In this post I give a history of the sale of Bartercard to put my recent PUBLIC WARNING into proper context. I explain how the private owners of Bartercard with substantial debt moved their asset into public company ownership, then back into their own control, but debt-free. I am specific about individuals when I believe that I can speak with sufficient evidence to hand, but talk in generalities about what I call the “Smiles in Suits”.
My Personal Disclosure can be located from a link below. In essence I have no ‘skin in the game’. I am an independent blogger, a NZ Licensed Private Investigative Blogger, specialising in alternative currencies, in particular exposing fraudulent conduct and deception like the Bartercard fraud.
By way of additional disclosure, I have a personal Bartercard account with a few cents credit in it and haven’t actively used it for ages. It is a lifetime, fees-free account issued to me as part of a deal struck in the Auckland High Court with Bartercard’s lawyer Jon Olphert who was told by the trial judge that he had no case and had misrepresented reality to the court. Have I ever said that the trial judge also said that I/we had nothing wrong too? If not, I do now. Of course!
I am and have been a “vociferous opponent [of Bartercard]” as another Bartercard lawyer put it to another trial judge. Basically I have claimed for years that the Bartercard Trade Dollar is a highly devalued currency due to systemic misuse of members’ credit and fraud by the currencies owners in the hundreds of millions of trade dollars, something I estimate now to be well North of a billion dollar fraud.
While currently part of ASX:INP, the Bartercard business had previous ownership for three decades by the Founder, Wayne Sharp, then some of the Smiles in Suits (above) who bought it (paying a ‘smidgeon’ too much for it [sarcasm]) then establishing a public company, ASX:BPS, which reinvented itself as ASX:INP.
Aspects of fraud within this troubled and deceptive operation go well beyond their Bartercard Trade currency issues and I touched upon this with my real-time expose and damning commentary at the time of the ASX:BPS launch. I claimed, and showed in real-time how the BPS Technology IPO was an absolute setup. I explained how to identify the hidden director who secured the [largely] Australian pension funds for the initial share purchases and much more which I will summarise briefly here. If you wish to dive back in time, work your way back through the archives here searching Bartercard or BPS or Smiles in Suits or date search at the time of their IPO and following. There are thousands and thousands of posts naming and shaming; teaching and explaining as well as my usual opinionated pontification.
Bartercard is a commercial trading exchange. Commercial Barter companies make money through charging fees to their members. According to their Rules, which members agree to on first signing up, they can basically charge anything they like and any way they like such as monthly fees, commissions on turnover, penalty fees for not trading enough and so on. Fraud within a Commercial Barter operation generally occurs when the currency is closed, with no accountability to either members or to an outside authority. Nobody knows – literally – what is really going on under the hood. Unlike the banking system where there is regulation and self-interest and greed occurs through tricky maneuvers around the intent of the law, although sometimes outside of it, in an unregulated currency industry unlimited opportunity for fraud exists.
I’ll repeat that . . . fraudsters have unlimited opportunity to defraud without fear of ever getting audited in the unregulated and unaccountable barter/credit industry. The first and simplest form of theft is that insiders cherrypick real value (property is usually is the big one but anything tangible is also a prime target) so that they can secure real assets using their funny money. Creating real value to put back into that system doesn’t occur for various reasons, the debt is concealed (because it is a trade debt and not a cash debt) thus fraud has occurred.
Taking this up to the ownership level, crooked owners can and do leverage the currency for benefit – they can sell their credits for cash, or any variant of real value although the local currency is easiest. We already know of transactions totaling hundreds of millions where the trade currency exchange is hit with liabilities and assets are non-existent. Understanding how this done is to remember the words of Paul Bolte, Bartercard USA’s head poncho when he explained that Bartercard had excellent skills at concealing debt. That’s their key!
