- 1 Preamble
- 2 Background
- 3 Case Summary
- 4 Federal Records
- 5 Bankruptcy Court
- 6 Judgements and Liens
- 7 Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) Filings
- 8 San Diego County
- 9 Local Politics
- 10 Final Thoughts
- 11 Other pages
- 12 References
This information listed here is sourced exclusively from public records at the City, State, and Federal levels. All the information contained herein is factual based upon the information obtained via these public records sources. This information is provided as is from the source documents that are linked in this article.
The majority of recent AllStarLink, Inc. ("ASL") issues can be traced back to a time when Todd Lesser (KM6RPT) ("Todd") became a member of the Board of Directors. This was right after Tim Sawyer (WD6AWP) ("Tim") left, and Bryan Fields (W9CR) ("I"/"me") wanted to leave. However, I could not resign as that would leave two people as members of the Board of Directors and caused ASL to be in violation of Florida Statute (FS) 617. Todd then joined and I left shortly afterwards. After he assumed the board position, I was surprised at his lack of candor as he immediately began to hold information secret. Shocking as well was the return of Tim Sawyer as a board member. After Tim's resignation due to an unrelated issue which left the board with three members including myself, no argument could be made to have him return.
My view of this is it was orchestrated to remove me from the board and give Todd a means to exploit ASL. Keep in mind we (ASL) hadn't really known Todd prior to this. I was impressed he finally went out and got his tech license after Jim Dixon (WBNIL) ("Jim") passed, but other than him owning a Competitive Local Exchange Carrier (CLEC) ("North County Communications Corporation" or "NCC") no one really knew much about him. As a CLEC owner I thought he'd have a working knowledge of Asterisk and general telecom, but I had to show him how to SSH and configure the WB6NIL repeater (Node 2024) at his office to change it to his callsign.
After Todd became a member of the board, the board itself became very insular and refused to communicate with the ASL Admin Committee . This not only significantly impacted operations but also development and the morale the Admin Committee members in general. Later, Pete Elke (WI6H) ("Pete") and David Shaw (WB6WTM) ("David") joined the ASL Board of Directors. This resulted in the ASL Board of Directors becoming even more insular and secretive and I believe this was due, in no small part, to Todd's influence and leadership.
When we as a board negotiated to get assignment of the assets from Jim's estate, Todd had a serious concern regarding the other non-app_rpt/asterisk assets on Jim such as the MIPL software and its associated marks. Due to ASL not having any Bylaws other than the Admin Charter, any asset that ASL was in possession of or came into the possession of could be sold or transferred to anyone, as there were no protections against it nor was any asset held in trust or protected from normal sale or transfer. This means that any assets or intellectual property ("IP") transferred to ASL could be disposed in any means by a simple majority vote of the board.
For example: Any ASL asset could be sold off to a third party far below market value, or transferred. A member of the ASL Board of Directors could have a significant interest or business relationship with this entity, and after the sale/transfer they promptly resign. This third party and former ASL board member would now own the asset/IP that was transferred to it and could sell it for a profit, re-license it (even back to ASL itself), or do other means of monetization. This is basically what happened with the Public Internet Registry ("PIR") which was owned by the Internet Society.
Such actions would be a major conflict of interest and was the reason Jim transferred control of AllStarLink to Steve Zingman (N4IRS) ("Steve") who was part of the initial incorporation of AllStarLink, Inc. in an effort to preserve the AllStarLink Network, assets, and ensure its continued operation.
I was always wondering why Todd was "chomping at the bit" when it came to ASL assets, and this finally started to make sense in late 2020:
Research showed that in September 2020, Todd Lesser had several lawsuits against him with judgements in excess of 2.5 Million Dollars ($2,500,000.00) as well as having property seized in San Diego for conspiring to distribute narcotics. Unfortunately, any initial research done on Todd was hampered by the poor access to public records in California vs. what Florida has under the Sunshine Act. There was also some limited information in the Federal Courts under PACER.
What was clear is that he had filed bankruptcy at least twice in the last 5 years and been involved in litigation against two major telecom carriers in the Federal courts.
It's clear in these cases that NCC engaged in a practice know as "access stimulation" (a.k.a. traffic pumping). In short NCC is a phone company, and as a phone company it is permitted to bill other phone companies for calls to the CLEC's (its) customers. Typically these rates are in the .01 or .02 cents per minute which is the same for all carriers, and known as a "tariff". This tariff can be much higher in certain areas of the US, as is the case typically were phone service is provided by non-Regional Bell Operating Company (RBOC) Incumbent local exchange carrier (ILEC) phone companies, and can be .02-.04 cents per minute. A CLECs operating in these higher tariff areas by service customers make more money. These areas tend to be rural and not populated, thus being more expensive for the CLEC to provide services in.
