Slowly but surely we are getting the facts on Evan Cohen and Air America… and it ain’t pretty. The New York Sun looks into the story and they are starting to find the rest of the iceberg:
The top executive at a Bronx youth organization said yesterday that the former director of Air America Radio received more than $800,000 in loans for himself and the radio network from the nonprofit organization while serving as its development director.
Some of the transfers, according to the president of the Bronx-based Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club organization’s executive committee, Jeannette Graves, occurred when the development director, Evan Montvel Cohen, who for a time served simultaneously as the liberal radio network’s director, appealed to the organization for two loans worth $35,000. Another member of the executive committee said Mr. Cohen told the executive director of the organization that he needed the money to pay for chemotherapy for himself and other medical expenses for his ill father.
Well, I guess we can dispense with the pleasantries of calling this an “investment.”
Ms. Graves said that Mr. Cohen also received another $213,000 loan for Air America in a check that was approved without her authorization and stamped with an imprint of her signature, and that the club wired more than $400,000 to him without her knowledge. …
Ms. Graves said Air America has agreed in writing to pay back the full amount of more than $800,000 in installments over the next two years. It is unclear whether the funds allegedly obtained from Gloria Wise were ultimately received or spent by Air America.
HUH? This severely strains credulity. We are to believe that Air America never got the $800,000+ but they are going to write a check for it out of the goodness of their heart? I know the paper must use words like “allegedly” but Stevie Wonder could see this a mile away.
And who wired almost a half a million dollars without the president of the executive committee knowing about it? (* cough wire-fraud cough*)
Initially, members of the executive committee viewed Mr. Cohen fondly because he had thrown a tremendously successful fund-raising affair for Gloria Wise in Manhattan last year. They recalled being impressed by the wealthy clientele and the large sums of money he raised, according to Ms. Graves.
Because of that confidence in Mr. Cohen, she said, the executive committee approved two loans to Air America, one for $80,000 and another for $87,000.
Ms. Capell said she had met Mr. Cohen several times.
“He was very suave, a very wonderful young man. He left a very favorable impression,” she said in a telephone interview.
After the initial two loans, Ms. Graves said that just before the launch of Air America her organization lent the network another $213,000, authorized with a rubber stamp of her signature on a document she said she never saw. More recently, Ms. Graves said, Gloria Wise made a wire transfer of at least $400,000 to Air America without her knowledge.
In addition, according to Ms. Graves, the longtime executive director of Gloria Wise, Charles Rosen, later told the board he had lent an additional $35,000 of the organization’s funds to Mr. Cohen for medical expenses. According to Ms. Capell, the board member, Mr. Cohen told Mr. Rosen he needed $25,000 to pay for chemotherapy. Mr. Cohen told associates that he recovered from brain cancer, according to Ms. Capell. Later, Mr. Cohen asked for $10,000 – which he was lent – be cause his father, a businessman in Asia, was “gravely ill,” Ms. Capell said. …
Gloria Wise received personal checks in various amounts from Mr. Cohen to pay back some of the loans, but Ms. Graves said the checks did not clear. The executive committee dismissed him when members learned of some of his actions, according to another member of the executive committee, John Rose.
This really is damning. I’m not a lawyer or a prosecutor and I think I see about 10 potential violations here. This “apparently phoney” scandal is serious enough that Air America is willing to part with almost a million dollars to make it go away.
The president of the executive committee’s willingness to talk the media is just more bad news for Cohen and Air America. It is sounding more and more like this was not an “investment” but a “scam.” And a big one.
I think we should have a call to action… I think callers to Air America should demand that their multi-millionaire talk stars refuse to cash their paychecks until the children are given their money back… Millionaire liberals would NEVER take money from children would they?