigation – God help them.  For the investors of either BizRadio or DFFS – I wish you the best.  More info to follow.

OF COURSE, COMMENTS ARE WELCOME.


Biz Radio and Rehan Siddiqi – When the dust clears will Siddiqi be a Victim or a Victor?

February 12, 2010

It’s Friday…and the drama seems to continue to churn around BizRadio.  The Houston Chronicle today has another article on the, now, infamous Daniel Frishberg and his radio business antics.  With media attention like this, I wouldn’t be surprised if the SEC doesn’t decide to take a closer look at what’s really going on…cause there sure appears to be something behind the scene that is taking place.  In a communication I had with one investor, he stated:

As for the quote, “I don’t have to sell any advertising for three years”, feel free to use that one as well as another quote Frishberg typically used when meeting clients, “I’m a multi millionaire”.  It certainly paints the picture of corruption within BizRadio from the very beginning.

If Frishberg used investor funds obtained from Kaleta under less than truthful pretenses and funded the BizRadio – (the sound of your money GOING!) to advance his investment career (i.e., obtain new investors in Daniel Frishberg Financial Services) then perhaps all is not as it seems and Frishberg would be the subject of an investigation.  (At this time I have no information that such an investigation is underway).  What I do know is that this has been a pattern by others for, what has been found to be, criminal activity.  Example: Investment advisor Gordon Grigg, from Tennessee (featured on Fox) who is now in prison for running a ponzi scheme.  Grigg and Madoff are two examples of the concept that all is not as it seems.  Although fairly, Frishberg is reputed to be brilliant when it comes to the funds under his control.

Read the “new” Houston Chronicle article here.

Not sure there is a lot new that has not been reported on here in the blog, but Steffy has been on this longer than I and it seems we both think there is more than meets the eye.

For the moment, Rehan Siddiqi is odd man out financially at the hand of Daniel Frishberg who appears to have taken the low road when it comes to saving his sinking ship radio station who, reportedly is behind in its payments and losing money on a regular basis.

But something here is “FRISHY”!  Here’s an excerpt from the Houston Chronicle article:

Frishberg claims Crider was never BizRadio’s co-CEO, that he was never even an employee and that he had no authorization to enter into a lease with Siddiqi. In court, Crider produced a business card and e-mails listing his title as CEO.

Siddiqi’s lease on 1110 AM included a purchase option, and Frishberg said Crider conspired with Siddiqi to nab BizRadio’s station at a depressed price and resell it for a profit.

“The guy was not an officer of our company,” Frishberg told me this week. “Everything he did, it was to try to run us out of money. All the contracts he entered into were completely wrong.”

DANIEL really?  Sure took you a long time to figure that out.  Let’s see you took Rehan’s money…moved to 1180…and then, miraculously, when you were kicked off the air by 1180 for failing to pay or provide a letter of credit, figured out that this was all wrong…  Bulls..t!  If that were true, then why didn’t you take action sooner – like when Ron Crider’s email went out in January.  Here it is again, just in case you haven’t seen it yet.

Now, I have talked with several investors who have stated that they attended meetings where Frishberg introduced Ron Crider as the CEO who was going to move BizRadio forward.  And, fairly, for their sake I hope BizRadio does survive, but something smells “Frishy” too men.  Again, the Houston Chronicle supports my claim evidenced below:

And what of Frishberg’s claim that he didn’t know Crider was passing himself off as CEO? Late last year, Frishberg introduced Crider to an investor group as BizRadio’s co-CEO, said Melinda Campbell, a BizRadio investor who attended the meeting.

“He was going to turn everything around,” she said.

I don’t know where this all is going, but at the heart of mess is one man – Daniel Frishberg – who seems to be demonstrating that he is either incompetent to run a radio station or a scam artist to investors in BizRadio.  And when the dust settles…I can’t yet tell whether Siddiqi will be a Victim or a Victor…

More to come!


BizRadio, David Wallace, Daniel Frishberg, Ron Crider and the loan that fell through(?): Investors is that the “sound of your money growing or going”?

