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Harry Beck

 
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  • $1.50 Target Price for Life Partners Holdings: Ponzi Scheme, Catch-22 or Both? [View article]
    It isn't looking good for LPHI. A federal court judge nailed Life Partners, Pardo and Peden for a collective $47 million. LPI will pay back $15 million in illegal profits. The civil penalty is $23.7. Brian Pardo's penalty is $6.2 million & Scott Peden's is $2 million.

    I can see a going concern opinion coming from the tiny two office accounting/audit firm since there isn't enough cash left to cover the illegal profits, let alone everything else. Of course, Pardo can cover his nut with the dividends he collected (that went offshore into the family trust) at a time when the company was CFFO negative.

    Will the company appeal? Don't hold your breath for an 8K filing about the matter.
    Dec 3, 2014. 12:42 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is This The End Of Life Partners Holdings? [View article]
    It isn't looking good for LPHI. A federal court judge nailed Life Partners, Pardo and Peden for a collective $47 million. LPI will pay back $15 million in illegal profits. This civil penalty is $23.7. Brian Pardo's penalty is $6.2 million & Scott Peden's is $2 million.

    I can see a going concern opinion coming since there is no cash left to cover the penalties. Of course, Pardo can cover his nut with the dividends he collected (that went offshore into the family trust) at a time when the company was CFFO negative.

    Will the company appeal? Don't hold your breath for an 8K filing about the matter.
    Dec 3, 2014. 12:32 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is This The End Of Life Partners Holdings? [View article]
    wAcKY wAco,

    $1.19 as I write this!

    So, when does this become a going concern? That trust investment the promoters claimed would save the company went belly-up and is off the balance sheet forever. The cash is almost gone, with an amazing percentage of it going directly to the founder's offshore family trust in the form of dividends at a time when the company has negative CFFO. The company is trying to get cash from all those fractional policyholders--something they thought would never happen--to manage their interests, but could that be a post transaction entrepreneurial effort? Perhaps an attorney will chime in on that one.

    Things are looking badly for Life Partners. I believe the demise of this company rest squarely on the shoulders of management, because if management used an appropriate LE the fractional investors would be making money, investing more, and referring others. Instead, fractional investors are getting bills--a "Platform Service Charge"-- to manage the billing of investments that haven't performed as expected. In theory, thousands of investors paying all that money on all those policies will give the company more time to operate. The fractional policyholders will likely hire counsel and fight this, claiming there is no contractual basis for the charge since the fees they paid up front were considered by many to be "all inclusive."

    The company has also instituted a new method of gathering income that some believe is self-dealing from fiduciary perspective:

    "During the second half of fiscal 2014, we began acquiring and reselling defaulted positions, as provided in the policy funding agreement. A portion of these policies was resold to Paget Holdings Limited, which is affiliated with the Pardo Family Trust, of which Deborah Carr, our Vice President of Administration, is the beneficiary. Deborah Carr is the daughter of Brian Pardo, our Chairman and CEO. In fiscal 2014, we received $642,651 of recovered premiums and $1,276,752 of fee income in sales to Paget. Paget paid the same fixed percentage paid by other third parties. In fiscal 2014, the aggregate above mentioned sales generated fee income of $2,314,888, net of premium reimbursements, and premium reimbursements of $950,109."

