Marc Cohodes’ Last Stand: Part Two – Exposing the Fraud
Featuring Marc Cohodes and Grant Williams
Published on: July 2nd, 2019 • Duration: 17 minutesThis is the second 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 about biotech company MiMedx. This clip is excerpted from a video published on Real Vision on February 1, 2019 entitled “Fraud, Intimidation and Truth: Marc Cohodes’ Last Stand.”
GRANT WILLIAMS: So, the FBI comes, and at this point, you know this is now serious. I've either touched a nerve, and I've upset some pretty powerfully connected people. Or I've made a huge mistake. And I know you didn't for a second think, I've made a huge mistake. So at that point, what goes through your mind?
MARC COHODES: Well, it was on a Friday. Very early December. I think with December 1-ish. And I said to myself, I must be on to something huge here. Huge. And I think I tweeted out that MiMedx is equivalent to the movie and the book, The Firm, because a corporate criminal- how in the world does this guy have enough stroke to get the FBI to go visit a skeptic to tell him to shut up? And my lawyer, Shapiro, said not to say anything for a while 'til he figured it out, and he wrote many letters to the DOJ, US attorney in San Francisco, the whole thing, who continued to cover it up to this day. Which is interesting in itself.
I said, someone's going to die on this MiMedx hill, and it ain't going to be me. It's either them or it's me, and it's not me, so it's going to be them. And subconsciously, I don't think people realize how sort of traumatic that whole Goldman thing was back in 2000 whenever it was with me. And I did not want my final chapter to be it. But I said to myself, I will put everything I have mentally into this piece of shit fraud, exposing it, to show people in the world that this cannot be done to others. People have sacrificed a lot to get folks in this country to speak freely. And to blow the whistle on crime and malfeasance.
And I'm not going to let this go. I'm not going to let this go. I said, I don't care if I lose money. If I make money, great. But I will take these guys down if it's the last thing I do. That's how agitated and enabled I felt.
GRANT WILLIAMS: What's amazing about this one, when I look back over the chronology of this, is that you were like, six weeks into this at that point. You'd first spoken about this at Grant's Conference in late October.
MARC COHODES: We spoke about it at Grant's October 10th.
GRANT WILLIAMS: So, maybe two months in. But we're talking two months in, and people are pulling out these kinds of favors to get you to shut up. So, something really stinks here, because that's a big move to make when one random guy on Twitter has been making a big noise about you.
MARC COHODES: Well, the crazy thing is I've had many, many, many credible death threats directed at me over the years.
GRANT WILLIAMS: How many from Aurora?
MARC COHODES: About one a week. She's Spanish, and she's feisty. So, that's why the knives are mounted on the wall. And whenever my lawyers would go to the FBI, they'd say, go to the local police, file a complaint with so-and-so. And my lawyer, Shapiro, is a former US attorney, and he'd say, well, this is a credible threat because of this, this, this, and this. And I have plenty of those in writing here. And they're generally not interested.
So for the FBI to get a call, field call out of Atlanta, to then mobilize San Francisco. To then pay someone a visit at their house without warning, without being the subject of an investigation, or have a warrant, it's pretty over the top. It's pretty unprecedented. So Shapiro, my lawyer, and I probably figured that Parker Petit, through either Isakson, former disgraced HHS secretary, Tom Price, and/or others forced this issue.
GRANT WILLIAMS: Now, what was it that made you think it was-
MARC COHODES: Because there's no way given the so-called tweets they were talking about, that the FBI would ever pay a visit. Or they'd call my lawyer, or they'd call me, and say, we've got some questions, blah, blah, blah. There's no way they would. It's way out of protocol. And a close friend of mine, a fellow who used to work with me, was a DEA agent, and he's an agent of the US government. He says it's completely out of order for that to happen. And if anyone wanted to pay you a visit, they'd simply knock on your door, or say, we'd like to talk to you. If you'd say, I don't want to talk to you, they'd leave. They'd give their card and leave, not the subject of anything.
And the crazy thing is I called the SEC guys. I knew something was weird because the SEC investigation on MiMedx has always been out at Denver, not Atlanta. So I called the SEC, and my lawyer called the SEC out at Denver, and explained what went on. And the SEC guys were pissed. I think he said, why in the world would the FBI be paying a home visit to a witness in a security fraud case.
GRANT WILLIAMS: Well, let's rewind a bit here, because at this point, the MiMedx SEC investigation, how did that start? When did you become aware of it?
MARC COHODES: Back when I first started just doing some work on this, I sent some stuff, because these MiMedx formers were all over me with stuff. When I got Pete to back down on some of the things he said about me, people were into me with all sorts of channel stuffing allegations, and proof of fraud, and all sorts of illegal activity. So I sent it in to I think, Aaron Lipson out at Atlanta, who is an SEC guy, who has since left and gone to work for King & Spalding. And he sent it to Denver, and SEC attorney in Denver, Ty Cottrell contacted me with it. And got the ball rolling there.
GRANT WILLIAMS: But that's interesting that they would send it out at Atlanta, because that to me, says that there's way too much influence.
MARC COHODES: Right. Again, it's the Isakson-Tom Price. There must be influence even in that office. And I can get into further detail of that later. So the MiMedx investigation is out at Denver. It always has been out at Denver, not out at Atlanta. And when I let them know that the FBI went by my house to tell me to quit tweeting, they said that was very abnormal. He said he'd never heard of anything like that.
