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Longmont Man Indicted On Suspicion of Charity Fraud - Page 45

post #1321 of 1523
Ugh. I almost never visit Secrets anymore, in part because of Johnson's attitude regarding Mark's indictment.
post #1322 of 1523
That's weird, I posted a reply to this thread last night that apparently disappeared. I basically wanted to thank the forum administrators for allowing MLS to post in the general forums as our "friend" while using AVS as a vehicle to push his crap and "charities" on it's members.

Over the past few years I asked the AVS admin several times to prohibit MLS from posting anywhere but the manufacturers section. In addition I was banned and had posts removed for calling him out publicly regarding his Schifty and deceptive practices. It's a shame that advertising dollars come before integrity, AVS Forum helped MLS screw it's own members by looking the other way when myself and others contacted them about Schifty's practices and continued to let him post like he was an enthusiast instead of limiting his post to the manufacturer's forums. Good job AVS ! You let a criminal influnce buying decisions and trick people into sending deposits on a product they would never receive. Thanks again, you should be proud.
post #1323 of 1523
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve. View Post

That's weird, I posted a reply to this thread last night that apparently disappeared. I basically wanted to thank the forum administrators for allowing MLS to post in the general forums as our "friend" while using AVS as a vehicle to push his crap and "charities" on it's members.

Over the past few years I asked the AVS admin several times to prohibit MLS from posting anywhere but the manufacturers section. In addition I was banned and had posts removed for calling him out publicly regarding his Schifty and deceptive practices. It's a shame that advertising dollars come before integrity, AVS Forum helped MLS screw it's own members by looking the other way when myself and others contacted them about Schifty's practices and continued to let him post like he was an enthusiast instead of limiting his post to the manufacturer's forums. Good job AVS ! You let a criminal influnce buying decisions and trick people into sending deposits on a product they would never receive. Thanks again, you should be proud.

The folks at AVS were never friends of MLS. In fact, several of his threads were closed down and he was taken to task by David for using the forum as an advertising vehicle. David has pointed out on many occasions that support threads were OK. Of course, with tens of thousands of threads and hundreds of thousands of members, it is often difficult to be an effective moderator. Unless someone complains, threads can go grow like weeds. Not sure what happened to your other post. I remember seeing it. Certainly attacking the forum owners may be a good way to get banned (again). Peace.
post #1324 of 1523
If they had the balls to act responsibly there would be quite a few people that didn't get screwed. You can't deny that MLS used a user's forum to perpetrate his crimes, they allowed it to happen for a long time.
post #1325 of 1523
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim916 View Post

I've found very little correlation between wiseness and # of posts.

Is it hard to get Coke Zero out of a keyboard?

I spit a mouthful out laughing at that post.
post #1326 of 1523
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve. View Post

That's weird, I posted a reply to this thread last night that apparently disappeared. I basically wanted to thank the forum administrators for allowing MLS to post in the general forums as our "friend" while using AVS as a vehicle to push his crap and "charities" on it's members.

Over the past few years I asked the AVS admin several times to prohibit MLS from posting anywhere but the manufacturers section. In addition I was banned and had posts removed for calling him out publicly regarding his Schifty and deceptive practices. It's a shame that advertising dollars come before integrity, AVS Forum helped MLS screw it's own members by looking the other way when myself and others contacted them about Schifty's practices and continued to let him post like he was an enthusiast instead of limiting his post to the manufacturer's forums. Good job AVS ! You let a criminal influnce buying decisions and trick people into sending deposits on a product they would never receive. Thanks again, you should be proud.


To accuse AVS admin of allowing MLS to "screw" it's members would insinuate that the admin knew what MLS was doing. Most members across many forums trusted the man implicitly and IMO the admin here shoulders absolutely no responsibility in the actions of MLS. I think it's very generous of them to have allowed this thread to continue as long as it has and I hope to see it alive for a while to come.
post #1327 of 1523
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve. View Post

If they had the balls to act responsibly there would be quite a few people that didn't get screwed. You can't deny that MLS used a user's forum to perpetrate his crimes, they allowed it to happen for a long time.

