Saturday, May 4, 2013

Anthony Weiner company led by former board director for firm investors blasted as 'CROOKS'

Updates at bottom: Investors Hub board calls firm that current Weiner business associate formerly worked for as Compensation Committee chairman a "criminal enterprise"; Bill Clinton met with another Anthony Weiner client, posed for photos at March conference where he allegedly "highly admired" firm; NY Post apparently misreported Weiner went to Florida sex addiction clinic instead of work trip for client in July of 2011

"It did not take Mr. Weiner long to embark on a new career after he left Congress on June 16, 2011," Michael Barbaro reported for the New York Times on April 29, 2013. "On July 7, he quietly incorporated a new firm, Woolf Weiner Associates, named for his great-grandfather, an Austrian immigrant to the Lower East Side."

According to Barbaro's article, former Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner - who I reported was mulling running for NYC mayor months before anyone else, based on FEC records a year ago - "counseled a biofuel firm about expansion into the emerging markets of Latin America and Africa."

The NY Times article continues,
"'Business is business,' said Harold Gubnitsky, formerly executive vice president at Parabel, a Weiner client that harvests an algae-like crop used for food and fuel."


"At Parabel, Mr. Weiner was credited with distilling the company’s complex business model into easy-to-understand sales pitches for potential investors and foreign officials, at times to the amazement of the businessmen in the room. Mr. Gubnitsky recalled how Mr. Weiner employed the concept of 'economic ecosystems' to highlight the positive impact of the firm’s technology on farmers and consumers.
"We have very exciting projects and in both Asia and Latin America," Gubnitsky was quoted in a July 5, 2011 interview with Algae News.

Weiner apparently snagged Parabel as a client within two weeks after incorporating his firm, since he appeared to be doing homework on the way back from his reported sex addiction clinic trip. However, the New York Post story - which many media organizations unquestionably reported - assuming Weiner visited Florida in July of 2011 for therapeutic reasons related to the scandal appears to be wrong.

"A Post reporter spotted Weiner on Wednesday night flying first-class from Orlando to La Guardia Airport on a Delta flight, carrying nothing but his iPad and several documents," Josh Margolin, Brigitte Stelzer and Dan Mangan reported for the New York Post on July 22, 2011. "Orlando is near the Winter Park, Fla., offices of the New Leaf Center, which on its Web site says it provides outpatient therapy for sexual addiction and sexual compulsivity issues, including for 'politicians.' Staff there asked a reporter to leave when he asked about Weiner yesterday."

The following picture credited to Brigitte Stelzer noted, "Former Rep. Anthony Weiner -- worried about regaining the trust of wife Huma Abedin, her mom, Saleha, and his wife's boss, Hillary Clinton, after his sex-addiction treatment -- shields his face aboard a mystery flight from Orlando to New York."

"Bizarrely, during his flight home from Orlando, Weiner was carrying a detailed analysis of energy issues in sub-Saharan African countries, as well as what appeared to be real-estate listings for two different grazing and farming properties in Kenya," the July 22, 2011, NY Post article added.

On June 16, 2011 - the same day Anthony Weiner resigned from Congress - PetroAlgae (which changed its name to Parabel in 2012) hired Anthony Tiarks to be CEO. A few weeks before, at Seeking Alpha, hedge fund manager Edward Schneider noted that PetroAlgae had "net debt of $57M, total assets of only $4M, and last 12 months' net loss of -$38M. Petroalgae has not generated any revenues since inception in 2006."

Considering the fact that Weiner's infamous tweet was only captured by one person on Twitter, @PatriotUSA aka Dan Wolfe - who I interviewed in late June of 2011 before he mysteriously vanished - it also seems kind of "bizarre" that the former Congressman would name his firm "Woolf Weiner Associates."

Reporting for the Sunlight Foundation on May 2, 2013, Lisa Rosenberg observed, "Shock and outrage (and some really amusing if not-ready-for-prime-time bits on the Daily Show) accompanied the former representative’s slimy use of social media. But there’s no shock or outrage accompanying his even slimier use of his former position for profit. Indeed, the New York Times seems to think Weiner’s secret lobbying on behalf of corporate clients somehow serves 'as a compelling campaign credential' as he considers a run for mayor."

