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From: StockDung4/12/2008 3:53:38 PM
   of 121943
 
Libel is alleged Company targeted by Overstock to sue
Arizona research firm claims defamation by Utah-based retailer

By Steven Oberbeck
The Salt Lake Tribune
Salt Lake Tribune
Article Last Updated:04/11/2008 11:35:56 PM MDT

Overstock.com Inc., the Utah-based Internet retailer that sells discounted brand-name merchandise, is facing a libel action by the research company that it is suing for allegedly driving down its share price.
Gradient Analytics Inc., of Scottsdale, Ariz., intends to file a counterclaim early next week in the legal dispute that will claim it was defamed by Overstock.com and its Chief Executive Patrick Byrne after it issued research reports that questioned the Utah company's financial performance.
"Public companies cannot have license to libel research firms and use litigation to retaliate against analysts who are critical of their business," said Gradient Chief Executive Brad Frost in a statement announcing the legal action.
Overstock.com sued Gradient in 2005, claiming the research company issued false and misleading reports to help the New York Rocker Partners hedge fund profit from selling Overstock.com's stock short - a technique that gives investors and speculators a way to benefit when a company's share price declines.
A California state court judge, who is= overseeing the dispute, gave Gradient permission to file its legal actions as a counterclaim earlier this week. Gradient is now waiting only for the judge to sign the formal order clearing the way for the counterclaim to be filed with the court.
"We expect the order to be signed early next week," said Gradient spokeswoman Karen Hinton.
Jonathan Johnson, Overstock.com's chief legal officer, however, said Gradient's action is "bogus" and something that will be beaten easily.
"Truth is a defense, and we can back up everything we've said about them."
Byrne was far less circumspect in his statements.
"These bullies have spent 2 1/2 years hiding in the locker room to avoid having to back up their words," Byrne said. "Now that they've been dragged by their heels kicking and screaming into the ring, they bounce up and begin pounding their chests."
Overstock.com contends that Gradient colluded with the New York Rocker Partners hedge fund to drive down its share price from a high of $77.18 in January 2005. And it went on to claim Gradient's false and misleading reports damaged its reputation and made it more difficult for it to raise investment capital.
Yet in February 2007, after a 16-month investigation, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission sent Gradient a letter stating that its own investigation had been closed without any enforcement actions recommended.
"We are strong believers in free speech," Frost said. "We believe our work serves an important function in the efficiencies and information flow in the equity markets. But the comments of Overstock and its CEO are of a different sort of flavor entirely."
Overstock.com's shares closed Friday at $13.16, up 35 cents for the day.
steve@sltrib.com


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From: StockDung4/12/2008 4:04:32 PM
   of 121943
 
Lawsuit accuses Bear Stearns of fraud

A Beverly Hills billionaire says the firm, an employee and a broker misled him and his wife into buying stock as the company faltered.

By Thomas S. Mulligan and Tom Petruno, Los Angeles Times Staff Writers
April 12, 2008

Beverly Hills billionaire H. Roger Wang has accused Bear Stearns Cos. of duping him and his wife into buying 150,000 shares of the struggling brokerage's stock -- including 100,000 shares on March 14, the day that federal officials first intervened to keep the firm from tumbling into bankruptcy.

The lawsuit is one of many legal actions spawned by the near-collapse of the venerable Wall Street firm. Wang, who operates high-end retail stores in China, is seeking $10 million in damages.

The suit, filed Thursday, claims that Wang and his wife agreed to pay $6.56 million for the stock at prices ranging from $71.96 to $33.44 a share from March 6 to March 14.

Wang says Bear on March 18 illegally liquidated the account that held the stock after Wang and his wife refused to send in unpaid balances on their orders.

The liquidation value of the stock, according to the suit: $947,324 after expenses, or $6.32 a share.

The complaint, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, alleges fraud and breach of fiduciary duty. It names as defendants Bear Stearns, broker Joey Zhou and Garrett Bland, a senior managing director in Bear's Century City office.

