Official Update Regarding Riley Robinson

Discussion in 'Site Announcements' started by Rhed al'Tere, Jan 24, 2015.

  1. Rhed al'Tere

    Rhed al'Tere Aes Sedai

    May 4, 2002
    Durham, NC
    Our legal counsel Hammar doesn't have initial thread posting privileges here in Site Announcements, so please see his information below.
  2. Hammar O'Justice

    Hammar O'Justice Citizen

    Aug 3, 2010
    Huntsville, Alabama

    It has been some time since the Leadership of Tar Valon issued any official communication about Tar Valon's dispute with Riley Robinson which started in 2012. For those of you who don't remember who I am, I am a lawyer and advise the TV Leadership on legal matters but generally keep a very low profile on these forums. My original post on this issue can be found here. I urge anyone who cares about this dispute to scan that thread to see the remarkable discussion that took place. The discussion there revealed a Tower membership that was wounded but caring, thoughtful, deliberate, patient, and decent. I am still amazed the Internet didn't collapse from the paradox of aggrieved forum posters discussing a controversy with supportive language and no flames.

    In that thread I made a few statements which I will repeat here. This matter remains ongoing and as such no member of the Leadership will give any response beyond "No comment." I will answer questions in this thread as fully as I deem appropriate to the extent such answers will not prejudice TV's path forward. I will certainly answer any questions I can that are neutrally framed, meaning I will answer any questions that explain procedure or rules without applying them to the facts (real or perceived) as they pertain to this issue. I will try to be as clear and legalese-free as possible when I do so. This process has been a long one and the Leadership has not commented during that time for legal reasons.

    With that out of the way, I am grouping this update into three sections:

    1) What Happened
    2) What Happened Next
    3) What's Ahead

    What Happened:

    In 2012 Riley Robinson was a prominent member of the TV community and was serving as the treasurer and a member of the board of directors for Tar Valon.

    That fall, members of the leadership noticed irregularities in TV's financial records and operating account. Large volumes of money had been misappropriated over the course of Riley's tenure. This was done in the form of money transfers and questionable expense reimbursements. As October 2012 ended, TV faced a Fall Ball already imperiled by Hurricane Sandy with little to no money in its operating account where there should have been plenty. Riley admitted by e-mail and other direct communications that he had been transferring money from TV for a considerable period without permission and without the capacity to pay the money back.

    What Happened Next:
    First, the Leadership responded forcefully and quickly. The Board immediately sought advice of counsel as to liability exposure, possible remedies from Riley, whether and how to communicate with certain authorities, how to communicate this issue to the membership, and how to prevent such an occurrence from happening again. Officers quickly ruled out any harm to charitable accounts, which was a major concern. Officers then sought to bolster TV's ability to meet obligations for Fall Ball and other ongoing concerns.

    While the Leadership moved quickly to revise oversight procedures and tighten financial controls, investigation soon showed that tens of thousands of dollars had been misappropriated into accounts owned by or controlled by Riley. Riley cooperated with this investigation by providing partial documentation of such accounts (though many receipts had been destroyed, he stated, by a flood).

    It must be said that in some respects Riley was cooperative in this process. However, and this was a major issue, Riley never would state the number of dollars he took. While TV reached a number after investigating financial records, only Riley knows to what extent his wrongful transactions were concealed.

    Due to an impasse over this issue and others, TV leadership voted unanimously to report Riley to local law enforcement in New Mexico and to the FBI on the basis of potential crimes such as theft, embezzlement, wire fraud, and others. Those agencies have not concluded their investigations and they remain pending today. So too is a matter recently opened by the IRS, arising from correspondence with TV leadership, addressing Riley's believed failure to report as income the money misappropriated from TV's accounts.

    In the meantime, thanks to good financial stewardship and amazing support from TV's dedicated and frankly amazing membership base (including some of its leadership team), TV snapped back onto its feet in time for Fall Ball 2012 and remains in fine shape today.

    What's ahead:

    Criminal investigations remain pending in state and federal law enforcement offices. The IRS has begun examination of the matter. Other avenues remain available which may or may not be in process. Neither I nor leadership will discuss specifics of those items.

    I now make this thread available for questions and civil comments. My hope is that this thread will be as constructive as the one I linked.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2015
  3. Kelgan al'Moranwin

    Kelgan al'Moranwin Aes Sedai

    Nov 8, 2009
    Maynard, MA
    Thank you for this update! I know many of us have been extremely interested and waiting with baited breath and varying degrees of patience for an update on this matter :D
  4. Autumn Sapphira

    Autumn Sapphira Sparkle Spren Aes Sedai

    Mar 2, 2008
    USA, Arizona
    Thank you for the update.
  5. Yarrow Al'Vare

    Yarrow Al'Vare Aes Sedai

    Jun 9, 2007
    British Columbia, Canada
    Thanks for the update, and thank you, Hammer, for advising
  6. Kassidy Rose ni DaiShan t' al'Kalin

    Kassidy Rose ni DaiShan t' al'Kalin Aes Sedai

    Aug 1, 2011
    Worth, IL
    Thank you so much ! :D
  7. Toral Delvar

    Toral Delvar Archivist Gaidin

    Oct 28, 2002
    Ann Arbor, MI, US
    thank you
    I am very glad to know that this matter was taken as seriously as possible by the board
  8. Raeviendha al'Toma

    Raeviendha al'Toma Accepted

    Jan 21, 2013
    Thank you so much for the update and for your continued work on behalf of TV.
  9. Amarande al'Kalin

    Amarande al'Kalin Gaidin

    May 5, 2006
    Illinois, USA
    Thank you for the update and your continuing service to!
  10. Avendaella Tikvah

    Avendaella Tikvah Aes Sedai

    Dec 7, 2010
    Alabama, USA
    Thank you for the update. :grouphug to all having to deal with this as I can only imagine how stressful it is.
  11. Kyla Sterling

    Kyla Sterling Evil Overlord / TVT Assistant Editor Aes Sedai TVT Editor

    Jan 11, 2004
    Peoria, IL, USA
    Thank you for the update! I was just remembering/wondering about this the other day!
  12. Ty al'Djinn

    Ty al'Djinn Mod for Life Gaidin Forum Moderator

    Jul 8, 2012
    The Garden State
    Thank you very much for the update!
  13. Stasia t'Andrei

    Stasia t'Andrei Just Your Average Sith Lord Aes Sedai Forum Moderator Marketing Project Manager

    Mar 10, 2003
    Michigan, USA
  14. Jeem Al'Cazar

    Jeem Al'Cazar Soldier

    Aug 31, 2012
    Fairfield, CA
    Having been party to a similar instance of betrayal in the past, I am glad to see that the board was able to maintain the trust of the membership by acting decisively and swiftly. Thank you for your legal assistance as well Hammar!
  15. Maresa Lyonne

    Maresa Lyonne

    Nov 26, 2014
    I am very, very sorry that the site in general and our leaders in particular had to deal with this level of insane dishonesty and moral bankruptcy at all, but I am intensely proud of HOW it was handled, especially after this update.

    I am glad that Riley will be served legal justice -in whatever form it may come in- for his crimes, as well as the punishment the community in particular gave him.

    I doubt my questions will ever be answered, since they are the sort that only Riley could answer.

    Thank you Hammar, thank you Mother, thank you everyone.
  16. Alora Sionn

    Alora Sionn Mama Wolf Gaidin Forum Moderator

    Oct 30, 2012
    House Redwolf
    Thanks for the update. I remember this first came out when I had just joined, entering a community when it was still reeling from a blow such as this. What I saw was a strong group of people that handled a shocking, shattering event with dignity and poise. A group that was not only devastated professionally and financially, but personally as he was also a trusted friend, and yet was still coming together like a family to support each other and the community as a whole.

    Seeing all of this as a newbie told me that this community I was joining was a great one full of caring, professional people who may disagree on things day to day, but when something rears up to threaten it, band together to support each other. I was impressed and still am to this day :grouphug

    tl;dr, Bravo <3
  17. Ariadne Davion

    Ariadne Davion Matron Mother of Mischief Aes Sedai

    Aug 27, 2007
    Oregon, USofA
    ^ Pretty much sums up my thoughts. <3 Thank you, and best wishes as this continues to be resolved.
  18. Kitan Tataru

    Kitan Tataru Aes Sedai Mistress of Accepted & Soldiers Forum Moderator

    Dec 11, 2004
    Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
    Thank you, Mother, Hammar, and thanks to all the Board members, past and present. I can't imagine how stressful dealing with this is for everyone involved. :grouphug
  19. Nymala Ingasy

    Nymala Ingasy Glitter Guardian Aes Sedai Director of Mods and Ops Forum Moderator

    Jun 7, 2010
    God's Waiting Room (Florida, USA)
    Thank you for keeping us up to date on the issue. I'm glad to know that things are in good hands. Kia Kaha Tar Valon. :grouphug
  20. Melisande Arneil

    Melisande Arneil Scribe of the Glitterati Aes Sedai Director of Events & Conferences

    Jan 3, 2005
    Canada, Saskatchewan, da Fort
    I was just thinking about this the other day. Maresa sums up my feelings as well. Thank you everyone for your hard work regarding this matter.