Actually when things got bad over at AV321 AVSers were viewed as the enemy. To suggest that AVS was privy to MLS's crimes is ludicrous. AVS, beyond running a forum, sells home theater equipment. There would be absolutely no reason why they would want to help AV321 in any endeavor.
post #1328 of 1523
Agree with everyone but Steve. on this one. Long before all the criminal stuff became exposed, many AV321'ers felt AVS was unfair to Mark/the company; too quick to shut down general discussion-related posts or threads, deeming them "sales promoting" and a perception that AVS wasn't applying the same stringent standards to other internet direct companies. Then conversely, letting critical posters get away with too much 'unfair' negativity about the company in other instances, etc.
post #1329 of 1523
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonygeno View Post

Actually when things got bad over at AV321 AVSers were viewed as the enemy. To suggest that AVS was privy to MLS's crimes is ludicrous. AVS, beyond running a forum, sells home theater equipment. There would be absolutely no reason why they would want to help AV321 in any endeavor.

I agree totally. AVS is not the guilty one.
post #1330 of 1523
Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Bessinger View Post

Maybe the "Secrets" guy will offer him a job reviewing product or back him in a new venture. He knew Mark really well.

That he did. Why there was even an interview with him by Anita Koch.
post #1331 of 1523
Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Bessinger View Post

I agree totally. AVS is not the guilty one.

I also totally agree. I think many folks got tired of the AV123 hype back ten years ago when there were two mega threads that were all about AV123. The first one started back around 2000.... Something about Swans, the best speaker for the money ever? Or something like that. The thread had hundreds of pages and thousands of views. Then Mark switched from Swans and started building Rockets and there was then ANOTHER thread with the same title substituting Rockets for Swans of course and that thread got even bigger than the first one fairly quickly.

I know a lot of advertiser's complained and there were some forum regulars at that time that didn't like it either. So what would happen is a few (maybe even this new Steve fella was one of them) of the forum regulars would jump into ANY thread that mentioned AV123 and start trolling. It was plainly obvious who they were and would keep the pot stirred in hopes it would escalate to the point of getting the thread shut down or even better, deleted.

There was immaturity on both sides and I agree it got ugly. I respect David Bott immensely in how he tried to handle things back then. Even to a point of shutting down this entire speaker forum for a couple of days. It allowed things to cool down and prompted his sticky at the top of this page.

So no, AVS has ZERO blame in anything related to the shennanigans of any company.

IMHO, FWIW, YMMV and just my $0.02 and all that of course.
post #1332 of 1523
I actually just came across this thread. Man, are some people getting worked up over this deal and like kicking a dog when he's down. I understand if you are a victim and lost money because of Mark or his company and I feel for you. I have no sympathy for a crook, but the people jumping on the bandwagon is getting extreme. I purchased products in the past from AV321 and never had any issues, thankfully.

If the general public were as angry at Congress regarding more important issues like BP oil spill, Enron, Goldman Sachs, etc as people on this forum are angry at a small-time company and it's virtually no-name owner then this country would be in good shape.
post #1333 of 1523
Actually, in the world of ID speakers and electronics AV321 was one of the biggest names. Many, many people followed their exploits thanks to their forum, and the products were, at first, well regarded. It's a bit like a Greek tragedy, with events unfolding that led to certain doom. A very interesting ride, but of course, not for those who got screwed. For the rest of us, it's like reading a trashy novel, or watching a b-grade movie... or maybe like watching a train wreck, you get interested and can't turn away.
post #1334 of 1523
Quote:
Originally Posted by dan711 View Post

I actually just came across this thread. Man, are some people getting worked up over this deal and like kicking a dog when he's down. I understand if you are a victim and lost money because of Mark or his company and I feel for you. I have no sympathy for a crook, but the people jumping on the bandwagon is getting extreme...

