Three companies whose stock made big moves last year are linked by undisclosed relationships that raise ronan lynch bitcoin value red flags about the deals that helped attract investors, boost share prices and enrich certain players. A Sharesleuth investigation found that financier Barry C. 70 million of stock in those companies — PolarityTE Inc. Our investigation found that surges in their share prices were aided by a daisy chain of deals involving Honig and a recurring cast of business partners and investors.
O’Rourke III, Riot Blockchain’s chairman and chief executive, and Mark E. 30 million of stock in PolarityTE and Riot Blockchain from late August to mid-December without reporting those sales, as required under Securities and Exchange Commission rules for non-passive investors who own 5 percent or more of a company’s shares. 40 million in new shares through the acquisition of two bitcoin companies in which they had undisclosed stakes. The largest of those deals was cancelled late last month.
Those deals were struck on consecutive days in early November. Honig’s network was to get more than half of the shares to be issued for the bitcoin companies, which had little, if any, revenue and modest assets. 3 million in financing to Marathon Patent in August and September, in return for convertible notes and warrants. It wound up with the equivalent of 11. 8 million shares, which soared in value after Marathon Patent said it was getting into the cryptocurrency game by merging with one of the bitcoin companies, Global Bit Ventures Inc. Honig and a limited liability company managed by Stetson provided cash to Global Bit Ventures in September, in return for convertible notes. That was less than six weeks before Marathon Patent finalized the merger agreement.
Honig, Groussman and another longtime associate, Michael H. Brauser, were shareholders in Kairos Global Technology Inc. 75 million shares of common stock for 1. United Kingdom with an interest in technology stocks.
A third George Ronan, with no bio but a decidedly different headshot, was briefly among the contributors to Benzinga. The purported analysis pieces by the multiple George Ronans are a prime example. Sharesleuth turned up more than 140 articles with that byline, on seven different sites. Most of the original Ronan’s 11 articles at Seeking Alpha called attention to companies that were created or bankrolled by Barry C. Honig, a South Florida financier who figures into at least two Securities and Exchange Commission investigations. So did six of the seven Ronan articles on four other sites, including Investing.
Using the Ronan stories as markers, we found more than 60 other writers who have systematically promoted companies connected to Honig and his associates, including longtime business partner Michael H. Phillip Frost, chairman and chief executive of Opko Health Inc. Sharesleuth determined that the majority of those writers also were fake — part of an elaborate, long-running effort to spark interest in obscure public companies by creating bullish stories that were posted and reposted across the internet. The stealth promotion network includes a handful of real people who have touted the same stocks with such regularity that it is impossible to view their posts as a coincidence. All told, we turned up nearly 600 bullish articles about Honig-related companies that fit the pattern of stealth promotional pieces. The fraud and conspiracy case against recidivist fraudster Regis L. Most of the documents filed in Possino’s case over the past two years were sealed by the judge, at the request of federal prosecutors or Possino’s attorney.
But the docket shows that on Monday, prosecutors filed sentencing exhibits and a proposed restitution order. That suggests that Possino — featured in several Sharesleuth stories — has agreed to a plea deal or is close to one. Filings in a separate action showed that he already forfeited his house in Pacific Palisades, Calif. The indictment said they manipulated the share prices of the companies, issued false press releases to generate investor interest, then dumped their own stock on an unsuspecting public. The companies used as vehicles were Sports Endurance Inc.