Jumpcon’s Shane Senter appeared before a judge in Hillsborough County Superior Court (Nashua, NH) to plead guilty to two counts of felony theft and two misdemeanor deceptive business practice charges on November 23.
Through a previously agreed plea bargain he stayed out of jail, receiving four consecutive, 12-month suspended sentences – provided he demonstrates good behavior – and 14 years of probation on the four charges. Four of the years of probation on the two misdemeanor charges are to be concurrent with the 10 years of probation Senter received for the two felony charges. Senter also was ordered to pay $33,824.33 in restitution.
He was also ordered to not own or operate a business that would accept payment “prior to producing promised goods or services.”
Local Nashua fan Skip Morris attended the proceedings and offered these insights to the reporter from the Telegraph:
However, a Nashua resident who works putting on science fiction conventions said he believes Senter intended to pull off the convention, but didn’t have the experience or knowledge to do it.
JumpCon’s Web site had caught the attention of people in the industry who were dumbfounded at how anyone could pull off a full schedule of conventions, said Skip Morris, who attended the hearing because of his interest in the case.
Morris said he believes that Senter thought he could make the conventions happen.
“It was obvious he was trying to succeed but he had no idea of what it actually took,” Morris said.
Morris said he works for a company that sponsors Boston conventions for fans of sci-fi artists and authors rather than television series or movies. Pulling off a successful convention typically requires hard work from a staff of 250 people, he said.
Morris has plentiful and varied conrunning experience. The company he alluded to presumably is Arisia Inc.
Authorities have announced JumpCon organizer Shane Senter will plead guilty to two violations of New Hampshire’s Consumer Protection Act and two theft charges at a plea and sentencing hearing November 23.
Conventionfans has posted a PDF copy of the New Hampshire Attorney General’s letter to those who filed complaints about JumpCon with the state’s Consumer Protection office.
The State will recommend a suspended sentence, says the letter, plus 5 years probation. A condition of the sentencing agreement is that Senter “not own, operate, manage or control a business where he takes deposits/payments prior to providing the promised goods and/or services.” Senter is also required to pay restitution to victims of his operation of JumpCon (application for payment to be made through the Hillsborough County Probation Office.)
Court-ordered restitution in this criminal proceeding may not be dischargeable by Senter’s Chapter 7 bankruptcy. (Airlock Alpha lists some of the claimed debts.)
[Via Deb Geisler.]
Shane Senter, already charged with felony theft in New Hampshire for his handling of JumpCon, the series of celebrity-studded conventions planned in several cities, now has filed in federal court for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection from actors and facilities who claim he owes them more than $8 million.
Chapter 7 leads to a complete liquidation and, as Airlock Alpha explains, the creditors aren’t likely to get much:
The court filings reveal some interesting aspects of Senter. Over the last three years, he has received nearly $10,500 in disability payments through Social Security, making about $700 a month in SSDI and food stamps.
He also lists minimal assets including five gaming chairs valued at $125, a pair of virtual reality glasses at $120, various games and a gaming system at $588 and a $120 projector.
Senter lists only $1,900 in total assets, of which $1,300 is claimed exempt under federal bankruptcy laws.
His biggest debt is to Hilton Hotels Corp. for $4.6 million after losing an arbitration case against them. He also owes $2.5 million to various hotels, including $345,150 to the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel and Spa in Montgomery, Ala., and $10,000 to the Boston Park Plaza Hotel & Towers where he was supposed to host his first JumpCon.
Airlock Alpha’s article also names all the celebrities’ with claims against Senter.
Senter currently is free on bail.
[Via Lloyd Penney and Smofs.]
Shane Senter, the 36-year-old owner of JumpCon LLC, has been indicted on felony theft and consumer fraud charges in New Hampshire.
JumpCons were projected as a series of celebrity-studded media conventions. But the Boston event was canceled last July and the rest of the series never materialized. A couple of the actors disclaimed JumpCon’s announcements that they’d been the ones to cancel first. Fans acrimoniously demanded refunds, and some Adrian Paul fans contacted authorities in New Hampshire where the LLC is registered.
The Nashua (N.H.) Telegraph will have more coverage in the April 28 edition. Only the headline is accessible as I write this on April 27. Perhaps this link will work later on Tuesday. Or not.
[Via Isaac Alexander.]
Update 04/28/2009: The link now works and the latest report says:
According to the state attorney general’s consumer complaint search, there have been 44 complaints lodged against JumpCon from July 2008 through March, most of which remain open and unresolved.
Senter was indicted on two, class B felony theft charges, each of which carries a maximum of up to 3-1/2 to seven years in prison, and four misdemeanor counts of “unfair or deceptive business practices,” in violation the state’s Consumer Protection Act.