If you haven't followed this story over the last year, spanning multiple threads, everything from raffle scams, to subwoofers shipped defective, to taking money for product that never shipped, then you have no context with which to make this statement, if you have been following then what exactly is it that you take issue with. Nobody who has posted their opinions is new to this topic. Most all have been participating since the beginning and have every right to pile on. Who do you see as the bandwagon jumpers???
post #1335 of 1523
Quote:
Originally Posted by htcritic View Post

If you haven't followed this story over the last year, spanning multiple threads, everything from raffle scams, to subwoofers shipped defective, to taking money for product that never shipped, then you have no context with which to make this statement, if you have been following then what exactly is it that you take issue with. Nobody who has posted their opinions is new to this topic. Most all have been participating since the beginning and have every right to pile on. Who do you see as the bandwagon jumpers???

You stated that nobody that has posted is new to this topic? So are you guaranteeing that everyone that has posted about this situation lost money to or has been wronged by mark and his company in some fashion? If not then IMO the people that jump in mid stream and start accusing MS and AV321 of wrong doing are jumping on the bandwagon. Have you ever purchased or attempted to purchase from AV321? If so, then you my friend are not a bandwagon jumper IMO.
post #1336 of 1523
Quote:
Originally Posted by dan711 View Post

I actually just came across this thread. Man, are some people getting worked up over this deal and like kicking a dog when he's down. I understand if you are a victim and lost money because of Mark or his company and I feel for you. I have no sympathy for a crook, but the people jumping on the bandwagon is getting extreme. I purchased products in the past from AV321 and never had any issues, thankfully.

Dan, I agree with about half of what you say, but keep in mind that we are talking about the absolute King of kicking a dog when he is down. There are people like Bernie Madoff and Jeffery Skilling who are criminal pricks, but they didn't make their con from finding a dog thats down and then kicking and exploiting it. There is a certain cruelty involved in how he "suckered" his victims that sets it apart from other typical scams/embezzlements. I had an aunt who died of cancer who left behind 6 kids and you talk about a low moment... I can't imagine if that humbly bumbly sociopath stole thousands from my mourning family, friends and online strangers in the name of my aunt. Talk about kicking a dog when they are down, that expression doesn't even come close. He did this time and time again. The worse the tragedy, the more he exploited. He literally tarnished peoples' memory. Thats a heavy dose of reality. IMO, the mistake defense loses all credibility at the 2nd offense.

Regardless, I hear what you are saying and I come and go in waves in this conversation. I was a very loyal customer of Mark's and a beneficiary of his kindness. I realize now his kindness was all part of the con and he benefited at least 15 fold what he "gave" me. I was never his forum or real life "friend" (until the very end where he was letting me in on his business plans???) and I was never a forum top poster, but I was a good customer. Do I think its too bad what has happened to him and AV123,yeah I really do. Do I think he deserves exactly what he is receiving right now? Probably, considering what he did. Its just on such a different moral level than other crimes. Its like the end of wedding crashers and they start crashing funerals. It was funny because it was sooo wrong. That is seriously what he did in real everyday life, but did it basking in the adoration of sainthood.

All I can say is from my point of view its hard to feel bad for a man getting kicked and kicked and kicked again who made $150,000 by publicly kicking and eventually humiliating and forever scarring others when they were at their lowest moments. I think its noble that you stay above the fray, and I wish I did more often, but I don't think for one minute what is being said about this man isn't true or deserved. I guess we just disagree on the repetition.
post #1337 of 1523
About three years ago I purchased a pair of Strata Mini's and I believe a ref 1 center, all in rosewood. Everything was on sale at the time. I believe the Strata Mini's were $1295 for the pair, and the center, I think, was $350. That is the total extent of my dealings with the company. The speakers are not as good as I would like my main speakers to be, and certainly not as good as the reviews that were posted on the site, but they're still pretty good for the price I paid, and look way better than the price. I think things have turned out better for me in my AV123 dealings than for many, and I certainly feel bad for those for whom it didn't. That could easily have been me.

