So — Not That I Really Care, But Since Marty May Never Sell Investment Advice Again…

…it strikes me [over a bowl of sweetly firm, darkly-fleshed Michigan cherries, tonight!] that the central reason his surrogate-curated blog has gone dark / private… is financial.

No — this is not primarily the result of some “middle school drama sh!t“, among the people who read / run that blog — is my guess….

Let us [again, reasonably] posit that he is nearly out of funds — on all fronts.

Let us safely assume his appeal never reaches the Supremes’ docket, for argument. Thus his convictions stand. His forfeitures… likewise stand. His lifetime bans from the securities and investing business communities will also… stand.

Now, if all he wanted to do was preserve his cult of personality / vanity project, he’d want to make his musings as easily accessible to his [at one time; no longer] more than 90,000 followers… as possible. If all he wanted was “follows”… he’d stay wide open — no membership screening process.

If, on the other hand, he and his surrogates ultimately hope to cultivate a roster of potential investing leads — ones his surrogates could simply bundle up, and sell to say a TD Ameritrade, or StockPile, more plausibly… he’d want as much detail as he can get, on each reader.

Personally, I think it a regulatory impossibility that any SEC and FINRA licensed entity could lawfully buy the list, outright — even if it were offered solely by / from his surrogates.

But there might be a non-scrupulous buyer [like HC Wainwright, for example] out there, that might be willing to do it, on the sneak.

Truthfully though, the more likely path to monetizing… will be selling ads — to the registered readers on a per impression basis. To make real money, the surrogates will need to show that these are people who actually buy stuff. Not just bots, in Russia, or the Ukraine — and are not seven to eleven year old girls [or boys] — with a crush on.

So — having perhaps 10,000 to 20,000 real IDs… makes the ad sales / buys more worthwhile, as a small side biz — for the surrogates. But Marty cannot touch any of that money, under standing SEC rules.

So I end where I started: this is a move to let his loyalist surrogates make some money off his notoriety — before he is completely forgotten by the world. And over 40 — as a just-released ex-con felon.

There you have it. These are just… my guesses. [But they should be yours, too. ;->]

G’night….

I Guess I Should Add — This Means The Wu “Shaolin” Recording… Finally Belongs [For Now] To The Government

Mr. Baker [on behalf of Mr. Shekreli, as appellate counsel], is being quoted today in the MSM as saying while they are “disappointed“, they don’t really see any basis for additional appeals, or a rehearing en banc. We may confidently say there is no question worthy of Supreme Court certorari — not as argued in the Second Circuit.

So — to a near certainty, this ends the courtroom portions of the saga… of Mr. Shkreli’s crimes. It also ends his ability to forestall the forfeitures — including the enigmatic Shaolin / Staten Island1 CD. [Though we earlier learned that the Turing designed “Enigma” machine, itself, was sold by New York state officials, for overdue NY state taxes — last year — to a private buyer.]

It would be typical that the US Marshals would receive instructions to auction the illiquid assets [like the said “Once Upon A Time In Shaolin” CD]. At a public auction, the Wu CD would most likely generate a more fulsome monetary recovery, for the US taxpayers [he owes these forfeitures], than would obtain at a private auction.

So… I would expect in the coming months, we will see a public notice — setting processes, along with auction dates and times.

We shall see. Perhaps the Clan will be able to buy it back — at something well under the $2 million [it is claimed] Marty paid for it.

Onward, and g’night….

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1. It is widely understood that the use of the word Shaolin [in the CD’s title] refers to… Staten Island. You may google the rest, if you are curious.

YAWN. Well — That Was… Quick. No Surprise: Marty Lost On His Appeal. Will Do ALL His Time.

In under twenty elapsed days [five of which were the Fourth holiday weekend, to boot], the Second Circuit has rendered its formal opinion: Marty’s appeal was without merit:

“…[T]he district court found that he misappropriated large sums of the money invested in his funds for his own use. As such, we see no clear error in the district court’s conclusion that, at the very least, the gains to Shkreli include the money he caused his investors to invest via fraud. Cf. Appendix 376 (“[T]he proceeds [Shkreli] obtained as a result of his misrepresentations enabled him to control millions of dollars that were used to fund and enable the success of Retrophin, pay his personal debts and expenses, and perpetuate additional frauds.”) We have considered Shkreli’s remaining arguments and find them to be without merit.

Accordingly, we AFFIRM the judgment of the district court….”

Oh — and he is very likely to owe the government for the costs of his “meritless” appeal.

[This may explain why his surrogate blog went “invitation only” as of this week.]

Onward. Ever… onward, into a steaming hot summer storm, here.

Of Broader Eighth Amendment Concerns, In The Florence Colorado Super Max…

Okay. We all know Marty clearly got a much better deal — is doing a much easier bid. Marty did not commit anything remotely resembling El Chapo’s crimes. El Chapo was a truly life-long repugnant serial killer for profit.

