Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Two Universities Say Intrepid Potash President Patrick Avery Didn't Get Degrees Claimed in SEC Filings

Convicted felon turned fraud fighter and personal friend Barry Minkow, co-founder of the Fraud Discovery Institute (FDI) has uncovered yet another corporate executive who did not receive college degrees claimed in SEC filings. This time, a background check by FDI found that Intrepid Potash Inc. (NYSE: IPI) President and Chief Operating Officer Patrick Avery did not earn at least two of three degrees claimed in company disclosures filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission

According to SEC Form S-1 and later amendments, filed in connection with Intrepid Potash's initial public offering, from late 2007 to early 2008, the company disclosed:

Mr. Avery holds a B.A. in Biology and Chemistry from the University of Colorado, an M.S. in Engineering from Loyola, and an M.B.A. from Pepperdine University.

However, Bloomberg contacted the University of Colorado and the registrar's office confirmed Minkow's report that no B.A. degree was awarded to Mr. Avery:

Avery attended the University of Colorado from the fall of 1970 to the spring of 1975 as a full-time student and “no degree was awarded for reasons unknown,” according to a statement faxed to Bloomberg News from the university registrar’s office.

Note: Bold print and italics added by me.

In addition, Loyola Marymount University spokeswoman Christine Nangle told Bloomberg that the university has no record of any M.S. degree awarded to Mr. Avery:

The Intrepid Potash prospectus also said Avery received a master’s degree in engineering from Loyola, without identifying a specific school or its location. Avery studied engineering at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles from 1982 to 1985, but the school has no record of awarding him a degree, spokeswoman Christine Nangle said.

Note: Bold print and italics added by me.

At least Avery earned an M.B.A. degree from Pepperdine University. Pepperdine spokesman F. Douglass Gore III confirmed that Avery graduated in 1996. However, according to Bloomberg:

Avery earned the degree through a special program for senior executives, who can get a waiver from a required undergraduate degree, Gore said.

Note: Bold print and italics added by me.

Therefore, Avery did not require an undergraduate degree to earn an M.B.A. from Pepperdine. The company has not yet commented about Minkow's report or the Bloomberg article.

In November 2008, Barry Minkow exposed eight corporate executives lying about their educational backgrounds and a couple of weeks later, he exposed two more. Minkow almost always holds a short position in companies that he investigates and has openly disclosed that he owns put options on Intrepid Potash.

Written by:

Sam E. Antar (former Crazy Eddie CFO and a convicted felon)


I have no position in Intrepid Potash securities. However, Barry Minkow has publicly disclosed a short position in Intrepid Potash and usually shorts companies that he investigates. Please read the Full Disclaimer on FDI for Profit Status.

Over a year ago, I provided funds to Fraud Discovery Institute (FDI) to help pay costs of its investigations, though I had no control over any monies spent. I am not an owner, manager, employee, or consultant of Minkow or FDI and I have not received any compensation from them.

Index to White Collar Fraud Blog Posts

Other Blog and Media Reaction to this Blog

1 comment:

Professor said...

If you go to
Madoff Fraud Map

and type in "cpa" to the search box you can find the names and addresses of over 200 cpas who are listed as Madoff "victims"--are these victims or are these fraudster cpas who steered their clients into this debacle? someone should investigate.