Sam Antar: PS So May We Go with “Jamook”?

Today’s mail-bag brought the following back and forth with Sam Antar (see my flattering portrait of Sam here:  “Why Are Fortune Magazine and the New York Financial Media Suddenly Pimping Sam Antar the Crook?”)

Sam’s correspondence is filled with the the brio and charming repartee one normally associates with the letters of Voltaire (for more examples, see my recent piece, “Sam Antar: PS And Is That Mr. Goniff?“) So it seems a shame not to share today’s treasury of Sam’s wit with a wider audience.

From: Sam E. Antar [mailto:[email protected]] Sent: Wednesday, November 18, 2009 11:24 AM
Subject: Conference Call Scheduled Today at 5 PM
Importance: High

Hi Patrick Byrne:

I received read receipts from you and other persons at regarding my previous email requesting to participate in the live conference call so I can ask questions about’s accounting practices and financial disclosures. However, I received no response from you or your employees. Since my blog posts about’s improper establishment of “cookie jar” reserves to cook its books is the main issue here, in the interest of transparency you should let me participate in the call to discuss those issues with management. By shutting me out of the call, you will be viewed as stonewalling those issues and afraid to address them.


Sam E. Antar


From: Patrick Byrne <[email protected]>

Date: Wed, 18 Nov 2009 12:48:08 -0700

Hi Sam:


1) Admit you paid fellow conman Barry Minkow $300,000 in cash (as he testified in deposition: see pages 8-10) to write hatchet jobs on USANA;

2) Disclose where you got the $300,000;

3) Explain why it was necessary to pay someone else to shill for you when you are an expert in the business of exposing frauds.

I’m looking forward to your answers.

Warm regards,



From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]] Sent: Wednesday, November 18, 2009 2:01 PM
Subject: Re: Conference Call Scheduled Today at 5 PM

Hi Patrick;

I am asking the questions and not you. I will call in. It will be your choice whether to allow me to ask questions about your improper use of cookie jar reserves to manipulate earnings.



From: Patrick Byrne [mailto:[email protected]] Sent: Wednesday, November 18, 2009 11:38 PM
Subject: RE: Conference Call Scheduled Today at 5 PM

” I am asking the questions and not you.”

Well evidently not.


From: Sam E. Antar [mailto:[email protected]] Sent: Wednesday, November 18, 2009 9:57 PM
Subject: RE: Conference Call Scheduled Today at 5 PM

Hi Patrick Byrne:

Why did you lie when you said there were no further questions? Are you afraid of taking questions from somebody who is aware of what you are doing and why it violates the securities laws?

Sam E. Antar



I just think that before you are allowed on a conference call with grown-ups you should make clear who you and what your motivations really are, and answering these questions would be a good start in that direction:

1) Admit you paid fellow conman Barry Minkow $300,000 in cash (as he testified in deposition: see pages 8-10) to write hatchet jobs on USANA;

2) Disclose where you got the $300,000;

3) Explain why it was necessary to pay someone else to shill for you when you are an expert in the business of exposing frauds.

Remember, well-started is half-finished.


  1. From: Sam E. Antar
    Sent: Thursday, November 19, 2009 12:58 AM
    To: ‘Patrick Byrne’; ‘Joseph Tabacco’; ‘Kevin Moon’; ‘Board – Jonathan Johnson’; ‘Roger Johnson’
    Cc: Various persons at the SEC
    Subject: RE: Conference Call Scheduled Today at 5 PM
    Importance: High

    Hi Patrick Byrne:

    One thing you have right is that I am “an expert in the business of exposing frauds.” I exposed your frauds on investors.

    For example, I exposed’s violations of SEC Regulation G when the company reported an improper EBITDA in order to materially overstate its financial performance. I exposed how you, Jonathan Johnson, and David Chidester falsely claimed that’s improper reported EBITDA from Q2 2007 to Q2 2008 was compliant with SEC Regulation G when it was not compliant. In addition, I exposed your improper use of cookie jar reserves to materially inflate reported earnings and reduce losses in future reporting periods. That said, I am asking the questions here and not you.

