Aug. 11, 2009
By: Ameet Sachdev
(Chicago Tribune)–The financier of a defunct Internet radio station launched by Chicago radio personality Mike North has been hit with lawsuits since he was charged with running a Ponzi scheme to fund the station and his other businesses.
North and several former employees of Chicago Sports Webio filed a complaint last week in Cook County court against David Hernandez of Downers Grove for failure to pay wages and writing bad checks.
The suit said that Chet Coppock, for example, was promised a $100,000 annual salary but was only paid about $18,000 when the station shut down in June. Court documents also show that North was offered a compensation package that included an annual salary of $250,000 and 30 percent ownership in Webio. But his attorney Lucas Fuksa said North never received shares in the company. North’s wife, Bebe, who was Webio’s chief operating officer, had a $100,000 salary.
Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to running a $12 million Ponzi scheme. He fled the Chicago area after being charged last month and was taken into custody at a hotel in Downstate Normal after he apparently tried to kill himself. Hernandez remains in custody at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago and could not be immediately reached for comment.
Hernandez also was sued by two of his investors last month in a Chicago federal court. North and his wife were also named as defendants in that suit. North declined to comment on both suits.