"Rather than touting it as a career booster, Weiner’s stealth lobbying should be seen as still more evidence for the need to strengthen current lobbying disclosure laws," Rosenberg adds. "The only people in Washington who seem to support secret lobbying are the members of Congress who want to keep that lucrative career path open to themselves when they leave government service."

Also, kind of "bizarrely", the same reporter who wrote a soft article about Weiner's post-Congressional "stealth lobbyist" work, worked on, perhaps, the most devastating NY Times article on Weiner, before he resigned.

Michael Barbaro co-wrote the June 9, 2011 article "In Reckless Fashion, Rapid Online Pursuits of Political Admirers" with Ashley R. Parker, who interviewed Weiner on the same day he sent Andrew Breitbart's future source his "full Monty" picture, as I reported in September of 2011. May 18 was the same exact day that fake teenager Starchild111 claimed she was unfollowed by Rep. Weiner after asking him to the prom, the same day one #BornFreeCrew member asked another, "Did that thing ever surface? I gotta go to work," and the same day that Meagan Broussard allegedly talked on the phone to Weiner and was sent two photos, including the one showing an erect penis; and the same day that a Republican contacted Drudge and Andrew Breitbart on Broussard's behalf.

The June 9, 2011 NY Times article was the first real interview with Gennette Cordova, who was the recipient - although she claims it was deleted before she actually saw it - of the May 27, 2011 underwear tweet that the mysterious Dan Wolfe saw and tweeted to Andrew Breitbart and Dana Loesch, who broke the story before anyone else.

"Ms. Cordova’s experience with Mr. Weiner appears to fit a pattern: in rapid and reckless fashion, he sought to transform informal online conversations about politics and partisanship into sexually charged exchanges, at times laced with racy language and explicit images," Barbaro and Parker wrote.

However, Cordova claimed she never sexted with Weiner and the underwear tweet wasn't extremely explicit. But the Times was unable to reach any of Weiner's actual sexters so they ran with the Cordova interview (I've interviewed two of them, as I will report at a future date). Also, "bizarrely", Cordova later hinted to me on Twitter that she shared screenshots of alleged Direct Messages with Weiner where he allegedly told her to get one of the fake teenage girls - I helped expose with New York Times reporter Jen Preston, who often RT's Barbaro's stories - to follow him, as I reported in April. Weiner allegedly asked Cordova to "lead her back to" him, and suggested that she ask @starchild111 "did you take my advice and follow anthony?"

Preston's story revealing the teens were fake wasn't published until the day after Weiner resigned from Congress. While my research only theorized they were fake, Preston reported that Mediaite's Tommy Christopher - who had written an article on the teens and nastily argued with bloggers who suspected they were fake - sent her a California driver’s license with the name of their alleged mother "Patricia Reid, at a Los Angeles address, as well as school identification for the girls.

NY Times reporter Preston reported all the documentation sent to Christopher was fake "according to California state officials and school district officials," but never posted screenshots or reported the potentially criminal deception to law enforcement, even though it's possible that the same fraudsters could have been involved in the Weinergate-related SWATtings of conservative bloggers. Preston and Christopher also "bizarrely" never reported on the fake 911 calls that sent police to conservatives' homes, even though they had exclusives on the first two a year before the news broke.

5/7/13 Update: No definitive proof Weiner went to clinic in Florida

Although part of the headline for the 7/22/11 exclusive New York Post was called "Weiner in Therapy," the tabloid never actually proved that Weiner's trip to Florida was to visit a sex addiction clinic. And there doesn't even seem to be any definitive proof Weiner spent all that much time in therapy, or even saw a doctor after leaving Congress and starting his firm just weeks later.

"It is unclear where Weiner is undergoing therapy -- and whether it's simply as an outpatient on a shrink's couch or involves more intensive therapy at a special clinic," the Post actually reported, about the 7/20/11 flight that photographer Brigitte Stelzer happened to catch Weiner on. The photograph oddly didn't show Weiner's face, as if he was embarrassed being captured on the trip, and it's strange that one showing his face wasn't used instead.

