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Longmont Man Indicted On Suspicion of Charity Fraud - Page 3

post #61 of 1523
Quote:
Originally Posted by rock_bottom View Post

It appears you are part of the problem too, and posts like that don't make it look any better for you.

Andy, The man referred to people as "swine". He did so with precisely ZERO evidence.

Now ... to your assertion that I was part of the problem ... You are flat out ignorant of any and all facts.

But, why don't you explain using facts how I was part of the problem ?

This should be good.
post #62 of 1523
Quote:
Originally Posted by rock_bottom View Post

Another analogy might be musical chairs. Depending on when the music stops, a different person may be without a chair. But the deck is stacked. There are always less chairs than people playing the game at each round. In Mark's case, as long as somebody had a chair, that made the game appear legitimate.

That's a good analogy. A well perpetrated fraud always has some appearance of "legitimacy" to hide it. That's why Ponzi schemes work so well. Certain people do get paid, though not really from what the "investments" purport to be. That attracts other investors until the whole thing goes belly-up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rock_bottom View Post

Phony charity raffles shouldn't be considered "business practices" though. They are out-and-out fraud. The whole situation is much more complex than just bad business practices.

Absolutely, those "raffles" were outright fraud. I was more referring to their "actual" business as a speaker company. Overall, the charity frauds committed by Mark are beyond that of just a "shady business".
post #63 of 1523
Quote:
Originally Posted by craigsub View Post

Andy, The man referred to people as "swine". He did so with precisely ZERO evidence.

I agree. It's also counter-intuitive to accuse Mark of being scum for defrauding his customers, but then accuse his victims of being "swine".
post #64 of 1523
Craig, It's a mixed bag. On the one hand, you've defended him in the past, saying others don't know the real story, and censored posts on your site about the issues. On the other, you've allowed some posts to stand - although it's not clear what the criteria were for deleting some posts and not others.

So, since you've been involved in a business relationship with him, and defended his acts which now seem indefensible, that casts doubt on your words. It's not the kind of situation where you should be out there busting people's chops - but it appears that you have brass balls similar to Mark in that respect.
post #65 of 1523
..........muzz jumps on the beanbag chair with a full bowl of hot buttered popcorn...........





Humbly..............
post #66 of 1523
Quote:
Originally Posted by rock_bottom View Post

Craig, It's a mixed bag. On the one hand, you've defended him in the past, saying others don't know the real story, and censored posts on your site about the issues. On the other, you've allowed some posts to stand - although it's not clear what the criteria were for deleting some posts and not others.

So, since you've been involved in a business relationship with him, and defended his acts which now seem indefensible, that casts doubt on your words. It's not the kind of situation where you should be out there busting people's chops - but it appears that you have brass balls similar to Mark in that respect.

Andy ... You are nothing short of either a liar or woefully ignorant. I am not sure which.

I have allowed quite the free exchange of information and posts on TCA's forum. There is a thread on this topic there now.

Censorship has been exceedingly rare on TCA.

But, since you went down this road, show me where I "defended his actions".

Tell me where I have ever said what happened with these charities was ok.

Of all the people who contributed money in these raffles, I sent the moneys directly to the charities involved, and did not send the money to AV123 in the first place.

Even the people who personally were working with fundraisers (Dwayland and Hugh) know the truth in regards to how I handled things.

Of course, you still have yet to provide facts, but rather are sticking with the concept of making an accusation with vitriol.
post #67 of 1523
Quote:
Originally Posted by rock_bottom View Post

Craig, It's a mixed bag. On the one hand, you've defended him in the past, saying others don't know the real story, and censored posts on your site about the issues. On the other, you've allowed some posts to stand - although it's not clear what the criteria were for deleting some posts and not others.

So, since you've been involved in a business relationship with him, and defended his acts which now seem indefensible, that casts doubt on your words. It's not the kind of situation where you should be out there busting people's chops - but it appears that you have brass balls similar to Mark in that respect.

I'm don't know what Craig's past dealings with Mark are, but I don't think it's fair to necessarily to judge Mark's past associates on crimes committed by Mark himself. It's not unreasonable to think that people that have defended Mark and his company had no idea what he was really doing.