Even so, as he is finally sentenced today, in New York [now confirmed: likely to life without parole, most-likely in the notorious Florence Colorado Super Max facility]… I will note for the record my continuing belief that the isolation imposed in Florence, along with the extremely harsh conditions — violates our Eighth Amendment. No outsider is likely to ever see him again, in the flesh. And very few fellow prisoners inside Florence will, either.

Marty endured isolation for perhaps three or four weeks.

El Chapo will never escape it — for as long as he lives. Which, research suggests, will only be about 20 more years. He will die young, the research suggests, due to the mental strain of rarely ever seeing other human beings [not even guards]; of never interacting with peers, in any prison yard.

When he does die, he almost certainly will have been long ago driven textbook/as-clinically-defined insane — by the isolation.

No visitors; no media interviews; no internet. He will just be… gone.

Yes, I do think we as a nation should heed Alexis Charles Henri Clérel, Viscount de Tocqueville’s long ago advice.

State-sanctioned vengeance is never appropriate — and this, today an ocean beyond… simple justice. He is now literally the “Man in the Iron Mask.”

I’ll stop there.

[U] Define Irony: A Man Locked Away From Society, Makes His Writings Inaccessible… Except “By Invite Only”

Some days, this stuff just writes… itself.

I did jot down Marty’s latest tweaks, to his mythical portfolio, as of last week. Spoiler alert: he is still losing gobs of money. But we are now… persona non gratis.

And so, henceforth, we will only track his “historical” frozen portfolio — as he has preciously made his surrogate blog an… invite only affair.

I’ll never apply to any club that would have ME… as a member.

I am… deeply hurt here.

Or. Not. So. Much.

Oh. Almost forgot — Evan Greebel’s oral argument, in the Second Circuit on appeal, is now [as of last night] scheduled for the week of October fifteenth… and UPDATED: we may have a decision by then, we now know, on Marty’s appeal: He lost. Completely. Just as we predicted.

Namaste — and onward.

No Graphics. As Once Again, Mr. Shkreli May Be… Finding Himself.

As I did the last time, he impressed me…

I’ll once again — without additional ornamentation or comment — just suggest the you go read his thoughts posted by surrogate, today.

In particular, pay attention to his longish thoughts on the keeping of a positive attitude — while locked away.

Again — (if genuinely his own thoughts)… the remarks reflect some appreciable… growth — as a person.

G’night — onward, now — to a better tomorrow.

On Walter Pavlo — Do Please Remember What This Guy Is… Selling, At His “Other” Day Job.

A gent wrote this week at Forbes, about Mr. Shkreli’s chances on appeal. He gets the most important fact wrong, then fails to note that even if he were right about that supposed fact, the law in the Second Circuit says — as to securities fraud matters (Count Eight), that supposed fact is specifically NOT a defense. [What I wouldn’t give… for competent fact checkers, at Forbes. Whatevs — here it is, gratis, Forbes.]

In sum, this Pavlo guy’s supposed “fact” is… irrelevant, under the applicable federal case law.

Now, in addition to being wrong about the law, the guy [huge surprise!] makes a living consulting in white collar crime settings — he thus is often in the business of selling hope to the [mostly] hopeless.

Once the federal government [here, the DoJ and AUSAs] decide to move forward with formal felony securities fraud charges, which is after a sealed grand jury indictment — it is unusual for a defendant to win an complete acquittal. Given its limited resources, the feds usually bring only the clearest cases — the ones where they’ve got the perp cold. Most perps then plead out/settle — and this guy makes a living giving them hope — until they get very near trial, then he helps them see the wisdom of a plea deal / settling. [Just watch what goes down on Elizabeth Holmes — as an example of this: my prediction — this is his commercial to get invited onto her team.]

Mr. Shkreli was foolish to take this one to trial — but here is the most disingenuous bit of the Forbes piece:

“…One note about Shkreli, no investors lost money. [Ed. Note: that is manifestly false; see below.] They may not have received the whole truth from Shkreli, but they made money and that should count for something… and certainly not count against him….”

Okay. Let’s unpack (in order of importance): (i) Shkreli stole lots of real money from his investors. The public shareholders of Retrophin were ALSO his “investors” — they lost perhaps $60 to $90 million (all in), and he owed them the same duty as the ones who lost everything in MSMB ventures (but he only repaid a few of the MSMB investors, and he did so by stealing securities from Retrophin); (ii) the controlling case law specifically states, in the Second Circuit [NY ED] at least, that “no ultimate loss” cannot be a defense to securities fraud… so this Pavlo guy is 100 percent wrong on the law]; and (iii) not receiving the whole truth is quite a euphemism for faking years worth of positive return account statements — when in fact, the funds were destitute, and at certain times owed other brokers funds far in excess of whatever had been invested.

It is all of little moment, now, as Shkreli’s conviction will be upheld on appeal by Christmas.

But the object lesson is to always figure out what the guy writing (because it is usually a guy, offering these egregious lapses)… is selling, before you take to heart what he is saying.

Namaste — back to the beach, by bike now….