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Talk-show host charged with failing to file taxes

Published: Thu, January 7, 2010 @ 12:04 a.m.

By Peter H. Milliken

The FBI and the IRS have investigated the case.

CLEVELAND — Louis B. Free of Boardman, a self-employed radio talk-show host, has waived federal indictment on charges of not filing his federal income-tax returns.

The federal government has charged Free, whose real name is Louis A. Wolk, with failing to file federal income-tax returns for 2004, 2005 and 2006.

Wolk, 56, is the host of the “Brainfood from the Heartland” program, which airs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday on WGFT-AM 1330 in Youngstown and also on Vindy.com.

In a filing Tuesday, the U.S. attorney charged Wolk with three misdemeanor counts of failure to file after earning $74,150 in 2004, $46,810 in 2005 and $17,945 in 2006.

The filing, known as an information, is a formal written accusation by a prosecutor that charges someone with a crime and can be used only if the defendant waives indictment by a grand jury.

Wolk and his lawyer, Debra Migdal, an Akron-based federal public defender, have signed a waiver of indictment. The filing of an information usually means the defendant is cooperating with authorities and agrees to be found guilty of the charges.

Each count carries up to a year in prison and up to a $100,000 fine.

The case, which is assigned to U.S. Magistrate James S. Gallas, was investigated by the IRS and the FBI. No court dates have been set.

Wolk said he has come full circle, having started his radio career about 10 years ago on 1330 when it had the call letters WASN and was under different ownership.

After two years there, he joined WWOW in Ashtabula, where he stayed for four years before returning to the Mahoning Valley on WASN-AM 1500. He switched three weeks ago to WGFT 1330 because of a station format change.

When asked why, as a frequent critic of corruption by public officials, he is charged with not fulfilling his obligation to file his federal tax returns for three consecutive years, he said: “I will continue to be a critic of corrupt public officials. ... I am neither corrupt nor a public official.”

Skip Bednarczyk, market manager for WRBP-FM 101.9, WGFT and WASN, said Wolk is on the air on a 90-day temporary trial basis on WGFT.

When that 90-day period ends, “his performance is going to be re-evaluated” to determine whether he’ll remain on the air based on response from the listening audience and the outcome of the federal charges, Bednarczyk said.

The trial-period arrangement for Wolk’s radio show predated the filing of the federal charges, the manager said.

Wolk declined to comment on the federal charges, his personal bankruptcy or two foreclosure actions filed against him.

U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Kay Woods dismissed Wolk’s Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing last April because he failed to timely file all the necessary documents, she said.

A foreclosure filing by Commercial Financial Corp., mortgage holder on Wolk’s South Cadillac Drive residence, is still pending in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.

American Tax Funding, which bought the tax lien on another Wolk property on Oakley Avenue, received a foreclosure judgment from Judge John M. Durkin of common pleas court in August 2008.



1boardmanneedschange(364 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

Louie aint gonne B Free too much longer! Vindy will still post his jibberish though. If his name was Traficant he'd be nailed to a cross, but since he works for the vindy he will no doubt keep his job and be lauded as a local hero. Astounding.

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2Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

A victim of bad tax advice or no tax advice . It looks like he let his problems overload his assets . Louie should leave professionals handle his tax issues . I hope he gets the problems ironed out without too much pain .

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3boardmanneedschange(364 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

Sorry pal, the "I didnt do anything wrong" defense is a little hard to swallow. I find it very hard to believe that you fail realize how much you make each year. I know exactly how much I make a year. every year. We are talking damn near 140,000 dollars louie... I find it hard to believe it was just an oversight.

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4lbf(165 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

thank you Stan

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5boardmanneedschange(364 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

Seriously. This man obviously knows the system and how it works. He seems to be educated enough, unless he's an intellectual fraud and does the cut and paste with his twitter page. So which is it? are you just another uneducated drone who recycles other peoples thoughts on the world? or are you actually guilty of trying to sneak some extra cash by the Gov't?

You shouldn't call people out in a public forum unless you are willing to take the same punishment you hand out there Mr. Wolk. Have fun in prison.

PS im pretty sure they don't have a vegan menu in there.

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6candystriper(575 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

When the US population reaches 3 billion and we payoff the National debt Lou will be able to stop paying the IRS.


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7msweetwood(170 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

Boardmanneedschange: You are easily one of the most uninformed people who post on this site. Case in point: Louis is NOT an employee so he has no job to keep. He clearly did not get a pass as evidenced by the details of this story and the fact that the Vindy not only broke the story but put it on the front of our local news section. You constantly discuss how much you dislike the newspaper yet you are here daily spouting random nonsense. Actually, if we ran this company with the same glib adherence to facts that you display and the same arrogant demeanor, you would REALLY have something to hate. And way to go lecturing about calling "people out in a public forum unless you are willing to take the same punishment" behind your fake name on a public forum... Sheesh...

Mark Sweetwood
Managing Editor

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8rocky14(752 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

If i don't pay my taxes for years,what do you think would happen?
Louie shouldn't B Free either.

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9epicfail(217 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

"You shouldn't call people out in a public forum unless you are willing to take the same punishment you hand out there Mr. Wolk. Have fun in prison."

It's not too hard to understand. Louie attacked the 'messiah', now his fanboy comes to attack Louie.

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10Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

During these tough times financial woes are not a stranger to millions across the USA . Tax professionals are working with the IRS to alleviate these woes .

Here in The Valley many hard working people and retirees have had first hand experience of financial burdens that overwhelmed them . The only viable solution is to put them back on the road to financial stability .

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11Lifes2Short(3879 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

It is what it is....good luck Louie.....

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12aspin444(24 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

Louie made a mistake and will take the punishment due. A lesson learned. He still is a good talk show host and I have enjoyed many of his reviews. Life is short listeners. Move on.

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13boardmanneedschange(364 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

Please dont lop me in with the messiah lovers. I personally dont give a dog turd who he attacked on his show, I just know he does, and think he shouldn't throw stones while living in a glass house.

As for you Sweetwood, I know why you write the things you do and I don't blame you, you and your paper look like total jackasses for this fiasco. Good luck with that. I won't come back to your site so attack away, knowing that I won't reply anymore.


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14Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

The Vindy chose to print the story with all of the facts . I see no wrongdoing on their part nor any coverup .

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15epicfail(217 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

Bonus points to Stan for keeping it classy. :-)

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16Window(1 comment)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

Corrupt? Well, I don't know - but you just don't 'forget' to file income tax for 3 years.
Not a public official - thank the lord.

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17Juliana(2 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

Agree with comments from Stan, epicfail, and Aspin444. Good luck Louie. I'll continue to listen to and enjoy your show.

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18redvert(2139 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

Look at the bright side of all this, he is now qualified to work in the Obowser administration!!!

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