Using your Madoff analogy, most of the people that turned customers onto him had no idea he was a fraud. They were defrauded themselves. I think we should keep this in mind before we get to the level where we accuse people that had a positive impression of Mark in the past as "swine" or other derogatory names.
post #68 of 1523
Quote:
Originally Posted by craigsub View Post

Tell me where I have ever said what happened with these charities was ok.

I never said you did. You'll need to stop with the strawman stuff.

Quote:
Originally Posted by craigsub View Post

Of all the people who contributed money in these raffles, I sent the moneys directly to the charities involved, and did not send the money to AV123 in the first place.

That was a great move, and sound judgment on your part.

Quote:
Originally Posted by craigsub View Post

Of course, you still have yet to provide facts, but rather are sticking with the concept of making an accusation with vitriol.

The vitriol is all yours. "Part of the problem" is just people saying, in effect, "ignore the man behind the curtain" instead of actively discouraging those who could become potential victims. That's all. I didn't mean "part of the fraud itself" which would be a very serious allegation indeed.

Edit: And if you want to say censorship is extremely rare, maybe you could explain this:

http://www.tweakcityaudio.com/forum/...6&postcount=32
post #69 of 1523
Quote:
Originally Posted by rock_bottom View Post

I never said you did. You'll need to stop with the strawman stuff.



That was a great move, and sound judgment on your part.



The vitriol is all yours. "Part of the problem" is just people saying, in effect, "ignore the man behind the curtain" instead of actively discouraging those who could become potential victims. That's all. I didn't mean "part of the fraud itself" which would be a very serious allegation indeed.

Edit: And if you want to say censorship is extremely rare, maybe you could explain this:

http://www.tweakcityaudio.com/forum/...6&postcount=32

Now the standard is that anyone who did not actively discourage people from purchasing products from AV123 were "part of the problem".

This is fascinating, as it would also include you.

But, let us look at the FACTS. Since March of last year, I had this posted in the summary of subwoofers, specifically referring to the MFW-15 ...

(Note: As of 3-09, based on many reports of amp failures due to what has been called faulty parts being substituted into the MFW-15's amplifier, this rating is under question until the amp issue is resolved.)


Of course, you won't find where I ever said "ignore the man behind the curtain", either.

You made an unfounded accusation, and still have no facts to back it up.

It's cool. I get this in one out of about every 50 encounters in the forums, and it's always entertaining.

Next, to address your question ... it's pretty simple. If you want to complain about the raffles, and being cheated by them, the standard is that you actually sent money into the raffle. If you didn't, then you don't belong there. It is clearly explained in the post to which you link.
post #70 of 1523
Quote:
Originally Posted by KyaDawn View Post

I'm don't know what Craig's past dealings with Mark are, but I don't think it's fair to necessarily to judge Mark's past associates on crimes committed by Mark himself. It's not unreasonable to think that people that have defended Mark and his company had no idea what he was really doing.

Exactly! But his words do not reflect those of someone who was deceived himself. That's what looks odd.
post #71 of 1523
Quote:
Originally Posted by craigsub View Post

This is fascinating, as it would also include you.

That's rather simple - nobody asked me. But that is not the case with you.

Of course the law enforcement people who brought the indictment weren't themselves defrauded either. And yet somehow they weren't prevented from speaking.

It's your forum. You get to say what's posted there. Just don't misrepresent censorship as something else.
post #72 of 1523
Quote:
Originally Posted by rock_bottom View Post

That's rather simple - nobody asked me. But that is not the case with you.

Of course the law enforcement people who brought the indictment weren't themselves defrauded either. And yet somehow they weren't prevented from speaking.

It's your forum. You get to say what's posted there. Just don't misrepresent censorship as something else.

I have been asked in many PMs about purchasing products, and have cautioned people based on the issues at hand. So, you are wrong again in this regard.

The law enforcement people have a job to do. Most people involved on the government side of the Toyota issue do not drive a Toyota, but they still must enforce the law. Enforcing the law is something I have consistently supported. You are wrong yet again.

