Total Wealth mis-Management

Radio show used to promote fraud — ill-gotten money went into gun shop

On April 15, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged that Total Wealth Management, a San Diego investment firm headed by Jacob Cooper, had taken kickbacks without informing its clients.

The firm's regular KOGO radio program promoted both its piety (Boy Scouts, Marine Corps, Mormon Church) and its investment savvy. But secretly, it was taking "revenue sharing fees," or kickbacks, from the firms whose investments it was peddling, said the SEC. The agency issued a cease-and-desist order and demanded return of ill-gotten gains, financial penalties, and relief to the investors.

Some of those ill-gotten gains found their way into a Washington, Utah, gun shop named Dixie GunWorx, according to an amended civil complaint filed yesterday (August 26) by the San Diego law firm of Aguirre & Severson. The shop advertises that it is "a full service gunsmithing and firearm sales company" that, among many things, will build a custom-made rifle for customers.

Aguirre & Severson's original complaint was filed April 16, the day after the SEC filed its case. The amended case says that any profits or property interests that the gun shop got from its Total Wealth Management clients should be returned to the plaintiffs.

Jacob Cooper used funds from Total Wealth Management to finance Dixie Gunworx, according to the amended complaint.

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I'm starting to think that the most accurate and reliable KOGO weekend host may be Art Bell. There's probably a better chance that extraterrestrial aliens are abducting people from UFO's than the financial "advice" these guys are schilling is honest.

If you're right, that's pathetic; the Art Bell broadcasts are repeats of his stint of many years ago. There's a new guy on there now who does much the same thing. His name doesn't come to mind right now. The program is called "Coast to coast."

This cannot help the credibility of any radio station. 'Course with the trashy commercials many of the have to run to survive, credibility is a highly relative thing. Whenever one of the stations runs one of those paid-for financial shows, it starts it with a massive disclaimer about how the opinions expressed are not necessarily the opinions of the station. Then they announce who is who and who owns what and how they are compensated and on and on. But who pays attention to all that? And who grasps just what that means?

What these silver tongues do is get folks to trust them enough to call them off the air and eventually become clients. They all sound alike, spiel just about alike, and do business just about the same way. This one was no exception when it comes to the spiel on the air. So, we can all wonder how many of those that now have those weekend shows on the main AM stations are also peddling snake oil.

Visduh: Very well stated. You have described the state of radio financial advice very well. I can remember years ago when financial radio shows were relatively straight. I used to go on a lot of them. I didn't get paid so had no conflict. But even then the advice givers, although they were playing it straight, picked up customers for their business. Best, Don Bauder

There's something about having a nice voice on the radio that just gets people to believe - ever listen to Phil Hendrie? His schtick - which he was amazinging good at - was to pretend to interview a guest (which was really him doing another voice) with some outrageous opinion. People would call the show to argue with the "guest" because they were so outraged - it was pretty hilarious.

ImJustABill: Sounds like a possibly funny routine. I am not familiar with it. Best, Don Bauder

ImJustABill: It is just standard procedure in radio these days that the so-called financial advisors pay for their air time, often through advertising of their firm or its products. Get used to it. My advise is not to listen to them. Best, Don Bauder

The Bishop of the local stake should launch an investigation to determine whether Jake forked over 10% of the kickbacks to the church like he's supposed to. If Jake cheated the church he should be stripped of his longjohns and castrated from the church rolls. The Bishop should put the mark of Cain and the curse of Ham upon him for his financial perfidy.

Burwell: Jake played up his alleged piety. People swallowed it. I always say that if you intend an investment seminar, and it starts with a prayer, get up and leave. You are about to be conned. Best, Don Bauder

In reality, not too many people do listen to these brokered shows on the weekends. The hosts are boring, non-radio trained. Just can't open mic and expect to communicate with the masses. But as long as the show pays for the station's expenses, the station could care less. Once on KCEO AM1000 we ran, what I assume, was an Islamic broadcast. No one at the station knew what was being said in the broadcast. The organization just purchased the weekly time slot.

Ken Harrison: That is an incredible story. Suppose ISIS purchased time today. Would its propaganda be broadcast by KCEO AM1000? I am skeptical. When did this broadcast occur? Best, Don Bauder

This was in the 90s when I worked there. KCEO is now owned by Catholic Broadcasting.

And yes, there are still radio stations, although very small, that would love to run anything that paid $25 for 1/2 hour. So just think Don, you could have the Don Bauder Radio Network on ten C&W stations in the midwest, on a Sunday morning, for just $250/week.

Ken Harrison: Do you remember Bill Ballance, the late, great radio talk show host in San Diego? I used to be on his show a lot. One time, when he was discussing tiny radio markets off-air, he mentioned Rotten Crotch, Nebraska. Is that what you have in mind? Best, Don Bauder

Maybe this guy could start up a church with another supposed religious zealot Barry (zzzz best) Minkow. Although I don't know if Cooper has reached the depths of insatiable corrupt greed that Minkow did.

ImJustABill: Minkow is in the hoosegow. Would the warden permit the radio equipment to be set up there? Best, Don Bauder

And the conservatives want Joe Six Pack to manage his retirement funds and they want to give control of Social Security to the financial advisors. As my Daddy used to say "Advise is worth exactly what it cost you"

AlexClarke: This is a generalization that applies to financial seminars: if someone had a sure-fire method for making millions in the market, would he or she share it with other people? The answer is no. Best, Don Bauder

There are geese that lay golden eggs. Their owners try to sell golden eggs, not shares in the geese.

Psycholizard; And I have yet to see a goose that lays a golden egg. Best, Don Bauder

JUDGE RESTRAINS TOTAL WEALTH MANAGEMENT FROM TRYING TO GET INVESTORS TO WAIVE RIGHTS. Today (August 29), Superior Court Judge John S. Meyer signed a restraining order to stop Total Wealth Management from trying to get investors to sign a release that would waive their rights as part of an assignment to a new fund manager.

A number of Total Wealth Management clients showed at court today, according to Mia Severson, attorney for the investors. According to Severson, Judge Meyer asked lawyers for Total Wealth Management, "Why should the investors release anybody? They're not getting anything...from Total Wealth Management. What's the consideration?" The judge added, "I don't know why there has to be any release."

Seems like SD radio is dominated with financial "experts" who either pay to be on the air, or pay to be endorsed by the on air personality. Drives me crazy when they are referred to as the "best" or SD's premier expert. With more and more Americans distrusting the media, why would someone use a media type. We've had some pretty good examples of financial and legal radio sleazebags taken down here in SD.

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