Marc Cohodes’ Last Stand – Part Three: Confronting Pete Petit
Featuring Marc Cohodes and Grant Williams
Published on: July 3rd, 2019 • Duration: 46 minutesThis is the third part of the groundbreaking January 2019 interview between Real Vision co-founder Grant Williams and legendary short seller Marc Cohodes. In this clip, Cohodes continues the story of his battle to expose the truth with pharmaceutical giant, MiMedx. Specifically, he speaks about confronting the former CEO of the company, Pete Petit. This clip is excerpted from a video published on Real Vision on February 1, 2019 entitled “Fraud, Intimidation and Truth: Marc Cohodes’ Last Stand.”
MARC COHODES: So the story was always Pete was going to sell the company to somebody-- Smith and Nephew, whatever dope-ass company would buy this. So my thinking was again onto my medics hill where I'm not going to die. He is. I don't mean that as a threat. I mean that figuratively.
MARC COHODES: I want him to figure out that that's a--
GRANT WILLIAMS: Figure of speech.
MARC COHODES: Right. I'm always careful now to say these things so no one takes it too, too, too, too seriously. So I said, I need to expose this thing and expose this thing quick because he will do whatever he can-- this is Pete-- to silence people, to shut people up so he can keep cooking the books, perpetrating the fraud, sell it to somebody, and then whoever would pay anything for this thing would have a huge write-off and say uh, oh, Spaghetti-O, we got rat fucked by Pete.
Which as the clock starts ticking-- the FBI visited me in very early December, and I'm getting my head screwed on on this thing, on this battle. I have my armor on, and I'm ready to roll.
So year ends, and next on the docket is this JPMorgan conference in San Francisco, and I'm a client of JPMorgan. So I say to my broker, I need a pass to go to this conference. And I didn't let anyone know I was going to the conference. I let a couple pals now. And again, Pete made a big deal that I had this whole thing orchestrated. I didn't have it orchestrated. But I went to the conference, and in the presentation was Tom Price.
And I'm thinking to myself, what the fuck is Tom Price doing in San Francisco, some disgraced former HHS secretary? So he's bought and paid for by Pete, so Pete tells him to come to San Francisco. Go see accounts and you tell people how great this product is, and you see us at JPMorgan.
So I see him at the presentation, and Pete's hyping the stock. So I go to the breakout, and he doesn't know what I look like or this, that, and the other. And at the breakout I figured I'd pull a Network Associates on him. And I said to myself, I'm just going to jump this motherfucker right in the meeting and just get my hooks into him and freak him out.
Parker, can you tell me why you're suing certain employees who left for cross-selling product while many of your lieutenants at the company are still doing the exact same thing? Why this uneven approach for the people who left who were whistleblowers on your channel-stuffing fraud?
PARKER PETIT: All right, first of all, you're obviously enthralled with yourself you short selling--
MARC COHODES: No, I'll stand up. My name is Marc Cohodes.
PARKER PETIT: Hello, Marc.
MARC COHODES: Hello, Parker.
PARKER PETIT: It's sort of my pleasure.
MARC COHODES: Here, I'll come up and shake hands with you.
PARKER PETIT: Well, I'm not tall enough to shake hands with you.
MARC COHODES: You're not, but you can-- here, I'll sit down next to you.
PARKER PETIT: All right.
MARC COHODES: Hello, Chris. Parker, I'm right here, OK?
PARKER PETIT: I don't really want you here.
MARC COHODES: Even when I kneeled down on my knees I was taller than him. So I shake his hand, and then we start getting into it about his accounting and his thing, and he was all wigged out. And other people started picking up questions on it. And I knew some people in the room, and they knew some of the issues that should be brought up like share-based compensation, which didn't add, and when are you going to file your financials and your auditor and why don't you have an independent investigation?
And he said something like, being the head of a public company, I have rules and laws I have to abide to. He says if I don't tell the truth or I lie in my documents, I can go to jail. Well, that's where you should go, and that's where you're going to end up, Parker, because you have lied. You're a serial liar.
And I brought up all these issues, and there was a big hubbub on this jump, and I'm at the meeting. But little did he know I was in the process through all of December and early January of preparing documents outlining 12 steps of his fraud to send to his auditor, Ernst & Young in Atlanta. And the JPMorgan conference was January 10th-ish, 8th-ish, something like that.