But at this point, now that the truth has come out about the company, I would like to know the truth about my speakers, particularly the Strata Mini's. Who designed them? Did Shifty have anything to do with the design? Who manufactured them? Although they are operating fine, is there any support for them if a problem develops down the line?

Thanks for any insight or suggestions anyone might provide.


Robb
post #1338 of 1523
My .02 FWIW....I've followed AV from 2004 until now. Purchased products from them until early 2006. When MLS was at the highest of highs, he was simply a vendor selling products - I didn't count him my great friend or trusted audio advisor.

And today, I see MLS as a business operator that fell into a spiral of problems that he felt he could remedy if he could pull of the next big success. Unfortunately the more desperate he became, the bigger the next project had to be and the more unlikely it could be done.

I truly don't believe MLS set out to have a raffle and plan up front to just keep the money. I don't think he planned up front to collect prepayment and never deliver a product. Did these things wind up happening - yes; are some of these things illegal - yes; is MLS being dealt with - yes.

It could end there, but we have many here seeking to vilify the guy beyond the simple guilt of his actions. IMHO those people fall into the same category vociferous fanboys did back in the heyday.

In my experience, the reality typically is neither as high as some would make out nor as low as others would portend....
post #1339 of 1523
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jed M View Post

Dan, I agree with about half of what you say, but keep in mind that we are talking about the absolute King of kicking a dog when he is down. There are people like Bernie Madoff and Jeffery Skilling who are criminal pricks, but they didn't make their con from finding a dog thats down and then kicking and exploiting it. There is a certain cruelty involved in how he "suckered" his victims that sets it apart from other typical scams/embezzlements. I had an aunt who died of cancer who left behind 6 kids and you talk about a low moment... I can't imagine if that humbly bumbly sociopath stole thousands from my mourning family, friends and online strangers in the name of my aunt. Talk about kicking a dog when they are down, that expression doesn't even come close. He did this time and time again. The worse the tragedy, the more he exploited. He literally tarnished peoples' memory. Thats a heavy dose of reality. IMO, the mistake defense loses all credibility at the 2nd offense.

Regardless, I hear what you are saying and I come and go in waves in this conversation. I was a very loyal customer of Mark's and a beneficiary of his kindness. I realize now his kindness was all part of the con and he benefited at least 15 fold what he "gave" me. I was never his forum or real life "friend" (until the very end where he was letting me in on his business plans???) and I was never a forum top poster, but I was a good customer. Do I think its too bad what has happened to him and AV123,yeah I really do. Do I think he deserves exactly what he is receiving right now? Probably, considering what he did. Its just on such a different moral level than other crimes. Its like the end of wedding crashers and they start crashing funerals. It was funny because it was sooo wrong. That is seriously what he did in real everyday life, but did it basking in the adoration of sainthood.

All I can say is from my point of view its hard to feel bad for a man getting kicked and kicked and kicked again who made $150,000 by publicly kicking and eventually humiliating and forever scarring others when they were at their lowest moments. I think its noble that you stay above the fray, and I wish I did more often, but I don't think for one minute what is being said about this man isn't true or deserved. I guess we just disagree on the repetition.

I see your point and understand where you and others like yourself are coming from. I don't think MS started his company thinking that he would be scamming and stealing from customers and innocent people someday. It sounds like it spiraled out of control very quickly once he started down a deceitful path.

It just hits a nerve with me when people that don't have a clue about something throw their 2 cents into the mix (thats what I am referring to when I use the term bandwagon jumpers). That happens often on forums like this. Look I purchased products from AV123 and never had any issues at all. That being said, I don't know MS personally and if he is found guilty of a crime then I don't pity him at all.
post #1340 of 1523
Quote:
Originally Posted by OaklandRobb View Post

But at this point, now that the truth has come out about the company, I would like to know the truth about my speakers, particularly the Strata Mini's. Who designed them? Did Shifty have anything to do with the design? Who manufactured them? Although they are operating fine, is there any support for them if a problem develops down the line?

