Member Credibility Issues

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I really didn't want to do this in this manner, but I am being pressured and wrongfully accused of certain things. Therefore, in an attempt to stop "distracting" from the other thread, I am doing as asked and creating an independent thread just for this subject.

Again, as I said in the last thread, I am doing no different than he is in questioning the past of someone, and the only information I have provided is a real name, city of residence, and the past controversy in question.

PLEASE, if the mods feel this thread does not belong, don't just lock it, delete it. I was told discussing it in the other thread wasn't breaking rules, but not sure how this will be taken. Motivation for posting it here is simply to eliminate the criticisms of it being discussed elsewhere, and not for "drama" or "revenge".

When I read about the Ken Black issue in the other thread, the OP wasn't as much a factor in my thoughts as strongly feeling that this revelation was unnecessarily bringing into question the credibility of CAS as a separate entity (understanding that all involved besides Ken are not guilty of these issues, but are being jointly accused by association). As I have done MANY times in the past, while responding to this issue on Facebook, I was lamenting that no one knew who the OP was, and expressing my desire to know. Well, someone stepped forward. I am NOT going to identify who came forward, because (s)he requested anonymity, and I am respecting that.

Some time ago, that person made a deal on this site for some items in the Classifieds. Therefore, that person knew the name and address of the OP after cross referencing PM's and paypal information. The person gave me that information, and it turns out Hoth_My_Fave is really Alex J Blaha, of Aurora, IL.

So far, big deal, right? Nothing worthwhile of posting online, except to answer many curiosities about his identity.

Well, I dug deeper, and after many google searches and following multiple links, some very interesting information came to light.

Along with a relative (James Blaha, who due to an approximate 20 year difference in age I assume is his father), they ran a magazine a decade ago called Scanning USA. The elder James was the chief editor of the magazine, but Alex was certainly a major player in the company. In 2008, a number of related forums saw questions being raised about Scanning USA, as people had paid subscriptions up to a year beyond the date they posted their concerns. The expected monthly issue had not arrived, and it came to light their website went offline, and the phone number was disconnected. People were commenting they couldn't contact the Blaha's, and were out the money they had put into subscriptions. There were several of these concerns raised, and in not one instance did I find any evidence they got their money back. Clearly, the Blaha's took the money and "disappeared". It becomes easier to understand the vigilance of Alex wanting to remain anonymous on here, as I don't think anyone would appreciate this personal history being brought to light.

So, why does this belong on RS?

Because it's relevant to someone who tries to act like a hobby savior, fighting for the rights of consumers. Such a huge issue has been made to discredit CAS (from someone with a known history of touting AFA and trying to bring down the credibility of any competition for them), that now one has to question the motives behind that post. Discrediting CAS and those associated affects the credibility of Ross Barr and Todd DeMartino, and by association, their advisory board, made up of well respected hobby members such as Joe Yglesias and Stephane. That's a lot of hobby reputations at stake, and while NO ONE is minimizing what happened with Ken Black, the implications and potentially damaging implications to people associated with the company are unfair, and we need to make sure there are rock solid motivations for doing this. If someone else had started the thread, the implications towards Ross, Todd, etc., would be no different. However, if it can be established that the OP did so out of motivations to slander CAS, and is being hypocritical in raising issues he himself is guilty of, then his credibility in the further accusations he has raised (ie. multiple wrongful accusations of infringing on TIG material, speculation of what else CAS is potentially hiding, etc.) is shot.

I'm all for protecting those in the hobby. Ken's name and history was brought up in the name of bringing down CAS's credibility, and suggesting that by association people shouldn't do business with them. Likewise, I have exposed Alex's name and history, and suggest that maybe he isn't the savior he makes himself out to be, and that he has no right to try and damage the names and possible income of the people who work for CAS not named Ken Black.


Again, I didn't want to create an individual thread for this. I felt it was relevant to the CAS discussion, and would prefer to keep it there. So, with people calling for it to have its own thread, this is what I'm doing. Move it to "Watch Out", lock it, delete it, or leave it open to discussion, whatever the mods choose is the best, I am happy with.

Ian
 
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I definitely think you should be prepared to be fired upon if you fire away about integrity... You know the whole "he who is without sin cast the first stone thing"... Like I said in the other thread. It is good for transparency the issues with Ken Black came to light with the community but it is also important for the person to bring it up to answer his own issues especially if they are going to drop bombs....
 
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If someone accused me of short changing someone, and I did no such thing, I would be defending myself in an instant? Hoth my fav did you ever short change anyone ? Is this an attempt to unfairly slander you ?
 

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Just a note, I am keeping a short leash on this thread. If this turns out to be nothing than a witch hunt and crucifixion of HMF then I will close it. I feel he should at least address some of the concerns expressed the past week but it is not required. The community has a history of self cleansing itself and will no doubt continue to do so. So consider this a warning to those that post here, if you are doing so just to attack, be prepared for a short vacation.

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Just a note, I am keeping a short leash on this thread. If this turns out to be nothing than a witch hunt and crucifixion of HMF then I will close it.
Thanks Mike for allowing it.

As the OP, I understand and completely support this stance, as I know it straddles a thin line. Some will believe it's that anyway, but as long as you guys think it's fair to ask the questions, I appreciate it being kept open.

Ian
 
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Do I like Alex (HMF), no. I have only responded in kind and as appropriate to his own commentary on RS. I have no other relationship with him. Having co-presented a topic on scandals at the last Celebration, one of the take home messages was the dangers of being silent. This idea is what lead Alex to post the CAS/Ken thread, in that the community should be fully aware. It had already been a raging discussion on FB and other sites, but relatively quiet here. Anyone could have posted it, maybe they should have, but Alex did first. I am 100% certain it had nothing to do with altruism for the hobby but his ardent support of AFA. He certainly never attacked UKG, and that's because they did not pose a threat to AFA like CAS does. So his tune had to switch from one of you need to grade and case "to truly enjoy and protect the hobby" to attacking CASs relationship with Ken. None of this takes away from the fact that Ken's history is important for people to know.

You can applaud these efforts to enlighten, and if you do you should also support highlighting information that has been elucidated about Alex Blaha and his role in the Scanning USA magazine. What Ken was involved with is no different than what Alex was involved with in the past. It's rather hypocritical of Alex to call someone out on bilking customers when he has done the same himself. This is likely one of the reasons he has expended a great deal of energy to remain anonymous.

Everyone and everything is subject to scrutiny, and as Alex has stated, these are darker times for the hobby and we don't want another Carl Cunningham situation to arise. So the warning lights and alarm bells are fair for Alex, especially in applying the same standards that he demands be placed on others, again for the safety and betterment of the hobby. He has every opportunity to address the information that has been brought to light, explain the situation and clear his name. He would only demand such of others.

Community silence on the matter is not acceptable.
 
