Longmont Man Indicted On Suspicion of Charity Fraud - Page 16 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #451 of 1527 Old 03-04-2010, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Randy Bessinger View Post

I think you know what my point was, but generally I agree with most things you say even if I think you jump to conclustions a little quickly and are a little over-agressive (IMO). That said, I don't care about the definition of evil as it relates to MLS. I do care about people who just can't quite get over the fact that they misjudged this guy. Over at that Secrets forum the owner is now making these threads into a class war....hilariously over the top and arrogant.


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post #452 of 1527 Old 03-04-2010, 07:00 AM
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Originally Posted by osofast240sx View Post

how many years could he face?

These are the charges from the Boulder Country Sheriff's Department.

Charge: 18-4-401(2)(D). THEFT $20,000 OR MOR F3
Charge: 12-9-107(1) BINGO-OPERATE W/OUT M2
Charge: 18-5.5-102(1)(A) COMPUTER CRIME-UNAUT M2
Charge: 6-16-111(1)(B) CHARITABLE FRD-UNAUT F5
Charge: 6-16-111(1)(G) CHARITABLE FRAUD-SCH F5

The following are the various Felonies, minimum, and maximum sentences.

Felony
Minimum Sentence
Maximum Sentence

Class 1
Life imprisonment
Death

Class 2
8 years / 5,000 dollar fine
24 years / 1,000,000 dollar fine

Class 3
4 years / 3,000 dollar fine
12 years / 750,000 dollar fine

Class 4
2 years / 2,000 dollar fine
6 years / 500,000 dollar fine

Class 5
1 year / 1,000 dollar fine
3 years / 100,000 dollar fine

Class 6
1 year / 1, 000 dollar fine
18 months / 100,000 dollar fine

Misdemeanor

Class 1
6 months / 500 dollar fine or both
18 months / 5,000 dollar fine or both

Class 2
3 months / 250 dollar fine or both
1 year / 1,000 dollar fine or both

Class 3
Fifty dollar fine
6 months / 750 dollar fine or both

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post #453 of 1527 Old 03-04-2010, 07:01 AM
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In the case of Sloan Kettering, it was only when the organization was contacted was it discovered that not ONE CENT went there out of the thousands raised. NOTHING! After all sorts of excuses, a check finally made its way there with promises the UNDERFUNDING error would be rectified in due course. That never happened.

Just curious, but when the Sloan Kettering subject came up a couple months ago in one of the MWF threads I asked you for more information about this particular underfunding/scam and you suggested I call Sloan Kettering myself to find out because you didn't have any proof to relay to me. So in the month or so since that discussion, this was all solved and documented proof was gathered?

I'm not doubting any of this. I believe it. My own dealing with MLS have been rather distasteful. It's just that I have many colleagues at Sloan Kettering and I stop by there often so this one caught my attention.
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post #454 of 1527 Old 03-04-2010, 07:05 AM
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I would LOVE to see MLS get 10 years of hard prison time. Doing something illegal, doesn't make you evil.

Hitler and Stalin set the bar pretty high, and MLS doesn't begin to approach it. I think the term A$$H0LE should be reserved for those below evil but who commit unforgivable acts.

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post #455 of 1527 Old 03-04-2010, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by SimpleTheater View Post

I would LOVE to see MLS get 10 years of hard prison time. Doing something illegal, doesn't make you evil.

Hitler and Stalin set the bar pretty high, and MLS doesn't begin to approach it. I think the term A$$H0LE should be reserved for those below evil but who commit unforgivable acts.


Lol!, that was pretty good, I must admit.
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post #456 of 1527 Old 03-04-2010, 07:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Glashub View Post

With all due respect if this was so well known why didn't you or somebody step forward and sound a call?

Being a speaker manufacturer and having had problems myself with MLS and others associated with the company my hands were tied. I also didn't want to reveal my source of information because that would've created trouble for them (whom I consider to be a truthful and reliable people). As someone else stated here when it's another manufacturer in the industry there will always be the suspicion that they are trying to undermine the other company's business.

