Note to all readers: The SEC is apparently very interested in Anson Funds according to accounts from ex-Anson employees. If you or anyone you know has been hurt because of any of their illegal actions or if you have information to share then please submit a complaint to the SEC: https://www.sec.gov/oiea/Complaint.html – the form is very easy to fill in and they will take your complaint seriously. Please spread the word and make sure to submit yourself. You can make a difference here.
For those of you that never got a chance to read the first report, you can do so here: http://marketfrauds.to/moez-kassam-and-anson-funds-a-tale-of-corruption-greed-and-failure/
- OSC begins a full investigation into Anson Funds business practices (according to sources inside Anson)
- SEC begins an investigation into Anson Funds business practices (according to sources inside Anson)
- Moez starts moving his personal funds to the Middle East. Authorities should find the trail easy to follow as he has been sloppy. The trail starts in Dubai and the UAE. He moved over $20 million USD.
- A Reddit thread everyone should be reading, sharing and adding to: https://www.reddit.com/r/BurnedByAnsonFunds/
Here are contact details for the regulators if you have any information or have been hurt by Moez and Anson Funds in any way. They are aware of Anson and your information would be very helpful:
OSC – email@example.com
BCSC – firstname.lastname@example.org
IIROC – email@example.com
IIROC – firstname.lastname@example.org
SEC – https://www.sec.gov/tcr
Dallas SEC – email@example.com (Anson Funds have an office here)
Chicago SEC – firstname.lastname@example.org (Make sure you send complaints here as well – very important)
Unitholders in Anson need to wake up and should be asking about the SEC and OSC investigations into Anson Funds. (You need to understand the severity of the questions that led to the head of their Dallas office resigning and Moez moving his personal funds abroad.)
Crime does pay, sadly.
According to rumors spread by Moez, Anson had a bumper year in 2020. They managed 45% outperformance – $1billion AUM — and Moez Kassam takes 90% of the bonus pool. A good year, indeed. (In fact, he is telling everyone on the street that he took home a $60-million+ bonus for last year). That feat required destroying a fair number of companies and causing thousands of regular shareholders to lose their savings.
The justification for destroying companies at will and decimating the savings of regular people is that the world needs short sellers. The reality is that short sellers could be the protectors of the retail investor, but they are not. This is about pure profit—absolutely nothing more—at the expense of companies that are never given a chance and retail investors who have no idea what’s about to hit them. It is a much more sophisticated form of an external pump and dump. The game isn’t to expose companies that are mismanaging investor funds and lining their own pockets with shareholder money … The game is to short a company and then destroy it for a profit, whether it’s a good company or not. This leaves everyone wondering who to believe when illicit short sellers undermine legitimate ones who do real due diligence.
And Moez Kassam is not just a short seller; he is a naked short seller whose activities are criminal and whose modus operandi is to manipulate the market and infiltrate companies to destroy them from the inside, while violating all short selling laws. He deliberately goes out of his way to ensure that companies fail.
Buying media is key here. Many of you have probably seen the puff piece put out by Bloomberg; https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-02-09/hedge-fund-anson-goes-big-on-retail-trades-outperforming-peers.
It’s an embarrassing piece of journalism on many levels; not the least because Bloomberg has no real interest in covering a Canadian hedge fund that almost no one in its audience has heard of.
Rumors among our sources on the street in Toronto are that Moez had to call in serious favors to get this written in an attempt to help generate funds to make up for the huge losses Anson suffered in January. The Bloomberg story was meant to help convince investors that Anson was not too toxic to give money to after Moez Kassam’s criminal activities were exposed. Moez only comes out when things are really bad–and they are really bad at Anson.
Corruption within The Globe & Mail?
On the media side there have also been numerous reports of corruption within the national Canadian newspaper, The Globe & Mail, which seems to publish a hit piece on every company Anson gets into trouble on or has a very large short in.
This important piece was recently removed from Reddit and all Canadian investors should be asking how a major national newspaper can have such close ties with a hedge fund:
Now it is unlikely The Globe as an organization is in cahoots with Anson – but the evidence certainly looks damning for a number of their journalist and editors. How far this once great paper has fallen. A thorough investigation and purge is needed at The Globe.
Anson Funds new major target (and a perfect example of media manipulation)
It also appears that Anson have a new target, Reconnaissance Energy Africa. It has been well reported on Reddit by our friends at Burned By Anson Funds, but Reddit succumbed to the Anson bullying and removed the posts. Thankfully nothing ever truly disappears online and we have pulled the original pages from the internet archives. This is important as it shows how Moez and the criminals at Anson think and operate their short and distort campaigns and how they use journalists to sow the seeds for them to “create their own catalysts”: YOU NEED TO READ ALL OF THESE (then you will understand the mindset of Anson Funds and the ruthlessness of Moez Kassam)
Saturday May 22 – Reconnaissance Energy Africa is Anson Funds next target – Illegal tactics being employed by Anson
Thursday May 27 – Is There A Huge Undisclosed Short In Oil Explorer Reconnaissance Energy Africa?
Saturday May 29 – Anson Funds short and distort campaign against Recon Africa (and Globe & Mail corruption)
Friday June 11 – Corrupt Globe & Mail writer Niall Mcgee about to do a hit piece on Recon Africa
Friday June 11 – Anson Funds disgusting plans for Recon Africa revealed – and they are dirty
Monday June 14 – Exposing corruption: a letter to Globe & Mail and regulators
also re-posted here with working links:
Wednesday 23rd – National Geographic hit piece.
