MoxReports: Behind The Scenes With Vuzix, Sichenzia And IRTHGuest Post
About this report. The events described in this report necessarily revolve around things that are happening to me, but please do not read this report as being just about Richard Pearson. This report shows in great detail just how easily and effectively a company or individual can strategically weaponize the legal system to silence its critics. For anyone who may ever feel tempted to publicly voice some negative opinion online, it is important that you read and understand the events and activities that I have laid out below. These actions against me have certainly been extremely unpleasant, expensive and time consuming. However, these events now also provide me with an opportunity to give you front row seats as to how this stuff works in practice. I hope you will all find this analysis informative and useful.
So let’s begin.
My name is Richard Pearson. I am a private investor in Los Angeles and I publish my research here at Moxreports.com. Over the years, many of my reports have been warnings about fraudulent stock promotions. My warnings have (unfortunately) been very accurate predictors of subsequent real world outcomes. Subsequent to my reports, many of the companies I had warned about ended up being delisted and/or became the subject of federal investigations or indictments over securities fraud. Across my many reports it is also easy to see that when I uncover indications of fraud that it is my standard practice to file whistle-blower reports to the SEC prior to publicly releasing these reports.
A few of the subsequent outcomes which followed my past reports can be found at Moxreports.com/outcomes. Many more can be found via Google.
In 2017 and 2018, I wrote bearish reports about two publicly listed companies based in New York where I had observed signs of securities fraud. Following my reports, the share prices of those companies declined sharply and each of them filed lawsuits alleging that statements in my reports were false and defamatory.
The total damages supposedly being sought by these two lawsuits was stated as a quarter of a billion dollars. Not surprisingly, these large lawsuits made a few headlines and the share prices of both companies rebounded briefly after the suits were announced.
However, when both of these companies filed their lawsuits, they did not actually file against me (Richard Pearson in Los Angeles). Instead, both companies filed their lawsuits against someone named “Ricardo Antonio Pearson”. They claimed that my name (Richard Pearson) was just a pseudonym.
After filing their lawsuits against the wrong person, both companies then stated to the courts that they were entirely unable to locate that supposed author of those supposedly defamatory reports, despite their claims that they had made significant efforts to do so.
The law firm which is behind the current “Ricardo” campaign is Sichenzia, Ross, Ference (the “Sichenzia” law firm). As I have already stated in my court filings, I am more than confident that they they know exactly who I am and where I am. Up until September 2018, this law firm was known as Sichenzia, Ross, Ference, Kesner and I provide more details on this firm below.
Weaponizing the legal system to silence critics. This “Ricardo” tactic against me started in 2017, so it has now been going on for more than two years. Some people might assume that a lawsuit filed againt the wrong person and in the wrong state would be quickly and easily thrown out by the court. However, I will illustrate below how this assumption is entirely wrong.
As you will see below, this is not small claims court. The state and federal courts have extensive rules and procedures in place in an effort to provide both plaintiffs and defendants with an adequate process to hear all sides of various grievances, which in some cases can get quite complex. Overall, such legal mechanisms are a good thing and their purpose is to ensure a fair process for all parties who are seeking a legitimate resolution to a legitimate dispute.
But when a plaintiff’s goal is simply to prolong litigation with no intention of winning it, such rules and procedures can be tactically exploited just to create a deep legal quagmire against a defendant. As part of my analysis below, I have mapped out a series of filings across these two “Ricardo” suits so that readers can see how each new filing by a plaintiff can add significant incremental time and expense for the defendant while having (in my opinion) little apparent impact on the ultimate odds of winning the lawsuit itself. As I will show, such things can go on to an extent that most people would not believe to be possible.
The damage to the defendant extends to well outside of the courtroom. When people Google my name (“Richard Pearson”) or my website, they will end up seeing a slew of articles and court filings saying that the name “Richard Pearson” is nothing more than a pseudonym and that I am actually some guy named “Ricardo” who lives in New York and defrauds the public. The people who regularly see such things include friends, neighbors, former classmates and colleagues, new social acquaintances, banks, potential business partners and property agents.
From a practical standpoint, putting out a few blog posts denying that I am some guy named “Ricardo”, denying that I live in New York and denying that I am committing fraud would not really resolve these issues. And even though this stuff gets comically absurd, getting it resolved in the court system is far more time consuming and expensive than most people could ever imagine. This report will help you all understand those issues in greater detail.
