Washington Business Journal: CommuniClique founder Andy Powers is heading to trial

by Andy Medici CommuniClique founder and CEO Andy Powers is heading to trial after pleading not guilty to eight separate counts, including wire fraud and mail fraud, according to new court documents filed Aug. 16 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. A jury trial is set for Dec. 16, according to court documents, with a status conference set for Sept. 6. "Powers' indictment lays out four separate counts of wire fraud, one count of mail fraud, one count of inducing interstate travel to defraud, and two counts of unlawful monetary transactions. Local tech blogger and executive coach Glen Hellman first reported on the not-guilty plea." Link to the entire article here...

Washington Business Journal: Glen Hellman breaks the Communiclique CEO Andy Powers Indictment Story

CommuniClique founder Andy Powers indicted By Andy Medici – Staff Reporter, Washington Business Journal Jul 30, 2019, 5:37pm EDT CommuniClique founder and CEO Andy Powers has been indicted on eight separate counts, including wire fraud and mail fraud, according to new court documents filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. Powers, who was based for years in Reston and Arlington before moving to Los Angeles in August 2018, was arrested June 6 and charged with wire fraud for what the FBI described at the time as part of "a multimillion-dollar fraud scheme.” The indictment comes just a few weeks after both parties asked for more time to work out a possible plea deal. Powers' attorney listed in court documents, Eugene Gorokhov of D.C.-based Burnham & Gorokhov PLLC, has not yet returned a call for comment. The new indictment lays out four separate counts of wire fraud, one count of mail fraud, one count of inducing interstate travel to defraud, and two counts of unlawful monetary transactions. Local tech blogger and executive coach Glen Hellman first reported the news of the indictment. (Read the entire article here)  ...

Washington Business Journal: JBG Smith aims to garnish Trustify assets in new court case

JBG Smith aims to garnish Trustify assets in new court case Real estate investment trust JBG Smith Properties Inc. (NYSE: JBGS) is heading to court to try to collect on a $263,477.21 judgment against one of its tenants, private investigation startup Trustify. The garnishment case and the earlier judgment, first reported by tech executive coach and blogger Glen Hellman, are the latest bad news for Trustify. (See the entire article here)...

Washingtonian: Mr. Cranky Responds

A RECENT PROFILE OF TECH BLOGGER GLEN Hellman-"Meet Mr. Cranky" by Courtney Vinopal, in December-reported on Hellman's sharp coverage of the Arlington company Trustify and its CEO, Danny Boice. Among other things, the story noted that Hellman's criticism often included personal claims with questionable sourcing. Hellman responded with a letter to the editor as well as an open letter to Washingtonian on his site. "While the story appears balanced, it is less than fair," he wrote there. "The article ignores the groundwork and research that goes into my posts. For example with regards to Danny Boice and Trustify, I have interviewed well over 30 people including former employees ...

Washington Business Journal: Venture capital legend and Valhalla founder Art Marks dies

By Andy Medici – Staff Reporter, Washington Business Journal Valhalla Partners co-founder and former New Enterprise Associate general partner Arthur "Art" Marks loved a lot of things — the University of Michigan, fly fishing, tulips and sailing, to name a few. He also loved the process. Marks, who died Tuesday at the age of 74, helped use his commitment to processes and operations to professionalize and scale a still wild venture capital industry when he joined NEA in 1984, said those who remember his work. Frederick said Marks was “unique and opinionated,” an assessment backed by local executive coach Glen Hellman (also known as “Mr. Cranky”), who met Marks in 1988 when Hellman was a sales manager for Progress Software and Marks was on the board. Hellman later became vice president at Call Technologies and pitched Marks for an investment — which he did. “He was a great board member, smart, insightful and gruff. He was the original Mr. Cranky,” Hellman said. “He knew his stuff, he was well connected, he was smart, arrogant, difficult to deal with and yet an incredible asset to D.C.” Read the entire article here at the Washington Business Journal...

