(Note: I examined Roddy Boyd’s false “I got ’em indicted” fundraising claims in this subsequent Medium piece.)
Roddy Boyd, “CEO” and sole employee of the Southern Investigative Reporting Foundation, has discovered Fraser Perring! On Nov. 4, 2019, Boyd published an article about Perring, a widely publicized short-selling guru, titled “A Short Foray Into Social Service.”
Boyd’s piece was part of a package of articles that he claimed was the product of a “seven-month investigation” into Perring.
Yet everything of substance on Perring in the “Foray” article can be found in a Bloomberg article that appeared way back in January 2018 and a detailed exploration of Perring’s conduct that ran the same month in my blog. If there are any other articles that have delved into Perring’s “foray into social work” in any detail I haven’t seen them.
Yet Boyd does not disclose that he is publishing old news. He does not give proper credit (“first appearing in” yadda yadda) to either myself or Bloomberg. He thus gives the phony impression of digging out all that stuff by himself, which is sleazy as hell for any journalist and positively putrid for an “investigative reporter.”
As will be detailed below, Boyd also skews the article to downplay Perring’s intimate involvement with his biggest donor (by far), Marc Cohodes, and fails to disclose that Perring has alienated Cohodes in recent months. Or that Perring, a former darling of the short community, has antagonized other major figures in the the hedge fund community, which is the source of most of his support.
You can be sure that Roddy Boyd read my January 2018 blog because much of it is about him, and he has referenced it in tweets (while never disputing its accuracy).
He didn’t give me credit for a simple reason — my blog was not flattering to him or to his biggest donor by far, a stock hustler named Marc Cohodes.
The Boyd article begins by drawing on a since-deleted British regulatory finding, an archived version of which is hyperlinked in my blog. Every hyperlink in Boyd’s article, except for a couple of background links on adoption, goes to screenshots taken from that same archived British regulatory website.
As far as I know, only my blog has that archived link. Though Perring has been written about a fair amount, rarely do journalists delve into his misadventures as a social worker in Great Britain.
In my blog I described how Perring neglected a child entrusted to his care, how he covered up his failings, and how he was struck off the rolls of social workers as a result.
Boyd follows that same well-worn path, fully reported nearly two years ago. He adds no details of any consequence and fails to credit me or Bloomberg, which covered the same ground in considerably less detail than I did.
Boyd goes on to say as follows:
The word “settlement” is hyperlinked to a PDF of Perring’s settlement of an employment dispute. Both the Bloomberg article and my blog contained links to the same document way back in 2018. Again, neither Bloomberg nor my blog are credited with originally making public the settlement agreement.
Lacking context, it’s not clear why he even mentions the settlement. I pointed out in my blog why it was important: because Perring cited it as vindicating his position in the disciplinary hearing. I described in my blog why that was absurd:
Boyd also did not mention that Perring operated anonymously until his identity was uncovered by Moneyweb, a South African publication. This is important detail that appears in neither of the “investigative” articles that Boyd ran last week.
Boyd was more than just lazy and dishonest. He also was a lousy reporter, omitting important details published by the reporters who got there before him. Long before him.
In his recent article, Boyd makes a reference to my tweeting about Perring. But there is not one word about my blog. And for good reason.
In the same blog in which I detailed Perring’s background, I described how Boyd’s nonprofit shell (“SIRF”) had accepted 5,000 shares of Overstock.com from Cohodes, who was vigorously pumping the stock at the time he donated the shares to Boyd. Background on Overstock, and on Cohodes’ pumping, can be found in my January 2018 blog and in Sam Antar’s blog.
By taking 5,000 shares of an inflated, hyped small-cap stock, Boyd let himself become a direct beneficiary of a stock pump. The Overstock windfall made it possible for him to double his 2018 salary to $180,000 plus $15,000 in expenses. The shares have since collapsed.
My January 2018 blog pointed out something else omitted from the Boyd piece — that Perring was pumping Overstock at the same time as Cohodes, and that the two were bosom buddies back then.
Boyd makes no mention of their close relationship, saying only in an accompanying piece that Cohodes gave Perring an “endorsement.” That is an understatement to say the least. Boyd discloses the Cohodes contribution but does not say it consisted of Overstock shares.
He omits that they pumped — and bashed — stocks together, including Overstock.
Even worse, Boyd does not mention that Cohodes earlier this year become enmeshed in a bitter dispute with Perring. They were already at loggerheads when I learned over the summer that Roddy Boyd was doing a hit piece on Perring.
Boyd’s “SIRF” nonprofit entity accepts tax-deductible contributions under Section 501(C)(3) of the federal tax laws. In return, nonprofits are supposed to benefit the public. Not to carry water for their principal donors. Not to participate in their personal or professional feuds. Nonprofits that violate the law can have their tax-exempt status revoked.
Postscript: Roddy Boyd has not commented on any of the foregoing in his high-volume Twitter feed, in which he regularly attacks critics of his ethical lapses.