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post #457 of 1527 Old 03-04-2010, 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by sobek View Post

Just curious, but when the Sloan Kettering subject came up a couple months ago in one of the MWF threads I asked you for more information about this particular underfunding/scam and you suggested I call Sloan Kettering myself to find out because you didn't have any proof to relay to me. So in the month or so since that discussion, this was all solved and documented proof was gathered?

I'm not doubting any of this. I believe it. My own dealing with MLS have been rather distasteful. It's just that I have many colleagues at Sloan Kettering and I stop by there often so this one caught my attention.

Point me to the thread so I can see what you asked and what my reply was.

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post #458 of 1527 Old 03-04-2010, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by penngray View Post

But "more to come" is because of the "mental illness" part.

Mental illness? It's called "being a sociopath".

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Originally Posted by Glashub View Post

I have been lied to, manipulated, and taken for hundreds of thousands. I had a man I would've trusted my life to take me.

You were a mark. You're still a mark, not to see MLS for what he is.

There's one born every minute.

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AV451

Perhaps "AV419" is most appropriate.
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post #459 of 1527 Old 03-04-2010, 08:46 AM
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Probably a waste of time trying to define evil. A former student of mine, absolutely the best writer I have ever taught, was arrested yesterday for putting her infant in the trash moments after giving birth. The horror of this goes so far beyond the topic at hand. One person I talked to this morning called her a monster. I replied that she didn't work this former student for three years.

Surly we can all agree that the man in question looks like a total dirtbag. I wish this thread would continue to focus on information about the actual misdeeds and crimes without resorting to attacking and judging other people who offer opinions about these criminal actions.

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post #460 of 1527 Old 03-04-2010, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by mziegler View Post

Surly we can all agree that the man in question looks like a total dirtbag. I wish this thread would continue to focus on information about the actual misdeeds and crimes without resorting to attacking and judging other people who offer opinions about these criminal actions.

I am interested in why some like Mr. Pu did not try to force AV123 into bankruptcy unless he figured it was throwing good money after bad.
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post #461 of 1527 Old 03-04-2010, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Randy Bessinger View Post

I am interested in why some like Mr. Pu did not try to force AV123 into bankruptcy unless he figured it was throwing good money after bad.

I am sure we will never for certain, but I think your speculation makes sense.

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post #462 of 1527 Old 03-04-2010, 09:38 AM
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I am sorry I ever recommended products from AV123... I was fooled; thought Mark was a good guy, and I thought the company was a good one. They aren't. I started warning people about a year ago, but I never thought this was occurring. Wow...Scum!

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post #463 of 1527 Old 03-04-2010, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Pure-Evil View Post

Chu Gai.... i hate to say it but looks like you have been right all along.... i wish it weren't so, but sure seems that way now. kinda wish i had paid more attention.

A big 'ol PLUS ONE for me too. While its not our job to babysit audio companies, I too wish I would have paid more attention. At least you aren't getting bashed for being an avid supporter of AV123, which I was in the past. I admit, the wool was pulled over my eyes.

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post #464 of 1527 Old 03-04-2010, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Randy Bessinger View Post

I am interested in why some like Mr. Pu did not try to force AV123 into bankruptcy unless he figured it was throwing good money after bad.

I don't have an answer for that. Really, I don't and it's not that I'm covering up for someone or that I'm keeping secrets that only I'm privy to. I've got a guess on this so I'll just run with it.

Pu is a distributor in Asia. A pretty big one and a pretty well respected one. They carry a lot of products from well known companies. I don't know his personal wealth but I don't think he's just doing OK. If Pu sells something for a million, by no stretch did it cost him a million. It cost him less. Now, even if it cost him in the vicinity of $200,000 or so, that's still a lot of money. It is to me and it probably is to you. While I'm sure Pu was not happy about losing that amount, its effect upon him wasn't deadly. So, he may've been able to absorb it and write it off on taxes somehow.