    Some of us always wondered, "What was the exit strategy when it became obvious the Cassidy LE did not reflect reality? Some believe there was no strategy, and others seem to think it was stripping the company of cash in the form of salaries and dividends. The promoters of the stock seemed to think the trust would have bailed out the company. I don't know what the answer is, but do believe LPHI is close to being a going concern. We'll see what that tiny audit firm thinks soon enough.
    Nov 20, 2014. 12:29 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Did Herbalife Executives Conspire To Commit Mail Fraud? [View article]
    The problem is the the FBI won't comment and HLF issued a statement denying any knowledge of a probe. Even if there were a probe, it is possible HLF would not know about it early on until the agents in the cheap suits knocked on their door. The other problem is that these probes take years, not months. This isn't collapsing anytime soon...certainly not this year.
    Apr 14, 2014. 11:40 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 7 Questions For Plug Power Investors [View article]
    They are choosing this company because they are willing to sell their product for a loss! It is really that simple. Tax credits are off in under two years.
    Apr 14, 2014. 11:29 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Plug Power's Recent Drop Is A Great Opportunity [View article]
    And this negative FCF is with their customers having tax credits, which will disappear in under two years. What the longs don't get is that, at some point, the company needs to make money.
    Apr 14, 2014. 11:25 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • NQ Mobile Posts Mixed Results, Guides Q1 And FY14 Higher: So Was The Drop Justified? [View article]
    Actually, some of these companies make up numbers all the time. The Chinese RTO scams are legendary. This is not racism, but fact. China has fewer security laws, much less enforcement than in the US (and ours is poor), and a lot more people. As in the USA, fraud is ubiquitous. Once discovered, the questions are: 1) What is the best and safest way to short these companies; and 2) What is the end game that management is attempting to run? Sometimes, it is to steal through other entities controlled by family members. With HRBN, the end game was a big surprise. The shorts were right, but they can sometimes lose being right if they get the end game wrong or it the stock don't crack fast enough.
    Apr 14, 2014. 11:16 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • NQ Mobile's Ugly And Highly Questionable Earnings [View article]
    This is the point. There is too much that cannot be explained, and will likely NEVER be explained unless the numbers were never real to begin with. That is the only explanation:The numbers were never real to begin with.
    Apr 14, 2014. 11:01 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • NQ Mobile's Ugly And Highly Questionable Earnings [View article]
    The question isn't if there is likely financial fraud. We can thank Muddy Waters and the author of this article for taking care of that issue. The question is how to play this on the downside. As always, someone writes a damning article (or several) about a company's possible business or accounting fraud, and the idiot analysts with firms looking for investment banking or other business still have "BUY" or "HOLD" ratings with price targets based on models that assume the stated numbers are not fabricated. The good news is that the stock has plenty of room to drop. The bad news is that there will always be long analysts and investors that cannot accept they are wrong. So, how is everyone playing this on the short side?
    Apr 14, 2014. 10:58 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Plug Power's Recent Drop Is A Great Opportunity [View article]
    The problem with Seeking Alpha is that it is a magnet for pumpers trying to get a headline...and it works.
    Apr 10, 2014. 09:53 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Gazprom's Khosrazchyot Or Who Depends On Whom? [View article]
    "Why would Russia, which has a fordmidable culture be associated with the emerging market."

    The whole point when making decisions when the outcome is unknown, as poker strategist David Sklansky pointed out, is, "Are you getting the best of it?. At a P/E ratio less than Pakistan combined with a dividend that doubles your investment even 7 years, you are getting the best of it. At some point Russia goes to a P/E of 7 or 8 even with all the political risk. If may not happen for a decade, but you are getting paid to wait.
    Mar 31, 2014. 01:27 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Gazprom's Khosrazchyot Or Who Depends On Whom? [View article]
    I was long Gazprom a while back and was quickly stopped out. Now I am back in (a little) because the political risk probably won't get any greater. The corruption will never disappear, but as others noted the P/E and forward earnings ratios are insanely cheap, cheaper than Egypt, Pakistan and Lebanon.
    Mar 13, 2014. 05:11 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is This The End Of Life Partners Holdings? [View article]
    LPHI is indeed Teflon...the SEC couldn't prove any of the case against them. The accounting fraud conviction was recently thrown out. The only thing remaining that the firm needs to overcome in order to grow again (in my opinion) is the appellate ruling in their home state that the fractional investments are securities. Securities under the Act require disclosure and registration. Disclosure, as I understand it, means showing past performance in an understandable, consistent and meaningful way in addition to disclosing up front and ongoing fees and commissions. Will prospective clients purchase with all this disclosure? Will LPHI win their final appeal on the matter? Stay tuned!
    Mar 13, 2014. 04:50 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is This The End Of Life Partners Holdings? [View article]
    The issue to me is not having the licensees passing a Series 6 or 7 exam. The problem is the full disclosure requirements. The current method of showing returns won't fly. All those policies that never matured on time will be thrown into a standard measure of performance for the whole world to see, along with full disclosure of fees, expenses and commissions. Right now the marketing and sales people do not use any conforming performance presentation standard. Ouch!
    Feb 28, 2014. 08:12 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is This The End Of Life Partners Holdings? [View article]
    Yeah, they got nailed for accounting fraud but they escaped the serious charges. Just when things were looking up they got nailed again in their home state. The appeals court ruled the fractional investments are securities. That hurts because it means disclosure. Who would buy this stuff if past performance and fees/commissions were disclosed? Both will likely be appealed. I don't see why the highest court in TX would overturn this, but that is up to the judges. If the Texas ruling sticks, the business model is dead as is.
    Feb 28, 2014. 08:03 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
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