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Investigative Journalism Or Stock Market Manipulation; A Look At 5 comments

I first became aware of the back in October 2009 after a solar company I was following was attacked in a 3 part series by the site and its writer Melissa Davis.

The first article attacking Atlantic Wind & Solar Inc. (OTCPK:AWSL) which came out the day after the company's shares not only hit a record high of $4.84 per share but, the same day also recorded the single largest short sales of the stock. Actually representing more then 60% of all the shares traded. Meaning more then half of the shares sold were 'phantom shares'.

While short sales are legal if you first borrow the underlying shares before entering the sale, thus ensuring the true balance of supply and demand remains in tact. Meaning you can't sell more shares then actually exists. The share borrower, if they do it legally, would also pay a small fee to the lender of the shares.

This in contrast was a 'naked short'. This is not legal. In fact what they are doing is selling shares that do not exist, taking money from some legitimate investor and not delivering any shares to the investor. Selling 'phantom shares'.

Not only is this illegal but is very risky financially if you cannot buy the shares back or borrow them in time. As they can be forced to repurchase them at even higher prices. They are required to deliver the shares within 3 days. As reported by FINRA (Financial Industry National Regulation Association) the 'phantom shares were undeliverable for months. Meaning day after day they continued to sell shares they did not own dumping more 'phantom' shares in the market and thus destroying the true balance of supply and demand. According to the reported by there was more the 2,100,000 of these shares sold.

While these short sellers were continuing their illegal practice a very dramatic change was about to appear in the public perception of Atlantic Wind & Solar and its management including Chairman, Gilles Trahan. Up until this point they were the darlings of the internet chat rooms and forums and seemingly every news letter writer were talking favorably about them and their future.

The Dramatic Change

The night before the first article by Davis of TheStreetSweeper, in a wave unlike anything I have ever seen before, a mass mobbing of all internet forums most notably (iHub) and Yahoo Finance were swarmed with new posters all attacking the management and the company.

Every deal was attacked stating they were fictional. The; what I would call; negative bashers would say they have contacted the companies mentioned in all the press releases and that they were told they have never heard of Atlantic. Every single positive post was overwhelmingly attacked as a scam. Posters would post contact information and links to the S.E.C. and F.B.I. to report this fraud. People...