    Sam E. Antar

    1. Sam, in the spirit of cooperation why can’t both ask questions? It seems you want answers. Typically when interviews are being granted, the interviewee seeks out to understand what it is that motivated the interviewer to call upon them. That way the stage can properly be set for an interview.

      In this case you seem to think you are God and all should bow down to you without question. There is a saying, you can catch flies better with honey than vinegar. Try a little honey – answer the questions so the interviewee can figure out where you are coming from.

      I am curious myself as to why you had to pay Minkow to do the dirty work if you are so good at it and exactly where such income came considering you claimed poverty when it came time to reimburse your victims just years previously. You say you do all this work for free, how then did you come up with a quick $300K? Could the answer be in your inquiries into OSTK?

  2. The “master-baiter” shops will have for sale/lease signs
    Out front soon enough. Smart schools of fish can always
    smell rotten worms. What a clusterfuc-!

  3. Sam is nothing but a glorified internet basher. Their SOP is remarkably the same, like they all go to some strip mall at 7pm for mandatory classes.

    God forbid, companies prosper, or get a chance to prosper. Who needs jobs, or commerce?

    Now excuse me. I need to shower. Sam does that to me.

  4. Like one of the shitheels at the Dendron FDA hearing – asking skewed and screwed-up questions. Stuff the cigar Sammy.

  5. Antar vs Byrne?

    OMG how hilarious!!!
    excuse my laughter….

    Is this all the anti’s can offer?
    San Antar?
    That’s funnier than funny.
    Mr Antar….don’t you think that attacking Overstock as a way to discredit Dr Byrne has been done before?


    As I KNOW Mr Antar has through crime and punishment found his G-D I implore Mr Antar to turn back from this Sith mission. Mr Antar …have you been joined in the long list of public pawns?

    I was expecting a better adversary…a flipped Milkenite maybe…but Antar???

    Oh whoa is the Byrne foe that confuses Overstock with the true Macro (LOL)

    Manish tunu halila huze

  6. Sam, tell your boys its almost over!Read this and go after the real frauds (yourself and Barry included). This personal vendetta you guys have against OSTK is officially OVER!!!

    Samburg/Pequot doo-doo getting deeper

    Pequot Worker Told Therapist That Samberg Demanded Insider Tips

    By David Scheer and Jesse Westbrook

    Nov. 19 (Bloomberg) — A former Pequot Capital Management Inc. employee now at the center of a U.S. insider-trading probe told his psychologist that the hedge-fund firm fired him in 2001 after he stopped delivering secret information on Microsoft Corp., the therapist said in a deposition.

    David Zilkha, who had previously worked at Microsoft, said he was supervised by Pequot founder Arthur Samberg, who pressed him for insider information, psychologist Peggy Thomson testified in an Oct. 15 proceeding tied to Zilkha’s divorce, according to a transcript obtained by Bloomberg. Thomson said she performed a psychological evaluation of Zilkha in June and July last year.
    “He said that Mr. Samberg wanted him to get inside information on Microsoft,” the transcript quotes Thomson as saying, recalling their conversations. “Mr. Zilkha stopped providing it, he was fired.”

    Full story, including Grassley comments and Aguirre reference:

  7. Slightly off topic, but Fairfax Financial Holdings (FFH) today announced that it is voluntarily delisting itself from the NYSX.;.v=1

    Fairfax is a former naked short target and current plaintiff in a major lawsuit regarding same against SAC,, that has been featured in a number of stories here on Deep Capture. The company is a rare case whose share structure has been repaired after significant harm by abusive naked short sellers. Some are seeing this move to delist as a thumb in the eye of the SEC, who for years refused to do anything about the obvious fraud being perpetrated against it.

  8. No offense, but shouldn’t a discussion of Overstock be on an Overstock thread?

    I love Patrick to death as a hero, but he wears a different hat when he works for Overstock.

    By bringing the discussion here, the shorts turn a battle of market integrity into a debate whether OSTK is being unfairly treated.

    By responding, you’ve been suckered into their realignment of the rules of the game from one of the whole market to one of a particular stock.

    In general, no particular stocks should ever be argued here or this site will become partisan.