Neither Zhou nor Bland returned calls for comment Friday. A spokesman at Bear Stearns' New York headquarters declined to comment.

The 59-year-old Wang, who has a net worth of $1.3 billion by Forbes magazine's reckoning, grew up in Taiwan and immigrated to the U.S. in 1971. In 1992, early in China's boom, he founded a real estate development firm called Golden Eagle International Group in the city of Nanjing. The centerpiece of his empire now is department stores.

Golden Eagle generated more than $1 billion in revenue last year, and analysts who follow the company say it has strong cash flow and is looking for merger and acquisition opportunities. Even so, Golden Eagle's stock, traded in Hong Kong, has languished in a lackluster market.

Wang, who has a home in Beverly Hills, spends about five months each year in the U.S. and the rest of the time in China. He couldn't immediately be reached for comment about the lawsuit.

In the suit, Wang says that he and his wife, Vivine, became customers of Bear in 1993 and that Zhou became their broker.

In February, the suit says, Roger Wang decided he wanted to buy shares of San Marino-based East West Bancorp. Vivine Wang called Zhou, according to the suit, and the broker set up an account in her name to use for the stock purchases. The suit doesn't explain why a new account was needed.

Roger Wang bought 50,000 shares of East West from March 3 to March 6. And beginning March 6, the suit says, he also started buying shares in Bear, and continued to do so even as rumors began to hit Wall Street that the company was having funding problems.

On March 11, according to the suit, Wang went to a lunch meeting at Bear's Century City office. The suit alleges that Bland told Wang that "Bear Stearns was financially sound, that its stock value should be at least $85 per share, and that now was a great time to invest in the stock."

On Friday, March 14, while Bear stock was plummeting from $57 to $30 amid rumors that it might fail, Wang put in an order to buy an additional 200,000 shares, relying in part on Bland's "favorable recommendations," the suit says.

Amid the day's wild trading, Wang -- who says he was scheduled to fly out of the country that day and was unaware of the latest news on Bear -- got just 100,000 shares.

Two days later Bear agreed to an emergency buyout by JPMorgan Chase & Co. at $2 a share, a price later raised to about $10.

Wang says when he learned of the "devastating news" of the buyout price, he refused to pay for his final orders of Bear stock. The brokerage, he alleges, then liquidated the account March 18 "without any authority, right or consent."

The Wangs allege that Zhou, Bland and other unnamed defendants "concealed highly relevant information about Bear Stearns, including specifically its extremely poor and disastrous financial condition."

Wang also says Bear Stearns wrongly provided him and his wife "with standardized paperwork that incorrectly purported to assert that Bear Stearns was not providing the Wangs with any investment advice." The suit does not say whether the Wangs signed the forms.

Wang's lawyer, William A. Stahr of Santa Ana, did not return calls for comment. It was not clear why Wang went to court because brokerage customers typically agree to handle disputes in arbitration.

thomas.mulligan@

latimes.com tom.petruno@latimes.com Times staff writer Don Lee in Shanghai contributed to this report.

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From: anniebonny4/12/2008 6:49:46 PM
   of 121943
 
Accounting - Shane Traveller style....

search Sequoia International

clerk.co.sarasota.fl.us

An example of what is happening - from AERP 10Q filings:

sec.gov

On November 7, 2007, the Company agreed to a court-ordered settlement for payment on services previously rendered by a director of the Company valued at $80,000. The director had previously sold the services contract to a third party who then sought payment and brought an action against the Company in the 12th Circuit Court in Sarasota, Florida. Under the terms of the settlement, the Company issued a total of 72,700,000 shares of common stock. As a result, the Company recorded settlement costs of $318,850 which represented the difference between the fair value of the shares issued and the value of the debt obligation.

****************
Now bear in mind many of the companies listed in those lawsuits in Florida do business with Javelin Advisory Group. Shane Traveller at one time (still?) was 50% owner of Javelin.
There is a well connected group that have been playing a game of rotating CEO through numerous r/m they have arranged.

