Asensio Exposed!                                                     
       Warning: may contain loud, rattling skeletons

                                                                                                                                                                                                           

  Asensio Makes Threat in Effort to Shut Us Down!

 NASD Boots Asensio's Brokerage  (click for details)
                       
 Both Now Expelled from Securities Industry
                                                                                                           
 
Welcome to Asensio.CoN    Asensio.CoN Part Two  (7/06)                       

   12/28/07  Revised & Updated Asensio FAQ
 
  03/18/06  The Elgindy Files (new items 2/07/06; 3/19/06; 3/22/06; 07/14/06; 12/18/07)                              
   
 05/05/04  Appeals Court Upholds Fraud Verdict Against Asensio
   04/04/04  Asensio Charged Again
  
 01/11/04  Bill Wexler Update
  
12/24/03  How Asensio Duped Regulators                                                                            
  
     
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Site Updates
He Tries to Silence Us
RIP Integral Securities
Asensio.CoN Website
Asensio.Con Part 2
"Barred" from Industry
NASD:Unfit to Regulate
Unfit to Regulate Pt 2
NASD Plot Thickens
Is NASD Corrupt?
Is NASD Corrupt Pt 2
How He Duped NASD
1989 Fraud Verdict
2002 Fraud Verdict
Hedge Fund Flack
Hedge Fund Flack Pt 2
Asensio FAQ
Asensio FAQ #2
Who Writes the Script?
Review of Sold Short
His Clients
Long/Short Strategy
Asensio Under Oath
Dissing the Courts
Who is Bill Wexler?
Who is Bill Wexler Pt 2
Bill Wexler Update
His Doctored Record
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Who is Bill Wexler?

Asensio's work is widely promoted on Internet chat boards.  One of his longtime cheerleaders is Bill Wexler, who also gives short-selling advice of his own.

Both Wexler and Asensio present themselves as dedicated fraud-fighters.  Both love to exaggerate, use inflammatory language, and make dire predictions.  Both practice guilt by association.  It's little wonder that some believe Wexler is Asensio.

Actually, the two differ more than enough to rule out the notion. Which does not rule out the possibility that they are business associates who have worked together for years.


Bill Wexler Basics

Wexler has hosted two discussion boards at Silicon Investor: Bill Wexler's Profits of DOOM, and its successor, Bill Wexler's Dog Pound.  Both have served as billboards for his stock picks, which he has also publicized on Yahoo message boards.  

Like a traditional analyst, Wexler would "initiate coverage" on a stock.  But the similarity ended there.  His short recommendations were more akin to Asensio's "fraud alerts." Initial commentaries were followed by a steady stream of further accusations about his targets--and occasionally, even plans to contact regulatory authorities.    Anyone who disagreed with him was promptly denounced as a "shill."

One thing Wexler did not do was reveal his qualifications.   But through his posts, he cultivated an image--that of a fabulously wealthy independent investor, living in the Bay Area and writing under his real name.   One who could be counted on to answer any criticism with a reminder of how rich, how smart, and how right he was.

Until late in May, 2002.  When without notice, the normally combative Wexler suddenly vanished from his site.

Where Did Wexler Go?

Why Wexler abruptly stopped posting at his Dog Pound is unknown.  But by the summer of 2002, his self-portrait as an independent investor had run into some resistance. One reader asked if Wexler was "part of Elgindy's outfit,"  a reference to the short-seller arrested for an alleged racketeering and extortion scheme.  Wexler broke his silence to say he was simply taking some time off. 

Another observer pointed to a recent message that named nine short picks.  Wexler was asked to explain the astonishing coincidence of all nine turning up in the holdings of a hedge fund located in the city where he lives.   And not just any hedge fund, but Asensio's longtime client,  West Highland Capital.    

Wexler never answered the question. 

Coincidence? Or Smoking Gun?

The nine stocks were just the beginning.  Wexler actually commented on 41 stocks held by West Highland between 1998 and 2002.  Often (though not always) its position was fairly small for an institutional investor.  Such a holding is frequently a marker for a far larger short position.  

The 41 stocks are shown in the chart, which includes both long and short picks.  Obviously, many are small, little-known firms.  Is it mere coincidence that Wexler knew enough about every one to offer an opinion?  And that seven of the 30-odd short picks were targeted by not just by Wexler, but by Asensio as well?
 

   3Com

   Earthshell

   Med-Design

   Able Telecom

   Egghead Software

   Research Frontiers

   Actrade

   Gardenburger

   Smart Serve Online

   Altair

   GummTech/Matrixx

   Turbochef

   Aremissoft

   Hemispherx Biopharma

   Valence Technologies

   At Home

   Hollis-Eden Pharma.

   Viropharma

   Avanir Pharma 

   Identix

   Visionics

   Avant 

   IFX Corporation

   Waverider

   Biotime

   Intel

   Xybernaut

   Britesmile

   Keravision

   Westell Technologies

   Chromatics Color Sci.

   Lernout & Hauspie

   Zi Corporation

   Covad Communications

   Macrochem

   Zixit

   Data Race

   Mannatech

   Zonagen

   Dell

   Mechanical Technologies

   

Just as striking are Wexler's messages that name multiple stocks.  With thousands of stocks trading on U.S. exchanges, someone who picks three to 10 has very little chance of having even one match with a small hedge fund.   And infinitely less chance of matching the fund three times out of three, or four times out of six, or seven times out of nine. Yet, Wexler repeatedly beat the extraordinary odds and did precisely that.

People Are Talking

The finding of so many matches between Wexler's picks and West Highland's portfolio has fueled talk on Internet message boards that Wexler is a pseudonym for someone at the fund.   The odds-on favorite for "Most Likely to Be Wexler" is Mike Wilkins, manager of West Highland's short portfolio.*  Former SEC accountant Robert Lowry describes him as a "personal acquaintance" of Asensio, who has acknowledged working with Wilkins on reports about one target.

Wexler is aware of the talk that he is actually Mike Wilkins.   Evidence that he has either admitted or denied the rumors appears elusive.

The Bottom Line

It looks fishy, to be sure.  But determining who Bill Wexler is with certainty will probably require filing a subpoena for records from Silicon Investor.

Until someone does so successfully, investors will have to reach their own opinion about Wexler.  Was he truly offering independent advice?  Or presenting himself as a crusader against deception while promoting the fortunes of an undisclosed institutional investor?                                  

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Update
March 2006


The Clients page of the website was updated in January to acknowledge the downsizing of
West Highland Capital.  Only the owner, Lang Gerhard, and an assistant currently work there.  Mike Wilkins is now associated with Kingsford Capital Management.  Please see the Clients page for further information.
               
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Page Created 1/10/03 ● Updated 3/2/06