The Rest of John Sakowicz’s Résumé

by Tim Stelloh, April 29, 2009

In his swift climb up the Northern California financial media ladder, John Sakowicz didn’t just claim to have founded a multi-billion dollar offshore hedge fund. To hear Sakowicz tell it, he’s a man with impeccable Wall Street cred—a man who’s spent much of his life toiling in finance.

“I am a 30-year veteran of Wall Street,” he writes in his profile at SeekingAlpha.com, a financial web site. “I have cofounded a billion-dollar, unregistered, offshore hedge fund, and have worked for UBS, Dean Witter, Colonial Management Associates, Spear Leeds Kellogg, Merrill Lynch, and Alex Brown & Sons.”

He’s said that he’s worked as a trader on the floors of the New York Stock Exchange, the New York Mercantile Exchange and the Commodity Exchange, and he says he’s a general partner in an offshore investment advisory group called Templar Advisors. Since Sakowicz’s ascent began last year, his columns on the country’s plummeting economy have appeared in the North Bay Bohemian—as well as the Boho’s other Bay Area papers. He’s appeared on Al Jazeera and KPFA as a pundit. He started “The Truth About Money,” a bi-weekly radio show on KZYX. And he scored an endorsement from the Institute for Public Accuracy, the San Francisco organization that connects experts and journalists.

As with the multi-billion dollar hedge fund, there’s little evidence to support Sakowicz’s claims of being a veteran of the financial world.

Templar Advisors, for instance, is a new operation. Paperwork establishing the company as a limited liability corporation was filed earlier this month with the Secretary of State’s office. His talk show co-host and attorney Steven Schectman, a pot lawyer from Humboldt, is listed as Templar’s contact.

At UBS, a spokesman said Sakowicz was with the company from December 2004 to September 2007. His official title, said Kris Kagel, the spokesman, was “financial advisor trainee.”

“If you’re a financial advisor with no prior experience, that’s the training course,” Kagel said. “It’s for rookie financial advisors.” Kagel wouldn’t comment on Sakowicz’s departure from UBS. But in a conversation between Schectman and Gretchen Giles, editor of the Bohemian, Schectman told Giles that Sakowicz went on “medical leave” from UBS after the firm “retaliated against him for a medical condition,” Giles said.

Several of the other companies listed on Sakowicz’s résumé had no record of his employment—including Colonial Management Associates (which was acquired by Columbia Management, which is now a division of Bank of America), Spear Leeds Kellogg (which was acquired by Goldman Sachs), Dean Witter (which merged with Morgan Stanley), Merrill Lynch and Alex Brown, now a division of Deutsche Bank.

Stock exchange spokespersons said they have no record of Sakowicz working on their floors either. (Sakowicz’s employment at Dean Witter and Merrill Lynch could only be verified through The Work Number, a third-party service used to give HR information to potential employers. Those companies could not say how far back in time The Work Number goes. At the other companies, spokespersons checked Sakowicz’s employment history.)

Sakowicz referred all questions to Schectman, who declined to comment for this story.

In an article on the web site of Sakowicz’s alma mater—John’s Hopkins University—Sakowicz makes other work claims that can’t be verified. The story, published in 1997, reports that at the time Sakowicz was a gay activist and poet living in Colorado Springs. He had recently been awarded a grant from Pen Foundation International for writers with HIV or AIDS, the story says, and he had published work in “mainstream periodicals like the New Yorker and the Atlantic Monthly”—perhaps the two most prestigious magazines in American journalism—but that he was refocusing his attention on the gay press.

“I have a view that's not necessarily politically correct,” he’s quoted as saying at the time, “and that needs to be heard by my own kind.”

The Pen grant appears legitimate—his name is listed by the organization as a winner of a 1996 award—but neither the New Yorker nor the Atlantic have any record of Sakowicz’s byline, according to magazine spokespersons. Nor do they have any record of John “Sakowitz,” a byline he used when first publishing with the Bohemian several years ago.

The John Sakowicz of those first Bohemian stories is very different from the jubilant backslapper he resembles on KZYX: In an autobiographical piece published in 2001, he describes himself as a “dropout” and “loser,” as a “superaloof hippie guy living in the mountains with his dogs.” At the time, he wrote, he had been managing a campground for three years near Pike’s Peak in Colorado. When Sakowicz pitched his financial column to the Bohemian he never mentioned that he had previously written for the publication, Giles said.

These images of a gay poet activist-cum-hippy dropout are just two incarnations of a man who appears to have reinvented himself several times over the last three decades. Anyone who read his letter to the editor of this newspaper two weeks ago knows that, for a time, he was a Republican operative involved in a scandal that reached the highest levels of state office in Massachusetts; he also worked at the county jail in Ukiah before scoring the gig at KZYX.