    The same goes for these slimeballs. Why mention an Antar or Weiss by name? This site gets 1,000 times the traffic they could ever get. If they engage people here in an argument, it just drives traffic to their books.

    Refer to them as Mr. Pink and Ms. Brown or something. Why give them headline treatment on the top anti counterfeiting blog?

  9. Sammy…why do you think that any public company should allow you on their conference calls? Because you are a convicted felon and a very stupid one? You are not an analyst working on Wall Street are you? You are just a convicted hoodlum who is being directed by other hoodlums to post on Yahoo and other places. You have admitted to being directed before. Why just the other day on Yahoo I observed you posting threats to a witness in the Overstock vs. Rocker et al.

    “Memo to Demitri Anifantis…..Before I travel, I just wanted to check in on you. Please make yourself available. A few simple answers are required. You don’t want to be accused of dodging, too.

    Sam E. Antar”

    Of course no one is paying you to devote three years of your life to smear Patrick and Overstock and to stalk anyone who criticizes you are they? Hahahaha!

    It looks like Patrick somewhat belatedly has decided that goons and thugs don’t belong and they can’t ask questions anymore at his conference calls. It just stinks the place up. I am sure you can understand.

  10. Sammy, OSTK is no longer effectively being stunted by freaks like yourself.

    The stock is, and will continue to, recover.

    Just like the stock of many development stage companies you short, thieving snakes have poisoned with your bullshit.

    Take a hike, you fat useless slob, and take Milken/Cohen/Cramer/Rocker/Einhorn/Icahn with you.

  11. Redwood —

    Interesting piece re Fairfax delisting from NYSE. You say they repaired their share structure after FTD attack. What did they do?



    1. It’s a long story and I don’t know that I’m best qualified to tell it. What I can say is that the short thesis was apparently BS from the beginning, and quarter after quarter of strong performance and compounding growth in book value bore that out. Ironically there was a bit of a short squeeze right in the middle of the meltdown fiasco in the fall of 2008. Over a period of months the short ratio was dramatically reduced. The shares still trade at what many believe to be a pretty steep discount, but it’s significantly higher than it was during the short attack and sitting pretty close to its all time high at this point.

      Along the way they filed the lawsuit against SAC,, an analyst that had leaked a negative report was fired and his firm penalized, and a shady operative accused of all kinds of dirty tricks against FFH and its executives has been convicted of other crimes. Those who accused FFH of financial malfeasance have been thoroughly discredited and FFH has been thoroughly vindicated. I can only hope that a lot of nasty short hedgies have been bankrupted along the way. Owning this company for the last two and half years has been an absolute pleasure.

  12. My Open Letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission Part 2:

    “…the simple fact is that since’s inception, every single financial report for each and every reporting period at least initially violated GAAP or some other SEC disclosure rules. Likewise, every audit opinion issued by PricewaterhouseCoopers during those corresponding periods up to its last one in 2008 was flawed, too.”

  13. scam antar? what is this obsession you have with overstock?
    overstock is a great company. the s.e.c. found nothing wrong with them so why is it you have to cybr stalk the company?
    hey scam are you giving american citizens 10k a month to help them pay off some bills?
    overstock is. that is awesome if you ask me. dont you have some something better to do?

  14. “Another unanswered question is how could, without any hint as it claims, entirely miss such a large magnitude of underbillings to fulfillment partners ($2.8 million in 2007 and $2.7 million from Q1 to Q3 2008) and the overpayments to a fulfillment partner ($785,000 in the same period) with a combined total of $6.285 million in just 21 months? Add to that total another $301,000 of overbilling from a freight carrier in Q4 2008 and you have $6.586 million in money going out the door within a 24 month period without anyone claiming to notice it.

    Yet during the entire period, CEO Patrick Byrne and former CFO David Chidester signed Sarbanes-Oxley certifications attesting to adequate internal controls and PricewaterhouseCoopers issued clean audit opinions. Why aren’t heads rolling at the company, starting from the audit committee, the CEO, and the CFO?”

