I like to try and keep up with old news, especially when it was bad news for investors, and it's hard to find a recent story that has worked out worse for investors than Pegasus Wireless. This fly by-night outfit, which once purported to be a competitor to media networking heavyweights such as Cisco
It is clear to me that Knabb and CFO "Ferrari" Stephen Durland (whose histories I probed here) are doing everything they can to avoid being called to task for the company's amazing pump and subsequent dump. As a reader alerted me, they're so far out of touch that their lawyers have filed paperwork (launches a pdf) to be relieved as corporate counsel, citing non-cooperation. The motion was subsequently granted. Oh, and to judge from that same court filing, Pegasus either won't, or can't, afford to pay its legal fees.
This isn't exactly unexpected. Knabb's apparent attempts to garner favor in Grand Bahama island through making a pledge to a local charity (launches a pdf), attempts to ingratiate himself with local politicians (including, reportedly, having a member of parliament hand out employment applications to job-hungry constituents), and seeming manipulation of the local press fell apart pretty quickly. The press caught onto his Music Man act within months as his previously ballyhooed economic project closed up shop with no explanation.
Perhaps too busy treasure hunting, or diving off a new multimillion-dollar yacht (launches a pdf), Knabb appears to have taken pains to stay off the grid and away from anyone who might ask him about the impending failure. (Read that article to see the irony. In it, Knabb talks about having tons of sophisticated communications equipment.)
As further proof that Knabb doesn't seem to mind being unavailable to investors or potential customers, turn your attention to this. A July 25 article in the Freeport News noted that, at that time, phone service had been off for a month, and detailed a memo reportedly from Pegasus Wireless which explained how employees were to keep all questioners away from Knabb, including these gems, "Take no calls from any investors and Knabb speaks with no one," and "... Knabb is off the island if anyone calls."
Let us note that the Freeport News says this purported memo dates to the time of the plant opening. And if real, it may support the suspicion I've had all along: that Pegasus never really intended to make a serious go in the cutthroat networking business. I can think of few other reasons why receptionists would have received instructions like these, according to the News: "... if anyone called inquiring about sales, the operator was instructed to say, 'All agents are busy. Can I get your name and number and our sales agent will call you back?' "
Tell me that sounds like a company that's working hard to create a business with shareholder value.
Apparently, Knabb is completely "off-island" these days. If his lawyers, who were defending the company against a class action suit and several other legal actions, couldn't get ahold of him or Durland, it suggests to me that he really, really doesn't want to be found. On the run? Or hiding out? Given that Knabb and "Ferrari" Steve have long histories of involvement with pumped-and-dumped penny stocks, I'm hoping that federal investigators -- who so far appear to have turned a blind eye to this blatant behavior -- will soon figure out where Knabb and Durland are, what they were up to, and how they can afford to live in high style while investors hold the empty bag.
At the time of publication, Seth Jayson, a top-10 CAPS player, had no positions in any company mentioned here. See his latest CAPS blog commentary here. View his stock holdings and Fool profile here. Fool rules are here.
More from The Motley Fool
Why 2017 Was a Year to Remember for Shake Shack Inc.
The better burger chain bulked up its store base, which helped sales spike despite weak customer traffic trends.
Alaska Airlines Gets Ready to Grow in Its Hometown (Sort Of)
On Tuesday, Seattle's hometown airline provided more details on its plan to begin serving Paine Field, a secondary airport located in the northern suburbs.
Better Stock: Wells Fargo (WFC) vs. Citigroup (C)
The two banks have had plenty of ups and downs over the last decade or so. Here's the one I think has more "up" potential right now.