IMPORTANT UPDATE: OSC and IIROC are now aware of Anson’s illegal market activities and are asking the public for information. The regulators need your help. If you have information for them or have been hurt because of their actions please get in touch. Click here to read their release. Do not be silent – help them clean up the capital markets
Never has there been a bigger scourge of the Canadian capital markets. Moez Kassam and his Anson Funds have systematically engaged in capital market crimes, including insider trading and fraud, to rob North American shareholders of countless millions. In his attempt to destroy small-cap Canadian companies through nefarious means, a string of feeder funds and untraceable payments to elude regulators, Moez Kassam has betrayed even his closest friends. Now, the other shoe is about to drop as Kassam’s funds run out and a string of failed attempts at illegal destruction leave this naked short seller truly naked.
This is part 1 of a 3-part series
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Moez Kassam used to be an up-and-coming self-proclaimed star in the Canadian hedge fund space. He had $800 million under management and enough money to pay for extensive media coverage praising himself.
Now, he’s lost most of that and has become the “Toad of Bay Street”.
His $800 million is now down to around $350 million at best—and falling by the day.
In the meantime, Moez Kassam has become the symbol of everything that is wrong with capital markets.
Even Kassam’s acquaintances have flipped amid all the betrayal. Now, they’re sources against him, with several coming forward to share information. With their help, a team of investigators is following all the threads of the questionable and illegal activities Kassam has pursued in an attempt to make money by destroying small companies and the lives of anyone who happened to get in his way: even those who helped him and ended up being disposable.
These sources have described at length how Moez Kassam and Anson have profited off the fear they create for their own financial gain and destroyed legitimate businesses.
The overall consensus is this: If you see him slinking around, steer clear as his illegal activities will end up taking down even the brokers and banks who fell for his elaborate schemes. Word on the street is that Canaccord has just dumped him as his business practices have become far too risky for the firm.
Let’s take a look at Moez Kassam’s recent deals, delving deep inside his criminal enterprise, Anson Funds.
Moez Kassam’s MO
Kassam’s MO is to create a false sense of loyalty by offering to help small companies in need of cash.
His strategy is to buy influence and then put the company into a vulnerable position. Then he strikes.
While one hand is offering up private placement money, the other hand is shorting the same company by a far greater amount (even in Canada that is illegal).
Private placement money coming from Moez Kassam is toxic money that comes with self-destructing strings attached.
Meanwhile, the trading desks and loan posts are feeding him non-public information and giving him the means to execute these transactions and in exchange for these deals are getting huge fees for it and also skirting regulatory rules.
The SEC, IIROC, OSC, and other regulatory bodies have taken note, and it is now expected that they will start acting on the information they already have.
Insider Trading At Its Worst
It’s one thing to pay Toronto Life to cover your wedding and pretend you’re important enough to make it an “editorial”. Ego is a slippery beast that doesn’t care if praise is real or not.
But it’s quite another thing to weasel your way into a private placement for a junior company, demand in return that one of your own stooges be placed on the board, and then use that mole to drive shares down while you’ve taken a huge short position on the company on the side.
That’s insider trading of the worst kind.
How Moez Kassam Cheated Zenabis
What Kassam likes to do is place a figurehead as the director of a company and that director then feeds him non public information on the company as he shorts it down and then covers on the private placement.That’s what he did to Canadian cannabis company Zenabis Global Inc -ZENA.TO
Zenabis owned 660,000 square feet of fully licensed, high-quality indoor facility space, as well as 2.1 million square feet of greenhouse space in late-stage construction, with cultivation underway in the licensed areas. To completely develop the assets in question Zenabis had to raise a lot of cash. All while proving themselves as a low-cost producer.
Anson Funds came to the rescue here, dangling cash in front of Zenabis, with some dangerous invisible strings attached. Again, the game was to take a visible long position in Zenabis and a much larger (10x) secret short position. Then attack while Zenabis is busy drooling over the cash and buying into the lie that Moez Kassam is trying to help the company.
According to a source close to the Zenabis deal with Anson Funds, the CEO of Isodiol International, Marco Agramont, most likely introduced Zenabis to Anson Funds. The game plan: to take the share price down from $6 to $0.04, just like it did with Isoldiol, by acting as a privately held alternative asset manager and advisor to both companies.
So, Anson Funds served as the lead investor for funding Zenabis in the early rounds, influencing Zenabis by appointing their own director, which in this case was Adam Spears, who was still working with Anson or Kassam in some capacity.
Taking orders from Kassam, Adam Spears convinced Zenabis executives to make their founder shares available to Anson Funds via non-public share loan agreements. Zenabis agreed, including Mark Catroppa, Manoj (Monty) Sikka and CEO Rick Brar.