Brigitte Stelzer is the same photographer who happened to chance upon Weiner bizarrely packing a box into his car the day before Democratic candidate David Weprin lost to Republican Bob Turner in the special election held for Weiner's empty seat. Oddly, the caption under Stelzer's photo said Weiner "loads a chair," while the picture showed him carting a linen box, with a surprised look on his face. Perhaps Weiner was surprised to see the same NY Post photographer catch him outside a house he already had moved out of and who happened to be on the same Florida-to-New York trip two months before.

"Disgraced former Rep. Anthony Weiner did his fellow Democrats no favors yesterday -- moving out of his district just as his panicking party struggled to hold on to his endangered congressional seat," Jennier Gould Keil reported for the New York Post on September 13, 2011. "Weiner took the last remaining items from his Queens co-op just in time to remind voters why they have to vote today -- because he resigned in a sexting scandal that made him a national laughingstock."

The Post reported that Weiner "came back for an office chair and a box," but didn't explain why they weren't picked up by the moving van that he assumingly hired that "virtually emptied" his apartment on Friday September 9. Weiner "declined to comment on his move," so it's unknown why he waited three days to pick up the last remaining box and a chair.

"The Weiner seat, in the state’s 9th Congressional District, is likely to be chewed up by redistricting, so whoever is elected today will represent his Queens-Brooklyn constituents for only the unexpired one year of Weiner’s term," the September NY Post article correctly predicted.

A long, but mostly non-informative ten-page April 14, 2013 story in The New York Times magazine - that read like a P.R. piece - claimed that "Weiner started seeing a therapist almost immediately after the scandal broke." Weiner presumably revealed to Jonathan Van Meter that the only doctor he visited was in New York, since he wouldn't have been able to sneak out-of-state during the height of Weinergate.

"Therapy wasn’t something that came naturally to me," Weiner told Van Meter. "I am this middle-class guy from Brooklyn, the men in our family don’t hug each other, we don’t talk about our feelings. It wasn’t a comfortable place to be. And now I start sentences with, 'My therapist says....'"

Strikingly, Van Meter begins the next paragraph with, "What does your therapist say? I asked the next time we met," but Weiner responds in the past tense: "It’s none of the easy stuff. She didn’t tell me: 'You have a sex addiction! You were abused as a child!' None of that stuff, which in a lot of ways, I’d kind of prefer.' He laughed. "It’s an easy explanation that people intuitively get."

Another sentence uses the present tense to report that Weiner was "in therapy," but there doesn't seem to be any definitive proof that the potential mayoral candidate even saw a doctor after leaving Congress.

The corporate offices for Parabel Inc. are located at 1901 S. Harbor City Blvd. in Melbourne, Florida, so Weiner might have actually been on an all-business trip when Stelzer happened to catch him on an Orlando-to-New York flight. That's only about a 60 mile distance or an hour's drive from the airport in Orlando.

Yesterday, a May 6th New York Post article credited to Sally Goldenberg and Carl Campanile claimed, "Sugar daddies bailed out Anthony Weiner when he was down and out — giving him work after stuffing his many political campaigns with donations."

"Hedge-fund brothers David and Eugene Grin helped Weiner with consulting work after he resigned from Congress following his sexting scandal, The Post has learned," the article continued. "The Grins also assisted his mayoral and congressional races, raising nearly $50,000 for Weiner, who is now considering a mayoral run. Through two hedge funds, the Grins control Parabel, a company that claims to harvest an algae-like crop."

Goldenberg and Campanile report, "What Weiner failed to mention was that on Jan. 13, Parabel transferred nearly all of its assets to a subsidiary in the Cayman Islands — on the same day a United Arab Emirates firm pumped $15 million into Parabel, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission document."

Weiner's memory from only five months ago appears to be stinted since he told the paper, "I’m not even sure I was consulting for them during this period."

I found - through searching the NYC CFB website - $1,250 from Weiner's "sugar daddies" aka the brothers Grin in mayoral campaign contributions dating back to December of 2004 (link), about $10,000 in mayoral campaign contributions in May of 2008 (link), approximately $4700 from David Grin to Friends of Weiner in the fall of 2008 and 2009, and $2,000 from Eugene Grin in 2002 and 2003 and $2,400 in 2009 from Eugene Grin to Friends of Weiner (according to searches in FEC database). In 2008, David Grin collected $31,850, through intermediaries for the 2008 NYC mayoral campaign (as Gold pointed out to me on Twitter), which never happened but would apply to the current race if Weiner enters the field. For some reason, the Grins stopped contributing in 2009, but altogether the brothers - who appear to mostly donate to Republicans - gave and collected close to $53,000 in donations for Weiner campaigns dating back to 2002.