Since the shares are not restricted you can only imagine what typically happens - Dilution and r/s.
*******************
Is there such a thing as a friendly win win lawsuit? Except that shareholders are not part of the win win?
***************
I am not an accountant - but does this seem right???

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To: anniebonny who wrote (103300)4/12/2008 11:09:01 PM
From: anniebonny
   of 121943
 
Search Sequoia International

I think that was a bad link before:
clerk.co.sarasota.fl.us

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To: StockDung who wrote (103257)4/12/2008 11:19:57 PM
From: James Workman
   of 121943
 
NATIONWIDE COMMERCIAL FINANCIAL GROUP LLC
Florida Limited Liability Company

Filing Information
Document Number L07000105712
FEI Number NONE
Date Filed 10/18/2007
State FL
Status ACTIVE
Effective Date 10/17/2007

Principal Address
7491 N. FEDERAL HIGHWAY C-5 324
BOCA RATON FL 33487
Mailing Address
7491 N. FEDERAL HIGHWAY C-5 324
BOCA RATON FL 33487
Registered Agent Name & Address
TOMASI, ANTHONY JR.
7491 N. FEDERAL HIGHWAY C-5 324
BOCA RATON FL 33487 US
Manager/Member Detail
Name & Address
Title MGRM
TOMASSO, KATHLEEN
7491 N. FEDERAL HIGHWAY C-5 324
BOCA RATON FL 33487
Title MGR
TOMASSO, ANTHONY
7491 N. FEDERAL HIGHWAY C-5 324
BOCA RATON FL 33487
Annual Reports
No Annual Reports Filed
Document Images
10/18/2007 -- Florida Limited Liability



How To Contact Us

By Phone: (561) 347-2228 (Office)
By Fax: (561)393-3969 or additional fax (561) 393-3970
Toll Free: 1-877-340-2228
Address: Nationwide Commercial Financial Group, LLC
4400 N. Federal Highway; Suite 301
Boca Raton, FL 33431

TRANSATLANTIC COMMERCIAL FINANCIAL LLC
TRANSATLANTIC MORTGAGE FUNDING LLC
TRANSATLANTIC FUNDING GROUP LLC
NATIONWIDE COMMERCIAL GROUP LLC
A.J.T.M. FINANCIAL GROUP LLC
NATIONWIDE COMMERCIAL GROUP LLC
VINTAGE EQUITY FUND LLC
KRKA L.L.C.
K.R.K.A. REALTY INC.
(D.B.A.) SUCCESS REALTY INC
T & T EQUITY LLC
FEDERAL INVESTMENTS LLC
NEWKIRK INVESTMENTS INC
GLOBAL MANAGED FINANCIAL LLC
71ST ST HOLDINGS LLC
ANTHONY TOMASSO (a.k.a) 561 347 2228
ANTHONY J. TOMASI Sr.
ANTHONY J. TOMASI Jr.
KATHLEEN TOMASSO
Being diligent in your research of these people could save you time and money. The name changes, companies opened and closed to blow out the lien positions of people defrauded and a track record of deceit. If you are having trouble locating these individuals for service of court documents the address located in the Palm Beach Property Appraisers web site:
(TOMASSO VENTURES LLC) is 749 North East 71st St, Boca Raton, FL 33487.
If you have no luck with that address try this one 491 Racquet Club Rd, (Suite 103) Weston, FL 33326.
Information for research purposes:

Florida Department of Corporations Search Engine (http://www.sunbiz.org/index.html)

Florida Office of Financial Regulation (http://www.flofr.com/licensing/licensecheck.htm)

Individual (Name) Search in the FL Office of Regulation
(https://cf.fldfs.com/pubinqry/pub1/individuals.cfm)