Now, he could've maybe sued but that can be problematic when you're half way around the world. There are various expenses, time, and travel that have to be factored in. But if he did and won, he still has to collect and that entails more time and expenses which all start adding up. Then you have to consider that if anyone had a reasonable handle on just how much money Schifter had, it was Pu. Pu probably figured, and rightly so I think, that no way did Schifter have that kind of cash or even assets. After all, MLS never did own factories. So, we have a situation where he could've sued, won, and enforced the judgment but the time and expense were outweighed by the reality of what he could reasonably expect to collect.

Anyways, that's how I see it.

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post #465 of 1527 Old 03-04-2010, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Chu Gai View Post

I don't have an answer for that. Really, I don't and it's not that I'm covering up for someone or that I'm keeping secrets that only I'm privy to. I've got a guess on this so I'll just run with it.

Pu is a distributor in Asia. A pretty big one and a pretty well respected one. They carry a lot of products from well known companies. I don't know his personal wealth but I don't think he's just doing OK. If Pu sells something for a million, by no stretch did it cost him a million. It cost him less. Now, even if it cost him in the vicinity of $200,000 or so, that's still a lot of money. It is to me and it probably is to you. While I'm sure Pu was not happy about losing that amount, its effect upon him wasn't deadly. So, he may've been able to absorb it and write it off on taxes somehow.

Now, he could've maybe sued but that can be problematic when you're half way around the world. There are various expenses, time, and travel that have to be factored in. But if he did and won, he still has to collect and that entails more time and expenses which all start adding up. Then you have to consider that if anyone had a reasonable handle on just how much money Schifter had, it was Pu. Pu probably figured, and rightly so I think, that no way did Schifter have that kind of cash or even assets. After all, MLS never did own factories. So, we have a situation where he could've sued, won, and enforced the judgment but the time and expense were outweighed by the reality of what he could reasonably expect to collect.

Anyways, that's how I see it.

It makes sense to me and I also am not an expert on Chinese culture as to debts and the legal system. I seem to remember reading somewhere that debts were private and you were dishonorable if you didn't pay them but you didn't make them public......but I may have just made that up...I'm old
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post #466 of 1527 Old 03-04-2010, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by KyaDawn View Post

I think the "constantly attacking other members, accusing them of being biased, having vendettas, an axe to grind, of being bashers, haters, of having no life, of being liars, of having agendas, etc" went both ways. Just as there were AV123 supporters, there were people that were the polar opposite, but resorted to using the same tactics.

Having said that, I do remember some cases where forum members here had legitimate issues with the company AND were attacked rather unfairly, as you suggested. In particular, I remember this thread:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...1010676&page=2



I remember this as a very fair complaint and one of the first warning signs for me about this company. Previously, if you look into my post history, I was considering buying a pair of speakers from AV123 to give as a wedding present to my brother, who lives in the US. I live in Asia so it wouldn't be worth getting a pair for myself, but I was so intrigued by all the positive hype about their speakers and thought it would be cool to get my brother a nice Strata Mini and matching tube amp, which from the reviews seemed like a really good match and a great deal. Eventually, they weren't in stock at the time (about 2-3 months before the date) and AV123 wasn't able to truly guarantee that they would get new ones in time for the wedding (though they were strongly hinting that it "shouldn't be a problem") so I dropped the idea. It was partly from threads like these that made me skeptical of their "word" (but not guarantee) and I certainly didn't want to fly all the way to the wedding empty-handed. Therefore, threads like these actually helped me to be careful and potentially avoided a disaster.

That's why when I read some of the replies, they put a sour taste in my mouth.







I just remember thinking how awful the OP was being treated. Here was a guy that was excited about getting his speakers from the company, and promised his speakers would be delivered "this month" month after month until they no longer reply to him. Then he finds out the speakers are "still in development" 7 months after he's paid for them in full. And when he posts his scenario onto this forum, which is as legitamite as any other topic here, he gets bashed for "attempting to tarnish a company's rep", not being "mature and patient", and that "[HE] let them do it".

Furthermore, he gets accused of just having paid a "deposit" for the speaker (as if that really matters) despite him already stated he had "bought and paid for everything", that the "real problem was created by the OP himself when he supposedly (hasn't been confirmed yet) ordered a product that wasn't in production yet", that it was "his fault that he didn't have the patience to wait until the product was finalized", that "there is no one to blame but himself", and that "he created a stupid thread bashing a company".