Thursday June 24th – Quite an unbelievable hit piece from Viceroy Research. One of the most aggressive pieces we have seen in a while. The report is clearly not credible but it doesn’t matter. This was the big push that Anson and their group needed. The catalyst that would enable them to lean heavily into the stock and drive it down. Most of the selling on the day would have been between Anson and their syndicate members (we have an example of how they communicate with each other below – all done on Whatsapp and Signal) – they would have mixed big lots with small lots to give the impression that retail investors are panicking and selling. This generated real panic among retail who then started to think that that maybe there was something true in the hit pieces and so they started selling as well. Anson then sees their strategy is working and so they put even more pressure on the stock and further down it goes – causing even greater panic among retail investors who sell even harder and on and on it goes.
Anson know the game well. They will soon be following up with more hit pieces and fake lawsuits to exhaust management and shareholders. Even bringing in more volume will not stop Anson (more on why volume doesn’t stop short sellers later). Regulators know this and yet do nothing. This is how Anson keep on “creating catalysts” to attack stocks with.
This is a perfect timeline of how Anson operate and how they manipulate journalists and the media to create catalysts that they then use to their advantage. This should be enough information for the regulators to actually do something, or maybe ask a few questions as even to the blind it’s obvious there is a coordinated attack on the stock and regulators only need to look at the trading patterns on the 24th June to understand the underhand trading tactics Anson are using in conjunction with the short and distort campaign.
Remember Anson Funds do not care who they destroy in their attempt to make money.
Moez’s activities over the last 6 months:
To find out what Moez has been up to these last 6 months there is a very good update here that you must read (it is very disturbing): http://marketfrauds.to/moez-kassam-has-moved-over-20-million-into-offshore-accounts-in-uae-and-dubai/
As covered in the above link Moez is moving money abroad in order to get it out of the reach of Anson unit holders who could threaten to sue once regulators find more information on the criminal enterprise Anson Funds is running. The trail is fairly clear and authorities shouldn’t have too much difficulty following this flow of funds.
We have one more very significant connection to reveal between Moez Kassam and an individual with high-level clout in Canadian financial and sporting circles; but please stay tuned. This information is very sensitive and dangerous and we are waiting to reveal it until we have fully completed our investigation of the individual in question, who also has important connections at the Globe & Mail.
Before we get into the meat of this latest report, here are a few updates from Report #1 based on recent events surrounding Anson Funds and Moez Kassam.
Anson Funds Employee Morale:
Things have gotten rather unpleasant in the Anson offices, according to our inside sources who are taking a huge risk by speaking with us anonymously.
Obviously, Moez is not telling the truth to the downtrodden Anson employees who live every day in fear of firing or lawsuits. Moez has even threatened all Anson employees with lawsuits and installed draconian measures in the office to stop leaks from employees. The fear level is rising—fast. At this point, it is becoming clearer that employees will either sink with this ship or be fired, and now the latter is starting to look more attractive than the former.
The OSC has already asked all employees to hand e-mails over and they will find something – there is always something.
There is good information here on what’s happening inside the Anson office: https://www.reddit.com/r/BurnedByAnsonFunds/comments/m8pkop/anson_funds_under_osc_investigation_staff_to_give/
Anson Funds Christmas Gifts:
Regulators should also look at what happened with Christmas gifts for various people outside the fund that Anson uses.
This year, the budget for gifts (for our purposes, bribes) was north of $1 million—a figure that should be setting off some alarm bells among regulators and tax authorities.
Social media Manipulation:
We covered this extensively in the first piece, but in the past, Anson has drawn regulatory ire for its manipulation of stocks through social channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Stockhouse, Yahoo, Reddit and other platforms.
The rumors are that Anson received a slap on the wrist and a pathetic fine over this and was then told not to do it again.
Well, Anson has done it again. They currently have 3 full-time people who used to sit in a very plush space in Anson’s Toronto offices, dedicating their entire day to bashing companies through these various channels. We understand that they do not do this through Anson servers; rather, through mobile routers and VPNs so nothing can be traced. (Regulators are going to have to step up their digital game because this is VPN 101).
We have recently learned that their social media bashing squad has been moved from the Anson offices since they were outed by someone else online.
But they have been sloppy. Anson are well known to fudge their month end and quarterly NAV numbers (regulators) and the bashers are told to go extra hard towards the end of the month. They are supposed to have different profiles for different stocks and never to mix them. But one of their bashers got sloppy in his rush to please Moez. This basher is commenting on both Reco and Facedrive. Ansons two largest positions – where they are deeply underwater on both.
Everyone should read this post here to understand how paid bashers work: Confessions of a paid stock basher
New and old Anson Targets
Here are a number of companies that Anson have attacked recently or are still attacking:
Zoom, Facedrive, GSX Techedu (Now Gaotu Techedu), Genius Brands, Gamestop (oops), Reconnaissance Energy Africa, Valorem Resources, Starr Peak Mining, Whole Earth Brands, United Lithium, Mountain Valley MD Holdings, SOL Global, Clean Power Capital Corp, Red White & Bloom, Moderna, Medivolve, AMM Power, Value Line, Champignon Brands and many others.
These guys have been coming under a sustained barrage from Anson Funds for over a year now. From Globe & Mail hit pieces to reported website hackings, keyword takeovers in Google and a host of other underhanded and dirty tricks. Moez of course denies that Anson Funds are short any shares in Facedrive. Read the below messages and let us know what you think. GUILTY!
Lets just look at this perfect example of insider trading between short sellers. They are discussing Facedrive and the person on the other end of the message is mocking Moez as Facedrive had moved against him and his short was proving to be very painful. Moez says to check back with him on Monday. Then on Monday the share price of Facedrive starts falling hard from its high. This was because of the huge amount of paper that was created by short sellers in Anson’s syndicate getting ready for a big short report about to come out.