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Ok, I'm not understandng the comparison to Cunning Carl. I mean, I understand it in the context of legitimate concerns in entrusting someone whose position with a grading company he founded has been shuffled, history scrubbed from his bio, all in an effort to keep up appearances on a person with a documented hstory and who has allegedly walked away with nearly half a million dollars worth of peoples personal property. However, I'm not understanding how any of ths applies to a guy on RS who is not running a business requiring people to entrust him with their personal property. Where's the danger?

And I know it's been asked already, but are you even sure you have the right person? I'm reading a lot of assertions here about him filing for bankruptcy, which haven't been backed up with proof. It's one thing when we post concerns and share information in hopes more people won't be taken, but not a good idea to drag a persons name thrrough the mud just because you don't like him.
 
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Joe, it's about credibility and possibility not a direct overlay comparison. Doubt Alex is smart or likeable enough to pull something off like Carl did. These are the types of comparisons Alex likes to use so I'm only framing things in his light. Yes, I'm certain.


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Good luck with possibilty analysis in a libel case. Ian mentioned Alex filed for bankruptcy, but my question on proof, more specifically, is whether there a bankruptcy filing anywhere with his name on it?
 
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That's the crux isn't it. If Ken left customers high and dry in the past there is a possibility he will do it again in the future. If Alex did the same, a similar possibility exists. Libel is tough to prove and win. Damages are usually based on actual loss, with awards not including litigation costs. Add in an international border and I'm not too concerned.


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Ok, but you also said you were certain. Where is the proof Alex filed for bankruptcy? Ian suggests in a post he made in ION"s really, locked thread that Alex did the same thing as Ken, and while there s documented proof that Ken filed not once, but twice, where is the proof Alex filed for bankruptcy?
 
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Ok, but you also said you were certain. Where is the proof Alex filed for bankruptcy? Ian suggests in a post he made in ION"s really, locked thread that Alex did the same thing as Ken, and while there s documented proof that Ken filed not once, but twice, where is the proof Alex filed for bankruptcy?
Is it relevant whether he filed bankruptcy or not? He took money for product and didn't give either money or product back. Same thing as what Ken is accused of just not same scale possibly.

Are you so bent on your issues with Ross that even now in a seperate thread you don't want this to come out. This information directly relates to the other thread and you argued all day it didn't so another thread was created. Now you are trying to discredit this thread. The facts remain the same as yesterday, a person made an outcry and showed a single link to back it up, that person then went on to make other claims and assumptions in that thread. The person making those outcries has a shady past himself and it needs to be brought out if for no other reason than to make sure he doesn't repeat a pattern of accepting money for product and then disappearing. That is the argument you put for why people should come forward in the other thread isn't it? So collectors won't get taken by someone that has a history of that sort of activity.
 
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Hey, I don't know where you're coming from shooting your mouth off, casting aspersions of my motives. You need to full stop puttng words in my mouth. Read Michael's (the forum moderators) post - I am asking for my own awareness. It was brought up directly to me in an early reply to me, so I'd like to decide for myself if these accusatons are justified or not. It seems pretty straghtforward a question - if Alex filed for bankruptcy, I'd like to see proof of it.
 
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I'll ask again since you missed the point. Does bankruptcy filing matter? If he filed bankruptcy the same as Ken has does it change the nature of the criminal act of theft that occurred? Is the only correlation between hmf and Ken that you see is a bankruptcy, which is a civil filing? Because I can see theft in both cases before i see a civil connection through bankruptcy anyway. At least theft as the state of Texas defines it, both of these would be criminal in nature first before civil authority would even be involved.
 
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If all the online searching is done, it is clear James Blaha was the chief editor. In a small magazine, that almost always equates to being the owner as well. Online searching shows James and Alex Blaha are related, and I'm using the 23 year difference in age to make the assumption James is Alex's father (technically, he could be an uncle or cousin), but the three pages I used (usaprofilepages.com, instantcheckmate.com, and nuwber.com) only list his relatives as James and Sonia Blaha, so it's fair to make the conclusion that was his father. By the way, I am not linking directly to his actual profiles on those sites, because it lists much more personal information (ie. income, net worth, marriage status, phone number, home address, his neighbors names, etc.), and not only is that information irrelevant to this discussion, it's also definitely information that would cross the line of what is allowed on this board.

The reason I mention who I believe is his father, is that it almost certainly means that Alex had some sort of stake in the ownership. Even if he didn't, an immediate family member did. There are online forum posts Alex made on related boards where he was essentially a PR man, promoting the business (I'd have to pull it back up, but I think at one point he was soliciting interviews). Perhaps James was the sole owner, and Alex was just an employee working for his father. However, being immediate family, it would have been decent - at a minimum - to address those customers screwed over in his father's (his as well?) business.

Scanning USA has no records online beyond the concerns raised in 2008. People did not receive the magazines they had paid for. The website given is not online, and a search reveals no other site for that name. This is not "proof" the company went bankrupt, but it is overwhelming evidence that it is no longer a valid business. Also, like I said there is NOT ONE shred of evidence that a single person who did not receive what they paid for managed to receive any compensation of any kind, as in either a refund or the magazines paid for.

So, is there proof Scanning USA went bankrupt? Not from what I have personally researched. Someone better at searching company history online might find it, but right now, no. However, wouldn't a non-bankruptcy then be an even worse situation? Bankruptcy at least offers some sort of court process to try and recover funds for customers who lost out financially. If it wasn't a bankruptcy, it means they simply took the money and disappeared. That's not so much a bankruptcy as it is direct theft. Therefore, I wouldn't push the issue of if it really went bankrupt, because the implications if it wasn't leads to an even bigger issue. ;)

I don't care a whole lot about how this discussion is going to help/hinder a legal case. Rebelscum is not a court room, and we are for the most part ordinary people discussing a crappy situation. It is good though for people offering opinions to have all the facts.

Again, Alex's history is important, at least in the eyes of CAS, if no one else. If he is involved in a similar situation as what he has made such a fuss over against Ken and CAS, and has ignored the situation for almost a full decade now, then that strongly implies that issues concerning customers getting bilked out of money is not such a personal motivating factor for him. And in turn, THAT strongly implies that his motivations for starting that thread were not altruistic in nature. When you consider he has a solid history here in promoting AFA and making negative comments about the competition, and combine that with what I just described before that, then it is logical that his true motives were to smear CAS and those involved.

Further compounding this, and a point many have either overlooked or forgotten, is that Alex also brought up an incident from 2008 (same year as his own damning incident!) concerning Todd DeMartino. Whatever Todd did to a box flat a decade ago has no bearing on the allegations against Ken, nor does it really have any bearing on what he does with the property of others when his job is to grade and case items in acrylic. It screams of a person trying to dig up any dirt whatsoever on a key figure in a company he intends to discredit.