So we start putting the pieces together, and say, Jesus, investigation out at Denver, not Atlanta. FBI call out at Atlanta into San Francisco to tell me to quit tweeting, or there'll be consequences. I mean, I'm thinking that I went tuna fishing and I've hooked a whale here. And simultaneously, MiMedx is suing Viceroy, Fraser Perring, Capital Forum, and others.
GRANT WILLIAMS: All short sellers. Local short sellers.
MARC COHODES: Yeah. Or people who have short research out on it. But they never sued me. Because the last guy to sue me was Marc Thompson with Concordia. MiMedx didn't sue me because they know, I repeat, knew I had the goods on him. And he was just a little toothless wear a wig bully, all five feet of him. Pete, in his serial insanity, brags all the time how connected he is.
When you're so small and you're a serial fraudster of 36 years, you constantly boast how connected you are to all these people, to let the world know that he is almost like, an untouchable. And I figured, and Shapiro backed up, that this had to be the work of some operative to get the FBI out to shut me up. Now, we didn't have proof. And lawyers being lawyers said, well, you could always sue the FBI. I said I'm not in the mood to cross swords with the US government right now, at that point in time.
I said, let's see how this plays out. We'll have time to figure out how this happened as I got into it. But it was a huge mistake of what they did, because as good as I thought I am in this line of work, they brought out the absolute best and/or, if you're them, worst in me. Absolute worst.
GRANT WILLIAMS: Yeah. And that's something I want to dig into. Because again, our first conversation, I wanted to talk about the misperceptions of short sellers. They're always just evil guys looking to cheat great companies. And it's un-American, and all this stuff. But I know from my time in this business, it's fundamentally just nonsense. Yes, of course, there are the odd guys who make all the noise, and try and drive share prices down so they can make a good grab. I totally get that.
But your track record is such that anybody who jumps to that assumption about you hasn't read a thing, doesn't know a thing, and is making a very dangerous assumption. And I've seen the amount of work you do in these things. And it's prodigious. It's an extraordinary thing to see. So talk a little bit- when you say they bring out the worst in you, just talk a little bit about what that means in terms of your working day trying to expose this thing.
MARC COHODES: So, the average person who doesn't necessarily have a job- I don't report to anyone. I don't have a job. I don't get a W-2. Wakes up at 7:30, has coffee with their wife, uses the treadmill. Goes, plays golf, or travels, or does whatever. That's not me with this thing. I have a disabled son who lives on the property who is 32. And that's my number one job, being a dad, taking care of him. But when this thing clicked me into turbo, I started waking up in the morning like a nut.
And I became driven to spend all of my waking time pretty much, other than taking care of him, and being a decent husband, working on MiMedx. So when I said that to people, I don't think they truly believed what I said. But from reading documents, or interviewing people, or reading past tendencies of this crook, Parker Petit, and reading what they do, and how they do it, and trying to connect the dots, and looking at the numbers, it's incredibly time consuming.
GRANT WILLIAMS: And complicated. Really complicated.
MARC COHODES: Very complicated. You saw my office of what I still have spread out. And when I said this is a 12-step fraud, it's everything from ripping off Medicare, Medicaid, private insurers, Blue Cross, Blue Shield of Texas, FDA issues, accounting issues, bribes, threatening whistleblowers, threatening skeptics, securities fraud. The strings and the level of this is something I've never quite seen for a company at the time with a billion and three market cap.
So there are many parallel tracks here. And Parker accused people of being in a cabal, and a wolf pack, and had conference calls where it's just him saying it. I know the Viceroy guys. I have great respect for Fraser Perrings. He's a brilliant, brilliant mind. And Aurelius and others. But they also made a mistake of writing a letter to First Analysis, who had an analyst named Joe Munda- I call him Mango- following this thing. And Parker wrote a letter to the head of that firm, and said that Munda is involved with these illegal short sellers. And if you don't rein him in, we'll threaten to sue you.
And First Analysis, being the chicken shit outfit they are, they caved to him. And this is a huge problem. See, everyone who always historically has caved to Parker, because they didn't want to get sued, they didn't want to take him on, just gives him more momentum. Gives him more grist to the mill that he is invincible. So Fraser bent his back and fought the suit. Aurelius fought it, Sparrow fought it. First Analysis caved, Capital Forum caved, dropped coverage.
But Munda, a wonderful man and a great analyst, I was in touch with him constantly, because he didn't like being silenced. And he did an inordinate amount of background work on this thing as well. So, he helped me a lot. But he couldn't write on it. He had a sell recommendation on the stock at 14 bucks, and it was a tremendous piece of research. And he was dead right for the right reasons. But they screwed with his business, and they screwed with him, where he couldn't cover it. But he knew what they were doing to me, and he said, anything I can do to help you, I will.
So as you know, I'm not a rocket scientist. I'm not a guy who knows of placental material and know the medical necessity of all this bullshit. I could frankly care less. I was just so focused on the fraud. I could care less what MiMedx did. And I really didn't even care about the stock price. The thing where the stock price mattered is Pete and the company used the stock and the shares to bribe doctors, probably politicians.