| Cherokee Investment’s Darden Says Rossi’s Claims Are Fraudulent|
Andrea Rossi (Photo: Mats Lewan)
Aug. 9, 2016 – By Steven B. Krivit –
Thomas Francis Darden II, the manager, president, and director of Industrial Heat, has concluded that Andrea Rossi’s Energy Catalyzer (E-Cat) claims are bogus, according to recent court filings.
Darden is also the founder and chief executive officer of the $2 billion private equity fund Cherokee Investment Partners, the parent company of Industrial Heat.
On Aug. 6, the law firm Jones Day, on behalf of Darden and his associates, filed a complaint against Rossi and his company Leonardo Corp. in federal court in Miami, accusing Rossi of fraudulent misrepresentations.
Rossi’s track record includes a string of failed energy ventures. He has served time in prison twice and been convicted of fraud. In one of his scams, called Petroldragon, he claimed he could turn industrial waste into fuel. It produced not one drop, instead leaching toxins into the groundwater in northern Italy.
In another scam, he told the U.S. Army that he could make thermoelectric generators that were superior to any other such device on the market. Rossi had claimed the devices would produce 800-1,000 Watts each. After the Army funded Rossi’s research, it learned that Rossi’s devices could produce only 1 Watt of power.
Despite this history, Darden and a dozen other investors gave Rossi an initial $11 million in the belief that Rossi had invented a low-energy nuclear reaction (LENR) power source that could produce excess heat at a rate of one megawatt. In the history of the field, no scientist has ever been able to repeatedly demonstrate excess heat at any level. Sporadically observed excess heat has been at the level of about 1 Watt.
Darden not only ignored Rossi’s past but also ignored the first New Energy Times Rossi investigation. In June 2011, I went to Italy, interviewed Rossi and filmed a demonstration of his copper-pipe contraption. Twenty-four hours later, New Energy Times reported serious concerns about how Rossi was measuring heat output. Six days later, I posted a video on YouTube.
In response to the video, experts from around the world sent technical and engineering analyses to New Energy Times, and I published their reports in July 2011. It was obvious then that Rossi’s claimed excess heat was a fraud.
Darden was still promoting Rossi in September 2015, according to an interview in Fortune magazine. Darden warned readers about shady operators in the field.
“Cold fusion has such a checkered past and is so filled with hypesters and people with a gold-rush, get-rich-quick mentality,” Darden said. “We need to be calm, prudent and not exaggerate.”
In October 2015, Darden told Triangle Business Journal reporter Lauren K. Ohnesorge that the reason for the controversy surrounding Rossi was that scientists didn’t understand how his contraption worked. Ohnesorge wrote that, despite what Darden characterized as “online attacks” against Rossi and Industrial Heat, Darden was still committed to investing in Rossi.
By March 2016, the relationship between Rossi and Industrial Heat had gone cold. (March 10, 2016, Industrial Heat’s E-Cat Exit; March 29, 2016, Industrial Heat Goes Cold on Rossi; April 6, 2016, Convicted Fraudster Rossi Accuses Licensee Industrial Heat of Fraud; April 8, 2016, Industrial Heat Says Goodbye to Rossi).
A month later, on April 4, 2016, New Energy Times published a report by Luca Gamberale, an independent LENR researcher, that exposed how Defkalion Green Technologies, a former affiliate of Rossi’s, used similar methods to deceive scientists and business professionals.
In the August 6, 2016, complaint, Darden and his associates wrote that Rossi’s device was never “independently validated by a scientifically reliable methodology to produce the energy” that Rossi claimed. Industrial Heat was never able to produce any measurable excess energy from Rossi’s device.
The complaint raises problems similar to the bait-and-switch tactic Rossi used when NASA visited him in September 2011. For example, the complaint says, “The validation protocol required the flow of heated fluid from the E-Cat reactors to be measured during the validation test. However, these measurements were not taken during the validation test. Furthermore, the validation protocol required that 24 consecutive hours of testing be done on Unit A. However, less than 24 consecutive hours of testing was done on Unit A. There are various other examples of the Validation Protocol not being followed during the validation test.”
The complaint also says that Rossi fabricated a business in Miami, Florida, to use the claimed heat produced by his device — along with a fictional employee — for the purpose of deceiving Industrial Heat. The complaint described the scam as “unconscionable and deceptive practices [which] are further evidence that the testing in Miami was nothing but a sham designed to create the illusion” that the E-Cat performed at the claimed levels.
The Jones Day attorneys say in the complaint that Rossi deceived representatives from Hydro Fusion, with whom he had a licensing agreement. Rossi wanted to get out of the agreement so he could be free to license his technology to Industrial Heat. Rossi explained to Darden what he did in a Sept. 10, 2012, e-mail.
“After receiving your last text at the end of August,” Rossi wrote, “I decided to go ahead with you, therefore I had to get rid of this engagement. The only way out was to invite them to a test, ask them to bring with them their consultant. I made the test abort, maintaining the temperatures below the starting limit. Then I made up some discussions, I said they made a wrong test, they escaped, I am free.”
Rossi was proud of how he manipulated Hydro Fusion to cancel the agreement with him, as he wrote to Darden.
“I got rid of the European big license I had to sign. I made a masterpiece making them go voluntarily,” Rossi wrote.
In other recent news, U.S. patent application (US20160225467) for a LENR power-generation device published on Aug. 4. Inventors Bernhard Kotzias, Ralf Schliwa and Jan van Toor, German scientists with Airbus Defence and Space GMBH, claim their LENR invention is based on room-temperature fusion and on principles “already put into practice by number of companies – Leonardo Corporation, Defkalion Green Technologies [and] Brillouin Energy.”