The Minis were manufactured by Sound Art China, the same place that originally manufactured the Rockets (before they cut AV123 off for unpaid bills). I don't know who designed them, but SAC sold a variant of the Mini in China that included an additional tweeter - that suggests they either had a role in the design or at least were able to work with the designer independently from AV123. Hugh of Angel City Audio is now managing distribution of SAC's Onix speaker line in the US and is developing some speakers of his own that SAC is building for him - he has offered to help Rocket owners. He and SAC may be able to provide replacement parts for Mini owners.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wyliec2 View Post

And today, I see MLS as a business operator that fell into a spiral of problems that he felt he could remedy if he could pull of the next big success. Unfortunately the more desperate he became, the bigger the next project had to be and the more unlikely it could be done.

I truly don't believe MLS set out to have a raffle and plan up front to just keep the money. I don't think he planned up front to collect prepayment and never deliver a product. Did these things wind up happening - yes; are some of these things illegal - yes; is MLS being dealt with - yes.

I've considered that rationale numerous times since some time back in 2009 - the idea that he got into a bind, used some money that he had in hand from a raffle with the intent of paying it back, and got in too deep to dig himself out. There's a problem with this. Actually there are a number of them. Here are a few:

1. Evidence suggests that he stole every cent of the very first raffle he ran, back in the fall of 2004. In 2004, AV123 was doing quite well and he was talking on his forum about spending lots of money on luxuries like fancy watches and sports cars. It would be hard to justify the need to steal a few thousand dollars from a raffle.

2. There are instances of him running multiple raffles for a single charity or beneficiary, raising tens of thousands of dollars in chunks of $5,000 to $12,500 at a time. Each raffle was started without any outside pressure - he volunteered to do it. Each raffle started before he had paid much (any) of the previous raffle's donations to the intended recipient. Each time, he just kept taking and taking.

3. If he were truly concerned about the raffle money going where it belonged and not getting tangled up in his personal finances, he would have created a separate bank account and PayPal account to keep the funds isolated. He never did.

I know some have suggested that the raffle thefts started innocently and snowballed, but I have a hard time making that fit with the specific chain of events.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wyliec2 View Post

It could end there, but we have many here seeking to vilify the guy beyond the simple guilt of his actions. IMHO those people fall into the same category vociferous fanboys did back in the heyday.

In my experience, the reality typically is neither as high as some would make out nor as low as others would portend....

I am not prone to hyperbole. Even as evidence regarding the raffles continued to accumulate last year, I could not believe that he would have been so bold as to steal more than a fraction of the total raffle donations (which were close to $200,000 and included some high-profile charities like Red Cross Katrina relief). Even as each contacted charity yielded substantial missing funds, I never assumed it was truly across-the-board theft. When the indictment indicated that $150,000 of the $180,000 collected by Mark was undelivered, I was proven to have underestimated his crime. It explains his eagerness to suppress all discussion of the matter on AV123's forum - the facts fly in the face of his public persona of a charitable, giving person.

His business practices were and are a train wreck of unpaid manufacturers, unpaid designers (some of whom were tossed under the bus in search of justification for delays and defects), defective products shipped to customers, and significant refunds not paid out to customers who requested them. It is messy, and it is a curious contrast to the positivity and praise that surrounded the company even as business decisions were being made that led to this week's closure.
post #1341 of 1523
Quote:
Originally Posted by dan711 View Post

I see your point and understand where you and others like yourself are coming from. I don't think MS started his company thinking that he would be scamming and stealing from customers and innocent people someday. It sounds like it spiraled out of control very quickly once he started down a deceitful path.