5/9 Update: Firm Weiner consulted for brags former President Bill Clinton "highly admired" its role in making healthcare more affordable and transparent

Anthony Weiner "signed up a New York firm called CureMD, an electronic medical records provider," the NY Times reported on April 20, 2013. The very first line of Michael Barbaro's article breathlessly reported, "Anthony D. Weiner has demystified the details of the 906-page Affordable Care Act for an electronic medical records company." The EMR provider tweeted a link to the NY Times story on Weiner.

According to its website, "At CureMD, healthcare technology is our core focus. This single vision has enabled us to continuously innovate products and services that facilitate care providers, while providing steady growth and profitability." Its FAQ page adds, "CureMD is the leading provider of innovative health information systems and services that transform the administrative and clinical operations of healthcare organizations. Our award winning solutions simplify decision making, streamline operations, and ensure compliance with industry standards and best practices; ultimately saving time and effort to maximize value and returns."

Just before election day, CureMD_EMR interestingly tweeted a link to a MedCity News article called "The impending disaster of the Obamacare health insurance exchanges." Sally Pipes argued, "Like so much of the president’s gargantuan healthcare entitlement, the exchanges are burdened by a spider’s web of confusing regulations, poor design, and a top-down, command-and-control structure."

"Like Obamacare itself, the exchange system is plagued by incompetent management, burdensome regulations, and inept political calculations," Pipes added. "Even if the president manages to eke out a victory on election day, November could still prove his undoing."

Another tweet by the firm on March 6 said, "HIMSS News Feed - Ex-President Clinton admires CureMD innovation and its role in making healthcare more affordable and transparent..." At its website, CureMD wrote, "CureMD unveiled innovative EMR technology at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society Annual Meeting (HIMSS) in New Orleans, March 3-7. Former President, Bill Clinton was also present at the event and admired CureMD’s role in making healthcare more affordable and transparent. At the event, the rapidly growing New York based company also announced the completion of their third acquisition since January, 2013."

The firm's Facebook page modified its own press release claim to "Former President Clinton highly admired CureMD innovation and its role in making healthcare more affordable and transparent at the Annual HIMSS Conference in New Orleans," and includes four pictures of Bill Clinton posing with CureMD executives CEO Kamal Hashmat and CIO Bill Hashmat (pictured below, left and right).

CureMD CEO Kamal Hashmat contributed $2,500 to Weiner's 2008 NYC mayoral campaign fund, according to the New York State Board of Elections Contributions website.

"Bill Clinton Stumps For Health IT At HIMSS," a headline for a Information Week story by Neil Versel noted, after the former president's March 6 Keynote speech. "Clinton said that the ultimate outcome of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act depends on how the 2010 law is implemented, and on decisions that people make outside the framework of the law itself."

Versel added, "The former president's William J. Clinton Foundation last fall started the Clinton Health Matters Initiative, in partnership with General Electric, Tenet Healthcare and Verizon Communications, to work toward closing health disparities between different socioeconomic groups in U.S. communities." Clips of Clinton's speech can be viewed at these YouTube links: "President Clinton Introductory Remarks at HIMSS 2013" where he expresses "gratitude to GE and Verizon, who have partnered with the Health Matters Initiative," and "President Clinton at HIMSS on Reducing Obesity." Karl Rove, former President George W. Bush's Senior Advisor and Deputy Chief of Staff, also attended the HIMSS conference, where he had a debate with political consultant James Carville, who "helped Bill Clinton win the Presidency" in 1992, as a HIMSS press release notes.

I was unable to find a transcript of Clinton's speech and didn't hear the former president specifically mention CureMD in any YouTube video clips, but the following may be related to Weiner's client, CureMD: "One of the things that I like in the technology area is this new federal initiative Blue Button which makes data directly available to people who can use it for a number of applications," Clinton told the "standing room only" New Orleans crowd, Healthcare IT Connect noted. "Organizations that serve more than 80 million Americans have now pledged to make healthcare information available digitally."

