|Gerova Financial Alleged Short Seller Co-Conspirator Scott Hintz “Blatantly Lied” Under Oath|
Atlanta, GA 1/09/2012 05:36 PM GMT (WooEB)
On January 5, 2012, Magistrate Judge Christopher Hagy of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia issued a ruling that denied a motion by Scott Hintz meant to challenge his 2003 guilty plea to federal criminal bank fraud charges.
In the ruling, Judge Hagy states that Hintz “wove an incredible tale of a vast conspiracy” and that “[Hintz] has not provided any proof that such a conspiracy existed outside of his own imagination.”
Judge Hagy concluded, “[Hintz’s] testimony during the evidentiary hearing was simply not credible,” and further ruled that, “[Hintz] blatantly lied”under oath.
In civil actions,Hintz is also accused of attempting to extort $18 million from Gerova Financial Group. In the ongoing criminal case he was re-arrested on March 23, 2011 for probation violations in connection with allegations of embezzling money, forging notarized documents and committing other wrongful and illegal acts against his employer, an affiliate of Gerova.
Hintz is named as a co-conspirator in a lawsuit filed on December 22, 2011 by a shareholder of Gerova Financial Group, Noble Investment Group, against Keith Dalrymple and other Bulgaria based short sellers,seeking unspecified damages. The lawsuit alleges over $800 million of shareholder value was destroyed as a consequence of Hintz’s false conspiracy allegations against Gerova.
The Gerova Plaintiff claims in the lawsuit that Hintz used the Internet, fictitious names, including over two dozen Internet chat board “handles” with hidden anonymous identities, together with the media, to spread false and misleading conspiracy allegations about Gerova with the intent to damage Gerova.
The lawsuit alleged that the most critical role played by Hintz in the scheme was acting as the “anonymous tipster”to Forbes blogger Neil Weinbergby continuously relaying his imagined conspiracy theories to Weinberg, the self-styled “muckraking” blogger who caused Hintz’s allegations to be published and widely disseminated on the Internet at Forbes.com.
In a recent criminal case, U.S. v. Minkow (No. 11-20209) brought by the Southern District of Florida United States Attorney, Barry Minkow, of ZZZZ Best stock fraud infamy, pled guilty to conspiracy to commit securities fraud and was sentenced on July 21, 2011 to five years in prison and ordered to pay $583,500,000 in restitution. The criminal charges were in connection Minkow’s illegal manipulation and short selling of Lennar Corp (NYSE: LEN) stock using the blogosphere, YouTube and Internet chat boards.
On December 6, 2011, in a landmark decision with implications for bloggers around the country U.S. District Judge Marco Hernandez found that a Montana based blogger, Crystal Cox, was not a journalist and cannot claim the protections afforded to mainstream reporters and news outlets. He ordered the blogger to pay $2.5 million in damages.
Gerova Financial Group previously traded on the NYSE (NYSE: GFC).
Stuart G. Gross of Gross Law is listed as counsel for the Plaintiff in the Noble lawsuit. (415) 671-4628, ext. 701.