51 episodes

Smoke Screen is an investigative documentary series on people with complex motives and morals. Follow characters on the fringes of society — con artists, cult leaders, corrupt politicians — as they seduce their marks and bend communities to their will. Join us as we unravel their stories and bring justice to the people they’ve deceived. For advertising opportunities, contact podcastadsales@sonymusic.com.

SEASON 4: Puppy Kingpin
Americans are used to being on the lookout for a scam, but authorities are warning of a new kind of fraud. Puppy Kingpin shines a spotlight on Jolyn Noethe, a secretive businesswoman from Iowa who is accused of laundering puppies much like drug money. Investigative reporter Alex Schuman exposes the scheme and an underground part of the industry bringing us the pets we love. From Neon Hum Media and Sony Music Entertainment. Smoke Screen: Puppy Kingpin is available June 16th. Subscribe on apple podcasts to binge all episodes or listen weekly wherever you get your podcasts.

Smokescreen: Puppy Kingpin is part of The Binge - a new podcast channel from Sony Music Entertainment.
The Binge: All Episodes, All at Once. Coming Soon.

SEASON 3: The Sellout
Councilperson Jose Huizar grew up in Boyle Heights – a working-class Latinx neighborhood in L.A. For the most part, people trusted Huizar... until the day the FBI raided his home and offices, looking for evidence of a criminal enterprise. He stands accused of taking bribes from luxury developers as his constituents were displaced from their homes. Produced in collaboration with LA Taco, journalist and host Mariah Castañeda investigates how Huizar got the power to do what he did, and how the community that raised him paid the price.

SEASON 2: I Am Rama
To some he was an enlightened master, and to others a dangerous cult leader. One thing’s for sure, the spiritual leader Rama was a product of the 80s: designer clothes, a rock band, sports cars and a modern message were only some of the things that made Rama a fascinating and complex teacher. Host Jonathan Hirsch explores his life and untimely death.

SEASON 1: Fake Priest
Ryan Scott, known to some as “Father Ryan,” was no ordinary con man. He’d been accused of abusing followers and enriching himself with their money. He's left a wake of angry people across multiple states. And that’s not all. There are questions surrounding the brutal deaths of two priests he associated with. Investigative reporter Alex Schuman explores Scott's bizarre, quizzical, and sometimes dangerous world.

Smoke Screen: Puppy Kingpin The Binge

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.0 • 1.4K Ratings

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

Smoke Screen is an investigative documentary series on people with complex motives and morals. Follow characters on the fringes of society — con artists, cult leaders, corrupt politicians — as they seduce their marks and bend communities to their will. Join us as we unravel their stories and bring justice to the people they’ve deceived. For advertising opportunities, contact podcastadsales@sonymusic.com.

SEASON 4: Puppy Kingpin
Americans are used to being on the lookout for a scam, but authorities are warning of a new kind of fraud. Puppy Kingpin shines a spotlight on Jolyn Noethe, a secretive businesswoman from Iowa who is accused of laundering puppies much like drug money. Investigative reporter Alex Schuman exposes the scheme and an underground part of the industry bringing us the pets we love. From Neon Hum Media and Sony Music Entertainment. Smoke Screen: Puppy Kingpin is available June 16th. Subscribe on apple podcasts to binge all episodes or listen weekly wherever you get your podcasts.

Smokescreen: Puppy Kingpin is part of The Binge - a new podcast channel from Sony Music Entertainment.
The Binge: All Episodes, All at Once. Coming Soon.

SEASON 3: The Sellout
Councilperson Jose Huizar grew up in Boyle Heights – a working-class Latinx neighborhood in L.A. For the most part, people trusted Huizar... until the day the FBI raided his home and offices, looking for evidence of a criminal enterprise. He stands accused of taking bribes from luxury developers as his constituents were displaced from their homes. Produced in collaboration with LA Taco, journalist and host Mariah Castañeda investigates how Huizar got the power to do what he did, and how the community that raised him paid the price.

