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Confessions of a forward seller; how AIM corrupts ordinary private investors - ref New World

By Ben Turney | Saturday 4 July 2015


Disclosure: I own shares in one or more of the stocks mentioned. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from ShareProphets). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.


At the start of the New World Oil & Gas (NEW) forward selling fiasco Liam was cited as being one of the “innocent” forward sellers, who “accidentally” got himself embroiled in this mess. In fact, Liam was the primary example used to paint a human face on perhaps one of the most reckless market acts ever witnessed on AIM. Unfortunately for those who chose Liam as the forward sellers’ poster-boy, he has not behaved well. Posting under the username “Awkward Turtle” across social media, Liam is quite removed from being an “ordinary” private investor. Mr Turtle, as it is perhaps more appropriate to call Liam, is a small, yet revealing, part of something far more sinister and well coordinated.

At the start of the New World forward selling fiasco, Mr Turtle had a unique opportunity. I won’t go into details. I don’t need to. He knows what I am talking about. While he might make a few grand on New World, there are some experiences in life money can’t buy. Rather than spend his time on what was important, foolish Mr Turtle threw himself into the coordinated misinformation campaign directed at New World’s shareholders.

Although the forward selling of New World’s placement was not illegal, this episode has shone a bright spotlight on some of the darker corners of AIM.

Unfettered corrupt practices grip this market and anyone who has survived long enough in this game reaches the inevitable conclusion that to succeed you have to cheat.

Mr Turtle is a perfect case in point. In terms of his involvement in co-ordinated social-media propaganda campaigns to drive stock prices higher and lower, Mr Turtle is a latecomer to these efforts. Despite this, having committed himself to the cause, Mr Turtle threw himself with gusto into pushing the New World party line between 29 April and 30 April. You can check out his posting history on the LSE Asylum for confirmation of this, but my favourites are these two little gems:

So having been “tempted to put a pilot” in, Mr Turtle was going to “chip away at a holding” on 29 Apr with a 0.1p target. How interesting.

Mr Turtle was most definitely NOT forward selling unconfirmed placement shares!!!

Suddenly, on 01 May Mr Turtle fell silent – not a peep!

Now why could that have been?

Answers on an e-postcard please to market.abuse@fca.org.uk

From 02 May, when NWOGaction was launched, Mr Turtle sprang ferociously back to life, hammering away at anyone who recognised that New World’s unconfirmed placement had been forward sold.

Why the sudden change of heart?

If Mr Turtle were simply long the stock, as he suggested above, wouldn’t the short squeeze have been a good thing for him?

To coin one of Mr Turtle’s favourite catch phrases… hmmmmm….

Read the rest of his posting history, from 02 May until today, and it looks like his involvement in New World has been one hell of an emotional roller coaster ride for Mr Turtle. From sheer panic to elation back to terror again, Mr Turtle went through it all. Now it looks like Mr Turtle is in triumphalist mood, as New World’s directors do their best to bail out the forward sellers and naked shorters.

Even though he is a relative newcomer, Mr Turtle is just one of a number of pawns who have been put to extremely effective use on AIM over recent years. Playing heavily on sentiment, through coordinated campaigns of misinformation, Mr Turtle and his ilk have preyed on unsuspecting private investors for too long. What happens on a daily basis is rampant market abuse and at some point the FCA is going to have to act. Corruption is not acceptable in Britain.

As an obedient pawn, Mr Turtle lacks perspective on the wider issues now facing him. But I suppose that is the job of the pawn. Pawns do the heavy lifting in the early stages of a game, only quickly to get sacrificed once their usefulness has expired.

For the last six weeks, I’ve repeatedly asked Liam (Mr Turtle) for an email address, so I could give him the chance to respond prior to my publishing this piece. He has refused to supply me one. I have just tried again. This was his reply: 


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Comments

10 comments

  1. Oops.

    You can feeeeeeel the panic in his message.

    His time is nearly up.

    Lols.

  2. Good exposure Ben …………… I for one would like to trade Aim on movements caused by fundamental news instead of ceaseless ramps followed by dumping and unwinding lasting as much as a week to a year in duration . Some people are making huge money from the new and exploitable investor . Unfortunately the exploited learn the tricks and eventually become the exploiters . We need to break the cycle.


  3. DUCK AND DIVE

    There isn’t enough here to lynch Mr Turtle, imho.