Rick Brar was easily led on by Kassam and Spears, whom he truly believed were “Long” on the stock and trying to help. Brar didn’t catch on to the background game here that intended to short Zenabis stock to the bottom, making Kassam rich.
Kassam’s first step was to convince Zenabis to go public, which was part of the deal for Anson Funds money. They had to guarantee a liquidity event, and indeed, ‘ZENA’ debuted on the TSX.V on January 10th, 2019.
Spears and Kassam somehow managed to convince Brar to go public at the highest possible valuation. In other words, they convinced Zenabis that they needed to go public overvalued. This created a wildly lucrative scenario for Kassam because it set up a massive downside potential for Kassam to make a killing shorting. Zenabis agreed to all of this despite the fact that Canada’s cannabis craze was already at the beginning of the end, which of course Kassam and Spears were counting on.
Anson Funds systematically shorted Zenabis to $0.09 from the all time high shortly after listing at $6.75/share, which gave it a $950m+ market cap.
They completely destroyed Zenabis, taking it from a $950-million market cap company all the way down to around $50 million over dinner and drinks.
Kassam and Spears used naked shorting techniques, convertible debt and share loan agreements to make this short strategy worked. Spears fed Kassam MNPI (Material Non Public Information) so Kassam could get the timing right. Sometimes they would attack by spreading news of bad managerial decisions leaked from the inside just days before a planned good news event for Zenabis.
“Whenever Adam had news from his director’s chair at Zenabis, he would walk over and have dinner with Moez and tell all. Moez would cover and then short it back down again,” one source close to Kassam and Anson said.
And half of those bad managerial decisions were advised by Spears himself, trying to direct Zenabis into lucrative shorting territory for Kassam.
The Zenabis CEO, Brar, finally figured out the game, but as we have said before. It was too late.
As soon as Brar called out Spears, Kassam and Anson for their scheme, he was replaced. Then he dumped his shares as fast as he could and started publicly criticizing the company he founded.
So, who did Anson replace Brar with? Certainly, someone sympathetic to their cause. In this case, it was another figure who could easily be made to believe that Kassam was still “Long” Zenabis and had its best intentions in mind. That figure was co-founder Andrew Grieve.
Grieve was a military man in way over his head. What Anson Funds found in Grieve was someone who truly thought that limitless dilution would be the way to grow and fund operations. They easily convinced him to spend, spend, spend to open a litany of new facilities that had extremely shaky supply agreements.
In other words, they convinced Grieve to dig his own grave.
Grieve might have been the new CEO, but he wasn’t in control. Anson Funds and Kassam were in control, though their stooge, Adam Spears.
Then disaster struck, the cat was out of the bag and Zenabis had to seek help or die.
They sought “friendly financing” from giant Tilray, which had also been the victim of an Anson Funds scheme (which failed). They asked Tilray for help in fending off Kassam. At the time, that “friendly financing” was referred to as “non-dilutive financing” ($30 million) in the form of a supply agreement. In reality, though, that $30 million was just a cash advance that Zenabis failed to fully disclose to its shareholders.
This was death spiral financing, and it ended up being Grieve’s legacy.
Zenabis repaid $15 million of that “cash advance” with its product. But it couldn’t cough up the remaining $15 million, which Tilray had to write off. Most recently, the situation lead to Tilray suing Zenabis for $24 million for which they eventually came to an agreement via arbitration. If they hadn’t, Zenabis would have been forced to file for bankruptcy because it likely would have lost this lawsuit.
As of our most recent reports, Zenabis only had a total of $6.7 million in cash and Tilray took half of that.
With Zenabis fully destroyed, and Kassam covering all his short positions nicely, there was nothing left to do but pull Spears as well. Spears resigned from the board of Zenabis on March 23rd, 2020.
Of course, Anson Funds did not publicly disclose its short position on Zenabis throughout the process as they would have utilized several of their dirty short selling strategies. Sources have outlined that Moez has multiple off book structures (3rd party trading accounts) with friendly nominees that provides the fund additional flexibility to keep these sort of trades onside.
According to a source close to the deals, it was likely through Frigate Ventures, M5V Advisors (Formerly Anson Advisors), Winson Bruce Ross and/or Admiralty Advisors. These other structures would be registered to friendly persons which take instructions from Moez & Associates. Since Moez is seasoned in this space it is unlikely that he would appoint a family member as they need to appear independent.
The real magic here is when the fund gets stuck with a naked short or wants to move liability away from the fund this vehicle would be utilized. Spoofing the market through these accounts is another tactic; and by doing so Moez shelters Anson as much as possible from wrongdoing in the process.
