The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

05 October 2006

Gloria Wise Executives Indicted, Air America Radio


Two Former Nonprofit Execs Arrested Over $$$ Diversions

*** Watch Our Main Page For Huge Air America Updates Coming Friday Night And This Weekend ***

Finally, some accountability in the Bronx, even if it isn't nearly enough.

After over a year of damning revelations regarding the fishy 2004 transfer of $875,000 in taxpayer funds from the former Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club to the liberal Air America Radio Network, the New York City Department of Investigation has announced the first two indictments in this case.

According to news reports tonight, two former club executives, Charles Rosen and Jeffrey Aulenbach, have been busted for allegedly misappropriating $1.2m in public funds, with the lion's share related to the Air America scam.

To see the DOI's very lengthy findings in PDF form, click here and here.

From CBS News:

Charge: Charity Funds Diverted To Air America

Authorities Say Money Meant For Boys And Girls Club Went To Liberal Radio Network 'Air America'

(CBS/AP/DOI) NEW YORK Two former executives at a government-funded youth organization whose finances were scrutinized after it diverted money to the liberal radio network Air America were charged Thursday with misappropriating $1.2 million of the non-profit's funds.

Charles Rosen, a former executive director at the Gloria Wise Comm- unity Center, and his former assistant director, Jeffrey Aulenbach, face charges of grand larceny and obstructing governmental administration. Rosen was also charged with forgery.

New York City's Department of Investigation, which investigated the nonprofit for two years, said the men improperly took more than $290,000 from the organization for their personal use, on top of their already unusually large salaries.

The money -- described in the non-profit's books as business expenses -- went to pay for home renovations and furnishings and new cars, among other things, according to a Department of Investigation report released Thursday.

City investigators said the pair also improperly transferred $875,000 to Air America, which was co-founded by one of Gloria Wise's executives.

At the time, the Gloria Wise center ran a school and youth programs in the Bronx, and was affiliated with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, but most of its money came from government grants and contracts.

The public disclosure of the club's "loan" to Air America prompted heavy criticism and charges of hypocrisy from conservativecommentators in 2005.

Air America blamed the transaction on its former chairman, Evan Montvel-Cohen, who was ousted in 2004 amid questions over the validity of his investments in the network.

Funny, that CBS headline makes it appear that these allegations are new, doesn't it? Here's a trip down memory lane for our MSM friends.

And here's a fresh story from the New York Times:

A city invest- igation has uncov- ered wide- spread fraud and mis- manage- ment by a 21-year-old Bronx charity that received $9 million a year in city contracts to help children and elderly people.

The charity’s top employees misused $290,000 for personal expenses, like home renovations, furniture and the purchase of a Volvo and a BMW, and its longtime executive director created off- the- books bank accounts, under the guise of supporting youth athletic programs, to give himself and others tens of thousands of dollars in bonuses, according to the city’s Department of Investigation.

Charles Rosen, 63, the former executive director, and Jeffrey Aulenbach, 46, the former deputy director for operations, were arrested and charged today with grand larceny and obstruction of governmental administration. Mr. Rosen, a fixture of Co-op City and a former chairman of the company that manages the giant housing cooperative, was also charged with forgery.

Both men, who resigned last year from the charity, the Gloria Wise Boys and Girls Club, were expected to plead guilty this afternoon, in State Supreme Court in the Bronx, under an agreement with the state attorney general’s office, which is prosecuting the case.

The investigation, which began with an anonymous tip in 2004, gained momentum last year when it was revealed that the charity had improperly lent $875,000 to Air America Radio, a network known for its liberal programming and its most prominent host, Al Franken, the comedian, actor and writer.

The city immediately cut off payments to the charity and its affiliates, which relied on public money for nearly 80 percent of their budgets.

Two officials at Gloria Wise were directly involved in the radio network, according to the investigation, One of them, Sinohe Terrero, resigned as the charity’s fiscal director in 2003 to join Air America, while the other, Evan Montvel-Cohen, a former fund-raiser for the charity, was instrumental in securing the loans to the network.

Why haven't any past or present Air America executives been indicted, you might ask? Remember, this case is now in the hands of the Criminal Division of the New York State Attorney General's office, so further news developments on this front are a certainty (actually, maybe not, see update below). Given the sheer volume of evidence that the DOI has collected, it's quite curious that former Air America exec Evan Cohen wasn't yet among those indicted, for example.

NOTE TO UNHINGED MOONBATS: we have never accused Al Franken of being involved in the loan swindle itself, what we did prove was that Franken knew about it before he claimed on the air and that he pushed for a huge raise while the company was trying to figure out how to handle the mess, before it became public.

