Monday, November 12, 2007


The rumoured financial problems and improprieties clouding the future of the Israel Baseball League and its founder exploded to the surface today with the details of a federal lawsuit filed against Boston-based businessman Larry Baras.

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Massachusetts and obtained exclusively by Tabloid Baby, alleges fraud, securities fraud and breach of fiduciary duty on the part of the embattled founder and managing director of Israel's first Major League-style professional baseball league.

Baras has been in headlines in recent months due to allegations that he owes money to players and vendors involved in the league's first season, and to the frustration of many, has been silent on the question of whether the lBL will return for Season Two. He has yet to address serious questions abut the IBL's management in wake of the disturbing August 28th report on the first season by Our Man Elli In Israel.

In the lawsuit filed September 24th, Natalie Blacher of Dade County, Florida sued Lawrence S. Baras and SJR Foods, Inc., claiming that the founder of the Israel Baseball League duped her out of $275,000 that was supposed to go into a successful bagel company, but instead went to “his personal living expenses or expenses which should be charged to IBL.”

Blacher contends that she spent $275,000 to buy stock in Baras’ SJR Foods on Baras’ word that the company was generating $10 million per year, only to discover that the company was $1,500,000 in debt and that despite his claims, Baras was spending all his time—and possibly stockholders’ money-- on the IBL.


The story begins in early 1998. Blacher says she was Senior Director of Produce Marketing for Burger King when Baras and his wife Robyn approached her to pitch BKC a product called the “Unholey Bagel”—“a bagel without a hole filled with cream cheese.” Burger King passed on the Unholey Bagel idea, but Bacher stayed in contact with the couple. After leaving Burger King later that year, she says she provided informal consulting services to them.

According to the lawsuit, in the summer of 1999, “Baras told Blacher he intended to raise substantial capital for the Company through a private placement of stock… Baras represented… that the Company was already generating revenues of approximately $10 million per year and that his plan was to increase revenues to $100 million within a couple of years.”

Blacher says she invested a total of $275,000 in the company, relying on Baras’ word that the “company was doing well. After years of frustration in getting financial statements from Baras, Blacher says she found out in November 2006 that “the company had a negative worth of almost $1,500,000.

Promises, Promises

The lawsuit elaborates: “In mid-2006, Blacher learned through a Google search that Baras had started a new venture, the Israel Baseball League (‘IBL’) and that it was receiving widespread press in major media, e.g. the New York Times, New York Daily News, Boston Globe and YouTube. In response to Blacher’s inquiry, Baras told her that his involvement with IBL was very limited.

“In late 2006 and early 2007, it became increasingly difficult for Blacher to communicate with Baras. Baras’ apparent preoccupation with the IBL, as opposed to the Company, caused Blacher to be very concerned. In February, 2007, she telephoned Baras and, again, complained about the lack of financial documentation and demanded financial statements as soon as possible. Baras promised her that he would.

“…from February through May 2007, contrary to his promise and fiduciary duties to Blacher and despite his verbal assurances, Baras failed to provide to provide Blacher with any financial statements or otherwise comply with her request for financial statements and the other material documentation regarding the Company’s business and financial condition.


"On April 26, 2007, in a video posted on the IBL website (www.IsraelBaseballLeague.com), Baras stated that he had been working ‘24/7’ on the IBL for the past two years…

“During the summer of 2007, Baras’ principal excuse for failure to provide the requested financial information was that he was busy with the IBL’s inaugural season.”

The suit alleges that “Baras has operated the Company and IBL from the same location" and "may have charged and may be continuing to charge the company substantial amounts which represent either his personal living expenses or expenses which should be charged to IBL.”

Blacher is seeking $275,000 plus 6% interest from the investment dates and attorneys' fees.


Anonymous said...

When is it that you will be satisfied? When?
Israelis throw firecrackers onto the basketball game injuring a man and freaking out many, they chant congratulations to assasins at soccer games. This shmutty blog is more of the same ( true) sickness. Are you trying to kill someone here?

Charles S. said...

