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Sonny Bloch

Financial broadcaster Sonny Block, president of Bloch Broadcasting, acquired Brandon’s AM-760 WEND from Asti Communications (Bruce Micek, president) in 1993. The station became WBDN (BranDoN), and aired a mostly-brokered business and news/talk format.

On May 26,1995, the self-styled consumer advocate, whose financial radio show had been broadcast over 170 stations across the country for some 15 years, was indicted for fraud by Federal prosecutors and the Securities and Exchange Commission, contending he and his associates defrauded hundreds of investors of more than $21 million. The S.E.C. also filed a complaint accusing Bloch of bilking investors of $3.8 million through the sale of "memberships" in three companies formed to acquire three AM radio stations: Brandon’s WBDN and Gainesville’s WGGG, both in Florida, and WCNX in Middlesex County, Connecticut.

Bloch fled to the Dominican Republic to avoid prosecution, but was deported back to the U.S. and, in 1996, pleaded guilty to seven counts of tax evasion and perjury. He was eventually convicted and served more than two years in prison before gaining early release when doctors determined he was dying of lung cancer. Most of the people he defrauded were retirees – some of whom left penniless after entrusting him with most, if not all, of their life’s savings.

Irwin H. “Sonny” Bloch died on March 10, 1998 at a relative’s home in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan at the age of 61. After going into receivership, WBDN was sold to Maryland-based Mega Broadcasting (later re-named Mega Communications) who flipped its format and calls to all-Spanish WLCC.

Station History

1993 - 1995 Other Tampa Bay Area Stations (Management)

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