And Andy, it is not censorship to limit complaints about this particular case to those who were personally affected by the case. It is sensible. You won't agree with this, because you made up your mind a long time ago, but this is how it works ... If you sent money to AV123 based on the idea it was going to do some good, you have a legitimate gripe. If you did not send any money in, then you don't have a legitimate gripe. The OP in this thread has been a member at AV123 for years, and was involved in some of the raffles.

If you want to start a thread stating "I was not involved in any of the raffles, but want to complain about it anyway", then have at it. You are welcome to open your own thread.
post #73 of 1523
Craig, I think you're just drawing too much into my comments. A lot of people were, in my words, "part of the problem". That would include many posters in the AV321 forums who jumped on the case of other posters who stated that there were problems. This doesn't imply malicious intent, but rather just having been fooled. In other words, they were part of the problem, but in a completely unintentional way. And yet now that some rather nasty details have emerged, many of those folks are coming around, saying, in effect, "damn, I wish I had never suggested to my friend to buy this stuff".

I don't see that attitude in your posts though. To be blunt, you don't cut a very sympathetic figure.
post #74 of 1523
Quote:
Originally Posted by rock_bottom View Post

Craig, I think you're just drawing too much into my comments. A lot of people were, in my words, "part of the problem". That would include many posters in the AV321 forums who jumped on the case of other posters who stated that there were problems. This doesn't imply malicious intent, but rather just having been fooled. In other words, they were part of the problem, but in a completely unintentional way. And yet now that some rather nasty details have emerged, many of those folks are coming around, saying, in effect, "damn, I wish I had never suggested to my friend to buy this stuff".

I don't see that attitude in your posts though. To be blunt, you don't cut a very sympathetic figure.

To be blunt, you still don't post any facts. When I post a caveat about the subwoofers which is almost a year old, you ignore it.

Once again, if you want to start a thread on TCA, you are welcome. Once you establish the criteria, we will try to make sure the thread stays on track.

Or, you can keep doing what you are doing here, and toss out insinuations lacking facts, refusing to respond to facts as presented, and generally being lacking in intellectual honesty. The choice is yours.

Personally, I am not looking for sympathy, but rather some honesty.
post #75 of 1523
Quote:
Originally Posted by craigsub View Post

Or, you can keep doing what you are doing here, and toss out insinuations lacking facts, refusing to respond to facts as presented

You haven't presented any facts. You've only attacked people advocating on the behalf of victims. Once you get off that shtick, maybe your words will be taken more seriously. I don't see that happening any time soon though. You were of course banned from audioholics for doing the same thing in the Schifter thread there. History has already proven them right.
post #76 of 1523
Quote:
Originally Posted by craigsub View Post

Of all the people who contributed money in these raffles, I sent the moneys directly to the charities involved, and did not send the money to AV123 in the first place.

Craig,

Why did you send the money directly to the charities rather than to AV123?
post #77 of 1523
More like a long, Long Pinocchio nose!


http://www.tweakcityaudio.com/forum/...1&postcount=10
post #78 of 1523
Quote:
Originally Posted by rock_bottom View Post

You haven't presented any facts. You've only attacked people advocating on the behalf of victims. Once you get off that shtick, maybe your words will be taken more seriously. I don't see that happening any time soon though. You were of course banned from audioholics for doing the same thing in the Schifter thread there. History has already proven them right.

This is incredible ... I have not attacked anyone advocating on the behalf of victims. In fact, in this thread, I defended victims who were called swine.

And you just cannot help being wrong. The ban on Audioholics had precisely nothing to do with the Schifter thread.

I am retiring for the evening, and leave with this thought: I have encountered people like you from time to time across the forums. I used to try to figure out how anyone can draw conclusions that guys like you do. Experience has taught me that figuring you out won't happen, and that a select few people in this arena don't care about the truth.

So, I leave it here: Feel free to open a thread on TCA's forum. I am easy to find there. I even call myself the Bosshole, because it's a funny name.

Your thread can be about how I have done nothing but attack people. It can be about how I am into censorship.

Whatever you choose, we can handle it.

Until then, goodnight.
post #79 of 1523
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim916 View Post

Craig,

Why did you send the money directly to the charities rather than to AV123?

I was asked this yesterday ... here is a copy/paste of both the question and the answer ...