The State of Florida recommends this site (http://www.finra.org/index.htm)
Palm Beach Clerk of the Court (http://www.pbcountyclerk.com/oris/records_home.html)
The last web site I recommend is the FBI tips web page. (https://tips.fbi.gov/)
Nationwide Commercial Financial Group, LLC
4400 N. Federal Highway Suite 301
Boca Raton, FL 33431
Phone: (561) 347-2228 Toll Free: 877-340-2228 Fax: (561)206-6179
Offices in: Tampa, FL Miami, FL Jacksonville, FL Chicago, IL

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From: StockDung4/14/2008 10:39:55 AM
   of 121943
 
Darrel T. Uselton & Mark Faulks "The Owners Group, Inc" team up to promote penny stock for BIG BUCKS.

sec.gov

On September 8 and 27, 2005 the Company issued 60,000 shares and 40,000 shares to B&B Marketing Communications, pursuant to a consulting services agreement. Also on September 27, the Company issued 1,000,000 shares to the Owners Group, Inc. pursuant to a Consulting Services Agreement.

On December 8 and 12, 2005, pursuant to a consulting services agreement with OTC Services, Inc., the Company issued 1,400,000 shares to OTC Services, Inc. and 1,400,000 shares to Darrel T. Uselton.

AMERICAN SECURITY RESOURCES CORPORATION 10KSB/A 1 form10ksba.htm FORM 10K SBA

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Texans Charged With Using Botnet In Pump-And-Dump Scheme

An investigation was launched after the two Texans allegedly sent one of their spammed e-mail messages to an SEC lawyer, who became interested in the case.

By Sharon Gaudin
InformationWeek
July 10, 2007 12:44 PM

The Texas attorney general charged two men with running a pump-and-dump spam scam that defrauded investors out of more than $4.6 million.
On Monday, Darrel Uselton, 40, of Katy, Texas, and his uncle, Jack Uselton, 69, of Houston, face organized criminal activity and money laundering charges, along with securities fraud charges. Both men, who were indicted on July 3 by a Harris County grand jury, still are the subject of an ongoing investigation being conducted by several states and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Both men are accused of using a nationwide botnet of hijacked computers to distribute the spam. The investigation reportedly began after an SEC lawyer received one of the fraudulent e-mails at work.

Darrel Uselton was arrested and is being held in Harris County Jail in lieu of $8 million bond. An arrest warrant has been issued for Jack Uselton.

"Investors will not tolerate scam artists who use the Internet to illegally manipulate stock prices," Attorney General Greg Abbott said in a written statement. "Together with several states and the SEC, we have uncovered an elaborate scheme to defraud unwitting investors. The Office of the Attorney General will aggressively prosecute market manipulators, spammers and con artists whose illegal schemes defraud unsuspecting citizens."

For the past several months, security professionals have been warning about the burgeoning number of pump-and-dump e-mail schemes that are buffeting the Internet. Pump-and-dump refers to potentially fraudulent spam that hypes small-company stocks with phrases like "Ready to Explode," "Ride the Bull," and "Fast Money." The spammers invest in these generally low-cost stocks before the spam campaign begins. Once people are duped into buying the stocks, the share prices go up and the spammers sell off and cash in. The sell-offs, though, usually drive the stock prices down, and the other investors lose their shirts.

The Useltons reaped millions in illegal profits by promoting shares from at least 13 penny stock companies, according to information released by the Attorney General's Office. The suspects then allegedly secretly sold those stocks into an artificially active market they created with manipulative trading schemes, spam campaigns, direct mailers, and Internet-based promotional activities.

The Attorney General's Office reported that its investigators seized more than $4.2 million from the Useltons' bank accounts.

"Unfortunately for the SEC, pump-and-dump spam campaigns don't seem likely to go away any time soon," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, in a written statement. "The use of compromised networks of computers to spread these illegal spam messages can result in quick fortunes for the scammers, and can have serious detrimental effects on the stock involved. But it seems that these criminals were in such a rush to make their millions that they forget to pay any attention to which e-mail addresses were being spammed and in the end, this looks likely to be their downfall."

