Dan Frishberg “The Money Man” Charged by the SEC with Fraudulent Conduct! BizRadio’s Scam Artist Exposed…

March 25, 2011

To be honest, as I pen this latest blog entry, there is no joy.  Yet, it is not a surprise either.  Dan Frishberg, despite his puffery and position – claiming to the “the Money Man” has finally been charged by the SEC for his role in defrauding numerous investors out of millions.  Today many now know that what has been claimed about Dan is true.  He has not acted in the best interest of his clients and as a result – one of the outcomes is that Dan “The Money Man” Frishberg is barred from association with any investment adviser or certain other registered entities.

The SEC News Release reads as follows in its entirety:

Washington, D.C., March 25, 2011 — The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged Houston-area businessman Daniel Frishberg with fraudulent conduct in connection with promissory note offerings made to clients of his investment advisory firm.

The SEC alleges that Frishberg’s firm Daniel Frishberg Financial Services (DFFS) advised clients to invest in notes issued by Business Radio Networks (BizRadio), a media company founded by Frishberg where he hosts his own show under the nickname “The MoneyMan.” Frishberg failed to tell his clients about BizRadio’s poor financial condition or his significant conflicts of interest with the note offerings that helped fund his salary at BizRadio.

Frishberg agreed to settle the SEC’s charges by paying a $65,000 penalty that will be distributed to harmed investors. He will be barred from future association with any investment adviser.

“Contrary to his obligations as an investment adviser, Frishberg approved risky investment recommendations to his clients without ensuring that the risks and conflicts were properly disclosed,” said Rose Romero, Director of the SEC’s Fort Worth Regional Office. “Frishberg personally benefitted from the questionable investments that were recommended to his clients.”

According to the SEC’s complaint filed in federal district court in Houston, at least $11 million in promissory notes were issued by BizRadio and Kaleta Capital Management (KCM), which is owned by Frishberg’s associate Albert Fase Kaleta. Frishberg and Kaleta jointly controlled BizRadio.

The SEC charged Kaleta and his firm with fraud in 2009, and the court appointed a receiver to marshal the assets of KCM and relief defendants BizRadio and DFFS.

The SEC alleges that Frishberg authorized Kaleta to recommend the notes to DFFS clients, and clients were not provided with critical disclosures. Investors were not told of BizRadio’s poor financial condition and the likely inability of KCM and BizRadio to repay the notes. Nor were investors informed about Frishberg’s significant conflicts of interest in the note offerings because the proceeds funded his salary as a BizRadio talk show host.

The SEC alleges that Frishberg chose Kaleta to recommend the BizRadio notes even though he was aware of complaints about Kaleta’s lack of truthfulness in sales presentations regarding other investments.

The SEC’s complaint alleges that Frishberg violated Section 206(2) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and aided and abetted violations of Sections 206(1) and 206(2) of the Advisers Act.

Without admitting or denying the SEC’s allegations, Frishberg consented to the entry of a permanent injunction against these violations and to pay a $65,000 penalty. Frishberg consented to the establishment of a fair fund for the distribution of his penalty to harmed investors, and agreed to be barred from association with any investment adviser or certain other registered entities.

# # #

For more information about this enforcement action, contact:

Rose Romero
Regional Director, SEC’s Fort Worth Regional Office
(817) 978-3821

Stephen J. Korotash
Associate Regional Director, SEC’s Fort Worth Regional Office
(817) 978-6490

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

Well for starters…those who lost a whole bunch of money and thought they might get it back…well think again.  Dan’s $65,000 penalty is a small price to pay for the $11 million fraud.  To be clear, I have not had any inside information, but I suspect that Dan’s out of money otherwise I suspect the SEC would have exacted a larger fine as part of their role is to protect the public.  Oh well…

CRIMINAL INDICTMENT ON THE HORIZON?

Rose Romero, Director of the SEC’s Fort Worth Regional Office stated, “Frishberg personally benefited from the questionable investments that were recommended to his clients.”  So does this mean that he could be the target of a criminal indictment?

So we are all clear, the SEC has NO CRIMINAL enforcement authority – only civil.  Therefore the actions of the SEC are likely the best they could get under the circumstances.  Effectively they squeezed blood out of the turnip and barred Dan from any role as an investment advisor.  Now regarding criminal…well, as I’m told the statue of limitations is longer for any criminal issues, so I suspect that the US Attorney, FBI or others may still be looking into this case and (my opinion here) it might hinge on what Dan does next.  For example, if Dan were to “man up” and quit his radio show where he is still huffing and puffing about his wisdom…he might avoid more consequences.  On the other hand…should he stay on the radio and continue his advice (although who would want to listen)…then there might be more interest in criminal charges.

My guess is that if there are enough folks who have been harmed by the talented Mr. Frishberg who complain to the US Attorney or FBI, perhaps law enforcement will find the wisdom and logic to continue to investigate Dan Frishberg and extract consequences more fitting with his crime (that he did not admit).