CLECs operating in these areas and billing the ILECs in excess of a million minutes per month was not unheard of. As can be imagined, this can net a sizeable profit for the CLECs.
Typically, these calls are only permitted to be charged for customer to customer calls, any automated calls or chat lines (typically sexual in nature) are not subjected to these fees. Additionally, they tend to only be a small part of the inbound calls as most legitimate chat lines use an 800 or 900 number and require a customer to pay via credit card for the call. These chat line operators are also separate businesses from the CLEC.
If the sex chat operator can find a less than honorable CLEC, they can enter into a business agreement where calls to the chat line from a local number are "free" to the caller that "exists" in one of these higher tariff areas. The CLEC in turn uses this "access stimulation" to for several million minutes a month to calls in this high tariff area and then bill the RBOC ILEC instead of the customer at this higher rate. The result is the CLEC collecting several million dollars of "profit" per month from the chat line operator providing the "access stimulation" needed.
In all cases below Todd is the owner of NCC and the sex chat line operator HFT, Inc. ("HFT"). In the filings we can find HFT never paid NCC for access as a typical customer of a CLEC would. Instead HTF existed only to stimulate calls for NCC in these high tariff areas, who in turn billed the ILEC and pocketed the money collected. This is an arrangement which viewed though the best of intentions would be considered fraudulent.
In the Mid 2000's most carriers began auditing to find this sort of operation via call detail records ("CDR") auditing. The use of the Signalling System No 7 ("SS7) interconnect protocol along with modern auditing software sold by the major telecom vendors helped in the cracking down on this fraudulent behavior by CLECs. The use of the SS7 protocol in the US was mandated by the Federal Communications Commission ("FCC") via a rule the passed in 2011 .
Under the laws in the mid 2000's most carriers had to sue or petition the FCC for redress. In some cases they refused to pay the fraudulent bills by the CLEC's and the CLEC would sue the big carrier. This is indeed what NCC did, suing Verizon, Metro PCS, T-Mobile, Sprint and Vaya Telecom for failure to pay their interconnection charges. In all cases these resulted in judgements against NCC and Todd Lesser personally.
In PACER We found Todd/NCC sued or counter-sued by Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile and other carriers for billing irregularities related to access stimulation.
Before the FCC, Sprint, and T-Mobile 2015-01-23 Joint Statement to FCC regarding discovery Sprint v NCC
Note: FCC/Court rulings list NCC as NCC in some instances.
STATEMENT OF UNDISPUTED FACTS:
- All revenues of NCC and HFT are for the benefit of Mr. Lesser.
- NCC’s traffic from Sprint is “100 percent chat line traffic.”
- In a lawsuit against Vaya Telecom pending in state court in California, Todd Lesser was personally sanctioned $92,966.45 for discovery violations, including violations of court orders to produce financial records involving transactions between NCC and HFT. The discovery referee found he was willfully untruthful under oath during his deposition.
- Mr. Lesser testified in the Sprint matter that he created the invoices on a monthly basis in custom software that he wrote himself
- After NCC produced the invoices, Verizon obtained an order directing NCC to produce all computer drives it used to create, modify, or manipulate those invoices so that a court-appointed expert could test whether the HFT invoices were, as in Farmers II, backdated. The neutral forensic expert appointed by the District Court examined the two drives Mr. Lesser produced – an Apple iBook G-4 laptop hard drive (“Mac Computer”) and a removable USB flash drive (“Thumb Drive”).64 (Compl. ¶ 102; but see Answer ¶ 115)
- Todd Admits to deleting the bash history and log of commands during discovery.
- The District Court sanctioned NCC for evidence destruction
Federal Case Records
|14-15115 North County Communications Co v. Qwest Corporation||NCC's of summary judgements against them from the Arizona Corporations Commission and the Oregon PUC
In both these cases, the local regulatory bodies were called by Todd/NCC as NCC was contesting not being paid for calls to NCC "customers". These Customers of NCC are almost 100% sex chat lines. In this decision by the ACC was a summary judgement in favor of Qwest. This is what is being appealed here.
There's some funny things to read in this case, such as NCC insisting to use MF signaling rather than SS7, and complaining about the cost for a MX2800 M13 mux. These are the sorts of complaints which seem frivolous to anyone in telecommunications
|15-56678 North County Communications v. Sprint Communications Co.||NCC's appeal following a week long trial against Sprint Communications. This is worth watching, as NCC has been found to be overcharging sprint for calls to it's sex chat line customers.
At about 24 minutes into this the Judge questions the attorney of Sprint who explains to the court "there weren't any proper charges (from NCC to Sprint)" and "Because if NCC didn't exist HFT wouldn't exist, and we wouldn't have this traffic pumping and access stimulation, calls to adult chat lines, they just wouldn't have existed" "this business practice is built on a relationship between telephone company (CLEC/NCC) and chat line company (HFT) in which they have to be business partners for this to work. Cuz telephone company bills the long distance company (SPRINT), and they split the profits to fund the venture, and the problem is where you're doing business together you're not a common carrier's customer!"
|HFT chat line ad showing local number|
NCC files a complaint with the FCC seeking to make Cricket allow it's customers to call 900 numbers which Cricket doesn't allow for any of it's customers. NCC's complaint is DISMISSED.