Quote:
Originally Posted by grunt11 View Post

Since no one else has I will ask why you chose this route? and why you choose to share that information now?


Quote:
Originally Posted by craigsub View Post

Good question .. in the world of business, one looks for the simplest and quickest methods for an end goal to be reached.

In terms of money, the fewer hands it touches, the less opportunity there is for money to be mismanaged.

This was the thought process going on for sending the money directly ....

As stated above, getting it directly to the charity immediately ensures that no interference will possibly happen in terms of the money getting where it belonged.

This also got the money to the charity immediately.

I also did not decide to post this information now, this was discussed in the threads as they occured over the years. I usually would post what the donation was, and that I was sending it in directly. This has always been public information.

post #80 of 1523
Craig,

We haven't seen eye to eye on some issues, but on this one I think we're in sync.

For some, refusing to dive into the mud, throw **** against the wall seeing what sticks, and having the audacity to suggest waiting for the facts to lead the way to the truth means defending, or supporting or being fooled.

The process is taking it's course. I hope the evidence leads to justice.
post #81 of 1523
Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray View Post

I have posted many times that they had issues on the business side because something is shady when you run sales week after week. Something was up all that time.

On the other side, the products are not A COMPLETE SCAM!!! MLS didnt build a damn thing either, they have had some well known builders involved so the products had legit expertise behind them.

AV123 still made value leaders. Their products have had issues but the ones that are 100% are actually really good for their price tag. From the $175 ELT minis shipped to the deals on the 850 rockets and to the dual MWF-15 subs @ $875

There was performance/$$$ in those products and they had better WAF then most others in the same price range.

It was not all smoke and mirrors and its was not all cult like because the performance had data behind it.

Sadly the man stearing the ship was corrupt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarpon View Post

Remember when all the excuses where made about how poorly the 750 measured by Stereophile? Do you know that AV123 competitors have a difficult time getting anywhere close to AV123 published specs for many AV123 products when they checked out the products for themselves with random samples?

Tarpon is pretty much right on the money with this Penn. There was no telling how a speaker would perform or hit its design criteria because there were problems with the crossovers. Some were right on the money. Others weren't. There were wiring problems and problems with the wrong parts being used. The thing is, it wasn't consistent. I spoke to someone who does reviews that incorporate measurements. I won't mention his name. He confirmed this and said that in order for a review to be done, he'd often have to correct a wiring problem and found that wrong values were found for some electrical components. That's why the crossover upgrade business for the Rockets and other speakers they had simply took off. The upgraded crossovers, which were very well designed, had all the right parts - the right values - low ESR where required, etc. Penn, I could write several pages on this. There were a lot of corners being cut that weren't apparent Penn. Instead of routing out holes for the drivers, there was press fitting going on. That's faster and less messy but it also means you'd get some veneer issues from things like nail pops. Rockets were made in more than one place and as a result if a customer needed a replacement grill or something, they'd actually have to measure the spacing so Longmont could figure out which grill to send them. QC sucked because for the simple reason there wasn't any. Zip, Nada. Sorry Charlie.
post #82 of 1523
Quote:
Originally Posted by craigsub View Post

Get a mirror. Study the image hard. It will do you some good.

Swine comment hit a little close to home Craig?
post #83 of 1523
Quote:
Originally Posted by craigsub View Post

I have allowed quite the free exchange of information and posts on TCA's forum. There is a thread on this topic there now.

Censorship has been exceedingly rare on TCA.

Lol, I'm surprised you can type that with a straight face. Yes, you allowed free exchange of information and posts, except when you were deleting threads, posts, banning people, and not allowing certain people to post in certain threads (which is something you're doing right now, isn't it?).
post #84 of 1523
Quote:
Originally Posted by craigsub View Post

Andy, The man referred to people as "swine". He did so with precisely ZERO evidence.

What? David Fabrikant and Derek Wayland's statements constitute zero evidence?
post #85 of 1523
Quote:
Originally Posted by NicolasKL View Post

What? David Fabrikant and Derek Wayland's statements constitute zero evidence?

The evidence has been there for quite sometime for those willing to open their eyes.
post #86 of 1523
Quote:
Originally Posted by craigsub View Post

Andy ... You are nothing short of either a liar or woefully ignorant. I am not sure which.