  15. Convicted felon, how about answering Dr. Byrnes’ questions first then maybe he will answer yours? Where the hell were you with your righteous pompous hehind when Bear Stearns, Lehman and AIG was cooking their books and now they are gone after shareholders lost hundreds of billions and Shorters mades large fortunes? WHERE WERE YOU THEN? Becareful what you ask for because if Patrick does give up his chairmanship, he may come after you and your ilk full-time and then there will be even more hell for you miscreants to pay!!! I hope to hear about you going BACK to jail before this is over but the only difference is that it will be for good this time!!

  16. Fred, I understand that, but this clown can’t just come here ..disparage and not expect the consequences. Its just not in my nature to let him slide. So C.F. this buds for you.

    SEC to Focus on Derivatives as Insider-Trading Crackdown Widens Share Business ExchangeTwitterFacebook| Email | Print | A A A
    By David Scheer

    Nov. 23 (Bloomberg) — The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission will focus on financial instruments such as derivatives as it broadens a crackdown on insider trading by hedge funds, enforcement director Robert Khuzami said.

    “The days of insider trading scrutiny being focused almost solely on the equity markets are now gone,” Khuzami said today at a New York legal conference on hedge fund regulation. After bringing its first insider trading case tied to credit default swaps in May, the SEC will “roll back the curtain on those markets and look at patterns across all markets,” he said.

    To contact the reporters on this story: David Scheer in New York at [email protected].

  17. Fred, here is more for the C.F. to ponder.. Also I think that the SEC may have to drop the other politically or Hedge Fund ordered investigations and now go after the real crooks!!LOL!!

    U.S. Senators offer SEC Information for Pequot Probe By Reuters
    U.S. Senators offer SEC Information for Pequot Probe
    By Reuters
    Thursday, November 19, 2009

    WASHINGTON (Reuters)—U.S. lawmakers said they have new information about Pequot Capital Management that may help the Securities and Exchange Commission with their investigation of the hedge fund, according to a letter from lawmakers made available on Thursday [Nov. 19]. Senators Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) and Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) sent a letter to the SEC offering information that involves the former manager of Pequot, Arthur Samberg.

    The letter, dated Nov. 18, was sent to SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro. The SEC had no comment.

    In May, Mr. Samberg said he was shutting down his firm because the government had reopened its probe into possible insider trading Previous Reuters Story.

    By Rachelle Younglai

  18. To the “Convicted Felon” would you kindly sit in on “The Street Dot Com’s” next conference call (if they have one) and ask some profound questions? LOL! This just gets better and better!!

    :Perhaps Mr. Cramer should make a “concerted effort” to run his own company,, which has failed to file its second quarter 2009 and now third quarter 2009 reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission and faces its own delisting problems as an accounting investigation of the company continues and as its executives are leaving the company in droves. But then again, he is Jim Cramer, and SEC regulations are apparently of no consequence to him.”

    Patrick On Radio Interview. Cramer’s being Cramer again, thank God.

      1. To Judd Bagley (Managing Partner Deep Capture LLC):

        What editorial control, if any, do you exercise over Patrick Byrne’s posts on Deep Capture?

        Do you review his posts on Deep Capture prior to publication?

        Does Deep Capture have a conflict of interest policy covering its “journalists”? If so, what is it?

        What is the relevence of Patrick Byrne posting my emails concerning issues related to on Deep Capture?

        Who does Patrick Byrne report to as his boss on Deep Capture, if he reports to anybody at all?

        Sam E. Antar

          1. Let’s see…as I read it, Patrick’s post re-asks the question: where did you come up with +$250,000 to finance Minkow’s attack on USANA when you couldn’t even cover a (still unpaid) $500 tax bill?
            Of course, all this happened at precisely the same time you were defaulting on Morris Cohen’s $405,000 loan and falsely blaming it on your (soon-to-be-ex) wife. And about six weeks before you misappropriated $500,000 of the money she put up for your failed real estate venture to pay off your business partner’s debts.
            You get specific about how you scraped up the money for Minkow (the subject of this post) given your apparent destitution, and then you can ask some questions.
            Until then, you can go back to your own little blog and play.