In March, the SEC suspended trading on 35 companies that had been touted in recent spam campaigns. The trading suspensions -- the most ever aimed at spammed companies -- were ordered because of questions regarding the adequacy and accuracy of information about the companies, according to an advisory put out by the SEC.

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From: StockDung4/14/2008 11:46:24 AM
   of 121943
 
SEC Wins Case against Hair Removal Scammers

By Aaron Seward
April 14, 2008

A federal court has entered final judgments against two men for their part in a fraudulent securities deal involving a hair-removal company that raised $11 million from 65 investors.

The SEC originally charged Jeffrey Schmidt and Gary Gelnette in 2005. Its complaint claimed the men lied to investors while raising money for Skin Nuvo International, a skin care and laser hair removal company they co-owned. Skin Nuvo was a retail chain that operated in shopping malls throughout California, Nevada, and the Pacific Northwest.

The court gave Schmidt and Gelnette ten days to pay disgorgement plus prejudgment interest of $11,061,855. In addition, the court ordered Schmidt to pay $1,000,000 and Gelnette to pay $500,000 in civil penalties. The final judgments follow an order entered by the court on July 16, 2007, granting the SEC’s motion for summary judgment against the two men.

The Commission’s complaint alleges that between 2002 and 2004, Schmidt and Gelnette sold interests in approximately 36 Skin Nuvo stores, offering investors profits of between 30% and 40%, and claiming they would reap their profits in 12 to 14 months. Investors believed the money put up would be used to build new retail locations and investors would reap a percentage of each store’s profits, the complaint claims.

But those were all lies, said the SEC. And according to the complaint, Schmidt and Gelnette used the money invested not to build new stores, but to prop up their failing business.

While the sales pitch stated that investors were putting their money in particular stores, Schmidt and Gelnette actually used it to pay the operating costs of their existing locations. By September 2004, Nuvo had raised approximately $4 million from investors whose stores were never built, said the SEC.

The SEC said that Schmidt acted as Skin Nuvo’s primary executive and sales man, but Gelnette also got involved in the deceptive selling. For example, Gelnette, a former pastor, helped raise $1.35 million from a former parishioner. He also sold Skin Nuvo securities to his ex-wife.

Schmidt and Gelnette also operated their business like a Ponzi scheme, paying earlier investors returns with money from new investors. The duo also allegedly falsified investment reports. When a statement did not meet projections, claimed the complaint, Schmidt and Gelnette would simply change it.

Even while their company was going down the drain Schmidt and Gelnette continued to conduct business as though everything was fine. They did not tell investors about Skin Nuvo’s dire financial condition and Schmidt managed to pay himself more than $680,000 and Gelnette approximately $260,000.

In order to hide what was happening from investors, stated the complaint, Skin Nuvo maintained 51% interest in each store and thus remained in control of management and operation. In fact, said the SEC, Schmidt and Gelnette sought out passive investors and discouraged them from getting involved in the stores.

Skin Nuvo went bankrupt in 2005. Goldin Capital Management, L.P., a New York-based private equity firm, acquired the company’s assets in a $15-million bankruptcy auction and re-branded the skin care salons as Lumity(TM).

The Commission’s original complaint also implicated Norman Valine, Skin Nuvo’s Chief Operating Officer, in the offering scheme. The court did not, however, name Valine in its final judgments.

Have a comment? Let us know what you think of this or another CCH Wall Street story by clicking here.

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From: SamAntar4/15/2008 8:59:31 AM
   of 121943
 
Donn Vickery Fights Back!

washingtontimes.com

Submitted by:

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

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From: SamAntar4/15/2008 9:12:35 AM
   of 121943
 
Byrne Takes a Counterpunch

"Beyond avoiding dismissal, Overstock has seen little success, and the SEC closed its investigation of Gradient over a year ago. Now Gradient is going to countersue Overstock and Byrne for defamation."