I mean really! I was just amazed and astounded that someone who's paid for a product and has waited 7 months for delivery would be thrashed like that, but the company actually doing the shafting would be considered having "GREAT customer service rep".

Then for actually trusting AV123 to do what ANY company would be expected to do, which is to deliver a product or service when paid for in a timely manner, the poster gets criticized for "his poor decision making" for actually dealing with AV123.

The pièce de résistance, however, must have been the parting kiss which is to label the poster a "troll".

Keep in mind that all these attacks on the OP for his legitimate complaints came on the FIRST PAGE. There were pages after this where there more attacks from the same poster claiming "the thread was intentionally started to smear av123. Its pretty obvious, well at least to those with common sense", "none of this has actually been proven as fact", "the OP had hateful intentions" and "[i]ts too bad the OP started such a hateful thread in which he attacked av123".

The fact that the OP had paid money for a speaker he didn't see for 7 months and discussed it in a speaker forum and then attacked as having "hateful intentions", intentionally trying to "smear" a company, and lacking "common sense" for making the purchase is truly unbelievable. The OP never received any type of apology for this attacked even when Mark admitted it was his company's mistake, and Mark gets hailed as a hero for "solving" a situation which should have never happened in the first place and which was IGNORED for 7 months until the OP had posted his thread about it.

I personally would like to thank that OP for saving me the GRIEF that he himself endured by posting his situation with AV123 on his thread, which made me think twice about ordering the Strata Mini and tube amp for my brother's wedding present, and having not arrived in time would have been extremely embarrassing and disrespectful to my brother on his wedding day.

I remember at the time wondering why I never saw nearly the level of vitriol against posters with complaints about other speaker companies, and what made AV123 supporters so adamant and staunchly supportive about this company that seemed to have more problems with their product and delivery than any other company. It's still a mystery to me, but I think the OP and others on that thread supporting him have been vindicated, and should be congratulated for saving people like me the awful experiences that many AV123 customers have endured.

The OP should have asked for his money back in that thread, so yeah, I called him out. But you're right - I shouldn't have said those things. I had no idea AV123 was shady, so I did defend what I thought was a decent company. I was wrong. My apologies. Thanks for pointing out the error in my ways; I certainly made a few concerning that company.

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post #467 of 1527 Old 03-04-2010, 10:14 AM
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I am sorry I ever recommended products from AV123... I was fooled; thought Mark was a good guy, and I thought the company was a good one. They aren't. I started warning people about a year ago, but I never thought this was occurring. Wow...Scum!

Nuance, if I remember correctly, you never actually met MLS, you got the Rockets through Craig, right?

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post #468 of 1527 Old 03-04-2010, 10:33 AM
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Nuance, if I remember correctly, you never actually met MLS, you got the Rockets through Craig, right?

Correct.

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post #469 of 1527 Old 03-04-2010, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

A big 'ol PLUS ONE for me too. While its not our job to babysit audio companies, I too wish I would have paid more attention. At least you aren't getting bashed for being an avid supporter of AV123, which I was in the past. I admit, the wool was pulled over my eyes.

It takes some courage to admit that. Unfortunately there are others as well that had good intentions. I think supporters of a company tend to set themselves up embarrasment when the majority of their posts center around that one company and / or its' leader.

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post #470 of 1527 Old 03-04-2010, 10:57 AM
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It takes some courage to admit that. Unfortunately there are others as well that had good intentions. I think supporters of a company tend to set themselves up embarrasment when the majority of their posts center around that one company and / or its' leader.

At one time there wasnt any evidence of wrong doing and support from AV123 was equal to any other online company I delt with. I was one of those big supporters (labelled fanboy #201) who would question the issues since my service always was good and I was never charged ahead of shipping.

2008 was a long time ago. Mark was very, very good at the...I will scratch your back thing!! I was impressed at one time because most owners have their noise to the grindstone and never involved themselves in the day to day stuff.