Then later on Moez asks if he is loaded up. He responds that yes – 10,000 shares. He asks if tomorrow is good (for the short report being published)
Moez then asks if he sees anything from the big boys. Then on July 23rd a prominent short seller puts out a very aggressive and negative report. THIS IS INSIDER TRADING. Moez knows a hit piece is coming out on Facedrive as he put the whole thing together and is trying to get other traders to go short the stock ahead of time. Regulators – maybe you should confiscate Moez’s mobile phone and if these messages aren’t there well we know that’s obstruction of justice.
This isn’t exactly a one-man show. It’s important to understand that Moez is not working alone. None of this would be possible without Sunny Puri – Moez’s knife man and complete coward.
Sunny is the one who sets everything up, does all the dirty deals and prepares the reports. He is just as guilty as Moez for everything mentioned. (So just to spell it out – all of the hit pieces on your companies are of course arranged by Moez – but Sunny does all of the legwork).
Sunny has recently been in trouble with the police for an incident involving a party (in defiance of COVID restrictions) in which he hired two escorts that he then attempted to swindle by not paying. He is trying his hardest to keep it all under wraps, but it’s all over Bay Street by this point, and everyone is just waiting to see if the police will press charges.
Sunny Puri may be just a stooge of Moez Kassam, but we understand that up to this point he has been paid well. He may have recently fallen on hard times, however, leading to his inability to foot the bill for the escorts. Rumors floating around these circles suggest that around the time Moez fled to Dubai, he was beginning to consider Sunny and his crew and other partners useless and may have started to cut them off.
Despite his long-time loyalty to Moez and all the dirty work he has done on his behalf, it would appear that Sunny Puri is no longer the chosen right-hand man. That could end up being a victory for Sunny Puri. If he has been cut off and can prove such with the authorities, he will be spared Moez’s fate. The authorities, too, would potentially find in him the ideal whistleblower.
The Heart of the Matter
Where to start … As most of you readers of Report 1 are aware, we have been having technical difficulties in the form of endless DDOS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks, believed to have originated from Anson Funds, and bullying legal letters to registrars and hosting companies.
They did not want the report getting out and staying out. Illegal business practices are okay as long as everyone is not talking about them. Once they’re out in the open and circulating widely, it becomes a major problem. But word has gotten out, and it’s stayed out long enough for people to realize just how toxic this company is. (Just in case you missed it – here is a link to Report 1.
DDOS attacks are a special form of cybercrime. Ten hours after MoezKassam.com and StockManipulators.com went live, they came under DDOS attack.
The first major attack came from this IP address: http://188.8.131.52/ – which leads back to this company: https://www.digitalfront.ca/ (an SEO company from Mississauga, Provider: Rogers).
Presumably because of the rush to attack the sites and bring them down, care was not taken to mask the IP address. Now, we are not accusing them, as IPs can be manipulated fairly easily and are far from proof of guilt. Additionally, it is possible that a single individual from within the company was paid to launch the attack off books. Regardless, it’s worth further investigation by the authorities. Cybercrime is serious.
After being taken offline illegally, the sites were then shut down after legal threats were made to the registrar of the domains. That forced us to relocate the stories to new addresses, which then also came under heavy attack. This time, the hosting company received threatening legal letters and sadly relented.
Bullying and intimidation is the standard MO of Moez Kassam and Anson, and it has served them well in the past as they destroyed hundreds of thousands of shareholders’ portfolios.
But then Anson took things one step further. In addition to hosting the articles ourselves, we also put them on the internet archives … https://archive.st/archive/2020/10/marketcrimes.ws/s6yi/marketcrimes.ws/2020/10/02/moez-kassam-and-anson-funds-a-tale-of-corruption-greed-and-failure/index.html
This site came under DDOS attack for 2 days on October 8th and 9th.
We also understand from the hacker community that Anson are offering a reward of US$100,000 to anyone who can bring the site down as their team aren’t able to.
Who is paying for all this?
Anson is desperate to stop the truth from coming out about their criminal organization and CEO, Moez Kassam. The expense of launching attacks of this size and which are still ongoing and increasing in their severity is enormous, potentially in the millions of Dollars, and investors should be asking who is funding this operation? Are unit holders footing the bill for these attacks?
At the same time, Moez released a recording saying he had top investigators around the world looking for the writers of the report.
Here is the video: https://twitter.com/bettingbruiser/status/1322189255632953345?s=21 – a few questions come to mind here.
When Moez says “we can afford it” – what does this mean? Does it mean Moez, personally? Or, is he spending investors’ money on lawyers, investigators, and hackers (who are expensive) as there is no corporate money? Will this be coming out of G&A expenses? Has Moez informed investors? Will he be using other people’s money to defend his own illegal deeds?
Ordinary people Crushed by Anson
Also during this time, we have received an outpouring of messages from ordinary investors who have had experiences with Anson Funds. In the messages, the authors describe how they lost huge sums of money (for some, their entire savings) because of the underhanded and illegal tactics employed by Moez Kassam and Anson Funds.
Many ordinary people have invested their hard-earned money in these small companies. Some of those companies may have been doomed to fail from the beginning, but plenty of others were destroyed in a premeditated strategy to line the pockets of Kassam and Anson. Whether these companies would have made it or not is not relevant here – all of them deserved a fair shake at it, to try and make their businesses successful; but now we will never know if they could have been. These activities have undermined investor confidence in the free market and sullied the Canadian capital markets.
