Noted broker Larry Patrick, Managing Partner of Patrick Communications, is also a licensee of radio stations. And, he’s poised to gain control of three FMs as a court-appointed receiver, and immediately facilitate their sale to VCY America.
There’s just one small problem. The individual who lost control of the trio of radio stations, Ed Stolz, is engaging in what Patrick’s legal counsel calls “willful interference with court orders.” Now, it wants the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California Judge that’s been overseeing the case to send Stolz to jail until Patrick gets the properties and can sell them — per the court’s directive.
On December 30, 2020, all seemed over for Stolz with respect to his continued ability to own Class A KRCK-FM 97.7 in Palm Springs, Calif.; Class A KREV-FM 92.7 in Alameda, Calif., with coverage of the city of San Francisco and Oakland; and Class C KFRH-FM 104.3 in North Las Vegas, Nev.
He lost control of the stations for failure to pay ASCAP license fees “over several years” and continued to broadcast songs written and published by the group’s members without permission.
Now, VCY America Inc., the Wisconsin-based non-profit religious broadcaster that gains a considerable foothold in California and in Sin City with its Christian Talk & Teaching programming, is set to become the FMs new owner. It is agreeing to pay $6 million for the properties, sold not by Stolz but by Patrick.
Patrick was appointed the receiver of KRCK, KREV and KFRH in July 2020 by the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California Judge Jesus Bernal.
And, VCY America immediately paid $5.4 million in cash, with the remaining $600,000 considered as an escrow payment.
However, Stolz is engaged in “ongoing disobedience” to the court’s orders, say Patrick’s legal counsel. Therefore, Bernal should find Stolz in contempt of court and jailed.
“Stolz continues to intentionally obstruct the receiver,” a petition submitted Tuesday (1/12) to the court by attorneys Fred Heather and Rory Miller at Glaser Weil Fink Howard Avchen & Shapiro in Century City, Calif., state.
In fact, most recently Stolz instructed James Palomares — the sole remaining full-time employee of the three stations — to publish a number of post-filing announcements required by the FCC as part of the broadcast license transfer process to VCY. But, Stolz intervened, the attorneys claim. He demanded that Palomares not do so. The act is necessary in order to make the license transfer happen.
“Enough is enough,” the attorneys write. “The court is well familiar with Mr. Stolz’ antics, and has already been forced to hold him in contempt and order him jailed in order to secure his compliance with the receiver’s efforts.”
Stolz and his legal counsel have 24 hours to respond. But, Bernal has shown to have run out of patience, and could make a ruling without a hearing on the matter. This would put Stolz in jail and/or raise his financial obligation to the court to $25,000.
This would compensate Patrick fully for his time, expenses and attorney’s fees.
And, Stolz would remain in the custody of U.S. Marshals until the $25,000 is paid.