股价飙涨20倍 揭史上增长最快社交媒体Cynk幕后推手
日期:2014-07-28 10:42



The question of how shares of an unknown social media company named Cynk CYNK —with few assets, no revenue, and no profit—could skyrocket to a $6 billion market cap (roughly the size of Fortune 500 drug store chain Rite Aid RAD ) had Wall Street watchers scratching their heads last week.
上周,一桩业内奇闻令华尔街的观察家们百思不得其解:一家名叫Cynk的默默无闻的社交媒体公司,既没什么资产,又没有营收和利润,市值何以陡增至60亿美元【大约相当于财富500强公司,药品连锁巨头美国来爱德公司(Rite Aid )的市值】?
Shares of the company, which traded for pennies as recently as mid-June, reached as high as $21 on Thursday, before dropping to $14.
The stock market success doesn’t seem to have much to do with the company’s leadership. Cynk has had four CEOs since 2008. None are big names on Wall Street or Silicon Valley. The company’s current CEO, Javier Romero, lives in Belize City, Belize. According to a corporate document, since 2009 Romero has been a “fisheries officer” for the Belize government. According to filings, Romero bought 210 million shares of the company in February. That stake would now be worth $3.5 billion.
Before Romero, the company—which has a social media website where users can, in theory, buy social friendships with celebrities—was run by Marlon Luis Sanchez, a former spokesperson for the Tijuana medical tourism industry and a San Diego-area medical clinic.
But at least one person has a long history with the company: Harold Gewerter, a Las Vegas lawyer who has spent the past few years birthing tiny companies with little or no income and questionable business prospects. Gewerter has also defended stock market promoters and in 1995, he was indicted as part of an FBI investigation. Those charges were ultimately dropped.
On Friday, regulators halted trading of Cynk shares, citing “potentially manipulative transactions” in the stock. There is no evidence that Gewerter has had anything to do with Cynk’s shares recent rise.
Penny stocks have long been a haven for fraudsters. And as the market has improved over the past year or so, there has been a resurgence of questionable activity. Earlier this year, Fortune reported that Forbes.com, Seeking Alpha, Wall Street Cheat Sheet, and other websites had been duped into publishing articles by authors paid to promote the companies they were writing about. The articles in question did not include disclosure that these authors were paid promoters. On Friday, the SEC charged five individuals for attempting to manipulated the shares of a Boston-based microcap company Amogear AMOG , which makes clothing aimed at mixed martial arts fighters.
低价股一直是诈骗犯们行骗的好去处。随着去年以来市场有所好转,股市的可疑行为也再次抬头。《财富》(Fortune)今年年初就曾报道过,像福布斯网站(Forbes.com)、Seeking Alpha、Wall Street Cheat Sheet等知名财经网站都曾受骗刊登过一些收钱为企业宣传造势的写手的文章。这些文章也没有标明作者是收了钱的“美分党”。上周五,美国证监会(SEC)指控五人涉嫌操纵波士顿一家名叫Amogear的公司的股价,这家公司主要生产混合格斗术运动员的运动服,市值极低。
Gewerter declined to comment on Cynk’s shares’ rapid ascent or why trading was put to a halt. In an e-mail Gewerter told Fortune that Cynk is no longer a client of his.
But as recently as June 11, six days before Cynk’s stock began to take off, Gewerter wrote a letter to the OTC Markets Group, an exchange for small companies, saying that he had been hired by Cynk to do a review of its documents. Gewerter wrote that nothing appeared to be out of order. He said he had personally met with Romero and verified that the company’s listed address in a business center in Belize was correct. There is no company named Cynk located at that address, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.
但就在6月11日,也就是Cynk股票开始暴涨的6天前,吉沃特曾致信美国场外交易集团(OTC Markets Group),称他已经被Cynk公司聘请审查其文件。吉沃特在那封信中称,Cynk公司的文件并没有什么异常之处。他还表示他本人已经和罗梅罗见了面,并且确认了该公司在伯利兹城一幢商业中心里的注册地址是正确的。但是据《华尔街日报》(Wall Street Journal)的一篇报道称,在那个地址上并没有一家叫做Cynk的公司。
Gewerter knows Cynk well. In 2012, Gewerter was listed as the lawyer and placement agent for the company’s initial public offering, back when Cynk was called Introbuzz. Unlike most IPOs, it had no underwriter or brokerage tied to the offering. Gewerter appears to have handled it all on his own.
Cynk’s website, Introbiz.com, advertises its ability connect users with “socialites,” but it doesn’t seem to have attracted many high-fliers. Instead, the website seems to be selling contact information for celebrities from a directory. As of July 11, according to the site, 78 people had paid $50 each to get contact info for Leonardo DiCaprio. The info for Parks and Recreationtelevision star Chris Pratt had been purchased by eight users. Those sales could not be verified. As of September 30, 2013, the last time the company reported financial information, Cynk said in its more than five years of existence it had not generated even a dollar in sales.
Cynk公司的网站Introbiz.com宣称,这个网站有能力让用户认识“上流社会人士”,但它似乎并没有吸引多少牛人。相反这个网站倒像是在贩卖名人的联系方式。据该网站称,从去年7月11日起来,已经有78人各花50美元购买了莱昂纳多的联系方式。还有8个人购买了电视剧《公园与娱乐》(Parks and Recreation)明星克里斯o帕拉特的联系方式。这些销售数据没有办法证实。2013年9月30日是该公司最后一次公布财务数据的时间,Cynk表示,公司成立五年以来,还没有产生哪怕1美元的销售额。
In 2009, a client of Gewerter’s named John Edwards, a Las Vegas stock market promoter (not the former presidential candidate), was fined $55 million by the Securities and Exchange Commission for his role in fraud involving mining company CMKM Diamonds. CMKM said it had the rights to gold and diamond mines. The SEC determined that the company’s maps and videos of the mines had been faked. According to the SEC, the company’s only actually activities were “illegally issuing and promoting its own stock.”
Edwards fled the country. And the SEC later sued to recover $25,000 that Edwards had transferred to a trust controlled by Gewerter. Edwards is still being pursued by the Justice Department.
Last month, another Gewerter client, Nevada attorney Marcus Luna, was fined $7 million and banned from working on securities offerings by the SEC for Luna’s role in a reverse merger stock scheme.
According to the Nevada State Bar, Gewerter has been practicing law since 1979. His firm’s website says that he specializes in estate planning and securities law. It says the firm was ranked in 2012 by SEC New Registrations Report, a trade publication, as one of the top 15 law firms in the country that represent companies doing “pre-effective IPOs.”
据内华达律师协会(Nevada State Bar)介绍,吉沃特从1979年开始就从事律师工作。他的事务所官网称,吉沃特的专长是财产规划和证券法。该网站还宣称,吉沃特的事务所曾在2012年被一份股市刊物《SEC新注册报告》(SEC New Registrations Report)评为代表公司从事“上市前流程(pre-effective IPOs)”的15家顶级律师事务所之一。
In 1990, Gewerter won what was at the time the largest civil judgment in Nevada state history, $35 million for a chemical company heiress who claimed to have been defrauded in the sale of the legendary Las Vegas property The Tropicana.
1990年,吉沃特打赢了内华达州历史上最大的一场民事官司。他代理的一方是一家化学公司的女继承人,据称是在出售拉斯维加斯热带花园酒店(The Tropicana)的过程中受到了诈骗。这起案件的价值高达3500万美元。
That case, though, later landed Gewerter in trouble with the Feds. In 1995, the FBI charged Gewerter with allegedly helping to conceal the fact that the hotel and casino had ties to the mob. The government later dropped the charges against Gewerter after being criticized by a judge for indicting Gewerter after he had worked with the government to gather evidence for its mob investigation.
Recently, Gewerter seems to have spent much of his time helping small companies with limited sales, and often no profits and limited prospects, sell stock.
In early 2012, Gewerter helped a small company named Tiger Oil and Energy TGRO raise nearly $850,000 by selling more than 28 million shares. Like Cynk, Tiger’s deal appeared to have been solely managed by Gewerter. No investment bank was listed on the offering.
2012年初,吉沃特帮助一家名叫老虎石油能源公司(Tiger Oil and Energy)的公司售出2800万股,募集到了近85万美元的资金。像Cynk一样,老虎公司的交易似乎也是由吉沃特一手包办的,没有一家投行被列为承销人。
Tiger said it was in the business of bringing formerly productive oil wells back to life. But the company had no revenue and its assets had plunged to just under $15,000 from $337,880 in the year before the offering. Tiger’s stock, which hit a high of $1.59 in December, now trades for $0.17.
And then there’s revenue-less, asset-less Stark Naked Bobbers, which sells kits that can transform any motorcycle into a “bobber,” a type of stylized bike not to be confused with a chopper. The documents for the company’s offering, which has yet to be completed, lists Gewerter as the company’s agent for its offering. The company’s only executive, Teresa Stark, who “does not have any public company experience and is involved in other business activities,” according to the company’s prospectus for the offering, runs not only Stark Naked Bobbers but also Stark Cycles of San Diego, Calif.
另外还有营收和资产都少得可怜的Stark Naked Bobbers公司,这家公司主要生产一套能把任何摩托车改装成一辆“Bobber”范儿摩托车的改装配件。该公司的上市申请文件(目前尚未完成上市)将吉沃特列为IPO代理人。据该公司的招股计划书介绍,该公司的唯一一名高管特里萨o斯塔克“没有任何上市公司经验,而且还在从事其它商业活动”,她不仅经营着这家公司,同时还在运营加州圣迭哥市的Stark Cycles公司。
When Fortune reached out to Stark, she first hung up during the phone call. When Fortune called back, Stark said, “I went through someone to find [Gewerter]. I have to now do my own investigating. I know nothing.”

  • potentiallyadv. 潜在地
  • confusedadj. 困惑的;混乱的;糊涂的 v. 困惑(confu
  • limitedadj. 有限的,被限制的 动词limit的过去式和过去
  • propertyn. 财产,所有物,性质,地产,道具
  • productiveadj. 能生产的,有生产价值的,多产的
  • stylizedadj. 程式化的,风格化的 动词stylize的过去式
  • promotevt. 促进,提升,升迁; 发起; 促销
  • commentn. 注释,评论; 闲话 v. 注释,评论
  • exchangen. 交换,兑换,交易所 v. 交换,兑换,交易
  • evidencen. 根据,证据 v. 证实,证明