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Metro Messenger Publisher Still at Large

The U.S. Marshals are involved in the search for a local newspaper publisher.

David Rose financed the Metro Messenger—a free publication focused on good news—through loans from his former girlfriend and business partner, who now says Rose bilked her out of some $20,000. She is suing him.

“As far as I knew, the money was going towards stuff that he was telling her it was going to,” says Michael Carver, who wrote for the paper and says he came up with the idea for the publication. “I started to figure out that I think he was paying off other bills that he had with that money, then telling her he needed more to pay this.”

Rose also used loans to finance his business, the D&R Group.

Rose has been on the run for more than a month and hasn’t appeared in court. Two issues of the Metro Messenger were released before Rose left town. Carver says he hasn’t heard from Rose in weeks, though he did receive a call from an unknown number recently, shortly after U.S. Marshals questioned him on Rose’s whereabouts.

“I’m sure I’ll hear from him again,” says Carver. “But, I mean, as soon as I do I have to turn it over. I can’t do anything with him because I don’t want to be labeled as an accomplice.”

Carver says he expected Rose to continue financing the paper from out of town, but that hasn’t happened.

“He owes me money,” he says. “There’s another woman that worked there, he owes her money. He owes the  old secretary of D&R a whole paycheck. He just decided not to give her a paycheck at all—her last paycheck, because he actually fired her over Facebook.”

Rose’s former business partner/ex-girlfriend has opted to stay anonymous. Her attorney believes Carver drove Rose to the airport when he left town and says Carver provided her with verifiable information about Rose’s criminal history. Authorities say Rose’s record includes writing bad checks and theft by deception.

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Metro Messenger Publisher Leaves Trail of Debt in Louisville

A warrant has been issued for the arrest of the publisher of the Metro Messenger, a local paper that has only two issues.

In June, David Rose explained to WFPL News that he created the Messenger to fill the void of ‘good news’ in Louisville media.

“We wanted to come up with print that focuses on stories that are positive, but also that impact the community,” Rose said.

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The first issue had an article on swim fashion and a retrospective story written by Rose himself that discussed the Louisville/Jefferson County merger with the Judge-Executive, despite the fact that his office yields little power on the issue.

Businesses bought advertisements for the paper, ads that probably won’t be published now that Rose is wanted by police and the Metro Messenger’s phone line has been disconnected.

Rose has been in trouble with the law before for writing bad checks and theft by deception.

But clients aren’t the only ones who lost money because of Rose. His business partner and ex-girlfriend claims she was scammed. She gave over $20,000 to Rose so he could keep his business, the D&R Group, which owns the Messenger. She wishes to remain anonymous and her lawyer, Kathryn Wallace, wouldn’t clarify exactly how much her client lost, only saying that it was “a lot.”

Wallace also claims Rose forged documents to make her client a “registered agent” with the D&R Group, which could make her legally responsible for the company.

“No, David put that on there and that was withdrawn,” Wallace says. “He did that! He went on to the Secretary of State’s website and inserted her name there.”

Wallace’s client met Rose at a New Year’s Eve party last year. Rose convinced her to invest in the company.

“Eventually their relationship changed to a personal relationship and he just kept sucking her dry.”

Wallace’s client realized something was amiss when she would put money into the Messenger’s bank account to pay bills, but the bills would remain unpaid. She looked into Rose’s past and discovered his criminal history.

The last time the investor saw Rose was July 15th, when she kicked him out of her apartment. She then hired Wallace and took Rose to court, but he failed to show up for his scheduled court date and can not be found.

Wallace says she has heard Rose was taken to the airport by his friend and employee, Michael Carver, and flew to California. But Wallace says she wouldn’t be surprised if Rose was still here.

Rose, Carver and the Metro Messenger have all disconnected their phones and could not be reached for comment.

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Warrant Issued for Metro Messenger Publisher

In June, WFPL reported on the Metro Messenger. The monthly newspaper was meant to be an alternative to what publisher David Rose called the “negative focus” of Louisville’s mainstream media.

Here’s some bad news. Rose is now wanted by the police.

WHAS11 reports that Rose allegedly bilked his girlfriend out of thousands of dollars, making her the latest in a series of people Rose owes money to.

“He said he was going to put the Courier Journal out of business,” said his former girlfriend. “That’s what he told everybody he came into contact with.”

The former girlfriend cashed out her retirement account, spending tens-of-thousands of dollars to finance Rose’s media empire.

“Everything was being paid for with her funds… telephones, bills, payroll, everything,” said Kathryn Kennedy Wallace, a Louisville attorney who represents Rose’s former girlfriend.

She was contacted by the young lady when the alleged victim first began noticing that things didn’t seem to add up.

Even though plenty of ads were sold, the business was always broke.

As Wallace dug deeper, she discovered Rose had a long criminal history, with dozens of arrests for bad checks, theft and other crimes.

We discovered Rose was also sued for running up $35,000 in unpaid bills from temporary labor services.

“He’s been doing this for years. He’s really good at it,” said Wallace.

In June, Rose said he was planning to print a second run of the first issue of the Messenger, then print 50,000 copies of the second issue. Originally, he’d ordered 10,000 of each. At the time, he said all of the printing costs were covered with ad revenue, but payments to the paper’s seven staff members were coming from him and his business partner, whom he declined to name.

“A lot of people say print advertising is really not what it used to be. I don’t feel that it is. Newspaper print isn’t what it used to be. What we’ve seen is the content of the print is what the issue is,” said Rose in June.

WHAS11 couldn’t contact Rose. I tried as well and couldn’t. I’ve contacted the other Metro Messenger employee I spoke to for the story, but neither has responded.