A couple of weekends ago, I was a Triple Tree Aerodrome for the 2022 Heli Extravaganza event. I had an awesome time with friends and meeting new people. On the way up, my podcast app gave me a notification that the latest RCHN v3 episode was out and Dan Lucente was on it.
I assumed he would be on to reply to my podcast so I had prepared facts and questions for the hosts to ask Dan. I did this because I knew they did not have all the facts and I wanted to prepare them so Dan would not be able to get away with lies.
Unfortunately, the hosts did not press very hard. I do appreciate that Dan Reed tried to a few times, but it seemed as though he was restrained.
Nevertheless, I must now correct the record and fact-check the episode because Dan Lucente said several things that are simply false. Here are my responses to Dan’s interview, in chronological order:
- First, we now have proof that Tim Diperi committed perjury.Dan Lucente discusses that there was a disagreement regarding vendor relations right before the 2019 Jamboree.
I have in my possession an e-mail thread that shows what is at the heart of the situation. In 2018, Miniature Aircraft (full disclosure, they are a sponsor of mine but were not at the time) was left off the IRCHA Jamboree shirt.To make it up to them, the Board reached out to Gale Galal of Align (Gale Align) and he graciously gave up a portion of his power hour so Miniature Aircraft could get value out of their sponsorship.
In exchange, Gale asked to have the same time slot the next year (2019). When 2019 came around, the power hour schedule had been set and Gale reached out to find out about his slot. He reminded Charles Anderson about the agreement and Charles remembered it. Charles then went to honor the agreement, but Tim Diperi was adamant that SAB and Futaba fly that power hour (sponsors of his).
In the e-mail thread, Tim makes threatening remarks to Charles regarding the situation and this is the heart of the argument. Also, Tim stated under oath that he recuses himself from any decisions regarding sponsors.
The e-mail thread I have in my possession shows him involved in this so it is not true therefore we have proof that he committed perjury.
The membership should have been advised of this conflict, as per the bylaws, during the required annual IRCHA members business meeting that also didn’t happen, along with an explanation of Charles’ removal. Instead, we were kept in the dark.
- Dan claims they tallied up the amounts that Charles allegedly stole and came up with a number. During the depositions, none of the deposed could identify the method by which they arrived at the $71k amount they allege Charles stole. They each referred to the others on how the amount was reached.
No accounting professional was consulted to determine this number.
How does $71k go missing without the others noticing? Where was the oversight? This is not a small amount, and we entrusted these funds to the Board. They are all responsible and owe us an explanation.
Think about this for a second, a small organization of only 5 people and one of them, who is not the treasurer, allegedly takes $71K ,which is more than the full budget of a Jamboree and nobody noticed? It’s such a ridiculous thing to allege.
- Dan claims Charles never denied taking or using the money. Could there be a reason Charles was permitted to take that money?
Yes, I used the word, “permitted”, because that is the only way that such a large sum of money leaves an organization.
Was Charles asked, under oath, during his deposition, why he was permitted to have a bank account that received money from IRCHA and why the rest of the Board Members were unaware of its existence?
IRCHA will not release the audio of the deposition. I, and you should too, hereby challenge them to release the audio of the deposition. I bet they won’t, but I wonder what is in that audio that they might not want the rest of us to hear?
- Dan says they were advised to drop the lawsuit because Charles had no ability to pay.
Who funded this lawsuit?
Were OUR funds used to fund this lawsuit?
- Dan claims that the documents and recordings are not public record, and they were under protective order.
This is absolutely false.
They asked the judge for a protective order and the judge allowed them to do so for thirty days (filing #45 on 7 SEP 21).
Later, IRCHA filed a motion to have to records sealed permanently.
The judge denied this motion because they didn’t follow the requirements in the previous order for maintaining the records sealed (filing #83 on 1 DEC 21) and they let the 30 day time period pass.
Dan Lucente either lied or does not know the details of the case he and the others brought against Charles Anderson.
- Dan Lucente claims that Charles Anderson requested this protective order.
According to court filing #44 on 30 AUG 21 filed by Mr. William J. Brinkerhoff, the IRCHA lawyer, the protective order was in fact negotiated by both parties and both parties were aware of the terms of the order.
Additionally, the terms of the order were proposed by IRCHA and the Motion for the order was made by IRCHA, NOT by Charles.
Again, Dan Lucente lied or is ignorant of the details of his own case.
- Dan Lucente claims again that the recordings are not public record however, according to filing #83, as previously stated, these recordings are now public record and are permissible to share.
- Dan Lucente claims that I was initially reluctant to meet with them.
This is true.
I was reluctant because I was there to receive an award for my competition in the NATS and not to speak about the matter they wished to discuss. The awards ceremony was about to start, and it was not the time to have a discussion.
Additionally, due to the nature of all the behavior I had observed from the case and the depositions, I had no desire to speak with them by myself and I needed to find someone to be there as a witness.