Among the many messages and pieces of evidence we have received from our readers since the publishing of Report 1 is a recording made by a source who had dealings with Kassam personally.
Moez Kassam voice recordings:
We are pasting below some of the more interesting sounds bites from that 30+ minute recording:
Moez Kassam Soundbite 1
“A lot of times if I’m working with Ben Axler (Spruce Point Capital) or doing this kind of stuff then we can create our own catalysts right because we’re putting out a report. So I know when stuffs gonna go down and I’ll buy puts. It’s very easy to know…a lot of people know when something is coming so they’ll buy puts and you know he makes 50 puts per day so I’ll make 2000 trades today and that hurts the stock the next day when the report comes out.”
Wow – this does not look good at all. Very little to say here. I think we can let the regulators deal with what this means. Fraud, market manipulation – all very bad. How many companies have been the victims of Moez Kassam’s “catalysts”?
A recent one that comes to mind is Reconnaissance Energy Africa as mentioned above. Take a look at this thread on Reddit that explains how moez creates his catalysts: https://web.archive.org/web/20210611191009/https://www.reddit.com/r/BurnedByAnsonFunds/comments/nxnprb/anson_funds_disgusting_plans_for_recon_africa/ (This is the archive.org thread as Anson bullied Reddit into taking the post down)
Moez Kassam Soundbite 2
“I loved what he did on TOS by the way. That was awesome. (Moez) Where do you think all that came from? It’s all us. We don’t publish anymore.” (sadly we couldn’t have the recording of the other speaker to protect his identity. But we have listed what he said and the regulators have the full recording).
At the heart of it, Moez is a coward. Anson no longer puts out its own short reports for fear of legal repercussions. Now, the Anson team just does the research and feed it to various stooges out there such as Ben Axler, Viceroy and others who carry all of the risk. These reports always have an element of truth – but are also filled with lies. For example, the GFL report put out by Axler and Spruce Point was all Moez and Anson. He was even bragging about it last summer when he was drunk, commenting on what a bunch of idiots they all were. We don’t know if he was talking about Axler for being the stooge or the people behind GFL. (Moez also provided all of the pictures that appeared in that report as well).
Anson regularly engages in wire fraud with other short sellers and writers – so a thorough look at their various entities and where money is being sent needs to be undertaken. Often, Anson will use a “consultant” to filter funds to these various groups (WIRE FRAUD).
Also look to Winston Miles at 8 Capital. He would likely be able to help regulators with a number of offshore entities (British Virgin Islands) he controls (or might have recently shut down).
Here are a few people Moez works very closely with that should be investigated:
1. Winston Miles – Trader Tony: https://viiicapital.com/institutional-sales-trading-team-2/ – We all know Tony for the bottom feeder he is. As one of Moez’s stooges, he gets access to all of the good stuff first. All payments to Winston need to be looked at closely. He also has some British Virgin Island entities that need investigating. You will find some very interesting payments here.
2. Ali Zamani – Used to work for Anson Funds and recently resigned. He knows a lot about their illegal activities in the United States and ran because of what he knows is coming. He absolutely needs to be questioned by the authorities.
Moez Kassam Soundbite 3
“Because we’re short a lot of these names I’ll still buy into a lot of them, right. If I’m already short I’ll buy it (the private placement) to sell to get the warrant. I’d do debt (to equity) with warrants…Every company comes through here, we meet every single marijuana, every single crypto comes through our office. Cos we’re writing the biggest…”
So he buys into private placements that he is short (don’t the regulators have an issue with this?)
Here’s how the shakedown works: You announce a private placement or let it be known that you are interested in raising funds. Anson gets wind of this and starts selling hard. They then have you over a barrel as they know you need funds and at the lower price they re-negotiate and take you to the cleaners. This has happened too many times to count, but regulators should take a look at Harvest Health. Interesting things happened there with Anson in January 2020 – you will see a sudden fall in the share price. Anson and Harvest should be able to provide more details.
Moez Kassam Soundbite 4
“we’re making our money on these converts to longs, like converts on the marijuana and I’m short a ton of marijuana and buying a bunch of these broker deals”
Is this legal? Not anymore and hasn’t been for some time.
Moez Kassam Soundbite 5
“So you want to go to the places that are lending out, that’s what we do, but it’s very hard for retail. We’re putting up big numbers and paying massive borrow rates. We’re as important to a prime broker as a 10-billion-dollar fund because we’re paying 50, 70, 100 for some of these names and no one pays anything”
What Moez is saying here is that the banks are in on the fraud and market manipulation because they get paid big fees. Regulators should be looking at RBC, CIBC, TD Bank, National, among others. You would have thought they would be more careful following the large fine Scotiabank received.
Moez Kassam Soundbite 6
“And don’t mention (to Sunni) that we give the stuff to (Andrew) Left or (Ben) Axler (Spruce Point Capital).”
Moez lets others do his dirty work for him. He talks a big game but when confronted, he tucks his tail in and has been known to beg and plead, blaming everyone from his colleagues to his father-in-law. Anson were sued once and now he lets braver men take all of the risk.
Moez Kassam Soundbite 7
“We have the luxuries I can at least use these nine different prime brokers and I’m all over these retail guys in the US. All these guys who buy shit so we have all these prime brokers in Florida.”
SEC – somewhere for you to direct your investigations.