Important note regarding the actual Ricardo Antonio Pearson. I am pretty sure that the material you read in this report is going to shock you. Really. It is seriously going to shock you. But as you read this material, please remember that there really is a guy out there with the name Ricardo Antonio Pearson. Wherever he may be, the improper use of his name is just as unfair to him as all of this is to me. Please be aware that when I make references to “Ricardo” in this article these are not references to any real person named “Ricardo Antonio Pearson”. My references to the name “Ricardo” are to that name as it erroneously appears in the lawsuits which I describe.
The contents of this report are organized as follows:
Section I: The Sichenzia law firm – a bit of background
Section II: How did this “Ricardo” stuff ever begin in the first place ?
Section III: Sichenzia and Vuzix (Why did “Ricardo” suddenly move from CA to NY ?)
Section IV: Was the goal to win litigation (or just to prolong it ?)
Section V: Conclusion: “Implausible Deniability”
SECTION I: SICHENZIA LAW FIRM – A BIT OF BACKGROUND
Greg Sichenzia and Three Card Monte. In the book “Small Stocks, Big Gains”, an investor relations professional named Dave Gentry wrote profiles about a handful of individuals who he described as “Microcap Superstars”, including Phil Frost and Barry Honig. This book dedicated an entire chapter (Chapter 13) to Greg Sichenzia, whose namesake law firm has been one of the most prolific advisers to cash-hungry and volatile microcap companies. Gentry’s book includes a quote from Mr. Sichenzia which has now become prophetic:
Let’s be clear on two things here. Three card monte is a very well known con game. It is a fraud. And Greg Sichenzia is warning people that if they don’t know how to “play” this microcap con game, then they should simply “stay away”. This warning from Greg Sichenzia is entirely consistent with the warnings that I have personally expressed in multiple past reports about companies which were clients of Sichenzia, which were later delisted amid high profile fraud indictments or investigations by the SEC.
Up until September 2018, Mr. Sichenzia’s law firm was known as Sichenzia, Ross, Ference, Kesner. Partner Harvey Kesner left the firm just days ahead of sweeping securities fraud charges by the SEC involving numerous clients of Sichenzia. Shortly after these SEC fraud charges, one of Sichenzia’s clients (Mabvax Therapeutics) filed a lawsuit in California against the Sichenzia firm and its current and former partners including Kesner. And now in April 2019, Mabvax filed a second suit against a group of investors and IR firms which has also been involved, including Santa Monica based IRTH Communications and its two founders, brothers Andrew and Robert Haag in Los Angeles. Below are the links to the complaints in these cases which include relevant data and information.
The “Ricardo” lawsuit filed by Vuzix. In March 2018, I wrote a report about a micro cap client of Sichenzia called Vuzix Corp. (VUZI), which is based in Rochester, New York. My conclusion about microcap Vuzix was pretty much in line with the quote from Greg Sichenzia shown above. I said that Vuzix showed obvious signs of securities fraud such that I expected the share price to decline significantly. The signs of fraud that I referred to at Vuzix were six signs which had been explicitly identified and defined by the SEC on its website. And Vuzix met not just “any” but rather all of those six signs of fraud that the SEC had warned about. In my opinion, this was a stock that investors should certainly “stay away” from. At the time, I was short Vuzix, which I clearly disclosed in my report. My report includes dozens of exhibits and screen shots of documents to substantiate my concerns about signs of securities fraud.
Link: Updated Investor Alert: Fraudulent Stock Promotions (sec.gov, 29-Mar-16)
Shortly after I published my report, Vuzix (represented by Sichenzia) filed a defamation lawsuit over a very small number of statements that they had plucked out of the report. However, these statements were taken in isolation and it is deeply notable that when Vuzix filed its lawsuit, they did not even attach my report to the complaint !
Not attaching my report to the complaint was very telling. Even more telling was the fact that Vuzix and Sichenzia did not file their lawsuit against me (Richard Pearson, the author in Los Angeles who wrote the Vuzix report), but instead they filed it against some guy named “Ricardo Antonio” who Vuzix and Sichenzia say lives in New York, not Los Angeles.
Below is a link to my report as well as a link to the complaint filed by Vuzix against “Ricardo Antonio”. Please read my Vuzix report and then form your own conclusion.
Link: Short VUZI. Fraud (Moxreports.com, 16-Mar-2018)
Link: Vuzix Corp vs. “Ricardo Antonio Pearson” – lawsuit complaint (05-Apr-2018)
See the full report below.