Keep in mind Alex has not responded to a single allegation made against him. He certainly has that right, but I can't fathom anyone innocent of these types of allegations letting them linger on an open forum without doing everything in his power to deny them, put a different perspective on them, anything to keep people from seeing these allegations and believing them to be true if they are in fact not. Keeping silent, while not admitting guilt, also screams loudly of someone hoping that if he ignores it, his sordid past will just fade away.

SOOOO......

My motivations are questioned in bringing this up, considering my own past with Alex. Well, IF we have established that Alex has a shady past of his own, and this is evidence enough that such actions are not something that affects him in his personal life and are therefore unlikely to be a motivating factor in his Ken Black thread, AND we recognize his past attempts to discredit CAS and other third party graders by not just bringing up history of certain people involved and also by wild speculation later in the thread, THEN we can conclude that his primary motivating factor was an attempt to discredit not just CAS, but anyone working for them, while trying to manipulate the direct customer base of CAS to avoid working with them in the future. Since this directly affects the credibility of several well-known and respected members of this hobby, then by extension we can say his post was an attack on good people in the collecting world. And, he has done this on a forum where both the CAS team and its customer base are all members together. Does that not make it all important to understand Alex's motivations in the post? I'm being accused of a personal vendetta against one member, who as far as we know has no business tied to this specific membership - but he is making a case against several members of this membership, and ones that have a business relationship with some of them as well. Which "agenda" is more damaging to the membership as a whole? ;)

Ian

PS. I will re-iterate that in no way am I making light of what Ken has also allegedly done. If people are questioning using CAS due to Ken's personal history, then that is an important discussion to have as well. It's just more effectively done when the situation is brought to light by someone without credibility issues.
 
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If all the online searching is done, it is clear James Blaha was the chief editor. In a small magazine, that almost always equates to being the owner as well. Online searching shows James and Alex Blaha are related, and I'm using the 23 year difference in age to make the assumption James is Alex's father (technically, he could be an uncle or cousin), but the three pages I used (usaprofilepages.com, instantcheckmate.com, and nuwber.com) only list his relatives as James and Sonia Blaha, so it's fair to make the conclusion that was his father. By the way, I am not linking directly to his actual profiles on those sites, because it lists much more personal information (ie. income, net worth, marriage status, phone number, home address, his neighbors names, etc.), and not only is that information irrelevant to this discussion, it's also definitely information that would cross the line of what is allowed on this board.

The reason I mention who I believe is his father, is that it almost certainly means that Alex had some sort of stake in the ownership. Even if he didn't, an immediate family member did. There are online forum posts Alex made on related boards where he was essentially a PR man, promoting the business (I'd have to pull it back up, but I think at one point he was soliciting interviews). Perhaps James was the sole owner, and Alex was just an employee working for his father. However, being immediate family, it would have been decent - at a minimum - to address those customers screwed over in his father's (his as well?) business.

Scanning USA has no records online beyond the concerns raised in 2008. People did not receive the magazines they had paid for. The website given is not online, and a search reveals no other site for that name. This is not "proof" the company went bankrupt, but it is overwhelming evidence that it is no longer a valid business. Also, like I said there is NOT ONE shred of evidence that a single person who did not receive what they paid for managed to receive any compensation of any kind, as in either a refund or the magazines paid for.

So, is there proof Scanning USA went bankrupt? Not from what I have personally researched. Someone better at searching company history online might find it, but right now, no. However, wouldn't a non-bankruptcy then be an even worse situation? Bankruptcy at least offers some sort of court process to try and recover funds for customers who lost out financially. If it wasn't a bankruptcy, it means they simply took the money and disappeared. That's not so much a bankruptcy as it is direct theft. Therefore, I wouldn't push the issue of if it really went bankrupt, because the implications if it wasn't leads to an even bigger issue. ;)

I don't care a whole lot about how this discussion is going to help/hinder a legal case. Rebelscum is not a court room, and we are for the most part ordinary people discussing a crappy situation. It is good though for people offering opinions to have all the facts.

Again, Alex's history is important, at least in the eyes of CAS, if no one else. If he is involved in a similar situation as what he has made such a fuss over against Ken and CAS, and has ignored the situation for almost a full decade now, then that strongly implies that issues concerning customers getting bilked out of money is not such a personal motivating factor for him. And in turn, THAT strongly implies that his motivations for starting that thread were not altruistic in nature. When you consider he has a solid history here in promoting AFA and making negative comments about the competition, and combine that with what I just described before that, then it is logical that his true motives were to smear CAS and those involved.

Further compounding this, and a point many have either overlooked or forgotten, is that Alex also brought up an incident from 2008 (same year as his own damning incident!) concerning Todd DeMartino. Whatever Todd did to a box flat a decade ago has no bearing on the allegations against Ken, nor does it really have any bearing on what he does with the property of others when his job is to grade and case items in acrylic. It screams of a person trying to dig up any dirt whatsoever on a key figure in a company he intends to discredit.

Keep in mind Alex has not responded to a single allegation made against him. He certainly has that right, but I can't fathom anyone innocent of these types of allegations letting them linger on an open forum without doing everything in his power to deny them, put a different perspective on them, anything to keep people from seeing these allegations and believing them to be true if they are in fact not. Keeping silent, while not admitting guilt, also screams loudly of someone hoping that if he ignores it, his sordid past will just fade away.

SOOOO......

My motivations are questioned in bringing this up, considering my own past with Alex. Well, IF we have established that Alex has a shady past of his own, and this is evidence enough that such actions are not something that affects him in his personal life and are therefore unlikely to be a motivating factor in his Ken Black thread, AND we recognize his past attempts to discredit CAS and other third party graders by not just bringing up history of certain people involved and also by wild speculation later in the thread, THEN we can conclude that his primary motivating factor was an attempt to discredit not just CAS, but anyone working for them, while trying to manipulate the direct customer base of CAS to avoid working with them in the future. Since this directly affects the credibility of several well-known and respected members of this hobby, then by extension we can say his post was an attack on good people in the collecting world. And, he has done this on a forum where both the CAS team and its customer base are all members together. Does that not make it all important to understand Alex's motivations in the post? I'm being accused of a personal vendetta against one member, who as far as we know has no business tied to this specific membership - but he is making a case against several members of this membership, and ones that have a business relationship with some of them as well. Which "agenda" is more damaging to the membership as a whole? ;)

Ian

PS. I will re-iterate that in no way am I making light of what Ken has also allegedly done. If people are questioning using CAS due to Ken's personal history, then that is an important discussion to have as well. It's just more effectively done when the situation is brought to light by someone without credibility issues.

Geez, this issue brought me back from retirement. In short, none of this matters. I would argue nothing/very little in the other thread matters either. All that matter is this. If I send a high dollar item into CAS to be cased/graded, what assurance do I have that said item will not disappear behind a bankruptcy filing. That's it. And this question can be asked regardless of any past history of HMF, Ken Black, or the other CAS owners. What is the fine print on the CAS submission contract?
 