It just hits a nerve with me when people that don't have a clue about something throw their 2 cents into the mix (thats what I am referring to when I use the term bandwagon jumpers). That happens often on forums like this. Look I purchased products from AV123 and never had any issues at all. That being said, I don't know MS personally and if he is found guilty of a crime then I don't pity him at all.

He plead guilty to 2 counts the other day. FYI
post #1342 of 1523
Quote:
Originally Posted by quadriverfalls View Post

You know, all through all of this I tried to remain at least neutral in all the "goings on."

Lol.

Quote:


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.

Let's think about this a little bit logically for just one second. MLS, when he had a great rep, was giving out manhugs, was the toast of the town, was moving a lot of product, and WASN'T (apparently) paying his suppliers very much or very regularly, still couldn't turn enough profit to keep his hand out of the raffle/prepay/BS gift card cookie jar. Yet you think now that he's the pariah of the audio world, probably isn't going to be able to get terms from any manufacturer capable of actually making anything decent, isn't going to be able to get good engineers to touch him with a 10' pole (unless he pays them copiously in advance), hasn't been moving much of anything except the leftover garbage in the deep dumpster (i mean storage), you think he's going to be able to make enough money to pay back all the money he owes?

Your rationale makes no sense whatsoever. The best avenue for people to get what they're owed involves legal action and the seizure of MLS (and av123s) assets. The notion that they're all of a sudden going to get their &*^% together and start turning enough profit to make things right, when they weren't able to do that over the last 4 years when things were MUCH more in their favor, is absolutely LUDICROUS.

The BEST way for them to get what they deserve would have been for Mark to start selling off things like his extremely extravagant watch collection, fancy cars, antique furniture, etc. He could have done that ANY TIME in the last four years and at least started to make things right (probably could have gotten most of, if not all the way there, from what I've seen). He didn't. He only started selling stuff after the proverbial feces struck the aeration unit, and then it was probably to pay his lawyer, not to pay back the charities.

The way things have gone down is really the only way they COULD go down, and really the way things went down is the best way for anyone to get the money they're owed. From the way it appears av123 has been run the last four years, MLS would have a better shot at repaying the charities working at McDonald's than running av123.

I've seen you playing the "av123 needs to stay in business and MLS needs to stay out of the pokey so he can make money and pay people back" tune for the last year and it's complete and total hogwash and it completely ignores the facts of the situation. You're still not thinking rationally about your pal MLS, just like you weren't a year or so ago, long after the writing was on the wall, and you were still defending him on various forums.
post #1343 of 1523
Quote:
Originally Posted by wyliec2 View Post

It could end there, but we have many here seeking to vilify the guy beyond the simple guilt of his actions. IMHO those people fall into the same category vociferous fanboys did back in the heyday.

In what way are people vilifying him beyond the "simple guild of his actions?" If this was one or two raffles that he kept the dough from and stopped, I'd agree with you. It wasn't. Whats the total? 12 raffles? 15? 20? He had repeated raffles for the same cause when he hadn't even payed off any of the first raffle. I could see him thinking "well, I'll have another one for this guy, and I'll use the proceeds from it to at least pay off the first one, and maybe by then things will be better and I'll be able to pay off both." A raffle ponzi scheme, if you will, where he keeps having them over and over to pay off the ones before and if he just keeps doing it perpetually it might not ever catch up with him.

But that isn't what happened. In one particular instance, he had one raffle for a cause, didn't forward the cash, then had one or two more raffles for the same cause, and didn't forward that EITHER. He didn't keep having raffles and use the proceeds to pay off previous raffles, he kept having raffles and kept sticking the proceeds right in his pocket.
post #1344 of 1523
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jed M View Post

Dan, I agree with about half of what you say, but keep in mind that we are talking about the absolute King of kicking a dog when he is down. There are people like Bernie Madoff and Jeffery Skilling who are criminal pricks, but they didn't make their con from finding a dog thats down and then kicking and exploiting it.

