News From the You’re-Getting-Sued-By-Sako Front

by Tim Stelloh, January 12, 2010

John Sakowicz, KZYX's financial media man, says we can "expect" to see him sue the North Bay Bohemian "for a retraction and a correction" by next May if the alt-weekly doesn't offer one voluntarily.

"The Bohemian has already taken down from the Internet, a slanderous and libelous article that their editor wrote in May," Sakowicz wrote in an e-mail exchange that sounds awfully familiar, and which he forwarded to us. "I suspect they did this because they realized their error."

The Boho got a demand letter from Sako's lawyer soon after the piece he's referring to was published in May, and the paper indeed disappeared the story--which was authored by editor Gretchen Giles and described why she'd told Sako to get lost (until then he'd been writing freelance columns about our impending financial doom).

We found the original Boho piece here, on page 9.

For a primer on the Sako fiasco, read our stories--which raised questions about his financial background that he's yet to answer--here and here.

Or, for a little Sako-style braggadocio, read the rest of the e-mail exchange below...

Dear Lynda,

I'll "nip this in the bud" and end this email correspondence very simply...with the facts.

A "snapshot" of my work history on Wall Street, from FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Agency) is on file in the GM's office. I told John he may show it to interested parties, but those people may not copy it. Incidentally, FINRA oversees the industry in which I work.

The FINRA snapshot clearly establishes a career that started in 1979. That's 30 years., Lynda The FINRA snapshot clearly documents Series 3 (general securities)  and Series 7 (futures and commodities) licenses. They were earned in 1979 and 1985, respectively.

The FINRA snapshot further very  clearly documents 17 years as a general partner at Battle Mountain Research Group, a Cayman Island-based hedge fund. The Cayman Islands is a very expensive place to do business, Lynda. You may correctly presume our hedge fund's AUM (assets under management) were significant. Bank secrecy, and corporate and tax secrecy laws shielded most of what we did, but FINRA, and its predecessor agency, NASD (National Association of Securities Dealers), were aware of us as trading partners with the big, onshore banks. I would add that neither FINRA or the NASD has ever sanctioned me in entire my career.

The FINRA snapshot documents my last three years in the securities industry, working as a private banker at UBS (United Bank of Switzerland). UBS is the world's largest private bank, Lynda, with over $2 trillion in AUM.  It too, is a secret place to work...very Swiss. It is very hard to get hired there. Very exclusive. Its training is very rigorous. Its policies and procedures are unforgiving. UBS has been described as the "CIA of banking".

The FINRA snapshot ends with my four years working at the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office, from 2000 to 2004. I was a passive investor in my old hedge fund throughout that time. In 2001, when the Cayman Islands succumbed to pressure by the U.S. Department of State and changed its bank secrecy laws, I helped my old fund to reorganize and relocate. I did this at an "arm's length distance" through financial intermediaries.'

Finally, I would add that it took nine months to be hired by the Sheriff's Office. The background investigation included an aptitude test,  various criminal records checks, a credit report and other financial disclosures, a physical exam, two psychological exams (one oral, the second was written), a polygraph exam, and interviews with wife, sons, neighbors, relatives, etc. I was clean on all accounts, Lynda. I was hired.

I would further add that I blog for a major online magazine under a pseudonym, and I write financial articles for a university press, and make at least monthly appearances in the national or international media. I also report on financial issues for at least two other community radio stations.

Those are the facts, Lynda. And the facts are verifiable. The FINRA snapshot, incidentally, is signed by an associate director.

One of these days, it might occur to you and "your friends" to apologize to me. You have my permission to share this email with your friends. In any case, I published a version of this email about the FINRA snapshot in the Anderson Valley Advisor [sic].

In the meantime, before May, 2010, you may expect to see me sue the North Bay Bohemian for a retraction and correction, if they do not voluntarily make one after my attorneys next demand letter. The Bohemian has already taken down from the Internet, a slanderous and libelous article that their editor wrote in May. I suspect they did this because they realized their error.

Perhaps after reading this email, you will realize you error, too.

I apologize if I were mistaken about certain salient aspects of your life. Please accept my apology.

I do, however, stand by position that government retirees have pension plans that are three times more lucrative than the pension plans for the average private sector retiree.

Futhermore, states, counties, and cities can no longer afford these generous payouts. Again, you may find information about defined benefits plans vs. defined contributions at the Center for Retirement Research, at Boston University.

A belated Happy New Year to you, Lynda.

John Sakowicz

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