Police say list provided by Canadian

Shawano Leader/November 16, 2008

Authorities Friday revealed the FBI's investigation of an alleged threat list naming Shawano area residents was sparked by a Canadian citizen who they described as a former business associate of the Samanta Roy Institute of Science and Technology, Inc.

During a press conference, Shawano Police Chief Ed Whealon said SIST gave the Canadian man a list identifying 60 people who "need to be taken care of." The man then contacted authorities in Shawano with the information, according to Whealon, and the information was passed along to the FBI.

Though the Canadian man's name was not disclosed by local authorities, a press release issued Thursday by SIST alleges the city hired a Canadian man to swindle SIST out of $175,000 and then concocted the story of a threat list to rob them of that money - a charge Whealon called ludicrous.

SIST CEO Naomi Isaacson said in the press release the organization was approached by the Canadian who proposed serving as a promoter for the SIST-owned USA International Raceway just outside of Shawano and promised SIST a $10 million loan in exchange for an up-front fee of $175,000.

SIST attorney Alan Eisenberg confirmed the man approached SIST with the offer.

"I was shown a contract he signed," Eisenberg said. "He asked for a $175,000 fee to do marketing for the track. He also agreed to get $10 million funded to reduce (SIST's) debts."

However Eisenberg said he was skeptical of the offer.

"I was extremely suspicious of this...guy wanting front money of 175-grand to acquire a $10 million loan," he said.

Eisenberg said Isaacson reported the loss of the $175,000, but he could not say to whom it was reported. He said he could not immediately reach his client for clarification, due to her arrest Friday morning on an unrelated federal bench warrant.

As of Saturday, Isaacson remained in custody in the Brown County Jail in Green Bay, awaiting transfer by the U.S. Marshals Service to Baltimore, Md.

Though SIST and Eisenberg's identification of the Canadian man was uncorroborated by Shawano authorities, Whealon, during the press conference, referred to a transaction with an Ontario company named MMG Financial in establishing the connection between SIST and the Canadian man who contacted authorities.

MMG Financial had partnered with Cameron Motor Sports, Inc. of Hamilton, Ontario, creating an entity called Team Hurricane to finance the purchase of go-karts for interested buyers, according to testimony delivered by company owner Robert Cameron in a civil trial in September involving SIST.

The suit was filed by MMG Financial against SIST and its subsidiary, Midwest Amusements over $190,000, including interest, which MMG maintained it was owed for 24 go-karts delivered to USA International Raceway in the town of Wescott.

Cameron appeared as a witness on behalf of SIST, testifying MMG had never paid the Italian company that supplied the karts. Cameron testified he was the person who ultimately paid Italian firm CRG for the karts and the money being sought by MMG was in fact owed to him.

However, Cameron never sought payment for the karts from SIST, according to his testimony in U.S. District Court in Green Bay. Cameron and MMG Financial are currently involved in a civil suit over the matter in Canadian court.

Cameron testified he had phone conversations and e-mail correspondence with Kal Gronvall - who was acting as an agent for the racetrack, according to the court record - and racetrack manager Scott Paape, but his only other contact with the racetrack was through intermediaries of his company.

Cameron testified he never met anyone involved with SIST until two days before the September trial.

A jury returned a verdict in favor of MMG Financial, but SIST's attorney, Alan Eisenberg, is appealing the decision.

A phone message left for Cameron at his business Saturday was not returned by deadline.

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