A controversial gold “analyst” who had touted the stock of a company that was the subject of a WorldNetDaily investigative report has subsequently disappeared, according to industry insiders.
Bob Chapman was last seen at the 2003 Vancouver Investment Conference, held Jan. 26 and 27, where he was a featured speaker.
Sources report that Chapman had a lawyer by his side throughout the event.
Since then, several analysts report that Chapman’s phone has been disconnected, that he has not replied to e-mail and that he is weeks behind in filing promised financial reports to editors.
In the special investigative report on Vancouver’s Silverado Gold Mines, WND reported that Chapman, who was an avid promoter of Silverado stock, had previously been paid 1.8 million shares of Silverado stock as part of a “consultant” agreement. Silverado Gold stock plummeted 56 percent immediately following the WND report, as trading swelled to a record 27 million shares.
MineWeb, a mining/engineering industry journal, reported that Silverado stock was “crushed” by the WND report, which “was well through the market and investors were clearly voting on it.”
Gold in Guadalajara?
Continued Murphy: “I’m not happy with this situation. I have few facts to deal with. He’s written for my site for four years. He’s missed three Saturdays now. I don’t know what’s happened. It’s not showing courtesy for him to not tell others what he’s doing.
“He’s usually very punctual and lets everyone know what’s going on. And now there’s nothing. But I want to be careful about what I say.
“All my people say his phone’s been disconnected, and he doesn’t respond to e-mail,” Murphy added. “He won’t contact me. I heard he’s in Mexico. That’s just a rumor. It’s the craziest thing.
“He’s gone AWOL. Maybe he’s lost at sea – who knows? It’s disturbing because of the negative publicity. A standup person would at least answer, not disappear. I liked Bob very much, but I’m very disappointed. I’ve got to tell my own people something. I haven’t written anything yet, because I can’t find the friggin’ words.”
Murphy emphasized that he did not publish Chapman’s recommendations of particular stocks, but rather his analyses of the U.S. market, which Murphy characterized as “excellent,” adding, “[Chapman's] reports dwarfed those of Wall Street.”
WorldNetDaily confirmed that Chapman’s home telephone number in Punta Gorda, Fla., has been disconnected. That number is publicly listed under Robert J. Chapman and Judith Chapman. The latter signed the Silverado consultant agreement as a “witness.” In addition, WND attempted to contact Chapman through his personal e-mail, but the message was returned as “undeliverable.” WND also received no response after attempting to contact Chapman via his International Investor newsletter e-mail address.
WND contacted the Punta Gorda Police Department to find out if a missing-person report had been filed on Chapman. Dispatcher Fernandez told WND, “If a family member doesn’t contact us, I don’t see a report being filed.” He added, “The only thing we have are a bunch of citations. No missing-person report has been filed for Robert J. Chapman.”
Long history of disciplinary sanctions
The Commission gave notice of a hearing to be held before the British Columbia Securities Commission on April 28, 1989, to give Chapman an opportunity to be heard. On Oct. 31, 1989, a hearing was held before the Commission at which Chapman did not appear and at which the superintendent presented oral and documentary evidence concerning Chapman’s alleged violations of securities laws.
That evidence included the fact that Chapman resided in British Columbia between February and May 1989, during which time he was employed by Gulf Titanium Ltd. in the capacity of chief economist and director of national and international public relations. While employed by the company, Chapman wrote an article in the March 1989 edition of a publication called the Gary Allen Report, in which he recommended Gulf Titanium shares and offered to provide advice on securities portfolios. Chapman was not registered as an adviser.
Chapman actually owned and wrote the Gary Allen Report, which purportedly had 30,000 subscribers.
The Commission prohibited Chapman from becoming or acting as a director or officer of any reporting issuer for a period of 10 years and imposed a five-year trading ban on him.
The evidence presented by the Commission included details of certain orders issued against Chapman in the United States, including the following:
- Florida: On Feb. 4, 1986, the state comptroller issued a Cease and Desist Order against Chapman for selling unregistered securities when not a registered person;
- Connecticut: On Feb. 2, 1987, the banking commissioner issued an Order to Cease and Desist against Chapman for selling securities when not registered as a broker-dealer;
- Alabama: On March 17, 1987, the director of the state Securities Commission issued a temporary Cease and Desist Order against Chapman for selling securities when not registered as a securities salesman;
- Wisconsin: On June 15, 1987, the state commissioner of securities issued an Order of Prohibition and Revocation against Chapman for offering unregistered securities for sale;
- Michigan: On May 18, 1988, the director of the state Corporation and Securities Bureau issued a Final Order to Revoke and Deny Exemption and to Cease and Desist for transacting business as an agent without being registered and for omitting to state material facts in connection with the offer and sale of securities;
- South Dakota: On June 10, 1988, the state director of the Division of Securities issued an order denying agent registration against Chapman, stating that such an order was necessary for the public interest;
- Montana: On Sept. 22, 1988, the state auditor and commissioner of securities issued a Final Cease and Desist Order against Chapman for selling unregistered securities when not registered as a salesman;
- Georgia: On July 31, 1989, the state commissioner of securities issued an Order of Prohibition against Chapman for selling securities when not registered as a securities salesman;
- California: On Sept. 6, 1989, the commissioner of corporations for the state of California barred Chapman from employment with, or management or control of, any broker-dealer or investment adviser licensed by the state of California for selling unqualified securities.
Recommended Renaissance Mining
In Chapman’s last report, he recommended Renaissance Mining as the “Dream Team” of mining, confidently asserting that it could easily become a 2-3 billion-dollar company. He was especially positive on the proposed merger between Renaissance Mining and Sedona Software Solutions.
The same Chapman commentary ran on Kitco.com on Jan 27. Two days later, the SEC halted trading of Sedona Software Solutions Inc. at noon Pacific Time. At one point, the stock had plunged 87 percent after a huge ramp up.
According to the SEC, trading was halted, due to “questions concerning the accuracy and completeness of information about Sedona on Internet websites, in press releases, and in other sources publicly available to investors concerning, among other things, Sedona’s planned merger with Renaissance Mining Corp., a privately held company; the assets and business operations of Renaissance; and trading in Sedona common stock in connection with the announced merger.”
Murky offshore deals
On Feb. 13, Sedona Software announced that the merger had been terminated. According to its last SEC filing, the software company started with $15 in cash at the beginning of the period and had none left. The company had no revenues.
A respected gold analyst, who declined to be named for this report, told WND, “Many in the gold sector view Chapman in a friendly light, simply because he has been in their camp and, not incidentally, on the right side of the market for the past couple of years. With that said, Chapman has a long history of being a paid stock touter.”
He added, “The recent disclosure of his role with Silverado and the less publicly acknowledged role he played with the Renaissance bag job should tell anyone all they need to know about the guy. If those episodes do not, his recent ‘disappearance’ says it all. Gold has enough of a kooky perception problem without this guy reinforcing every bad stereotype about those who populate the gold world.”
Chapman currently is owner and editor of The International Forecaster, described as “a compendium of information on business, finance, economics and social and political issues worldwide, which reaches 10,000 investors and brokers monthly.”
Gold-touting sites like kitco.com, goldseek.com and 321gold.com of Miami have published Chapman’s commentaries.