Dan Frishberg apparently in violation of SEC order not to offer Investment Advice. Will there ever be Justice in this case?

November 6, 2012

Hello everyone Dan, here. How often do you hear yourself saying “no I haven’t looked at that yet, but I’ve been meaning to?”

Thus began an email written to my by none other than Dan Frishberg.  Yes, Dan Frishberg of disgraced BizRadio fame, the same Dan Frishberg that is banned from the SEC in offering investment advice…not that it seems the SEC has any teeth when it comes to Dan and his continued radio commentary.

I just read yet another email from a frustrated trader telling me that the trading techniques, the pattern recognition software, or the black box strategies that he believed in are simply not working.

Wow…again I’m confused.  You received “yet another email from a frustrated trader” – but Dan you’re not supposed to be offering investment advice so why would you be receiving any emails from traders?  What am I missing here?

Brokers are telling their customers to ignore their losses and hang on, but that’s what they always say. Sometimes that advice works, but it has also resulted in some of the biggest losses in the past twenty years.

Oh my…”some of the biggest losses in the past twenty years” – wonder if that isn’t exactly what happened to people – good folks who couldn’t afford to lose – when they listened to your line about BizRadio and why they should invest in you.  Dan tell me – if they lost in you, why should they now listen to you – especially when you’re not supposed to be offering investment advice?  Damn this perplexes me!

One listener said he has finally realized technical analysis doesn’t work. This isn’t true, the current price is unquestionably a key part of the story but this is only part of it.

Only part of the story…seems that’s a mantra for you.  Has anyone who invested with you in BizRadio ever gotten the truth – the full story or even as much as an apology?

The paradox of investing is – it’s easy to make money when you stop searching for the easy answer.

Yet you and Al Kaleta offered “easy answers” to investors who by all accounts were defrauded.  Have you made restitution?  Have you made it easy for them to recover their monies?

Instead, get an update on what’s working now — the most up to the minute insight into the trends, turning points, and my best stock and option trade ideas in my all new newsletter, Whats Working Now.

You do have a big set of (whatever)…get “my best stock and option trade ideas” – good lord is that not in direct violation of the SEC requirement that you not offer investment advice?  Justice?  Doesn’t seem to be any here!

CLICK HERE – (I disabled this link as I’m not giving Dan Frishberg a link from my blog)



Former Wachovia Financial Advisor – Lazaro E. Salado – Pleads guilty to Bank Fraud – what was his motivation?

July 13, 2011

Since every choice has a consequence – the consequences of Lazaro Salado’s fraud will be significant and impactful.  The prison sentence that he will receive will be life changing and the restitution that follows may be impossible.  But at a deeper level the question might be what motivated his behavior?

Former Wachovia financial advisor, Lazaro E. Salado, 42, of Palmetto Bay, Florida, pled guilty to a Criminal Information charging him with one count of bank fraud for stealing client funds.

According to the Criminal Information, Salado was a financial advisor at Wachovia in Miami, Florida, responsible for assisting clients in investments and financial planning. From February 2004 to May 2009, Salado stole more than $1.45 million from five of his clients at Wachovia by causing checks to be issued on client accounts, without the knowledge or authorization of these clients, for payment to a bank account controlled by Salado. Salado concealed the fraud by providing false and fraudulent statement to clients and also by transferring money between client accounts through unauthorized wire transfers.

As part of the plea agreement announced in court today, Salado agreed to make mandatory restitution of $1,457,309 to Wachovia (now Wells Fargo).

Sentencing is scheduled for September 14, 2011 before U.S. District Judge Marcia G. Cooke. Salado faces a maximum statutory sentence of up to 30 years in prison, a fine of up to $1,000,000, and restitution.


In any fraud there are three components that come together:  (1) Need; (2) Opportunity and (3) Rationalization.  While it might seem obvious that Salado had a need for money (since that is what he stole) – the bigger question might be – FOR WHAT?  Did his lifestyle reflect the use of the stolen money?  Should have it been noticeable by his co-workers?

He had opportunity through Wachovia – yet the question looms – where did the internal controls fail that allowed Salado to embezzle such large sums of money?  Surely the systems were in place to detect activity like this that took place over 5 years.

Lastly, wonder what was in Salado’s mind that allowed him to rationalize his behavior?

If you know Lazaro Salado and/or have any insight into these or other questions that may arise feel free to comment.


Ethics and the Truth! Is What Used to be Trump University a Scam?