Moez Kassam Soundbite 8
“You know, I can bring in Sunni to talk about SHAW, we think it’s overvalued, but again like could it affect the stock price? that’s the objective, and Andrew doesn’t work schemes anymore”
Regulators – time to look at SHAW. It looks like Anson wanted to create another one of their “catalysts” here but Andrew Left refused to work with a bottom feeder like Moez on his scheme. Moez can be heard earlier in the recording talking about how Left has gotten too big for himself following his Overstock success and won’t work with Moez anymore. Moez is hugely egotistical and the fact that someone of Left’s stature refused to work with him would have hurt deeply, hence the bad mouthing.
Now, before we get to the more in-depth research, we also have to comment on Anson’s response to Report no.1. https://ansonfunds.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/September-30-2020.pdf
One thing short sellers like Anson and their cronies demand from companies they attack is a line-by-line response to the accusations. However, Anson itself failed to do this. No denials. No line-by-line rebuttal to Report 1 (Remember please print and share). Instead, Anson simply lashed out at its own investors, presumably for already withdrawing funds.
While we do not expect this to happen, at this point our best advice to Anson is to open up their trading blotters to the OSC and SEC if they have nothing to hide. Investors and companies demand answers, and they deserve them..
But people ARE paying attention. Report 1 caused a major stir on stock forums, and among banks, investigators and, importantly, regulators.
On forums, some have claimed to have known about the alleged tactics of Moez Kassam and Anson Funds for some time, but felt powerless to do anything about it:
No Fear of the Regulators:
The regulators might be interested in knowing that Moez was out drunk before his long trip abroad, boasting about his team of crack investigators, which he claims includes ex-CIA operatives, and a team of lawyers working with him. He declared that he has absolutely no concern whatsoever about what the “toothless OSC” may be planning. He also indicated that he has people inside the OSC on his payroll. Will anyone even bother to look into this?
(And this is what he’s doing while he’s destroying companies and shareholder portfolios: https://vimeo.com/140274640 – if you can get through the whole thing, we applaud you. (You will all love the soundtrack. This is how he actually sees himself the deluded imbecile).
Kassam truly believes he is above the law, but we are counting on regulators to prove him wrong.
Other updates and information blasts:
Medmen’s Toxic Dealings with Anson Funds
The spectacular rise and fall of Medmen has been well documented by media outlets across North America.
Medmen went public in June 2018 with a valuation that was approaching $2 billion dollars and at its height employed nearly 1,300 employees. However, before their go-public event, in early 2018 the company was looking to raise additional capital and went to the booming Canadian Capital Markets. It was during this period when Bierman and Moldin were introduced to Moez Kassam of the Anson Group.
The company was having difficulty completing this financing, so Moez gained the trust of the founders and promised a true partnership on the deal. The terms of their arrangement are understood to be that the fund agreed to backstop the needed financing of an estimated $30-million deal not because they believed in the company, but because Adam Bierman agreed to assign a very large block of his founder stock to Moez for this commitment. However, Moez doesn’t like to take any risk so they proposed that so long as the company received the needed funding, he would get the block of founders’ stock. Bierman agreed and Moez hit the street and promoted the story across Canada and the US so that others invested and he would get a free ride on this deal.
With this arrangement, there are major regulatory violations that surely were triggered as the company would have filed inaccurate holdings in their prospectus for listing.
In addition to this, Anson promised future funding for the company so long as they could front-run any deal and offset their short with the newly created shares. The founders would provide the fund with the needed borrow in advance so there was no buy-in risk for his group.
Upon listing in June 2018, the stock fetched a valuation of nearly $2 billion and was highly touted by many. They were regularly featured on CNBC, Jim Cramer’s MadMoney and many other financial news outlets. The perfect storm was at Anson’s door step. A high-flying, mismanaged company in constant need of capital.
Moez made a killing on the way up as he sold out his long position for a healthy profit and shorted in advance of any capital raise. Then, the music stopped quite suddenly. Cannabis names crashed and the fund quickly flipped from an advocate of Medmen to a carnivorous and attacking shortseller, while utilizing the founders’ own stock as borrow to press the financially distressed company’s share price lower.
Moez was out again drunk in the autumn with some folks we know well. He said he was the one who fed Ben Axler at Spruce Point all the information on the GFL short report. Now, this was a report that Moez wanted his involvement in kept quiet, but he and Sunny Puri are the people behind the research, data and pretty much everything else Axler put in his report. He apparently just signed his name to it (according to Moez).
Even though Anson made some good money off the back off this hit piece it wasn’t his main objective. Apparently, it was done out of spite as he wanted to hurt a number of people mentioned in the report over some imagined slight.
You see, it’s not all about money with Moez. He bears a grudge for any slight or imagined wrongdoing – so this was motivated by spite just as much as profit. We thought some folks would like to know this.
Big win for Anson: GSX Techedu (Now Gaotu Techedu)
Anson has recently had a huge win with a large Nasdaq-listed company called GSX Techedu. Anson had a huge short position at one point. If you include all of the various instruments, they were 18 million shares short. Now you have probably seen a huge number of short reports and bashing everywhere on social media. Yes, that was mostly Anson Funds. The people who put the short reports out were fed the information as always and in some cases promised a % of the profit from Anson’s position (Moez never pays – remember this).
Apparently, Anson made about fifty million dollars in profit from their GSX short – well done. I wonder what the GSX folks think about this? Could someone forward this onto them?
Problem trades for Anson:
Zoom, Facedrive and Reconnaissance Energy Africa. All of these trades are hurting Anson badly. Remember they have naked short positions in the latter two stocks.
