SEC charges talk radio host with fraud

October 7, 2010, 11:31 PM UTC

I once worked at a radio station, and sometimes abused my position in order to obtain things like free food or backstage concert passes. Seems that was amateur hour …

The SEC today charged Barbara Alexander, host of a personal finance talk radio program, with using her position to defraud investors out of more than $1 million.

From an SEC statement:

The SEC alleges that Barbra Alexander, the former president of APS Funding, used her status as host of an internationally-syndicated radio show for entrepreneurs called MoneyDots to lure investors who thought their money would be used to fund short-term loans secured by real estate. Alexander along with the firm’s secretary/chief financial officer Beth Piña of Fairfield, Idaho, and vice president Michael E. Swanson of Seaside, Calif., instead stole investor money to pay themselves $1.2 million and finance MoneyDots and other unrelated businesses unbeknownst to investors. Alexander even used $200,000 of investor funds to remodel her kitchen.

And it gets worse. The SEC further alleges that Alexander and friends played Ponzi with investors, paying “profits” to existing investors by securing funds from new investors.

There also is now a related criminal suit in California, brought by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California.

The website for ‘MoneyDots’ suggests that the show has over 60 affiliates, but only lists KION, a Clear Channel yakker that broadcasts from Monterey, California. It says she’s scheduled to be on air this Saturday, with scheduled guest Marty Tolchin (former NY Times scribe and Politico co-founder). Her show also is listed on the KION program guide.

So I rang up Mark Carbonero, program director (and morning-show host) for KION. He had not yet heard about the fraud charges, and said that Alexander has not been on his air for “a couple of months.”

I asked why Alexander’s website — and Carbonero’s — both listed KION, and he said they must both be out of date. I’ve also sent an e-mail to Alexander, and will update this post if she replies …