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Ian pretty much summed it up, for me its a matter of simple hypocrisy and putting Alex to his own tests of merit. 2 minutes of doxing provides all the information needed.
 
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Basically the "Pot calling the Kettle Black"....but...that doesn't change the fact that the Kettle might be "black"....wait...isn't there a guy named Ken Black involved in this? Wow, I just confused myself. I'm making myself another drink. :p
 
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In a lot of ways, this isn't even about Ken, CAS, or whatever else is going on with that. It's about certain forum members who have made this site a less-than-desirable place to spend time. And a lot of people are rather sick of it. They've left, they've minimized their time here, and they've found other places to carry on discussions - unfortunately all to the detriment of Rebelscum. There's just a lot of frustration about certain members who have made themselves a persistent pain in the a$%. A lot of this boiled up to the surface as a result of this particular incident.

I think that Alex's attempts to conceal his identity also feed into the general feeling of ill-will that a great deal of this forum feels towards him. His casual questioning of others' integrity (not speaking about Ken here, but rather other instances) has been traditionally done from a place of total anonymity. People generally like to know their accusers. People are also generally suspect when someone tries really hard to not be known. How valid is a neighbor's complaint when shouted from behind a privacy fence?

I've always had an issue with online anonymity in places like this. Why in the world would someone wish to interact with a community of fellow hobby members, yet deliberately strive to conceal who they really are? One reason could be that they're attempting to conceal something from the other members. Another obvious reason is that they're here to troll and cause problems. And we all know people who are here to do little more than that.

If you won't say it with your name attached, don't say it at all.

-Bobby
 
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Ordinarily, a topic with differing opinions allows people to gain perspective, and to examine the situation through a wide range of viewpoints. I appreciate Ian started a thread and that the mods allowed it.

I'm most thankful that it's a discussion with it's own self-contained thread now particularly because there's a bit of a logic bust from it's delivery and pitch.

In IoN's Really?? Locked Thread, he stated:

I revealed a history of him being involved in a magazine that went bankrupt 9 years ago, leaving subscribers out of their money. Yes, that's damning history - but exactly the same as the information he did in "exposing" Ken.
Now we know Ian is uncertain a bankruptcy ever happened. That's an important detail to base an assumption, especially one comparing Alex to Ken Black. I think it's particularly unwise to assume a company shuttering it's doors ever went bankrupt, or that a businesses dissolution would be worse. I've worked for a company that went first into receivership, then bankruptcy before the new company took it over. I had to go through the Ministry of Labour, who in turn sued the Board members to recover owed vacation pay to me and a number of my coworkers.

The people most directly involved with the demise of the company jumped ship before the company went into receivership. I stayed. I was emotionally invested in the company. I had a tremendous respect for one of the owners, and his business savvy was an early mentoring experience for me. Unfortunately, his people let him down, namely his sales, developer and services teams. I stuck it out until the take over, working well over a month knowing I wasn't going to be paid for that duration of time, and possibly longer, because the new company was making sure of it by not taking over the company's debts and waiting for the company to go bankrupt first. The new company taking over is still in existence and is one of the largest tech companies in Canada.

Now if I were to tell you that my Uncle was one of the owners, would that discredit me in your eyes? Should the boards start to form a line of people who have worked at company's that went bankrupt? Would it matter that I had no part in the demise of the company, and that the people that did left well before I did? Would this experience limit me from being able to speak on the actions of a person who has filed bankruptcy twice, and in his recent filing, declared bankruptcy and seemingly opened a new company that ran concurrently or very shortly afterwards? Where does someone who goes bankrupt come up with capital to open up a new company? Can you explain why my experience working for a company that went into bankruptcy, and why my association to one of the owners should limit me from asking these questions, or expressing my concerns as I have in the other thread, on Ken Black's history and his ties to CAS? Let me answer these how I see it - it shouldn't, and neither you or anyone that has backed this crusade are gatekeepers of the Ken/CAS controversy.

I'm also sharing this experience to point out two other things. The first is that a bankruptcy should in no way be seen as a "nicer" manner of redress for victims of financial inury. A company shuttering its doors is never a pretty thing, nor should it be assumed that a magazine with some complaints against it did either of these things. An inquiry to the State of Illinois would have some record of complaints and would likely satisfy this question. Certainly, an inquiry to the State of PA's various departments/agencies whose attention has been attracted by Ken Black's past activities and business practices would produce numerous complaints, and would be more an issue of where to begin with your discovery.

Reading through what you said, I would sooner associate the nature of complaints and the amount of time that has passed to those against Todd for accepting preorders on a book that never materialized. These complaints begin on these forums about a decade ago, and have since been trickling outward to a number of posts/comments on various social media sites (I know I've seen a fair share of them in Facebook groups), with a number of these complaints, including that SWFUK thread I already shared and will now share again here, dredging-up the issue in light of him being involved with CAS. The tone and scale of these complaints varies - some are not as bothered and in my estimation are some of the most patient people on the planet, while others don't want to have anything to do with Todd. My question to you is why didn't you ever go after these complainants - some very accusatory and harsh in tone - with the same zealousness as you did here with Alex?

I realize there's a sense of personal satisfaction for you and anyone that may have collaborated with you in discrediting Alex, but absent of any information revealing a bankruptcy, there's no merit in doing so on a public forum the way you have, especially when the comparison to Ken needs to be contingent on the fact someone walked away with money against people's will and used bankruptcy as a shield. If however you are able to produce proof that Alex or the magazine went bankrupt, I might consider otherwise.

I realize we may never agree on any of these points, but I wanted to at the very least state them for you to understand why I insisted on the need for this discussion to be kept separate from the Ken/CAS matter.
 
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Joe your points are well taken. But just to point out a few things. You too are not a gatekeeper of anything that had been discussed. The mods were perfectly fine leaving this part of the discussion in the other thread. None of this changes Alex's involvement in the Scanning USA issue or the hypocrisy he has shown. If he hadn't been such a clown troll in the past, a negative burden in these forums, no one would have cared to look into him further. Say what you want about Todd but he never presented himself as an ****** on a continual basis on RS. It's been ten years since the book started, if people haven't reconciled or asked and received their refund by now that's on them. I don't condone his lack of communication but at the very least it was communicated how one could get their money back.

I know you only want what you see as fair and reasonable scrutiny. But this is a court of public opinion, where Alex has toyed around in for a long time. Yes it's guilty until proven innocent. In this case, I'm ok with that.