It’s not clear how his incarnation as Mendo’s leading financial pundit will turn out. John Coate, the general manager of KZYX, has said he researched Sakowicz’s background and was satisfied with what he found. Giles says that Sakowicz—who freelances for the Bohemian—does not have any stories planned for the future.

***

13 Responses to The Rest of John Sakowicz’s Résumé

  1. Chad Lewis Reply

    January 3, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    OPEN LETTER TO TIM STELLOH:

    I just re-read Tim Stelloh’s articles about John Sakowicz, KZYX host, which appeared in the April, 2009 editions of the AVA.

    At the start this this New Year, 2010, I’ve got one thing to say: Tim Stelloh, you are a FOOL AND A HACK..

    A FINRA “snapshot” of John Sakowicz’s Wall Street career is on file at the GM’s office at KZYX, FOR YOUR EXAMINATION…or anyone else. You may look at the snapshot, but not copy it. It has been on file since September.

    The FINRA snapshot clearly establishes Sakowicz’s career THAT STARTED IN 1979, you fool..

    The FINRA snapshot clearly documents SERIES 7 AND SERIES 3 LICENSES ISSUED IN 1979 AND 1985, RESPECTIVELY. That’s makes for a 30-year career, you hack.

    The FINRA snapshot clearly document 17 YEARS AS A GENERAL PARTNER AT THE CAYMAN-ISLAND-BASED HEDGE FUND. That’s 17 years, you fool and hack..

    The FINRA file clearly documents THE LAST THREE YEARS OF SAKOWICZ’S ONSHORE CAREER AT THE UNITED BANK OF SWITZERLND (UBS). UBS is the largest private banker in the world. Tim Stelloh, you wouldn’t be qualifed to walk into the front door at UBS.

    For your information, FINRA is the trade organization and regulatory authority for the financial services industry. FINRA stands for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

    FINRA oversees 4,800 brokerage firms, about 170,400 branch offices, and 643,000 registered representives.

    The FINRA snapshot of Sakowicz’s career is signed by an associate director at FINRA. That’s pretty high up in the food chain, Tim.

    Hey, Tim Stelloh. Did I mention you are a FOOL AND A HACK? Yeah, maybe I did.

    You wanna right a wrong? APOLOGIZE to Sakowicz. In writing. And whatever Bruce Anderson pays you for your yellow journalism…GIVE THE DAMN MONEY BACK.

    As for Sakowicz’s other detractors, admit it. You’ve got a bad case of professional jealousy.

    You know who you are. Beth Bosk. Dotty Copland. Annie Espisito. King Collins. (King? How pretenious!)

    You think that being around for a lot of years, makes you somehow relevant. But you’re wrong. Very wrong.

    In truth, you fight for relevance. You shout to be heard. But you are irrelevant. Nobody listens.

    Chad Lewis

    • Tim Stelloh Reply

      January 4, 2010 at 5:12 pm

      Submitted on 2010/01/04 at 5:09pm
      Hi Chad,

      Thanks for the note.

      If Sakowicz (or his lawyer) had mentioned FINRA when I contacted them, I would have been happy to include that in the story. Ditto with John Coate at KZYX, who I also talked to. Sakowicz wouldn’t talk to me, and Coate didn’t mention FINRA when I asked him about Sakowicz’s financial background.

      More to your point, our stories weren’t about FINRA. They were about the credentials Sakowicz was using to position himself as a 30-year Wall Street insider and a media authority on finance. That cred didn’t include FINRA licenses.

      Here’s what it did include: Employment at UBS, Dean Witter, Colonial Management Associates, Spear Leeds Kellogg, Merrill Lynch and Alex Brown & Sons. He said he worked as a trader on the floors of the New York Stock Exchange, the New York Mercantile Exchange and the Commodity Exchange. He said he was a general partner in an offshore investment advisory, Templar Advisors, and a founding member of an offshore hedge fund, Battle Mountain Research Group.

      I found little evidence of anything–save UBS, where he was a trainee for three years (ending in September 2007), and Templar Advisors, which had been established with the Secretary of State’s office the same month we ran our stories.

      That’s what I found when reporting my stories, and that’s what we published in the AVA.

  2. Beth Bosk Reply

    January 5, 2010 at 9:17 am

    Dear Editor:
    When I sit down and write this story for New Settler it will be as a modern day morality tale: as to how one benighted con man vaults up the progressive media ladder.
    Along his way acquiring gullible, but well-placed and stubborn cohorts.
    And how that rise up the media ladder, that comfort zone created in the hearts and minds of progressive audiences, becomes the crucial element of a business plan for an edgy ( potentially) multi-billion dollar, off-shore, western-centric, Muslim-like bond fund.
    My account pivots around the morally opposite reactions by the two most crucial media.
    Both regional media outlets: one weekly print, one daily broadcast.
    One entrepreurial, the other non-profit, membership-supported.