SEASON 2: I Am Rama
To some he was an enlightened master, and to others a dangerous cult leader. One thing’s for sure, the spiritual leader Rama was a product of the 80s: designer clothes, a rock band, sports cars and a modern message were only some of the things that made Rama a fascinating and complex teacher. Host Jonathan Hirsch explores his life and untimely death.

SEASON 1: Fake Priest
Ryan Scott, known to some as “Father Ryan,” was no ordinary con man. He’d been accused of abusing followers and enriching himself with their money. He's left a wake of angry people across multiple states. And that’s not all. There are questions surrounding the brutal deaths of two priests he associated with. Investigative reporter Alex Schuman explores Scott's bizarre, quizzical, and sometimes dangerous world.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    Puppy Kingpin | 1. Follow the Puppies

    Puppy Kingpin | 1. Follow the Puppies

    When Mindi Callison finds out a local pet shop might be selling puppies from a puppy mill, she takes action. Soon, she’s tracking dogs being transported from state to state and stumbles onto a company that hides the source of puppies.



    A Neon Hum Media and Sony Music Entertainment production. 

    Subscribe on Apple Podcasts to binge all episodes now or listen weekly wherever you get your podcasts. 



    Unlock all episodes of Smoke Screen: Puppy Kingpin, ad-free right now by subscribing to The Binge - a new podcast channel that gives you all episodes, all at once. Just click ‘try free’ on the top of the Smoke Screen show page on Apple Podcasts to start your free trial or visit GetTheBinge.com to get access wherever you get your podcasts.



    Your subscription also unlocks the entire network of podcasts on The Binge with a brand new story dropping every month - that’s all episodes, all at once, all ad-free. Visit apple.com/thebinge to browse all the great stories included in your subscription.



    Find more great podcasts from Sony Music Entertainment at sonymusic.com/podcasts

    Learn more about your ad choices. Visitmegaphone.fm/adchoices
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 52 min
    Puppy Kingpin | 2. Inside a Puppy Mill

    Puppy Kingpin | 2. Inside a Puppy Mill

    Alex sets out to learn more about Jolyn Noethe, but ends up getting an inside look at a puppy mill and how they operate legally. We’ll hear audio of the day authorities descended on the farm of Barbara Kavars, an Iowan breeder who got in way over her head.



    A Neon Hum Media and Sony Music Entertainment production.

    Subscribe on Apple Podcasts to binge all episodes now or listen weekly wherever you get your podcasts.



    Unlock all episodes of Smoke Screen: Puppy Kingpin, ad-free right now by subscribing to The Binge - a new podcast channel that gives you all episodes, all at once. Just click ‘try free’ on the top of the Smoke Screen show page on Apple Podcasts to start your free trial or visit GetTheBinge.com to get access wherever you get your podcasts.



    Your subscription also unlocks the entire network of podcasts on The Binge with a brand new story dropping every month - that’s all episodes, all at once, all ad-free. Visit apple.com/thebinge to browse all the great stories included in your subscription.



    Find more great podcasts from Sony Music Entertainment at sonymusic.com/podcasts

    Learn more about your ad choices. Visitmegaphone.fm/adchoices
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 49 min
    Puppy Kingpin | 3. Hobo K9

    Puppy Kingpin | 3. Hobo K9

    Authorities learn of unusual “rescue puppies” starting to turn up in Chicago and begin an investigation. Soon, they are on the trail of the secretive businesswoman responsible.



    A Neon Hum Media and Sony Music Entertainment production.

    Subscribe on Apple Podcasts to binge all episodes now or listen weekly wherever you get your podcasts.



    Unlock all episodes of Smoke Screen: Puppy Kingpin, ad-free right now by subscribing to The Binge - a new podcast channel that gives you all episodes, all at once. Just click ‘try free’ on the top of the Smoke Screen show page on Apple Podcasts to start your free trial or visit GetTheBinge.com to get access wherever you get your podcasts.