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Fair ponts Ross. And to be clear, I've avoded past discussons concerning Todd's book, but bring it up here now because I see the similar parallells to the the concerns raised by Ian, and because of the web-based evidence and history of complainants. I believe those impacted have a place to voice concerns that supersede mine in the context of what he's done in the past. I also agree personalities do play a part in the decision to take Alex to task, although at the surface, the post does contain information which has been available publicly, and for reasons unkown to us, didn't appear on these boards until he posted it. Personal dfferences aside, he did what I would have done but just beat me to it. To avod going in circles on these talking points, I will bow out from this matter.
 
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I think we are going in circles between "my" side, and "your" side, Joe. Both of us have our stances pretty much set in stone, and both of us are convinced the other has questionable views.

To address your previous post to your last one, your personal experiences you relayed were full of suppositions and a story about a company that apparently changed ownership as opposed to shutting down, if I read it correctly. However, to answer a couple of criticisms, I'll repeat myself.

1) I may has misspoken when I said "bankrupt". I should have said "went out of business". You're focusing on the term I used, and if we were in a court of law that would be important, but the overall meaning of what I intended is the same. The company disappeared. What else needs to be discussed? Bankruptcy, insolvency, outright theft (in terms of what we're discussing) - aren't they all versions of the same thing? The company sold subscriptions, then didn't deliver, and there is no account of anyone who paid for undelivered magazines getting anything back in return. The process in which they disappeared is a fine detail that means something to those affected, but to us, the general public not directly involved, we see business owners who took money and didn't deliver what was promised in return. I will still maintain that in a bankruptcy situation, at least the company's status is defined, and the owner is not hiding. Yes, it still sucks for the victims, but the mystery is removed. If Scanning USA didn't go bankrupt, and they just disappeared, it's direct theft, and not necessarily a case of a company being financially unsustainable and closing its doors. In this event, that puts the Blaha's in a far worse light, and I still don't know why one would want to leave that open as an option if they're trying to protect the accused here.

2) I gave an admission that James Blaha may well be a relative of Alex other than his father. That is ONLY because the website results do not directly say the relationship. There's a legal term called reasonable doubt, which I am applying here. The 23/24 year difference between the two is more indicative of a generational difference, so it's unlikely James is his brother or cousin, and certainly not Alex's son. That would make it an uncle or father - but why would public records list an uncle and not a father? Is it a guarantee James is his father? No, but on a percentage grade, it's a very high probability. If anyone with direct knowledge would like to correct this, then please do - otherwise, I will continue to say public records will list parents as immediate relatives with a near quarter century age difference before more distant relatives. To argue against that is fairly weak, as it requires more assumption than what I have presented. Is there ANYONE who can make a case to the opposite with me?

3) Going off point 2, and to answer your direct question, if you are an employee of a more distant relative with no ties to the business, and that relative stole the profits, then of course that absolves you of any part in it (assuming you truly were an innocent party). My assertion is that it is reasonable to say James is Alex's father, so your example of an uncle/nephew relationship becomes irrelevant, as that's not the case here. And even if Alex had no direct involvement, I would say it is just as much a character issue if he sits quietly while his own father screws people over than if he had a hand in it himself. There is always the possibility that he is estranged from his father due to this situation, but then why hide behind the allegations if he isn't a part of it? Besides, doesn't this directly correlate to the CAS situation? People (including Alex) are suggesting to avoid dealing with anyone from CAS due to their association with Ken Black. Well, wouldn't the same thing apply by association to a father/son relationship when both were a part of the company that went out of business? Furthermore, while this doesn't mean Alex has no say in the CAS situation, it does make him a hypocrite to so publicly criticize them when he is so close to a similar situation in his own backyard.

4) I am not considering myself a "gatekeeper" of anything. I am asking questions about the credibility of someone with their own shady past, with known agendas against the company he is trashing, to be raising issues with CAS. Once again, to summarize it, I am NOT absolving Ken of whatever he did with Sellersville. But, if this doesn't affect Alex personally (and since he is an AFA loyalist - it doesn't), then for him to be so vocal, and to also include non-related incidents and assumptions in his criticisms, then his motivations are solely to discredit CAS and those that work for it. He did this with no provocation. Essentially, it helps to define him as a forum troll, as not only myself but many other members of this board consider him to be.

5) As for Todd's book, why didn't I bring it up? Because I never made the connection. No one brought it up in the CAS thread Alex started that I saw, and if you posted that link in there I apologize for having missed it. Yes, reading it, I am aware of that situation, but until you just brought it up, I simply hadn't made that connection. It certainly wasn't a main point of contention in the other thread - all the energy on Todd was focused on the box flat issue. Is that a valid point? Of course! If it had been brought up sooner, I would have agreed that was something that definitely requires more scrutiny, but the point is, it wasn't, so it wasn't something I could argue one way or the other. As for the link - you're overstating the criticisms. There were TWO people criticizing in that thread (with a grand total of 10 replies contained within it). One wasn't a condemnation of Todd, as it was a criticism of needing another grading company at all. ALL of the other criticisms were by Edd only, spread out over several posts. So, asking why I haven't taken Edd to task? First of all, I had no knowledge of the thread at all before I saw the link. Second, Edd has no axe to grind with CAS - he's just reporting a plain fact. Third, he admits Todd isn't a scammer, and that anyone requesting a refund on a book deposit has had one. Fourth, Edd, to the best of my knowledge, has neither any open agendas with anyone, nor does he have a shady history of his own. Fifth, Edd did not follow up his facts with assumptive allegations, just gave his own opinion. In any event, both Ken and Alex's allegations against them involve an existing product people put money into, and the customers did not receive anything. Todd involves a deposit for a book that apparently is still coming, although a decade certainly makes it seem it won't ever arrive - but again, it's not a case of people investing money expecting a specified date for a return on that and getting scammed. Slightly different scenario. I'd ask for my money back after a decade, but at least I could expect to receive that refund, where that is an unknown regards to Sellersville and Scanning USA.

6)
I realize there's a sense of personal satisfaction for you and anyone that may have collaborated with you in discrediting Alex, but absent of any information revealing a bankruptcy, there's no merit in doing so on a public forum the way you have, especially when the comparison to Ken needs to be contingent on the fact someone walked away with money against people's will and used bankruptcy as a shield.
I only quote this, as it's a very specific wording I want to address. YOU may choose to not see the relevancy, but I and others do. The comparison to Ken is contingent on walking away with people's money and against their will. Full stop. Using bankruptcy as a shield is damning, but the point is, in both cases, customers got screwed out of money. We don't have information on if Scanning USA went bankrupt, or if the owners ran away with the money in a full on theft. As I've said, whether it was actually a bankruptcy is irrelevant to the actions of taking the money and running. To bring up Alex's past is no different than bringing up Ken's, and like I also have said, if I can prove Alex is a hypocrite with an agenda against CAS and those innocent people involved in the site, it demonstrates that he is doing nothing but creating drama. In effect, trolling. At the end of the day, a whistleblower is subject to scrutiny - and he has failed his, being exposed as a hypocrite and troll.