    When I called Gretchen Giles, the editor of The North Bay Bohemian, to tell her I was working on a story of how it was that a charlatan (John Sakowizc in this case) could so swiftly rise up the progressive media ladder—The Bohemian, Ukiah TV, Free Speech Radio, a post on IPA, Al Jezeera. Sirius radio his latest gig (The Colbert Report the next gleam in his eye) and informed her of the content of the Boston Globe stories, the inconsistency of Sacowicz’s most recent job in Mendocino County as a corrections officer at the Mendocino County jail, with his having founded and managed a multi-billion dollar offshore hedge fund he was still claiming extant, Gretchen Giles gasped, opened up her computer, went straight to the search words that brought up the Boston Globe series, went Oh my God!, and! immediately started putting two and two together. And doing something about it.
    The response of the editor of the North Bay Bohemian was shock and outrage; immediate recognition of how her experience connected, an openness and a willingness to organize the always scarce resources of the regional press in tandem. To disclose this information about a columnist whose career she’d unwittingly launched.
    Doing so while working her way through the blocks and filters of a media chain. While attorney, Steve Schectman (John Sakowicz’s new co-host on The Truth About Money, and non-disclosed business associate in the freshly registered Templar Advisory, LLC) pounded her with veiled threats if she so much as dropped John Sacowicz as a columnist.
    For without the prestige of the North Bay Bohemian to point to, Sacowicz and Schetman would lose their foremost media platform, the foundation of the business plan. And they panicked when Gretchen showed signs of unraveling Sacowicz’s sand castle. Not only was she checking backwards on his past employment, she was thrusting forward, contacting the IPA, this most prominent of Progressive Speakers bureaus.
    Speaking by phone from his Washington, D.C., office, IPA communications director Sam Hussein told Gretchen Giles, “We didn’t do a background check on him. He’s a self-nominated expert; most of those on our roster come to us through recommendations. People who knock on our door are an extreme minority. I checked with [IPA founder} Norman Solomon and he had words for praise for The Bohemian. I sent a few of Sakowicz’s articles to economists for the content-is this guy saying reassonable things? And they said yeah, he was.” Hussein told Gretchen Giles he planned to send out a correction on Sakowicz pursuant to her stories. To that date, Sakowicz had twice been used as an IPA “expert.”
    Gretchen Giles is a seasoned, understaffed journalist who has a staff of one and a half employees.
    Her Nexis/Lexis was reduced to California in a budget cut.
    How she knitted together an investigative team is its own movie.
    More than anyone, Gretchen Giles knows how reflective of the state of journalism in this nation is this morality tale. She’s the editor of a weekly tabloid that covers two counties. She supplements the work of her “staff” with rotating columnists with engaging writing styles about matters their resumes appear to verify.
    As soon as Gretchen Giles understood the depth of Sacowicz’s deception she canceled the email account he had set up at the Bohemian, cut off the extension he had insisted upon because SEC regs prohibited him from using his office phone. Pulled all his past columns from the Bohemian website. Immediately called IPA to find how John had found a place on their prestigious list, and every other night, bolts up from her bed at 4 am in the morning (as do I) with another intuition to follow.
    Sako started his relationship with The North Bay Bohemian editor, Gretchen Giles, by submitting an Open-Mike opinion essay, he titled Business Proposal .(She re-headed it Modest ‘Proposal’. The essay was in the form an open letter addressed to the presidents of Iran and Venezuela: John sums the bleak financial future; (this is February 2008) throws a lot of Wall Street-speak then continues: “Enemies of the United States of America, take note. You want to fuck up the U.S.? Hire me. I’m not kidding. Hire me. This is a bona fide offer. With a few billion dollars, a trading platform and some expertise, we can bring down the house of cards known as the credit-default swap market. Heck, we can bring down the U.S.
    “Forget about suitcase nukes. Forget about anthrax. Forget about flying jetliners into skyscrapers. Forget about all forms of conventional terrorism. Hire me. I’ll assemble a team of traders, some IT guys and a few guys with prime brokerage experience, and together, with a bankroll from you, we’ll bring down Wall Street.”
    Re-reading the essay, I wondered if he was actively cognizant that he had written a piece that could be interpreted as political satire? Or , on some level, was he truly looking for his first off-shore job?
    John passed himself off to the editor of the Bohemian as a Sonoma County hedge fund manager, the former national sales manager for futures and commodities at Dean Witter blah, blah, blah. Of the three Letters to the Editor she received in response, in retrospect, it’s clear one was most likely dictated by John himself and mailed from Colorado . But his writing style was bright and full of Wall Street shop talk. Giles contracted him to write an occasional column for a $100 honorarium. In exchange, John wanted a Bohemian email address and his own Extension # on their phone. He told her SEC regs didn’t allow him to use his own office phone. He had the honorariums made out to his 17-year old stepson who he passed off as his intern, and to a “research assistant” who turned out to be one of his daughters living in New Mexico. By having the honorariums made out in their names, he avoided providing the Bohemian with his social security number. Which meant, even when the hunches hit her, Gretchen was unable to verify his past employments.
