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For The Record  

FTR #672 Interview with Daniel Hopsicker: Talking about “Muthahs” on Mothers’ Day

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Returning to our airwaves for another of his many visits, investigative reporter Daniel Hopsicker discusses some of the many “Muthahs” on which his work focuses, this on Mothers’ Day, 2009. The program begins by noting that former Huffman Aviation owner Wally Hilliard was arrested for allegedly assaulting his stepdaughter. As discussed in many past broadcasts with Hopsicker, Huffman Aviation in Florida was one of two flight schools at which 9/11 hijackers Mohamed Atta & co. trained.

"Mini Madoff" Art Nadel

The new owner of the flight school has been busted for running a smaller version of Bernie Madoff’s operation. Arthur Nadel–a “cocktail pianist”–appears to have been the front man for a much larger and more powerful entity, much like Madoff. Nadel (“Mini-M”) also has some ties with a billionaire “waste management” professional.

Welcome to Terrorland

As with many of our previous visits with Daniel, major element of discussion concerned the evidentiary tributaries that run through, and connect, his work–his books Barry and the Boys and Welcome to Terrorland, as well as his various investigative pieces, assembled over the years and posted on his website.

1. Keeping with the “family-themed” title of the program (recorded on Mothers’ Day of 2009), the program notes that former Huffman Aviation owner Wally Hilliard was arrested for allegedly assaulting his stepdaughter. As discussed in many past broadcasts with Hopsicker, Huffman Aviation in Florida was one of two flight schools at which 9/11 hijackers Mohamed Atta & co. trained.

“The owner of the flight school in Venice FL where the two hijackers who crashed airliners into the World Trade Center took flight lessons, was arrested last May after assaulting his 17-yr old step-daughter outside a sports bar in Naples, Florida.

78-year old Wallace J. Hilliard of Naples FL was charged with misdemeanor battery on May 28 2008, according to Collier County, FL arrest records.

‘The victim was sitting on  the sidewalk crying,’ stated Naples Police officer Melvin Payne, first to arrive at the scene.

Hilliard stopped his car behind the girl as she walked down a street outside the ‘Sports Clip’ bar in Naples, the police report states, and became physically abusive.

He began pushing her, the step-daughter reported. She stated she asked him, ‘Are you going to push me again like when I was a little kid?’

‘That’s when Hilliard smacked her in the face,  stated the police report.

Hilliard and the girl (we’ll protect her name) had been job-hunting.

‘He stopped his car behind her as she was walking,’ an eyewitness told police. ‘Then he walked up behind her and hit her twice in the back of the head.’

The witness told Hilliard to stop hitting the girl.

Hilliard’s reply was, ‘Do you really want to get involved in my personal life?’

‘I do if you’re going to hit girls,’ said the good Samaritan.  Then he called the cops. . . .”

“Venice ‘Terror’ Flight School Owner Arrested Abusing Step-Daughter Outside Naples Bar” by Daniel Hopsicker; MadCowMorningNews; 3/5/2009.

2. The new owner of the flight school has been busted for running a smaller version of Bernie Madoff’s operation. Arthur Nadel–a “cocktail pianist”–appears to have been the front man for a much larger and more powerful entity, much like Madoff.

“Another owner of the flight school in Venice Florida that trained Mohamed Atta and Marwan Al-Shehhi to fly is in trouble with the law; current owner Arthur G. Nadel, 75, was arrested recently for running a Ponzi scheme which methodically looted investors in his Sarasota-based hedge funds of more than $300 million.

Nadel’s arrest marks the second time in recent years that the owner of Huffman Aviation, the FBO (fixed base of operations) at the Venice Airport has been involved in crimes traditionally associated with the Mob.

Ponzi schemes, of course, are a trademark Mafia specialty. So, too, is the crime of heroin trafficking in which previous owner Wally Hilliard was implicated.

Nadel may have stolen as much as $350 million from his hedge fund investors, many of them middle-class retirees who do not  fit the typical hedge fund investor profile of wealthy people willing to risk their entire investment.

New York tabloids, already in overdrive on the story of Bernard Madoff,  instantly dubbed Nadel Mini-M, for Mini-Madoff.

Before turning himself in late January,  Nadel spent several weeks on the lam. Rumors spread that Nadel was already dead.

He wasn’t… Instead he was flying above the clouds on a sleek luxury jet, from Sarasota to San Antonio to Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New Orleans. His high-end Learjet 31-A offers performance matched by few other civilian airplanes; it cruises comfortably at 500 miles an hour, and at an altitude of 51,000 feet. . . .”

“Bernie Madoff, ‘Mini-M,’ and Mohamed Atta” by Daniel Hopsicker; MadCowMorningNews; 3/20/2009.

3. Arthur Nadel (“Mini-M”) also has some ties with a billionaire “waste management” professional. [NOTE: Mr. Paolino has allegedly been threatening to sue Daniel Hopsicker–I cannot independently confirm Hopsicker’s allegations about Mr. Paolino. I’ve never heard of Mr. Paolino before Hopsicker’s mention of him.–D.E.]

“An investor claiming a nearly six million dollar loss in hedge funds of the accused Sarasota Florida Ponzi artist who is also the current owner of flight school Huffman Aviation figured in the story of the St. Petersburg DC9  busted in Mexico’s Yucatan with 5.5 tons of cocaine aboard.

Louis D. Paolino, once known as the “Garbage King of New Jersey,” was one of only a handful of entities ever funded by Texas  “investment bank” Argyll Equity LLC,  the major investor in the company whose DC9 was busted on April 11, 2006 in Mexico’s Yucatan, carrying 5.5 tons of cocaine.

Terrorist ringleader Mohamed Atta probably never met anyone named “Fat Pete” or “Joey Cakes” while learning to fly  at Huffman Aviation at the Venice Airport.

But ever-mounting evidence points to the conclusion that the men who owned the flight school—both then and now—have more than a passing acquaintance with organized crime. . . .”

“Accused Ponzi Fraudster Linked to Texas ‘Investment Bank’ Behind DC9 5-Ton Coke Bust” by Daniel Hopsicker; MadCowMorningNews; 4/2/2009.

4. A major element of discussion concerned the evidentiary tributaries that run through, and connect, Daniel’s work–his books Barry and the Boys and Welcome to Terrorland, as well as his various investigative pieces, assembled over the years and posted on his website.

Discussion

2 comments for “FTR #672 Interview with Daniel Hopsicker: Talking about “Muthahs” on Mothers’ Day”

  1. Several articles have been posted as to the where abouts of Wally Hilliard of Hoffman Avation..fame and a few others.. Is know living in Eagle River Wi. An in the local Vilas County paper. wed. sept 8th.. Is trying to form another form of an investment group…% plus bankrup companys have followed him..

    Posted by Bob Wuytack | September 12, 2010, 3:25 pm
  2. mark shubin sick man…………..

    Posted by William Card | January 23, 2011, 5:49 pm

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