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The best new website for learning about penny-stock scams.

Melissa Davis, senior editor of The Street Sweeper, poses with celebrity stock picker Jim Cramer after a recent taping of his "Mad Money" television show. Davis worked as an investigative reporter for TheStreet.com, where Cramer serves as chairman, before assuming her current role at The Street Sweeper.

PhotoMedex: Letter Alleges Faulty Equipment, Possible Cover-Up

by Sonya Colberg, Senior Investigative Reporter, 10/29/2014 12:51:45 PM

PhotoMedex (PHMD) is poised for another shocker on top of the one sparked by its $85 million loan covenant default just described by TheStreetSweeper.

Now the TheStreetSweeper has discovered a jolting new risk wrapped up in a “Laser-gate” letter that suggests management knew about dangerous equipment problems and tried to quietly fix them, allegedly without notifying federal regulators.

Best known for TV ads touting its roughly $300 no!no! hair removers that work no better than common $3 razors, the Horsham, Pa. company’s segment under fire now is its laser business. 

TheStreetSweeper obtained a copy of a letter just sent to the FDA on Oct. 7, requesting an investigation into PHMD’s XTRAC laser machines and what the whistleblower implies may have been a company cover-up of some laser machines’ dangerous random firing action. 

 



PhotoMedex: Deadline Ahead; All Options Look Ugly

by Sonya Colberg, Senior Investigative Reporter, 10/29/2014 10:01:25 AM

PhotoMedex (PHMD), maker of no!no! hair scorchers seen on TV, quickly defaulted on covenants of an $85 million loan. Now Wall Street has slashed the company’s value to less than the loan value as PHMD spirals toward an ominous deadline.

On Oct. 31, the company is expected to face one of three difficult options:

  1. Deal with a rewritten note.
  2. Continue struggling under a new forbearance.
  3. Go into foreclosure.

All options pose significant risk to investors.

“As a stock, I would not even touch it,” said analyst Hamed Khorsand of BWS Financial.

Depending on the solution lenders settle on, PHMD’s next steps would be to: Somehow drastically increase sales, try to sell stock to wary investors, or sell assets.

“I’ve seen stories like this before where companies can’t get out of it,” Mr. Khorsand said.

“And eventually it becomes a zero.”

Already Wall Street considers the company worth about $80 million – far less than the $106 million PHMD paid for LCA-Visionlaser vision correction clinics.

The scenario does not look good to Mr. Khorsand, who folded his long position last spring after two years of coverage, primarily because he surmised that PHMD didn’t answer him honestly and “I don’t like management that lies to me.”

“LCA isn’t making money and no! no! is not making money and they’re out of Japan,” where no!no! was once distributed, said Mr. Khorsand. “So it’s too many issues.”

TheStreetSweeper warned investors that PHMD would lose distribution in Japan.

And we described other daunting risks, some directly related to product quality, including a bizarre adverse event reported to the FDA involving one of PHMD’s laser instruments. During a surgery last year, the laser reportedly started a fire inside the patient’s throat.  

Read about those warnings, expensive lawsuits, an insider labeled a thug and many other issues in TheStreetSweeper’s two previous stories here and here. Investors may find other viewpoints here.

And PHMD faces even more pressure, thanks to more issues TheStreetSweeper will describe very soon in our next article on PHMD.

PHMD did not return TheStreetSweeper’s numerous requests for comment.

JAMN Finally Spills the Beans -- And It's an Ugly Mess

by Janice Shell, 6/2/2011 10:32:51 AM

* Editor's Note: Readers can access links to additional backup documents for this story by clicking here for TheStreetSweeper's original investigative report on this company.

Late Tuesday afternoon, after missing earlier deadlines, Jammin Java (OTC: JAMN.OB) filed a long-awaited annual report packed with enough eye-opening news to keep investors up all night. That mandatory filing, unaccompanied with a cheerful press release heralding its arrival, served as a painful wake-up call to shareholders already burned by a rapid plunge in the company’s stock price.

To be sure, the 10-K offered investors little reason to sing. For starters, the filing reveals, this once-hot “coffee company” sells no coffee of its own at all. JAMN relies on a supplier based in frigid Canada – far away from the tropical Jamaican home of its co-founder Rohan Marley – to provide the company with an actual product to sell to its customers instead.

Back in April of 2010, JAMN inked a “supply and toll agreement” with Canterbury Coffee of British Columbia that gave it access to some brew. According to that agreement, JAMN relies on Canterbury to fulfill every role – save a minor one – normally satisfied by a firm that classifies itself as a coffee company. Canterbury purchases the coffee beans. It roasts them. And it then packages them in bags supplied by JAMN – the company’s only real product – for sale to the public.

JAMN signed this deal more than a year ago, right before Shane Whittle – a notorious Vancouver stock promoter – officially resigned as CEO of the company. But the company never mentioned that agreement, seemingly material enough to warrant at least a quiet 8-K report, in a single regulatory filing until now.   

