Monday, October 30, 2006

Sweeney's Got Friends in High Places

And he doesn't want you to know what they do for a living. John Sweeney's single largest campaign contributor is blank $241,000 in campaign contributions came from individuals without an identified employer. Let's take it from the top and start with the A's:

Sherri and Jared Abbruzzese are both donors who did not declare any employer for their $2,000 each donation to John Sweeney (R-NY) in this election cycle. The couple's total donations to Sweeney to date is $7,000.

Jared Abbruzzese as acting CEO of WSNet, testified before congress for a merger: WSNet believes that the EchoStar/DIRECTV merger should go forward with the addition of some modifications that would afford WSNet permanent access to enhanced satellite facilities.

Abbruzzese in business trouble per a Dec. 2005 story in BusinessWeek:

...When I dug a little deeper, I found a web of intrigue so tangled that Peter Parker couldn't find his way out of it. Even in this scandal-a-day era, the backstage drama at this company is off the charts.

The current brouhaha centers on a legal battle between Motient's board and its largest shareholder, Dallas (Tex.)-based hedge fund Highland Capital Management. To complicate matters, Highland president James D. Dondero is a member of Motient's board and is pitted against the other six directors, who allege that he voted to approve some of the measures he now condemns.

In August, Highland sued Motient's officers and directors in Chancery Court of Delaware, claiming the defendants tried to line their pockets with Motient's cash by paying exorbitant fees to firms in which they held interests. The suit focuses especially on Motient chairman Steven G. Singer, his brother and convicted felon Gary A. Singer, and former Motient director Jared E. Abbruzzese.

According to the complaint, Motient hired Abbruzzese's Albany (NY)-based consultancy Communication Technology Advisors (CTA) in May 2002 to provide financial advice while Abbruzzese was still a director at Motient. At the time, two other CTA employees, Peter D. Aquino and Gerald S. Kittner, were also Motient directors. Since then, CTA has functioned as Motient's de facto executive management and has received over $3 million in fees and tens of millions of dollars worth of warrants to buy Motient stock, Highland's complaint says.

The complaint further claims that Abbruzzese and CTA in 2004 pressured Motient's board to hire a small Austin (Tex.)-based investment bank, Tejas Inc., to raise money for Motient. However, Abbruzzese allegedly failed to disclose that he owned options to buy 100,000 shares of Tejas. As a result of fees and warrants paid by Motient, Tejas' annual profit increased over 2,600%, and the Tejas shares underlying Abbruzzese's options appreciated 900% in one year. In March 2005, Motient appointed Barry A. Williamson to its board, a Tejas director who owns over 51,000 Tejas shares. In May 2005, Tejas announced it would acquire CTA for $65 million. Abbruzzese was appointed vice chairman of Tejas and granted a generous employment agreement and stock-option package.

Abbruzzese's alleged conflicts run deeper. In fiscal year 2004, Motient lost $72 million on revenues of $36.9 million. What, then, accounts for its $1.3 billion market cap? The company has a 40% stake in Mobile Satellite Ventures (MSV), a Reston (Va.)-based provider of mobile satellite communications that owns valuable spectrum licenses. MSV is a limited partnership, and its general partner is Motient Satellite Ventures GP, Inc., whose managers are Abbruzzese and Kittner of CTA. "Motient’s purchases of MSV units in 2004 at prices that reflected ever increasing valuations of MSV enriched Kittner, Abbruzzese and CTA through their ownership of MSV units," Highland's complaint says.

Jared E. Abbruzzese, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of CAI Wireless Systems, Inc.: defendent in a Class Action Lawsuit as CAI Wireless Systems:

Plaintiffs bring this action ... on behalf of a class (the "Class") of persons who purchased or otherwise acquired CAI securities during the period from May 23, 1996, through and including October 29, 1996 (the "Class Period"), and were damaged thereby.

Feb 18, 2005: Serves on the Board of Friends of NY Racing as:

Jared Abbruzzese, Capital and Technology Advisors, LLC and a New York Thoroughbred owner

Jan 13, 2006. Randall's Island and Republican Party Dougnations:

A private developer’s plans to develop a water park on Randall’s Island jumped a hurdle yesterday after the city’s Franchise and Concession Review Committee voted to let the project move forward. This boondoggle of a project would further alienate precious greenspace.

Very curious as to how some craaaazy project like this could even get a hearing in Parks department ...The folks behind this are big time republicans... Main capital investor and savior of aquatic development corporation is: Jared Abbruzzese Jared Abbruzzese contributed $25,000$ in 2000 to NY State elected officials Is a member with Greg Norman at the Medalist Golf Club where Bush and Clinton play . Jared Abbruzzese of Loudonville , the former CEO of CAI Wireless Systems Inc. which was named in lawsuits alleging various violations of the federal securities laws, apparently is a major donor to “Swift Boat Veterans For Truth,” according to FEC filings. (This is a 146 page pdf that might take a while to load. It can be found at www.publicintegrity.org)

The group, committed to smearing Sen. John Kerry, has been challenged due to misleading, false or inconsistent statements.

The Swift Boat group reported total donations of more than 1.9 million in a September FEC filing.

Also funded the halt of the 2000 election recount:

Presidential Recount Donors: Address Occupation Amount Date

11/20/2000 Abbruzzese, Jared Loudonville, NY 12211 CAI Wireless Systems $5,000

11/16/2000 Abbruzzese, Sherrie G Mr Loudonville, NY 12211 CAI Wireless Systems $5,000

11/20/2000

More repub campaign trail

Jan 14, 2006 07:34PM EST

Candidate or PAC Amount Date Abbruzzese, Sherrie G Mrs. Londonville, NY 12211 Homemaker REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE (R) $25,000 primary 06/16/05 Abbruzzese, Jared E Mr. Loudonville, NY 12211 Self-Employed/Executive REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE (R) $25,000 primary 06/16/05 Abbruzzese, Jared E Mr. Loudonville, NY 12211 Capital & Technology Advisors/Inves HOPEFUND $5,000 primary 05/09/05 Abbruzzese, Sherrie G Ms. Loudonville, NY 12211 Capital & Technology Advisors/Inves HOPEFUND $5,000 primary 05/09/05 Abbruzzese, Jared E Albany, NY 12211 Self/Executive NATIONAL THOROUGHBRED RACING ASSOCIATION POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE/HORSE PAC $1,000 primary 11/30/04 Abbruzzese, Sherrie G Albany, NY 12211 Housewife NATIONAL THOROUGHBRED RACING ASSOCIATION POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE/HORSE PAC $1,000 primary 11/30/04 Abbruzzese, Anthony Mr. Massapequa, NY 11758 Horizon Consulting Group/Accountant REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE (R) $500 primary 10/26/04 Abbruzzese, Sherrie G Mrs. Londonville, NY 12211 Homemaker REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE (R)

I think that is enough scandal and taint for one day.

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