- Dan Lucente correctly states that IRCHA is not an organization that is in good standing. I presume he meant this to be with the State of Indiana as well as the IRS, since he did not state that.
This statement is remarkable!
They could not bring themselves to say this during deposition despite being asked in multiple ways. Why are they making this statement now? It also means that they perjured themselves again during the depositions.
- Dan Lucente goes on to say that they do not recognize IRCHA, Inc. (the organization incorporated by Charles Anderson in May 2019) as a valid organization.
First, the State of Indiana does, and the judge accepted its Bylaws as the valid bylaws.
Second, it is the ONLY organization that can legally conduct business in the State.
Third, I find it remarkable, again, that they do not recognize this organization as valid, yet they used the organization to sue Charles Anderson.
You cannot have it both ways!
Additionally, during deposition several of the deposed refused to acknowledge which organization they serve!
- Dan Lucente states, “It [IRCHA, Inc.] is as defunct as any organization could be.”
If that is the case, please explain why you used that organization to sue Charles Anderson?
- Dan Lucente claims they’re “nearing the finish line” with the registration of the organization.
The original organization that they seek to preserve cannot be reinstated. According to the laws of the State of Indiana, this organization is not eligible to be renewed because it has been administratively dissolved longer than five years.
I confirmed this with the State of Indiana. I will say it again… it is impossible to reinstate International Radio Control Helicopter Association, Inc. (the original organization). NOT POSSIBLE. Therefore, they cannot be near any kind of finish line.
Dan Lucente is lying and/or is ignorant of State Law and the facts. He was advised of this during our meeting in the meeting at the trailer and he was also advised that, even if it were possible, there would be a large sum of fines to pay for the almost ten years the organization has been dissolved. Auggie was willing to cover the costs of forming a new organization, but he was NOT willing to pay any fines for the prior organization. This was made crystal clear during the meeting at the IRCHA trailer.
- Dan Lucente states that there are IRS “hoops and loops” that must be cleared before the state issues can be addressed and vice versa.
This is a lie, the IRS does not get involved with matters of the state.
Side note: the ONLY business that International Radio Control Helicopter Association, Inc. is permitted to carry out in its dissolved state is business to close the business, such as liquidation/transfer of assets to another organization. So, they are illegally operating the organization.
Dan Lucente again is either lying and/or showing he is ignorant of State Law and the facts.
- Dan Lucente states that I had a misunderstanding about this taking two weeks.
I will now reveal a fact about that meeting that we all agreed to not share. At the meeting in the IRCHA trailer, Auggie stated that his attorneys can complete the process in two to three days.
It was me who suggested the two-week timeline to allow for any delays and to not frustrate our membership.
We all agreed that my suggestion was the appropriate timeline to share publicly and that is what I reported.
Dan Lucente did not give you all the facts here. He is telling you that the “Board” does not want to do this and that they have some kind of sentimental attachment to the original organization. We have a serious problem to solve and sentimental attachments to an organization can be addressed later by way of tribute and historical accounts. Because of their actions, the historical record of the organization will now reflect the black eye they have given it by not acting swiftly when given the opportunity.
- Dan Lucente correctly states that I own a business. He states that I might have a “different idea” of what clear and open accounting is.
I, and 99.9% of businesses in America, do.
“Generally Acceptable Accounting Principles” or commonly known as GAAP is what I, and every organization must follow to have auditable books. Non-profit organizations should especially follow these standards because they foster accountability, clarity, transparency, and openness.
I do have a different idea; I follow and require these standards to be followed.
- Dan Lucente claims that “with the current workload” they will not provide proper financials and will not account for every penny taken in or spent by the organization. He also claims that Charles Anderson had those records.
Why are you now reaching out for help? Why haven’t you previously reached out for help? Why did you, instead, prefer to conceal the IRCHA financials? As far back as 2008 IRCHA members have been asking for financials and none have been provided. A statement about the Jamboree’s expenses is not a financial report. There are only three acceptable financial documents under GAAP: the income statement (Profit & Loss/P&L), the Balance Sheet, and the Statement of Cash Flows. These are not optional.
Additionally, the 2021 “financials” are not available on the website.
Dan Lucente also states that “everything is there”. Release the bank records so we can verify that everything is indeed there.
- Dan Lucente states that they do not have the records prior to 2020 because Charles Anderson retained those records.
That is a ridiculous statement. You can ask your bank to provide the bank records as far as you need to. It will cost you $20 or so if they’re not online, but they will find them for you. Another lie.
If this were true, why was one person allowed to retain these records? Where was the Treasurer (Craig Bradley) during all of this? Where was the Secretary (Wes Minear) during all of this? Why did the Secretary fail to bring governance (as is the duty of the Secretary) and why did he fail to notify the membership during the required annual meeting that was never held?
