Investing 101 - Mar 10, 2005
- Stockgate Goes to Congress
by Mark Faulk
Congress finally took the first steps towards addressing the naked short selling issue known as "Stockgate" yesterday when, in a whirlwind week that began with a major court ruling in a lawsuit pertaining to naked short selling, gained momentum when a Michigan man provided Congress with a clear "smoking gun", and culminated with Senator Robert Bennett telling SEC Chairman William Donaldson in a Senate hearing that "Rule SHO is not working".
Letting the Courts Decide
In what attorney Wes Christian described as "a significant victory in our on going battle to bring restitution to our clients for the brazen manipulations that were perpetrated against them", a New York court last week ordered the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTCC) to produce trading records for shares of Eagletech Communications (OTCBB: EATC). Eagletech, who was represented in the motion by Christian Smith & Jewell of Houston, Texas and Koerner Silberberg & Weiner, LLP, of New York City, is a plaintiff in a stock manipulation action pending in the state of Florida. It commenced a special proceeding in the Supreme Court of the State of New York to obtain certain trading reports from the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation.
It was the first major ruling against the DTCC in the naked short selling scandal, and could open the door for other similar rulings in the dozens of cases filed by Christian, famed attorney John O'Quinn (of the Houston law firm of O’Quinn, Laminack and Pirtle), and others on behalf of companies and investors who claim that they have been victimized by naked short selling. Christian and O'Quinn have also won favorable rulings on on behalf of Exotics (OTCBB: EXII).
The Smoking Gun
In what was the most significant development this week, a Michigan man, Robert C. Simpson, claimed to have acquired 100% of the shares of Global Links Corp (OTCBB: GLKCE), filed his purchase with the SEC, and , according to Financial Wire, had the certificates delivered to him, and then watched as over 50 million shares traded over the next two days. In fact, GLKCE traded another 447,000 shares just yesterday. How did major brokers buy and sell tens of millions of shares of stock in a company that had zero shares available? It's a question that the SEC, the DTCC, and the brokers themselves will have to answer in the coming weeks.
And, if that wasn't enough, another investor, Paul J. Floto of Dallas, Oregon, bought another 15% of Global Links' stock just his week, and filed his shares with the SEC as well, even though Simpson had filed his claim to 100% of the shares of the same company a month earlier. This is how Floto described his purchase in his SEC filing ( http://xml.10kwizard.com/filing_raw.php?repo=tenk&ipage=3321340
"On February 3, 2005 a single investor reportedly purchased all the
common shares issued by the company, plus 145 additional unissued shares.
Subsequent to that date, over 95 million shares, or over 82 times the
total shares issued, were reportedly traded, none of which were reportedly
sold by the 100% owner of the common stock.
On March 4 and 7, I purchased a total of 180,000 shares, resulting in
my obtaining 15.54% ownership of a stock reportedly already 100% owned by
another investor. I assume that there may be additional investors who may
also claim ownership of common shares of this company.
I have requested that certificates be issued to me representing my full
15.54% ownership interest, to protect my right to vote and enforce any other
claims that may accrue to an actual documented owner.
I understand that Reg. SHO was supposed to detect and prevent the
fabrication of millions of nonexistent shares. It would appear that my
securities purchases prove that Reg. SHO has been systematically violated
by market-making brokers and securities-clearing firms.
From time to time I may continue to purchase additional securities on
the open market to increase my ownership interest to up to 100% of the
company's common stock to give me an ownership interest equal to that of the
current 100% owner."
Major Media Coverage
While this has been largely a grassroots effort in the past, with only a handful of publications covering the story, including www.faulkingtruth.com , www.financialwire.net , www.investigatethesec.com , and Judith Burns of Dow Jones, there has been an upsurge in media coverage lately, as the major media has finally begun to recognize the significance of the story. But while media outlets such as the San Antonio Express-News and WNBC in New York have done recent stories on Stockgate, NBC's Dateline continues to sit on a segment that has been in the works for well over a year. Their segment, which was originally scheduled to air in early 2004, has been postponed numerous times, and, according to our sources, is now scheduled to air "sometime before April 15th". I'll believe it when I see it. After the events of the past few weeks, the scandal might be well on its way to being resolved by the time Dateline finally gets their act together.
Congress To SEC: "Regulation SHO is Not Working"
While thousands of investors have joined advocates for stock market reform in speaking out publically, others have been quietly working behind the scenes to convince Congress to launch an investigation into the naked short selling scandal. We have been working with a number of people who have been busy lobbying members of Congress to take steps to end the rampant corruption that has plagued the market for years, and yesterday, those efforts finally began to pay off.
In a hearing in the US Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, Senator Robert Bennett grilled SEC Chairman William Donaldson about the naked short selling scandal, citing the Global Links story and opening his statement by telling Donaldson "You put out a new rule in January to deal with naked short selling, and as nearly as I can tell from my constituents, who feel victimized by this - it's not working." He then went on to read from the Global Links article and said that "this article just last Friday in a national publication indicates that people are still selling short shares that they don't have and clearly are never gonna acquire."
When Donaldson tried to argue that "short selling is not illegal", Bennett interrupted him by saying "I approve of short selling, it's the naked short selling we're going after." Donaldson then tried to describe how the recently enacted Regulation SHO dealing with the naked short selling problem, and was again interrupted by Senator Bennett, whose final comment was "My main message here is that the evidence is Rule SHO is not working, so that's what we need to get into in detail." He concluded by directing Donaldson to present an "in depth briefing" to the committee.
This is a major victory for those of us who have often felt as if we have been beating our heads against the wall in this crusade. Mark this day down on your calenders as the day that our voices were finally heard in the halls of Congress, but be aware that this is only the beginning, there is much work yet to be done. Now is the time to step up efforts to spread the word like never before, to contact Senator Bennett and all the members of the US Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, the Senate Finance Committee, as well as your own Congressmen and Senators. Tell them that we demand justice. Remind them that President Bush wants to invest our Social Security money into a stock market where corruption is rampant. Tell them that a full Congressional investigation is the only solution to this national scandal, and continue to spread the word to the media and through the internet. Then, and only then, will our markets once again be safe for investors.
To contact members of the US Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, go here and click on the members' names: http://banking.senate.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=Information.Membership
To contact members of the Senate Finance Committee, go here and click on the members' names: http://finance.senate.gov/sitepages/committee.htm
To listen to Senator Robert Bennett's testimony and SEC Chairman William Donaldson's response from the March 9th US Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs hearing, go here, click on "Video Archive" and fast forward to 1:19:30: http://banking.senate.gov/index.cfm?Fuseaction=Hearings.Detail&HearingID=140
(Editor's note: Correction: Robert Simpson has NOT received his GLKCE stock certificates, as was originally reported by www.financialwire.net . Although he has requested them from his broker, they have yet to deliver them to his possession. We will keep you updated as new information becomes available.)
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