He basically has these structures to hide short positions or take the fall in the event something goes wrong. Any sort of investigation would unmask who sourced the capital for these vehicles, but more interesting would be the trading patterns that likely mirror or offset the fund in certain situations. Likely all roads from this would lead back to Anson and associates. It is highly illegal to park naked shorts for a registered fund and the penalties could be quite steep.
This is likely another key part to Anson’s web of illegal trading activities and if the Regulators would execute a deep audit of Anson’s books and trading blotters they are sure to find material misconduct amongst these structures.
And there was a very specific reason that Moez Kassam targeted Zenabis: He was making up for his disastrous attempt to short much larger Tilray in which he failed to cover his short and lost hundreds of millions in the scheme. He attacked Zenabis out of both desperation and his sociopathic need to play this game in a manner reminiscent of Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment. Part of the game is to see how far illegal activities can be pushed before the regulators come down hard. That’s the exciting challenge.
And it didn’t stop with Zenabis, either.…
What Moez Kassam Did to Aphria
Moez Kassam was the mastermind behind the Hindenburg short report that irreparably damaged Canadian cannabis stock Aphria – NASDAQ:APHA and also did massive damage to investor confidence across the entire cannabis sector.
Aphria shareholders lost big, and Moez Kassam made a killing.
Kassam was a large holder of Aphria stock. He was “friends” with management, wining and dining them and showing them a good time.
But the folks at Aphria were blindsided by Kassam’s friendliness and generosity. Kassam talks the talk and expertly, but he’s a sociopath with an agenda. He set Aphria up for a huge fall and betrayed his new “friends” at the first opportunity.
While he was courting his Aphria friends, Kassam nearly lost everything in a failed short campaign against Tilray. He lost $80 million, and his friends and colleagues at Aphria would pay the price for that. But what made him do this many have asked? The discussion amongst his inner circle is that Moez was upset with the founders as the company failed to execute a large deal with the Altria Group (MO:NYSE). He laid blame on them and was set to make them pay. It was a tsunami of damage for anyone that got in the way of this attack, but Anson made a killing on all fronts.
The betrayal starts with Nate Anderson of The Hindenburg Report. Kassam started feeding him sensitive, insider information that he obtained from his friendships with Aphria management and founders – sprinkled with exaggerated lies to help his story along.
Kassam attempted to cover his tracks and remove any connection between himself as the insider leak and Nate, as the publisher of the Hindenburg Report. That’s where another figure that even makes bottom feeders look appealing comes into play: Sunny Puri, who created the distance between the two and did all the dirty legwork.
Right before the Hindenburg report was released, Kassam’s Anson Funds went short Aphria (a good investigation of their various funds and off-book structures should root this out). As Kassam anticipated, the report sent shockwaves through the industry and crashed Aphria stock. This caused massive damage to the company and its investors.
Of course, to the outside world, Kassam feigned shock as well to avoid suspicion even though he had orchestrated the entire scheme and illegally fed Nate insider information.
According to sources close to Kassam’s dealings, the morning the Hindenburg report came out Moez was calling all the banks, brokerages, and everyone with a serious position to tell them the stock would never open again as it was under investigation by the fraud squad and a host of other lies that he knew could cause serious damage.
But this story got out of control, and Kassam realized he had let the stock fall too far. In response, he started buying, with help from Andrew Left of Citron Research, yet another murky player in this very murky short-selling world. Kassam engaged Left to write a positive research report on Aphria this time.
Sources in Kassam’s circle directly witnessed him telling people that he had used his relationship with Andrew Left to put out a positive piece of research on Aphria. This was supposed to demonstrate that he had only the best intentions for the company and that he was “one of the crew” doing everything he could to support them.
When Left’s report was released, Aphria stock jumped and Kassam made another pile of money and earned major gratitude from the Aphria management.
But he was playing both sides here and Aphria was blind to it.
Aphria clearly needs to get smarter, but there aren’t that many corporate sociopaths on this level, so they can be forgiven for being taken for a ride here to some extent. They certainly won’t let it happen again, but there are other victims, and regulators are sleeping at the wheel and letting this cancer erode investor confidence in the capital markets.
The Failed Tilray Short – Where It All Started Going Wrong
Kassam tried to short Canadian cannabis darling Tilray in 2018. That was the real beginning of the end for Moez, and everything since then has been an act of desperation.
Kassam’s Anson Funds slinked its way into Tilray in the initial funding rounds when the stock was at $3 a share. But then he got greedy at the height of the first cannabis blitz, and with Tilray being the first to be offered up on the U.S. exchanges for American institutional investors, the stock flew.
When Moez gets greedy, he gets short—and he’s usually naked. He started shorting in July/August around the $40-$50 range.