    The Boston Globe set five investigative reporters loose on their 5 part-series investigating the Commonwealth Business Council scandal in 1992. And now, all those desks are empty. If you want local news in newsprint these days, you got to go to the regional tabloids. Hank Sims up in Humboldt County sitting behind his editor’s desk at North Coast Journal looking into the parts of the story relevant to Schectman, me in my virtual log cabin, Bruce and his new Columbia School of Journalism trained reporter giving the story a “newspaper of record” kick. What you are going to get in a lifestyle tabloid these days is a combination of good blogging, and knowledgeable columnists doing news.
    That’s how, a benighted charlatan and a crafty lawyer launched a clever business plan while passing themselves off as the next flavor of The Power of the People ready to Lead the assault on the Bastille.
    Which brings us to KZYX/Z.
    John Coate was in a dither over the $100,000 in arrears KZYX had incurred during his short time at the helm. And he fell for the line Jay Johnson finally regurgitated. John Sacowicz promised John Coate, an endowment for the radio station once he got his new hedge fund flying. . . . And maybe, a taste for himself.
    The horse blinders went on. My personality became the problem. Way beyond the reasonable red flags, Coates refused to allow any on-air disclosure to the KZYX/Z audience. Instead of vetting John Sacowicz, Coates was spending hours vetting me.
    My involvement began with the simple distaste of so much Wall Street-speak replacing local news.
    After one of those shows where Sacowicz was boasting of his “conference calls” to the Obama Economic Transition team, and a throw out reference to a western-centric hedge fund based on Muslim beliefs. I called Jay Johnson to complain. There was no way to either challenge or ask for more information. The lines (at this traditionally open-line times slot) were closed.
    Jay Johnson told me he wanted call-ins. But program director, Mary Aigner would not allow him to announce the telephone number of his own Ukiah studio (then serving as a satellite studio) for call-ins. Nor, would she shuttle calls from the Philo studio to his.
    By my next conversation with Jay, he had split with Mary and given Saco an ultimatum: “Me or KZYX/Z.” Sacowicz’s reply to Jay’s ultimatum was, “The NRP by-line gives me credibility.”
    Said Jay: (I take copious notes during these conversations): “Sacowicz came in and promised the world: he would fly me to Dubai where he claimed “I have all my money”; he would bring in other investors and together he would transform Ukiah TV into international Internet tv network.
    ” He told me he was connected with someone who formerly worked with Google.”
    The next time I called Jay Johnson, Sacowicz had returned to the offices of Ukiah Vally TV, attorney Steve Schectman in tow. They’d come to ask Johnson to join them as the IT, in a new sukuk-style bond fund they’d base out of Malta (where Sakowicz has claimed he owned a house). A fund that went through such a circuitous route, there would be no fingerprints on the investments (say if the money ended up in bombs not bread). The fund would circumroute around the pesky problem that none of the partners held a Series #7 license themselves.
    (The Series #7 license becomes a reoccurring element in the Saco-drama).
    Jay who had never seen a dime of investment money after a year of promises, who had been paying the bills for all the tape, told Sacowicz and Schectman, No Thanks.
    Then immediately bought the three domain name versions Of Templar Advisors,LLC. Just in case this one paid off.
    So, this is a BIGGY!
    Sacowicz and Schectman are business partners. And John Coates and Mary Aigner never required them to disclose this relationship to the audience of ’The Truth About Money’.
    In Mendocino County, the reception to a happenchance association on the air of a maverick hedge fund vulture and a power-to-the-people attorney is quite different than two business partners trying to make a buck with a scheme that is totally dependent on rising up the progressive media ladder as a result of a NPR-affiliated bedrock to point to.
    –Plus local audience acclaim—numbers Mary Aigner and John Coate and Paul Hanson use as an excuse to continue airing Sacowicz without any disclosure of the alleged criminality and corruption that rifes through each of these men’s backgrounds.
    Numbers Coates and Aigner have used to convince other programmers to continue the cover-up.
    Not only are Schectman and Sacowicz business associates in Templar Advisors, LLC; the address given for Templar Advisors to the State licensing agency, is the same address (1125 16th STreet Ste 205, Arcata, CA 95521—Steve Schectman’s law offices) which Schectman used in the Vicilia, LLC forestland conversion into large-marijuana-farms-with-bulldozers scheme. Schectman was both president and chief legal officer of Vicilia. His former partner is on his way to federal prison. Hedlund entered his plea on Feb 4, 2008. Schectman resigned as president of Vicilia the next day, and one year and two months later filed the papers for Templar Advisors, LLC.
    To enjoy the benefits of an LLC, one of the partners has to be an architect, an accounting person or an attorney. Is this all kind of falling in place for you yet?
    I telephoned John Coate to suggest he get off his chair and go vet John Sakowicz right after listening to Saco twice lie big during the Pledge drive. I was using my ‘voice of moral authority’ voice, trying to get through to Coate. I used the term “charlatan” half a dozen times. I posed the question: “have you ever vetted him?” over an over again. I did not simper when Coate’s comeback (after admitting others had complained) was that the allegations that had come to him referred to incidences that happened in the ‘80’s—embezzlements, shakedowns, masquerades. And when I identified these not so much as past misdeeds as red flags, he needed to pay attention to, Coate used his threatening voice back at me.
    John Coate went about vetting Sacowicz by asking Saco questions.
    In the end, so ramparted behind his belief in Saco as tooth fairy, Coates wouldn’t even return the phone call of media that was vetting Saco. Was as rude to Gretchen Giles the first time she caught him, as he had been dismissive of Dotty Coplen (that amazine former grand jury member who first alerted the station to the fact that Sakowicz was a con man) as nitpicking as he was to Annie Esposito when she brought him the Boston Globe series.