A commenter at a Healthcare technology blog owned by Brian Ahier, a Health IT Evangelist at Mid-Columbia Medical Center - who posted some of the Clinton clips on YouTube - asked, "Do you know why he didn't mention the HIMSS involvement that was announced the same morning"? Ahier responded, "Andy, if you mean the HIMSS involvement with Clinton Global Initiative and the Healthcare Transformation Project he absolutely did mention it. Watch the first video above - right about 2:30 he talks about the $2.5 million commitment of HIMSS to the project."

"HIMSS, itself a member of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) since September, announced this week that it would commit $2.5 million over the next five years to its HIMSS Healthcare Transformation Project as part of its pledge to take action furthering the goals of CGI," Neil Versel reported in his Information Week article. "The HIMSS Healthcare Transformation Project is a collaborative forum of senior healthcare executives, while the CGI looks to address a variety of problems around the world, including inequities in the provision of public services."

A HIMSS press release stated, "The Healthcare Transformation brings senior healthcare provider leaders together, with year-round events, research and networking, as they decide and act upon their own commitments to action. HIMSS also announces its participation with CGI on March 6, the same day former President Clinton speaks to the conference attendees during HIMSS13 in New Orleans. More than 35,000 attendees and 1,200 exhibiting companies have come to the Big Easy for the conference."

According to its website, "HIMSS is a cause-based, not-for-profit organization exclusively focused on providing global leadership for the optimal use of information technology (IT) and management systems for the betterment of healthcare." The About page adds, "HIMSS Board members are leaders in the field of healthcare information technology—top executives in both vendor companies and healthcare provider systems--who serve a three-year term to help grow and lead the industry." CureMD was touted as one of the Corporate Members of the Week in an HIMSS newsletter that was released shortly before the annual conference in March.

Weiner's wife, Huma Abedin, began working for Hillary Clinton sixteen years ago. She "began working for Clinton as a White House intern in 1996, eventually becoming the former first lady's traveling chief of staff -- or 'body man' -- during her campaign for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination," CNN reported on June 8, 2011, "joined Clinton's State Department staff in 2009, serving as a senior aide," and "Former President Bill Clinton officiated at their July 2010 wedding."

Huma Abedin and Hillary Clinton have also famously played the "good wives," and stood by their men. Bill Clinton weathered and survived his sex scandal and his wife's political career may have even been boosted by her unwavering support for her still extremely popular husband. The Weiners are - no doubt - hoping for similar results, which is probably why Anthony mentions Huma frequently in his post-Weinergate interviews with the media.

5/15 Update: Investors Hub board calls firm Weiner associate worked for a "criminal enterprise"

Harold Gubnitsky figured prominently in Michael Barbaro's April 29, 2013 NY Times article which revealed that "good capitalist" Anthony Weiner has a two-year old consulting firm. Along with the quotes up top, the former executive vice president at Parabel also "recalled how Mr. Weiner employed the concept of 'economic ecosystems' to highlight the positive impact of the firm’s technology on farmers and consumers."

Barbaro also reported "Weiner was credited with distilling the company’s complex business model into easy-to-understand sales pitches for potential investors and foreign officials, at times to the amazement of the businessmen in the room," but doesn't mention if his only source for that was Gubnitsky, since the article doesn't quote anyone else who worked or currently worked for Parabel, which used to be called PetroAlgae. As noted above, PetroAlgae hadn't "generated any revenues since inception in 2006," according to a profile written shortly before Weiner landed it as a client after leaving Congress.

Weiner, Barbaro reported, even created a new company - which isn't named, but is "a consulting firm led by Mr. Gubnitsky" which "will focus on renewable energy in Latin America." I searched through Florida and New York corporation databases but was unable to find any information on this "new company," created by possible NYC mayoral candidate Weiner.

"Biophan Technologies, Inc. (OTCBB: BIPH), a developer of next-generation biomedical technology, today announced that the Company has named Harold Gubnitsky to the board of directors," a press release issued on February 7, 2008 states. Biophan's PR also noted Gubnitsky "is a seasoned executive who has worked with and within several large, medium, and small corporations with a wide range of responsibilities spanning executive management and operations."