This, simply, is not an acceptable response and Dan Lucente was allowed to give this as an excuse on the podcast. This is incompetence by Dan Lucente, Craig Bradley, Tim Diperi and Wes Minear should have been pointed out and Dan Lucente should have been asked about it. The buck stops with the Board, and he is not taking responsibility for his actions or, rather, inaction and incompetence.
- Dan Lucente was asked by Dan Reed that if the organization knew about the money that they allege Charles Anderson took, they should also be responsible for it. Dan Lucente responds that if they had known about it, then yes, they would also be guilty.
I suggest that Dan Lucente, Wes Minear, Tim Diperi, and Craig Bradley (the Treasurer) did know about it and turned a blind eye or that Craig Bradley is completely incompetent and failed to do his job, along with the others for failure to perform their fiduciary duties to the organization.
Further, Dan, Wes, Tim, and Craig failed to hold Charles accountable if Charles indeed insisted on retaining any records.
If conduct like this were to happen in a business, all of them would be fired, at minimum.
- Dan Lucente states that Charles Anderson was acting as President and Treasurer during the years when this took place.
I have ONE question for Dan Lucente – during the trial you were presented a document that you signed, stating that the treasurer duties were shared among all the officers and that all the officers have the authority to perform the duties.
How is it possible, then, that one person could hold all the records and no one challenged him on that?
- Dan Lucente states that he wishes he “had a great answer” regarding how $71k of OUR money goes missing.
Let me stop you right there, Dan, it was YOUR job to have an answer on this.
As a steward of these funds and the organization, it was YOUR job to have an answer.
Dan, step down and walk away; you are incapable of faithfully discharging the duties of the office you claim to hold.
- Dan Lucente states he was elected President in 2019 but then later claims he was never elected.
- Dan Reed presents Dan Lucente with facts from the Bylaws surrounding conflicts of interest and allowing Charles Anderson to be President and Treasurer. Dan Reed asks Dan Lucente if anybody addressed that issue.
Dan Lucente then goes “on the record” and says they didn’t. He then proceeds to make the excuse that they were volunteers and proceeds to bring up Charles Anderson and the mess they had to clean up.
Dan Lucente was obligated by the Bylaws to bring this issue to the membership and he failed to do so. In doing so, he admits to being derelict of duty, along with the others.
- Dan Lucente uses the excuse of being volunteers for failing to follow the Bylaws, fulfilling State and Federal requirements for running the organization, and for failing to steward the organization they were entrusted with by the membership.
This is incompetence and cannot be tolerated. Being volunteers doesn’t mean you get to break the law.
- Dan Lucente later states that “it’s not like we weren’t keeping tabs on him [Charles]”.
One question, if you were keeping tabs on Charles Anders, then how does $71k go missing?
- Dan Lucente clearly admits he was not elected President in the interview, contradicting his earlier statement saying he was elected in 2019.
- Dan Lucente goes on to explain that he nominated himself as President and a “white ballot” was held without any other nominees so he essentially named himself President.
I will state this could have only happened with the consent of the rest of the Board. Remarkable!
- Dan Reed asked Dan Lucente to explain a “white ballot”. Dan Lucente gives some kind of gibberish about Robert’s Rules of Order.
Nowhere in Robert’s Rules of Order, which by the way are the rules to follow for company meetings, is a “white ballot” mentioned or defined. In fact, I was unable to find any definition for “white ballot” pertaining to company meetings when I researched this.
Isn’t it remarkable that Dan Lucente named himself President of IRCHA (which didn’t really exist) by a process that he made up and the rest of the “Board” members permitted?
- Dan Lucente was asked by Dan Reed about the process of nominations. Dan Lucente stated that they sought nominations via Facebook.
If you go to the International Radio Control Helicopter Association (IRCHA) Facebook page, there is only ONE record of them seeking nominations and that occurred in December of 2019. Only 28 people from an organization of 4500+ reacted to that post and three commented.
The Bylaws only permit mass mailing or website communications regarding the nomination process. Facebook was not an acceptable method to collect nominations and, according to Dan Lucente, e-mail was not even tried because their experience was that it did not work.
Whether you think something works or doesn’t, if it is a requirement in the bylaws you must follow it. The organization was obligated to exhaust every means possible to obtain nominations… unless it did not want any, which seems to be the case here.
- Dan Reed asked Dan Lucente to respond to many people’s impression that IRCHA is a “good old boys club”.
In response, Dan Lucente said, he “would like to remind you that the current board didn’t exist [in 2019] in the way it does now”.
The current Board is exactly the same board that has been in place for at least five or more years.
People don’t change the way they behave. It is still a “good old boys club”.
I’m not even going to touch on the doom and gloom that Dan Lucente shared about the future of the organization and the myopic vision he has for its future because it’s simply not worth it. What’s important right now… today… is to get the organization fixed, elections held, and a path forward charted.