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Brent Kovar's Next Big (Imaginary) Thing
July 1, 2007 9:16 AM   Subscribe

Brent Kovar got investors and employees to believe his invention was the next big thing, but nobody's ever seen it. Mister Kovar had also been appointed in 2003 to the Business Advisory Council of the National Republican Congressional Committee by then-Congressional Majority Leader Tom Delay. Apparently, a DC-9 they co-owned (painted to resemble aircraft from the U.S. Dept of Homeland Security) was busted in Mexico with 5.5 tons of cocaine on board. First link via fark
posted by The Deej (41 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Plane with a past disappears after drug bust.

Other than that, I am having a hard time finding non-MadCowProd, or non-blog info about the cocaine bust. Does this mean cover-up, or lack of evidence?
posted by The Deej at 9:25 AM on July 1, 2007


so...were they gonna sell it or toot it all themselves?
posted by bruce at 9:29 AM on July 1, 2007


Whoops!!
posted by Balisong at 9:44 AM on July 1, 2007


Were there Asians in the plane?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:56 AM on July 1, 2007


Was his invention anything like the segway?
posted by miss lynnster at 10:00 AM on July 1, 2007


Every time I read one of these articles about investors being scammed, I wonder: How do rich people stay rich when they are so stupid!? Wealth should be distributed based on intelligence... Or, at the very least, on common sense.
posted by amyms at 10:02 AM on July 1, 2007


True or not, the second link's writing makes my brain bleed.
posted by Kattullus at 10:03 AM on July 1, 2007


Top Gun was coming from inside the building.
posted by Partial Law at 10:03 AM on July 1, 2007


Broken Dove?
posted by SaintCynr at 10:06 AM on July 1, 2007


5.5 TONS of cocane!?
posted by delmoi at 10:09 AM on July 1, 2007


Five and a half tons!? Oh my, that is a lot. You would think that there would be more coverage for such a huge bust. The narcs like to toot their own horns, and frankly, for a bust of this size who could blame them? The Guardian provided some very limited coverage.
posted by caddis at 10:11 AM on July 1, 2007


Truth be told: The writing in both links makes my brain bleed.

From this (better written) link from the Mad Cow series:

The news that an American was involved in the drug shipment is just one of the new details which can be gleaned by reading what newspapers in Mexico and Venezuela have been reporting. In both countries, unlike the U.S., the story has been front page news for several months.
posted by The Deej at 10:13 AM on July 1, 2007


From caddis's link:
Soldiers arrested the plane's co-pilot, Miguel Vazquez, 47, a Colombian, but the pilot escaped.

Wow. That's some in-depth stuff there. Wonder how he "escaped." And did the soldiers show up the next day at work all blingy?
posted by The Deej at 10:16 AM on July 1, 2007


"His cousin, Boring, was legal adviser."

Well, it's understandable they didn't listen to his advice.
posted by inoculatedcities at 10:18 AM on July 1, 2007


That's about 200 million dollars in 'street' value, assuming $50/gram.
posted by delmoi at 10:20 AM on July 1, 2007


Was his invention anything like the segway?
posted by miss lynnster


Yep, lynnster, they both take you for a ride.
posted by The Deej at 10:23 AM on July 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


Five and a half tons!? Oh my, that is a lot. You would think that there would be more coverage for such a huge bust

There was plenty of coverage this week of the abandoned cocaine boat, which had 1.2 tons.
posted by vacapinta at 10:24 AM on July 1, 2007


...and i got a scooter in the mail.....
posted by clavdivs at 10:26 AM on July 1, 2007


WORLD EXCLUSIVE
APRIL 17 2006


pfft.
posted by quonsar at 10:40 AM on July 1, 2007


...literally...a scooter in the mail.
posted by carsonb at 10:54 AM on July 1, 2007


Hard to keep the video compression frauds straight; this guy's scam is different than Pixelon, the famous 2000 flameout.
posted by Nelson at 11:06 AM on July 1, 2007


The SP Times link says they had engine troubles and made an emergency landing and the officials didn't get suspicious until they weren't allowed to board the plane. The other two links say that the Mexican army was waiting for them when they landed due to a tipoff. The first one explains how the pilot could get away if at first they didn't know what they had. I don't see how the pilot could have gotten away in the second version of the story unless someone helped him or it's not true. If they were headed for the USA, why did they even stop in Mexico unless the story that they had trouble was true? If it's true, why was the Mexican government waiting for a plane that was not even going to land there? I think the second story smells.
posted by erikharmon at 11:20 AM on July 1, 2007


OK, I didn't read the link from The Deej. Woops. Still, how can anyone verify any of this information?
posted by erikharmon at 11:24 AM on July 1, 2007


Ya, erikharmon, there's some weird stuff for sure.

Then this link (also in my comment above) says:

On the ground, scanning the sky nervously, are officers from the Mexican Federal Preventive Police (PFP, dressed in civilian clothes. But they aren’t there to interdict the drug shipment.

They’re there to protect it.


Just when you think journalism is trustworthy...
posted by The Deej at 11:29 AM on July 1, 2007


Republicans tied to cocaine dealers? I've never heard of such a thing.

Wait, no I have. On a regular basis, in fact.
posted by trondant at 11:58 AM on July 1, 2007


CIA: Putting the "blow" in "Republican blowhards" since the 50's.
posted by FormlessOne at 12:27 PM on July 1, 2007


MadCowProductions is a curious thing: On the one hand these amazing, sensational stories. They almost read like something out of The Cold Six Thousand or American Tabloid, (James Ellroy novels about gov. shenanigans).