The rape of a name can be as emotionally devastating as the rape of a body, and is every bit as despicably immoral.

Anonymous said...

So elli, facts shmacts lets see you call it , will there be a second season:-) I would like to know after all this 'great' investigative reporting (hahahaha) can you call it. Will this 'fraud' of a guy pull it off again? Do you have the 'webos' to make the call and if you turn out to be wrong do you get up an say 'i was doing my job, telling you that facts they way they are' or do you say 'boy, i wanted to have fun on this 'tabloid' blog and this was a great thing for me to do for 10 months. who pays you for this. this is a great job, i would love this . hey maybe you could give baras a job at least on this blog he would be a 'serious kind of guy' (hahahaha) gimme a break!!!
is there really nothng else to write about !!!
IBL forever:-)

Anonymous said...

It's "huevos."

Anonymous said...

This is a profane blog that is more vile than words can say. You successfully contribute to the ugliness of the world. You and as someone wrote... the people who celebrate Rabin's assasin at Israeli soccer games and throw firecrackers at basketball games maiming people ( both which happened in the last couple weeks in Israel) are the same. There is nothing redeeming or virtuous about your brand of non journalism. You are sodomizing a good man. Are you aiming to kill him>Are you not satisfied til you ruin people's lives? What is the very personal vendetta Tabloid Shmuck? This website is Sodom.

Anonymous said...

It is said that one man can create baseball in Israel and ruin it at the same time. Dishonesty can not be condoned.

Anonymous said...

Martin Berger, I am pleased to see you comment on here Mr. Sodom.

Anonymous said...

The real nastiness here is coming from those who can't separate out the wonderful idea of the IBL from business practices that border on the unethical. The history of debts, unpayed vendors and players, and now a lawsuit can not be dismissed as the invention of a journalist. These are facts that must be dealt with rather than downplayed if the IBL is to move forward.

The anger is so out of proportion and is coming from the wrong people. The people who have a right to be angry are those with bounced checks and put their faith in the IBL management

Anonymous said...

It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause, who at best knows achievement and who at the worst if he fails at least fails while daring greatly so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.

From a speech given by Theodore Roosevelt in Paris at the Sorbonne in 1910

Kraut said...

It sounds like people are trying to separate Baras' personal endeavors with his business practices. Both sound pretty much like scams to me. He is more of a politician than friend, because he twists words to fit who he is talking to. I'm very surprised that he isn't doing well financially, but it is shocking and disturbing that he would be borderline conning people into supporting his personal dream.

Seemed like a good man to me, but first impressions do not a man make.

Anonymous said...

well said last poster, so i guess we can forget about jeff rosen et al , his lawsuit i think is not about "fraud" and bad things like that, it is just a kid dying if i understand the article from the tribune, you think he's got any worries.


Finger-pointing furious in deal gone sour
Magnetix becomes a major problem for its new owner
By Patricia Callahan | Tribune staff reporter
May 7, 2007
Article tools
E-mail Share
Digg Del.icio.us Facebook Fark Google Newsvine Reddit Yahoo Print Single page view Reprints Reader feedback Text size: Magnetix building sets were such hot sellers for Rose Art Industries that a rival toymaker bought the family-owned company. Now the legacy of that toy is haunting Mega Brands, the Canadian firm that purchased Rose Art.

Mega Brands officials allege in a lawsuit that Jeffrey and Lawrence Rosen -- the brothers who sold them Rose Art, then led that division after the merger -- didn't fix the problems with the dangerous toy in part because they didn't want to jeopardize personal multimillion-dollar payouts tied to profit targets.

Kenny Sweet Jr., a suburban Seattle toddler, died, and at least 27 other children suffered serious intestinal injuries after swallowing tiny magnets that fell out of Magnetix toys.

Hey Wogelegereteree ere or whatever your friggin name is here is another scoop for you!!!!!!

lets see you go after this guy before he screws up the league also

Anonymous said...

that is an exclusive piece of news, I sincerely did not know about this lawsuit, but I am interested in knowing if who won this viagra online lawsuit, do you know??