February 11, 2010

The dots still don’t completely connect.  And what seems painfully missing is any transparency related to BizRadio and it’s CEO Daniel Frishberg.  If there is nothing to be concerned with, then it stands to reason that an ethical business person would take the high road and openly dispell any creditor or investor concerns.  Yet, that doesn’t seem to be happening.  So, let me start by asking this…if it were your business and you were capturing (relatively) negative media coverage from the Houston Chronicle, etc. and you had investors who were expressing concerns – what would you do?

LET LOOK AT THE PROGRESSION OF ACTIVITY:

Back in December a screen shot of the BizRadio website reflected that Ron Crider and Rehan Siddiqi were both connected with the station.  See screenshot below:

Ron Crider was listed as President of Broadcast Operations.

Rehan Siddiqi was listed as Vice President of Marketing

And, old news, by this point, Albert Kaleta had entered into his agreement with the SEC (without admitting guilt) that he was to have no contact with any investment advisor.  See SEC news release here and especially here.

WHAT NOW?  THAT THE INVESTOR FINDER (Kaleta – at least that’s what he’s been referred to) IS OUT OF THE PICTURE?

Ron Crider – ostensibly with the approval of Daniel Frishberg, maneuvers to sell 1110 AM to Rehan Siddiqi and move BizRadio to 1180 AM.  So far still not new NEWS.

The announcement is made January 2nd, 2010 by Ron Crider…see email announcement below:

But in a court proceeding just weeks ago Frishberg is reported to have made the claim that Crider was nothing more than a salesperson.  Hum???

Now, if Frishberg did not recognize Ron Crider as CEO then why would he allow an announcement to be sent via email indicating Ron in that position?  Am I missing something?  I can assure you, if I had a “salesperson” sending an email and copying me on it – and that person was claiming to be CEO…first I’d fire them and then make it clear who was in charge and what was to happen.  That, however, didn’t seem to take place till financing fell through and BizRadio and Frishberg were forced back to 1110 AM.

CRIDER’S POSITION:

According to Ron Crider’s blog – see here.

I am not the one who lost over 3 Million dollars a year for the past two years at Biz Radio, since I didn’t get here until October 2009.

I am not the one who authorized the purchase of KTEK 1110 AM Alvin/Houston for 7.7 Million dollars. There is no one in the industry that would have paid that much for a critical hours, daytimer at 2,500 watts with no cash flow whatsoever. Now, let’s see who is trying to protect the investors?

In last week’s station licensing dispute, Kaleta was identified as president of at least some of the BizRadio-affiliated companies. Asia Vision’s Rehan Siddiqi produced a receipt signed by Kaleta as BizRadio’s president, though BizRadio CEO Daniel Frishberg said Kaleta never signed such a document.  Now let’s see, who could have signed that document? It couldn’t have been me since I was in Dallas at that time. Could it be Dan is not telling the truth?

Until February 2, 2010 I was firmly in Dan Frishberg’s corner. Tuesday February 2 Dan Frishberg perjured himself blatantly in so many ways. The operative word here is “Perjury”. He told the Harris County Court I was just a salesperson, working at no salary for Biz Radio.  Dan said I was not the co-CEO after he introduced me to 3 Investors meetings to over 200 people as the co-CEO, and further saying I had no authority to do the deals I did here in Houston for Biz Radio. How is it possible to believe that I, at almost 69 years of age old would move to Houston to work for nothing with no authority and be a salesman. I put my own business on hold to work with Dan and build something together. Just how stupid does Dan think his investors are?

Wow…Crider seems a bit testy.  I have heard from investors who are confused about this whole issue.  At first they felt that Crider was the “white knight” – a person who could salvage their investment in BizRadio and return it to a profitable operation.  Then, with Crider’s public comments on his website (blog), there is a feeling that he is insuring the destruction of the station.  As a disinterested third party…I don’t truly know Crider’s motives, but I have to admit, that if I were listed as President of Broadcast Operations in December, signed an email as CEO in January and then became the scourge (just a salesman) in February, I would likely be a bit ticked.