Todd has filed bankruptcy a couple times that can be found in PACER. What is interesting is these were filed pro-se, for oneself, on one's own behalf. In both cases the case was dismissed for failure to properly file all the required documents.
Upon review of the records from San Diego County, it was found both these filings aligned with foreclosure proceedings on his residence or business. This is a well known tactic, as a bankruptcy filing will pause all foreclosure actions giving time to the debtor, and encouraging the holder of the loan to settle. In both cases Todd was able to re-mortgage or finance his residence, and then have the court dismiss the case. In the second time in 2019 he entered into a trust agreement with his father loaning him over 1,000,000 dollars.
|Case Number||Filing Date||Status||Discharge Date||Chapter||Disposition||Court|
|1903194||05/31/2019||Voluntary||06/18/2019||13||Dismissed||California Southern - San Diego|
|1803554||06/13/2018||Voluntary||06/28/2018||13||Dismissed||California Southern - San Diego|
|Feb 22, 2018||Todd Lesser's residence has a foreclosure notice on it for failure to pay $32,944.76.||Note that Todd still owes Yvonne Smith the $400,000.00 on the property as well.|
|March 23, 2018||Todd Lesser's residence has the debt paid off to the same bank for $575,000.00.
Then he files bankruptcy and Wells Fargo bank requests a special hearing.
This of course stays any foreclosure action on his home or collection actions against him by other creditors.
Judgements and Liens
The following judgements and liens were found.
|Filing Date||TMS ID||Jurisdiction||Debtors - Name||Debtors - Address|
|12/01/2016||CA00167559272014||CA||Todd Leonard Lesser||4008 Taylor St, San Diego, CA 92110|
|03/24/2015||CA00157456254594||CA||Todd Lesser||2717 Hidden Valley Rd, La Jolla, CA 92037|
Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) Filings
The following are the Uniform Commercial Code ("UCC") filings that were found.
There are several types of UCCs. The most basic and well known is the UCC-1. Essentially, a UCC-1 can be described as a financing statement. In fact, it is sometimes called a UCC financing statement. A creditor files a UCC-1 to provide notice to interested parties that he or she has a security interest in a debtor’s personal property. This personal property is being used as collateral in some type of secured transaction, usually a loan or a lease.
UCC filings are better known as liens made against someone's property due to a debt that was incurred.
|Filing Date||Filing Number||Filing Type||State||TMS ID||Debtors - Name||Debtors - Address||Secured Party Info|
|12/01/2016||167559272014||Judgement Lien||CA||CA167559272014||Todd Leonard Lesser||4008 Taylor St, San Diego, CA 92110||WELLS FARGO BANK, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION - EL MONTE, CA|
|03/24/2015||157456254594||Judgement Lien||CA||CA00157456254594||Todd Lesser||2717 Hidden Valley Rd, La Jolla, CA 92037||VAYA TELECOM, INC. - EL DORADO HILLS, CA|
|05/26/2009||097197693213||Financing Statement||CA||CA097197693213||Todd Leonard Lesser||4008 Taylor St, San Diego, CA 92110||WESBANCO BANK, INC. - CHARLESTON, WV|
|11/19/2004||200400595668||<None Specified>||WV||DNB20040059566820041119||Todd Lesser||2717 Hidden Valley Rd, La Jolla, CA 92037||<Not available>|
|11/19/2004||200400595670||<None Specified>||WV||DNB20040059567020041119||Todd Lesser||2717 Hidden Valley Rd, La Jolla, CA 92037||<Not available>|
|08/02/2004||0421760552||Financing Statement||CA||CA0421760552||Todd Leonard Lesser||2717 Hidden Valley Rd, La Jolla, CA 92037||<Not available>|
San Diego County
Our search in San Diego produced the following.
Of the most interesting was his judgements from NCC vs. Vaya Telecom. This case was essentially the same as the federal actions on access stimulation and took years to bring to trial/appeal/final judgement. Now the final judgments are done and the court has held NCC, HFT and Todd personally and jointly liable
The Discovery Referee held that NCC, Todd Lesser, HFT Inc and Jartel, Inc. failed to comply with the courts discovery orders. This wasting of court and attorney time was assigned to Todd personally.
- 2020-06-06 - $597,474.38 judgment against Todd Lesser and his companies.
- 2020-12-02 - $1,357,154.27 judgment against Todd Lesser and his companies.