PUBLICITY

One thing that Dan Frishberg liked is publicity…in fact, it seemed he craved it.  Well, he’s getting what he liked as he’s being reported on in the Wall Street Journal and other major news outlets.  Wonder, and I’ve got to ask, if Maria Bartiromo is going to interview Dan “The Money Man” again…or if she has finally figured out that is was all smoke and mirrors?

WANT YOUR VOICE HEARD?

If you feel that your voice needs to be heard here are two US Attorney’s that could be contacted – one in the Southern District of Texas (Houston Area) and one in the Northern (Dallas).  I suspect the Houston US Attorney is the one who would have the most interest, but since the SEC in Fort Worth brought the charges…I’m providing both.

José Angel Moreno, US Attorney Houston
P.O. Box 61129
Houston, TX 77208
(713)567-9000

James T. Jacks, US Attorney Dallas
1100 Commerce Street, Third Floor
Dallas, TX 75242-1699
(214)659-8600

SHARE YOUR VOICE –

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THIS SEC OUTCOME?


Albert Fase Kaleta sued by the SEC for Madoff like investment – BizRadio and and Daniel Frishberg relief defendants

February 4, 2010

Where did the money go?  And, what attracted investors to invest?

According to the SEC,  between December 2007 and August of 2009, Albert Kaleta and his investment firm, Kaleta Capital Management, sold $10 million in promissory notes, telling investors the money would be loaned to small businesses at 12 percent to 14 percent interest. Instead, the SEC said, it went to the money-losing radio network and an affilated investment advisory firm, Daniel Frishberg Financial Services, also known as DFFS Capital Management.

NOTE: Whenever you are promised an investment return that is better than most folks can normally get…you have a good chance of being scammed!  This is the first rule of avoiding a Ponzi scheme and while this may not technically qualify as a Ponzi scheme…if it were allowed to continue, it would likely have morphed into one.

On Nov. 13, 2009, the Commission sued Albert Fase Kaleta and his company, Kaleta Capital Management, Inc. (KCM), in the United States District Court in Houston, Texas. The Commission alleges that Kaleta and KCM defrauded investors in the offer and sale of KCM-issued promissory notes in an offering that raised $10 million from approximately 50 investors. 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.

Kaleta and Dan Frishberg, who appears on BizRadio as “The Money Man,” were among the network’s founders. Kaleta also was part owner and chief compliance officer for DFFS.  There is little doubt that Kaleta and/or Frishberg didn’t know what they were doing.

NOTE:  When money that is “supposed” to go into ‘small businesses’ and instead is diverted…that would be a warning sign that a fraud is beginning.  Now, realistically, the victims wouldn’t know as most fund diversions are kept from the public eye.  In this case, it would seem that luck (if you can call it that) intervened through the worst recession we’ve experienced in years.  More than likely the purported investment scam would have continued if the economy was robust.

The Commission alleges that Kaleta lied to investors about the intended uses of offering proceeds. Among other things, the Commission contends that Kaleta took approximately $1.5 million of the offering proceeds to pay personal expenses.

NOTE:  Like most of the Ponzi schemes I’ve reported on…a common thread is the use of “investment funds” for personal expenses.  Hint…this doesn’t look or smell like it was legitimate.  Again, timing is everything.  Madoff was fortunate in that his fraud spanned many years but, like most, imploded when the economy took a nosedive.

Without admitting or denying the complaint’s allegations, Kaleta and KCM have consented to permanent injunctions against future violations of the antifraud provisions, as well as an order appointing a receiver. The Court will determine the amount of disgorgement and civil penalty that will be assessed against Kaleta and KCM.

Named as “equitable relief defendants,” BizRadio and Daniel Frishberg Financial Services, also known as DFFS Capital Management share a responsibility to repay the money.

According to the Houston Chronicle – “In order to reverse what injustice has taken place here, so that the victims of this fraud can be made whole, what we’re seeking is that the relief defendants relinquish their possession of assets to which they have no rightful claim,” said Timothy McCole,the SEC attorney handling the case.

Frishberg said he and Kaleta are no longer partners. His firm and BizRadio will repay the debt under the terms of the promissory notes, he said.

“We’re eager to have them hurry up and appoint a receiver and get it going,” he said.

QUESTIONS:

In a time when trust in financial professionals is at a low, I wonder what position Daniel Frishberg is taking here in early 2010 when it comes to the repayment of investors?

Are we finding transparency when it comes to the operation of BizRadio?

It seems that BizRadio often is jumping from station to station – especially in the Dallas, TX marketplace.  Is that a result of financial stress on the station since the flow of (what would appear to be) misappropriated investor funds has dried up?

COMMENTS ARE WELCOME!

The following is on the BizRadio web site:

We are off the air for the first time since 2005, but at our headquarters, we are as busy as we have ever been. We are using this time to make some major improvements in our operations that will benefit our audience and our investors.
We will be back on the air very soon, and we will make an important announcement about the future of BizRadio in the next week.
For the latest update, please continue to check back here at BizRadio.com