    Throughout his adult life as a benighted charlatan, John Sacowicz/Sacowitz has ALSO masqueraded as a gay man with HIV AIDs for monetary gain. In the late-80s, he disappeared a $12,000 grant for a special housing program for people living with AIDS. Sakowicz, claimed he used the money to set up a network of privately owned “safe houses” whose owners took in homeless AIDs patients. The lawyer who did legal work for the social service agency where Sakowicz worked as shelter director, told the Boston Globe “he and others who knew Sackowicz doubted that he ever used the money for AIDS work. He was never able to give any accounting for the funds.”
    Saco was finally fired for writing competing grants for his own AIDS agency at the same time he was hired to write grants for Action, Inc.
    Annie Esposito provided KZYX/Z with a series which John Coate cast aside as “old stuff”, rather than considering it might be the portal to a pathway as the other information flowed in both from myself and Dotty Coplen, the former grand jury member who served with Sakowicz on the County Grand Jury in 2000 and discovered that as jury foreman he had written a check meant for a training to himself.
    Perhaps it’s no matter to John Coates, Paul Hanson and Mary Aigner that by masquerading as a gay man with AIDs in situations where he is in competition with men with HIV AIDs for employment or prize does no harm. While living in Colorado (having skipped out of the $20,000 court-ordered return to Massachutettes Investors) Sackowicz entered a PENN grant contest for writers with HIV or AIDs and won the $1000 prize, which he writes about in a piece titled ‘Gay Poet Starts Telling the Truth’ he sent to John Hopkins Magazine, 1997; the poem is a depredating smear.
    At UBS the United Bank of Switzerland (where Sakowicz boasted to the Mendocino County Retirement Board he did international hedge fund consultation, Sacowicz job title was actually ‘Unregistered Trainee.’ a job that lasted only a few months. Sacowicz hung to the relationship—“on long term disability”—for almost three years with a legal complaint: the same whine with a new twist discriminating against me because I’m a gay man with AIDs; and besides, you made me sell off my multibillion dollar unregistered off-shore hedge fund promising me this job if I did.
    I don’t know why UBS tried to sever their relationship with Sakowicz; but it may be because he never filled one of their requirements: completing on the first attempt a Series 7 exam. He had no Series 7 license, which you need to do financial advisories.
    John Sakowicz drops several stories regarding his departure as a correction officer at the Mendocin County jail One is that he was harassed by other correctional officers because he was a gay man with AIDS. Another, is that then Sgt. Rusty Noe, then sgt. of the county marijuana task force, came busting into his house accusing him of being a “flaming faggot” after he, Sakowicz who was really hired by the sherriff’s department to do an assay of the asset forfeiture funds, found irregularities.
    Exactly what the grounds in Sacowicz’s suit against the County are have been sealed. The other story is that he got hurt while working in the jail, as the jailer he was hired to be, and it is just a simple medical disability severance settlement.
    The claim he made to the radio station was that he quit his job as a jailer because he was recruited by a head hunter for UBS and it would be a conflict of interest.
    Dotty Coplen has the skill sets and the fearlessness of a sleuth the likes of Nancy Drew.. The lawsuit that is not sealed is a kept in the basement of the Mendocino County courthouse: Dotty went and got it; a hard copy arrived in my mail this afternoon.
    The lawsuit was filed by Sacowicz in 2004 against Dr. Gary Bodensteiner and the Ukiah Hospital Corporation. Sacowicz sued the doctor for libel. In his pleadings, he claims that following a failed personal relationship with his “wife”, (the newest one), the doctor engaged in conduct which inflicted emotional distress. That the doc “informed others that John was HIV positive, distributed notes to his neighbors & friends instructing them on how to obtain Internet info about him. Told his wife’s mother and sister-in-law that Sacowicz was gay and had AIDs.