And I sent a package of a huge volume of material to their auditor at the end of January because they had an audit that needed to be done, I think, by the end of February. And I figure I might as well send the auditor everything I have on this thing, and I basically told Ernst & Young and the auditor-- I think a fellow named Andrew Brock-- I'm not anonymous. Here's my name. Here's what I've done. Here's what I see. Here's my evidence. Here we go. You have any questions, call me.
And I printed three copies, one for me, my attorney-- I also sent it all to the SEC at the same time on a thumb drive-- me. I sent it to Andrew Brock at Ernst & Young, and I just kept another copy. And all Ernst & Young did was say they received it. If they have any questions, they'd call me. No problem.
That was the end of January. Somewhere in February or mid-February they announced that they won't be able to file financials on time, that Ernst & Young has found some discrepancies that they need to get into, and MiMedx also has hired King & Spalding to do an internal investigation. I said wonderful. That's good. People have read my stuff.
And I'm thinking this is going to get better. Stock now goes from kind of $15 to $9-ish, $10-ish. And I'm thinking, they're now completely fucked. They're not going to get out of this. So I take another copy of this and send it to King & Spalding. I send it to the internal investigation guys.
At the same time, I am building up an inordinate amount of incremental evidence of channel stuffing, bribes, product being shipped without orders, round trips. And I'm tweeting this sort of provocative stuff at the same time, and what no one will understand is it's never about the stock price. I don't tweet to get a stock up or down. It's to throw a net out for people who have something to say to reach out to me because people in general don't trust the government, and they shouldn't. And they don't trust the whistleblower programs, and they shouldn't because they don't work.
And Pete had this thing, these dear Pete letters. And I have a lot of dear Pete letters that spells out significant criminal activity at MiMedx. And I keep circularly referencing this stuff lightly in tweets and through some Periscopes.
And I've seen many frauds in my day. I mean many-- AaiPharma, NovaStar, Lernout & Hauspie, Media Vision, helped on ArhamSoft, Krispy Kreme Donuts, Boston Chicken, ACLN, a lot of them. I've never, ever, ever seen anything like this. I mean, Lernout & Lernout was a Russian money laundering, stuffed product in Korea, very simple. Krispy Kreme's loans, fake sales. California Micro Device is shipping fake product to people-- very easily. This MiMedx is everything. And I never, ever, ever have seen anything like it from this pissant company in bumfuck Georgia.
So as you say, shorts are perceived as all these things. And I think I said it to you or someone else years ago or a time ago. Legitimate companies, they don't know who the fuck I am--
GRANT WILLIAMS: Right.
MARC COHODES: --right? They don't know me from a hole in the wall. But if you're a bad guy, whether you're in Canada or this country, you know exactly who I am. You know exactly who I am, and I don't think you want me on your case.
And Parker disrespected me enough, threatened me enough that I figured this is where it has to be. It's not about the stock price. When people would tweet back at me and say I own the options, what do you think or what's your timing, I said, I could care less. I am focused on ending and exposing this fraud, period. I care specifically about the fraud at MiMedx. I care specifically about drop shipping stuff to doctors who never ordered it in Vegas or Stability Biologics where they round trip product.
You say what's round tripping? You basically ship product in, book it as revenue. Product would come back. They wouldn't even market it as a return. They had people inside MiMedx jerry-rig their software to allow returns without even counting as a return and shipping it again, and it's still going on.
GRANT WILLIAMS: You touched on Twitter, I want to talk about this because it's been an incredible tool for you. And I think people don't really understand how you use Twitter because, again, there's this crazy fixation on the stock price that people seem to have. It's all about the stock price and trying to move the stock price where you want it to go.
For you, Twitter has been an invaluable resource for completely different reasons, right?
MARC COHODES: Exactly.
GRANT WILLIAMS: So just talk about how you've used it throughout this process.
MARC COHODES: Well, Twitter and its cousin, Periscope, have been hugely important. I found out that everyone at MiMedx follows me on Twitter, and they monitor every one of my words. They even had people who they were paying upwards of $100,000 to who are employees of the company monitoring and debating me on Twitter under normal aliases. These are paid people by the company who work at MiMedx, specifically Leana Moss, a.k.a. @FirebirdRuth. She was Bill Taylor's assistant, and everything I said on Twitter would go back to him.