    Your subscription also unlocks the entire network of podcasts on The Binge with a brand new story dropping every month - that’s all episodes, all at once, all ad-free. Visit apple.com/thebinge to browse all the great stories included in your subscription.



    Find more great podcasts from Sony Music Entertainment at sonymusic.com/podcasts

    Learn more about your ad choices. Visitmegaphone.fm/adchoices
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 40 min
    Puppy Kingpin | 4. A Kind of Identity Theft

    Puppy Kingpin | 4. A Kind of Identity Theft

    Multiple lawsuits now accuse Jolyn Noethe of creating rescues to sell commercially-bred puppies where they’ve been outlawed. Alex learns how the scheme reaches beyond the Midwest and meets Lizette Chanock. She claims her rescue’s name is being used to sell unhealthy puppies.



    A Neon Hum Media and Sony Music Entertainment production.

    Subscribe on Apple Podcasts to binge all episodes now or listen weekly wherever you get your podcasts.



    Unlock all episodes of Smoke Screen: Puppy Kingpin, ad-free right now by subscribing to The Binge - a new podcast channel that gives you all episodes, all at once. Just click ‘try free’ on the top of the Smoke Screen show page on Apple Podcasts to start your free trial or visit GetTheBinge.com to get access wherever you get your podcasts.



    Your subscription also unlocks the entire network of podcasts on The Binge with a brand new story dropping every month - that’s all episodes, all at once, all ad-free. Visit apple.com/thebinge to browse all the great stories included in your subscription.



    Find more great podcasts from Sony Music Entertainment at sonymusic.com/podcasts

    Learn more about your ad choices. Visitmegaphone.fm/adchoices
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 38 min
    Puppy Kingpin | 5. Small Town Secrets

    Puppy Kingpin | 5. Small Town Secrets

    Alex heads to Britt, Iowa where Jolyn Noethe grew up and her for-profit enterprise, J.A.K.’s Puppies, is headquartered. He discovers that a family dispute is part of the reason she started her own brokering business.

    A Neon Hum Media and Sony Music Entertainment production.

    Subscribe on Apple Podcasts to binge all episodes now or listen weekly wherever you get your podcasts. This episode releases for free on July 7th.

    Find more great podcasts from Sony Music Entertainment at sonymusic.com/podcasts

    Puppy Kingpin | 6. License to Sell

    Puppy Kingpin | 6. License to Sell

    The Iowa AG’s lawsuit against Jolyn comes to a conclusion as she faces challenges from multiple sides. Alex looks more closely at the USDA as a growing number of breeders and animal rights activists think a USDA license doesn’t mean much anymore.

    A Neon Hum Media and Sony Music Entertainment production.

    Subscribe on Apple Podcasts to binge all episodes now or listen weekly wherever you get your podcasts. This episode releases for free on July 14th.

    Find more great podcasts from Sony Music Entertainment at sonymusic.com/podcasts

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5
1.4K Ratings

1.4K Ratings

Angelamichigan ,

Puppy mill kingpin

Wow that is some of the most IN-DEPTH reporting I have heard in a long time! You actually made it easy to keep all the people straight remember who was who. Straight up Charity FRAUD and deceitful business practices. The Cavalier group Mindy sounds so oblivious to reality. Dept of AG needs to do SO Much better and actually enforce and shut these places down! Our tax dollars are not being used wisely

WolfRain3303 ,

Great Show, terrible ads.

Love the show, but the Reset ads are horrible. That program is a ineffective binge-restrict method that won’t be effective long term and can cause eating disorders. The show literally highlights false advertising and poor corporate behavior but promotes this??? Disappointing.

gwickk ,

10/10 For Puppy Kingpin

Learned so much to listening to this podcast! The puppy mill industry sure has a lot to hide.

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