    What follows is a bombshell: (the verification of my not-politically correct suspicions all along: that Sakowicz was only masquerading as a gay man with AIDS.)
    That “Plaiintiff Sakowicz learned the Defendant had unlawfully invaded his confidential medical records. Thus knew that an article stating that Sakowicz had AIDs was false, but directed people to the article.”
    In that article carried on the website http://www.westword. com: (Steve Jackson, published April 27, 1994) Sakowicz, self-reports himself as a gay man with AIDs, claiming he was denied the salaried position of executive director of a Colorado AIDS Coucil. because he was too radical. “Sakowitz, who is gay, says he thinks the council should be headed by someone from those communities most “infected as well as affected”—gay males and IV drug users”. That piece coincides with the essay John sent to John’s Hopkins Magazine, “Gay Poet Starts Telling the Truth” published in April 1997.
    Last night I checked with KC Meadows, fresh back from her vacation in Paris. She sounded wonderful. Relaxed. And yes, she recalled the visit a few years ago by the brother of Shannon Morris who feared Sacowicz was trying to gain control of the trust fund left Shannon’s children by her husband, their father who had died. It’s the kind of file you keep around. She’s looking for it.
    Templar Advisors, LLC surfaced, thanks to Tim Stelloh, the Columbia School of Journalism-trained reporter who went looking in the right place. On April 1, Schectman plunked down the $70 and registered Templar Advisors, LLC with the state of California. By now, I’m sure they put the cash on Jay Johnson’s table for the domain names, or offered once more to fold him in.
    If Mary Aigner would answer her phone (she with the Sackowicz resume she won’t release, being that the public in public radio station has no valid connection to the concepts of transparency and disclosure), I would ask how much she knew. Did she understand she was basing the station’s future on a bond fund where investors are sucked in, paper passes across a couple of oceans, a little smoke and mirrors and there’s no direct relationship with the final clients. Doesn’t this sound a little sub-prime-mortgage?
    Occassionally, John Sacowicz/Sacowitz refers to himself as an attorney. (Search words: Peak Experience by John Sakowitz: Much suffering, much enlightenment on Pikes Peak) He told the Mendocino Grand Jury he sat on for a month before the presiding judge asked him to leave (for a residency requirement violation) that he was an attorney and they elected him foreman, and within a week, he was mis-handling the checkbook making out a training check to himself. Circumstances being that only the foreman of the grand jury can speak to the presiding judge on matters before the grand jury, Dotty Coplen (serving her second stint, thus understanding what chaos Sacowicz was causing as foreman) with a couple of other seasoned jurors figured out the way to have Sacowicz put in the position where he had to oust himself without going directly to presiding judge, Eric Labowitz.
    God knows what he told the Youth Project, to get his first job in Mendocino County , from which he was fired, for what we now call ‘identity theft.’
    So this is how I would do it: within the general framework of a morality tale as to how one benighted con-man vaulted up the progressive media ladder. And how there began to develop a pivotal construct: the ethically-opposite responses to the same sensational information re. John Sakowicz when first delivered to the two most crucial of the alt-media swept up in his scam.
    Two regional media: one a jazzy bi-county, regional weekly lifestyle tabloid; the other a 24/7 public radio station with an hour slotted for local news.
    One media entrepreneurial. The other non-profit, member supported.
    One compiled by a seasoned, understaffed journalist.
    The other managed by a martinet with no prior radio experience, who got the job a year ago at the urging of his buddy, a member of the KZYXZ Board of Directors; its news department passed to the hands of a fool who came to the station, a complete stranger, and was given unitary power over the local newscast.