Washington Business Journal: Former PR firm sues Trustify for unpaid bills

By Andy Medici – Staff Reporter, Washington Business Journal New York public relations firm Dini von Mueffling Communications LLC is suing Arlington private investigator startup Trustify over what it says are a series of unpaid invoices, according to court documents filed in New York State Supreme Court. The PR firm is asking for $240,305.26 and for attorney's fees and other damages after it said it signed a contract with Trustify CEO Danny Boice on July 30 for $15,000 per month to provide public relations services, social media strategy and what it described as "extensive crisis management" services. It also claims it played a role in a recent Washingtonian article regarding local executive coach and frequent tech blogger and critic Glen Hellman (known as "Mr. Cranky"), who has detailed a litany of issues at Trustify, including layoffs, unpaid wages and has repeatedly referred to the company as "a dumpster fire." DVM's lawsuit, filed Nov. 8 and first reported on Hellman's blog, accuses Boice of sending the New York firm "a fake and intentionally falsified receipt" on Oct. 15 to show that two invoices had been paid that were not. As for Hellman, he reiterated his opinion on the state of the company. “Danny is rearranging the deck...

Washingtonian: Is the Blogger “Mr. Cranky” Out to Save DC’s Tech Industry—Or Destroy It?

For years, Glen Hellman has been sniping at local digital bigwigs. Now, they're starting to shoot back. WRITTEN BY COURTNEY VINOPAL  One morning last April, a FedEx worker showed up at Glen Hellman’s red-brick Colonial house in Oakton. Hellman typically works out of an office upstairs, posting entries on his blog, Driven Forward, which covers DC’s tech-startup scene. After signing for the package, he opened a letter that read urgent—for immediate review. Inside was a cease-and-desist letter from a lawyer representing the co-founder of Trustify, a startup that has been a consistent target of Hellman’s blogging over the years. “It was a complete surprise,” says Hellman, who considers himself an unofficial watchdog of the region’s tech industry. “I remember thinking, ‘This is going to be so fun.’” His wife, Nancy Nolting, was less thrilled. When she went out that night with friends, they’d already heard the news. “One of them looked at me and said, ‘What’s going on? Glen’s getting sued?’ I was floored,” she says. “That kind of stuff makes me nervous, but he seems to be fine with it.” Read The Entire Article Here ...

Washington Business Journal: Virginia fined Trustify for operating without a license. Now the state might nix its incentives.

The fine and prohibition from offering services in Virginia was first written about by executive coach and tech critic Glen Hellman, who has referred to the company (often) as a “dumpster fire” and written repeatedly about what he has identifies as the company's many flaws. Trustify founder Danny Boice last year sent Hellman a cease-and-desist letter seeking the online posts be removed, but they appear to remain on Hellman's website. See the entire article here on the Washington Business Journal website....

Axios: D.C. hopeful for Amazon HQ2 bid

Three of the 20 finalists for Amazon's second headquarters — D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia — are located in the Washington metropolitan area, leading some to speculate that the nation's capital could be the ideal landing spot for HQ2. HQ2 would be a distraction to the area's struggling start-up scene, Glen Hellman, long-time member of the Washington business community, wrote in a blog post arguing against the Amazon-Washington match. The bigger picture: As owner of the Washington Post and a sizable home in the city, Jeff Bezos has obvious ties to the region. And as Amazon continues to grow into new (and some highly regulated) business areas, it would make sense to be in the federal government's backyard (Read The Entire Article at Axios)....

The Washington Post: D.C. start-up incubator 1776 merges with Philadelphia co-working space

District start-up incubator 1776 has merged with a Philadelphia-based co-working space called Benjamin’s Desk, a company spokeswoman confirmed Monday, capping off a slew of executive departures and false starts for the fledgling tech incubator. News of a potential merger was first reported in mid-September by Glen Hellman, a business consultant and executive coach who runs a tech blog. Evan Burfield, 1776’s chief executive, will cede leadership to Benjamin’s Desk co-executives Anthony Maher and Jennifer Maher, who will become co-executives of 1776. The combined company will be branded 1776 and function with separate headquarters in Philadelphia and the District. The company’s venture fund will continue to operate as a separate legal entity owned by 1776 investors (Read the article here)....