If this was something you were so passionate about Joe, then my question is why didn't you start this thread before Alex did? It's apparently not new information, and the interpretation I get is that you were aware of it previous to the thread (and I apologize if I read that wrong). Also, you have been very passionate about the allegations that present CAS in a bad light. I know you have a VERY strong stance against questionable activity against consumers, and that is admirable. However, my next question is, that after the information about Alex has come to light, why are you also not going after Alex as a person with strong ties, if not direct involvement, in a consumer theft?

Let's put it this way. Joe, to the best of my knowledge and my personal beliefs, you have no shady past. If you bring up these issues with CAS, people will listen. If a guy like Ron Salvatore (as an example) brought it up, people won't just listen, they'll dig deeper. Now, what about if Shaun Neinast was the one publicly bringing up Ken's history? Doesn't make the situation any different whatsoever, but fewer people are going to pay attention because of the source. Many will openly debate it's veracity, because Neinast has zero credibility in our community. Alex has a ****** past, and so his message isn't going to be heard because too many people will focus on his lack of credibility and personal agenda against CAS to give the situation the focus it deserves.

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Alright, I have been asked to provide more concrete evidence Alex was a bigger part of Scanning USA, and not just the victim of a family member's scam. What I have uncovered tonight is stronger ties to Alex and ownership in the magazine, and some even more damaging claims about his role in its demise, which in my mind further solidifies the issues of credibility I've raised. Thanks to another anonymous member who helped me locate some of this stuff.

Can I find direct ownership of the magazine by Alex? Not really, but a couple of key pieces of evidence will help make it even more likely.

From this link, https://beta.groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/Scan-Mass-East/conversations/messages/5239, a person on July 19, 2008, asked about the magazine as he had six issues left on his subsciption. The reply contained this information, along with the same address information I have for Alex's home address:
Their website is down as well. The DNS info is as follows (for more contact info and an Email address):

Blaha, Alex J (scanusa@...)
xxxx Hawthorne
Joliet, IL 60435-2536
Phone: xxx-xxx-xxxx
The DNS info lists who, as the owner, registered the website scanningusa.com. So, even if Alex didn't own the magazine itself - he owned the website for it.

Furthermore, it appears they knew they were having issues with publication, and tried to hide from it, as seen in an image captured from the site here: https://web.archive.org/web/20080211214917/http://www.scanningusa.com:80/help_center.html

The image was captured on February 11, 2008, and their last issue was in March 2008, so obviously they knew the end was near, and what did they tell to website visitors?

SCANNER RELATED QUESTIONS ONLY. NO QUESTIONS REGARDING SUBSCRIPTIONS WILL BE ANSWERED HERE. CALL (630) 499-5851 FOR SUBSCRIPTION RELATED PROBLEMS.
To me, with the timing of this message being a month before the last issue, this reads as someone deflecting questions about their subscription issues. No way would they have not known what was about to happen, and if Alex was in charge of the website, well.......

Then, there's this newsgroup discussion about the magazine from 2003, with a reply by a guy called Mark Colborn, who apparently wrote for the magazine, here: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/dfwscan/conversations/topics/10936. Here is the relevant post Mark made.

Thats the one CJ, and as a matter of fact the article about the HamCom this
month is mine. Barnes and Nobles and Bookstop should carry the magazine,
doesn't mean they always do, or at all stores. It's an excellent scanning
magazine and Alex and James Blaha are great people to work with.

Mark
Notice he referred to them both as a tandem? And that no other contributor was mentioned? With the other evidence, it sure seems they ran it together. ;)

Here are some of the links to questions about where people's subscriptions have disappeared to.

http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r20443638-scanning-usa-magazine

https://forums.radioreference.com/g...ing-usa-magazine-out-business.html#post770219

https://forums.radioreference.com/general-scanning-discussion/106341-scanning-usa-magazine.html (this poor guy had a subscription until April 2009 - 13 month's payment GONE!)

Here's a post from a guy in 2013, lamenting the loss of the magazine, and acknowledging that no one got their money back, 5 years after it went down. https://forums.radioreference.com/literature/260062-scanning-usa-magazine.html Interestingly, in that post, he says this.

But the last year i went back to Hastings to buy the Magazine and that same year is when they the Blaha's decided to close shop.
This is someone in that hobby, who acknowledged they both ran it together. ;)

Lastly, here is a thread that started in 2005 with a very odd post, then quickly went in an interesting situation, before being brought back with updates 3 years later after the magazine folded. Please bear with me, as I'm going to relate this one to rebelscum. ;)

https://forums.radioreference.com/tavern-archives/24252-scanning-usa-how-they-really-feel.html

Apparently, the editor went on a rant about his own subscribers. :wtf:

I picked up the December 2005 issue of SCANNING USA magazine yesterday. On page 8, under a title of “The News From Ground Zero”, with a sub title of “Behind The Scenes, The Scanner Community Uncensored”, was an interesting story directed at their customers!

The first paragraph begins with the words, “Obsessive, hostile, combative, angry and paranoid”! They claim these words apply to “to those of the scanner community”! Later they qualify that by saying this applies to a small percentage, about 10%, but they said it just the same. The entire story talks about all the different kinds of abuse they receive from unsatisfied customers, attempting to inquire about the status of their subscription.

The article go’s on about how obsessed some scanner listeners are, and sites a few examples of occurrences that have been in the news. The story quickly changes to how professional SCANNING MAGAZINE staff is, and how serious they take the hobby.

According to SCANNING USA magazine, “We feel that to get a subscription is a privilege” If you rattle their cage they will “REFUSE your order”. It must be nice to be so successful, and have so much business, that you can take this attitude! It’s interesting to note, no one took credit for this article, as it was nameless!


This may have been the beginning of their demise, as it was immediately pounced upon by a number of people of how unprofessional it was and plenty of comments about the ego of the owners, and how they had issues with delays even back then. Then, after nearly two dozen posts ripping the magazine apart, a brand new member posted this.

Hey Safetyobc

After your posting and others , I decided to go to my local Barnes and Noble in NY and pick up a copy. GUess what, after looking at MT and Pop Comm, which are just full of shortwave, i picked up Scanning USA and left the others in the newsstand.

All this controversy made me want to pick up the magazine lololol, I love it and will continue to read it. See, I work on Wall Street, and when in this business, you're going to spot lots of toes being stepped on; but the ones that make the most noise are the winning horses.

So, if it hadn't been for all the whining and complaining generated, I would not have thought of looking at Scanning USA, which is an excellent publication and I will support it.

Bob L

New York NY
This was IMMEDIATELY pounced on as being someone from the magazine in several posts. About 4 hours later, this person posted their 2nd - and final - post on the forum.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacombMonitor
Lets see...new member to RR, first post to RR...are you sure you don't work for SCANNING USA?