  4. Gary Newman

    Wildrides,
    Same for me and why I’ve moved away from AIM over the last 18 months or so, as those that actually get good news rarely enjoy any sort of lasting rise. A lot of the shares having good rises are junk that get hyped on some amazing news that is supposed to be coming, which rarely ever turns out to be as good as the hype and are often perfectly picked for a pump due to their low liquidity and fact that there could be news (even when there often isn’t!). If you were to look at all the shares being pumped on Twitter and the forums 3-6 months back I doubt many of them are performing all that well now – which for me is an indication of how good (or bad) those companies were in reality!
    When it comes to forward selling, although I’m not a fan and think it should be banned, whilst it is still legal I accept that some people make their money in this way, but personally I just tend to avoid those shares where flipping is going on, unless it is just a quick trade off the back of it.
    Unfortunately with NEW the company was total junk anyway (still is!), and barring a squeeze it was screwed and in need of funding, so had nothing else there to back up any sort of real value – certainly not the levels the SP rose to. I still can’t believe people were stupid enough to be buying at crazy highs – hence my sell recommendation at 0.65p and get out whilst you could!

  5. Mt Turtle is equally manipulative of many stocks that you at ShareProphets do not seem to have the heart to criticise. RRR being one of them.

    Mr Turtle was a huge ramper of RRR when certain ‘high net worth individuals’ got stock in a placement a short while ago.

    Funnily enough Mr Turtle was all ‘great news coming, this is going to explode’ blah blah blah – and the SP has done nothing much but go down since, with the exception of the ramping spike when i assume those High Net Worth individuals got out and left the pillocks and noobs holding the worthless confetti.

    Tell me Ben – why doesn’t ShareProphets look harder at the likes of RRR? You’d have a field day.

    Or is there something else that we don’t know, a reason why?

  6. Troyska, this is a great point and I would love for somebody at this website to provide an answer.

    How the actions at RRR towards shareholders have, and continue to, escape the radar of this website I will never know. I appreciate there isn’t the time to cover everybody, but unfortunately it only adds fuel to the fire of the allegations made by other bloggers regarding selectivity of targets here.

    When Mr Turtle began involvement with RRR, at the same time official RNS’ were telling holders that there were new, committed investors coming on board. What utter piffle.

  7. Troyska and LE, I have mentioned this before regards RRR for a good 12 months or more for this site to investigate, or highlight Mr Bell’s destruction of shareholder value………but it never happens……even though this site is the bee’s knees……….RRR seem untouchable………for reasons unknown


  8. Gary Newman

    LE/Troyska,
    It is one that I’ve considered but never saw much point covering – I am not a fan of the company at all and certainly wouldn’t be advising anyone to buy, but by the same token I’m not sure it is really a sell either at these levels as most will have lost such a big chunk of their original investment that it would hardly be worth selling now for the pittance they would have left.
    I remember selling at around 17p in late 2010, was only off a quick trade though, and has certainly dropped an awful lot from those days!

    The problem with AIM is that there is so much junk on it these days that you can’t cover all the bad ones – and a lot of the time doing so doesn’t really serve much purpose unless there is some wrong-doing (aside from destroying shareholder value!).

    Just my view of course and think you’d have to be mad to put a penny in RRR these days!

  9. Folks

    All the writers here are 100 free to write whatever they want. If anyone wants to stick it to Bell and RR ( or Regency Mines or Greatland where he is – I think – a NED and which has been a total dog) they can do just that. We wont stop them.

    Equally I will not – and cannot – instruct anyone to have a pop.

    Would I buy RRR? No. steve & I are not tipping any mining stocks right now. Strikes me that all are dead money pro tem although there is a case for having some physical.

    will i devote hours to researching RRR in order t say something new and which has not been said before because an awful lot has been said before in all sorts of places. What is its market cap? Sod all. What is more interesting for me as a writer? That or Greece, China, Quindell, nailing Rosslyn or Jiasen perhaps.

    This site is about liberty – no one tells its writers what to write about or what to say. And i am no different to the other writers in that regard.

    Has AB covered himself in glory at RRR? Clearly no. But was he a hero over Horse Hill, fighting off Lenigas threats to give a counter view? Yes. As a journalist that is my balanced view

    T


  10. Pain Au Chocolat

    After todays shocker of an RRR RNS you may wish to reconsider having a closer look at Andrew Bell and his Quindellesque croney equity swaps. The destruction of shareholder value has now reached a proportion which surely merits further investigation. AIM at its very worst.


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