I have allowed quite the free exchange of information and posts on TCA's forum. There is a thread on this topic there now.

Censorship has been exceedingly rare on TCA.

But, since you went down this road, show me where I "defended his actions".

Tell me where I have ever said what happened with these charities was ok.

Of all the people who contributed money in these raffles, I sent the moneys directly to the charities involved, and did not send the money to AV 123 in the first place.

This is an interesting point. You clearly had your radar up (as I did mine). I never understood why charitable donations needed a conduit, and apparently neither did you. If you will recall when the first raffles started I expressed my unease with them. Working in the business (fundraising) the whole thing struck me as fishy: a private individual/company running private raffles on behalf of charities. It just did not jive with the way I fund raise or the way I've seen raffles conducted. I knew there were laws governing the conducting of raffles and the way they were conducted at AV 123 did not seem to meet any usual standards. I expressed my point of view a couple of times on AV 123 and made the point that it would be better to give altruistically rather than via incentive (sending the money directly to the charity) and of course was met with hostility. Had Mark made it aware that only a portion of the funds would be used for charity, I think questions would have been raised immediately and they would have met a quick and non-felonious death.

When Mark's mother died, he asked that donations be sent directly to Denver Children's Hospital. This made sense to me and I was happy to contribute. Heck, you can't get a charitable deduction if you send money to JoeBlow's paypal account. But then again, the participants I don't think were interested in charitable deductions (did no-one question this?) but in winning some cool speakers. The raffles were clearly a conceit to get people to dig into their pockets, sell some speakers and keep the extra money for god knows what.

I've never understood the term "underfunded". If the company or Mark couldn't afford to fulfill the product he should have made the participants aware immediately, offered a refund to those who wanted it and given the rest to the charity. These raffles were clearly a way to "fund" other projects/pay other expenses. The raffle participants became in essence "investors" in AV 123. If he were looking for investors, with his good will, he might have actually been able to entice some his supporters to do just that.
post #87 of 1523
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chu Gai View Post

Tarpon is pretty much right on the money with this Penn. There was no telling how a speaker would perform or hit its design criteria because there were problems with the crossovers. Some were right on the money. Others weren't. There were wiring problems and problems with the wrong parts being used. The thing is, it wasn't consistent. I spoke to someone who does reviews that incorporate measurements. I won't mention his name. He confirmed this and said that in order for a review to be done, he'd often have to correct a wiring problem and found that wrong values were found for some electrical components. That's why the crossover upgrade business for the Rockets and other speakers they had simply took off. The upgraded crossovers, which were very well designed, had all the right parts - the right values - low ESR where required, etc. Penn, I could write several pages on this. There were a lot of corners being cut that weren't apparent Penn. Instead of routing out holes for the drivers, there was press fitting going on. That's faster and less messy but it also means you'd get some veneer issues from things like nail pops. Rockets were made in more than one place and as a result if a customer needed a replacement grill or something, they'd actually have to measure the spacing so Longmont could figure out which grill to send them. QC sucked because for the simple reason there wasn't any. Zip, Nada. Sorry Charlie.

Yes, you and I had conversations about those crossovers but the key to my post was the

"Their products have had issues but the ones that are 100% "

Im a huge fan of measurements (I post asking everyone to do them daily) but Im also well aware of many, many speaker brands that have bad measurements. I have seen horrible measurements from speakers costing 10x more then the rockets so I do not make any conclusions about how something sounds in room.

I owned the 760s and 450 rockets and I simply have to say that for the price paid they were very nice sounding speakers. I also have own about 20 other sets so its not that Im a guy that bought rockets as his first speakers. I also have built 6 sets of DIY speakers now (Did you see my latest build?) so again Im getting some education how things can sound.

I still own the mini ELTs they where $175 shipped, My RB kits cost as much to build and my finish isnt as good. Both sets measure decently and both do okay as computer near field speakers....Its hard to do anything for under $200 shipped that means there is value in that product.


I still will put the Rockets up there in performance/$$$ category. There is no denying the finish was very, very popular!!
post #88 of 1523
Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray View Post

I have posted many times that they had issues on the business side because something is shady when you run sales week after week. Something was up all that time.

