<em>Patt Morrison</em> is known for its innovative discussions of local politics and culture, as well as its presentation of the effects of national and world news on Southern California.
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The case of the fake Dodgers buyer

Stanley Alvarez (West Covina, CA) waves a Dodgers flag.
Stanley Alvarez (West Covina, CA) waves a Dodgers flag.
Corey Bridwell/KPCC

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If a man tells you he owns gold mines, you’re first instinct is to automatically believe him, right?

Maybe not, but that’s essentially what many media contributors such as ESPN LA reporter Ramona Shelbourne did back in January without taking time to verify the facts when fraudulent non-millionaire Josh Macciello said he would raise billions of dollars to purchase the Los Angeles Dodgers. Reportedly, Macciello falsely claimed to own gold mines and to be extremely wealthy.

Shelbourne wasn’t the only one who swallowed the hoax story line as ESPN talkshow host Steve Mason and Patch blogger Mike Szymanski also backed the story.

It was not until LA Weekly’s Gene Maddaus investigated Macciello that the truth was discovered and Macciello was outed as a fraud. Not only does Macciello not own gold mines, but he has been arrested and charged for possessing 3,000 Vicodin.

Macciello Response


What does this story say about reporters in the Internet age? Why do some people take certain facts for granted?


Gene Maddaus, the author of the LA Weekly article exposing Josh Macciello