Banks Moez works with:
He uses a multitude of banks and brokers, but the ones who work with Anson all the time in these illegal schemes are:
- TD Bank
- Canaccord (yes Canaccord are back in the picture again – they couldn’t resist those juicy commission payments)
- National Bank
Wire Fraud – Illegal payments to analysts and social media bashers:
These are payments made to Analysts and other short selling groups. Unfortunately, we can’t post the details here as it would compromise some of our sources.
Marc Cohodes, a famous short seller, made an interesting post on his Twitter thread a little while back: https://twitter.com/AlderLaneeggs/status/1397638209979355136
“The dirty little secret that I will address in my letter to the SEC are the ‘balance sheet arrangements’ amongst ‘the players’ which need to be disclosed. I can’t wait till one of these ‘Activists’ get popped by the SEC. ‘Marc we need to put food on the table, how else can we do it.’”
I would love to hear more about these balance sheet arrangements. This is something Anson does a lot of and it shouldn’t be too hard for regulators to follow. How we understand it is the following.
An analyst/researcher puts together a commissioned short report for Anson. They are then paid in cash and a % of what Anson Funds made from their short position. We believe this is highly illegal. These researchers should be paid out of the management fees and not the fund.
We have multiple contacts that worked with Anson Funds in the past and after their bad experiences there they went to other funds asking if they could be paid on contingency on the trade and they said that’s illegal. They can pay out of management fees but to pay directly out of the fund is illegal. Anson Funds are clearly paying their “partners” out of the fund and breaking their agreement with unitholders. This is fraud and the regulators and unitholders need to know more about the balance sheet arrangements Anson have with analysts and short selling groups. We know for a fact they will find some very disturbing things.
Now we are not fans of Cohodes – but he does his research and attacks his targets head on. Not like the Toad of Bay Street (Moez Kassam), who does not have the courage (or cohones) to act this way. Why someone with Cohodes reputation is still working with Anson is a mystery to everyone – even his colleagues in the short selling community.
Anson funds funding has to be investigated: (who are they washing money for?)
In 2008, Moez Kassam began to make a small name for himself throughout the Canadian investment community while guiding his small asset management company that was originally seeded by friends and family in 2007. He drew particular attention as he posted a positive return during the stock market crash of 2008. Yet, during this time, his fund was considered too small to be taken seriously by many Institutional trading desks. Not until sometime after 2010 did Anson begin to ramp up its AUM as the assets began to pile into the fund at an impressive rate.
Several industry insiders began to take notice of its rumored capital inflows, which was met with plenty of skepticism. Ultimately, the size of capital that was being directed at the group seemed to be very abnormal given its performance. Anson posted strong numbers, but not the type of numbers that would attract that kind of support. Moez was not the Warren Buffet of Canada.
Many began to ask: Who was making these investments and what strings were attached?
Given the group’s performance, one would expect to see net inflows of capital; but not the explosion of AUM that it experienced during this period.
Moez grew his fund from less than $10mm AUM (2007) to $150mm (2010) to $500mm, and to a peak of nearly $1 billion in less than 10 years with average numbers. How is that possible, a fellow fund manager asks?
Individuals close to the Anson group sited multiple large investments made quickly after 2010, which caused people to question what was really going on.
This same manager suspected that the fund was groomed and heavily seeded with capital by a large US short fund that would utilize the Anson platform for their own investment strategies and timely trades to lessen disclosures and create separation on certain transactions.
This made a great deal of sense as Moez would get the benefit of the information and performance, while the large partner remained anonymous. Obviously, this would have been structured in a sophisticated way so that it did not attract any scrutiny and appeared to be a natural inflow of capital. Any in-depth investigation will reveal what happened here.
In addition to these investors, it is also common knowledge that Anson had accepted large amounts of capital via Middle East investors. What is the relationship with these groups and did they properly comply with Canadian AML requirements for these foreign investors?
With the illegal trading strategies employed by this group, both the OSC and SEC need to better understand the complicated machine within the Anson shell and where all of their funds have come from in the past.
Zenabis – again:
Muneeb Yusuf, the husband of Anson funds legal counsel Laura Salvatori, facilitated the toxic financing deal between Zenabis and Tilray via Brownstone Advisors, where Muneeb is CEO. An advisory firm taking a fee for putting a deal together is nothing really to talk about. However, this firm hadn’t received any fees previously, and Muneeb, the CEO of Brownstone, is married to the chief legal officer at Anson.
This fee without a doubt made its way back to the Anson principals. We have been informed that there is a paper trail of additional billings between Anson and a 3rd party (possibly Brownstone itself) to move a portion of the funds back to Anson. One point to keep in mind is that the fee would have been structured as an advisory fee to avoid any regulatory review if the payment had been considered a commission payment.
Was the relationship here disclosed? This deal needs to be looked at much more closely by regulators because the conflict of interest is pretty clear.
From our perspective, it appears that Anson worked diligently to manipulate the share price to a depressed level only to offer a friendly hand to provide funding for the issuer. Anson specializes in and profits handsomely off of this type of activity. Not only does it book strong profits on the short sale (often naked in some way) but with a structured financing Anson has the ability to flatten the trade and even take a net long position. This allows the fund to take full advantage of the depressed price, which is often profitable as well.
Screwed over his own family
Moez’s uncle (his mother’s brother) – was a kind man and paid for Moez’s university education. He would not be where he is today without this act of kindness from a family member. But Moez knows no family loyalty.
What happened after that generosity was the titling of a property. A property owned by the uncle was held in Moez’ name. But instead of handing the property over, Moez made the uncle pay for it again. We have heard the total cost was around $900,000.
This is the sort of person we are dealing with. A man without a conscience who will screw you, your company, your family and your dreams for success. He did it to family. You are nothing to him.
