Convicted fraudster Barry Minkow launched The Fraud Institute a few years back. He takes publicly traded companies he believes are committing fraud and sends out press releases pointing out what he thinks are the issues. In many cases he’s also shorting the stock, betting it will go down.
The Woodlands-based InterOil has the misfortune of being one of his targets. Felix Salmon at Reuters notes the attention is getting under the skin of some folks at InterOil:
On Monday, Barry Minkow put out a press release accusing a NYSE-listed company, InterOil, of being “nothing more than hype”. InterOil has had a large short interest for some time, and it seems that Minkow touched a nerve, because InterOil’s senior manager for media relations, Susuve Laumaea, went borderline insane via email in response:
you are a gutless coward of the highest order, a jealous and envious SOB… You are a loser, a non-achiever and a sour-grape. Piss off you good for nothing… Do not be afraid on account of me being a descendant of cannibals … no, no, believe me, I will not cannibalise you or feed you to the swamp crocodiles…
you are known crook, conman, convicted felon, a psychopath and a pathological liar who is jealously envious… You have no sense of common decency. You are neither here nor there among the cream of decent God- fearing humanity. You are a scum of the earth, a creepy-crawlie who should have been locked away and the key thrown away too so that you rot away like the dung heap you are. You are a coward of the highest order… I can’t use you as crocodile feed because you are too poisonous … those alligators will die eating you, cooked or uncooked…
Who gave you the authority to investigate InterOil, you piece of shitty non-entity? You are nothing more than an internet pirate, a low-life manipulator who is out to profit by your dishonest, fraudulent, slanderous and cowardly methods. Up yours.
Well, the “convicted felon” bit is actually true, but in many ways that just makes Minkow more believable as an uncoverer of fraud. But somehow it’s not easy to trust a company which accuses its critics of being a “dung heap”, and tells them they are too poisonous to feed to crocodiles.
My dealings with InterOil have been limited, just one blog entry, and I have no profanity to report. They were plenty helpful.