Grandarf has had the same position all long though. Kudos to him for smelling a rat very, very early. I never found out if he was an insider on the topic of AV123, was he?

I do not that Mark did not design the speakers, there was a legit designer involved and even to this day. I have never seen a better looking set of speakers for the same price. Obviously the future of the company was meaningless to Mark so maybe he didnt really care about the speaker price tag. Instead he focused on creating a kind of cult like following.

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post #471 of 1527 Old 03-04-2010, 11:53 AM
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Ask Shifter ? No seriously. This is what happened. I placed an order with Shifter around a year ago. The arrangements were that he would organize shipping of the subwoofer using Bax Global couriers.

However, he had other ideas. He wanted to save costs and told me that he found alternative routes that would save me money. Of course, I had already paid full shipping prior to any of this. So you can understand where I'm going with this.

Now, this is where it gets a little weird. When I asked what arrangements were being made for me, he told me that my subwoofers were being sent to Bob's place. Of course, I had no prior knowledge of a Bob, I didn't know who he was and how he factored into the conversation; there was no precedence for a Bob. He just sprung up in conversation.

I tried asking what he had to do with anything but his answer was so vague that it had no meaning. Eventually I questioned Mark wondering where my stock was and why there were such long delays.

Now I was one of the first foreigners to actually have these subwoofers shipped to my location. This transaction was not AV4321-zero related because at the time overseas shipping was not allowed.

No, it was arranged by Mark Shifter. So any and all emails had to go directly to Shifter himself. Kyle and all the other employees had no actual information to give me. This was a little worrying.

I had to pay an arm and a leg to bring these subwoofers in. An arm and a leg. I kid you guys, not. It was a small fortune and it was a risk on my part. Now the thing was, when Mark started his pseudo-bullsh*t (alright, it wasn't pseudo-anything, it just was bullsh*t ) and ignored my emails wondering where my stock was, after so many delays ('Well, your stock has left the factory', but that excuse was used several times over, almost using the exact same wording and sentence structure ! ) well, I then started to wonder if I would receive my stock at all.

I was promised my subwoofers would arrive within 3 weeks of ordering. I realize I live far from the States, however, almost 4 months passed by, if I remember correctly.

I then emailed him and demanded an explanation which is when he almost fired me as a client. Apparently at the time his mother was in hospital, sick. Whatever. Soon afterwards, he phoned me personally and told me that he was sorry for all the delays and that everything was okay with my goods. Bob had them and they were in good hands.

Now, Mark F can perhaps elaborate more on his experiences with Bob. All I know is that the guy is shrouded in mystery. I kid you not. I'm not making this up, the guy exists.

I eventually received my goods, but as everyone knows by now, only one subwoofer was working. The other had a faulty amp.

Regards,

Truly, I'm so sorry you had to go through this ordeal, but I'm telling you, this whole "Bob" deal will having me laughing for weeks. It's absolutely so ridiculous that I just can't help but lose it. Your description of the scenario was timeless.

Sorry again, but thanks for the belly laughs,

James

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The only product I own from AV123 are 2 MFWs, back from Jan/Feb 08'. After owning these, I've advised others to look into the MFWs, but not only those, I've also advised others look into other ID subs. I wasn't that rabid of a fan. AV123 makes very nice looking speakers, no question. Mark comes across as everybody's friend, I thought he was a nice guy as well at first. I never saw this coming, I've never spoke with him or met him. I do know he post a hell of a lot, responds/reveals more than an owner of a company could or should. The AV123 also has the nasty habit of offering promotional discounts almost all the time. Then the MFW amp fiasco occurs, the various constant delays and excuses for this and that. Now this ultimate eye opener.

It's a shame that others suffered because of his greed. Those that were strung along, donated for charities, and any honest employees that are still at the company. We have this one man, the public face of the company for so many years, he turns out to be a con man. I think this is it for AV123. I can't believe he did this all by himself, there has to be someone who knew or assisted working at the company.