June 30, 2011

An interesting article was posted on CNN recently that discussed dramatic increases in Higher Education.  Two things seemed a bit strange to me: (1) the Federal Government was investigating the tuition increases at the same time they were cutting funding to Higher Education; and (2) featured in the middle of the article was an “out of place” video report on what used to be called “Trump University”.

The video and it’s content caught my eye.  Here’s the video for you to review.  Then let’s talk…


What would motivate anyone to sink $35,000 into a three day school and pay for it by maxing out credit cards?  Funny, but a scammer knows the human emotions that motivate people to make uncommon choices that typically lead to disaster.  In this case, the motivation – “the desire to be rich!”  Reality check…the rich get that way through hard work and understanding how to take advantage of a situation.  Trump is a master of that art.  If you think you’ll be rich from taking a three day course – you’re delusional.

“I thought I’m gonna be a millionaire because Donald Trump is a millionaire.”  A simple expression that exemplifies the power of thought and how one can easily be duped into helping the millionaire stay a millionaire!  Trump knows that success does not come easy, yet the marketing of his course opens the flood gates of money (to him and his organization) from folks who generally know no better.

The coach never met with the subscriber/student.  “If you offer something and you don’t deliver – you are stealing!”  Well…that’s true.  The question is – does the Trump organization recognize the ethical issue with offering something or promising something and then not deliver?

The Better Business Bureau gave Trump University a grade of D-  Ouch.  Wonder if this were The Apprentice if Trump would allow that to take place.  Seems that this is tarnishing his reputation!  Or maybe it supports his reputation as it is not as spotless as he might think.

Investigated for consumer fraud and deceptive business practices – The New York Attorney General is looking into issues related to Trump University.  Likewise Trump got into trouble with the Education Dept in the State of New York and the name – TRUMP UNIVERSITY – has been changed to TRUMP ENTREPRENEUR INITIATIVE…


Have any readers had first hand experience with Trump University or Trump Entrepreneur Initiative?  If so, how would you evaluate your experience?

Do you think that Trump is ethical in his representation of the value of the Trump University experience?


Motivational Speaker Scam? Insight Publishing – Something is not right in Sevierville, TN

October 6, 2010

I don’t care what business it is – success is founding on the choices you make.  There are no short cuts or easy ways to finding success, rather success is founded on fundamental principles applied consistently through your life choices.  As a business ethics speaker, I know from personal experience what it takes to create the outcomes you desire.

That said, part of what I do is focus a spotlight on unethical behavior, scams and/or frauds.  I cannot say that what I am reporting on here is a scam, but there are too many issues arising related to the speaking business coming out of little Sevierville, TN to be coincidence.

First – here are two of my most recent posts related to speaker services and issues coming out of that little town in Tennessee:




So today I receive this email that offers me (I’m sure this offer has been made to thousands of speakers) a chance to co-author a book with Deepak Chopra and Ken Blanchard – both of whom I respect and neither of whom I know personally.

Really…I think to myself.  Ken and Deepak want to work with me?  What an appeal to ego huh?  But, let’s look closer.  The offer states:

1 chapter left in our book project Roadmap to Success with chapters by Deepak Chopra and Ken Blanchard. You have been pre-selected to be a co-author, as our research department has recognized you as an expert strategist. We will focus on topics that are necessary for success in your business and or personal life. There will be 15 chapters total in the book. Please see below some topic suggestions.

The book will contain principles and topics applying to everyday lives and careers. Our authors find it easier for their books to be reviewed. Opportunities for media coverage are also greatly increased. Imagine your ideas and your story appearing in newspapers and magazines! Imagine yourself on talk radio! You gain maximum exposure, reinforce your credentials, and build credibility.  It also represents real value for your audience. Your investment in this project is your inventory of books which depending on your package has an ROI of more than $16,000.

Inventory Choices

200 books $ 1144

300 books $ 1716

500 books $ 2540

1,000 books $ 3800

No interest payment plans are also available.

Hum … I can write “my” chapter and have it included along with others with my picture on the cover with Deepak and Ken – making it look like I was “chicken eatin buddies” with these masters.  The only cost to me is a mere approximately $3.5 to $5.5 cost per book.  Looks to me like it is a way to sell books masquerading as co-authorship – when in reality Chopra and Blanchard have no clue (at least I think that is true) who they are lending their name to as co-authors.

Here more though:

Details and benefits:

Interview based book, no heavy writing required

Custom cover with your photo and celebrity authors on your inventory of books

Professional editing done by our staff editor

Book will be listed and ISBN # registered with Baker & Taylor, Bowker, Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com

Newsletter featuring each author will be emailed to 20,000 meeting planners listing their bio , photo and contact information

Custom press release provided to each author for promotion

21 Ways to Market your Book plan

You own the copyright to your chapter and can use it for whatever purpose you wish in the future

E book Rights – Each author will receive the E book upon on completion

To move forward give me a call in the office or email to discuss, prime chapter placement available. Hope you have a great day!