GRANT WILLIAMS: And Bill Taylor was--
MARC COHODES: Bill Taylor was Pete's right-hand man who was fired for cause. Pete and Bill Taylor, Chris Cashman, and numerous others who are still there were the masterminds behind this fraud. So @FirebirdRuth knew about the FBI visit December 24 when no one else did and said on Twitter, were you visited by federal agents? And I sent it to my lawyer at the time not knowing exactly who @FirebirdRuth was other than a plant by MiMedx, but she ended up being an employee. I think the general counsel of MiMedx was also on Twitter and others. And they were threatening me, and they were having others do it.
But at the same time, former employees follow me on Twitter. People who sell and compete with MiMedx and other doctors who wouldn't be bribed by MiMedx follow me on Twitter, and I started getting reached out to by all these people with different forms of information. And I started doing Periscopes, and I put out my PO box and where they can send me stuff. And through the mail and through emails and direct messages, I came up with an inordinate amount of stuff on MiMedx.
And people by and large, until Pete was thrown out and then subsequently for cause, people were scared to death of being outed by him because he's so litigious and he's just such a mean, toothless motherfucker that no one wanted to get sued by him, so I was kind of the force with the shield. And I basically said, follow me. And it's really through Twitter that that is and sort of was my vehicle.
Now with it comes a lot of bad, and it comes a lot of trolls and a lot of hate and a lot of nonsense with it, but you try to block people and make note of who's hating on you to expose them. But it's an extraordinarily valuable tool for me to I would call data mine. And really what I am at the end of the day is I'm an analyst.
And it's a guy who used to work at the SEC, Bob Hansen, used to describe his job as a rock breaker, that Mark Cohodes would dump him a huge bunch of rocks and he would crack the rocks, and some would have gold in him and some wouldn't, but you've got to crack the rocks. And that's why waking up at 3:00 in the morning and going until 10:00 at night for 300 and some odd days straight, that's what it'll do. It's just flat-out hard work.
GRANT WILLIAMS: When you go to your mailbox in Penngrove, what kind of stuff are you finding in there?
MARC COHODES: Well, I showed you the envelopes of the kind of stuff that shows up. It usually comes not handwritten but a thing, and it comes in all sorts of stuff, and there's anything from packages to envelopes to huge amount of stuff to binders with no return address. And some of those letters, they said that we view you as a hero and keep at it.
Here's what's going on at Stability. Here's what's going on in Texas. Here's what Braly's doing. He's kicking back money to doctors. I have to compete with him. Methodist Hospital in blank, blank, blank had a huge amount of product that they never ordered show up at the end of the quarter. Irregularities in Saudi Arabia. This doctor has been bribed. This doctor has been paid off. This doctor was in a study and bragged they were paid off in MiMedx stock. This guy did this.
And I'm being paranoid for a reason now. I assume none of it is necessarily true, and you sort of have to--
GRANT WILLIAMS: I was going to ask you, how do you-- you get all this stuff. And because of the battle you're in, there's information and double information, agents and double agents. You don't know what's real. You don't which way is up, which way is down. How do you go about working out which of this stuff is legit and which, if any, is planted to make you make a misstep?
MARC COHODES: That's an excellent question. The funny thing is for a guy who was never good at school-- my brain doesn't work normally like everyone else, doesn't work like those Harvard and Yale and Stanford guys. It's a pattern recognition, and what I'd like to say is I build a mosaic. I know what the tree is supposed to look like. I know what can fit on the tree, and I know what doesn't fit on the tree.
And if something's an outlier in either direction, both good or bad, I tend to throw it out because it just doesn't fit. It's too far out on the believable curve. And if something is close on the believable curve, like bribes and how to use this AmnioFix injectable, which they use, I would then call somebody who would have knowledge of it and say, is this possible? Is this possible that chiropractors are actually injecting this in people's spine? Is this possible that people are injecting it in someone's scalp for hair restoration or penile enlargement and promoting this as a stem cell, this, that, and the other, which is 100% illegal? Is this possible this occurs?
And someone would say, I'll check on it and get back to. And if it didn't get back to me in a day or two, I'd have notes to get back to them. And I said, well, it's been a day and a half. You haven't gotten back to me. They said, well, I'm busy. I said, well, good. I'm fixated on this. I need an answer now. I'm working on something. So I'd get it back, and some stuff would fit and some stuff wouldn't.
But the great thing is in this day and age no one likes getting named and no one likes getting called out. So when I found out incremental angles and variations of the fraud, I did something that people couldn't stand. I would send the emails to Ernst & Young, the auditor. I would send emails to King & Spalding, the internal investigator. I'd send emails to Aguilar, who's on the board. I'd send emails to every one associated with this MiMedx fraud and give them here's what's going on. Here's what I know. Here's what I found. Here are supporting documents. End it quick.
