Yesterday, we told you about the cancellation of the Lozilu Denver mud run, slated for later this month, as well as other similar events sponsored by the organization in major cities across the country.
In our post, we noted the unhappiness of numerous people who'd hoped to participate and a report that Lozilu had been collecting registration fees for the run, advertised to take place at the Broomfield County Commons Park, even though the Town of Broomfield had denied Lozilu's application for a permit.
Now, we've learned even more troubling information about the mud runs, which were promoted in part as fundraisers for children stricken by cancer, with a question posed in one headline being particular apt: "Is the New Lozilu an All-Out Scam?"
This piece and a followup item published by ObstacleMediaRacing.com are the work of Matt B. Davis, host of the Obstacle Racing Media podcast and the author of the 2014 book Down and Dirty: The Essential Training Guide for Obstacle Races and Mud Runs.
Davis notes that promises of refunds for those who'd already paid for canceled runs came from Brad Peters, who purchased Lozilu last year after the firm successfully staged mud runs in five-to-seven locations from 2012 to 2014, including one in Broomfield, as documented on this still-lingering Facebook events page.
However, Davis subsequently learned that Peters's real name is Frederick Bradley Kellogg, and he's got a criminal past.
He was arrested in 2006 for passing a bad check — and then, in 2012, according to GrandRapidsMN.com, he received "a stayed prison sentence of 21 months" and "twenty years supervised probation with conditions and ordered to serve one year in the Itasca County Jail with work release privileges."
The reason: He "swindled" more than a quarter-million dollars from a family owned wild-rice business in Minnesota, prompting one of his victims speaking at his sentencing hearing to say, "You're a disgusting, damn pig."
By the way, the two decades' worth of probation was reportedly ordered because Kellogg (also known as Brad Allen Kellogg, GrandRapidsMN.com points out) had "failed to pay any restitution by his sentencing date."
A former Lozilu staff member's comments to Davis suggest that payment issues were also an issue at Lozilu. Here's an excerpt from Davis's report:
Our source informed us that while working for Kellogg at Lozilu, staff members had to fight “tooth and nail” to receive any payments. This person stated several volunteer groups were not paid from previous Lozilu locations. In addition, they stated there were build crew employees who were shorted payment. ORM is currently doing research to confirm these allegations.
The source went on to say that “the only reason the first few events happened is that we (the staff members) stayed on top of him (Kellogg) to secure venues, hire crew, and pay invoices. We believed a lot of his promises. When it came to paying us, he always had excuses, and we believed them. I should have picked up on it sooner, I wanted to believe he wasn’t a scam artist. Once we figured it out, we all left because we weren’t going to be a part of a company that isn’t paying people."
Some commenters on the Lozilu Facebook page write that they've received refunds. Others are still waiting....
Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.