According to our sources, all former members of Kassam’s circle who have since disowned him, the “Toad of Bay Street” went for a naked short with a small borrow, betraying Tilray without blinking. This is pure greed with absolutely zero sense of loyalty.
But then Tilray ran to $120 and people on the street became aware that Kassam was dangerously short, possibly to the tune of 1.5-3 million shares.
And it got worse: Tilray kept running into the $200’s and TD bank (usually excited to facilitate Kassam) threatened to pull his lines.
Moez and Anson punched way above their weight with Tilray and the scheme nearly ended the fund as their shares were restricted until early 2019. By September 2019, rumor had it that Anson was desperately entering into private stock sales to raise capital while the stock was well over $100.
In the fall of 2018, Kassam had several meetings with Anson’s prime broker to discuss their liquidity crisis: In other words, to grovel. The groveling bought Kassam time to raise capital to hold his short position and hope for a decline.
The real question is this: How did Kassam stop TD from pulling his lines and enforcing the large capital calls against a position that should have ended his business?
Buying time can’t be free, and TD would have been playing with regulatory fire here. Anson’s huge naked short position, after all, represented a massive credit risk to TD Bank, yet Kassam continued to leverage his relationships there to avoid any major buy-ins. (In fact, TD Bank has been helping Moez a lot recently – especially when it comes to spoofing the markets – but more on that soon.)
Furthermore, the bank managers of this naked short position and margin calls would have certainly seen numerous securities violations as every favor imaginable would have been utilized to protect the fund’s solvency. If regulators catch up to the brokers and banks involved in this episode, the scrutiny could be dangerous for a lot of people – and Moez certainly wasn’t worth it. Especially with the regulatory fire that will be coming his way soon.
Rumors are that Kassam lost around $80 million on this dodgy short strategy. But he didn’t get caught. He got burned, and that’s even worse for an ego like his.
The first stop on his desperate road to recovery was Zenabis.
The second stop was Genius Brands
Genius Brands International: Illegal Pump and Dump
Anson Funds was the driving force behind the manipulative long-short campaign for entertainment company Genius Brands – GNUS.
Rumors are Moez made north of $60 million and has just paid himself a huge bonus (off the back of the GNUS investors he burned) which he is looking to spend on a $10-million lake house in Muskoka. Good times.
As Anson Funds prides itself as being a short fund that preys on unsuspecting companies, GNUS prides itself on creating kid-friendly entertainment content. And in the kid-friendly entertainment world, there is nothing bigger than Disney. The best way that Anson could exemplify an exciting GNUS investment thesis was to associate it to Disney.
A strategic plan was initiated by Anson Funds to make the stock price adhere to their long-short rule of “Elevator up, Stairs down” with the addition of a ‘safety net’. They would do all of this while giving GNUS and regulators the impression they were LONG the stock.
In other words, the decline in GNUS stock price needed to be slower than its ascent, giving the impression they weren’t involved in the pump and dump via shorting the stock. The reality, however, is that they had a direct hand in both.
In early June 2020, out of the blue, social media pundits start calling Genius Brands the next Disney. But this wasn’t your typical short squeeze like everyone thought. This was Kassam setting up his manipulative Long-Short strategy by creating unsubstantiated rumors, according to our sources close to Anson. GNUS turned into the most popular stock added to Robinhood accounts during the first week of June. The move created the liquidity demographic required to cover Anson’s and other associated short sellers’ massive positions.
When GNUS stock was peaking above $8+ USD a share, many investors will recall that some anonymous pumpers on social media were speculating that Genius Brands cartoons would become more popular than Disney’s.
On June 5th, at the peak of the GNUS share price madness, Hindenburg Research (Nate Anderson) entered the picture on cue. Hindenburg is a prominent short seller, and according to a lawsuit filed by Catalyst Capital, it has a direct working relationship with Kassam’s Anson Funds. But Nate Anderson does actually have some credibility, not like Moez Kassam and Sunny Puri, so he still has a chance here to save his reputation.
They are all members of a short-selling group that has become known since the Catalyst Capital lawsuit as the “Wolfpack Conspirators”.
Nate Anderson, of course, has denied the allegations, but we know from multiple sources that he is directly associated with Anson Funds—even if he’s regretting any such association at this point. The pattern is clear to see without source confirmation: The days before the Hindenburg report on GNUS was published, significant short positions were taken by Anson Funds and/or its associates.
And to the outside world there is perfect cover: In his report entitled ‘A Bagholder’s Guide to Why We Think Genius Brands Will Be a $1.50 Stock Within a Month’, Nate Anderson argues that the GNUS-Disney social media postings included a bunch of falsehoods. He even suggested that investigators dig deeper into a situation that Moez Kassam manufactured in the first place.
