Originally Posted by cschang
I can tell you about the call I made....I called Sloan/Kettering to see if they had received funds(any funds) from MLS/AV123...and at that time approximately 4 months after that particular raffle had ended, they had received ZERO funds.
After I had questioned some forum members and made accusations in private with individuals who had better communications with MLS...and they began to question MLS personally, they got word from MLS that he would make the donation. I left it at that. Some months later it was discovered that he only donated less than 25% of what was raised to Sloan/Kettering.
This is not the worst that MLS did in my book.
I never went to the authorities, but I commend whoever did...and it is my understanding that MLS was under investigation even before the issues came to light on the forums.
There are individuals out there, and they know who they are, and I am sure are reading this, some were/are "associates" of some sort with MLS, that accused myself, others, and Chu, for that matter, of fabrication. Knowingly or not (and I am of the opinion that some knew of his dishonesty and continued to promote the man and his products), these individuals helped enable MLS.
Curtis.... your's was the first inquiry AFAIK into any raffle shennanigans. Things (for the most part anyway) hadn't come unglued yet. IIRC, the MFW fiasco hadn't showed up yet and the Cali start up problems seemed to be under controll with containers rolling out of there on a regular basis.
Anyway, I was shocked by your initial inquiry. In fact, I strongly suggested that your information was surely incorrect, or possibly the donation had been made under another name or something. When I confronted MLS with this, he emphatically guaranteed me that everything had been taken care of. Only after further investigation by you (and me) did that turn out NOT to be the case.
Once again, he fell all over himself to apologize to me and said it had been an accounting error, mis-communication or whatever it was and once again said he had placed the donation on his CC that very afternoon. With my assurances that everything had been cleared up, you thanked me for my help and I didn't think another thing about it until you again contacted me about the severe shortage some months later.
By then MLS was pretty much in hiding, not returning emails, not returning phone calls and such because not only the S/K raffle shortage, but Derrick and Hugh's friend who had died also had come to light by then as not having received what was collected/promised. Little did I realize that these were only the tip of the iceburg. I kept thinking (and was being privately assured by a former associate of MLS that there was a greater truth that couldn't be revealed at that time for legal reasons) that there just HAD to be some answer other than the funds being used for anything other than their intended purpose. I'm still wondering (and hoping actually) that at least some of what I was told privately was in fact true and many of the raffles did indeed get funded after all. We probably won't ever know fully, unless the records are unsealed. But I digress....
I only talked to him one more time after my conversation with him about the S/K raffle. And that was after the forum re-opened and I was invited to be one of the new "community of moderators" or what ever it was called. I told the head mod that I would in NO WAY entertain being a mod until MLS returned my phone call. He did and we had a come to Jesus conversation in that I told him in no uncertain terms that the raffle thing HAD to be cleared up fully, with no more raffles, no pre-pays etc. IOW, all the things (on the surface anyway) that had gotten him into the mess in the first place. Sounding very remorseful he tried to explain how any why things had gone south. But I didn't really care in that I felt that things had to be made right before I would consider a position of responsibility on the forum. He fell all over himself telling me how he was going to, in fact already had, turned over a new leaf. Trust him he told me, I would see....
The VERY NEXT DAY he announces the continuation of the LS-4 raffle and also some form of pre-pay. At that point I declined any mod position there and once all of the bannings started, I pretty much stayed away from the place. Only when the indictments were handed down did I even go back and start posting over there again. And then, it was mostly to try and say goodbye to old friends I had made along the way. But most of those kinds of threads and posts were being quashed left and right. So, I didn't end up saying much at all.
You know, all through all of this I tried to remain at least neutral in all the "goings on." Maybe it was partly because of the fact that someone who I considered to be a friend was getting pounded mercislessly in the forums and (supposedly) had his hands tied behind his back by the legal system. Even though I was no longer talking to him, I was being assured privately that all was not what it seemed and things would come to light that would essentionally exhonerate him (for the most part) in the public eye.
So.... I stayed pretty quiet and took a fair amount of heat because I wasn't piling on and taking part in the crucifixion. I was accused openly and privately of being an enabler by my silence. When in fact, I was just hoping that someone that I thought very highly of as a friend, was in fact innocent of at least most of what was being said. Now, after the fact.... I feel almost dirty I guess because I tried to support him for so long. Betrayal (?).... yeah, I guess you could call it that. But really, I feel more sick for those who never received raffle funds. Now, with the demise of the company, I don't see ANY vehicle for those folks to ever be made whole.
So while the glee across the net at the man's demise is at least understandable in some ways, in others.... it puts a nail in the coffin for any avenue for the intended raffle recipients to recover what they so deserve. I won't even comment on the pre-pays for non-existant products. At least folks had an option or choice there. But the intended raffle recipients did not.
So in the end (and sorry for such a long post folks but this is sort of theraputic I think), I'm angry at the man for what he's done. I'm saddened by the fact that so many folks were harmed in some way by the man. I'm melancholy over really good forum friends that I'll probably never see again because of the demise. But honestly, I'm the maddest about the raffles. It all comes down to the raffles. Which in the end, is what did him in.