  19. Ever wonder why the SEC paraded the Galleon “Insider trading Scandal” front and center all over the national Media and never ever mentioned Pequot and Art Samberg wherein their own attorney had determined serious insider trading with only 1 transaction totalling 20million? Strange HUH? I GUESSS RAJ HAD NO “JUICE”. So let it be written so let it be done!!! This thing is gonna blow and in the not too distant future and I want and have a front row seat!!

  20. Fred, I felt the same way when John Oqinn was in that fatal accident a few weeks ago!!! All way to coincidental for me.

  21. I had not heard about John O’Quinn. Now that is seriously creepy.

    Patrick, Judd, Mark: Don’t get on any small airplanes!

  22. Sam, maybe little Stevie will invite you on his next conference call (from Jail that is)

    It’s a family affair….

    And golly gee whiz, another crook who got a start at SAC.

    Rajaratnam Cooperated In Insider-Trading Probe Of His Brother

    November 25, 2009

    Galleon Group founder Raj Rajaratnam’s claim that the wiretaps at the basis of the insider-trading investigation were illegal is based on his assistance in helping them try to catch his brother allegedly committing the same crime.

    The Securities and Exchange Commission began investigating Rengan Rajaratnam’s Sedna Capital Management in 2007. According to Raj Rajaratnam’s response to the SEC charges against him, he notes that was deposed by federal authorities that year as part of an insider-trading probe into “an unrelated hedge fund,” identified by The Wall Street Journal as Sedna. Raj Rajaratnam’s lawyers argued that his cooperation in that matter shows that the wiretaps were unnecessary.

    Regnan Rajaratnam has not been charged with any wrongdoing. He ran Sedna for three years, before shutting it down in 2007, reportedly because the costs of cooperating with the SEC had become too high. Prior to founding Sedna, he worked at SAC Capital Advisors for six months in 2003. He joined Galleon after closing his own fund, but had his portfolio taken away from him after it lost money last year.

    The link to Rengan Rajaratnam also provides yet another link between the Galleon insider-trading case and SAC. Three others who once worked at the Stamford, Conn.-based hedge fund giant have been identified in the case: Choo Beng Lee, a cooperating witness who has already pleaded guilty to his role in the alleged circle; Mark Adams, alleged to have provided tips to circle member Steven Fortuna, another cooperating witness; and Richard Grodin, who has been subpoenaed in the case.

  23. Another “off topic” coincidence..

    Mark Pittman, Reporter Who Foresaw Crisis, Dies at 52 (Update1) Share Business ExchangeTwitterFacebook| Email | Print | A A A
    By Bob Ivry

    Nov. 27 (Bloomberg) — Mark Pittman, the award-winning investigative reporter whose fight to open the Federal Reserve to more scrutiny led Bloomberg News to sue the central bank and win, died Wednesday in Yonkers, New York. He was 52.

    Pittman suffered from heart-related illnesses. The precise cause of his death wasn’t known, said his friend William Karesh, vice president of the Global Health Program at the Bronx, New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society.

    Pittman, a former police-beat reporter who joined Bloomberg News in 1997, wrote stories in 2007 predicting the collapse of the banking system. That year, he won the Gerald Loeb Award from the UCLA Anderson School of Management, the highest accolade in financial journalism, for “Wall Street’s Faustian Bargain,” a series of articles on the breakdown of the U.S. mortgage industry.

    Pittman’s fight to make the Fed more accountable resulted in an Aug. 24 victory in Manhattan Federal Court affirming the public’s right to know about the central bank’s more than $2 trillion in loans to financial firms. Pittman drew the attention of filmmakers Andrew and Leslie Cockburn, who gave him a prominent role in their documentary about subprime mortgages, “American Casino,” which was shown at New York City’s Tribeca Film Festival in May.

    “Who sues the Fed? One reporter on the planet,” said Emma Moody, a Wall Street Journal editor who worked with Pittman at Bloomberg. “The more complex the issue, the more he wanted to dig into it. Years ago, he forced us to learn what a credit- default swap was. He dragged us kicking and screaming.”

    1. Sean,
      This was terrible news. Mark Pittman understood our issue. He told me more than once that he suspected the huge spike in emergency Fed lending that followed the collapse of Lehman was an effort to get some form of toxic derivatives off the BD’s books, and that it might be billions of fails. I was really looking forward to his analysis of the products of his FOIA request.
      Fortunately, I suspect the work will continue even without Mark, though there aren’t too many journalists out there who understand banking the way he does.