The timing of the release of the report was impeccable. It was also put together, complete with an ostensible investigation, in a matter of a few days. That sort of turnaround time, of course, is impossible, so it is clear that Nate Anderson was given vital facts of vetted information by an insider (in this case Moez Kassam).
That marked the beginning of the end of the GNUS pump campaign.
But there are more details of the Hindenburg report that are worth mentioning here. The report was premised on the knowledge that retail investors were completely oblivious to the fact that 131 million shares and share equivalents issued from GNUS’ recent financing rounds would become available to trade within an estimated 2-4 weeks. And Anson Funds directly and indirectly participated in these financing rounds or advised GNUS in these rounds.
GNUS has generated losses every quarter for almost 10 straight years. Despite this, the self-proclaimed street savvy Anson Funds was GNUS’ biggest institutional investor and supporter for many years.
As large investors and trusted advisors of GNUS, Moez Kassam, Sunny Puri and/or Adam Spears gave management the impression there could actually be a strong value proposition in Genius Brands’ stock.
They managed to convince GNUS (desperate after 10 years of losses) that they were in it for the long haul. Totally dedicated. This got them inside the company and privy to management’s most intimate insider details. Those details were likely protected by a Non-Disclosure Agreement, but NDAs have never bothered Moez Kassam.
All the while, GNUS’ financials were only shaping up to be even worse in the coming quarter. Anson seemed like a safety net, but it was a trap.
Anson Funds slunk out the back door and communicated to Nate Anderson the tidbits needed to create a comprehensive activist short report.
The first tidbit was that Llama Llama, Genius Brands’ most popular show, ended up showing that the company doesn’t own intellectual property and only has a licensing deal—none of which was disclosed to shareholders.
The second tidbit was the fact that GNUS failed to disclose that its flagship show, Rainbow Rangers, was not renewed for a new season on key network Nick Jr.
While some public information backed these assertions in the report, both tidbits were merely supplemental to the key information that was original leaked by Anson Funds itself, with the intention of making money on the short sale.
It didn’t help that GNUS insiders, were blinded by greed to Anson’s intentions. GNUS management was more interested in filing a prospectus statement that sought to allow holders, including its CEO, to sell almost half the shares from a prior $11m convertible debt at a $0.21 strike price before the pump ended and dump was fully completed.
They were purposefully trying to time the release of the statement to coincide with Genius Brands’ launch of the Kartoon Network on June 15th. Anson Funds was likely made aware of this plan by insiders prior to the filing.
But GNUS was willfully blind to the fact they had a fox in the henhouse.
While Nate Anderson is unlikely to have been compensated directly by Anson Funds for authoring the report. Many loyal investors will question why Hindenburg Research would risk tarnishing it reputation as an activist short seller by working with Anson Funds. Outside of the promise that Anson Funds will continue working with Hindenburg Research. Nate Anderson is given well timed and gift wrapped material that allows him to publicly bolster his track record. Giving Nate Anderson an inside track to compile impactful short reports that usually take months to compile in just days. As was the case with GNUS.
But then, on July 6th, came the real coup orchestrated by Anson Funds:
To lend a bit more credence (and liquidity) to the fabricated rumors, GNUS announced that it had inked a deal with Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment to create Stan Lee Universe, a joint venture that would assume worldwide rights across media to Lee’s post-Marvel intellectual property.
Anson took this much further.
Anson even put together a fake Disney Lookalike site so people would think the news was real, as can be seen here: www.DisneyGuide.com.
Then, Anson started claiming that Disney was going to acquire a 5% stake in POW! Entertainment for an undisclosed sum in this report: https://disneyguide.com/f/disney-is-set-to-buy-a-5%25-stake-in-pow-entertainment
That rumor has seen been removed from the blog post, presumably at the request of Disney or Anson covering their tracks.
The result of this fake news was that the stock shot up to $8 USD. And then, strangely enough, the fake report simply disappeared. But nothing truly disappears on the internet… and digital forensics experts are now working to piece the entire fake news fraud trail together.
If pressed with such allegations by regulators, Moez Kassam’s defense is straightforward and backed by well-timed filing statements. According to the latest filing, Anson Funds Management LP has an ownership interest of 17,857,143 shares. They remain long and strong and show no public quarter-to-quarter filings of being short GNUS. Anson Funds can argue publicly they are still strong and haven’t sold a share. This is unbelievable considering the stock price run up on GNUS and the fact that a street savvy Moez Kassam wouldn’t take profits for his investors.
Given all the FUD that transpired around GNUS, it’s unfathomable that Anson Funds wasn’t short GNUS stock.