    Beth Bosk
    New Settler Interview

  3. Chad Lewis Reply

    January 14, 2010 at 10:49 am

    Ms. Bosk, I suspect you and Sakowicz will end up in court. The truth shall set you free.

  4. Shannon Morris Reply

    January 15, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    Beth Bosk. You nasty and stupid woman. You liar.

    I have known John Sakowicz for 15 years. I probably know John better than any other person in the world.

    I am John Sakowicz’s wife.

    Although John and I haven’t had anything that could be remotely described as a “storybook marriage” or even a conventional marriage, and although my husband and I have gone through long periods of separation and reconciliation, and although John is a bundle of complexities and contradictions, and although John is a very imperfect man with many, many flaws, he is a good and decent man, and he is an exemplary father, he has come a long way as a husband, he can be counted on as a son, brother, colleague, and friend, he is a brilliant man, and every damn word in his resume is true.

    Fifteen years ago, when I first met John as a young widow with two small sons, I lived in Colorado Springs, CO.

    I took every precaution to get to know John. He had a folder full of stuff. He keep the folder in a cabinet in the office of his home in Woodland Park, CO.

    I saw the press release when he was hired by Dean Witter. It was dated 1984. The press release mention that he was most recently a managing director at Colonial Management Associates, in Boston.

    I saw his picture ID to get into his office at Dean Witter in the World Trade Center.

    I saw his picture ID to get on to the floor of the New York Stock Exchange as an employee of Spear Leeds Kellogg. It was dated in 1982, and expired in 1985.

    I saw his picture ID to get on to the floors of the COMEX and New York Merchantile Exchange as an employee of Merrill Lynch Commodities.

    I saw the prenup signed by John and his ex-wife, Patricia, which documented his general partnership interest in the Cayman Island-base, Battle Mountain Research Group.

    More recently, I’ve seen John’s settlement witrh UBS, wherein a partial interest of his general partnership — $8.5 million in retained partnership equity — in Battle Mountain Research Group is documented. Other exhibits document other interests in investments in Panama, Antigua, Cyprus, Malta…all offshore tax havens.

    And I saw his commendations by the Massachusetts Senate and House of Representatives for his “leadership in fighting AIDS”.

    When I met John in 1995, he was the outreach director for “men having sex with other men” — gay, bisexual, and closeted men — at the Southern Colorado AIDS Project, in Colorado Springs. John did outreach in Palmer Park, and other public venues where men had unsafe, anonymous, clandestine sex with other men. At that time, John knew something about that subject.

    I also feel comfortable telling you that when John lived in Boston, he was a patient of Martin Kafka, MD, a Harvard psychiatrist specializing in sex addictions, particularly among men. I could tell you a lot more about the painful path of John’s life in this regard, but I won’t. Let’s just say he is a survivor.

    I want to say that almost every word of your above rant is a lie, Beth. It is unkind. It is more than unkind. It is cruel.

    And you have never actually met, or even spoken to my husband. Shame on you.

    Finally, I just called my brother. He and his family visited me once here in Ukiah, about 12 years ago. He has never met KC Meadoiws. He has never alleged any misgivings about how John hasadvised either me or my sons in financial matters.

    As for Bodensteinner, he settled with John. For a HIPAA violation. So did Ukiah Valley Medical Center. Also, for a HIPAA violation. So did UBS. For mismanaging him in the liquidation of his hedge fund partnership interest. And so the the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office. I won’t disclose why, because John still has friends there.

    Bittom line? John doesn’t like to litigate, but when he does, he wins.

    Someday, too, I suspect, you’ll settle with John.

    But know this much, Bet Bosk: Years ago, back when you knew attorney Steve Schectman — Steve, who you now also routinely malign — you asked Steve whether your home insurance policy would cover your costs in paying for a legal defense in a defamation suit.

    His answer then was “yes”, I think.

    Steve was wrong. You’re on your own, you nasty, stupid woman. You liar.

    • mendoblather Reply

      January 29, 2010 at 3:42 pm

      We’ll pray for you.

  5. Beth Bosk Reply

    January 23, 2010 at 10:51 am

    What an incredible love letter, Shannon. Would you be interested in sitting down with me to do an interview for New Settler Interview?

    Let me correct one of your misperceptions: that was not a defamation suit. I was one of more than 100 hundred humans being sued by Louisiana-Pacific for the eight month occupation of the Albion forests in 1992: as one of the few home owners involved, they were taking the deep pocket (ha!) approach, making me and five other home owners fiscally responsible for every minute of missed work opportunity and every glued lock. Primarilly, I was on site as an advocacy journalist, and once physically pulled over an arbitrarilly set property line and put under citizens’ arrest by L-Ps chief of security . I counter-sued, and was indeed represented in my defense by counsel paid for by my home owners policy and indeed, seven years later ended up settling for aproximately one mile (30 acres) of the Albion River Drainage known as Enchanted Meadow, which went into public trust. As did two $10,000 donations made by L-P to rid themselves of me: one to the then new Mendocino Cancer Resource Center, the other to the Albion Fire Department, many of whose members at the time were active in the forestland resistance. Ah, for those good old days of the real truth about money and worth. I was sued by L-P because I went into the forestland with my tape recorder and came out with interviews with those bravehearts in the canopy which I broadcast weekly on KZYX/Z, broadcasts which swelled the numbers of local people willing to populate the baricades in front of the logging roads. My love story is with this community and this landscape.
    But obviously, both of us are women with passions, and I would really like to include your lifestory in what has morphed over the years from a bioregional bi-monthly magazine to a journal. You’ve raised a great son, Shannon.
    –Beth Bosk

  6. Humboldt FXTrader Reply

    January 23, 2010 at 11:26 am

    I understand the mistrust of hedge fund managers but I think you went the wrong way on this one by targeting his character as fraudulent. What a welcoming to the community. What you should understand is that he may be a lousy trader who can do good market analysis. Don’t assume he is good a trader. That is where your story might be. He does have insight into the murky workings of financial institutions but may of had limited success.