SO WHAT PROMPTED THE IMMEDIATE SWITCH?

It seems that short term financing was being arranged in order to effect the lease/purchase of 1110 AM to Siddiqi.  As best I can tell there were a lot of moving targets.  Kinda reminds me of the old Ed Sullivan shows where they had folks whose talent it was to keep plates spinning on poles…  A lot of spinning plates were  twirling.

As reported on in an earlier blog…David Wallace (acting on behalf of creditors) was involved in helping with the $1.5 million financing package.  That, however, seemed to fall through on or around the 1st of February (don’t hold me to a specific date as I have not been able to verify a date).  The subordination agreement however is provided below in PDF format.  As you can see…at this time all parties were involved – Frishberg, Wallace and Crider.

BizRadio Agreement

MEANWHILE BACK IN HOUSTON…

Siddiqi seems to be the one who has been dealt with unfairly.  Agreeing to lease with an option to purchase 1110 AM – Siddiqi began broadcasting in January with a number of listeners sending him joyful well wishes.  Then…as soon as it began – Frishberg (finding himself off of 1180 AM due to failure to pay or provide a $150,00 letter of credit) kicks Siddiqi off the air and accuses Crider and Siddiqi of manipulating him into selling the station for (approximately) 50% of what he paid for it just two years earlier.

Now as Forest Gump said, “I’m not a smart man,” but someone who reportedly is a brilliant investment advisor (Bernie Madoff was called that as well keep in mind), should know that many investments have taken quite a dive considering we are in a severe economic recession.   But, I don’t value radio stations so I am certainly not an expert.  I do know that stations across the US are almost begging for advertisers or those with shows who are willing to PAY to PLAY.  So my guess is (and I’ve talked with hosts of Nationally Syndicated shows) that values for stations have dropped…and dramatically.

WHERE FROM HERE?

Well, that’s a dandy question.  Frishberg, instead of being transparent, is being invisible.  It would appear that he’s hoping this hailstorm will pass…perhaps it will all blow over.  Crider seems to be a bit caustic in his website (blog) comments accusing Frishberg of Perjury.  The investors seemed to have hope that Crider could salvage the station, but that seems to be in question (at least by some)…and probably to Frishberg’s delight.  And last…SIDDIQI is out $180,000 and a station.  His business is likely in ruin, reputation tarnished, and the best he could hope for today is to get his investment back and hope that his audience will support him when he returns to the air (sometime).

Lastly, the question has been raised as to why I’ve written these blogs?  As a business ethics speaker and author, I know first hand that EVERY CHOICE HAS A CONSEQUENCE.  I have made terrible choices and experienced the consequences…and they weren’t pleasant.  Likewise, I’ve made better choices and the outcome was outstanding.  So today, I write this blog to help connect the dots..  Choices and Consequences.

I would love to see a bright outcome for all…but at this moment, it seems that so many of the players are positioned for wins or losses.  Unfortunate!  And, I’m still left wondering if there isn’t more to this than meets the eye.  Stay tuned…


The BizRadio Saga – Albert Kaleta, Daniel Frisberg and David Wallace…this is the stuff bad movies are made of…

February 9, 2010

Is it that the ego is too big for the right thing to be done or it is that this is just a bad movie – only no one is shooting film?  The longer this saga continues the more I’m sensing that there is “tarnish on the microphone” – Mr. Frishberg.

LET’S REVIEW:

Albert Kaleta and Daniel Frishberg are (well “were” in the case of Kaleta) investment advisors, both having investor funds that were apparently under their direction.  Kaleta was the subject of an SEC suit in which Kaleta surrendered (I suppose you’d call it that) his license (in other words he is not supposed to be active in investing funds for others) and agreed not to involve himself with any other investment advisor(s).

The Order bars Kaleta from association with any investment adviser. Kaleta consented to the issuance of the Order without admitting or denying any of the findings in the Order, except as to the entry of the injunction, which he admitted.

So far so good…  Now it seems that Frishberg got to keep his investment license and, therefore, the ability to continue his investment activities (for which I’m told he’s pretty good at).  However, he and BizRadio were sued by the SEC.