*If you are interested in building your brand/marketing and this title does not fit you. I am also looking for authors in our book project Bootstrap Business with Tom Hopkins, Jack Canfield and John Christensen.


Doors open faster when you walk in with someone famous!


Dona Merritt

Marketing Representative

Insight Publishing

A Division of The Innovator’s Group, Inc.

Sevierville, TN. 37862

Let me be clear … I am an advocate of self-publishing!  The publishing world is being turned upside down and twisted all around with the advent of easy self-publishing, printing on demand and, of course, the elephant in the room – the ebook.  So my question does not center around authors being self published – not at all – rather, the question relates to the method of piggybacking on the names of individuals who you have no contact with – don’t know you or your content – and yet seem to find that the collection approach is a way to use their good name to promote yours.

First there are two firms that represent themselves as Speaker Services companies, both of whom have questionable reputations and have had complaints lodged against them.  Now, another speaker services company emerges in the same little town.  Sorry, but something smells fishy here.

Is what is being offered here ethical?

IF you are a client of Insight Publishing and wish to offer your comments good or bad – we welcome your thoughts.  I cannot express a direct opinion from experience, but would sure like to hear from others.


Motivational Speakers Beware! Willow Mist, Brenda Keefer, International Speakers Network and the great speaker Scam

September 29, 2010

I guess there are times when, in the writing of a blog, you hit a nerve.  Yesterday, after much research, I wrote a blog about Willow Mist Professional Services in TN and Brenda Keefer – the company’s owner (at least that’s what I’ve been told).  The response has been overwhelming.  It seems that Miss Brenda has been active and the reports from speakers internationally has been – well – let’s put it this way…there’s screaming and gnashing of teeth over how Motivational Speakers have been scammed.

The article yesterday is here.

Sometimes our past and our experience create the path for a future that is outstanding.  As a business ethics and fraud prevention speaker, I am keenly aware of the choices we make and the consequences that follow.  In the case of Brenda Keefer and Willow Mist Professional Services – there are far too many speakers who are now coming out of the woodwork stating that they, too, have been scammed to ignore the problem.

Every choice has a consequence.  Based on what I see and hear from my experience and the experience of others, it would be worth investigating thoroughly whether the services offered by Brenda Keefer and Willow Mist are valuable or just a way to scam unsuspecting folks out of money.


The brush stroke of fraud and deception seems to be pervasive in Sevierville, TN.  Not only is Willow Mist Professional Services located there, but another “speakers bureau” or “speaker services” company is there too.  Their name:  Internation Speakers Network or ISN Works – a division of The Innovators Group, Inc.

I received an unsolicited email from them with a CALL FOR SPEAKERS.  I was about to trash it or mark it as spam when it caught my eye that they were located in Sevierville, TN.  I thought it strange that two companies that “market” speakers would be located in that small town.  My first thought was that it was Willow Mist or Brenda Keefer repackaged.  However, after calling ISNWorks and talking to their representative, I found that they were quick to point out that they once were the employer of Brenda Keefer, but that she had been let go for “unethical business practices”.  Soon after the Brenda Keefer discussion the conversation returned to what they could offer me as a speaker.

Now…as I wrote the blog about Willow Mist and Brenda, I find that ISN doesn’t have the best reputation either.  Below is a link to the Complaints Board and comments related to ISN:


The starting comments states:

The International Speakers Network convinces you they can help speakers market their speaking services, and charges a lot of money to develop mailings, sell sheets, and other marketing materials. But they don’t actually perform any of the marketing services speakers pay them for. yes, they will print materials, but they take a lot of money to distribute those materials which are never distributed. They have several names like ISN, Book a Speaker. net, Innovators Group and others. Learn more about them at http://burnedbyisn.blogspot.com/ You’ll see that they have a horrible track record with the Better Business Bureau, too.

While not all of the comments related to ISN were bad – there were certainly enough there to cause one to wonder what’s in the water there in Sevierville that causes two firms, both doing the same thing, to have such poor reputations.  Buyer beware.

If you have had an experience with Willow Mist and/or Brenda Keefer or ISN Works – how about doing us a favor and submitting a comment.


Brenda Keefer and Willow Mist Professional Speaker Services – Business Ethics gone South or just a plain ole Scam?

