I apologize for the slowness of this post. Life (and trading) have been quite busy this month. Jean-Francois Cloutier posted a new article about Awesomepennystocks.com / John Babikian on January 7th. Read the article (in French) in the Journal de Montreal. Below is a translation for those who don’t read French. See my prior post about Babikian. I think it is quite clear that Eric Van Nguyen’s portrayal of his involvement is self-serving — he is far from innocent.
A former close associate of John Babikian, the mysterious 26 year old Montreal resident who is being targeted by the AMF [Quebec securities commission] and Revenue Quebec (Quebec tax authority), says that he was betrayed by Babikian in the promotion of penny stocks.
Eric Van Nguyen defends himself by saying that he was naive in “lending” his account and name for some tens of thousands of dollars to Babikian so that Babikian coule promote penny stocks.
“At that time, I had no idea that this would become this big — you mustn’t doubt.”
Our investigative bureau succeeded in finding this young Quebec man who had been accused in 2009 along with Babikian of stealing a list of email addresses.
Van Nguyen says that he sold all his penny stock promotion websites in 2012. He did not want to reveal anything about the buyer of the websites other than that the buyer was outside of North America.
This man, who says that he initiated Babikian into the world of penny stocks, is extremely secretive and he has been invisible on the internet for several years. He has no Facebook account. Numerous acquantinces that he knew from his studies at Concordia University have no news of him. Rumors on the internet suggest that he is even in Singapore.
The luxurious mansion that he lives in in West Island is not in his name.
If he is still in Quebec despite the troubles of his old associate, it is because he was worried about his parents, he said.
“I could travel, sure, but I don’t want to leave my parents to deal with my problems. There are a lot of people who come to their door” since the publication of articles on John Babikian. [One of the addresses used for Golden Dragon Media appears to belong to his parents — that is easy information to find.]
Babikian wanted to hide himself
Eric Van Nguyen says that he met Babikian in 2009. At that time, he was himself already involved in the business of promoting penny stocks. His company, Golden Dragon Media, registered in Quebec, is behind a network of stock promotion websites. These sites send newsletters promoting speculative stocks that cost pennies.
“He wanted to know my techniques,” said Van Nguyen.
According to Van Nguyen, John Babikian paid him to use an account at PR Newswire. He was also able to manage websites affiliated with Golden Dragon Media (including Pennystockslove.com, Loveforstocks.com and Unrealstocks.com).
“Today, because of that, my name is in the garbage. He betrayed me — he ruined my name,” said Van Nguyen.
Why would John Babikian have wanted to use Van Nguyen’s name rather than his own, we asked him.
“He never wanted his own name to appear. The SEC had begun to scrutinize the stock promotion business.”
We were not able to reach John Babikian.
Revenue Quebec and the AMF want to meet him again
According to Van Nguyen, the world of pennystocks is just like a lottery.
“One can easily lose everything if you invest in them. To be frank, this is not an extremely white business. It is not black either but certainly grey,” he says. When promotion involves the use of spam emails “it becomes black” according to him.
Van Nguyen even mentions the presence of a member of the Montreal Mafia in the world of penny stocks.
Van Nguyen saws that agents from Revenue Quebec met him recently to understand how he became rich. The AMF (securities regulator) also asked him questions, but he refused to respond. Too risky, according to him.
“There is talk of an FBI investigation in the USA. One would also think that the RCMP [Royal Canadian Mounted Police] is also investigating,” he said.
More liens by Revenue Quebec
Revenue Quebec has been granted new liens on $6.6 million worth of John Babikian’s assets. Oddly, none of the properties are in his name. At least one director of a numbered company linked to Babikian, Rawad Adra, appears to be completely fictitious
Three properties adjacent to Babikian’s luxurious mansion on Rue des Anemones (Street of the Anemones) in Laval.
Value: $2.1 million
Area: 5665 square meters
Official owner: 9264-5076 Quebec Inc
Administrator: Rawad Adra
Shareholder: Tidal East Global
Relief: Robert Kalfayan, Gerard Babikian, Leonnel Iruke [I am unclear what this means in this context]
Sixteen properties in Nominingue, in the Laurentians, around Lake Lafleche
Value: $4.5 million
Total area: 360,478 square meters
Official owner: 9292-2095 Québec inc.
Administrators: Alima Beg, Ehsan Haque