The Commission also sued two other entities, Business Radio Network, L.P. d/b/a BizRadio (BizRadio) and Daniel Frishberg Financial Services, Inc. (d/b/a DFFS Capital Management, Inc.) (DFFS) as Relief Defendants solely for the purposes of equitable relief.

Now…a new party to me enters the picture.  Apparently, David Wallace, former mayor of Sugarland, Texas and his investment partner Mr. Bajjali have been active in several successful real estate investment funds.  David Wallace is the Chief Executive Officer and Secretary of General Partner and Chairman of the Investment Committee for Wallace Bajjali Development Partners.  Also, David wrote the book –  “One Nation Under Blog.”  Wallace has an impressive track record.

However, my sources tell me that in one of their last investments (primarily real estate), Wallace placed a portion of the private investment with BizRadio (you know where the microphone is tarnishing these days).  Without verification, I am told that the Wallace Bajjali investment in BizRadio was some $5 million.  I am further told that Albert Kaleta was instrumental in bringing private investors to the table for the Wallace Bajjali investment offering.  In fact, I am told that the subscription agreement that some (I don’t know how many) of the investors signed were signed in Albert Kaleta’s office.

There must be some truth that Wallace Bajjali invested funds with BizRadio otherwise why would they have a UCC Filing with a lien on the company?  See below:

NOW IS THAT A PROBLEM? In an of itself – NO.  Albert Kaleta was reported to be a great investment closer.  Reportedly, Wallace would put the deal together (in many cases public-private partnerships) and Kaleta (with his extensive investor network) would bring investors to the table.  Seemed to work for all concerned…till the SEC got involved.

SO HERE ARE SOME QUESTIONS:

  • If Kaleta was, in fact, (can’t confirm at this time) an active supplier of investors for Wallace Bajjali – does Kaleta’s prohibition from associating with investment advisors have a negative effect on finding future investors that Wallace Bajjali might need for upcoming projects?
  • What impact does the Wallace Bajjali investment in BizRadio have on their reputation with current investors or future investors, if any?
  • Is Daniel Frishberg’s insistence that Ron Crider was some “rogue radio guy” going to stand up to scrutiny when all the truth comes to light?  (I don’t know but it sure seems that Ron Crider had Frishberg’s blessings till his deal with 1180 AM went south).
  • Since Wallace Bajjali clearly has an interest in BizRadio…do they have the clout to take control of the operation and protect their investment?
  • Is it true that BizRadio and Daniel Frishberg are behind in their payments to their San Antonio station owner and behind in their payments to Salem Communications (the company they bought 1110 AM from)?  What impact does this have on BizRadio’s ability to continue as a going concern?
  • If so, what impact does that have on the value of the BizRadio business on a move forward basis?
  • One judge ruled in favor of Siddiqi giving him a Temporary Restraining Order thereby keeping him on the air.  Then (for some reason) another judge got the case and ruled in favor of Frisberg.  Why two judges?  Coincidence there was a change of judges or politics at play (judge shopping)?  Perhaps there is a simple explanation…  Thanks to Sarah Duckers (see the comment below) there is a simple explanation.  Thank you Sarah for your input!
  • Lastly, while it is reported that Daniel Frishberg produces consistent returns for his investors (funds he controls for others), is there evidence that Daniel Frishberg is an effective businessman when it comes to the operation of a radio station for profit.  (I submit, just because I can fly an airplane, does not make me qualifies to design the doggone thing.  Just a thought.)

I suspect that David Wallace is wondering what the hell happened?  Likely, knowing the astute businessman he is, David is figuring out how to protect his investors from what appears to be the Daniel Frishberg ego implosion.  The remaining question is…when will reason and sense prevail?  Perhaps, if logical action is taken quickly, the microphone can be repolished and everyone go back to doing what they do best.

LET’S HOPE FOR INVESTORS SAKE…Frishberg doesn’t take everyone down with BizRadio.