Anson Funds utilize Water boarding style trading tactics …
At their core, algorithms and programmed trades are a set of steps or instructions that a computer uses to execute BUY / SELL orders. These can vary from very complex instructions comprised of thousands of lines of code to more basic and straight forward rules. Anson Funds have fully embraced this new way of trading and use it to their advantage.
One area that Anson utilize with almost all of their short positions is the abusive use of program short sale algorithms. They use this to create a nearly impenetrable ceiling on a stock that is nearly impossible to clear and prevents the share price from moving higher. For example: Company ABC trades at $10.00 and averages 500,000 shares a day. A short seller has the ability to place multiple SS algo orders through various brokerage firms that makes it next to impossible to increase the share price in that window. If the seller were to enter 3 separate orders of 150k shares with a lower sell limit, say $9.80 they have effectively offered a single days total volume to be sold in a slow drip fashion that would surely pressure the share price lower.
These types of orders are easily spotted as they usually show a very small amount of stock on the offering side; between 100 – 1000 shares at a time and continue to reload and follow the market as it moves up or down while making sales along the way. This small train of mini sell orders follow the share price until it reaches the instructed limit. If the intent is to make the shares decease in value and the stock does not react how the account desired, they can amend the program by either lowering the limit or increasing the size of the orders. (maybe both). In many cases this is suffocating to the share prices as it slowly grinds lower.
Many in the industry have considered this a form of capital market water boarding; and Anson does not let up until somebody gives in. WHO?
Either the company agrees to cover their short with a financing or the shareholder base capitulates and begins to sell their position as it appears to them that there is an issue with company and the stock is preforming poorly. They use this laddering approach to bring great harm to the companies they attack.
This kind of activity kills small cap companies. They do not stand a chance against a sustained attack of this kind. Companies bring in volume and everyone is of the misguided belief that volume will solve the problem – it will crush the shorts. But that is not the case – they just up their short more. So if they were short 1 million – they just go short 1.5 million. You can see this on the pre-bids too. If you bring in $1 million of buying in the bid side – they will match it on the ask side.
This strategy is employed once Anson has established a short position and is used to place the stock in a particular range or an attempt to break long shareholders and have them sell their shares at a much lower level where Anson would be looking to cover.
You do not stand a chance. If you have experienced this in your stock and can’t explain why – this is Anson Funds destroying your quote and there really is very little you can do about it. A number of companies we have spoken to said they have recorded all illegal trading activities and sent then to the exchange and regulator and nothing has happened. Sadly nothing probably will happen in Canada until there is real political will to make the marketplace a free and fair place to invest and trade.
A perfect example of this is with the small company Medivolve (MEDV.NE). Over the past 6 months Anson have destroyed the quote of this company using exactly the above tactics. They never stood a chance. They have done this to hundreds of other companies as well. Companies that deserved a chance and listed on the capital markets to try and bring their projects to life. But Moez Kassam and his criminal colleagues at Anson Funds destroyed their companies and wiped out tens of billions of dollars of investor capital.
We know for a fact there have been dozens of complaints issued to the OSC, BCSC and IIROC and yet still nothing has happened. Will the regulators ever act against Anson?
What Keeps Moez up at night
GENIUS Brands – the whole story:
Our continuing private investigation has uncovered new information about how this illegal operation involving Genius Brands (GNUS) was conducted by Moez Kassam and Anson Funds. New emails have surfaced from an individual by the name of Josh Flo (a Minnesota real estate agent) in which he admits to the fraud in which he was used to buy the DisneyGuide.com domain. That is the domain where the fraud in Genius Brands stock took place.
Our investigation also involves a source at a Canadian broker who reveals that Moez Kassam made close to $100 million profit from his fraudulent Genius Brands trade.
Background: How Moez Kassam and Anson Funds defrauded GNUS investors:
Anson Funds was the driving force behind the manipulative long-short campaign for entertainment company Genius Brands – GNUS.
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 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 published a report entitled ‘A Bagholder’s Guide to Why We Think Genius Brands Will Be a $1.50 Stock Within a Month’, In the report they argued that the GNUS-Disney social media postings included a bunch of falsehoods. And focused heavily 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.
After the report came out, GNUS stock plummeted, causing Moez to panic because he likes the stairs down approach as it allows him to disguise his actions much more cleanly.
To do this, his team and people linked to Anson created the www.DisneyGuide.com website with the sole purpose of pumping the GNUS stock to stop the slide and make it a more manageable descent.
Our investigation has uncovered that the owner of the DisneyGuide.com domain is a used car salesman and realtor from Minnesota by the name of Josh Flo.
While the authorities are already likely looking into Josh Flo, what they will find is this: An individual who has little understanding of markets or market rules. This individual does not appear to fully understand with whom he was working or the extent of the crime he was committing…
He was most likely simply an instrument used by Moez, and possibly someone whom he came into contact with through a close associate or during an Anson Funds visit to Minnesota when they cut a deal with a company called CNH.
They talked Flo into purchasing the domain and even convinced him to use his personal Twitter account to talk up the fake Disney news. They also convinced him to register an account on Stocktwits to pump it further, along with another Twitter account registered to the DisneyGuide.com website.
Flo started posting on the new Twitter account on June 13th and then stopped on June 16th.
On his personal Twitter, Flo also suddenly shifted from Tweets strictly related to real estate to (last post in 2018) …. GNUS, with zero explanation.
On June 9th, Flo suddenly posts something about a random oil stock to make it look like he is now interested in equities; and then on June 11th, all attention shifts to GNUS.
On June 15th, he posted the following:
Is this legit? I just saw it.