Agreed, x100. Some of the people Madoff swindled were just greedy and stupid. People that saw 50% returns and then were dumb enough to shift every cent they owned over to the guy. Madoff was obviously a complete swine, and I'd never say any of his victims "had it coming" but, tbh, a lot of them were just dumb and greedy. I don't consider people that buy charity raffle tickets dumb and greedy. A very large number of them were people that would have (and do) give to charity anyway. Witness the prince among men that won a raffle and then redonated the prize to be raffled again, to raise even more money.
post #1345 of 1523
Quote:
Originally Posted by dan711 View Post

You stated that nobody that has posted is new to this topic? So are you guaranteeing that everyone that has posted about this situation lost money to or has been wronged by mark and his company in some fashion? If not then IMO the people that jump in mid stream and start accusing MS and AV321 of wrong doing are jumping on the bandwagon. Have you ever purchased or attempted to purchase from AV321? If so, then you my friend are not a bandwagon jumper IMO.

I think you just described Chu, pretty sure he never bought a product, but he's certainly done a lot of commenting, i.e. he's essentially the guy that brought MLS to justice via internet research, contact with law enforcement, etc.

I would guess the vast majority of people commenting (i bet 95%) have bought av123 products (I know I have, proof at the end ). Sure, there are probably a few people jumping in that haven't, but if you knew the whole story (which it appears you don't) then you'd know MLS pretty much deserves whatever he gets. Which I hope includes a healthy stint in prison. Unfortunately I fear it will be white collar resort prison, not federal pound me in the, you know, prison.

I don't really agree with your basic argument anyway. This is a forum. It exists for people to discuss topics. To share their opinion. To vent their feelings. To talk about issues. If I'm reading a news article in the local paper and I see a guy that's been convicted of sexually assaulting a dozen women am I only allowed to post in the comments about how much of a turd he is if I'm one of the people that's been assaulted? Seems like kind of a weird argument. The entire audio community has a right to feel angered and insulted by MLS' actions. When I see someone taken advanted of I get mad. Not because I was taken advantage of, but because they were. It's called empathy, and it's generally regarded as a good thing.

And after my fourth or fifth post in a row, I think I'll call it a night.



All av123 have long since been purged from my computer room (couldn't stand looking at it), speakers replaced with Ascends HTM-200SE's, sub replaced with a HSU VTF-1. The HTMs are every bit as good as the XLS and occupy a much smaller footprint, and the HSU flat out embarasses the X-sub (it is a bigger driver though, and was more expensive).
post #1346 of 1523
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandarf View Post

Aw come on man it's not plain to see? Only one comes to my mind.... Think av666.con, think Mark Schifter, and a name should pop in your mind... But before you say: "Naaaah!", just think some more I guess pm if you want to compare thoughts...

I don't know anyone in the audio world that has done anything remotely akin to what MLS has. Your parallels of this "someone that shall not be named" to AV12Guilty seem rather weak. Does this person you are afraid to name owe anybody that you know money? Or is it somebody you just do not like?

Quote:


Damn, that part I bolded somewhat irks me... Inquiring minds want to know more! Ok, I think I might have an idea... Let me guess, its "someone that shall not be named" if you know what I'm saying? Blink twice if it is...

Your post doesn't appear very credible, it just looks a lot like a smear job. And that isn't doing the community any good at all. Suggesting what you have without a shred of proof is in fact an incredible disservice.
post #1347 of 1523
Quote:
Originally Posted by NicolasKL View Post

Lol.



Let's think about this a little bit logically for just one second. MLS, when he had a great rep, was giving out manhugs, was the toast of the town, was moving a lot of product, and WASN'T (apparently) paying his suppliers very much or very regularly, still couldn't turn enough profit to keep his hand out of the raffle/prepay/BS gift card cookie jar. Yet you think now that he's the pariah of the audio world, probably isn't going to be able to get terms from any manufacturer capable of actually making anything decent, isn't going to be able to get good engineers to touch him with a 10' pole (unless he pays them copiously in advance), hasn't been moving much of anything except the leftover garbage in the deep dumpster (i mean storage), you think he's going to be able to make enough money to pay back all the money he owes?

