FBI targets Webio founder

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Posted by chicagomedia.org on June 13, 2009 at 19:57:21:

FBI targets Webio founder
Posted by Ed S. at 6/13/2009 3:34 PM CDT on Chicago Business

It appears the FBI is investigating David Hernandez, the president of Spectrum Entertainment, parent company of Chicagosportswebio.com, the new Internet sports talk station in town.

An investor, who asked not to be named, said he has been questioned by the FBI about the business practices of Mr. Hernandez, who also is the president of NextStep Medical Staffing and NextStep Financial Services.

An FBI representative said Saturday that Bureau agents executed a search warrant Friday at 225 W. Washington in Chicago, the location of NextStep's offices.

The FBI representative said the search "was in connection with an on-going investigation." He would not confirm that Mr. Hernandez was the target of the investigation.

The investor declined to get into the details of his questioning by the FBI.

"There is going to be a lot more coming out about this," the investor said.

Mr. Hernandez could not be reached for comment.

Friday was an eventful day at Webio. Crain's revealed Friday that Mr. Hernandez has been bouncing numerous checks to employees at Webio. Mr. Hernandez then fired his Webio co-founders: Mike North, his wife BeBe and Jeff Schwartz.

Mr. North said the three were fired after repeatedly questioning Mr. Hernandez about the bad checks and demanding that the employees be paid.

Saturday, Mr. North said he was unaware that Mr. Hernandez was under investigation by the FBI until he heard some reports about it Friday. He said he became concerned about Mr. Hernandez's business practices after learning that Webio checks were bouncing in May.

"It is what it is," Mr. North said. "Everybody knows who the bad guy is."

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