September 28, 2010

I recall my uncle one time telling me as we were sitting in a boat fishing, “Son, sometimes you just have to call them as you see them.”  I honestly don’t recall what we were talking about and frankly, at the time, I don’t recall connecting with the true meaning of his words.  But today they ring true…  Sometimes you just have to call them as you see them.

Let me be clear to those who read… as an Ethics speaker and Fraud Prevention Expert, I often hear of circumstances – perhaps questionable in nature – and, from time to time, find it helpful to research further.  Rarely do I find that I have personal experience with the firm or organization.  In the case of Willow Mist and Brenda Keefer – unfortunately I do and it appears that I’m not the only one.

On November 6, 2008, I received an email from Brenda Keefer – apparent owner and operator of Willow Mist Professional Services welcoming me to her fold.  Her initial pitch was that she (through her firm) offered speakers (Motivational speakers, etc.) direct marketing services thereby helping those she represents increase their bookings.  For those services, speakers (such as myself) or perhaps (in retrospect) I should label myself as a “sucker” – would pay her a nominal fee up front and she would take us on as clients representing that she had limited clients (unlike traditional speakers bureaus).

Now, as a good ole boy from the South, recognizing that she was just over the NC border in Tennessee, I thought “surely she was straight up” and frankly, I thought to myself, “if I am scammed the amount won’t break me.”


After the payment was received by Brenda Keefer – NOTHING HAPPENED.  I mean I got no calls, no indication that I was being marketed, NOTHING.  I followed up with several emails but (as one might expect) NO RESPONSE.  In fact, I called and finally got Brenda on the phone.  She seemed confused about who I was and our relationship (I guess that’s obvious as we had no relationship other than her taking my money).  When confronted about my payment she said she’d have to look into it, at which time I provided her information about my canceled check.


I am not writing this because of my experience.  To me that would be unfair and perhaps bring my ethics into question.  Rather, let’s look at the facts and then perhaps the light of truth will shine brightly on Willow Mist and Brenda Keefer.

For those who follow my blog you certainly know that I have a sordid past.  For those that don’t here it is in a simple clear format:

  1. In the mid ’80’s I was a CPA who (being really dumb) effected a Ponzi scheme
  2. In 1990 that fraud or scam that I created came crashing down and I lost everything
  3. In 1991 I made restitution to those I defrauded (not that that makes right my wrong – it does not)
  4. In 1995 I was sentenced to Federal Prison and on October 2, 1995 I took 23 steps in to Federal Prison
  5. Upon release I started life over and in 2006 was a Sr. VP of Sales and Marketing for a public company
  6. Today I am the Chief Operating Officer for a private national company and a professional public speaker sharing insight into ethical behavior and fraud prevention.

I feel that sharing my past helps those who read know who I am and where I am coming from.  That said, when I talked with Brenda Keefer with Willow Mist I found out that she and I have something in common.  We are both CONVICTED FELONS (nothing by the way that I’m proud of – but our past is our past).

When I shared my background with Brenda she was willing then to share her’s with me.  According to her, I was an example of how someone with a “sorted past” can make different choices and turn their lives around.   Frankly, I did agree.  I think from that conversation I found a level of trust that now, in retrospect, was unfounded.

Some people learn nothing from past experiences and it would seem, in this case, that Brenda may be challenged with dealing with ghosts from the past in her present day dealings in business.  And, that give all folks, who may have made bad past choices – a bad name.


But, as I said, this isn’t about me.  Several weeks ago in the email blast – SpeakerNetNews I spotted something submitted from another speaker – asking about Brenda Keefer and Willow Mist Professional Services.  Since it had been almost two year, frankly I had put Brenda and Willow Mist out of my mind.  But the question jogged my memory and brought me back to my experience with Willow Mist.  I emailed and asked what the issue(s) were and was told that it related to payments not paid from Willow Mist to speakers and payments to Willow Mist for services not delivered.  More importantly, I was told that the response from the inquiry regarding Brenda Keefer and Willow Mist was somewhat overwhelming.


Is the operation of Willow Mist Professional Services with Brenda Keefer at the helm a SCAM?  Is it that Brenda is INCAPABLE of providing what she promises?  Have lessons from past unethical and illegal actions been learned or is this nothing more than a repeat of past prior performances?

I don’t know the answers to these questions.  What I do know is this – if one takes money from another and promises to perform services and then fails to perform – even in the face of repeated questions and requests for performance – there is a good chance that doing business with such a firm is not only UNWISE, but from outward appearances it would appear that UNETHICAL ACTIONS or a SCAM is being perpetrated.