COMMENTS ARE WELCOME…


This is confusing! Kaleta barred by SEC from investment firms yet still connnected with BizRadio and Frishberg

February 9, 2010

I can’t quite get my hands around this whole mess, but something just doesn’t seem to connect.  I have found, based on experience, that when something doesn’t smell right…normally there’s a problem.  We might not be able to identify it at the outset, but all the pieces of the puzzle don’t completely connect here.

RELATED TO ALBERT FASE KALETA – The SEC issued the following:

SEC News Digest

Issue 2010-21
February 2, 2010

ENFORCEMENT PROCEEDINGS

In the Matter of Albert Fase Kaleta

On Feb. 2, 2010, The Commission issued an Order Instituting Administrative Proceedings Pursuant to Section 203(f) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, Making Findings and Imposing Remedial Sanctions (Order) against Albert Fase Kaleta. The Order finds that on Dec. 2, 2009, a final judgment was entered by consent against Kaleta, permanently enjoining him from future violations of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and Sections 206(1) and (2) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, in the civil action titled SEC v. Albert Kaleta, et al., Civil Action Number 4:09-cv-03674, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas. The Order further finds that the Commission’s complaint in the federal court case alleged that, in connection with the sale of promissory notes made by KCM, Kaleta falsely stated to investors that the note proceeds would be used to make short-term loans to small businesses; that KCM would only lend to creditworthy individuals or entities whose models Kaleta had fully researched and understood; that Kaleta would perform due diligence to ensure that borrowers had the ability to repay their loans; that KCM would charge 12-14% annual interest on the loans, and would profit from the spread between that amount and the 10% promised investors. Instead, Kaleta misused and misappropriated investor funds. Kaleta paid himself, his family members, and his affiliated companies which were not creditworthy.

Based on the above, the Order bars Kaleta from association with any investment adviser. Kaleta consented to the issuance of the Order without admitting or denying any of the findings in the Order, except as to the entry of the injunction, which he admitted. (Rel. IA-2983; File No. 3-13773)

MAYBE I’M MISSING SOMETHING…but the last part of this order states that Kaleta is barred from association with any investment adviser…  O.K., so if I’m wrong, I stand to be corrected, but Daniel Frishberg is an investment adviser – isn’t he?  Regardless, the SEC stated the following on November 13, 2009:

The Commission also sued two other entities, Business Radio Network, L.P. d/b/a BizRadio (BizRadio) and Daniel Frishberg Financial Services, Inc. (d/b/a DFFS Capital Management, Inc.) (DFFS) as Relief Defendants solely for the purposes of equitable relief.

Now one would assume that if the SEC bars Kaleta from association with any investment adviser, and that BizRadio and Daniel Frishberg Financial Services, Inc. were sued for equitable relief, that Kaleta and Frisberg should have become disassociated with each other.  After all, the SEC linked Kaleta’s “investments” to BizRadio and Frishberg.

But…then there’s the Memo that states with some joy that BizRadio is now being heard on 1180 AM a more powerful station… see below:

Now, there’s nothing wrong with moving stations, especially if the signal is better and reach more effective.  But how did they get the contract with 1180 AM?  Seems that Kaleta signed the check for the initial agreement (or so I’ve been told) which is on the BizRadio check.  See below:

But how can that be…?  Daniel Frishberg is the CEO of BizRadio.  BizRadio and Daniel Frishberg Financial Services, Inc. were parties to the SEC Albert Kaleta mess and sued for purposes of equitable relief and yet…ALBERT KALETA signed a BizRadio check for the January payment for BizRadio to be on 1180 AM…?

Oh, and then Entravision exercised their option to kick BizRadio off the air for failing to provide a payment of $150,000 which left BizRadio high and dry.  It was then, and appears to be only then, that Daniel Frishberg disengaged from an agreement with Rehan Siddiqi for his lease of 1110 AM for which Siddiqi had paid BizRadio – Frishberg, et al… $180,000.  While I can’t state this as fact, it appears that Siddiqi (who used to work with Frishberg at BizRadio) is out his funds…and as I stated at the beginning…something just doesn’t smell right.

