Monday, January 28, 2008

Altomare Losing High-Stakes Game of Monopoly

One of the worst things that happen when you play Monopoly is landing on the "Go to Jail" space. A reader brings to my attention that former Universal Express CEO Richard Altomare, a loudmouth leader of the anti-naked-shorting conspiracy cult, is on the verge of going to jail. Yup, no passing Go, no collecting $200.

An article in the South Florida Business Journal observes that a federal judge has threatened Altomare with a term in the slammer if this corporate turd doesn't fork over some of the money he owes for a judgment. That is what is known as "contempt of court."

The newspaper observed: "The thinly veiled reference to going to jail for contempt of court puts the former head of the now-closed Boca Raton luggage shipping company in a tight spot. Complying with the judge in the New York civil case with the SEC could expose him to criminal charges."

Oh dear me, how inconvenient that would be.

According to court filings, Altomare stole funds from the company.

"The court-appointed receiver for Universal Express asked him to return company funds used to purchase $558,900 in jewelry from Les Bijoux in Boca Raton, $30,000 in gambling markers at a Las Vegas casino and his $200,000 bonus. In October, federal authorities seized jewelry from a Boca Raton estate liquidator that paid Altomare $571,000 in cash," says the Journal.

I guess that's against the law. I wonder if lying to investors, or hiring a sleazeball to stalk your critics, is also against the law?

If it is, another stock market conspiracy theorist, Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne, had better start packing a toothbrush. Makes you wonder: has Altomare been keeping current on his campaign contributions, as Byrne has? He'd better pray for a Ron Paul presidency.

UPDATE: I see that someone has started a blog to track the continuing saga of this company, focusing on its continued touting on Internet message boars.

© 2007 Gary Weiss. All rights reserved.

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