In this post I publish an Open Letter to IRTA’s lawyer Carl Steinbrenner informing him of a potential conflict of interest in regards to participating in the Universal Currency and at the same time representing the Association that has and is currently mis-managing that currency. It’s another sticky situation for the legal-eagle who is right in the thick of it. He’s in a real bind if he takes on the case, especially if he takes UC Trade Dollars as the form of payment. Coughing up cash though would be an ‘ouch’ for IRTA who has a seemingly endless pot of UC gold at its fingertips and not much of the ‘readies’!
In the last month I have blogged many words relating to the corruption at IRTA, including their secret shonky deal with Bartercard, but more specifically relating to the management (better described as mis-management) of its flagship clearing system, Universal Currency. I analysed the actual data and exposed serious imbalance between debits and credits that can only be accounted for by deception, i.e. fraud, as well as substantial bad debt, illegal conduct contrary to the UC ByLaws and nepotism amongst other concerns.
The essence of my blogging (apart from the fact that there is something seriously wrong in there) is that Universal Currency is overvalued and is actually bankrupt (i.e. its liabilities exceed its assets). The reality is that the value of any currency will always be determined by the traders at the point of a transaction. Regardless of what the currency proponents say, if a trader cannot see the value that the proponents say, it is not used as a form of settlement. My claims are that with hidden accounting information and a currency out of balance by $200k PLUS bad debt not accounted for, the currrency is overvalued. My quess is probably by 200% but nobody can really know because an urgent audit is needed to find out what is really happening under the hood.
The First Problem
Carl Steinbrenner has the same problem as the rest of the UC Members which is that he has and is probably still intending to trade not knowing what the UC Dollar is actually worth! This is a VERY REAL problem facing all UC Members following my revelations of fraud within UC Administration and specifically my call to suspend trading in the currency (on 20 August 2014).
Nobody can really tell what the Trade Dollar is backed by until the system balances and the facts come out following an audit. Going on the words of the IRTA President in a Skype Group and LinkedIn forum, I’m a liar and a troublemaker with an agenda and there is nothing to worry about. Going by my assessment using the actual figures there is plenty to worry about. It’s not worth anything like what people think its worth – a typical over-inflated bubble that surely has to burst with currency devaluation inevitable.
The Second Problem
Carl, like the technology provider GETS, and the UC committee, and the IRTA Executive, and the IRTA Board will be in a privileged position and will have access to inside information. All these people will know that the currency is over-valued. Spending even one cent since revelations came out into a public forum could expose him to claims of insider trading. Cashing out while others are sleeping and thus carrying the can is not a good look for a lawyer from New York. Sure insider-trading in New York might happen a bit more than we want to admit, but doing it publicly with a system where 119 other members can see what he’s doing might not be wise!
The Third Problem
It’s in Carl Steinbrenner’s interest to ensure that the Universal Currency remains inflated if he has an account with a positive balance (UC Members can check that easily if they want to) and especially of he is taking UC as a form of payment while working for IRTA.
This is a serious conflict of interest that should cause a legal professional serious cause for concern, due reflection and balancing the ethical issues before he proceeds with any work for IRTA.
The Fourth Problem
I’ve already addressed this one before but it still remains an issue . . . If he finds out that there is mis-conduct from the IRTA Executive [and believe me there certainly is when the accounts don’t even balance!], and he is taking instruction from the corrupt Executive out to deceive the world, their own members and probably him as well . . . what does he do? This is the issue that I had to face, and the same as GETS and the same as all UC Members and IRTA Members . . . what do you do when you can see the facts point to wrong-doing; a cover-up and a deliberate attempt to deceive? I paid the price by putting my reputation on the line. GETS did the same. What will Steinbrenner do when he finds out that his client is, well let’s put it politely, ‘fudging things a little’?
Carl Steinbrenner is a New York lawyer who has represented IRTA for some time. I have no doubt that he is a man of ethics and has already recognised his obvious conflicts of interest. I’m sure that he will have addressed these all in an ethical manner. Obviously I wasn’t party to any discussions between the IRTA Executive and the man himself so I don’t know what was discussed but he could have:
- Advised IRTA that because he had a UC account that he could not take on any business that related to the UC currency, or
- Requested IRTA to close his account and thus remove any possibility of conflict of interest (or perceived conflict of interest) or
- Declared his conflict of interest and asked for his account to be frozen and put into trust, pending completion of legal matters relating to UC.
Of course once any of this was done he would then only be able to work for IRTA on a cash basis. Any payment negotiated, promised or made in UC Trade Dollars would be yet another conflict of interest which he would be careful not to get caught up in.
UC Members are able to analyse the Steinbrenner account performance on a daily basis. I’m sure the tipline will keep me informed of any movements up or down on the account. I will update this post when or if matters develop.
Open Letter to Carl Steinbrenner
31 August 2014
As I have detailed in the above post, I have concerns in regards to your conflict of interest over dealing with matters to do with IRTA and Universal Currency.
I believe that based on my detailed analysis of the Universal Currency data that the currency is considerably overvalued.
I believe that the currency has been mis-managed and that fraud has occurred.
I believe that your clients are attempting to hide certain information that would be damning to the currencies credibility if it was widely known. In this assessment I strongly suspect that there is skulduggery afoot in regards to the Bartercard accounts; that there are high levels of toxic and bad debt and that conduct has not been in compliance with the UC ByLaws.
I believe that you have a conflict of interest should you accept business from IRTA with any UC Trade Balance and/or on terms in which you receive all or part of your remuneration in UC Trade Dollars.
As a UC Member you will no doubt know that all UC Members can view summary statistics and balances of other members (such as yourself) and that there are UC Members very concerned about the conduct of the Administrator – your client.
I ask that you deal with these matters urgently and transparently so that the Universal Currency can be put back onto a solid footing whereby Members can trust the operations and base their valuation on reality.
Dennis A. Smith
Author, blogger & IT Entrepreneur
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