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Re: bar1080 post# 54064

Sunday, 04/30/2023 8:48:42 PM

Sunday, April 30, 2023 8:48:42 PM

Post# of 54398
Well... Penny companies still change their business plans frequently. Usually they change management at the same time, but in the case of MTEI, some of it hung around. John Christiansen was one; Joe Gort, who continued to do PR for the "new" MTEI, was another. I once wrote a parody disclaimer for a PR and sent it to him. He used it.

It didn't become a coal mining company; it became a gas and oil exploration company, headed up by Jack ("The Honest Oil Man") Uselton. Jack was not honest, in any sense of the word. He and pretty much all of the rest of his family were career con men. And they did eventually end up slapped with criminal charges.

You have to remember that back then the internet, chat rooms, and online brokers were shiny and new. Investors weren't as aware as they are now of the possibility their "hidden gem" was a scam. But on the other hand, not all of them were on the up-and-up. As more and more questions were asked, a group of them decided to pay a visit to company headquarters in Texas. They called themselves the "Magnificent Seven." One of them was a source for me; he kept in touch as they met at their hotel, went to meet Uselton, and got together for dinner afterwards.

At company headquarters that morning, they saw reality. It was small and unimpressive. There was a picture of dogs playing poker on the wall. Uselton was drunk, and waved them into a room where they could inspect the books. They were not happy about what they saw. They did, however, remark on one thing that pleased them: the powder room was very clean.

Over dinner, they decided not to tell the rest of the investors how bad it was until the next day, so they'd have a chance to sell first.

PatiBob did not "go down the drain" by any means. She'd known John Christiansen for years. She was another source, and madly funny. She was VERY capable of taking care of herself.

Once the SEC suspended, Uselton moaned, "How did they find all this out?"

Remember Marc Tow? The attorney? He explained to me how the fiddle had worked: he'd bought up tons of gas and oil claims for delinquent taxes. Evidently that's a sort of hobby in West Virginia. The claims were very cheap, but of course the new owner was expected to pay the delinquent taxes. Tow and Uselton had no intention of doing that, but the PRs sounded good.

The SEC sued Uselton, Tow, and others in 2003. I think they got Tow again later on.

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