'Heart of Darkness' Redux: Comverse CEO Found Hiding in Sri Lankan Fishing Village

Aug.25.06 | About: Comverse Tech (CMVT)

I hardly know where to start with this nutty story, so I'll just let the facts speak for themselves.

kobi alexander

An Israeli newspaper reported Thursday that Kobi Alexander, the voicemail technology fugitive wanted in the U.S. on stock option manipulation charges, has escaped to a small fishing village in Sri Lanka.

But wait, there's more: Alexander, the head of U.S.-based voicemail firm Comverse Technology (NASDAQ:CMVT), ran for it, but not before transferring $57-million to an Israeli bank account. It took a private investigator hired by an unnamed U.S. venture capital firm to track Alexander down. How? Apparently via "an Internet phone call" made by the Sri Lanka-hiding CEO.

I love this story, with its cross-pollinated combination of Heart of Darkness and VCs Gone Wild. Watch as Kobi Alexander plays Colonel Kurtz and sails upriver, ever upriver, deeper into the jungle, all the way to Negombo, Sri Lanka, to... avoid a vengeful VC and stock option fraud charges. Okay, it's admittedly nowhere near as metaphysically deep as Conrad's version, but you have to concede it's entertaining.

CMVT 1-yr chart:

CMVT 1-yr chart