Chapter 7: Rogoff now says Dispatch owes her up to $23 million - Must Read Alaska
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Friday, August 14, 2020
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Chapter 7: Rogoff now says Dispatch owes her up to $23 million

The owner of the Alaska Dispatch News — now defunct — has filed yet another bankruptcy claim against the entity of which she was the sole owner, and which she ran into the ground in three short years.

Alice Rogoff’s latest claim is for $7 million, and it adds to her first claim of $16 million that she says the dead newspaper owes her personally.

Rogoff wants to be paid before any of the other 28 creditors are made whole, but in reality there are no assets left to pay any of them, and the wealthy heiress has done something uncharacteristic of the other creditors: Rogoff and her lawyers have fought from having her personally responsible for paying the debt to her numerous creditors, of which she is the largest by far.

A reader could be forgiven for not understanding the difference between her and her failed entity. She mixed her personal finances and business dealings so much that it may leave her personally liable to pay the business’ debts. But that’s another story. Creditors had until midnight on Monday to file their claims against the Alaska Dispatch News in Alaska Bankruptcy Court.

Must Read Alaska looked into the list of creditor claims in the Chapter 7 liquidation proceedings filed since September and through the March 19 midnight deadline.

Many of the creditors in the Chapter 11 proceedings did not proceed with claims once the case was converted to Chapter 7, which is when the entity is seen as a total loss:

Municipality of Anchorage, Department of Law: $28,258.14

Air Land Transport Inc, Anchorage:  $12,788.41, for transportation services

Opti Staffing Group, Anchorage: $4,541.00, for services

United States Trustee, Seattle: $6,500.00, proof of claim

Monster Worldwide Inc., Wisc: $13,280.45, for services

Thomson Reuters (Markets) LLC: $8,725.40, for services

Alice Rogoff: $16,619,095.90, for money she loaned to the newspaper that she owned.

AdPerfect Dynamic Advertising Solutions Ltd, BC, Canada: $16,051.00, for services

Reed Brennan Media Associates, Inc, N.C.: $6,460.86, for goods and services

Catalyst Paper (USA) Inc., Irvine, Ca: $51,307.56, for goods sold

Arctic Office Machines, Arctic Office Products, Anchorage: $1,658.68, for goods sold

Frontline Construction LLC, Anchorage: $109,354.98, for construction services

Boot Country, Anchorage: $118.96, for worker boots

3150 C, LLC, c/o Robert Hume, Landye Bennett Blumstein: $715,490.63, for breach of lease

Legacy.com: $907.48 for services relating to obituary service subscription

Internal Revenue Service, Centralized Insolvency Operations: $24,461.94

TSI North America LLC, Bellevue, Wa: $12,500.00, for services

Arctic Partners, LLC, Tacoma, Wa: $2,446,425.82, for back rent

J. Birkett, Inc, Lebanon, Tenn: $265,376.00 for contract services

M&M Wiring Service Inc, Anchorage: $1,529,808.19, for improvements to the Arctic Partners building

Alice Rogoff, Anchorage: $7,000,000.00. This one is complicated. It’s a claim that is contingent and it’s in addition to a prior claim she has made for money she loaned to the dead newspaper.

This claim was filed by Birch Horton Bittner & Cherot c/o James Lister, Esq. Rogoff estimates the final range is between $900,000 and $7,000,000. The claim is brought in the event that Rogoff’s various shell entities lose in the lawsuit filed by her former business partner Tony Hopfinger, as well as other lawsuits and legal actions pending.

If she loses, she’ll be suing her dead newspaper for the amount owed. “The dollar amount of Rogoff’s claims for contribution and indemnification is not yet known because it depends on resolution of claims against Rogoff giving rise to contribution and indemnification claims on her part.”

 

 

“Mr. Hopfinger filed suit against ADP for the payment of severance, and has likewise sought to pierce the corporate veil of ADP in an effort to hold Ms. Rogoff personally liable. Case No. 3AN-16-07173 CI, Superior Court for the State of Alaska, 3rd Judicial District at Anchorage. Because the Employment Contract specifically states that if Mr. Hopfinger is terminated without cause he is entitled to six months of his “regular compensation,” which would have been his “regular salary” paid by Debtor Alaska Dispatch News, LLC, the Debtor would be the responsible party and obligor. A further factor is that ADP was at one point slated to become the direct owner of the Debtor, but then assigned the stock purchase agreement to AK Publishing, LLC, which became the direct owner. A copy of the Employment Agreement is attached as Schedule 4.

“Alleged contract between Tony Hopfinger and Ms. Rogoff, entered into in April 2014, whereby Ms. Rogoff agreed to pay Mr. Hopfinger $100,000 a year, over and above the salary paid by Debtor Alaska Dispatch News, LLC (ADN), with the understanding that Mr. Hopfinger would continue his employment with ADN and dedicate all of his time and resourced into making ADN a success. Mr. Hopfinger has filed suit against Ms. Rogoff for all payments allegedly due. Case No. 3AN-16-07173 CI, Superior Court for the State of Alaska, 3rd Judicial District at Anchorage. Because the contact was designed to benefit ADN, Ms. Rogoff has an equitable indemnity claim against ADN for any amounts that she is required to pay.

“Other contracts, leases, corporate documents, and instruments relevant to such other claims as may be asserted against Ms. Rogoff.

“If the contribution and indemnification rights discussed above are properly asserted by Ms. Rogoff’s entities Moon and the Stars, LLC or AK Publishing, LLC, rather than Ms. Rogoff, this claim is filed on behalf of those entities. Rogoff owns Moon and the Stars, which in turn owns AK Publishing, which in turn owns the Debtor Alaska Dispatch News, LLC.”

GCI Communication Corp: $174,768.37

GCI NADC LLC: $3,399,415.03

Northrim Bank: $731,100.00, for loans

John McKay: $81,501.65, for legal services

Law Offices of Cabot Christianson, P.C: $83,385.31, for legal services unpaid

Law Offices of Birch Horton Bittner & Cherot: $54,718.80, for legal services unpaid. Note that BHBC also is filing a claim on behalf of Rogoff for up to $7 million she is owed if she loses various lawsuits.

Law Offices of Michael R. Mills, Dorsey & Whitney LLP: $13,634.50, for legal services unpaid.

Tony Hopfinger, former business partner of Alaska Dispatch News: $950,000. This claim results from a personal guarantee that Alice Rogoff wrote on a bar napkin to Hopfinger as the two were getting a business divorce. The napkin is Exhibit A in his lawsuit against her, which has been delayed until November:

A contract on a bar napkin, signed by Alice Rogoff.

THE GRAND TOTALS

The claims total over $34.3 million, and of that, $23 million is what Alice Rogoff claims is owed to her by her bankrupted newspaper operation.

[Read:Alice Rogoff: Fraud, deception, reckless disregard]

[Read: The summer of Alice Rogoff’s discontent]

 

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

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