MAJOR UPDATE from this morning's New York Post:

October 6, 2006 -- Managers of the Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club in The Bronx looted the charity and used $1.2 million in taxpayer money for luxury cars, home renovations and start-up cash for lefty radio network Air America, a two-year investigation has found.

The bombshell probe by the city Department of Investigation was made public yesterday as two of Gloria Wise's top former officials took a no-jail plea deal - admitting in Bronx Supreme Court they stole as much as $150,000 from programs meant for kids, the elderly and the disabled.

In all, investigators found that six former Gloria Wise officials took $290,000 to pay for their personal expenses - on top of excessively generous salaries.

Investigations Commissioner Rose Gill Hearn called the misuse of public money "disgusting, and that's why we felt so strongly about it."


Hearn said charges were brought only against Charles Rosen and Jeffrey Aulenbach because evidence against them was strongest.

Rosen agreed to pay $38,575 in restitution, and Aulenbach will pay $32,363. Both men were slapped with $5,000 fines, and they are barred from working for not-for-profit agencies for three years - but they face no jail time.

"We believe it's an appropriate punishment," said Spitzer spokeswoman Juanita Scarlett.

Rosen was also hit with a forgery charge after city investigators caught him trying to support the transfer of $875,000 to Air America in 2004 by faking documents to back up his claim that it was a loan made with the approval of the Gloria Wise board.

The "loan" was made at the behest of Evan Montvel Cohen, a principal in the Air America start-up.

Cohen simultaneously held a $91,000-a-year no-show job as Gloria Wise's development-fund-raising director. But he did not raise any money for Gloria Wise, the probe found.

By late 2003, after a year on the job, he "was performing few functions" and "was apparently rarely present," although he continued to be paid as a full-time employee, according to Hearn. Cohen resigned from Gloria Wise in 2004.

And the probe shockingly disclosed that the club wasn't only ripping off the city - it was also forging health reports to prove that kids in its nursery school were getting essential vaccinations.

Corva and several teachers at the club doctored forms to pass annual Health Department audits, investigators say.

"They just dummied them up," Hearn said of medical forms mandated by state and city law.

She said the Goose Bay Nursery staff forged doctors' signatures rather than fail an audit and possibly lose the club's funding for school programs.

"When a child's medical record was missing, they copied and altered another child's form," the report said. (TOM TOPOUSIS)

Also, see New York Daily News coverage here.

The latest revelations here are really sick and the punishment seems very, very light. It's astounding that no one from Air America Radio will likely face any charges, especially given the evidence against Montvel- Cohen and Sinohe Terrero. Is this a gift from Albany?

Watch for Air America's usual spin today, that these execs were part of a previous ownership regime. Because it's really been a shell game, with many of the same people moving in and out of roles in the operation, that's not true. In addition, Terrero, whose name is all over the DOI's report, remained as Air America's CFO or in an ongoing consulting role until the beginning of 2006!

In addition, keep in mind that Franken & Co have reaped the benefits of this start-up ca$h, which was taken from children and the elderly, then used to get Air America Radio off the ground. To this day, not one Air America personality has ever apologized for this sick scam. Even if they were unaware at the time, when they did learn about it later, they either said nothing or promoted the sleazy company line. So much for credibility.

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  • just a layout comment, you should thumbnail the parody pics and anyone interested could click on them and see the legible version. The ones you have up now are so big they throw off your layout, leaving a column of single words to the right or left of them- this is hard to read as well as aethetically unpleasing to the eye.

    Either that or have a complete paragraph break between images, instead of aligning the images right or left and having the text wrap around them.

    I love your site, just a design suggestion.

    By Blogger docweasel, at 05 October, 2006 20:51  

  • Mick, did you read the post? Or click on the links to previous pieces? It looks like you'd rather repost your note to every entry on this website.

    By Blogger Brian Maloney, at 05 October, 2006 21:06  

  • Go after Cohen, dump Bush cousin Ellis, and the moneychangers will lose interest.

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 06 October, 2006 00:32  

  • Brian, don't be surprised these crooks got off light; it's pure Eliot Spitzer. He made his name shaking down Wall Street firms without ever proving in a courtroom they had done anything wrong, but refuses to bring the hammer down on someone he catches dead to rights, with mountains of evidence that should earn them years in a lockup.

    He wants to be mayor, and these Gloria Wise folks are probably fairly well wired into the NYC political scene. So they basically are given a pass so Eliot doesn't piss one of their rabbis off.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 06 October, 2006 09:51  

  • "we have never accused Al Franken of being involved in the loan swindle itself"

    And Bush and his cronies never said Iraq had anything to do with 9/11; wink-wink, snicker-snicker.

