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Approximately $150 million dollars in missing assets and unverified "intercompany" loans in the range of $275-550 million in 2002 alone. Blatant Sarbanes Oxley Act violations, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations, and the devaluing of a company’s stock from $20 to only 1 CENT!! ; all of this can now be put on Metromedia International Group’s resume` (Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. and its subsidiary, News America, were listed as the largest outside or not-Metromedia-employed controlling shareholders). There were MASSIVE losses for investors in Metromedia International Group, many of whom were small time, private investors who used their retirement money for this stock (Enron comes to mind...except it was only worth $1 billion and this company had assets worth OVER 6 TIMES THE ASSETS OF ENRON’S OR MORE).

Why do companies think that they can get away with this? I mean, it’s the United States and not some third world country! Unfortunately, getting away with it is what they’ve been able to do so far: congress has ignored pleas to pressure the Securities And Exchange Commission or even hold a hearing, the SEC has backed down on their initial act of bringing charges for the Sarbanes Oxley Act violations and has missed three opportunities to investigate and may be doing so again now, and no U.S. attorney will even touch the case.

Why is this? It’s not because of a lack of proof! An Iowa investor, Kevin McLaughlin hired a forensic accountant to go over Metromedia’s accounts and this accountant found that approximately $150 million dollars were missing and unverified "intercompany" loans in the range of $275-550 million in 2002, alone...quite the magic trick!! Plus, this same investor has a whole closet full of evidence that shows a bunch of the company’s books don’t match up, etc.... That and the company admitted to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violation and obviously violated the SOX act!!!

Please write, or call the SEC to put pressure on them to fianlly follow through and get answers for the investors who have not gotten answers about all the missing assets and especially the unverified "intercompany" loans, as vaguely described in the 2004 annual filing which, by the way, wasn't even filed until December 16, 2006!

I’ll post more info as I find it...but anyone with questions can also contact Maeve O'Connor and Steve Klugman at Debevoise & Pimpton, attorneys for Metromedia, at 212-909-6649. I also found the contact info for McLaughlin at .

Here’s a link to Forbe’s "The Incredible Shrinking Metromedia" story:


Originally posted to OuncesLbs on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 02:43 PM PDT.


Is Murdoch Liable for Metromedia's Losses?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Off topic: Dear Diarist, FYI (0+ / 0-)

    I just wanted to say that all it took was seeing your headline:

    "Murdoch Strikes Again!!!"

    and a little voice inside me said, "I can't take it any more. Don't look...don't read the diary....."

    I did glance at the poll, but to maintain my equilibrium today ...I'm just too afraid to read the diary.

    Meanwhile, I thought (naively) that one of the key functions of society forming governments is to protect us FROM the pathological types like Murdoch.

    Best Diary of the Year?

    by LNK on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 02:47:59 PM PDT

    •  Yeah... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Caneel, LNK, luckylizard, eclecticbrotha

      Completely agree that the title is so...overdone and, (dare I say it?), cliche`. Unfortunately, this is the introductory blog, BUT IT'S WORTH A READ. This is a HEAVILY documented case of criminal violations and the government doing absolutely nothing!

      More juicy details will be posted in the upcoming days (including conflict of interests with major Senators, interactions with the Georgian mafia and Russian mobsters, and misleading statements by company leadership) ....maybe with a slightly better title :D

      The fact remains that News Corp was the major shareholder to the end and this makes one wonder why they stuck with the company even though it crashed??

      Frankly, I wish none of this was true, because the whole thing is like some horrible real-life Gresham crime novel.

      •  Murdoch diary. Dear Diarist: (0+ / 0-)

        Well, I don't read crime novels either.

        Suggestion: if you put together simple talking point and action link about what Murdoch allegedly did and what the government/other media should do....I'll participate .........

        thank you

        Best Diary of the Year?

        by LNK on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 01:26:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Friendly heads-up: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    generally speaking, it's not kosher to post more than a two or three paragraphs from a news source.  I'm just letting you know because it could lead to legal action and/or banning from the site (the admins are pretty clear about that).

    Better just to take a few salient points and tell us what we need to know.  

    Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

    by pico on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 03:30:53 PM PDT

  •  Unless Murdoch was on the Board of Directors or (0+ / 0-)

    an Officer I do not see liability.  Shareholders do not have a duty to other shareholders.  If there was inside trading or Murdoch was part of a conspiracy which led to this debacle that would be another thing.

    •  Agreed (0+ / 0-)

      You really hit the heart of the matter! The fact is, there's nothing substantiative that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that Murdoch was involved.

      Although, when Metromedia started going downhill, he hired two consulting firms and forced them on Metromedia in an attempt to save the company (shown in the Forbe's article). That, plus Murdoch was only able to launch News Corp.'s American presence after buying from an earlier incarnation of Metromedia (Again run by John Kluge) in the 80's, allowing him to create Fox News and other holdings.

      With the prior interactions and hiring the consultants, one begins to wonder why News Corp. held on to the end. Why would News Corp. spend a bunch of money and strong arm the company for zero returns? The answer is they wouldn't, in all likelihood. So, what, if anything, did they gain from their actions? If they did gain from these actions, that would mean they gained from the collapse of a company...which might cast them into the same lot as Metromedia's management.

      Again, I'll post more soon, which will show more odd connections that just don't seem to fit...

  •  When Reality Strikes! (0+ / 0-)

    As much as I dislike Murdoch, I dislike unwarranted attacks more.

    1.  As of December 8, 2006 (date on an SEC report that was filed, Murdoch, through News PLD LLC, owned a whopping 9.7% of MIG.
    1.  That 9.7% doesn't represent the single largest share.
    1.  MURDOCH GETS RIPPED OFF! would have been a more accurate headline, as did other shareholders.
    •  Response (0+ / 0-)

      News Corp. did have a presence on the board through Martin Pompadur (the News Corp. European division chairman) and were the LARGEST shareholder...In addition, you're looking at incomplete SEC documents, Metromedia didn't file for years after 2003. Furthermore, this position on the board is even more important because it's only an 8 man board and ONLY 3 of those positions were company outsiders.

      In addition, Pompadur & News Corp. held onto their shares through the devaluation, why? It just doesn't make any sense. That combined with prior interactions of News Corp buying assets from Kluges private Metromedia holdings seems strange.

      Anyway, please keep posted on the updates to come (with even more strange coincidences), which will show  additional activity of News Corp. in Metromedia and Metromedia's dealings with inscrutable .

      The purpose of this is to get justice for the shareholders and Americans in general and, along the way, raise questions about News Corp.'s involvement, to get justice for the shareholders and Americans in general, everybody loses if Metromedia is allowed to get away with multiple violations..

      •  Which part didn't you understand? (0+ / 0-)

        I said, quite specifically, that Murdoch did NOT represent the largest shareholder, and he wasn't.  News PLD LLC was fourth largest.

        The report is dated 2006.  Last time I checked, that's after 2003.

        And while Pompadur is with Metromedia, it's not uncommon for executives to be on several boards in the same industry.  Before he was with News Corp, he was an executive at several media firms, and still is.

        So far, your whole "evidence" consists of "Rupert Murdoch is evil and must be involved!" and information that is demonstrably wrong.

        •  Not even close... (0+ / 0-)

          Right, as stated before, News Corp. has made multiple purchases of directly and indirectly Metromedia owned assets in the past. Secondly, News Corp. was largest outside shareholder, according to this New York Time's article (with Kluge and his associate Subotnick controlling 20%). "In addition, Metromedia has failed to file any required annual and quarterly reports, including financial statements, with the SEC for the last
          two years." October 19, 2006, from a Delware lawsuit by shareholders against the SEC. Here's the link:

          Furthermore, you again fail to recognize that News Corp. had one of ONLY 3 outsider board seats, let me say again, ONE OF ONLY 3!

          Lastly, I have made NO claims that Murdoch or News Corp. have performed criminal, immoral, or other acts. It just seems odd that News Corp. held onto their shares and Pompadur held onto his personal shares through the devaluation to 1 cent.

          Don't put words into my mouth, as that would be fraudulent and we wouldn't want that now... ;-)

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