Media Moves

When your guest columnist is accused of running a Ponzi scheme, what do you do?

December 16, 2011

Posted by Chris Roush

TALKING BIZ NEWS EXCLUSIVE

The big financial news out of Indiana on Wednesday was that Keenan Hauke, chief executive officer of the Indianapolis investment firm Samex Capital Partners LLC, was charged with running a Ponzi scheme and has agreed to plead guilty.

It’s an all-too-common story for today’s business journalist to cover. And the Hauke charges generated stories in the Indianapolis Star, multiple television station websites and even Bloomberg News.

For the Indianapolis Business Journal, however, the charges hit closer to home. It too ran a story on Wednesday, but Hauke had been an investing columnist for the paper for nine years.

Greg Andrews, the paper’s managing editor, told Talking Biz News that Hauke wrote for the paper every other week.

He added, “When we heard about the investigation in April, we suspended his column, and it never returned.

“Of course, we wish now that we had never given him a platform. I’m sure the national TV outlets that regularly had him as a guest feel the same way. We regret that we and others played a role in enhancing his credibility and thus helping him attract investors.

“We’ve tried to be up front with readers about what happened. We did an investigative story over the summer that revealed what Keenan was accused of doing. And we’ve continued to have the most in-depth coverage.”

Andrews has been covering the Hauke investigation for the paper. He wrote about the guilty plea on Wednesday and mentioned in the story that Hauke had been the paper’s investing columnist in the fourth paragraph.

In the last paragraph of the story, it also mentioned that Hauke made appearances on CNBC, Fox Business Network, Bloomberg Television and Bloomberg Radio.

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