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Showing posts from March, 2010

Did InterOil Commit Securities Fraud?

In the latest salvo of its battle to expose fraud, deceit, and misconduct by InterOil (NYSE: IOC) and its CEO Phil Mulacek, Fraud Discovery Institute sent former LA Times investigative reporter, now an iBusiness Reporting blogger, William Lobdell to a Texas courthouse to pour "thousands of pages of legal documents" and discovered even more damaging information of an ongoing pattern of deceit involving the company and Mulacek. William Lobdell's detailed blog report can be read here.

iBusiness Reporting is a division of Fraud Discovery Institute (co-founded by convicted felon, now fraud fighter Barry Minkow). Both Lobdell and Minkow publicly acknowledge holding short positions in InterOil securities.

Possible Securities Fraud

Separate and apart from new information discovered by Minkow and Lobdell, this blog has uncovered troubling false and misleading disclosures by InterOil in filings with the Canadian Securities Commissions and the Securities and Exchange Commission tha…

Another Key Departure at It Went Unreported, Too

Another key officer, former Treasurer Rich Paongo has quietly left (NASDAQ: OSTK) amid an ongoing Securities and Exchange Commission investigation of financial reporting violations by the company. However, made no disclosure to investors of his February 2010 departure from the company.

This morning, investigative journalist and blogger Gary Weiss received an anonymous comment on an old blog post tipping him off about Paongo's departure:


Here's a tidbit - you mention Rich Paongo in this article...he "left the company" as well After Gary Weiss emailed me the comment, I checked Rich Paongo's linked in profile which discloses him leaving in February 2010 after 8 years and 9 months of service. According to SEC Form 8-K instructions:

If the registrant’s principal executive officer, president, principal financial officer, principal accounting officer, principal operating officer, or any person performing similar function…

The InterOil Saga: Convicted Felons Battle Current Breed of Stock Market Miscreants


Oliver Stone should take note. We may have the makings of "Wall Street 3." I am just kidding about the movie idea, but very serious about InterOil's and John Thomas Financial's misconduct uncovered so far.

Here we have InterOil (NYSSE: IOC), what I believe is a sleazy company run by dishonest CEO Phil Mulacek, aided by a stock pumping promoter John Thomas Financial CEO Thomas Belesis who apparently pretends like he wants to clean up Wall Street's image, and  mixed-up naive young actor Shia LaBeouf apparently fantasizing as if he is living out in real life a role he is playing in the upcoming movie, "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps."

Fraud Discovery Institute (co-founded by convicted felon, turned fraud buster and short seller) Barry Minkow, iBusiness Reporting blog (a division of Fraud Discovery written by former LA Times investigative journalist, turned blogger and short seller William Lobdell), and this blog plan to continue our respective inv…

Is InterOil Built on a Foundation of Fraud?

A report by former LA Times reporter William Lobdell in iBusiness Reporting and an accompanying press release by Fraud Discovery Institute provide disturbing details of  fraud allegations made in an ongoing court case by the original investors in InterOil (NYSE: IOC) against company CEO Phil Mulacek. The court documents obtained by Lobdell provide an inside look into Mulecek's desperate court room antics to avoid responsibility for his actions which were later scolded by the Judge in the case. In addition, filings with the Canadian Securities Commissions show that InterOil insiders dumped about $10 million of stock in recent weeks.

iBusiness Reporting is a division of Fraud Discovery Institute (co-founded by convicted felon, now fraud fighter Barry Minkow). Both Lobdell and Minkow publicly acknowledge holding short positions in InterOil securities. Read Lobdell's entire report here.

Fraud Discovery's self explanatory press release is re-printed below. Additional informatio…

Can Shia LaBeouf Help Shed Light on a Stock Market Manipulation Scheme Involving InterOil and John Thomas Financial?


In July 2009, this blog provided detailed evidence of a stock market manipulation scheme involving InterOil (NYSE: IOC), John Thomas Financial, Clarion Finanz AG, and banned stock promoter Carl Caserta. I believe that they conspired to raise the stock price of InterOil's shares to force the conversion of certain outstanding debentures to common stock.

Now it turns out that actor Shia LaBeouf trained at John Thomas Financial to study for his role in the upcoming motion picture "Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps." LaBeouf claims that he turned an initial investment of $20,000 into $489,000 while training for his role in the movie. According to an article in today's New York Post by Kaja Whitehouse, LaBeouf is pumping InterOil shares, too:

After preparing for his turn as a hedge-fund trader by visiting trading floors of small brokerage houses, LaBeouf in the April issue of GQ talked up the stock of an oil and natural gas exploration company that has yet to prod… Delays Filing 10-K, Reports Even More GAAP Violations, While Patrick Byrne Hides

Yesterday, (NASDAQ: OSTK) filed a Notification of Late Filing (Form 12b-25) for its 2009 annual 10-K report at around 4:23 PM (Eastern) or about 37 minutes before the drop-dead deadline when the 10-K report was due to be filed.

The Notification of Late Filing identifies new previously undisclosed material violations of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and other Securities and Exchange Commission disclosure rules. The company needs more time to determine the accounting impact of certain material GAAP violations first acknowledged by the company on January 29 and new GAAP violations reported by the company in its "Notification of Late Filing."

Apparently, KPMG who was hired as's new auditors after they fired Grant Thornton, has finally learned what I've known for a very long time: The deeper you dig into's financial reporting, the more black holes (GAAP and SEC disclosure violations) you will find.

Newest Fou…

Indicted Former Democratic Assemblyman Louis Manzo Would be Wise to Stop Blabbing and Simply Shut Up

Perhaps the smartest thing an elected politician needs to learn is when to simply shut up and stop blabbing, especially if that politician is under federal indictment and awaiting trial. Indicted former Democratic Assemblyman and unsuccessful mayoral candidate for Jersey City Louis Manzo does not seem to understand that fighting a criminal indictment is not a political campaign. There is a saying, "The cover up is always more risky than the crime" because public statements made in defense of allegations to a crime, usually land that person in deeper trouble with prosecutors and investigators and rarely help their chances for an acquittal.

Whether innocent or guilty, the best course of action for any indicted person is to save their arguments for the Judge and jury. A simple straight forward statement saying, "In America there is a presumption of innocence and I look forward to contesting those charges at trial" is usually the wisest course of action for any Defend…