Then on the other hand the stories appear _almost_ nowhere else... "Being connected means never having to say you're sorry." I think it went. I'm not convinced I buy it. Titllating as all hell, but so little pay-off in the form of subtantive fact.

The Rigorous Intuition blog is a pretty high form of this kind of writing. Not journalism, not fiction, but almost always something interesting.
posted by From Bklyn at 1:27 PM on July 1, 2007




Dave Emory over at wfmu has several hours of Interviews with Hopsicker, and fills in many details of this story (I want to believe)
posted by hortense at 5:27 PM on July 1, 2007


One can only hope these republican hypocrites get all the coke they wish for. It is exactly their type of arrogant cock-headedness that gets crushed by coke like a fat bug in a fast windshield. Coke _is_ tricky, and trickier if you can buy at once much more than is good for you.
posted by CautionToTheWind at 5:50 PM on July 1, 2007


Every time I read one of these articles about investors being scammed, I wonder: How do rich people stay rich when they are so stupid!? Wealth should be distributed based on intelligence... Or, at the very least, on common sense.

Seems like scamming rich people would move markets toward that very goal.

Cocaine is a stupid drug that does a remarkably good job at removing money from the pockets of arrogant assholes. I say more power to it.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 6:55 PM on July 1, 2007


So has anybody used the "Clinton did it too" defense yet?
posted by rougy at 10:42 PM on July 1, 2007


"Mister Kovar had also been appointed in 2003 to the Business Advisory Council of the National Republican Congressional Committee by then-Congressional Majority Leader Tom Delay."

Just to be fair on a minor point -- that doesn't mean anything, that's a fundraising scam. I must 10 or so of those calls every election cycle: it is an invitation to contribute to the Republican Party. I even remember the specific calls from 2003 -- they started with a telemarketing operator saying, "Please hold for an important personal message from Tom Delay." You'd get a pre-recorded ramble from Delay, then the telemarketer would be back trying to sell you on sitting "sitting on the committee" and writing a donation check. IANAR, but I occassionally let them ramble on their sales pitches for my personal amusement.

So I wouldn't take that as Tom Delay's personal seal of approval, I'd take it more as Brent Kovar was the kind of guy that found that particular telemarketing pitch irresistible -- it promises you access to power (heh heh) for cash.
posted by bclark at 3:26 AM on July 2, 2007


Jeez, not just that, but his press release is essentially that same damn telephone script -- I recognize many of those key phrases. Heh heh.
posted by bclark at 3:32 AM on July 2, 2007


So I wouldn't take that as Tom Delay's personal seal of approval, I'd take it more as Brent Kovar was the kind of guy that found that particular telemarketing pitch irresistible -- it promises you access to power (heh heh) for cash.

That is of course true. But then there's the whole "owning a plane together" thing. I assumed it was just that they were part of a coop of many owners, but I can't find info either way. The articles certainly make it sound like they are the only 2 owners.
posted by The Deej at 5:51 AM on July 2, 2007


They never owned a plane together, The Deej. That is where the article breaks down under journalistic analysis.

The plane was co-owned with a company that is shifty, which they describe as being "like a CIA front" although they admit they have no evidence to that point.

But because they mentioned the Delay connection, one is left with the impression that they have TWO piece of evidence showing a connection to Republicans. Breaking down the piece logically says that neither of those are actually pieces of evidence.
posted by bclark at 6:44 AM on July 2, 2007


a literal scooter...wanna buy it?
posted by clavdivs at 9:28 AM on July 2, 2007


Aw, that’s a lot of coke...I guess.
I’ve only got 2.5 tons in the truck of my Mazda Miata.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:23 AM on July 2, 2007


I don't want the frickin' scooter!!!!

They don't hold enough cocaine.
posted by The Deej at 11:56 AM on July 2, 2007


That's some Miata.
posted by lodurr at 11:59 AM on July 2, 2007


Business scams are kind of amazing things, and one of the more amazing things is that anyone bothers to do anything illegal.

Here's one example of a kind of scam I've seen more times than I can remember. Go to any city in America that's mid-sized and up, and you'll find people running perfectly legal development scams. They hawk projects that they know damn well will never make money, but that have some kind of emotional hook for somebody. The projects are real, though, and they get credibility by getting some community members excited for some reason -- maybe they thingk it will create jobs, maybe they think it will lead to more businessess setting up shop in the region, maybe it will bring in more tourist dollars. Anyway, folks get excited, they invest time, energy, effort. The municipalities, maybe even some local investors, start pumping money into that project, and projects they hope will feed off it.

Pretty soon, you're talking about some real money, in local terms. Then there's a delay, and people have to spend more money. Maybe the thing launches or gets finished, and ends up losing money (after the initial flush of curiosity-driven interest); maybe it just sort of peeters out. At the end fo the day, investors get stuck with the tab, while the original developers go on to their next big project, having cashed out at some point after collecting large salaries and living off lavish expense accounts for several years.

I'm sure many of us could come up with examples, but the one that springs to my mind is one I'm familiar with as a resident of the affected municipality: The Rochester NY to Toronto ON Fast Ferry.

So, why bother breaking the law? When guys like Kovar go that far, it tells me that they either lack creative thinking ability, or they're stupid, or finally, that they want to get caught. Maybe a bit of all three.
posted by lodurr at 12:10 PM on July 2, 2007


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