Can you believe anything the CEO says ? We discussed this subject here in a previous post. That’s why we call this post number 2. WOW… something just came to mind when thinking about the CEO and number 2… but we digress.
There is an ongoing controversy on the message boards about the Mr. Samblis, CEO of IC Places, Inc. selling shares of the company stock. There are numerous posts accusing Mr. Samblis of selling shares, and numerous replies by Mr. Samblis (many of his replies using his bogus aliases, dotd, mrighttrade, and zurich, etc) stating he has not sold any shares. Who is correct ?
Let us be the first to say… Mr. Samblis is telling the truth… he is not selling shares.
HOWEVER… its important to understand the concepts behind each position. When posters say Mr. Samblis IS selling shares, they likely mean… company shares are being distributed into the open market, thereby increasing the outstanding share count. When Mr. Samblis says he is NOT selling shares… he likely means he personally is not selling shares, and/or, he is not selling any of his “personal” shares.
Keeping that in mind… lets look at the play on words/terms Mr. Samblis uses frequently. When posters accuse him of selling shares, he denies such, and makes the statement that “he has not sold any shares”. Well, in his mind that is a correct statement, because he is thinking “personal” shares. He is right (recently) when he says he has no shares to sell because he retired his personal shares. So technically he is correct in saying “he” has not sold any shares.
Now, Mr. Samblis is the CEO of the company, and as such he can direct the board (which consists of himself) to direct himself (as CEO) to dispose of company stock. So… Mr. Samblis is not selling shares… the CEO is. See the difference ? When Mr. Samblis speaks (or posts a message), its important to distinguish between is it Mr. Samblis speaking on his personal behalf, or speaking as the CEO of the company. In reality they are one one in the same, but technically they are 2 different entities.
Now… given the above, can poster’s accuse the CEO of selling shares… NO. Because the CEO is not really “selling” shares… he is putting them up for collateral to secure loans from firms like Asher, in order to acquire funds to operate the company and maintain his personal life, (i.e. pay himself for the superior performance he has achieved as CEO of the company). (example here) So… here again, Mr. Samblis is technically correct in saying (speaking as the CEO) that he has not sold any shares. Even though the shares have not been “sold”… they are no longer available for use, i.e. they are “encumbered”. Think of it this way… if you own a home, you likely have a mortgage on it, meaning you borrowed the money to buy it. The lender has secured a lien on the home/property insuring repayment of the loan. You can not sell the home/property until you pay back the loan, so in effect the home cannot be easily sold as you could with something you owned outright.
Now, with the home mortgage scenario, someday you will pay off the mortgage and the home will be yours free and clear to do as you please. With the shares pledged to Asher, its likely the loan will not be repaid (that’s the business model of firms like Asher) and therefore the ownership of the shares will transferred to Asher… thereby allowing Asher to sell the shares in the open market to recover the funds loaned out initially (plus a very handsome profit). Think of it like foreclosing on a home to satisfy the loan on it when the homeowner defaulted on paying back the loan. Its important to understand that’s the business Asher is in. Some businesses sell widgets… Asher sells stock pledged to them by desperate companies that can’t get funds anywhere else. The practice could be called legal loan-sharking. So… the only “selling” of shares in this scenario is done by Asher, not Mr. Samblis personally, or by Mr. Samblis as CEO.
So… when Mr. Samblis says he has not “sold” any shares – AND… poster’s say he HAS sold shares… can they both be right… YES ! However, as you have seen, the end result of Mr. Samblis’s actions as CEO of the company, is to CAUSE shares to be sold in the open market, and in turn cause the outstanding share count to increase.
So, there you have it… semantics. Mr. Samblis is excellent at creative word choice in his press releases and message board posts. Many readers quickly read through his PR’s and postings and frequently do not understand why he uses the words he uses. However, make no mistake about it, he uses those words for a reason. There is thought behind his choice of words. Yes, he has made some boneheaded statements in the past (and will likely in the future) but overall he is extremely careful in the words he uses and the meaning behind those words.
Those that use this tactic do so to deceive and mislead. Read (and interpret) their responses closely. People that have intentions to deceive and mislead will either A) deflect (some call it pivoting) to another subject to draw the questioner (and readers) off the subject of their original question, or B) shoot the messenger in an effort to discredit the questioner, thereby attempting to cast doubt in readers minds that the questioner is somehow defective and therefore lying, or C) pick and chose which questions to answer (or what parts of the question to answer), or D) use creative word choice to respond. Then, when questioned as to the meaning of their word choice, they utilize one of all of the above tactics to respond again. Its a cat and mouse game and if there is no sincerity on the respondents part, you never will get your question answered, because most likely they found the question to difficult and embarrassing to answer… and therefore never will.
When reading Mr. Samblis’s responses, be they by himself, or using any of his many aliases like dotd, mrighttrade, and zurich, etc. read the words carefully and try to think about their alternative meanings, and if those alternative meanings mischaracterize the response. See if you can spot any of the above mentioned tactics used by those attempting to deceive and mislead. Then… call them on it ! As an example… posters say the T/A is “gagged”, and Mr. Samblis says that is a lie. How about if posters start saying the T/A will not give out share structure information. Our guess is… Mr. Samblis will not respond. He responds when the term “gagged” is used, but try rewarding it to read… the T/A will not give out PNCH share structure information. Each has essentially the same meaning, but the latter does not allow Mr. Samblis to say that’s a lie.
See how many questions you can get Mr. Samblis not to answer. A no-answer response is in fact an answer. If he doesn’t answer the question, readers can pretty much assume the question was accurate.