I'd copy the SEC. Sometimes I'd copy the Wall Street Journal. Sometimes I'd copy the Times or Bloomberg, but I'd always copy my lawyer. And I created this website called PetitParkerTheBarker.com, and I'd post it on the website, and it would drive everyone fucking crazy. You can cover it up yourself, but when I include seven or eight people and I'm nonstop-- and I'd say these emails were going three to four times a week at all hours of the day. Sometimes emails go at 3:00 AM Pacific Time. Sometimes they'd go 11:00 at night Pacific Time. Sometimes they'd go 6:00 at night Pacific Time. They'd go at all hours.
I wanted King & Spalding, Ernst & Young, Luis Aguilar, I wanted everyone to know that I am nonstop, this is not a joke with me, that I will go on Saturday. I will go on Sunday. And they could say you're obsessed. No, I'm not obsessed. I'm driven. It's going to be the last stand and a career ender for many-- for many. It's been a huge career ender for many, but it will be, going forward, a career ender for many with what's gone on here.
GRANT WILLIAMS: What response did you get, if any, from any of these people? I'm sure the insiders didn't and couldn't respond, but--?
MARC COHODES: No, no, no, no one's responded. The auditors at one point said when we're done compiling everything that you've sent, we'll reach out to you, but they've subsequently resigned and resigned for cause and said the numbers can't be relied upon for as far back as the eye can see, which goes back to 2012 before. They said the systems don't work. They'd just say received.
GRANT WILLIAMS: No one's ever reached out to you?
MARC COHODES: No, I've never talked to the auditor at Ernst & Young. I've never talked to anyone at King & Spalding. I've never talked to Aguilar. I've never talked to anybody. No, I don't need to talk to anyone. My work speaks for itself.
GRANT WILLIAMS: No, I just wondered if they'd come back to you and said--
MARC COHODES: No, no, no.
GRANT WILLIAMS: --hey, we're interested. Tell us more.
MARC COHODES: No. No one can accuse any of those guys from being anything but professional other than just I know they've gotten the information. I've known they've received the information. And also, I wanted them to know that I'm not stopping and that I know more of what's going on at this thing than you guys and I'm not stopping. You combine that with the Periscopes, with the website, with the tweets, and with all the incremental information going on-- people who are being bribed, things that are being covered up, false statements. It was a full go, full go until they threw Pete out on his ass. And that couldn't have come soon enough.
GRANT WILLIAMS: Well, I want to get back to something-- when we're done with the timer, I then want to talk about the nature of this fraud. I want you to talk exactly about what's been going on. But let's save that for now because obviously you've talked about the auditors saying the financial statements couldn't be relied upon. And there were a couple of milestones. There were a couple of big moments as the dominoes started toppling that must have been big days for you.
And I remember chatting with you and Aurora while you were overseas when one of these-- you had taken a really short and well-earned holiday. So just talk about the auditors' statements and then the oustings because they were big days.
MARC COHODES: I have a couple lines that I always say on Twitter. I always say that weekends are bad for frauds. And the day that they said that they couldn't file financials was on a Monday after a long weekend, I think, in February of last year. And I'm over in-- Aurora's mom lives in Spain. And whenever we're over in Europe, some shit always hits the fan.
So Aurora and I are in France, and we're having lunch. And I try hard to be a good dad and a good husband, so when I don't need to be on the phone, I try to hide it and I try to ignore it the best I can, even with my disturbed mental state. And all of a sudden my phone just starts beeping off the hook, and it's the news that Pete's gone. And I'm so excited.
No, it was first the numbers can't be relied upon. The numbers can't be relied upon after Ernst & Young's investigation, and it can't be relied upon since 2012, and the stock got destroyed. I'm all excited because with MiMedx, it's such a criminal operation and it's such a rigged stock. Always in front of bad news it would go way up. So someone, one of their buddies or whoever was hyping the stock-- I didn't like when things were marked up. As things were falling apart, it was the ultimate of stock manipulation. So when the auditors and all said the numbers can't be relied upon, you called me or whatever and I was all excited, and the stock got killed.
GRANT WILLIAMS: And this is, again, I want to get back to these misperceptions because I know you were excited because maybe this thing's over, not because the stock price went down.
MARC COHODES: No, it's kind of like a ballgame. I mean I pitch innings, and I plan on pitching the whole game. I'm not counting on going six innings