  7. Bob Thurgood Reply

    January 27, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    Ms. Bosk — Having known the Morris-Sakowicz family for many years, I will say that both John and Shannon, together, have raised two great kids.

    Having said that, how about some financial disclosure from you, Ms. Bosk? You’re the one always throwing stones.

    What is it exactly that do you do for a living? How do you support yourself? How have you supported yourself since moving to Mendocino County years ago? And don’t tell me your rag makes money. It only costs you money to self-publish.

    Rumor has it that you own property on which you have homesteaded and rent. Is this true?

    Do you pay your fair property taxes?

    How about a full financial disclosure? Income tax statements. Deeds to properties. Everything.

    After all, it’s the least that one could expect from “She , Who Would Be the Conscience of the Emerald Empire”.

    And regarding your account/ chest thumping about your lawsuit with Louisiana-Pacific, you were not an “army of one”, as you suggest. Others would differ with your account, including some members of Earth First.

  8. Bob Thurgood Reply

    February 18, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    Hmm. Three weeks. No answer yet to my questions about Her Holiness Beth Bosk’s finances.

    We know she has money. She hasn’t worked in decades. Has Beth Bosk ever worked? We know she self-publishes and subsidizes her rag, The New Settler Interviews.

    Where does the money come from? I wonder what she has to hide?

    I guess it’s mandatory disclosure for everyone, but Her Holiness, Beth Bosk…”She, Who Would Be the Conscience of the Emerald Empire”.

  9. A G Simmons Reply

    April 9, 2010 at 6:54 am

    Dear AVA Editor and Mr. Stelloh:

    According to posts and letters, Ms. Bosk once worked for KZYX . She is currently listed as the editor for a regional newspaper.

    Ms. Bosk is giving a good deal of emphasis on credentials, but the AVA doesn’t list her credentials anywhere, nor does she. Given that you have reserved space for her professional opinion, why have you not listed her credentials? Will you?

    Ms. Bosk:

    What are your credentials? Where did you go to college and what degree did you earn? You‘ve been so vehement about Mr. Sakowicz’s credentials, I wondered if you would share what positions you held in media or print prior to your current position at the newspaper and your former position at KZYX? Why did you leave KZYX? Did you have national, regional and local people on when you were at the station? I didn’t hear your program, so I don’t know. What is your history with the station?

    There have been a lot of accusations and digging through people’s medical and personal records and histories by you, Ms. Bosk. I am not a journalist, and while it may be legal, it seems petty and worse, unethical. I would imagine hours and hours have been spent by you in going over 30 + years of work and personal files. If Mr. Sakowicz were not at the station or writing financial stories, what would you be doing Ms. Bosk in place of the time you are spending on discrediting a man, and those who support him based on the high quality of his work and expertise? What else are you doing as a journalist? Is this journalism?

    It begs the question: Is this really about a person’s credentials when he is doing a good job for KZYX? Or, is there more to it?

    A Listener.
    Mendocino County

    • Tim Stelloh Reply

      April 9, 2010 at 7:26 am

      Listener:

      Beth Bosk did not a write a story for either the TheAVA.com or the print edition about John Sakowicz. Her “professional opinion” on this website is a comment.

  10. A G Simmons Reply

    April 9, 2010 at 10:42 am

    I see. So, her comments are just her opinion? My apologies.

    I still would like to issue the question here to Beth Bosk about her credentials, given her comments about credentials are posted here. Fair enough? Thank you for the forum.

    Ms. Bosk:

    Please respond to the questions in my post about your professional background in print and media. What college and degree do you claim for your journalism background?

    I looked through one post and saw there is a call for you to reveal your income sources. I also saw the reference to your husband being the publisher of the newspaper you write for? Is that so?

    If this is accurate and factual information, I hardly see how you can throw stones at John Sakowicz if his stepson helped researched an article for him, when you and your husband seemingly are the only two ’employees’ of the newspaper. How is that not nepotism? How is that not bias?

    Again, I am not a journalist, but in the real world, I couldn’t get away with passing myself off as an employee of a newspaper when my husband was the publisher, especially if there were no other employees. Not only would it smack of nepotism, but it would NOT present a fair and balanced view on any issue. Surely you understand that.

    I just listened to the Truth About Money. There were great guests, both local and national, phone calls taken for both guests, and promos about a local workshop and conference in Santa Rosa today and tomorrow. There was a vibrant exchange between Mr. Sakowicz and his guests. This is what public radio is meant to be. The show continues to grow as does John in his role as host. I don’t understand your criticism. What am I missing?

    Please, tell me and the readers about your professional expertise and background. Thanks.

    A listener of public radio

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