Umm, I am not going to get into a pissing contest. RESPECT my opinion just as you want others to do the same. All this talk of the magazine made me go and buy it and I'm happy; I enjoy the scanning articles.

That is my right, just as you can say what you like. Perhaps you two are paranoid. Since when aren't new folks joining this board, lurking and expressing just as you are, their thoughts. Respect what I say and I respect what you say; we'd don't live Russia or Iran do we???

thank you

Bob L "the LURKER"
NY NY
So, why did I post those two entries on that forum? Well, it seems clear to me it was Alex, doing what he does. Notice the similarities to what he has posted on rebelscum. The tell tale spelling and grammatical issues. The use of lololol. The claim to work "on Wall Street" with the username "stockscanner" (on here, Alex claims to work with stocks). The claims that negative comments will backfire and make what is being criticized stronger. Pushing the idea that one can say what they like. And of course, after doing what he wanted, the use of the word "happy", just as he is famous for here. More than a decade ago, and look at all the tell tale similarities to how he posts now. :)

Anyway, three years later, someone brought it back up, and there were still comments about how that poster was really someone from Scanning USA. The thread ends with Mark Colborn (mentioned earlier in this post by me), saying the following.

Scanning USA Has Folded [HR][/HR] It's all a moot point now. Magazine folded with the March 2008 issue. Some on this list might say, "Oh well." But realize that this was the last magazine that was totally devoted to the hobby of scanning, not shortwave, ham, CB, vintage radio and articles devoted to monitoring in third world countries where most subscribers who read the magazine can't speak the language anyway. Other mags will step in and fill the void for while, like MT, Pop Comm, and National Communications, but eventually they too will succumb to lowering readership and Barnes & Noble's monolopy on magazine circulation rates and fold. It's inevidable, people are getting dumber and reading less, and those who still can read, are getting their information on-line. I wrote articles for Alex on and off for five years and did many scanner reviews. It was a great experience and a privilage and it is my hope that I actually contributed something to the magazine. Alex is a true gentleman and just like the rest of us, hard working and loves the hobby. In the past few years, he became discouraged like Bill Cheek who used to write the World Scanner Report. They both simply got tired of all the whiners and people who wanted something for nothing. I too thought that editorial was kinda harsh, but I fully understood why he wrote it.

Mark
This post has all kinds of interesting information.


He says he wrote for Alex - not James. I'd say that's about as close as you can get to saying Alex was in charge of the magazine. ;) It also confirms that the identity of the person at the magazine who wrote a disparaging and extremely disrespectful editorial about his own customers was in fact Alex.

All of the above shows that yes, Alex was a major part of the magazine, and so would have a role in what happened. He has tried deception to clear and promote their name, resorted to insulting customers who just wanted to know where their magazines were, and knowingly tried to redirect questions about the problems online. But here is a far more disturbing aspect to all of this: https://forums.radioreference.com/g.../106341-scanning-usa-magazine.html#post798353 This is an allegation without proof, but what a picture it paints on Alex's character if true.

But yeah, apparently he just slithered away like a snake in the night, with no warning, apology, explanation, or farewell to anybody. He even kept taking money from new subscribers after he already stopped publication.
If this is true, we're not just talking about a guy whose business became unviable, and he took off with the money. Now we're talking about a guy who knew it was a sinking ship - and kept taking more money from customers anyway. Is this not intentional theft?

I think in the next couple of days, I'm going to join that forum, and ask if anyone there with more direct knowledge of the situation can elaborate more, and perhaps enlighten me on if there was any conclusion to it.

There is a whole lot of evidence I have given here in this thread as to the character of this person. I wish someone else had started the CAS thread, as I would now find it hard to believe after all this that Alex has any credibility left at all. Just as he has warned repeatedly about dealing with anyone associated with CAS, I'm starting to get the feeling people have reason to be wary of entering any sort of deal with him in this community.

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Gotta say I'm damned impressed by Ian's thoroughness and verbosity in this thread.

It's a shame we're only getting crickets from HMF. You'd think he'd have some interest in either defending or explaining himself.
 
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It's a shame we're only getting crickets from HMF. You'd think he'd have some interest in either defending or explaining himself.
Devil's advocate, why should he?

The proof on Ken is mounting up and up , he clearly took people's items and sold them keeping 100% of the profit, and not only is there no response to it but people are just still talking up CAS (clearly built up with money from the defrauded) and nobody seems to care.

We all seem to defend the indefensible when it's either popular to do or in the majority. So while I think Ian's research is spot on and it's despicable some will defend him and others won't no matter what he says.

He's going to stay quiet, and eventually pop up his head.
 
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Devil's advocate, why should he?
Maybe because he cares about his reputation here on the forum? Maybe because he wants his posts to have some weight rather than be summarily ignored by the community as a potential fraud? Maybe because he's spent a couple years posting here and finds the place valuable? Maybe because he respects other members, and knows they deserve an answer?

The only reasons to remain silent are if he indeed defrauded his customers as described, or if he's nothing more than a troll.
 
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Maybe because he cares about his reputation here on the forum? Maybe because he wants his posts to have some weight rather than be summarily ignored by the community as a potential fraud? Maybe because he's spent a couple years posting here and finds the place valuable? Maybe because he respects other members, and knows they deserve an answer?

The only reasons to remain silent are if he indeed defrauded his customers as described, or if he's nothing more than a troll.
I agree 100%. I get accused of mixing it up more than I should but it's because I feel I have to defend my "brand"

But my broader point still stands. While it will soil him with some folks, others won't care. We're seeing it play out right now with Ken, Todd and CAS. Shouldn't what you wrote apply exactly to them? Todd pretty much ignored all the book posts, Ken ignoring his issue. Some feel they should speak up, others defend them. Gives a lot of perspective on the last sentence you wrote too (sans the troll which I don't think apply to Ken or Todd).

In a perfect world, everyone would be taken to task for this type of stuff. HMF takes subscription money and Ken keeping all proceeds from selling others goods are indefensible. But if we don't treat them equally and harshly then they'll have no incentive to defend or explain. They know they'll lose a few people but otherwise remain unscathed.
 
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The difference is that neither Ken nor Todd post here anonymously, positioning themselves as stalwart defenders of the integrity of the hobby. Both are public with their identities and their business endeavors are revealed. So they can legitimately be taken to task for past actions.

HMF won't address the concerns of his past business dealings. If he continues to hide behind anonymity in the face of these accusations, I can't see any outcome where he can continue to be a valued member of this community.
 
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The difference is that neither Ken nor Todd post here anonymously, positioning themselves as stalwart defenders of the integrity of the hobby. Both are public with their identities and their business endeavors are revealed. So they can legitimately be taken to task for past actions.

HMF won't address the concerns of his past business dealings. If he continues to hide behind anonymity in the face of these accusations, I can't see any outcome where he can continue to be a valued member of this community.

