Skip to main content

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


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.

Popular Posts

Did a Clever SEC Bait Goldman Sachs into Compounding Its Legal Problems With the "Kiss of Death" Message?

Updated: At 3:48 AM ET 04/20/2010 on bottom

The Kiss of Death

In filing its lawsuit against Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) on a Friday, the Securities and Exchange Commission sent what I call the "kiss of death" message to the embattled company. In other words, the SEC wanted to stick it to Goldman Sachs and Fabrice Tourre, the Executive Director of Goldman Sachs International, who is also a defendant in the complaint. While the SEC as a practice does inform target companies and individuals of an impending enforcement action, it does not always tell them exactly when such an action will be filed.

Apparently, the SEC filed its lawsuit without giving Goldman Sachs the heads up that it was planning to file it that day. Business Insider observed that Goldman Sachs was clearly unprepared to respond to the complaint as news of the lawsuit dominated the headlines all day. Goldman issued a short denial around noon and issued an extensive denial late in the afternoon, after most people had … CEO Patrick Byrne Sleeps With a Gun

In numerous blog posts in the past, and in widespread media coverage, evidence has accumulated for years that CEO (NASDAQ: OSTK) Patrick Byrne has shown signs of being mentally unbalanced and paranoid.

Byrne has blamed his company's financial woes on an unnamed "Sith Lord." He hired paid goons to stalk his real and imagined adversaries and to write lengthy conspiracy theories on the Internet. Byrne has close ties with Bo Gritz. The Anti-Defamation League lists Bo Gritz as a far-right extremist with “extensive connections to both white supremacists and anti-government groups and leaders.”

Patrick Byrne's infamous temper tantrums when he doesn’t get want he wants are well documented too. He made obscene and misogynistic comments to a female reporter. He suggested that she gave “blowjobs” to Goldman Sachs traders. He suggested that a male reporter “Sucks It Likes He’s Paying the Rent.” An independent research analyst was told that “You deserve to be whippe…

Nature's Sunshine Products, Willbros Group, Cal Dive International, and BSQUARE Violate S.E.C. Rules on Calculating EBITDA

Nature’s Sunshine Products (NASDAQ: NATR), Willbros Group (NYSE: WG), Cal Dive International (NYSE: DVR), and BSQUARE (NASDAQ: BSQR) have recently issued earnings reports which include a calculation of EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) that apparently does not comply with Securities and Exchange Commission interpretations for Regulation G governing such non-GAAP financial measures. In each case, their erroneous EBITDA calculations have enabled them to significantly distort their financial performance by erroneously reporting a positive EBITDA, when they should have reported a negative EBITDA in the latest quarter.

How EBITDA is supposed to be calculated under Regulation G

According to the S.E.C. Compliance & Disclosure Interpretations, EBITDA is defined under Regulation G as net income (not operating income) before net interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization. See below:

Question 103.01Question: Exchange Act Release No. 47226 describes E…

InterOil, John Thomas Financial, and Clarion Finanz: Anatomy of a Stock Market Manipulation Scheme

In this blog post, I will provide evidence of what I believe is a stock market manipulation scheme involving InterOil (NYSE: IOC), John Thomas Financial, and Clarion Finanz AG. I believe that InterOil with the assistance of Clarion Finanz concealed John Thomas Financial’s involvement in helping it raise $95 million through a private placement of convertible debt securities.

Clarion Finanz acted as a buffer between InterOil and John Thomas Financial to help InterOil hide John Thomas Financial's role in raising funds. Afterwards, InterOil filed false and misleading reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission in an effort to conceal John Thomas Financial’s role in helping the company raise $95 million in convertible debt.

Carl Caserta, who in 1991 was barred by the Securities and Exchange Commission from “association with any broker, dealer, or investment advisor” played a role in helping InterOil use John Thomas Financial to obtain funds from investors. InterOil, John Thoma…

Class Action Complaint against Amedisys uses Sarbanes-Oxley Act Corporate Governance Provisions to Battle Alleged Corporate Malfeasance

Updated at bottom of article

Last week, Pomerantz Haudek Grossman & Gross LLP filed a class action lawsuit against Amedisys (NASDAQ: AMED) charging the company, its CEO William F. Borne and its CFO Dale E. Redman with securities fraud.  In the next few days, Bernstein Liebhard LLP and Finkelstein Thompson LLP filed similar class action lawsuits against the company. The lawsuits allege that Amedisys abused Medicare's reimbursement system for at-home therapy care based on a compelling analysis of company revenues in an April 27 Wall Street Journal article.

In addition, the lawsuits innovatively utilize a provision under Section 406 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act 2002 which provides a back-door way for investors to force ethical corporate governance and sue public companies for malfeasance. That provision requires Senior Financial Officers, such as the CEO and CFO of public companies, to abide by a strict code of ethics which broadly defines corporate malfeasance and effectively makes…