"As I've said before, the "Litigation Road to Success" business model is at best highly questionable and should be avoided (Ask Darl McBride.). If your company is bleeding cash, your time is better spent fixing your company, not riding off on crusades."

More:

businesslawspot.blogspot.com

Kindest regards,

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

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From: StockDung4/15/2008 11:46:54 AM
   of 121943
 
Wachovia's California nightmare
The 2006 purchase of Golden West has saddled the bank with a problem of growing proportions.

By Roddy Boyd, writer
Last Updated: April 14, 2008: 3:46 PM EDT

NEW YORK (Fortune) -- Wachovia investors are paying through the nose for the bank's ill-advised California gold rush.

Shareholders in Charlotte, N.C.-based Wachovia (WB, Fortune 500) were rocked Monday by a nasty one-two punch: a sudden (and dilutive) sale of common and convertible preferred stock, and the bank's first quarterly loss since 2001. Wachovia swung to a $350 million loss in the first quarter, reversing the year-ago $1.2 billion profit, as the bank posted weak numbers across its businesses. The breadth of the bank's losses stunned Wall Street, sending shares down 10%.

Though Wall Street was rife with whispers in recent weeks of a possible writedown at Wachovia, Monday's investor presentation makes for some sober reading. Among many other things, the bank took a $2 billion charge for "market-disruption" losses in the quarter, including a surprisingly high $729 million for unfunded loans and leveraged finance positions. Wachovia also took a $2.8 billion provision to cover credit-related losses.

The most compelling reading, however, concerns the former Golden West Financial, which Wachovia acquired in 2006 for $24.6 billion. And by "compelling," we mean cringe-inducing.

Golden West was a leading issuer of so-called option adjusted rate mortgages (ARMs) - loans that give borrowers the right to pay less than the full bill - with a portfolio now valued at roughly $120 billion. Wachovia's holdings of those loans are getting painful: Wachovia said its reserve for possible loan losses on Golden West's portfolio of Pick-a-Pay variable rate mortgages surged in the latest quarter to $1.1 billion, while late payments nearly doubled to 3.1% of the portfolio.

While a possible $1.1 billion loss hardly seems newsworthy in this era of multibillion writedowns, the fact that 58% of Wachovia's option ARM portfolio is based in California is problematic. Independent research boutique CreditSights argues that a new computer model put into use for Wachovia's risk management is implying losses of between 7% and 8% for the Pick-a-Pay portfolio. That could mean another $2 billion of potential losses. The bank estimated that 14% of the loans appeared to have negative equity, or loan-to-value percentages of greater than 100.

To be sure, Wachovia has avoided the high-profile meltdowns sustained by Bear Stearns (BSC, Fortune 500), which was sold last month to JPMorgan Chase (JPM, Fortune 500), and Citi (C, Fortune 500) and Merrill Lynch (MER, Fortune 500), both of which ousted their CEOs late last year after disclosing massive losses on mortgage-backed securities. Wachovia's chief executive, G. Kennedy Thompson, appeared contrite, telling investors that he was "deeply disappointed" by the bank's quarterly performance.

But last year, Kennedy was sounding optimistic. "We feel confident about the superior credit quality of our mortgage portfolio, the prospects for cross-selling our product set in Golden West markets, and originating Pick-a-Pay mortgages through traditional Wachovia channels," Kennedy told investors on last April's first-quarter conference call.

The bitter irony here is that, while option ARMs can be problematic for both the consumer and the mortgage holder in a housing collapse, Golden West was almost universally held to be the most conservative and ethical underwriter in that marketplace. CreditSights said calls Wachovia's management "top-flight," but says bank management was caught "off-guard" by the housing market's rapid collapse.

As bank investors are painfully aware by now, Wachovia executives aren't the only ones caught flat-footed in this market.

First Published: April 14, 2008: 2:24 PM EDT
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Wachovia's big mortgage buy
The smart money saves WaMu
What Warren thinks...







Find this article at:
money.cnn.com

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