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Tag Archives: Gary Dobry

Irony defined: As the markets burned last week, short-selling hedge funds, which you would think would be prospering, if not outright driving the push down, are in some cases actually suffering badly themselves. I’m sure that comes as a delight to some, though it begs the question… if even they aren’t benefiting from this, then who is?

It was, to put it mildly, not a proud moment for Anthony Elgindy. Ordered to remain in New York for legal proceedings, he opted nonetheless to leave the area under an assumed identity. His side of the story is that he was desperate to see his family, who live in San Diego. Prosecutors, echoed by Mitchell in this week’s section, claim it was an attempt to flee the country.

Elgindy (whose birthname, Imr Abrahim Elgindy, seems to be cited for no other purpose than to provoke an anti-Muslim reaction) is, again putting it mildly, a very colorful character. For several years he held court on a stock message board called Silicon Investor, making bold market calls — most of them on the bearish side — and exhibiting a very keen sense of how the stock market, and in particular how stock promotions, particularly those of the “pump and dump” variety, work.

Unfortunately, one thing Elgindy lacks a keen sense of is how to stay out of legal trouble. From an incident involving a company called Saf-T-Lock, wherein he “got religion” in mid-course only to wind up as the fall guy, to an insurance dispute that led to a conviction for fraud, to his most recent convictions for which he remains incarcerated pending appeal, Elgindy most definitely has the proverbial “feet of clay” that make him a very difficult person to defend, even when the accusations become demonstrably unfair, as they do in Mitchell’s piece this week.

Most egregious among these are Mitchell’s attempts to tie Elgindy in to the attacks of 9/11. It is true that Elgindy did a partial liquidation of an account on the day before, but it was never shown that this was anything more than a coincidence of timing; that is to say nothing of why he would only do a partial liquidation if he had knowledge of what was coming the next day.

The quote Mitchell prints about Elgindy claiming to have expected a 3000-point one-day drop in the Dow does not appear anywhere else in a Google search and as such has the air of being completely manufactured. And finally, Mitchell’s portrayal of why Elgindy was never charged with anything 9/11-related very much downplays the facts: in reality, the prosecutor attempted to invoke 9/11 during the actual trial, and received a severe rebuke from the judge when he had to admit he had nothing to back up the insinuation.

At any rate, not satisfied with having managed to slander a convicted felon (ponder that for a moment), Mitchell resumes his stylistic foibles by veering off course and into the story of a Chicago boxer named Gary “Pugs” Dobry. Dobry is something of a footnote in the whole short-selling story these days, as the message board he frequented, Raging Bull, has gone through several changes in ownership and had its message board database wiped, but those who had the opportunity to see him in action would most likely agree that he made the subject of the post two weeks ago appear competent and restrained in comparison.

Dobry is portrayed by Mitchell as being “obsessed with Elgindy” but in fact his obsessions ran far, far deeper. Having been a heavy backer of a company called Amazon Natural Treasures, which in the end proved to be a total fraud, Dobry lashed out at anyone and everyone who had tried to warn him, and even in one case an unfortunate woman who merely had the same name as one of his targets. This culminated in 2002 when Dobry convinced a lawyer and a judge to subpoena not just the identities but also the credit card information(!!) of 41 aliases on the Silicon Investor message board. It was the successful quashing of this subpoena, and the sanctions that followed, that ended Dobry’s crusade, not some apocryphal garden-shears-through-the-window “message” that Mitchell cites, which sounds more like a bad pun on “hedge” funds. Whatever became of the old “horse’s head in the bed” routine anyway?

Next Mitchell moves into intrigue mode, as he relates the tale of an anonymous “business owner” who says his business was destroyed by short sellers and has ever since devoted himself to attacking them. (That description notwithstanding, this person is highly unlikely to be Dick Fuld of Lehman Brothers.) That person, says Mitchell, has supposedly turned over screenshots of all sorts of activity on a private chat room run by Elgindy, “stored somewhere safe” according to Mitchell, who apparently has no qualms with extortionate suggestion when he perceives it to be to his benefit.

By way of some sort of preview of coming attractions, Mitchell says the transcripts contain numerous mentions of Jim Cramer, Herb Greenberg, and other writers for Because, apparently, it’s very suspicious in a stock-oriented chat room to mention journalists who, at the time, each wrote about half a dozen brief articles about stocks every day.

Mitchell cites one quote appreciative of Herb Greenberg’s writings, by way of, I guess, proving Herb must be dirty or something. Ironically, while lives on, Herb himself has recently moved into the financial equivalent of private practice, meaning that it’s conceivable that the speaker of the quote could have, in fact, gone through with his plans to “hire Herb for himself”.

Another pulled quote cheered a journalist named Dave Evans giving a “free” heads-up about a stock symboled SPBR. Again, lacking context there’s no way to know if this was private communication or a publicly available article. SPBR, incidentally, was the symbol for a company called Spectrum Brands Corp., one of an all-too-large number of tiny firms that tried to make a quick buck with a slapped-together counter-terrorism “solution” in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. (Said company should not be — although may well have been named into order to be — confused with Spectrum Brands Inc., marketer of Rayovac batteries and Remington shavers.)

Finally, Mitchell mentions Dan Loeb, who is believed to have gone by the alias “Mr. Pink” on Silicon Investor, and whose primary crime appears to be having an affinity for Quentin Tarantino films.

At this point even Mitchell seems to realize how far he has gotten off the track, and puts the section to an abrupt halt, with next week’s section beginning anew on the story of Anthony Elgindy.