The MFWs (1st batch w/o the amp issue) are my 1st and last product from them, I don't have any regrets buying these monster. I got what I paid for and they sound great and look great. Just too bad there is a stigma attached to owning them.
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post #473 of 1527 Old 03-04-2010, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by mather View Post

The MFWs (1st batch w/o the amp issue) are my 1st and last product from them, I don't have any regrets buying these monster. I got what I paid for and they sound great and look great. Just too bad there is a stigma attached to owning them.

Yes, your subs are evil!--Just kidding, although they could still be "bad boys"
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post #474 of 1527 Old 03-04-2010, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by sobek View Post

Just curious, but when the Sloan Kettering subject came up a couple months ago in one of the MWF threads I asked you for more information about this particular underfunding/scam and you suggested I call Sloan Kettering myself to find out because you didn't have any proof to relay to me. So in the month or so since that discussion, this was all solved and documented proof was gathered?

Sobek,

All gifts / donations to my father's research fund at Sloan are kept under strict confidence (unless requested by law enforcement agencies) It is not "public" information and I am not comfortable discussing this. That being said, law enforcement agencies do have the necessary proof required. How long they had this or when they obtained it, I honestly do not know.

I will say they this, the actual indictment names SK as one of the charities and you can be sure that an Attorney General would do their due dilligence prior to listing a specific name on the complaint. Facts were gathered over a long period of time and an indictment issued.

This is all I know about it.

David Fabrikant

audio professional and soft spoken representative of www.AscendAcoustics.com

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post #475 of 1527 Old 03-04-2010, 06:29 PM
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Always something off with this guy, the company, their practices, and their forum members. Good to see karma run its course.
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post #476 of 1527 Old 03-04-2010, 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by sobek View Post

Just curious, but when the Sloan Kettering subject came up a couple months ago in one of the MWF threads I asked you for more information about this particular underfunding/scam and you suggested I call Sloan Kettering myself to find out because you didn't have any proof to relay to me. So in the month or so since that discussion, this was all solved and documented proof was gathered?

I'm not doubting any of this. I believe it. My own dealing with MLS have been rather distasteful. It's just that I have many colleagues at Sloan Kettering and I stop by there often so this one caught my attention.


If you've followed this saga on the huge thread on another forum, Chu Gai posted in the last couple of days that he had to pretend there was no investigative action by 2 or 3 different key charities in the interest of the authorities' investigations. Basically, those investigating feared that the AV123 forum and computers would be scrubbed of raffle related info posted there if the investigation became known by the accused.
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post #477 of 1527 Old 03-04-2010, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

The OP should have asked for his money back in that thread, so yeah, I called him out. But you're right - I shouldn't have said those things. I had no idea AV123 was shady, so I did defend what I thought was a decent company. I was wrong. My apologies. Thanks for pointing out the error in my ways; I certainly made a few concerning that company.

Hey Nuance, thanks for the PM. No worries, like I said, I was just relating to my personal experience reading that thread. I understand like many others you were duped by Mark and was just trying to defend what you thought was an honorable company. Well the good thing is that Mark has finally been exposed so people won't be defrauded by him anymore.
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post #478 of 1527 Old 03-04-2010, 07:14 PM
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Mental illness? It's called "being a sociopath".


You were a mark. You're still a mark, not to see MLS for what he is.

There's one born every minute.


Perhaps "AV419" is most appropriate.

However, I've made out better than most in life nonetheless. I'd rather trust and lose occasionally than to walk to through life a cynic.
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post #479 of 1527 Old 03-04-2010, 07:16 PM
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I just pray he gets jail time........ and a well endowed cell mate who hasn't seen a woman in a decade or so.
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post #480 of 1527 Old 03-04-2010, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Rick Craig View Post

Being a speaker manufacturer and having had problems myself with MLS and others associated with the company my hands were tied. I also didn't want to reveal my source of information because that would've created trouble for them (whom I consider to be a truthful and reliable people). As someone else stated here when it's another manufacturer in the industry there will always be the suspicion that they are trying to undermine the other company's business.

Understood. I meant no harm. He's in the hands of the law now and everyine will have their day in court.
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