Other outstanding debts Todd has:
Todd has been sanctioned twice by the City of San Diego for operating an unlicensed narcotics distribution site on his property. This is the same property address he has listed on his FCC Amateur Radio License .
2017-0214411.pdf - Narcotics forfeiture action against Todd Lesser by city of San Diego
In this case, Todd Lesser was held personally responsible for $200,000.00 dollars for willfully defying a temporary injunction by the court. This was the second such business he allowed to operate at this location involved in illegal narcotics distribution.
Criminal case M234214-06 and M219385-05 are showing with the courts relating to this.
Multiple times in the past 5 years Todd's residence at 2717 Hidden Valley Rd. La Jolla, CA 92037 has gone into for failure to pay the mortgage as agreed.
Todd has previously used his residence in such a fashion with a private note from a Yvonne Smith in April 2018 of $400,000.00 Dollars. 2018-0160972.pdf
In December 2019 Todd has borrowed $1,043,440.00 on this property from his father. This coincided with Todd's bankruptcy and Lis Pendens (suit pending) from his mortgage holder. It remains to be seen if he is paying his father as agreed under this trust
Filing False Lis Pendens
In 2006 Todd made an offer to purchase a property from John Raymond, Managing Member of Surfstone, LLC. This offer expired and Todd preceded as if it was signed and agreed too. Todd then filed a lis pendens on the property and the property owner sued to have it revoked by the court.
The court held this was not a proper lis pendens and sanctioned Todd and dismissed the action by him.
Other San Diego Records
Todd seems to desire involvement in the politics of his city in any form. He's served and resigned from a couple minor city boards with limited powers. In several cases he's protested the election or findings of the board when such actions have gone against his positions or interests.
La Jolla Traffic and Transportation Board
La Jolla Community Planning Association
La Jolla Traffic & Transportation Board (T&T)
T&T considers all proposals affecting La Jolla’s streets (striping, stop signs, traffic calming) and parking (curb colors, time limits, valet). Also hears special events that require traffic control or affect on-street parking. Recommendations are forwarded to the LJCPA for ratification and then sent to the City of San Diego for implementation. The Board is comprised of two appointed members each from the LJCPA, the La Jolla Town Council, the La Jolla Shores Association, La Jolla Village Merchants Association, and the Bird Rock Community Council. Meetings are always open to the public and are held on the 3rd Wednesday of every month, at 4:00 p.m. at the La Jolla Recreation Center, 615 Prospect Street.
|La Jolla Town Council Inaugural La Jolla State of Address||https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pnmO2oYJYaM||Todd Lesser, President of the La Jolla Traffic and Transportation Board|
La Jolla Shores Association
La Jolla Shores Association ("LJSA")
One of the most popular destinations in Southern California, La Jolla Shores has an effective and active citizen based forum for matters concerning the community and area of La Jolla Shores. For almost 60 years, the La Jolla Shores Association (LJSA) has been guiding, advising and leading the discussions with the San Diego City Council, Parks and Recreation, UCSD and other governmental agencies concerning quality of life issues year round.
|Tempera Flare over officer election At La Jolla Shores Association||http://www.sdnews.com/view/full_story/22368481/article-Tempers-flare-over-officer-election-at-LJSA||La Jolla Shores Association (LJSA) held a special meeting ahead of its regular monthly meeting May 13, to answer questions about how its March election was conducted|
|San Diego, La Jolla Shores Association Address Election Challenge||https://www.lajollalight.com/sdljl-shores-association-address-election-challenge-2015-2015may21-story.html||Todd argues over flipping a coin. His attorney makes a case that a strict following of Roberts Rules of Order is Required.|
Our research only covered one county in California. It's not unreasonable to assume other counties may have other such actions in their court systems, especially in places Todd Lesser has conducted his businesses.
From the above it would appear Todd Lesser's choice of professions have been based mostly on less than ethical choices and that has been catching up with him. Having worked with him in the past I know he loves to talk until he is able to get his way. It takes a strong person to stand up and say "No" to him.
As we have added up over $2,500,000 (2.5 million) dollars in debts he is personally liable for, and his pattern of being less than truthful under oath one must question what was wrong with the prior AllStarLink Board of Directors in letting him direct most of the corporation. AllStarLink now is in a position of operating in debt and one can envision Todd Lesser wanting to run it in the manner he's run his other businesses.
The following pages may also be of interest to readers
The following are known email accounts of Todd Lesser
|firstname.lastname@example.org||Main email address with North County Communications Corp|
|email@example.com||Similar to Twitter account username|
- AllStarLink, Inc.
- Node 2024
- Joint Statement to FCC regarding discovery Sprint, Page 4
- T-Mobile 2015-01-23 Joint Statement to FCC regarding discovery Sprint v NCC
- Arizona Corporations Commission
- Oregon PUC
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multi-frequency_signaling MF signaling
- ACC search page
- Exhibit B, page 11-24
- Trust of father