Newport News, VA- based JBS (Jacobs Broadcasting System) is selling off three locally-based LPTVs to pay back defrauded investors, creditors and debt. Samuel B Jacobs II, who formerly headed JBS, was found guilty in federal court 4/12 of money laundering, mail fraud, forgery and engaging in monetary transactions derived from unlawful activity (an illegal investment scheme). JBS operates religious programmed WVBN-LP Virginia Beach, WJHJ-LP Newport News and WYSJ-CA Yorktown. We reported back in May that Jacobs was transferring his 70% interest to Neal Rosenbaum, his partner and 30% stakeholder, making Rosenbaum the sole stakeholder.
Jacobs had formed a separate company, Alliance Financial Services Corp., to seek investments that he then used to cover expenses for himself and JBS and to repay prior investors, reported The Daily Press.
Investors included church members and pastors might recoup some of their losses in what was deemed in federal court as an illegal investment scheme concocted by a local religious TV broadcaster.
“We’re hoping there’s enough to cover everybody,” attorney Nathaniel Webb III told the paper. Webb took over management of the company and had to apply for the renewal of the company’s three FCC licenses in June, as Jacobs had not done so. On 10/3, the FCC granted license renewals for WVBN and WJHJ.
After the conviction, the U.S. Attorney’s Office asked the court to hold Jacobs liable for the amount he defrauded investors, about $752,000. The majority of the investors — more than 100 people — have been repaid. Some investors are still owed thousands of dollars, according to court documents. A financial judgment would follow sentencing, which is to be held in U.S. District Court in Newport News 2/21.
Jacobs maintains his innocence and said he plans to appeal the court’s decision.
The Rev. Willie B. Royster, pastor of Love Christian Center in Suffolk, VA told the paper he was encouraged to hear that JBS was working on a way to possibly pay back the defrauded investors, including himself and his church. “I think it would be wonderful,” Royster said. “My hope has been that we’ll somehow or another get paid.”