As of July 31st, there was short interest on GNUS totaling an estimated 24,380,000 shares. With Anson’s long position secured and intimate details of the incoming quarter, Anson Funds had the safety net required to create a win-win situation for Moez Kassam.
The evidence is clear: GNUS latest filings were disastrous. The company reported a $383-million loss on just $560,000 in revenue for the quarter ending June 30th.
The Toad of Bay Street—dipping his webbed feet precariously into SEC waters—rode GNUS all the way up and then shorted it all the way down – disgusting.
Moez Kassam’s Facedrive Fumble: Another Act of Desperation
In May of this year, Kassam turned his attention to a Canadian start-up called Facedrive—and failed again, just like he did with Tilray.
Moez got caught with a huge naked short again, and this time it’s rumored to be in the 2.5 to 3 million share range. (How is this possible when the float is around 4 million shares? TD/CIBC/RBC – any ideas?)
After racking up a huge short position, Moez panicked. Hoping to drive the tightly held stock down, he turned to one of the few friends he has left—Sunny Puri and the always-ready-and-willing Nate Anderson at the Hindenburg Report again.
Moez was desperate and is rumored to have paid top dollar purely out of desperation for a poorly written, poorly researched report that failed to generate the negative action Moez needed to avoid losing what remains of his fund. Of course, the same sources say that Moez failed to disclose to Nate the true size of his short position, leaving Nate out in the cold and promising never to work with Moez Kassam and Anson again.
Not only that: Moez ran to his hedge fund buddies and begged them to short Facedrive, as well, promising them that the Hindenburg report would send the stock down to $5 (it didn’t) and they could all cover and make tons of easy money.
He also called the head of a Canadian Bank trying to get the prop book to take a short position in Facedrive. When does a hedge fund hand out free money to outsiders? Never. That was the story he sold to Nate (Hindenburg), too. (Nate Anderson will keenly remember NTAR. Moez Kassam used him in that scheme, as well. Without Nate’s report – Moez/Anson would have had to take on another huge loss.)
What was the story Moez Kassam told his bankers–CIBC, TD, RBC, Fidelity, Canaccord, and others?
(UPDATE: We recently heard that Canaccord have pulled the plug on Moez and Anson Funds and no longer want his business. Hopefully the other banks will wake up soon and realize his fees aren’t worth the risk they come with.)
According to sources involved in the Hindenburg report, Moez lied to the banks, telling them that he had a large part of a prior placement at $9, which would have meant he was illegally selling stock he already owned. Instead, the sources said, he had failed to get his hands on a single share of FD. Rumors on the street suggest the same.
In addition to this Moez was telling people about the short report days before it went out, telling people to short and gloating. Now I’m no expert but this is insider trading. Thankfully we have evidence of this which is winging its way to the regulators.
And Moez is truly desperate now, and most likely just lost another “friend”.
Facedrive and its shareholders should now be prepared for another assault out of desperation, as well as comments and “reports” by “The Friendly Bear” (AKA Moez and Sunny) and Andrew Left of Citron Research and their friend on Reddit: u/mnkaTHEkid. He’s desperately trying to drive this stock lower as his first swing didn’t do the damage he had hoped. So now he has resorted to something just as illegal and is being helped by the banks. Which is one of the reasons why their stock has been hit so hard the past 6 weeks – they don’t stand a chance and what is taking place makes a mockery of everything the capital markets are supposed to stand for.
According to a source with direct knowledge of Kassam’s banking relations, TD, CIBC, RBC and others are playing this game for Anson Funds using ghost bids and offers. They make huge commissions from funds like Kassam’s because the risk is extremely high. The system is designed so that only the ordinary shareholders suffer whilst Moez gets away with a wink and a grin, taking advantage of the system and the banks yet again.
Here is an example of how the banks are illegally helping Anson Funds on their Facedrive short: On the morning of July 24th, TD put an offer up of 75,000 shares of Facedrive at $14.16 (all out in the open). This wasn’t a real order, though. It was there with the sole intention of spoofing the market. Then, two minutes before the market opened, it was pulled as a favor to Kassam. Further digging will likely establish a pattern of the same over and over again.
Our advice to Facedrive is simple: Run a 60-day due diligence investigation on trading activity in your stock and you’ll get what you need to put a stop to it. The regulators will be more than happy to be handed such evidence. As of the time of writing (Sept 24th, 2020), there is plenty evidence of fraudulent market spoofing. In fact as mentioned above over the past 6 weeks Anson and their banking partners have manipulated Facedrive stock down to its current level. Even a chimpanzee could figure out what has been going on.
This is the type of behavior regulators love to penalize. In fact, K2 & Associates Investment Management was fined for doing this exact same thing.