Jammin Java (JAMN): Hot Stock ... Bitter Aftertaste?

by Janice Shell, 6/2/2011 10:30:25 AM

It’s time to wake up and smell the coffee! That’s exactly what Jammin Java (OTC: JAMN.OB), a heavily promotedcoffee company, and – for very different reasons – TheStreetSweeper would like investors to do.

Since the beginning of the year, JAMN has miraculously risen from the ashes of the “Grey Market” graveyard to become one of the liveliest – and richest – stocks in the entire microcap arena. JAMN has seen its stock shoot straight toward heaven, soaring from 55 cents to peak above $6 a share on massive daily volume, with its market value nowtopping $355 million despite the company’s limited resources and operating history. (As covered in more detail below, two of the Internet tout sheets pushing JAMN the hardest effectively vanished -- disabled by their Internet servers -- on the day the stock’s trading volume exploded past 20 million shares.) 

JAMN stands out for its powerful connections, the first loudly celebrated by the company and the second – involving a notorious stock promoter – carefully hidden from view.


 

CCME: Few Signs of Life at 'Healthy' Chinese Firm

by Roddy Boyd, 3/23/2011 9:30:34 AM

* Editor's Note: This story has been republished with permission from The Financial Investigator. To access the original article, complete with links to back-up documents, click here.

In the maze of thronged and narrow streets that makes up Fujian province’s capital city of Fuzhou, a deft driver, if he’s willing–as all Chinese drivers apparently are–to nearly kill or injure vast numbers of his countrymen can take you to the foot of Dongjie street. There was little reason to be there save for its having the headquarters of a company called China MediaExpress Holdings (Nasdaq: CCME), an enterprise that seems to be able to weather allegations about its business that would have forced the share price collapse of a company five times its size. The attention of bulls and bears is not misplaced: In a mere four years as a public company, it has apparently come to dominate the ad placement market for leading multinational consumer products companies on a network of what it claims is more than 27,000 buses on Chinese airport and intercity routes.

Also, and this cannot be understated, hanging out on a sidewalk in Fujian–the sidewalks double as parking spots when the streets, which appeared to have been designed in the Han Dynasty, fill up–was not a viable option. There was also the matter of the world-class headache the Financial Investigator was developing from Fuzhou’s diabolical smell, an epic conflation of poor sewage treatment, air pollution and the smell of cabbage that made getting the hell off Dongjie street a matter of vital importance.

The Financial Investigator and his traveling companion for the trip, an American investor with extensive experience in China, decided to head upstairs despite our interview with the CFO having been cancelled at the last minute (with no explanation given.) We thought a quick tour of the offices and meeting a few other executives might open our eyes to a few things.

It did.

Though the language barrier was a little steep with the young receptionist–when we asked for writing paper, she provided Kleenex–we were in short order shown to their conference room and told to wait. It did not escape notice that pride of place in the conference room belonged to a framed certificate of participation from the Fall 2010 Rodman & Renshaw conference, the World Cup for reverse merger companies and the pumpers and touts who peddle them.

Eventually chief operating officer James Yu came down and after spending 30 minutes trying to understand who we were, concluded that giving us a tour wouldn’t hurt. Soon enough, his colleague, Vinne Ye–the chairman’s assistant–came out and took us around.

It was most eye-opening.

more...

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Herb Greenberg's View (NOG):
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Cramer's View (SWSH): "I wouldn't touch Swisher with a 10-foot PLUNGER!"
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Cramer's View (NOG): "I clearly have been jarred by the accounting issues and feel like, right now, the momentum has left this stock."
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Investors must be properly armed in order to protect themselves against the dangers of Wall Street. To help out, The Street Sweeper has mined the Internet for the most powerful weapons available to investors researching publicly traded companies. In our “Loaded Weapons” section, you’ll find direct links to corporate documents filed with the SEC, conference call transcripts published by Seeking Alpha, insider stock sales tracked by Insider-Monitor.com and popular investment tools offered by Yahoo! Finance. You can also identify the promoters behind current penny stock campaigns – and the compensation they are receiving – by connecting to StockPromoters.com. You can link to other websites that are conducting topnotch stock investigations as well. Click here now.

When investors begin their homework on small-cap companies - particularly on penny stocks - they should probably start with an important history lesson. Specifically, they should conduct background checks on their stockbrokers and the companies those brokers are touting.
 
The Street Sweeper has designed a cheat sheet of sorts to help out with this research. Our “Rap Sheet” section links to a free tool (sponsored by FINRA) that allows ordinary investors to review the backgrounds of individual stockbrokers and their brokerage firms. The section also links to whistleblower cases and class-action lawsuits targeting publicly traded companies. It provides access to recent news of SEC enforcement actions and FBI white-collar crime investigations as well.
click here now.