ITEX Corporation


Recent Developments:

Prior to publication, Michael Schenkler, Publisher and
Editor-in-Chief of the Queens Tribune, Lewis A. Fidler,
the attorney for Queens Tribune and an elected
Councilman for the City of New York, and Anthony J.
Auciello, Mr. Fidler's assistant, were provided with the
results of our investigation.

Mr. Fidler responded by stating that Queens Tribune,
Mr. Auciello, and he would sue Mergent Services if
the results of our investigation were made public.
Subsequently, Mr. Fidler contacted Business Watchdog
and stated that he would also sue us if the results of
our investigation were made public.

In the Matter of QUEENS TRIBUNE, 150-50 14th Road, Whitestone, NY 11357 Investigation No. 20622 mod. 10.4.12 (This report may be modified or withdrawn at our discretion as rebuttal, additional information, or settlement documentation is provided). Experiences advertising with Queens Tribune may differ.


    Queens Tribune is not a reliable advertiser.

    Mergent Services paid $8,239 to Queens Tribune for several full-page advertisements. The advertisements were to be published on specific days, on specific pages, and in all editions. However, the advertisements: 1) were not published on all the required days, 2) were not published on the required pages, and 3) were not published in all editions.

    To compensate Mergent Services for the errors, Shelly Cookson, Queens Tribune's Corporate & Legal Advertising Representative, offered two additional full-page advertisements at no charge. However, when Mergent Services contacted Ms. Cookson to run the advertisements that were offered, Ms. Cookson refused to either run the advertisements or refund a portion of the amount Mergent Services paid for the advertising.

    Although complaints against Queens Tribune are unusual, in this instance, Queens Tribune has shown itself not to be a good neighbor of the business community.

    Queens Tribune is represented by attorneys Lewis A. Fidler (who is also an elected Councilman for the City of New York) and Anthony J. Auciello (Mr. Fidler's assistant). Mr. Fidler and Mr. Auciello failed to appear and represent Queens Tribune in Civil Court (citation below) on March 12, 2012, June 29, 2011, and March 11, 2009. As a result, these attorneys caused three (3) Default Judgments to be entered against Queens Tribune, their client.

Recommendation No. 1

    We do not recommend purchasing advertising from Queens Tribune until this matter is resolved.

Recommendation No. 2

     As a result of failing to appear in Civil Court on three occasions and causing Default Judgments against Queens Tribune a complaint against Mr. Fidler and Mr. Auciello should be filed with the Grievance Committee for the Second Judicial District, Renaissance Plaza, 335 Adams Street, Suite 2400, Brooklyn, NY 11201-3745.


     Queens Tribune is a weekly community publication. Founded by Gary Ackerman (currently a U.S. Congressman) in 1970 as The Flushing Tribune, it subsequently became Queens Tribune. Queens Tribune is a generally respected publication that provides a valuable service to the Queens community.

    Mergent Services is a local merchant and an affiliate of Business Watchdog. Queens Tribune's failure to provide either the paid-for advertisements or a refund has caused Mergent Services to lose funds it paid for the advertisements and also lose the profits it expected from advertising.

     Subsequently, Mergent Services filed a lawsuit against Queens Tribune in the Civil Court of the City of New York, New York County (Index No. 43038CV2008). The Civil Court ordered Queens Tribune to refund Mergent Services $4,494 (a portion of the $8,239 that was paid to Queens Tribune). To date, Queens Tribune has not refunded Mergent Services the $4,494.

    Queens Tribune submitted two requests to the Civil Court to vacate a default judgment against them. Both requests were denied. The Civil Court found that Queens Tribune "did not provide a reasonable excuse for its default" and "failed to demonstrate a meritorious defense." Queens Tribune has filed a Notice of Appeal.

                                     LEWIS A. FIDLER

     Mr. Fidler's law firm is Roberts & Fidler. In addition to his law practice, Mr. Fidler is also an elected Councilman for the City of New York. We believe Mr. Fidler should either represent his constituents or practice law, not both.

    We will continue to monitor and update this matter until its conclusion.

Dated:  October 4, 2012 (mod.)

                                                                    Suzanne Rothschild
                                                                    Project Director