SO HERE’S THE QUESTION…

If the SEC bars Kaleta from association with any investment advisor and Frishberg’s BizRadio was sued by the SEC for equitable relief, then why would Kaleta be signing a BizRadio check for an agreement that seems to have gone south – in a big way?

Is Kaleta in violation of the SEC’s terms?

Did Kaleta sign the check show above or is he claiming it a forgery?

Why did BizRadio seemingly gladly switch to 1180 AM in January 2010 without any issue on Frishberg’s part that he was being taken advantage of?

And, when BizRadio was kicked off 1180 AM for failure to meet the financial terms, was that the event that caused Frishberg to cut bait and leave Siddiqi high and dry – having lost some $180,000?

CAN SOMEONE PLEASE PROVIDE SOME ANSWERS?  COMMENTS ARE WELCOME…




BizRadio, Frishberg and Crider – What a tangled web we weave…

February 8, 2010

Today Daniel Frishberg issued the following email related to BizRadio.  I am showing it in its entirety in blue.  Comments follow in black…

BizRadio Returns: What a story!

Dear Friend,

I’m proud and happy to announce that BizRadio will be back on the air Monday at noon. The truth is, we should never have been off, but a clever legal maneuver by an opposing group got them a temporary order, and we were forced, against our will, to put them on instead of OUR content, on OUR radio station – but only for a couple of days. Once the court got a look at the facts, it cancelled that order and the final result – WE ARE BACK!

NOTE: See the attached…how can Frishberg claim that he didn’t know…come on…  A month passes and Frishberg is just now figuring that something is wrong.  Something here doesn’t add up.

Now back to Frishberg’s email announcement:

In the meantime, there will be rumors and other claims, especially from those who oppose our interests. Now that the court has ruled, their only tactic is a propaganda campaign, which people have already told us is underway. If you have any doubt about the facts after reading my letter, read the news article at the end of this letter, about the same perpetrator, involved in a case almost identical to this one.

We will continue to live our lives and do the best we can, but we do want to make the effort to make sure the real facts get out to everyone interested in BizRadio, whether as investors or just supporters and fans.

I just spent all day in court, in Houston, on Friday, Feb 5, defending the interests of BizRadio, its investors and its supporters. Anyone who wants to read another wild and fascinating story should read the transcript of that court action, which is available to the public. I will make sure there is a link to the court transcript on our website as soon as possible.
Briefly, I will summarize our position, which was supported by the court, so far. Our position, as we told it to the court is as follows:

An unauthorized but related party, Ron Crider, the same person in the Colorado newspaper story below, held himself out, falsely, to be the Chief Executive of BizRadio, and to be authorized to make deals and contracts for the sale of major assets. Our records show that he was not even an employee of our company, never received a paycheck from our company. Though a merger with his company was discussed and considered, it was never consummated.

NOTE:  As part of my inquiry into this strange set of affairs I asked Ron Crider in an email exchage the following:

Why did you take a job with Frishberg without compensation?  That seems highly unusual… Because we were and still are partners in BIZ Radio Colorado 50/50 and I was planning on doing a joint Venture with Biz Radio and my Satellite Network GABradionetwork.com

If, in fact, this is true, then why does Frishberg seem to be willing to roll Crider in front of the bus now, when he was willing to have Crider represent him as his CEO in the January news release when all seemed well?

It now appears that there was no real intention to merge, but that this was all part of a carefully crafted plan to wrongfully take a valuable asset, our Houston radio station, for far less than its real value, harming our company and its investors. This is even more onerous now, because BizRadio has more debt than it should, and it is very important that we use our equity in such assets to reduce the company’s debt and make our lenders whole. That is what BizRadio is determined to do and we went to court Friday, to protect our ability to do this.

The conditions of the unauthorized deal are set out in the court document, but in affect this group tied up the radio station in an impossibly bad deal, forcing the company to sell the asset for a fraction of its value to another group outside BizRadio which would profit mightily at the expense of BizRadio, its investors and its creditors. This is, as I’m sure you will note, almost exactly what they same perpetrator did in the Colorado news story below.

