The Man Caught In The Webio

David Hermandez: "A good con man"

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    A judge once described David Hernandez as a man who will "manipulate people"

    Someone once described David Hernandez as "intelligent, articulate, clean-cut,"' and polite.

    The same man said "he is a man who will lie, forge documents, disrespect trusts, disregard court orders and manipulate people and events for his own selfish purposes."

    That man was Judge Daniel Riley, who oversaw the divorce of the businessman-turned-fugitive from his second wife.

    It's a description that played out in a very real chain of events over the last few weeks.

    Hernandez disappeared after federal authorities accused him in civil court of running a Ponzi scheme that bilked more than 100 investors out of $12 million. Last week, his highly-publicized Internet radio venture with Mike North called Chicago Sports Webio, collapsed. Payroll checks bounced. Hernandez didn't return calls. And Mike North started making noise in the media.

    Now, he's wanted by the FBI and has been charged with mail fraud. Records filed by federal authorities allege Hernandez also used investor's money to pay his mortgage, buy expensive gifts and throw fancy parties, according to theSun-Times.

    Some of Chicago's biggest radio names were lured by his charm. Chet Coppock, Jonathan Hood, Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini all joined Webio with North.

    The scheme began unraveling when an investor from another Hernandez business, NextStep Medical Staffing, contacted authorities. Fred Samp, who lost $150,000, stopped receiving monthly dividend checks that had been giving him 15 percent on his investment, he told the Sun-Times.

    This is not the first time Hernandez, who is one of six children who grew up in Cicero, has absconded after amidst allegations of ripping people off. In 1997, he took off for Mexico in his mother's car with his two daughters. He was about to be charged with stealing $600,000 from investors at Columbia National Bank where he was vice president of operations. Police found him in Arizona, just four hours from the border, nearly two weeks later.

    "It caused great trauma to our family," a family member told the Sun-Times. "The best thing I can say about him is that he's a good con man."