This is a scheme Anson Funds has often used to manipulate the market into thinking there was a large seller nearby.
Regulators – you just need to look at all market activity in the stock since May and you will spot the pattern very quickly.
Is Moez really worth it to the Banks – are his commissions worth that much? Surely they know he has absolutely no loyalty and will roll on them in a heartbeat.”
Regulators, Pay Close Attention
Regulators should note that while Moez Kassam is usually a high-functioning sociopath, at times of desperation like this, he gets reckless and makes big mistakes, and those mistakes have been mounting since the Tilray debacle.
Canada has had trouble with naked short sellers in the past, but Moez Kassam has not only crossed the line—he has become the very symbol of the murkiest side of illegal, naked short-selling.
According to a source with insider knowledge of Moez Kassam’s deals, the illegal activity goes down in three areas.
The first is maintaining and managing the naked short positions, which involves a lot of juggling, multiple entities, and countless trading accounts.
The second is illegally front-funding private placements and paid for short reports which are never disclosed.
The third is the planting of moles or befriending management inside a company they are planning to short. He then offers a partnership via capital or advisory services to place the company in a vulnerable position. Very often he will use the non-public information to his advantage and inflict severe harm to the company whilst profiting handsomely himself.
Naked Short Movements
The math is where it gets fuzzy. When Moez is moving short positions, at times he’s getting trading desks to mark them long. According to a source close to Anson Funds, Kassam would, for instance, have 50,000 shares and go short 500,000 but mark it as a net long sale and it would knock it down. This way he does not need to disclose the short position.
He pays such huge commissions to the banks and brokerages that they let him get away with illegal behavior. He gets leeway because of the fees and then when he runs out, he buys a little back and puts it back at another one, ending up with accounts at every desk on the street.
In other words, he’s robbing Peter to pay Paul. He shifts the short position from firm A to B to C, etc…
Front-Funding Private Placements
Moez Kassam shorts companies before private placement financings and then covers using the stock he received from the placement. He front-funds the private placements as he gets people to tip him off when the deals are coming.
This is where it gets murky, the banks need Anson’s large lead orders on these small financings so they often make him aware of the raise so that they can structure the deal around his order. Many investment bankers and traders are bringing Moez over the wall on a regular basis and it has become common practice for many smaller firms.
This generates large fees for the firms and greed is getting the best of all involved. With this special treatment Moez and Anson take full advantage of these opportunities as there is limited downside. Once tipped off about a financing the fund will start shorting to build a position that will be covered via the offering. By doing so they maintain constant pressure on the stock which inevitably lowers the financing price. It’s a win win for them.
Bankers, sales persons and traders all look to bring these opportunities to Moez as they make profits off the large commissions generated from his orders. Moez has all of Bay street desperately trying to feed him information so that he will keep generating fees. This type activity is highly illegal and inflicts serious harm upon the Canadian Capital Markets and its investors. Mom and pop investors are run over by this freight train. If the regulators were to do a detailed audit of the fund and feeder funders as it relates to participation in financings it will be very obvious what is going on.
Finally, Moez Kassam deals in insider trading. He finds a company that is desperate for money and preferably has a weak CEO. Then he pretends to go long, dangling cash in front of them, and shorts them on the side, according to a source who has had numerous dealings with Kassam.
He only needs to be short 10 days to make money on a private placement because they’re all doing private placements at a discount. He gets his free warrants so he can short the stock more because he has a security blanket with those warrants. It’s a win-win for Kassam, until he runs up against a company like Tilray.
They’ve never questioned another one of Kassam’s tactics, which is to pre-empt an investigation by going straight to the regulators himself. He sends letters and expounds half-truths to them, requesting investigations on his behalf. A good case in point is psychedelics company, SHRM, which was shut down partially on Kassam’s insistence and rumor has it with back-up support from VIII Capital and another bottom feeder by the name of Winston Miles. (The regulators can find some interesting things if they dig around Winston’s dealings).
Winston Miles and Moez Kassam are good friends and fellow “foodies”, but their relationship runs much deeper. Both are driven by the almighty buck and the love of the game. Both will cut any corners necessary to line their pockets. Winston, better known as “Trader Tony”, is often found kitchen side at many of Moez’s extravagant food-themed parties. In fact, here is Winston in all his glory at Moez’s swanky Muskoka cottage. Gorgeous.
(Important note. This was on Moez’s Instagram page and look who is copied in Sean Kallir of HGC funds. This is a young Portfolio Manager whom Moez is grooming for part of the short cartel. Might be something there worth looking at as well regulators.)
Winston is yet another cog in Moez’s wheel of capital market crimes and fraudulent trading strategies. Winston is the head of Institutional Equity Sales at VIII Capital, and Moez Kassam and Anson Funds take full advantage of the flexibility that comes with this relationship.