  24. Judd, from the below article..

    “Bloomberg’s lawsuit against the Fed, which was filed after Pittman’s requests under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act were denied, continues without him. The central bank won a delay pending an appeal, which is scheduled for the week of Jan. 4.

    At the time of his death, Pittman’s outgoing messages offered a link to a black-and-white photo of Woody Guthrie. Written on Guthrie’s guitar: “This machine kills fascists.”

    Journalist who filed FOIA on Fed dies

    Lawsuit continues

  25. Judd, it also seems like a huge, convenient coincidence that all of these people going after “The System” are dropping like flies along with anyone that can or might testify against them. Way to may coincidences for my liking. The fight goes on!!!

    1. Intriguing similarity (A petition posted on famed Bill Clara’s Site for the imprisoned economist, Martin Armstrong, who apparently challenged “The Club”:

      Blog for November 30, 2009 [See ADDENDUM]
      November 29, 2009 by Bill Cara
      Bill Cara’s Morning Call

      [6:00pm ET Sunday] Today I received an appeal to help bring to light a bad situation involving the imprisoned economist Martin Armstrong.

      Dear Bill,

      I’m writing to ask for your and your readers’ help on stopping and publicizing a pre-mediated murder in progress.

      Martin Armstrong, one of the greatest economists, have been put into jail for simply “contempt of the court” for almost 10 years now without ANY proper trials or legal proceedings, and will be moved to a prison to stay with murderers again for the second time this coming Monday. The first time, he was almost killed by a jailed murderer, a couple of years ago.

      Here is a link that talks about his “contempt of court” case.

      It is a shame that in US, we still have such flagrant crime in the daylight. Judicial branch has hijacked justice, and been bought up by some people probably from Wallstreet. To rob away other people’s money thru financial edges is bad already. To take away other people’s life by power is just too much.

      Here is some more details on the call to help Martin Armstrong:

      I plead your attention, since you’ve spoken up against HB&B for the benefit at large. Please if you can, bring your readers forth to combat this great injustice. For if we continue to keep silence on others’ injustice, one day we will suffer the same injustice and be silenced as well.

      Your faithful reader, Frugal

      I admit to knowing little of this situation. I have written of it before, I recall, but I don’t remember what, other than Armstrong was a noted trend and cycle analyst who turned to money management and was charged with fraud. I welcome your comments in the blog.

      Armstrong’s Essays
      Submitted by Dr. Strangelove (370 comments) on Sun, 11/29/2009 – 19:05 #53355

      Here’s a link to Armstrong’s essays published from prison:

      Here’s a link to his bio:

      Here’s a recent article about him published by the New Yorker:

      The guy is an enigma cloaked in intrigue. I’ve been reading through his essays. Hope he doesn’t get murdered in lockdown.

  26. This seems refreshing..

    From the investorsvillage board by poster Lenofus..Thank you!!

    Please make it your business to open link and read article you will be pleasantly suprised.

    For those that believe nothing is happening…….
    The IG’s office continues to probe allegations that two SEC enforcement lawyers repeatedly disclosed nonpublic information about agency investigations to a corrupt Federal Bureau of Investigations agent and a short seller.

    The above refers to on Amir “Anthony” Elgindy, and Jeffery Royer, Spc Agent in Charge, Oklahoma City FBI Office.

    If you go look at the Elgindy transcripts on Patch’s site “”, you ‘ll see Elgindy call a short in a stock that will be the subject to a yet to be announced SEC investigation. The Website transcripts were loaded with 202 ph numbers, obviously Enf Attorneys. You can look at this two ways. 1. Why in the world weren’t the Attn’ys popped years ago? The Eldindy affair goes back to the 90’s. or 2. They are finally doing something.

    I prefer to believe two. I believe they’ll need a bus to take out the crooks at the SEC. But that’s just me.