The moderator and many participants at a message board for Investors Hub Daily, which claims that it's "[o]ne of the most active financial forums in the world," believe that Biophan is a "criminal enterprise." The "About Us" page claims, "Investors Hub has been online for over 13 years and currently has 398,699 Members who have posted 87,953,548 Messages on 21,927 Boards. Our Members currently write on average 40,000 new Messages each trading day."

At the top of the Biophan Technologies Message Board on Investors Hub, the moderator's welcome message states, "As Biophan is now officially dark, having elected to go "Pink" and non-reporting, please note that none of the information below can be considered to be current, and quite possibly is inaccurate."

"And as the 'management' of Biophan transferred between $10 million and $17 million of shareholders' funds to private individuals just prior to going dark, some people (your Mod is one) think the company is essentially a criminal enterprise. Others don't, hence the content of the remainder of this iBox," the welcome message adds.

The last press release at Biophan's website, which was released on July 22, 2009 - 17 months after Gubnitsky became a board director - said that it "filed a Form 15 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, voluntarily terminating the registration of its securities and its obligation to continue filing reports under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934."

"The Biophan board of directors unanimously resolved to take this action to conserve its cash resources," the press release also noted. "Other actions taken by the board in this regard include management and staff reductions."

Apparently in response to this news, someone at the Investors Hub message board, wrote, "What a bunch of CROOKS that are involved with this POS!!" In response, a fellow complainer, said that he was "glad" he was out, and added, that he had spent "to[o] many years believing in good technology run by con men."

The forum's moderator "sunspotter" alleged that the Chief Executive Officer and President John Lanzafame had committed "an actionable breach of both fiduciary duty but also of securities legislation," and "must think Biophan shareholders are an extraordinarily naive and gullible group (!)." He alleged, "A more obvious and egregious breach of fiduciary duty was Mr. Lanzafame's extraordinary move to sell the Myotech CSS technology at a knock down price to his own shell company set up by him with his pal Frank Terrizzi." A week later, "sunspotter" argued, "The chaps (phew! close one there - I nearly wrote "crooks"!) running this show have decided that they've pretty well wrung you shareholders out, and now it's time for a new game...Frankly, anyone who doesn't acknowledge that the game is up, and that the ordinary shareholder has been fleeced, is either extraordinarily optimistic to the extent that they are in denial of the facts, or is not being entirely straigh[t]forward in their posts."

Still angry years later, on February 20, 2013, "sunspotter" wrote at the forum he moderates, that he "can only imagine that long-running scam BIPH is being lined up for a mega-pump, and that a $30-$50 day crew is being lined up for a promo blitz. Par for the course for the crooks behind the whole Technology Innovations/Biophan scam, Michael Weiner, Jim Wemett and John Lanzafame. As a buy-and-hold investment, empty shell BIPH will continue to stink, of course."

"And with a long line of previous marks lining up to exit this sorry criminal conspiracy, any strength in the pps will be unlikely to last long," the Investors Hub moderator added.

[Editor's Note: Michael Weiner left Biophan before Gubnitsky was hired, and doesn't appear to be related to Anthony Weiner, as far as I can tell.]

Although his name no longer appears on the Biophan website, an archive link reveals that Gubnitsky was still listed as one of four board members as late as September of 2009.

In September of 2008, Gubnitsky replaced fellow Board Director Stan Yakatan on the Compensation Committee, according to a press release. A May of 2009 filing lists Gubnitsky as "Director and Chairman of the Compensation Committee," and said that he received $14,000, so far, for chairing the committee, that year.

"The Compensation Committee is currently composed of Mr. Gubnitsky," the filing continued. "Ms. Labosky also served on this committee until her resignation from the Board on November 11, 2008. The responsibilities of the Compensation Committee is more fully set forth in the Compensation Committee Charter adopted in June 2005 and posted on our website at, include reviewing our compensation policies, establishing executive officer compensation, and administering our stock option plans. The Compensation Committee met informally several times during our fiscal year ended February 28, 2009. Each member of the Compensation Committee attended all of the meetings during their respective period of service. None of the members of our Compensation Committee has ever been our employee."

[Editor's Note: On 5/16/13 I changed headline from "Stealth lobbyist Anthony Weiner worked during alleged sex addiction clinic trip" to "Anthony Weiner company led by former board director for firm investors blasted as 'CROOKS'" since the New York Post story that inspired the former appears to be wrong.]

No comments: