Anti-social Media with Judd Bagley Exposing User-Generated Discontent

29Dec/11Off

The Wit and Wisdom of Gary Weiss

In coming weeks, a new book by Gary Weiss called Ayn Rand Nation will be published by St. Martin's Press. Antisocialmedia.net wants anybody who considers buying or reviewing the book to know more about the author, based on his own words.

This blog has gone to great lengths to identify many of the pseudonyms Gary Weiss has used online over the years, and Weiss is unhappy about this. You are strongly encouraged to review for yourself, where indicated, the trails of evidence connecting Weiss to the various pseudonyms that follow so that you can feel 100% comfortable of the connection. You are also encouraged to follow the links to the original postings to see for yourself the original racism and homophobia that tend to dominate Weiss's writing, if you can stomach it.

One of Weiss's pseudonyms is Ted Dichtler, as you can see proved here. Weiss often used Ted Dichtler to post to the Usenet group Soc.Culture.Jewish, where he frequently engaged in racism and homophobia, including the following:

Another Gary Weiss pseudonym is Lamborghini751. As you can read explained here, Weiss used this one to post to stock message boards where, true to form, he preferred homophobia and accusations of Nazism to actual discourse. Here are some examples:

This is the tip of the iceberg, with regard to Gary Weiss's homophobia and racism. Much more of this to come, as well as a review of Weiss's pattern of glowingly reviewing his own books on Amazon.com, and evidence that he's already preparing to do the same when his next book is published.

16Feb/09Off

Lecture on abuse of social media by stock manipulators

I recently had the honor of lecturing a group of business students at the University of Texas, on the topic of abuse of social media by stock manipulators. I’ve merged the recording of the lecture with my slide presentation and make it available for you here.

I should also note that I found this experience to be a very positive one, and would welcome similar opportunities in the future. Please contact me via email at: antisocialmedia@gmail.com

28Jul/08Off

Gary Weiss and DTCC: Roddy Boyd responds

In an earlier item, I noted that perhaps one of the strangest things I’ve experienced as a reporter is having Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) spokesman Stuart Z. Goldstein ignore my request for comment for several days, only to receive an answer from then-New York Post business writer Roddy Boyd.

Like any responsible journalist, it’s my policy to allow the subjects of my reporting an opportunity to respond when they are cast in a critical light. However, when approached for comment on something I wrote about him one year ago, Boyd made it quite clear that he would rather I not contact him for any reason, ever again.

Based on that exchange, I did not ask Roddy for comment when I recently wrote about what I perceive is his role in DTCC’s January, 2006 PR campaign aimed at deflecting criticism of the organization’s role in enabling illegal naked short selling.

Recently, Roddy contacted me to take issue with four points I made in that piece:

  1. While I reported that Boyd appeared to be running interference for DTCC’s Goldstein when answering – on Goldstein’s behalf – my long-ignored request for comment on Gary Weiss’s apparent use of a DTCC computer, Boyd insists he was merely doing us both a favor by personally conveying to me Goldstein’s comments on the issue.
  2. While I suspect Gary Weiss has had an extensive relationship with DTCC, Boyd says DTCC’s Goldstein has personally denied as much to him on multiple occasions.
    What remains unclear is why, for 18 months, Goldstein has insisted on answering my questions through Roddy Boyd.
  3. While I reported that the publication of Roddy’s review of Gary Weiss’s second book appeared to be timed to support the launch of DTCC’s January, 2006 PR initiative targeting critics of naked short selling, Boyd denies this.
    Indeed, it is reasonable to consider the possibility that instead of Roddy timing the publication of his review of Weiss’s book to coincide with the launch of DTCC’s January 2006 PR initiative, the initiative itself might have instead been timed to coincide with the publication of Roddy’s review. This is a likely explanation, given Weiss’s apparent foreknowledge of the review’s publication date.
  4. While I reported that Boyd and Weiss had a relationship that predates Boyd’s review of Weiss’s book, Boyd says he and Weiss didn’t connect until just before January 22, 2006, and that Boyd received the book not from Weiss himself, but from the publisher sometime in early December, 2005.
    I based my reporting upon an email exchange between Roddy and Floyd Schneider (
    read this to learn how I came to posses emails between the two) which leaves no doubt that by at least January 15, 2006, Boyd knew enough about Weiss know he and Schneider were friends, and that Boyd could confidently ask Schneider to dig up negative information about public companies featured in stories Boyd was working on at the time. Boyd insists that knowledge came not from his relationship with Weiss, but from reading Weiss's book, which prominently mentions Schneider.

Though Roddy and I may not completely agree on our respective interpretations of the facts surrounding this episode, I appreciate his willingness to address them with me on the record.

Finally, I would suggest that anyone entertained by DTCC’s bizarre approach to public relations read this exchange between Stuart Goldstein and Fox Business News host Alexis Glick, to see that I’m far from the only person receiving inadequate responses to reasonable requests for comment made of Stu Goldstein.

15Jul/08Off

Gary Weiss: his DTCC ties and lies

Possibly the biggest single “a-ha!” moment I’ve had while writing this blog came in late January of 2007, when I discovered that one week earlier, Gary Weiss had edited Wikipedia while logged in to a computer on the network of the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC).

The basis for that conclusion is explained here.

This may not seem like a big deal to most, but it turned out to be a huge deal to those of us who had spent a full year enduring Weiss’s attacks without any clear understanding of his motivation.

We knew his aim was to discredit and marginalize high profile opponents of illegal naked short selling. Yet his book, which seemed to be the launch pad of Weiss’s campaign, was quite critical of both hedge fund and prime broker culture: the two obvious sides of the naked shorting equation.

So who was paying Weiss to spend all day, most every day, publishing his attacks via his blog, message boards, and Wikipedia?

Nobody had ever considered the DTCC.

But once we knew Weiss had used a DTCC computer – given the uniquely Fort Knox-like nature of the institution, and the fact that it could not have happened unless Weiss had official access – everything fell into place.

Suddenly, we noticed a very striking set of coincidences, commencing January 22, 2006.

On that date:

  1. Roddy Boyd, then business writer at the New York Post, published his review of Weiss’s book Wall Street Versus America (an unheard-of six weeks before the book would be available in print). In his review, Boyd writes:

    "The most provocative argument in Weiss' book is that naked shorting — or short-selling a company's stock without being able to borrow it first, per long standing rules — is not only a good idea, but a necessary one...This is guaranteed to send Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne and the other disciples of his "stop naked short-selling crusade" — Weiss dismisses the lot of them as the "Baloney Brigade" — into further spasms."

  2. Weiss published the first naked short selling-related post on his week-old blog.
  3. Weiss Yahoo! Finance message board IDs lamborghini751, cupandsaucerwithsugar, and baloneysmasher were created and immediately put to use attacking opponents of illegal naked short selling.
  4. One day later, DTCC issued the first of what would be eight naked short selling-related media releases over the next seven months. By way of comparison, during the seven months prior to January 23, 2006, DTCC issued zero releases on the topic.

Further examination made it clear that Weiss had an unusual relationship with those DTCC media releases, in that Weiss would promote them via his blog, stock message boards and Wikipedia articles in a rather systematic way, often long before anybody else was even aware of them.

Here’s an example:

Taking all these factors together, I’ve concluded that January 22, 2006 represents the beginning of an aggressive public relations campaign by DTCC, aimed at countering a growing perception that the organization is a key enabler of illegal naked short selling. I further conclude that a that time, Gary Weiss was operating in support of that effort and likely remains so today.

I requested a comment of DTCC spokesman Stuart Z. Goldstein – the likely architect of the above-mentioned PR campaign – but received only two strange responses, neither of which addressed my question.

When I persisted in asking Goldstein for comment, his came – and I cannot overstate how shocked I remain by this even today – from reporter Roddy Boyd, then of the New York Post.

It read:

From: Boyd, Roddy
Date: Feb 09 2007 - 1:03pm
Subject:
-----
judd,
I spoke to corp comm at DTCC and they told me, on the record, that weiss is not, nor has he ever, been employed or used by DTCC in any capacity, formally or informally. They categorically reject it and tell me that none of them have any recollection of ever talking to him, meeting with him or having any dealings with him.
categorically rejects it.
thats a big hump for a real reporter to get over.
let me put this politely:
As an investigative reporter, laughably per PB, you really,really are a much better PR person

In case you’ve forgotten, it was Roddy Boyd’s six week premature review of Weiss’s book, published January 22, 2006, that seems to have been the launching point of the DTCC’s PR campaign, described above.

For his part, Weiss called my conclusions of a relationship between him and DTCC a “malicious lie” and “absolute crap.”

At that point, I had a ton of circumstantial evidence pointing to DTCC as Weiss’s patron, and direct proof that Weiss had used a computer on DTCC’s network.

I also had the strangest denial, on the part Stuart Goldstein at DTCC, that I’ve ever seen.

But most importantly, I had the benefit of an extremely low-set hurdle to cross in order to prove that Weiss, Boyd and Goldstein were all engaged in a ridiculous lie.

After all, as Goldstein said through Boyd, nobody at DTCC has “any recollection of ever talking to [Gary Weiss], meeting with [Gary Weiss] or having any dealings with [Gary Weiss].”

What follows is the story of how we’ve sailed over that particular hurdle, thanks to some emails from Gary Weiss to paid stock message board basher Floyd Schneider. (Read this to learn how I came to posses these emails).

********

In addition to being the month in which DTCC launched its PR campaign against opponents of naked short selling, January of 2006 is also a significant time in that Mark Mitchell, then assistant managing editor of the Columbia Journalism Review, started work on what would go on to become The Story of Deep Capture.

Back then, as now, Gary Weiss seemed to be about the only non-pseudonymous person willing to go on the record in defense of naked short selling, which naturally made him a frequent point of contact for Mitchell.

Mitchell recalls as many as a dozen conversations with Gary Weiss in the first couple of months working on the story. In several of those conversations, Mitchell remembers Weiss awkwardly seeking to gauge Mitchell’s opinion of any recently-published DTCC media releases.

Among the topics Mitchell discussed with Weiss was Dr. Susan Trimbath, a former DTCC employee turned outspoken critic of that organization’s role in enabling illegal naked short selling. Mitchell recalls being surprised by how much the subject of Trimbath seemed to bother Weiss.

Given that bit of background, consider the following email exchange between Gary Weiss and Floyd Schneider.

It starts on March 13 at 9:41 AM, when Floyd emails Weiss a reference to a speech Dr. Trimbath had given a few months earlier.

To this, Weiss replies:

From: garyrweiss@verizon.net
To: Floyd3491@aol.com
Subject: Re: (no subject)
Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2006 09:49:27 -0500
Received: from unknown (HELO maincomputer) (garyrweiss@verizon.net@151.202.90.90 with login) by smtp101.vzn.mail.dcn.yahoo.com with SMTP; 13 Mar 2006 14:49:22 -0000
-----
Say, what is with this Trimbath? I ask because a particularly dimwitted reporter for Columbia Journalism Review is doing a story on media coverage that is widely expected to lean toward the balonies, and he is relying heavily on her.

Floyd immediately begins to pepper Weiss with every googled reference to Trimbath he can find – all of them quite positive – to which Weiss replies:

From: garyrweiss@verizon.net
To: Floyd3491@aol.com
Subject: Re: (no subject)
Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2006 10:49:12 -0500
Received: from unknown (HELO maincomputer) (garyrweiss@verizon.net@151.202.90.90 with login) by smtp103.vzn.mail.dcn.yahoo.com with SMTP; 13 Mar 2006 15:49:08 -0000
-----
Yeah, all pretty innocuous, which is she is a perfect front woman. I presume she expects to cash in as an expert witness or somesuch for the balonies.

The next day, DTCC issued a media release attacking Trimbath’s expert status and minimizing the importance of the position she held there.

The day after that, Weiss places a standing order with Floyd for any negative information on Dr. Trimbath he can find (searching for this sort of information is how Floyd spends an alarming portion of his days, by the way):

From: garyrweiss@verizon.net
To: Floyd3491@aol.com
Subject: Re: Aha!
Date: Wed, 15 Mar 2006 13:38:35 -0500
Received: from unknown (HELO maincomputer (garyrweiss@verizon.net@151.202.90.90 with login) by smtp101.vzn.mail.dcn.yahoo.com with SMTP; 15 Mar 2006 18:38:29 -0000
-----
Incidentally this Susanne Trimbath is the primary source of info on nekkid shorting for a complete idiot who is wriiting a story for the Col. Journalism Review. If you can think of anything particularly wacky that she has said, let me know.

A few minutes later, Floyd responds with something fairly unremarkable, to which Weiss replies:

From: garyrweiss@verizon.net
To: Floyd3491@aol.com
Subject: Re: Aha!
Date: Wed, 15 Mar 2006 13:47:54 -0500
Received: from unknown (HELO maincomputer) (garyrweiss@verizon.net@151.202.90.90 with login) by smtp103.vzn.mail.dcn.yahoo.com with SMTP; 15 Mar 2006 18:47:49 -0000
-----
You know, the thing that is bad is that this statement below would not be considered extreme by the doofus doing this article for CJR. Several of us are concerned that it is going to be a total baloney-piece. He is a real ham bone.

After Floyd sends still more non-scandalous Trimbath references, Weiss replies:

From: garyrweiss@verizon.net
To: Floyd3491@aol.com
Subject: Re: Aha!
Date: Wed, 15 Mar 2006 14:00:54 -0500
Received: from unknown (HELO maincomputer) (garyrweiss@verizon.net@151.202.90.90 with login) by smtp103.vzn.mail.dcn.yahoo.com with SMTP; 15 Mar 2006 19:00:49 -0000
-----
It has to be something fairly extreme. This guy really has me (and others of us a lot more than me) worried. I've drummed into this nitwit's head about O'Baloney and it all just bounced off his concrete skull.

About an hour later, Floyd sends the prior day’s DTCC media release to Weiss, prompting this reply:

From: garyrweiss@verizon.net
To: Floyd3491@aol.com
Subject: Re: the whole article with link
Date: Wed, 15 Mar 2006 15:09:17 -0500
Received: from unknown (HELO maincomputer) (garyrweiss@verizon.net@151.202.90.90 with login) by smtp103.vzn.mail.dcn.yahoo.com with SMTP; 15 Mar 2006 20:09:12 -0000
-----
Yes I sent this to the bozo at CJR earlier today. The jerk emailed back indicating that he is chewing away at baloney. Very depressing.

In his emails to Floyd, Weiss makes it clear that he’s involved in active consultations with other individuals, who feel deeply concerned about the prospect of Dr. Trimbath’s influence on Mitchell’s story.

Because Dr. Trimbath addresses illegal naked short selling almost exclusively from the standpoint of the DTCC’s role, it’s very difficult to imagine that, when Weiss refers to “Several of us” and “others of us,” he’s not referencing officials at DTCC.

Armed with these emails as confirmation that Goldstein was not being honest, when he stated, through Roddy Boyd, that he “categorically rejects” the idea that anybody at DTCC has so much as spoken with Gary Weiss, I again asked Goldstein for a comment.

Goldstein refused to answer the question.

UPDATE: Roddy Boyd responds to points raised above.

14Jul/08Off

Gary Weiss, Usenet Troll

This email from Gary Weiss to Floyd Schneider isn't significant for what it says, but for what it reveals (which is explained at the end).

Here, Weiss is telling Floyd about his inclusion in Weiss's forthcoming book.

From: garyrweiss@verizon.net
To: Floyd3491@aol.com
Subject: Re: (no subject)
Date: Thu, 29 Dec 2005 16:18:47 -0500
Received: from unknown (HELO maincomputer) (garyrweiss@verizon.net@70.23.42.100 with login) by smtp101.vzn.mail.dcn.yahoo.com with SMTP; 29 Dec 2005 21:18:48 -0000
-----
Well, it so happens sir that you are featured prominently in two chapters, so I don't think they would be up for the project! I will get you a copy when one is available.

What's most noteworthy about this email is the IP from which it was sent: 70.23.42.100, which is the same I claimed proved Weiss established his pattern of online deception and sockpuppeting long ago as a poster to several Usenet groups.

It also reinforces my claim that Weiss writes the blog Mediacrity.

14Jul/08Off

Gary Weiss doesn’t like Liz Moyer

Gary Weiss said this about Forbes journalist Liz Moyer, whom opponents of illegal naked short selling hold in high regard for her balanced and accurate reporting on the subject.

From: garyrweiss@verizon.net
To: Floyd3491@aol.com
Subject: Re: sia fleesing public according to bob o'brien
Date: Mon, 25 Sep 2006 21:17:34 -0400
Received: from unknown (HELO maincomputer) (garyrweiss@verizon.net@151.202.72.132 with login) by smtp102.vzn.mail.dcn.yahoo.com with SMTP; 26 Sep 2006 01:17:30 -0000
—————
Off the record, don't breathe a soul about this, that joker Liz Moyer once tried to get a job at BW years ago and I successfully lobbied against it. She used to be at Insitutional Investor and is a total shill for CEOs.

14Jul/08Off

Gary Weiss and his Yahoo Gnomes

What brought me into this fight in a public way was the discovery that Gary Weiss was posting to the Yahoo Finance message board as "Lamborghini751".

I figured this out, initially, by figuring out that Gary was commenting on his own blog as "Lamborghini751".

In response, Weiss swore that indeed, he had posted Lamborghini751's comments, but that it had been at Lambo's request.

Apparently it was easier for Lambo to email the comments to Weiss than to actually post them himself.

(snicker)

At the time, Weiss took the additional step of swearing that he'd never actually posted anything to Yahoo Finance.

Well...let's see what his email to Floyd has to say on the matter.

On February 17, 2006, Floyd sent Gary Weiss a link to a story relating to securities fraud. For some reason this prompted the following reply from Gary:

From: garyrweiss@verizon.net
To: Floyd3491@aol.com
Subject: Re: Each year, Americans lose an estimated $40 billion to securities fraud
Date: Fri, 17 Feb 2006 11:16:24 -0500
Received: from unknown (HELO maincomputer) (garyrweiss@verizon.net@70.23.27.10 with login) by smtp102.vzn.mail.dcn.yahoo.com with SMTP; 17 Feb 2006 16:16:28 -0000
—————
Excellent! Reminds me to transfer my google alerts over to my new Verizon account.
One damn thing about Verizon is that it has prevented my gnomes from posting on the Yahoo boards! The link is sometimes down for hours on end.

Any guesses as to what Weiss means when he refers to his "gnomes"?

As it happens, I know precisely who Weiss's gnomes were. But the point is, unless Weiss employs faerie-world creatures to do his dirty work for him, he was lying when he claimed that he never posted anything to Yahoo Finance.

13Jul/08Off

The Final Word on Gary Weiss and Wikipedia

One of the strangest things I've ever seen is how Gary Weiss deals with getting caught in a lie.

A great example of this is his denial of so much as editing Wikipedia, in the face of evidence that not only has he been a very active Wikipedia editor, but that he's also engaged in an concerted effort to inject misinformation into the Wikipedia articles on naked short selling, prominent opponent of naked short selling Patrick Byrne, and Overstock.com, which is the company Byrne heads as CEO.

To give a little background, here's what Weiss originally wrote (and later deleted) in his blog in response to my repeated claims that he was the now-infamous Wikipedia editor "Mantanmoreland".

Bagley didn't even pretend to have contacted me, not that it would have prevented him from publishing his smears -- just as Wikipedia's denial, and mine, has never prevented him from repeating, again and again, his malicious lie that I have edited Wikipedia.

About that same time, Weiss added this comment to his blog:

I think that it is indicative of Judd's (and his boss's) malice -- in every sense of the word -- that he would publish an outright lie while knowing that it is a lie. Both I and the DTCC have denied the total rubbish that he posted on his website.

Similarly he continues to publish the lie that I am this "Mantanmoreland" long after it was, again, denied by both myself and Jimbo Wales of Wikipedia.

Since ASM is an extension of Overstock.com, operated with the blessing and open and enthusiastic support of its CEO, I think that what you have here goes clearly beyond ethical issues. Of course corporate ethics is clearly never a consideration for Patrick Byrne, in earning the merit badges required to gaint he sought-after title of "America's worst CEO."
Gary Weiss | Homepage | 02.09.07 - 11:07 am | #

Before proceeding, let's make sure everybody agrees that Gary Weiss insists my claim that he has edited Wikipedia is a "malicious lie."

Everybody clear on that?

Good. Now on to Gary's email. (Read this to learn how I came to posses email between Gary Weiss and another individual).

On 1/28/2006 at 7:19 PM, Floyd Schneider became aware of the battle that was raging for control of the Wikipedia article on naked short selling, and sent a link to Gary Weiss.

The next morning, Weiss sent the following two replies:

From: garyrweiss@verizon.net
To: Floyd3491@aol.com
Subject: Re: (no subject)
Date: Sun, 29 Jan 2006 11:13:46 -0500
Received: from unknown (HELO maincomputer) (garyrweiss@verizon.net@70.23.85.112 with login) by smtp101.vzn.mail.dcn.yahoo.com with SMTP; 29 Jan 2006 16:13:43 -0000
---------------
Note that they're hijacking that page. However, anyone can unhijack. You just go into edit mode, select all and copy the page when it is in good shape, and save it as a text file. That makes it easier to replace the page when it has been baloneyfied. I may insert a reference to my book at some point.....

From: garyrweiss@verizon.net
To: Floyd3491@aol.com
Subject:
Date: Sun, 29 Jan 2006 11:21:46 -0500
Received: from unknown (HELO maincomputer) (garyrweiss@verizon.net@70.23.85.112 with login) by smtp101.vzn.mail.dcn.yahoo.com with SMTP; 29 Jan 2006 16:21:43 -0000
---------------
right now, for example, it is in pretty good shape. In fact..... well, here
is what one simply has to plug in... attached.

You can see the document Weiss attached here.

So, those are the emails.

Here's what they tell us.

First, we now know that as early as 1/28/2006, Gary Weiss clearly had edited Wikipedia, which is not itself a big deal. Yet, Weiss calls the claim a "malicious lie."

Indeed, it is Weiss who is lying.

Second, we now know (as if there were any doubt) that Weiss was "Mantanmoreland". Here's how:
Note Weiss's IP address on January 28 and 29, 2006 as reflected by these two emails: 70.23.85.112. Now, look at the Wikipedia edit history of IP address 70.23.85.112.

As you can see, someone using the IP address 70.23.85.112 was eagerly editing the Wikipedia article on naked short selling on January 27 and 28, 2006 and then stops abruptly.

The final act of the editor at IP address 70.23.85.112 was to edit the article to appear precisely how it did in the file Weiss sent Schneider.

Wikipedia editor "Mantanmoreland" is created shortly thereafter and his first act is then to restore the naked shorting article to how it appeared where 70.23.85.112 left off (again, precisely mirroring the content of the attachment Weiss had sent to Schneider).

Weiss sent his second reply to Schneider before any edits were made to that version, noting "right now, for example, it is in pretty good shape."

From this, we know that Gary Weiss = 70.23.85.112 = Mantanmoreland, and that Weiss's MANY ongoing denials are among the more deeply disturbing lies I've witnessed another human concoct.

While hardly germane, given the gravity of the above, I'd like to make out two additional points (a little running up of the score, if you will).

First, the act of recruiting others to mimic one's position when editing an article on Wikipedia is known as "meatpuppeting", and is regarded as a serious offense in that silly culture. This is precisely what Weiss has done here, although there is no evidence that Schneider acted upon Weiss's request.

Second, for all the times he has lied, Weiss certainly told the truth when he said, "I may insert a reference to my book at some point."

Beginning one week after the publication of his second book on April 6, 2006, Weiss added (and very jealously guarded) dozens of references to his book, many of which persist to this day.

1Jul/08Off

Roger and Me: insights into the dark world of stock manipulation

The first several posts published on AntiSocialMedia.net dealt with former BusinessWeek reporter Gary Weiss and his abuse of blogs, Wikipedia and message boards in defense of illegal stock market manipulation.

Almost immediately after publishing the first such post, I began to receive email from readers who were confident that any scam involving Gary Weiss was all but certain to involve a fellow named Floyd Schneider, as well.

Curious, I googled “Floyd Schneider”, and quickly found the 2002 BusinessWeek story entitled “Revenge of the Investor”, in which Floyd is painted as a crusading folk hero fighting against corporate fraudsters.

With that, I concluded that Floyd Schneider could not possibly be an associate of Gary Weiss.

Time passed, and I began to gain a better understanding of how Gary Weiss was not only a corrupt blogger, but how he had also been a corrupt reporter, often using his by-line at BusinessWeek to further the interests of his short selling patrons by casting black as white, and white as black.

Indeed, as anybody who’s followed his career knows, the First Law of Gary Weiss is: If Gary says something is bad, it’s probably good; and vice versa.

I’m ashamed to admit that the obvious “A-ha!” moment finally came in December of 2006. That’s when it occurred to me – rather randomly – that I ought to take another look at the 2002 piece on Floyd Schneider…particularly the story’s by-line (which BusinessWeek.com tends to print at the end of stories).

Looking back, what I found probably should have come as no surprise…

story written by Gary Weiss

…the author of the story lionizing Floyd Schneider was Gary Weiss himself. Indeed, Floyd is also lovingly featured in Weiss’s second book.

Those facts, when viewed in the context of the First Law of Gary Weiss, were all I needed to know that the individuals who suggested Floyd Schneider was involved in the coordinated public attacks I had observed against Patrick Byrne and other opponents of illegal naked short selling, were correct.

At that point, I sought to determine which message board aliases Schneider was using at the time. The answer was to be found in this legal opinion filed in one of the (multiple) lawsuits brought against Schneider by companies defamed and libeled by his message board posting.

It reads:

…“Floydtheoneandonly,” “charlesp0nzi,” “thetruthseekercom,” are [stock message board] pseudonyms used by Floyd Schneider...

From there, the Dissembler Sorting Algorithm revealed that on Yahoo Finance alone, additional Schneider aliases included strethoechasity, returnofstockdung, baloneymarch, wackypat, zorro20934 and china39846.

As an aside, the alias zorro20934 was used by Schneider to post attacks (since deleted) against Matrixx Initiatives, in direct violation of an agreement Schneider signed stipulating that he would not do so.

Over time the vast majority of Schneider’s message board contributions have been deleted for their abusive nature. Possibly the best and most recent example of this appeared briefly on Yahoo's INVESTools board, in a series of posts in which Schneider attempted to blame INVESTools management for former employee David Ragsdale’s tragic decision to murder his wife earlier this year.

Analysis of the thousands of posts made by Schneider revealed that they attacked – almost without exception, companies appearing on the Reg SHO Threshold Securities list – which is comprised of firms targeted by hedge funds engaged in manipulative naked short selling.

In addition, Floyd’s posting patterns tended to be very abnormal; meaning, he would focus intensely on one or two companies for a time, then abruptly shift focus to attacking another and never return to the prior. This, I reasoned, was what one would expect of someone being directed in their efforts, as opposed to someone whose attention naturally evolved over time.

The next breakthrough came when I discovered this message board post made to SiliconInvestor.com by former Schneider business partner and convicted stock manipulator Anthony Elgindy, reading:

From: Anthony@Pacific
4/21/2001 8:28:44 PM

Notice of termination of all association with The truthseeker.
As of Yesterday.
I wish him luck in his current business venture as a paid researcher/basher..
I dont pay for any posts..period and I'm not gonna start ever doing that.
Please dont ask me to elaborate , just know that he is being paid now by outside parties.
He has done some good work and we have had some good times , but all good things must come to an end..someday.

I first wrote about what I had discovered, vis-à-vis Floyd Schneider, in December 2006.

In early April 2007, a mysterious comment was added to the Schneider post, claiming to have been made by Floyd’s long-deceased father. It read…

The Truthseeker is incapable of ever telling the truth!

How do I know? That’s easy I was his father. Currently my wife and other 4 sons have completely disowned him and will have nothing to do with him anymore.

I passed away on 2/7/1996, let me tell you some of my own experiences with my 3rd son, Floyd D. Schneider.

TIMELINE:
1976-1979 while attending the University of Miami he has gambled with bookies losing thousands of dollars I had to bail him out of, and committed credit card fraud stealing credit card numbers.

1982 stock broker for Moore Schlay, embezzled monies from family and friends brokerage accounts and lost it all buying options, He was fired and I had to bail him out again.

1983 stockbroker for Shearson American express, again he did the same thing and he was fired, I had to mortgage my house this time to bail him out.

1983- 1988 in between this time there were a few more bets with bookies and in 1988 he married a con artist and became her 6th husband. They both ran an Insurance agency in Bradley Beach, NJ “The F. D. Schneider Insurance Agency” This was a total disaster, they both were issuing insurance cards to people and had them make out their premium checks directly to them and cashing the checks for money for themselves, never putting the policies through and having these people driving with no car insurance without them knowing.

Yup again this cost me money in 1991, my whole half years retirement package in fact to bail him out of this mess.

Floyd came home to live again and in 1992 became a Mortgage broker for Weichert Realtors. He got in more trouble in those years by having people sign lock-in agreements and not locking the interest rate in, hoping rates would go down and lock it in then making loads more money for himself. Problem was more often the interest rates went up and he had to arrange to pay large lump sums of money to the borrowers to keep them from getting him fired.

Thank goodness he was a “so called” top producer, giving him them means pay his way out of a mess for himself for once. Floyd is a compulsive liar and you never can get the Truth from him, always nothing but another lie after another. Guess that’s why now he feels a need to seek truth from others, lord knows he could never seek it from himself.

He has a very convoluted way of justifying things. I remember back in 1983 when he was with Shearson in that mess, he forged a signature from his Godfather’s account, when I sat down with him to explain he did something very wrong all he told me was:  “dad I never forged anything, I just signed the check Floyd Schneider, it’s my fault Shearson didn’t check to see if it was the right Floyd Schneider or not, so really it’s their fault not mine!” You see Floyd was named after his uncle and Godfather “Floyd Schneider” of Carpenter and Smith Oil in Monroe, NY.

I never could convince him he did anything wrong either, he really believes he has never done a wrong thing in his life. I died 6 months after Floyd was married to his second wife. His father-in-law has no idea of what his daughter married! I am starting to feel I am the lucky one now six feet under, but finally in peace!!!

Not feeling comfortable with a comment from a dead person appearing on my blog – particularly one leveling such extreme accusations – I removed it and contacted its author: not to ask for proof of the claims, but to discern with reasonable certainty that he or she was actually in a position to know whether or not they were true.

What resulted was a long and fruitful conversation with Roger Schneider, Floyd’s brother and – until days before – Floyd’s boss at the Ramsey, NJ branch of mortgage brokerage Nationwide Equity.

The circumstances behind Floyd’s dismissal from Nationwide provide what might be the most interesting and valuable bit of insight yet gained in my effort to prove that contrary to their repeated claims, some individuals are indeed paid to “bash” public companies on stock message boards on behalf of short selling hedge funds seeking to profit from a drop in the target company’s share value.

Here’s how Roger Schneider himself describes the situation:

"Floyd was writing up invoices on Nationwide Equity's letterhead to Magic consulting instructing Magic to pay Nationwide for some phony service he made up, and too have Magic consulting make out the checks payable directly to Floyd D. Schneider. He did this many times before it was discovered and he was fired."

(More on Michelle McDonough and Magic Consulting in a moment)

As Roger described the above scene to me, when Floyd was presented with the evidence of his history of illegally disguising payments from Magic Consulting as mortgage brokerage commissions, Floyd’s only defense was to point out that in this most recent case (the one for which he was caught), Magic owner Michelle McDonough had instead opted to pay him directly as a contract “stock researcher.”

This is a vital detail, because it confirms Anthony Elgindy’s claim that Floyd had engaged in a “business venture as a paid researcher/basher.”

It was while cleaning out Floyd’s desk a few days later that Roger discovered a print version of the same legal filing I had found online months before, and the partial listing of Floyd’s confirmed message board aliases. Then, while seeking additional information on what he’d found, Roger happened upon AntiSocialMedia.net and my post about his brother.

As it turns out, Floyd left behind many compelling insights into his relationship with Michelle McDonough’s Magic Consulting.

It seems that when hedge fund Third Point Capital needed some dirt spread about specific companies, they would enlist the help of McDonough, who would in turn enlist the help of individuals such as Floyd Schneider. McDonough would provide Floyd with a list of “talking points” and, moments later, these were the things Floyd would begin posting on stock message boards across the web, including Yahoo Finance, Raging Bull, and Silicon Investor.

Very soon, these were also the things business reporter Roddy Boyd (currently of Fortune, previously of the New York Post) was writing damning stories about.

Very frequently, Boyd would contact Floyd, asking for help digging up negative information on officers of specific companies. In every case, these companies were known to be under active and vicious attack by short selling hedge funds.

On one occasion, Roddy Boyd refers directly to Michelle McDonough as an acquaintance of his and Floyd’s…which is what makes the following email exchanges between Boyd and myself so strange:

Judd Bagley: “…What do you know about a woman named Michelle McDonough?”

Roddy Boyd: “re Michelle M: nothing. Should I? google has about 1mm entries for that name.”

Judd Bagley: “She used to go by the name Michelle Sarian. Today she runs “Magic Consulting.” I think she did a year in prison back in 2001.”

Roddy Boyd: “re sarian or mcdonough…youre [sic] concern, not mine.”

And later…

Judd Bagley: “While I’ve got you…you recently denied knowing Michelle McDonough (formerly Sarian). Is that still your position?”

Roddy Boyd: “sorry judd, im [sic] not talking to you about anything else, period. if youre [sic] not comfortable with me asking the questions-fine. but im [sic] not anwering [sic] yours.”

We’ve since learned yet more about Michelle McDonough and Magic Consulting.

Most notable is the fact that McDonough apparently offers her services to multiple hedge funds, not just Third Point Capital, as originally suspected.

It’s also emerged that, prior to leaving for prison, McDonough (then known as Michelle Sarian) was a very active message board poster, herself. Sources suggest that in those days, she primarily attacked the companies targeted by Evan Sturza, a former hedge fund manager who went on to publish Sturza’s Medical Investment Letter.

Based on evidence he saw, Roger Schneider estimates McDonough paid Floyd at least $14,000 in 2006 alone. A few years before that, Roger observed Floyd receive at least one payment of $10,000 from Paul C. Harary, who – it should come as no surprise – was recently imprisoned for securities manipulation.

Paul C. Harary.

Michelle McDonough.

Anthony Elgindy.

Sam E. Antar.

All convicted securities manipulators.

All past and present associates of paid stock message board basher Floyd Schneider.

4Mar/08Off

The many fish tales of Jimbo Wales

Over the past month, dozens of volunteers have joined together to assemble a staggering amount of evidence backing up one of the central claims of AntiSocialMedia.net: that former financial journalist Gary Weiss is possibly the most profoundly conflicted Wikipedia editor in the history of that website.

By all accounts, the resulting mass of evidence vastly exceeded any previous effort and produced a “case” supporting the claim that Gary Weiss has, in extreme violation of Wikipedia policy, deceitfully operated multiple accounts in an effort to skew the articles relating to naked short selling, Overstock.com, Patrick Byrne, and Gary Weiss himself.

Those unfamiliar with Wikipedia policy might not appreciate just how big a deal this really is.

It’s very satisfying to see so much support for the claim that has, over the past year, created so much misery for the few who have believed it.

That misery was occasioned, in large part, by the inexplicable obstructionism of Wikipedia founder Jimbo Wales, who intervened on multiple occasions to halt efforts threatening to tie Weiss to his many wiki sockpuppet identities.

Initially, it seemed reasonable to assume that Wales’s unreasonable behavior was based on bad information, and that he was otherwise acting in good faith.

That changed, however, when several of Wales’s contributions to a very small and private email list were recently leaked to me.

Of these, the most interesting, dated September 15, 2007, reads as follows:

From: jwales@wikia.com (Jimbo Wales)
I just want to go on record as saying that I believe the reason for this is that Mantanmoreland is in fact Gary Weiss.

Before lauding Wales’s apparent enlightenment on this topic, note the comment he made one month later, in reference to his support of an effort to block model Wikipedia editor Cla68 from making the most reasonable changes to the Gary Weiss article autobiography:

“Cla68, I fear that you have been manipulated by lying stalkers and trolls...”

In case it’s not clear, this is one of Wales’s many references to me as “lying stalker” and “troll.”

Kindly re-read the previous few paragraphs in case the following point is not made crystal clear to you: in private, Wales admitted knowing that I was correct about Gary Weiss, and yet in public, continued protecting Weiss, defaming me and castigating those who recognized and acted upon the truth as reported here.

What could possibly motivate someone to be not only deceitful, but deeply, irresponsibly and libelously deceitful?

Before you answer, consider the insights we can glean from the examples of Rachel Marsden and Jeff Merkey.

Rachel Marsden
Marsden is a controversial Canadian media personality and political consultant whose Wikipedia article has consistently tended toward the disproportionately negative.

While the full extent of their relationship is unknown, the emergence of a series of IM chat transcripts between Marsden and Wales makes it clear that in early February of this year, the relationship was…shall we say…a physical one.

Confronted with an overwhelming body of evidence, Wales conceded to a single “meeting” with Marsden, which took place on February 9, 2008.

While other evidence would suggest Wales isn’t telling the truth here, let us none-the-less focus on the circumstances surrounding that meeting.

In the following excerpted IM chat exchange between Wales and Marsden leading up to the February 9 meeting (originally published in Valleywag.com), the two discuss a specific point of inaccuracy in her article.

Wales: I wrote an email to the internal editors list about your entry recommending some changes, etc. I said that I would run it by you for clarification/comment and email again if there were any updates I think we have two major problems right now first, the timeline is wrong about the recent cop case... that is the worst error and easy to fix

Wales: right so the way it is told now, hang on a second let’s actually do this right now because the last thing I want to do is take a break from f**king your brains out all night to work on your wikipedia entry :)

"In September 2007, on her blog Marsden wrote about and posted a picture of a counterterrorism officer for the Ontario Provincial Police with whom she had an affair. She claimed that he had leaked secret anti-terrorism documents to her, then posted email messages from him as evidence that he had been pursuing her, and sent to the National Post these along with sexually explicit pictures of him that she had received. She was investigated for criminal harassment for this behaviour, but was not charged. The OPP's criminal investigations branch cleared the officer of any wrongdoing."

so our timeline is wrong we say
(1) wrote about him on your blog
(2) posted email messages from him
(3) as a result he files harassment charges

Marsden: exactly. it was a retaliatory complaint on his part that was launched 2 months after they initiated their investigation into his stuff.

Wales: but the correct timeline is
(1) wrote about him on the blog
(2) he files harassment charges
(3) you post email messages to show how his harassment charges are bullshit

Marsden: you're a sh*tdisturber. :) right I only posted the emails after he went public trying to create trouble. NOT before that.

Wales: so we can get that sorted and then this makes the story clearer

Marsden: that's good of you to do. really.

Comparing the substance of this chat session with the edit history of the Rachel Marsden article in the days leading up to February 9, 2008, we see something rather striking: On February 7, wikipedian Guy Chapman (aka “JzG”) commits two changes (1)(2) which have the net effect of making precisely the content alterations Marsden requested.

Jeff Merkey
Merkey is a computer scientist and entrepreneur whose Wikipedia article came under attack by several editors critical of his professional associations.

According to Merkey, in 2006, Wales told him that in exchange for a substantial donation, Wales could use his influence to make Merkey’s article more agreeable, and to place Merkey himself under Wales's "special protection" as an editor.

Merkey made a $5,000 donation and hinted at the possibility of something much larger in the future.

Merkey claims, and the record confirms, that following his donation, Wales personally made several edits to the Merkey article, including a complete blanking of the article and destruction of its edit history (extreme steps to take under any circumstances, and doubly so considering it happened without any effort at reaching consensus, which is supposedly the coin of the Wikipedia realm).

When he announced his unilateral “start-over” on the article, Wales offered:

I have deleted the old discussion because of the unpleasantness of it. Please be extra careful here to be courteous and assume good faith. We are nearing a resolution of this longstanding conflict. Play nice, everyone.

A priceless response came 20 minutes later by wikipedian Aim Here, who asked:

“…Have you been making secret dealings behind everyone's back? So much for Wikipedia's openness.”

To which Wales nervously responded:

“Secret dealings? What on earth are you talking about?”

To which wikipedian Aim Here replied:

Whether or not the original article was a mess, you did use the phrase 'nearing a restitution of this longstanding conflict', which suggests, despite the complete lack of evidence available in public, that there is an actual conflict going on, as opposed to one which had been completely dormant for ages now. After all, suddenly and with no warning, wiping out an article and ordering everyone to start again over some sourcing problems is rather heavy-handed and drastic. The normal WP procedure is to stick some tags on it and telling everyone to change the bad bits. The 'secret deals' phrase was of course total speculation, and sorry about that, but I'd be very surprised if there wasn't something happening in private that sparked off this wholesale deletion of yours, either a deal or a threatened lawsuit. After all, pretty much the last thing Merkey said on this whole stupid subject was that he had been trying, in private, to throw $2 million at you and/or Wikipedia and threatening his usual bag of lawsuits. Well, whatever...

If this exchange seems familiar, it may be because it roughly resembles this one, which followed Jimbo Wales’ unilateral blanking of the debate over the proposed deletion of the article autobiography on Gary Weiss:

The page contained wildly inappropriate speculation that a notable author was sockpuppeting. As I am sure you are aware, many authors have had their careers badly damaged by being caught sockpuppeting at Amazon, etc., and it is deeply wrong for people to ask me to restore a page with such speculations in Wikipedia after the claims have already been investigated and dismissed. If there are further problems in the future, there will be no problem restoring the article at that time.

As an aside, based on Wales’s promise that “If there are further problems in the future, there will be no problem restoring the article at that time,” wikipedian Cool Hand Luke asked Jimbo for permission to un-delete the deletion debate in order to reference it during the present ArbCom case relating directly to the matter of Gary Weiss and his conflict of interest on Wikipedia.

Jimbo’s response: “I see no benefit in doing so.”

Conclusion
As the Rachel Marsden example demonstrates, when he’s “getting something” in return, Jimbo Wales is willing to use his position to influence Wikipedia article content.

As the Jeff Merkey example demonstrates, in addition to female companionship, that “something” can also come in the form of donations to the Wikimedia Foundation.

As the Gary Weiss example demonstrates, Jimbo Wales is willing to use Wikipedia as a tool of libel and disinformation when doing so suits him.

Only one question remains: what exactly is Jimbo Wales getting in return for continuing to publicly defame me and shield Gary Weiss from accountability for his two-year campaign of malice and disinformation, in support of illegal stock market manipulation?