  27. SEC official aided in Ponzi scheme, agency’s watchdog finds
    Employee received full benefits and buyout despite rules violations

    By Zachary A. Goldfarb
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Tuesday, December 1, 2009

    A Securities and Exchange Commission official received full retirement benefits and a $25,000 buyout package from the agency despite assisting a Ponzi scheme operator in Arizona who later was fined for defrauding investors, according to a new report by the agency’s watchdog.

    The report by the SEC’s inspector general says there was no evidence to suggest that the employee in the SEC’s Office of Administrative Services knew she was abetting a fraud. But the report claims that the employee, who wasn’t named, violated agency rules by allegedly using government equipment and her government e-mail account to help an outsider carry out his private-investment business.

    The inspector general’s office said it referred the case to the Justice Department’s criminal division for possible prosecution and to the SEC’s Division of Enforcement for investigation. The Justice Department declined to prosecute.

    The apparently unwitting involvement of an SEC official in a Ponzi scheme is described in summary form in Inspector General H. David Kotz’s semi-annual report to Congress.

    According to the report, Arizona authorities alerted the SEC’s inspector general to the SEC employee’s potential role in the scheme in November 2008.

    Several months later, in June, the Arizona Corporation Commission announced that it had ordered a Scottsdale numerologist and spiritual adviser to pay more than $300,000 in fines and restitution for fraudulently selling investment products, promising he could predict the future.

    At least 65 people invested in the products. The Ponzi operator admitted to violating Arizona securities laws in his settlement with the state.

    The report offers just a general description of the SEC employee’s role. It says the supervisor “was extensively involved in handling the payments to and from his [the Ponzi operator’s] victims, and used her SEC e-mail account to communicate directly with those victims.”

    Investigators claimed that the SEC employee used her e-mail to conduct business on behalf of the Ponzi scheme on nearly a daily basis, the report says. In addition to that investigation, the inspector general’s semi-annual report offers an update on the status of several other inquiries.

    The report says the inspector general concluded its well-publicized probe into whether the SEC’s enforcement director, Linda Thomsen, inappropriately provided information to her former SEC boss, Stephen Cutler, counsel of J.P. Morgan Chase, amid negotiations about whether to buy Bear Stearns in March 2008.

    The report doesn’t name Thomsen and Cutler, but their identities were confirmed by a source familiar with the matter. The source spoke on the condition of anonymity because details of the probe have not been publicly released.

    “We found that while [Cutler] did not receive the broad assurances for the acquiring investment bank that he sought, he did receive some assurances with respect to ongoing and potential investigations related to the pre-acquisition conduct of the target investment bank,” the report says.

    The report says that while Thomsen’s communication with Cutler did not violate SEC policy on external communications, she should have taken other steps “to avoid an appearance of impropriety stemming from the relationship.”

    The inspector general recommended that the SEC clarify what types of non-public information enforcement officials may release on their own discretion.

    Though the discussion between Thomsen and Cutler was private at the time, J.P. Morgan made a public request that it shouldn’t be held accountable for potentially improper actions taken by Bear Stearns.

    In another inquiry, the inspector general’s office said it was asked by the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations to investigate whether SEC staff leaked draft copies of a report on credit-rating agencies to the Wall Street Journal. The probe looked at more than 100,000 internal agency e-mails to see who might have been the source of the leak, but found there was no evidence that a SEC staff member provided the information.

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  28. And tighter and tighter it gets!!

    Re: SEC – OIG Semi Annual Report To Congress
    Allegations of Failure to Investigate
    The OIG has opened an investigation into
    complaints from an investor alleging that the
    SEC failed to investigate instances of market
    manipulation and other misconduct in connection
    with the review, and eventual nonapproval,
    of a developmental drug. The investor
    also has alleged that the SEC failed to
    investigate a recent bear raid on the stock of
    the company that developed the drug, causing
    a severe plunge in the stock price. The OIG
    has reviewed several hundred pages of documents,
    including numerous e-mails and attachments
    provided by the complainant. The
    OIG expects to complete its investigation and
    issue a report of investigation in the next reporting


  29. The noose just snapped Wall Streets neck..

    Use gambling laws against Wall St.

    Senator wants to use gambling laws to regulate Wall Street
    by gjohnsit
    Mon Nov 30, 2009
    This is such a simple and obvious idea, I don’t know why no one thought of it before.

