Definitely good news regarding the short-attack,... Eat Crow Rota,... http://ir.farmlandpartners.com/News/news-details/2021/Rota-Fortunae-Author-of-July-2018-Attack-on-Farmland-Partners-Retracts-Short-and-Distort-Article-Admits-Articles-Falsity-and-Returns-Multiples-of-Trading-Profits-He-Gained-from-Attack/default.aspx
"Rota Fortunae," Author of July 2018 Attack on Farmland Partners, Retracts Short and Distort Article, Admits Article's Falsity, and Returns Multiples of Trading Profits He Gained from Attack
DENVER, June 21, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Farmland Partners Inc. (NYSE: FPI) ("FPI" or the "Company") today announced the successful resolution of its litigation against Quinton Mathews, the previously anonymous author of an attack published on the financial website "Seeking Alpha" on July 11, 2018 as part of a "short and distort" scheme targeting FPI, management and its stockholders. As Mr. Mathews acknowledged publicly (https://seekingalpha.com/instablog/47800059-rota-fortunae/5605955-mathews-settlement-press-release
), the July 2018 Article was full of false statements that drove down FPI's stock price, allowing Mr. Mathews and his clients, including the hedge fund who focused his attention on FPI, to profit when their short positions in FPI's stock gained value in the wake of the defamatory article's publication.
Through this settlement, Mr. Mathews has agreed to pay to the Company a multiple of the profits he made when his defamatory "article" artificially drove the price of FPI stock down 39% on the day of publication, enabling him, his clients, and his co-conspirators to profit from the short positions they established in advance of the article's publication. As explained below, FPI continues to pursue its claims in Texas federal court against the hedge fund with which Mr. Mathews collaborated, and the Company will continue to vigorously defend the baseless lawsuits filed immediately after the article was published that piggybacked on statements Mr. Mathews now acknowledges were false.
Mr. Mathews—who published the article under the pseudonym "Rota Fortunae" and only revealed his true name and the names of his profiting clients after a court compelled him to do so last year—has now acknowledged the defamatory statements contained in his article were false, including unfounded statements that FPI manipulated its publicly filed financial statements, misstated cash flows and ability to cover its dividend, and failed to properly disclose purported related party transactions in the company's audited financial statements. Mr. Mathews also acknowledges the falsity of the article's baseless headline claiming FPI faced a threat of insolvency.
"With a stock price now more than double the closing price on July 11, 2018, it is clear investors already recognize that the Company was the victim of a short and distort scheme," FPI CEO Paul Pittman explained. Pittman continued: "The outrageous acts of Mr. Mathews and his co-conspirators, together with the blind and misguided trust Plaintiffs' lawyers placed on Mr. Mathews' statements, have damaged innocent shareholders. We intend to continue to vigorously seek to right this wrong. Plaintiffs who filed a lawsuit against FPI based on Mr. Mathews' statements should acknowledge the falsity of the statements and rethink the ethics of continuing their cases, and move on from their frivolous pursuit of FPI stockholders' money."
The money Mr. Mathews will return to FPI includes not only the profits he made through his trading, but also the profits realized by his business partner, Keith Dilling, and his father, who placed similar bets against FPI's stock in advance of the article's publication. Critically, the Company remains free to continue to pursue its claims against the hedge fund that focused Mr. Mathews' attention on FPI. The fund—which Mr. Mathews admits paid him more than $100,000 in 2018 alone for his work on FPI and other companies—collaborated with Mr. Mathews for months prior to the release of the hit piece on FPI after working with him on research into other companies Mr. Mathews attacked via Seeking Alpha, and furthered the scheme against FPI by retweeting false and defamatory statements to amplify the impact of that attack. FPI's claims against the hedge fund are currently pending in Texas federal court.
The Company appreciates the support expressed by many other companies who have been victims of similar attacks from Mr. Mathews and others like him, and of the many investors who stuck with the Company in the face of the short and distort attack. While the Company waits for the relevant government agencies to take the necessary steps to meaningfully protect companies like FPI from these kinds of attacks, FPI will continue to protect itself and its stockholders by pursuing further restoration of its reputation and recovery of ill-gotten gains from the hedge fund that worked with Mr. Mathews for years, and any others who may have wrongfully profited from the artificial decline in FPI's share price caused by the false and misleading attack on the Company. In addition, the Company will consider all appropriate relief against those who continue to prosecute shareholder claims against the Company where such claims are based on statements by Mr. Mathews that have now been retracted and admitted to be false by their author.
About Farmland Partners Inc.
Farmland Partners Inc. is an internally managed real estate company that owns and seeks to acquire high-quality North American farmland and makes loans to farmers secured by farm real estate. As of the date of this release, the Company owns approximately 157,000 acres in 16 states, including Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Carolina, South Dakota and Virginia. We have approximately 26 crop types and over 100 tenants. The Company elected to be taxed as a real estate investment trust, or REIT, for U.S. federal income tax purposes, commencing with the taxable year ended December 31, 2014. Additional information: www.farmlandpartners.com or (720) 452-3100.
This press release includes "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the federal securities laws, including, without limitation, statements with respect to pending litigation. Forward-looking statements generally can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "may," "should," "could," "would," "predicts," "potential," "continue," "expects," "anticipates," "future," "intends," "plans," "believes," "estimates" or similar expressions or their negatives, as well as statements in future tense. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based upon reasonable assumptions, beliefs and expectations, such forward-looking statements are not predictions of future events or guarantees of future performance and our actual results could differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements. For a description of certain of such factors see the section entitled "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020, and the Company's other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Any forward-looking information presented herein is made only as of the date of this press release, and the Company does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking information to reflect changes in assumptions, the occurrence of unanticipated events, or otherwise.
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SOURCE Farmland Partners Inc.
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