Boots Asensio's Brokerage
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Asensio FAQ #2
A. The National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) registers two types of members: individuals and firms. As of September 11, 2003, Asensio's individual registration with NASD was "terminated." However, his trading firm, Asensio Brokerage Services, remains registered with NASD as a broker-dealer.
burning question is "what happened?" As of this writing, we simply don't
know any of the details.
Q. Asensio's book, Sold Short, credits a Jack Barth as a co-author. Can this be the same Jack Barth who wrote the book Roadside America?
A. It is. Roadside America--a book about offbeat tourist attractions--was originally published in 1986 by Barth and three co-authors. Among them was Mike Wilkins, who later became a portfolio manager with Asensio client West Highland Capital. Wilkins is also rumored to be the Silicon Investor pundit who calls himself Bill Wexler. Who introduced Barth and Asensio is not known, but under the circumstances, Wilkins seems like a good bet.
1999, Barth had an article (more accurately, a puff piece) about Asensio in Worth
collaboration, Sold Short, followed two years later.
Q. I think the site should look farther back into Asensio's past--for instance, into the libel case filed against him by Benihana.
A. That story dates back to 1989, when the Miami Herald reported that a lawsuit was about to be filed against Benihana National Corporation (BNHN). The suit would allege self-dealing between the publicly held corporation and a private one owned by its founder. Asensio was the acknowledged architect of the suit. He told the newspaper that Laidlaw Holdings, his employer at the time, was filing it after a year of failed negotiations with BNHN.
But it was not so. The next day, the newspaper published a revised version of the story in which Laidlaw denied any involvement and said it had suspended Asensio from his job pending an investigation. Nonetheless, the lawsuit was real. The true plaintiffs were several individuals and a firm called Asset Trading Company (ATC). Asensio apparently described ATC to the newspaper as a "Wall Street arbitrage firm." To the contrary, ATC was actually a recently incorporated Florida company whose officers were his father, mother, and sister.
Asensio admitted that the ultimate goal was to oust management and install one of the plaintiffs at the helm of BNHN. But the effort failed. The suit ended with the court accepting a BNHN-proposed settlement that required the public and private companies to be more independent of each other.
With the lawsuit behind it,
BNHN sued Asensio and several of the individual
plaintiffs for defamation. However, the case never went to trial. BNHM withdrew it
voluntarily about a year later. The court docket does not say why.
Q. It seems like Asensio used to put out press releases all the time, but doesn't anymore. Any idea why?
According to Equities, several news wires that once carried Asensio's
press releases terminated his access almost two years ago. The services
were most likely concerned with their own potential for liability.
In the event of a libel lawsuit, anyone who republished the statement(s) at issue
can be sued along with the original source.
Q. Why does your site say that an appeal is still pending in the Hemispherx
case? The court docket says it was quashed last November.
Asensio also filed appeals related to several other issues, such as his
claim that the Pennsylvania court lacks jurisdiction over him. These are the
ones quashed by the Appeals court in November 2002.
A. You are probably referring to an opinion letter by attorney Martin
Weinstein prepared at the request of Hemispherx's legal team. It is part
of the public file on the lawsuit and is available at the courthouse in
Philadelphia. To save you a trip,
Weinstein's letter [880 KB]
has been added to our Reading Room.
Q. In an interview on the Wall & Fraud radio show, Asensio said your website is "not telling the truth" about him. Any comment?
A. If only it were possible to be making this stuff up.
Page Created 09/20/03