Jim Bolt Criminal Saga Reveals ‘A Certain Amount Of Genius'

by Gwen Moritz  on Monday, Jun. 30, 2014 12:00 am  

Juan Gomez

Bolt’s clinging to the fiction of Leah Cleveland is reminiscent of his insistence that Juan Gomez was also real.

In 2002, four years before the Atlantic Shimoda cancer drug adventure, Bolt, Dodge and Robinson were operating a low-power Spanish-language television station in northwest Arkansas through a company called Golf Entertainment Inc. Golf Entertainment, later renamed Sienna Broadcasting Corp., bore all the earmarks of a penny-stock pump-and-dump scheme.

When the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal and Arkansas Business, then owned by the same company, put the operation under a microscope, the men retaliated by filing unsuccessful libel suits and by infringing on the publications’ trademarks.

Bolt and Dodge and someone called Juan Gomez filed papers of incorporation with the Arkansas Secretary of State’s Office for companies they called Arkansas Business Publishing Group Inc., Arkansas Business Journal Inc. and Northwest Arkansas Business Journal Inc. The real Arkansas Business Publishing Group eventually prevailed in a federal civil suit, and Bolt and Dodge were ordered in 2005 to pay more than $92,000 in attorneys’ fees, but they never did.

Dodge died in December 2012, and no trace of Juan Gomez was ever found.

Last July, when Arkansas Business reported on the FBI’s latest investigation of Bolt, Bolt sent emails objecting to this reporter’s “overwhelming bias,” calling the trademark infringement “a prank” and insisting that Gomez was real.

“Why do you guys keep picking on Juan?” Bolt wrote. “He was a very nice guy — a huge part of the TV station startup. Had you people been watching the station, you would have seen him every Saturday night on the Elsa Hernandez show.”

Pulp Nonfiction

Between his release from prison in 1995 and his efforts to make a fortune on Spanish-language TV stock, Bolt launched a publication called the Arkansas Chronicle that specialized in conspiracy theories and attacks on local law enforcement and elected officials.

And Bolt and Dodge also specialized in suing anyone who got in their way — the FBI, the Arkansas Securities Department, the National Association of Securities Dealers and a long list of others. Their lawsuits rarely succeeded in anything but delay. In 2004, Benton County Sheriff Andy Lee settled a four-year running dispute by paying Bolt and Dodge to go away.

That was the year that Bolt, incredibly enough, managed to find his way into a case connected with the Oklahoma City bombing nine years earlier.

 

 

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