The link is still there but the contents have been cleaned up …
The entire social media back-and-forth has Josh Flo talking to himself and commenting on his own posts on different platforms.
Flo has not yet moved to delete his Twitter content, but we suspect that will follow soon when he realizes the amount of trouble he is in.
A Toronto-based source close to Anson Funds has told us that Josh Flo and the DisneyGuide.com website details are the one loose end that has Moez Kassam very concerned. Flo is intended to be the fall guy when the SEC comes knocking, but he is also the weakest link.
If Flo believes that Kassam will betray him as he has betrayed others, Flo may run to the authorities himself to avoid prosecution and turn himself into a whistleblower.
Then we also have Flo’s Stocktwits account. https://stocktwits.com/Oilguy2020 in which a used car salesman and real estate agent suddenly becomes an “Oil Guy”.
It is all the same copy that he posted on Twitter in June and then it mysteriously disappeared on June 26th. Fortunately, someone at ADVFN managed to copy the text: https://investorshub.advfn.com/boards/read_msg.aspx?message_id=156225025
It is our assessment that Josh Flo—a low-level real estate agent—is not in a position to “hear rumors” of this level. He was fed this information and hired to publish it as a fall guy.
TheFly also covered this: https://thefly.com/landingPageNews.php?id=3109307&headline=GNUS;DIS-Disneyfocused-blog-circulates-Genius-Brands-rumor
When Josh Flo wrote this piece–https://disneyguide.com/f/is-disney-pursuing-genius-brands-we-are-hearing-rumors—GNUS stock suddenly halted its downward trajectory and moved from $3.45 to $4.52. It traded hundreds of millions of shares and has never been that high since. Then, on June 15th, after Josh managed to seed the forums and chat rooms, he pulled the piece off the website and since then it has been showing a “404 page” error.
The stock was in freefall, falling from $7.93 on the 3rd of June to $3.97 on the 9th June. Then on the 10th June Josh publishes his report and the downtrend immediately stops and reverses and closes the day at $4.51, trading 113,550,664 shares.
The next day, the stock falls a little but still trades 151,898,954 shares.
Then, on the 12th, it recovers to $4.16 with 95,905,448 shares traded.
The next day of trading is the 15th where Josh hits social media and pushes the report hard to people. The stock rallies to $4.52 and trades 118,788,498 shares. Josh then knows he has done his work and the rumors are out so he does the wise thing and pulls the report down (likely on instructions from Moez Kassam/Anson).
Please take into account the above numbers are very impressive as the average volume for GNUS is 30,000,000 shares a day.
Obviously, the media picks up on this and the stock starts falling. But what is important to note here is that this rumor stopped the downward movement, as it was not to Moez Kassam’s liking.
But Josh didn’t stop there. Seeing the success of his handiwork a plan was put in place by Anson to do something else. This time it was 100% fraudulent.
On July 6th, Josh Flo published the below piece on DisneyGuide.com (again, the content was removed from Disneyguide.com)
This was again covered by TheFly: https://thefly.com/landingPageNews.php?id=3123795&headline=GNUS;DIS-Genius-Brands-rallies-after-report-of-Disney-stake-in-POW-Entertainment
Then, later in the day on July 7th, TheFly spotted that something was very wrong in this post:
Let’s put this into perspective: On the 6th, the stock traded 170,176,462 shares, and on the 7th the stock traded 135,704,257 – remember the average volume for GNUS is 30,000,000 shares a day. This is a huge increase and hundreds of millions of dollars have been siphoned off from investors with this fraud.
The piece did not stay up long because it did not need to, and the share price did not go up much – but that was never the intention. The goal here was volume. It is this volume that allowed Moez Kassam and Anson Funds to do exactly what they needed to and disguise their actions from everyone around them.
This led to a revolt from shareholders and investors online, as well as a flurry of negative commentary from traders and followers:
It was also covered on Benzinga: https://www.benzinga.com/news/20/07/16589312/genius-brands-pops-and-drops-on-sketchy-rumor
So, now what happens?
For Moez Kassam and Anson Funds, the weak link is … indeed weak.
We have reached out to Josh Flo and he has confirmed that he is the owner of DisneyGuide.com. He also confirmed that he published the reports.
When confronted about market manipulation and fraud, Josh Flo responded: “Look I didn’t do any market manipulation on purpose, I’m not nearly smart enough for that. I was just playing around with my new blog site.”
Below is a copy of the mail where Josh admits to making the posts:
Flo did make a half-hearted attempt to hide the ownership details of the domain – but this is very easy to uncover and here is Josh Flo applying for a trademark on the name: https://uspto.report/TM/88960638
We also have the e-mail conversation in which he admits to owning the domain and publishing the fake information. We believe that one of two things can happen now with regard to Josh Flo: 1) Either Moez Kassam will offer him additional hush money; or 2) Flo will come to understand that it is in his best interest to cooperate with the authorities.
We’ve also archived the Twitter and StockTwits posts in case there is an attempt to remove them as this investigations gains momentum:
Stocktwits archive 1
Stocktwits archive 2
Twitter archive 1
Twitter archive 2
SEC – I hope you will be having a conversation with Josh Flo on this illegal activity, fraud and deliberate manipulation of a NASDAQ listed stock. This is serious and needs to be investigated.
There is more but sadly this is only for the eyes of the regulators as we cannot afford to put our sources at risk. When we have more that can be shared with the public we will post.
In the meantime, others have joined the crusade and you can see other updates from them on Anson’s corruption here: https://www.reddit.com/r/BurnedByAnsonFunds/