I personally believe they expected me to go along with this scheme, because it would result in substantial ill-gotten gains, but I was not willing to collaborate in this scheme. By the way, not only was the scheme harmful to BizRadio, but I don’t believe BizRadio could even legally have gone along with the deal. There is a concept called “Fraudulent Conveyance” which means when you owe people lots of money, you are not allowed to siphon off the assets to some other entity for your own benefit, and screw your legitimate creditors. I am not a lawyer, but I have been advised by our lawyers that participating in this scheme would have been not only immoral, but illegal. Immoral was enough for me, anyway.

For those of you who are interested in contracts and such, I’ll repeat for you the analysis of the contract that I gave to the judge on Friday.
The contract, which was kept hidden and created and signed only by an unauthorized party provided for the following absurd provisions:

  • A 5 year contract to broadcast on our station at $50,000 per month, and with NO INFLATION PROTECTION AT ALL. 5 year contracts are never granted because of the potentially volatile situation. We have only engaged in 1 year, with an option to renew. Always there is a clause that provides for escalation due to inflation.
  • They put in a clause that specifically says that the lease cannot be broken even if we sell the station to someone else.  THE RESULT OF THIS IS THAT WE COULD NOT SELL THE STATION TO ANYONE BUT THEM!
  • They put in the contract an option to purchase the station for $3.5 million. NOTE THAT WE BOUGHT THE STATION TWO YEARS AGO FOR MORE THAN $7 MILLION.
  • The judge seemed to be persuaded by the fact that if the station earns $600,000 per year in rent, it must be worth at least $6 or $7 million.
  • That’s not all. The contract also provided for the purchase option to be good for a year, and to take the entire rent payment off the purchase price. Thus at the end of the year, you would be forced to sell our $7 million station for $2.8 million.

It was not disclosed until recently, that the purchaser did not have the means to make such a purchase, and was relying on financing from Crider, who recently failed to live up to financing commitments to BizRadio this month. IT WAS NEVER DISCLOSED THAT CRIDER WHO WAS SUPPOSED TO BE REPRESENTING BIZRADIO WAS INVOLVED ON THE PURCHASER SIDE AS WELL. WHAT A CONFLICT OF INTEREST – UNDISCLOSED!

I explained to the court that the only possible outcome would be that the optioner, who had no means with which to buy the station, would be able to run around and find someone to buy the station at $4 or $5 million, and pocket the difference, at the expense of BizRadio, its investors and its creditors.

Personally, I believe that this is why the perpetrators thought I would go along with this scheme- because there was lots of money in it if they got away with it. They were wrong. It is only my opinion, but I believe people like that can’t imagine anyone who believes you come out better in the long run by playing it straight.

This is a long story. The positive outcome is that BizRadio has been able to continue to live. The radio station can be used for the benefit of our investors and creditors, and could be enough to reduce our debt to near zero.

NOTE:  Is it really mathematically sound to assume that the life of BizRadio will, in fact, produce profits sufficient to retire its substantial debt, pay off investors and produce a realistic profit?  Or is this just more hype to encourage investors to keep the flow of funding coming?  Otherwise, based on what I’ve seen thus far, BizRadio has financial problems with it’s continued operation.  Maybe, I’m wrong, but it seems that BizRadio failed to provide the security deposit and therefore had no choice (if they wanted to stay on the air in Houston), but to back out of the deal with Siddiqi.  See below:

We know there will be all kinds of rumors, but we want you to know the truth.

As promised, I am also including exerpts from a newspaper article describing another case where the same guy did almost the identical thing. I would characterize it as a scam, but you can make your own judgement on it.

I guess in a difficult economy, there are all kinds of people desperately doing all kinds of things. You can be certain that we will continue to play it straight with you and with everyone.
Happily, BizRadio will be back on the air on Monday at noon.

We are making a special offer to jumpstart our return. We will be offering spots on BizRadio for $50 per one minute commercial  — far below the market rate. If you are a businessman or know a businessman who can benefit from this, please take advantage of this giant sale. It will not last forever, and we will allow the immediate supporters to keep that below market rate for an extended period of time, in appreciation of your support.