As a final note, it appears that Brenda Keefer worked for ISN Works doing essentially the same service for them before setting up here own business in the same town.  From what I understand, she is not connected with ISN Works and perhaps her departure uncovered similar actions (unethical) that has left ISN Works with a mess to clean up.


P.S.  Here’s a link that just adds fuel to the fire.  http://burnedbyisn.blogspot.com/2009/07/this-time-its-brenda-keefer-and-willow.html

Sometimes a Picture’s worth a 1000 words – BizRadio! And what about Elisea Frishberg?

May 7, 2010

They say that a picture is worth a 1000 words.  In this case it is!

With all employees gone except, as I understand it the show producer, it seems that with the flow of illegally gained money stopped the reality of an effective business enterprise has set in.  And the sad part is it didn’t have to be this way.

REALITY CHECK – Yes, Dan and Al used their fund raising experience to gain money in a fraudulent way from investors to support their lifestyle and to support BizRadio (the megaphone they used to gain more investors).  That, in and of itself, is likely enough to cause an implosion along with an SEC investigation and/or perhaps an investigation by the US Attorney and/or others.  But…they had one saving grace – the revenue generated from the RIA (a substantial sum on money – at one time).

IF (and this is a BIG IF) Daniel had done, what over the course of two years or so he said he would do, and put the revenue from the RIA into BizRadio – would he be facing ultimate (my guess now not confirmed) criminal charges?  Sure enough, his bookkeeping might have been sloppy and Al (seemingly with Daniels blessing) might have been obtaining investment funds under false pretenses, but could it have been salvaged if they had made BizRadio a viable investment?

Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda – nice to think about perhaps, but now it seems that those questions are irrelevant.  So here’s a more relevant question:

1.  What about Elisea Frishberg – will she be indicted for her role in this financial fraud?  How, you might say?  Well in an earlier post I shared with the audience that spouses are now coming under closer scrutiny for their roles.  Here’s an excerpt from an article that might shed some light on how law enforcement is looking at spousal activity.

Victoria Meisner, 53, was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment for filing a false tax return. She pleaded guilty in November to reporting $49,626 of total income in 2003, despite helping rack up more than $430,000 in personal expenses that year on a debit card belonging to her husband’s business, Phoenix Diversified Investment Corp.

Meisner’s case highlights one of the inevitable questions for authorities investigating Ponzi schemers and how they threw around their ill-gotten gains: Should family members whose luxurious lifestyles were funded by dirty money face criminal charges themselves?

Here’s the link to the full story:  https://chuckgallagher.wordpress.com/2010/03/14/so-youre-guilty-of-a-ponzi-scheme-what-about-your-spouse-just-ask-victoria-meisner-the-long-arm-of-the-law-reaches-farther/

From all accounts that I’ve received, Elisea was very active in the operation of BizRadio, in fact, most of my sources tell me (and I’m talking everyone says the same thing) that Elisea had a strong inclination to spend money.  One source said, “Elisea would go over the top for show when, in reality, it wasn’t necessary.  For example, we had a meeting where we were going to bring in Pizza and Elisea went crazy when she found out that it was just “ordinary” pizza.  She stopped the order and place an order for gourmet pizza that cost well over $100 and then there wasn’t enough.”

I suspect, from the comments from the Receiver’s report, that when credit card bills/receipts are analyzed – the lavish spending will come to light more clearly.  Likewise, no one can argue that Elisea had NO KNOWLEDGE of the BizRadio operations – as she used that to promote herself – her book and her show (which I understand failed miserably).

So, when it comes time to face charges (which I predict will take place) will Elisea Frishberg be included?  Did she sign tax returns that were fraudulent?  In other words, did Dan and Elisea report all the income that was used to support their flamboyant lifestyle?  Will any of this money that was fraudulently obtained be considered taxable income to the Kaleta’s and the Frishberg’s?

By the way, you might ask why I have left out Al Kaleta’s wife?  Good question.  Up to this point, I have not had one report from any source indicate that she was active in the operation of KCM, DFFS, or BizRadio and Affiliates.  That may be wrong, but thus far none.  Perhaps those who read and comment may shed some light on Ms. Kaleta’s role – if any!  On the other hand, most sources are clear that Elisea basically ran the place.

CONCLUSION:  The story, now becoming well documented, is still unfolding.  I am waiting to hear the result of the court hearing yesterday and unless the Receiver can take control of all the assets, I suspect the Involuntary Bankruptcy hearing will take place on the 10th of May (the last I heard).  For those in Houston or Dallas – if you know the outcome – PLEASE LEAVE SOME COMMENTS AS AN UPDATE!