When the Smiles in Suits purchased the Bartercard brand and business from founder Wayne Sharp, they paid too much and had substantial debt. Instead of doing the honourable thing and accepting their error (and loss) they devised a scheme to float Bartercard, secure [primarily] pension funds and then to suck the company dry. Huge Directors’ fees, golden parachutes and outright criminal conduct occurred throughout the reign of ASX:BPS. I exposed and blogged a continuous and damning commentary throughout this entire time, despite lies and empty threats from Tricky Trev at the time that they were supposedly suing me in multiple jurisdictions.
As predicted, the share price eventually plummeted to almost penny stocks but was maintained through repeated borrowing and deception until the two year moratorium on Directors selling was over, when they could cash out. One Director did, others got caught in various ways and times but the big events seemed to occur in 2017 when Trevor Dietz was caught insider trading and walked [the plank] and the new CEO Iain Dunstan corrected a few documents filed with the authorities. Fraudulent accounting had occurred and two more Smiles in Suits ‘walked’.
In Q1 2018, Iain Dunstan gave the impression that BPS Technology was a great business and solid operation and this continued to be the public story. Come the end of June 2018 however (his deadline to Bartercard management to find a way forward from a huge mess) it appears as though some deal was done to get the business back to the crooks and the future of ASX:INP lay with assets absolutely nothing to do with Bartercard, nor indeed BPS Technology! The future was something bought only recently – something unrelated.
Whether this was all smoke, mirrors and lies BY Ian Dunstan and the deal had already been done at the time of his entry, or whether this was a deal done ‘on-the-fly’ by a CEO desperate to rid his new baby IncentiaPay of all Bartercard baggage is for the investigating authorities to determine. If Ian’s 1.6m shares were paid in cash from him or whether they (and a subsequent purchase by his family trust at 18c) were part of a paper transaction deal will also help form my opinion moving on from here too
The way I see it, and why I have issued a PUBLIC WARNING is that while the exact timing of Iain Dunstan’s treachery is yet to be established in my mind the exact nature of it isn’t in doubt. No Director of a public company can legitimately sell an asset without due process which to me includes a proper third party valuation, a transparent sale and purchase process, at under-market (firesale) prices and most certainly not back to the people who had been evicted from leadership due to insider trading and other financial/accounting irregularities. The Board has to be examined as to why they too permitted such a sale clearly exposing themselves to further claims of conflict of interest at best and outright fraud at even first look.
What makes this even more suspicious is that Bartercard’s auditors have resigned simultaneously with Murray D’Almeida’s resignation, announcement of the sale of Bartercard with the change to be ratified in a few weeks at the AGM.
I’m actually comfortable with Iain Dunstan’s assessment that the Bartercard asset could or should be sold moving forward. He is the leader and he was appointed to lead the new company in the direction he chooses to take it. I know as does Iain and any insider that there is a massive trade deficit that is hidden off balance sheet due to the GAPP accounting practices, therefore that the Bartercard asset is actually a toxic asset. I do not believe that the ASX:INP shareholders are fully aware of the circumstances, significance and consequences of this sale.
In my next posts I produce a MEDIA RELEASE summarising these posts and an Open Letter to ASX:INP shareholders giving them my recommendations.
Bartercard in 2017/2018
- Something’s up with Bartercard!
- Bartercard – Analysing the Rot
- Bartercard Update – Bye Bye Trev
- MEDIA RELEASE: Bartercard Insider Trading
- Bartercard Boardroom Battle
- Bartercard 2018 Q1 - We Lied!
- Fighting Bartercard in Court
- Bartercard vs Down – CIV 2014-096-428
- Bartercard vs Down – Trial Analysis
- Bartercard vs Down – Trial Report
- Bartercard’s Demise: Updates
- Seasoned Investor: Sells ASX:BPS
- Fair Market Value of Trade Dollars
- How to Fight Bartercard (& win)
- Analysing the Bartercard Sale
- Bartercard Sale Questions & Feedback
- PUBLIC WARNING: Fraud Within ASX:INP
- History of ASX:INP’S Bartercard Sale
- Open Letter to ASX:INP Shareholders
- MEDIA RELEASE: Blogger Calls Fraud on ASX:INP
- ASX:INP Management Fraud Identified
- PUBLIC WARNING TO ASX OVER ASX:INP