On the other side, the products are not A COMPLETE SCAM!!! MLS didnt build a damn thing either, they have had some well known builders involved so the products had legit expertise behind them.

AV123 still made value leaders. Their products have had issues but the ones that are 100% are actually really good for their price tag. From the $175 ELT minis shipped to the deals on the 850 rockets and to the dual MWF-15 subs @ $875

There was performance/$$$ in those products and they had better WAF then most others in the same price range.

It was not all smoke and mirrors and its was not all cult like because the performance had data behind it.

Sadly the man stearing the ship was corrupt.

Yep. That is usually a sign of a cash flow problem. All they are doing is robbing Peter to pay Paul. You can't sustain a business model that way.
post #89 of 1523
Quote:
Originally Posted by KyaDawn View Post

it is a distinction nevertheless. The fact is Mark never stole from any charities as has been misrepresented by some posters on this thread. He stole from his own customers under a guise that he was representing charities.

Actually, you are misrepresenting some posters on this thread when you say that Schifter has stolen from charities. What has been said is that Schifter has stolen charity money. People donated money for charity, and Schifter stole that money. Hence, he stole charity money. You were the one who misconstrued this as Mark stealing from charities. Which in fact, he sort of did, if money was collected for charities, it was indeed intended for those said charities, and stealing this money, pretty much sums up to stealing the money belonging to charities, hence, Mark stole from charities... Not how I'd have put it, but still valid imho.
post #90 of 1523
Quote:
Originally Posted by KyaDawn View Post

Agreed, he did steal, just not technically from charities, but rather from his own customers. Stealing from a charity would necessitate his taking money that belonged to a charity.



No disagreement here, except that the customers that paid deposits now have nearly zero chance of receiving either the speakers or their money back. If Mark wasn't going to jail and the company was continuing, there might have been at least a tiny chance those customers might have seen the speakers eventually.

A good question to ask here, is where were the deposits or refunds going to come from and how? Were they going to come from tight fiscal management, the principals of AV451 taking a pay cut and trimming their own expenses? If so, maybe you're right or maybe a selling off of assets will allow some or all to receive what's owed them. It'd certainly have helped had they sued.

Now, we've all heard about some people who had prepaid finally getting their speakers - typically the LS series. Granted they had prepaid but that prepaid money was long ago spent. So where did the money come from to finally buy what was needed and assemble those speakers? I don't think it came from AV451 profits. At least not profits the way most see them. I think they came from other long time suppliers not being paid what was owed them. KyaDawn, it's like if I owe you $5K and instead of paying a supplier I've been doing business with the $15K I owe him, I instead stiff him, take the money that ought to have gone to him and use part of it to finish off your speakers. Hence, in order to make right for customers who've been waiting for what's due them, he's going to screw somebody else. Consider for a moment if you will that Santiago of Colombia hasn't posted in a very long time and he used to be a frequent, "Hola Marcos" type of guy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray View Post

Yes, you and I had conversations about those crossovers but the key to my post was the

"Their products have had issues but the ones that are 100% "

Im a huge fan of measurements (I post asking everyone to do them daily) but Im also well aware of many, many speaker brands that have bad measurements. I have seen horrible measurements from speakers costing 10x more then the rockets so I do not make any conclusions about how something sounds in room.

I owned the 760s and 450 rockets and I simply have to say that for the price paid they were very nice sounding speakers. I also have own about 20 other sets so its not that Im a guy that bought rockets as his first speakers. I also have built 6 sets of DIY speakers now (Did you see my latest build?) so again Im getting some education how things can sound.

I still own the mini ELTs they where $175 shipped, My RB kits cost as much to build and my finish isnt as good. Both sets measure decently and both do okay as computer near field speakers....Its hard to do anything for under $200 shipped that means there is value in that product.


I still will put the Rockets up there in performance/$$$ category. There is no denying the finish was very, very popular!!

Penn, that's like saying there's a bunch of women at a bordello but half of them have STD's and you're giving an endorsement for the half that don't! The customer never knew what they were going to get. Was it going to be a happy ending or a happy ending with regret?
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