    You drones should be happy about the Foley scandal. Keeps the continuing bad news from Iraq in the background - the fiasco you are all complicit in.

    By Blogger none, at 06 October, 2006 12:24  

  • Elmonica? Where you actually BORN dumb from the neck up? Or is it just a matter of your head not quite coming out of the Chunnel yet?

    By Blogger Unknown, at 06 October, 2006 13:14  

  • TC,
    You probably have a hard time understanding me because I don't speak out of my ass.

    Or possibly after watching years of Fox news your brain has become so desensitized to reality, that you no long understand rational thought.

    By Blogger none, at 06 October, 2006 13:43  

  • This will likely dump me in the bin "moonbats"...

    Brian, no, you never came out directly and said that Franken was involved in the scandal.

    However, you did insinuate that he was responsible by association, if not responsible simply through not turning over his own money to Gloria Wise.

    Unless you come straight out and say that Franken was completely uninvolved in the creation or "ownership" of all items related to this scandal, you and Malkin are being wholly dishonest and disingenuous.

    Those responsible are, slowly, coming into their own. But you've been spending YEARS smearing those not responsible.

    Own up, or shut up.

    By Blogger TJ, at 06 October, 2006 15:45  

  • T.J.

    Here's what's been said.

    Franken didn't originally know about this. He didn't orchestrate it. He didn't make it happen.

    However, when he DID find out, he made a grab for big bucks to protect his income.

    Typical Ted Kennedy type behavior. He's for the little man unless there's something in it for him... in which case, he's for him.

    That's what's been said.

    However - In about 24 months Al Franken will go back to being a nobody, best known for having been a Saturday Night Live writer.

    Air America will be a footnote requiring explanation in his resume.

    By Blogger Lokki, at 06 October, 2006 16:20  

  • Boy, a few of you sure seemed worried about this story. For over a year now Michelle and I were accused of inventing this scandal, but now it's in the New York Times.

    And it looks like you know Air America's a goner, so you're busy trying to salvage Franken's reputation as it sinks. Is this about 2008?

    By Blogger Brian Maloney, at 06 October, 2006 17:34  

  • Lifa?
    Upstate doesn't count. Governor IS Mayor, as far as the politics of NY go. Bllomberg cannot do a damn thing without Albany's okay.

    Do play with me, punk. I crap stools smarter than you.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 06 October, 2006 18:10  

  • "...Michelle and I..?"

    (blink, blink)

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 07 October, 2006 01:43  

  • Some of the anger here is clearly over the fact that there's no longer any way to blame this on us for "making up" a scandal.

    And since AAR is just about dead, it's bizarre to see a few of you still defending its sleazy corporate antics.

    So what's this really about? From the looks of it, you're trying to salvage Franken's 2008 Senate bid and believe this scandal will hurt his chances. That explains the demands for an "apology" and the rest of this silliness.

    By Blogger Brian Maloney, at 07 October, 2006 10:43  

  • Yo, Elmonica?

    Why you be a troll?

    No way to react to your crap...

    That's gay fag posting, puppy.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 07 October, 2006 22:31  

  • Manual trackback. For "progessive" talk radio, it's all about the children...

    By Blogger directorblue, at 08 October, 2006 09:24  

  • Quite an inaccurate depiction of the real deal at Co-op City in general, and Gloria Wise in particular...

    Tell me, how many of you bright-penny neocons have actually ever set foot in the Bronx?

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 08 October, 2006 23:14  

  • T.C

    The biggst hack EVER in the history of messsage boards, bar none. He makes a mistake, says Spitzer is runnig for mayor than when corrected, he posts, the biggest bunch of hackery EVER. "Govorner is mayor in N.Y". You T.C are an ingenueous moron, totally out of your league in the area of political discussion. You have an inexorable love for anybody with the letter "R" next to his name, know not why, have no political knowledge, and have the nerve to post such insolence as calling Elmonica's post as "Gay posting", as you weasel your way out of a HUGE error regarding Spitzer You have reached the apogee of stupidity. Your circuitous way of justifying a HUGE error is laughable. Save your acerbity for the mosh pit of some crappy angst rock band, after someone kicks your ass. You belong nowhere near a political discussion. The only "gayness" is effusing out of the G.O.P, like never before!! T.C you make Maloney look like a luminary, and Maloney is a top ranking hack

    By Blogger Minister of Propaganda, at 09 October, 2006 00:00  

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