We have always been there for you, and will be there now, but right now we could use your help.

Thanks again for the love and support..

Sincerely,

Daniel Frishberg

P.S. For more information, please read the following news story from 1994

TALK ISN’T CHEAP
A JURY AWARDS BIG DOLLARS TO ERSTWHILE KNUS OWNER PAUL STEBBINS.
By Michael Rider, Denver Westword News, April 13, 1994
“My dream was to own and operate KNUS,” he says, “but I might have to make a business decision to sell it. And if I get my money, I will walk away and live to see another day.
The case is strewn with claims and counterclaims revolving around a host of financial and legal sticking points (“Technical Difficulties,” September 22, 1993). Exactly how much money Martishang and his company, Alameda Enterprises, will have to pay Stebbins–whose Mile High Broadcasting was issued the broadcast license to operate KNUS but has had nothing to do with running it for nearly a year–is not yet known. But it could be as much as $1.8 million. Jefferson County judge Ruthanne Polidori will rule by April 28 on the question of who owns KNUS.
Bill Meiers , a mechanical engineer who served as jury foreman, admits that it was a dramatic moment, but says it did not affect the jury’s deliberations. “The decision was based 100 percent on the evidence,” he says. “It wasn’t based on whether Mr. Stebbins was blind and emotional. If he’d been able to see and hadn’t broken down, I’m sure the verdict would have been the same.”
That decision against Martishang included $200,000 in punitive damages for outrageous conduct and $250,000 for fraud. When asked to respond to the jury’s verdict, Martishang refers all questions to his attorney, Glen Keller , whom he says “is good at telling you people to go to hell.” Keller declines to comment, saying it’s because Judge Polidori has not yetmade a final determination about KNUS ownership.
If Polidori decides that Alameda is the rightful owner, the jury has directed Martishang to pay Stebbins over $1.8 million; when money Stebbins has been told to pay Martishang in connection with additional findings is subtracted, the total amount of damages comes to approximately $1.68 million. If Mile High is named KNUS’s owner, Martishang still must pay Stebbins $1.05 million, while Stebbins would owe Martishang nearly $800,000, leaving Stebbins with approximately $250,000 in addition to the station itself.
These awards come a little more than three years after Stebbins, a Chicago-born radio engineer who’s been blind since he was only days old, purchased KNUS from Boulder entrepreneur David Corman . Stebbins paid $460,000 in cash and signed a note with Corman for $500,000 to complete the transaction. By mid-1992, though, KNUS was losing a great deal of money, and Stebbins was unable to turn the situation around. Desperate, he hired Ron Crider , a colorful Floridian who claims to have served as a communications consultant to former Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza , to act as general manager. In short order Crider arranged with Martishang, a wealthy real estate developer, to move KNUS into one of Martishang’s buildings, at 5800 West Alameda. According to Stebbins, Crider subsequently started spending money at so prodigious a pace that Stebbins feared he would go bankrupt. Former staffer Owen Beaver adds that Martishang denounced KNUS employees as “nothing but fags, queers and perverts,” and once demonstrated his control over the station by throwing a switch that threw it off the air.
In the midst of this turmoil, Stebbins missed a payment on his $500,000 note; Stebbins says Crider used money earmarked for this purpose to pay staff salaries. Later, Stebbins learned that Martishang had purchased the note from Corman and was threatening to foreclose on it unless Stebbins sold KNUS to him. Stebbins eventually agreed, accepting a letter of intent from Martishang to purchase the station for $1.665 million.

This deal was never formalized, however, and when Stebbins determined in June 1993 that Crider was secretly working with Martishang to seize control of KNUS without meeting the obligations set forth in the letter of intent, he gave Crider his walking papers. Stebbins’s attempt to hire a replacement was thwarted when Martishang filed suit, requesting the appointment of a receiver to run the station until the sale was completed (this request was soon granted). The suit also sought to foreclose on the station’s collateral as security for the $500,000 note.

WHAT A TANGLED WEB WE WEAVE…

COMMENTS ARE WELCOME