Your rationale makes no sense whatsoever. The best avenue for people to get what they're owed involves legal action and the seizure of MLS (and av123s) assets. The notion that they're all of a sudden going to get their &*^% together and start turning enough profit to make things right, when they weren't able to do that over the last 4 years when things were MUCH more in their favor, is absolutely LUDICROUS.

The BEST way for them to get what they deserve would have been for Mark to start selling off things like his extremely extravagant watch collection, fancy cars, antique furniture, etc. He could have done that ANY TIME in the last four years and at least started to make things right (probably could have gotten most of, if not all the way there, from what I've seen). He didn't. He only started selling stuff after the proverbial feces struck the aeration unit, and then it was probably to pay his lawyer, not to pay back the charities.

The way things have gone down is really the only way they COULD go down, and really the way things went down is the best way for anyone to get the money they're owed. From the way it appears av123 has been run the last four years, MLS would have a better shot at repaying the charities working at McDonald's than running av123.

I've seen you playing the "av123 needs to stay in business and MLS needs to stay out of the pokey so he can make money and pay people back" tune for the last year and it's complete and total hogwash and it completely ignores the facts of the situation. You're still not thinking rationally about your pal MLS, just like you weren't a year or so ago, long after the writing was on the wall, and you were still defending him on various forums.

Nick.... I understand the content and reason behind your response. And frankly, don't really disagree with it all that much. I was placed in a rather difficult situation in that I was seeing all of what was being said publically, yet was being assured privately by someone who would seem to have some knowlege of the situation.... that things weren't quite what they seemed.

Honestly, I didn't WANT to believe what I was reading because it was after all, someone who I thought was a friend. None of us, no.... not even you.... would enjoy seeing someone you (at the time anyway) thought pretty highly of, beaten continually in the public forums. Especially when you were being reassured privately that things were truly different.

As for AV123 still being around as a vehicle to repay the charities, maybe I didn't make myself very clear. Obviously (or maybe not since you said what you did), I meant that using AV123 sales as a vehicle to repay all that was stolen would have been poetic justice if nothing else. Not that I wished they were still around to line the pockets of MLS, on the contrary. If he still has "stuff" left to sell and make the raffles whole again.... GREAT, I hope like heck that happens. As for company assets, I doubt there was much in the way of of any actual company assets that could be recovered.

But things have happened now and they are what they are. I'm gonna miss the old forum friends and some of the good times that we shared, but I'm moving on. I nearly died last fall and learned just how precious life truly is. Since I'm looking squarely at the shorter end of my journey now, I value every single morning that the sun comes up and I'm able to see it. So, I'm trying desparately to let go of anything that impacts my life negatively. And even thinking about MLS and what he did is one of them.
post #1348 of 1523
Quote:
Originally Posted by NicolasKL View Post

MLS would have a better shot at repaying the charities working at McDonald's than running av123.

I wish I could agree with this post, but just think about all the customers in line at his register asking for a Big Mac and MLS retorts "Pay me $5 now and you'll get the new Rocket Mac I'm working on in a few days". It would be a sad, sad situation.
post #1349 of 1523
He'd probably short each customer a few fries with each order and then look to sell a bag and pocket the amount.
post #1350 of 1523
Quote:
Originally Posted by dan711 View Post

I see your point and understand where you and others like yourself are coming from. I don't think MS started his company thinking that he would be scamming and stealing from customers and innocent people someday. It sounds like it spiraled out of control very quickly once he started down a deceitful path.

It just hits a nerve with me when people that don't have a clue about something throw their 2 cents into the mix (thats what I am referring to when I use the term bandwagon jumpers). That happens often on forums like this. Look I purchased products from AV123 and never had any issues at all. That being said, I don't know MS personally and if he is found guilty of a crime then I don't pity him at all.

I participated in a raffle-do I have your permission to post
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