I'd say there is no more anonymity. Ian seems to be right on. I mean we should just start using his name really.

But knowing who Todd and Ken are doesn't change that they still don't respond and the pretty clear cut issues with Ken is downright horrible. Does knowing Ken and Todd's name somehow change how they can continue to be a valued member of the community?

I want to be clear, HMF should be talking. But he's not because there is really nothing to support your premise that the outcome is him not being a valued member. Ken is example #1 I'm sorry to say. He sold hundreds of thousands of dollars of other people's possessions and kept the money. The outcome? People are paying to send him their possessions to grade them.


The community subjectively chooses who it reviles and who it doesn't. It's not based on the transgression.

Carl C - Took stuff from ROW and sold it, keeping all the profit. He's (rightfully) become an outcast.

Ken B - Took stuff from collectors and sold it, keeping all the profit. People are bending over backwards to support

We need to acknowledge that we are inconsistent. HMF will be considered an outcast by some, a victim by others, and given a pass by some. I mean there is a little irony that he's being attacked for something 9 years ago while people said Todd did something 9 years ago and we should give a second chance or it was a long time ago.

In my opinion there needs to be consistency.
 
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I'd say there is no more anonymity. Ian seems to be right on. I mean we should just start using his name really.

But knowing who Todd and Ken are doesn't change that they still don't respond and the pretty clear cut issues with Ken is downright horrible. Does knowing Ken and Todd's name somehow change how they can continue to be a valued member of the community?

I want to be clear, HMF should be talking. But he's not because there is really nothing to support your premise that the outcome is him not being a valued member. Ken is example #1 I'm sorry to say. He sold hundreds of thousands of dollars of other people's possessions and kept the money. The outcome? People are paying to send him their possessions to grade them.


The community subjectively chooses who it reviles and who it doesn't. It's not based on the transgression.

Carl C - Took stuff from ROW and sold it, keeping all the profit. He's (rightfully) become an outcast.

Ken B - Took stuff from collectors and sold it, keeping all the profit. People are bending over backwards to support

We need to acknowledge that we are inconsistent. HMF will be considered an outcast by some, a victim by others, and given a pass by some. I mean there is a little irony that he's being attacked for something 9 years ago while people said Todd did something 9 years ago and we should give a second chance or it was a long time ago.

In my opinion there needs to be consistency.
I wouldn't deal with any of the three untrustworthy people you mentioned period , no business exchanging money with any of them .
 
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Thanks for the support overall guys, and while this pains me to say it, I have to ask we stick to Alex and not Ken, Todd and/or CAS - unless there's a link between them. I wanted to keep this discussion in the other thread, because, as we see with the last few posts, the situations are all entwined right now for the sake of discussion. Unfortunately, I bowed to pressure to separate the Alex situation from the CAS one.

I'll answer my thoughts on the comparisons between them. As for Todd, he hasn't ripped anyone off. Is his communication somewhat lacking with regards to his book? Yes, but anyone who requests a refund on their deposit gets it, no questions asked. It remains to be seen if the long delayed book will arrive, but he's made it clear that anyone who is tired of the long wait can ask right away to get their money back. No scam involved. The other issue with box flats may be looked down on by the community, but he technically broke no rules and didn't scam anyone. That's not to be confused with condoning it, I'm just pointing out how it differs from Alex (and Ken).

As for Ken, I don't think at this point anyone is actually supporting him personally. However, remember CAS was created before Sellersville went bankrupt (not sure on the date of his other bankruptcy). CAS also involves innocent people. This creates an awkward grey area. On one hand, the opinion of JP (and I think this is what Joe was getting at too), was that by using CAS, you're putting money into the hands of Ken. On the other hand, by denying CAS, you're hurting the innocent people involved in it. The way I personally see it is that at some point, the courts are going to direct some kind of repayment to the victims of Sellersville, even if it is less than 100% restitution. If Ken remains a part of CAS, then that only helps a judge show he has some form of income to make his payments. Kill CAS, and you might see Ken declare personal bankruptcy, at which point everyone loses. There are a lot of maybe's and if's in this scenario, but certainly some kind of repayment is better than nothing.

Alex has a situation closer to Ken. He took money from people and ran away like a thief in the night. The big difference between the two, besides an assumption Alex's theft was of a lesser amount, is that while Ken remains a public figure, Alex has tried for years to hide behind anonymity. And while a statement has been made on behalf of Ken on the CAS site, Alex doesn't just refuse to acknowledge the allegations, but as Bill points out, he paints a picture of himself as some defender of integrity. As I said before, he's just hoping that if he doesn't give it attention, people will eventually forget about it. What he either doesn't realize or is refusing to accept, is that this community has a very long memory of scammers and thieves, and while JP is right that some will see him as a victim here and others will dismiss it, there will be a lot of people here who won't forget for a very long time, if ever. I'd suggest that if Alex is allowed to remain here, which I expect he will, he should have restrictions on making any business transactions with anyone due to this dodgy past.

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If HMF has blocked the OP will he even see this thread?

I have him blocked, and can see the CAS thread he started, so yes. ;)

The body of the posts he makes are hidden, although I can see he has posted, and a simple click will reveal the post for you. Therefore, he has the same thing when I post. :)

Fair question Richard, and thankfully I have an answer since we have each other blocked. :)

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what if HMF IS indeed Ken Black?? :whistling:

just a little levity folks...i have no idea who HMF is...and only been to a sellersville auction not meeting ken at all...
 
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It's very interesting to bring up Todd DeMartino and his book. He has been working on his book for 10-11 years. How many times has he informed the public about his progress? 3 or 4 times? When was his last post about the book? 2011? What kind of person takes pre-orders and then run away with them and don't bother to inform the people who pre-ordered the book? What is his problem? Don't he understand that people are wondering if there will ever be a book? Don't he feel obligated to inform what is going on? Or is he so ashamed of his lousy handling of this issue that he gone into hiding? This is the absolute worst example of how to mistreat people and make them angry. His character is not worth a cent. He has proven himself to be a lousy person who don't care about the people who ordered his book. I guess he feel so mighty and powerful just because he has a big Star Wars collection and is a name in the collecting community. I will never deal with him again and if I saw him I would go up to him and give him a piece of my mind. People like that are a disgrace to the community. I don't care how much he did in the past, how many people he helped because now he has shown his true character. What a tool that Todd guy is.
 
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HMF is probably just hoping the integrity questions just go away. He is responding to other threads like he is not being discussed. Either he cannot see it or he is a total buffoon....you get called to the mat, you step up.. you might have been wrong but you at least TRY to tell what happened. You get automatic points for that at least. Ignoring it like a Pollyanna is pretty much going to ruin his reputation on this forum and the community in general forever. This information is already a big ding but acting like it didn't go down is unforgivable IMO.
 
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