Press Release: ITEX Corporation Stock Plummets 28% RICO Charges and Shareholder Lawsuit Pending
ITEX Corporation stock has plummeted nearly 28% in less than 4 months (3/14-6/25) and may continue to plummet unless top-level managerial changes are made.
LIGHTNING RELEASES: New York, N.Y. (6/26/2014) – Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) charges and a derivative shareholder cause of action on behalf of ITEX were filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York by Business Watchdog against ITEX executives CEO, CFO, and Chairman of the Board of Directors Steven White, Board of Directors Eric Best and John Wade, and Vice President Robert Benson (Business Watchdog, et al. v. Itex Corporation, et al., Docket No. 13 CV 6794 (CM)). These matters are before Hon. Colleen McMahon.
Business Watchdog filed the RICO charges and the cause of action on behalf of ITEX as a result of over two years of unproductive efforts that sought ITEX’s voluntary discontinuance of alleged criminal practices and fiduciary breaches (see Trouble Ahead for ITEX at: http://businesswatchdog.info/).
ITEX, located in Bellevue, Washington, annually processes $250 million of transactions made by its 97 brokers/franchisees and 23,500 members throughout the United States and Canada. In the amended complaint filed in court, Business Watchdog alleged that, inter alia, White, Best, Wade, and Benson are: (1) an “association-in-fact criminal enterprise” that is causing ITEX to unlawfully conduct business in 47 states, (2) causing ITEX to conceal and launder millions of dollars of income, (3) causing ITEX to systemically embezzle funds from the accounts of its members, (4) causing ITEX to operate as an unlawful financial institution, (5) rigging the shareholders’ elections for Board of Directors with the aid of 19 unidentified co-conspirators within the ITEX network, (6) causing ITEX to conduct an unlawful interstate gambling operation, and (7) violating their fiduciary duty by causing ITEX to participate in unlawful activities to personally benefit themselves monetarily.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) prosecuted multiple ITEX executives for sham barter transactions, defrauding shareholders, and filing fraudulent accounting statements (use search term “ITEX” at www.sec.gov). Each of those prosecutions resulted in settlements. In other prosecutions, former CEOs Terry Neal and Collins “Collie” Christensen were arrested and found guilty of criminal fraud.
“The barter industry plays an important role in the United States’ economy. However, White’s, Best’s, Wade’s and Benson’s participation does a disservice to the barter industry, is causing harm to ITEX, and tarnishes the reputations of barter exchanges that are honest, obey applicable laws, and compete fairly.”