    Sen. Maria Cantwell wants to use state gambling laws to regulate parts of Wall Street, saying someone needs to police financial markets where “casino capitalism” involving highly speculative trades she likens to sophisticated betting continue unabated and threaten to create yet another financial crisis.

    “She’s going for their jugular,” Michael Greenberger, a University of Maryland law professor, said of the effort by Cantwell, a Washington state Democrat. Greenberger was a top official at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission during the Clinton administration who unsuccessfully fought to regulate such trading.

    Full story:

  30. And the plot thickens. This has been the SEC’s M.O. against a lot of companies. The truth finally is coming out!!

    Re: SEC – OIG Semi Annual Report To Congress
    Allegation of Retaliatory Investigation
    The OIG continued its investigation of an
    allegation that SEC staff engaged in retaliation
    against a company after it publicly complained
    about naked short selling in the company’s stock. During this reporting period, the
    OIG took the sworn testimony of the staff
    attorney who worked on the matter and reviewed
    numerous relevant documents. The
    OIG has completed its investigative work and
    plans to issue its report of investigation prior
    to the end of the next semiannual reporting


    1. Sean, I have great anticipation over this report. If you read what is stated in this paragraph, the OIG does not appear to have discussed the issue with outside parties but relied on sworn testimony of the SEC attorney and his work product. If it is the case I believe, none of the principles that were harassed/retaliated against were ever contacted by the OIG. That would be disturbing since this OIG came out very strongly against his predecessor (Stachnik) for not interviewing Gary Aguirre regarding his concerns over teh actions of SEC staff, instead relying solely on the testimony of SEC attorneys accused.

      If you read closely the entire report – retaliation and inappropriate use of power seems to be a recurring theme inside the SEC. Disturbing.

      Bottom Line: I am concerned over this one. Deeply concerned.

  31. Dave, if the IG did not interview the party retaliated against, how would they know of this development and how could a thorough investigation have been completed? Seems that if this was the case that this report is just out to pacify congress and others. Kaufmn needs to be kept appraised of these devolpments. I also notice Mary Shapiros silence(which is deafening) in all of these findings. I hope more is going on behind the scenes.

    1. On Friday June 6, 2008 I gave a sworn deposition regarding retailiation against a company for claiming NSS was abusive to their markets. In the deposition I provided several different scenario’s involving abuse of power and retailiation by the SEC personnel. The OIG took names and contact info on several key people. I have been in contact with each and they never received a call.

      In the case I relayed a transfer agent was threatened by the SEC to dismiss a client or life would become difficult for them in the future. A second event occurred where the SEC tried to get an attorney (not a corporate attorney) disbarred after he provided them with evidence that supported his activities.

      I truely hope I am wrong but fear the worst. Whether they found something substantial or not when the SEC attorney was deposed, the key people involved were never contacted which means the investigation could never be thorough.

  32. Great, now even the OIG is corrupt. We’re so scr–ed!!! The corruption runs too deep!!! Thanks for response Dave.

    1. Sean, I had voiced my concerns to the OIG and he responded back with a nice memo. I have submitted a FOIA request of the final OIG Investigation report as he suggested. I was asked to temper my concerns until reading the report and then…if I still had concerns to contact him directly to discuss them. I believe he was sincere.

      His suggestion, I may have jumped the gun.

  33. Patchie

    Did you give your info directly to Kotz or to one of his subordinates? Maybe he does not have complete loyalty on his own team?

    1. Fred, I have communicated with both. There can be two results from what we have read.

      1. The OIG found nothing from what they learned in their deposition of the attorney and his work product and chose not to pursue any further. I would remain concerned if this cause was taken.

      2. The evidence was damaging enough that the witnesses I provided was not necessary and that their prior depositions as part of the SEC Retaliatory investigation was enough to draw a conclusion.

      I am hoping Option 2 was what was found and will hopefully know within the next 60 days. Until then I will give Mr. Kotz the benefit of the doubt based on our past relationship and his personal note.

  34. Well written. Thank you for posting this. I will definitely check again to see what’s new and tell my people about your website.

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