Well, I confirmed a bit more about Andrew Left of StockLemon (noted short seller and basher of bad microcap companies). He (or someone with the exact same name who lives in the same county, not likely) was convicted (in a civil case) of theft by double-cashing a check. I downloaded the original documents from the LA Superior Court website (case #bc269050). Since I am too lazy to put them up, you can see a copy of the writ of execution on the horrid StockLemon bashing site StockLemonAide.
Of course, when it comes down to it, you shouldn’t trust anyone, except maybe your mother (although don’t trust her for stock picks!). You shouldn’t even automatically trust me (although I am trustworthy). When it comes to investing especially, no one acts in a completely disinterested fashion. The kind of losers that praise a company such as HSOA on Yahoo’s message boards are long (or short) the stock and only want to pump (or deflate) it. Management of most every company wants to pump their company–sometimes this is just dumb, such as with CRMT or WHI, two stocks where I suffered losses after I trusted some bad management predictions–and sometimes this is fraudulent, such as in the case of Enron or Xybernaut. Short sellers (such as StockLemon) will try to bash a stock to get it to go lower.
The problem is that we cannot trust anyone. We need to verify the facts. Sometimes it will turn out that a company that looks to be failing or fraudulent will turn out to be a good company. Sometimes the short seller bashing the stock will turn out to be right (such as with Chanos and Enron or Andrew Left and GTX Global). What matters is the facts. Ironically, people like Andrew Left actually benefit the rubes that invest in fraudulent (or just bad) companies by ending the companies’ lives before they can obtain more money from investors.
Disclosure: I am no longer long CRMT or WHI. I have no position in any other stocks mentioned. See my disclosure policy.