More Messages: Spin That Wheel
The McDonald scandal was among the wackiest in Denver media history. "OutFoxed," a May 2001 Message column, details a series of thoroughly dubious investment schemes the TV exec cooked up, including "impending IPOs (initial public offerings) into which McDonald said he could get people at the ground-floor level with the help of a rich uncle in California." Sounds like an offer only a sucker would take -- and sucker number one was Tom Martino, who, as a consumer advocate on radio and TV, makes his living telling people how not to get scammed. Nevertheless, Martino handed McDonald $50,000, thereby proving that the self-proclaimed Troubleshooter was more than capable of eating his own lead.
Subsequent Messages tracked the McDonald tale. A followup item cites more notables who trusted their cash with McDonald, including former Denver Broncos placekicker David Treadwell, and points out that three folks he approached or victimized accused Post scribe Joanne Ostrow of printing their names without permission. Another update revealed that a grand jury was looking into McDonald's shenanigans. The next one tells of the indictment the jury handed down (its eighteen counts included securities fraud and forgery) and points out that Channel 9's Adele Arakawa wasn't listed in the formal complaint against McDonald despite having claimed in the press to have been ripped off. The final offering notes that McDonald reached a plea deal, and quotes the man himself. "I've acknowledged responsibility for everything I've done up to this point," he said, "and now I'm committed to making full restitution to everyone involved."
Today, according to the Post, McDonald still hasn't completed this chore, but thanks to the renewed publicity about him, creditors like the hilariously gullible Martino may see a few more bucks. And for that, they have two people to thank.
One's named Pat. The other goes by Vanna. -- Michael Roberts