However, @tradertonny and VIII Capital may have crossed a red line here.
Is Winston pumping stocks through the firm’s client base to generate higher prices and liquidity in order to allow Anson to build a short position? It seems like this is quite possible; and given their relationship it would not be surprising.
How does this work, exactly? Winston often sends emails and Whatsapp messages both internally and externally to profile small-caps that he considers to be a ‘BUY’. But is this done with good intentions? If successful, he moves the price higher and increases liquidity that would allow for his pal to take full advantage and short these very names. It appears that Moez and Winston might have their own mini pump and dump strategy in hand– ripping off investors and enriching themselves.
Now, regulators, PLEASE TAKE NOTE. Winston is currently recommending a small gold company called Tembo Gold -TEM.
He has put together a nice little report and is getting many of his clients to buy into the story. Below is a copy of the messages he has sent out to some poor suckers (sorry, clients of VIII Capital) on the 18th of September.
Now as you have read above this is a classic Kassam setup. While Winston’s clients are buying, Moez Kassam and Anson Funds are going short all over the street. It looks like Winston’s little pump took the stock up to 0.20 and at time of publishing it’s sitting at 0.15. A nice 25% loss to date for Winston’s clients. Of course they will try and hide all evidence of this and hopefully a few players on the street will help put a little squeeze on these folks and make Winston’s clients something in the end.
Regulators please take a visit to VIII Capital and look at the phone, email and trading records of Winston and his dealings with Moez Kassam. Interesting things will be revealed here.
Finally, Kassam undertakes elaborate social media swindles.
Regulators please take a visit to VIII Capital and look at the phone, email and trading records of Winston and his dealings with Moez Kassam. Interesting things will be revealed here.
The Social Media Swindle
When Kassam goes short on a stock, that is when problems start happening for the company and it usually begins on social media and the various online communities. Kassam and Anson have been in trouble before with authorities for manipulating social media and even having a team of people to spread lies and manipulate stocks. This was shut down and he was apparently fined and promised never to do it again.
Now he’s back at it and letting rip with his network on Facedrive.
Before the Hindenburg report came out, Kassam had been attacking the stock for some time via social media. He pays stooges on Yahoo, Stockhouse, Stocktwits, Reddit, Twitter and other platforms to spread his lies. Some of his stooges have been identified, including JT, JDT, Surprise Sun and others.
You can even see JDT/JT on Twitter commenting on Hindenburg’s thread. Now for a bystander with no skin in the game as he claims – he definitely goes to great lengths to bring a stock down.
You can find JDT on Stockhouse as well (regulators – we are doing your job for you, again). All of these sites track e-mails and IP addresses and if you get someone involved who really knows their thing you can get through the cloaking VPN’s these guys are surely using.
Then, on Stockhouse, we have Edwardoboo79 (Probably JDT) and JDT again. Similarly on Stocktwits we have Edwardoboo79 again promoting various Reddit threads of yet more paid bashers: https://www.reddit.com/user/Skogan89/
And this is really the tip of the iceberg. On their own it does very little but when combined they can cause significant damage to a stock and its shareholders. So, if your company comes under attack – check these places – you will see the language syntax is the same across the board for all of these people. Again this is something Anson have been punished for in the past but Moez believes himself above others and the law and just carries on.
What Comes Next?
High-level Canadian trading sources say there is a new bill being put forward to stop naked short selling in Canada for anyone involved in broker deals. And more than that, the bottom-feeding tactics of Moez Kassam are the bill’s primary inspiration as he and his cronies are giving Canadian capital markets a bad reputation.
That means that Moez Kassam is already pinging regulatory radar quite loudly.
But it won’t just be Canadian regulators that Kassam has to worry about. Dirty deals in the U.S. are going to haunt him, as well—and the SEC has razor-sharp teeth. Once this investigation is over, they’ll be hovering around Kassam’s base of operations in Dallas, Texas. Not least because of the fake news using Disney as bait to pump and dump GNUS (mentioned above). The SEC won’t like it at all, and if they weren’t paying attention before, they are being made aware now as his actions have hurt tens of thousands of U.S. investors and need to be investigated.
In the meantime, regulators should be looking at Moez Kassam’s relationships with Andrew Left of Citron Research, Winston Miles with VIII Capital and Nate Anderson with the Hindenburg Report. They do cover their tracks quite well, but they also have loose lips in public. What is often an open secret on side streets eludes the regulators. They just need to know where to look.
The Match Man
P.S. Please do share and re-publish wherever you can – always good to get news out far and wide.
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Lets clean up the capital markets.