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August 17, 2005
Air America: Shell Game Implodes

Brian Maloney and Michelle Malkin have covered the sordid mess between Air America and Gloria Wise Boys and Girls Club, in which $875,000 in government grants wound up in AAR's coffers during a period of extreme financial instability. While taking earmarked grant money from poor kids and Alzheimer's patients provides enough embarrassment for any company, the excuses given by AAR parent Piquant Media that claimed the responsibility for that transaction belonged with the original ownership of AAR caused a number of bloggers to look into the unusual sale of Progress Media to Piquant. Unusual it was indeed, since most of the owners of Progress wound up owning Piquant as well.

Now Brian and Michelle have spent the last couple of weeks doing the kind of journalistic research that has eluded the New York Times to discover that the sale has been determined by at least one New York court to be a "fraudulent conveyance" and that Gloria Wise is not the only creditor nipping at Piquant's heels. In Part 1 of Inside Air America: An Investigative Blog Report, the pair expose Air America as teetering on the edge of financial ruin and legal collapse:

It's not just the Gloria Wise Boys & Girls that's knocking on Air America Radio's door looking for lost money. According to court records obtained by Radio Equalizer/, another major creditor has been demanding that Air America pay up. The liberal radio network has refused to do so, despite a court order and scathing words from a New York judge overseeing the case. Now, the creditor--Multicultural Radio Broadcasting Inc.--has filed a new complaint, accusing Air America and Piquant LLC (Air America's current owners) of engaging in a "sham transaction" and "fraudulent conveyance" of assets in order to avoid paying its debts. ...

In addition to its obligations to Multicultural Radio, the complaint alleges that Air America owed more than $2 million in accounts payable and had no means to repay its obligations. Multicultural Radio further alleges that Cohen and Sorensen made a deal with Piquant promising never to sue, retaining an ownership interest in Piquant, and all agreeing to "idemnify and hold harmless" one another "with respect to claims for any breach or default or failure to perform any undertakings pursuant to their agreement.

Read the entire article, and check in later tonight for the second part of the series. Perhaps Eliot Spitzer might want to check in for a little look of his own.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at August 17, 2005 12:53 PM

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