By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
Return to Camelot
I am writing in response to the article that appeared in the January 18-24 issue of the Dallas Observer ("It's the stock price, stupid!"), written by Miriam Rozen. The article is, in my opinion, full of lies, distortions, half-truths, and unfounded insinuations.
The article commences with a statement that I purchased and subsequently closed businesses and eliminated jobs. It omits to say that I have also grown Camelot's employee base from one to its present level of 70, and moved a declining oil-and-gas company into the software industry, an industry with a dynamic future. The introduction goes on to quote a private investigator, Lila Gill, who said, "He's the most ruthless businessman I have ever met." I have never met Lila Gill nor have I ever spoken to Lila Gill.
Next it indicates that I have said, "It's the stock price, stupid." I have never said that; however, it is true to say I am most concerned with the long-term stock appreciation of the company, and take very seriously my responsibility to Camelot's approximately 10,000 shareholders. During my tenure as CEO of Camelot, the market capitalization of the company has increased from approximately $700,000 to its approximate current value of $50 million. I believe that Camelot's investors are very pleased with that performance.
The article goes on to say that I promoted Camelot's software program, DigiPhone, "among penny-stock mavens through the computer online service Prodigy." This is untrue. I have never made any posts on Prodigy or any other online service.
A reference is made to the fact that I "touted" the news that Clark Hunt, a grandson of H.L. Hunt of Dallas, was an investor in our company. I have never "touted" such a fact, although Mr. Hunt's interests are long-term investors in the company.
The next commentary attempts to discuss my business career in England. It references that after a career in merchant banking in the city of London, I "traded in spare motorcycle parts." What it omits to say is that over a seven-year period I built up a small London, England-based business into a U.K.-nationwide distributor of motorcycle equipment and then sold that business following my appointment as chief financial officer of a London-listed public company, Bambers Stores.
The article insinuates that my immigration to America was connected to the Bambers situation. This is pure nonsense, as I commenced immigration procedures some two years prior to my appointment as CFO of Bambers.
The article then attempts to explain the process of taking companies public through reverse mergers, an activity that I successfully did for several years. I want to refute a statement made by the article which is untrue, namely, "Through press releases, Wettreich would promote a company's newly acquired assets, boosting the stock prices." Not true. Never happened.
The article then switches to investments made by Camelot in other public oil-and-gas companies which resulted in a profit. This may have disconcerted the companies in which these investments were made; however, despite the article's statement that "hostile takeover bids" were made by Camelot, no such bids were made.
Reference is then made to the termination by Camelot of its previous auditors, Hein & Associates. This has been fully disclosed in SEC filings. Camelot terminated Hein & Associates on advice of its legal counsel, as they did not provide the required accounts by the deadline for submission to the SEC, nor did they provide an explanation as to why they were not able to perform their obligations in a timely manner. They subsequently, in a filing, made an assertion that they were concerned about the accounting treatment of the acquisition of an office building that had a mortgage from one of my family trusts. Neither the auditors prior to Hein & Associates nor the auditors subsequent to Hein & Associates had any problems with this transaction.
Despite the article's insinuations, I am not aware of any investigation by the SEC, I have never been interviewed by anybody from the SEC, and do not anticipate any investigation now or in the future.
The article then turns to the claims made by a disgruntled ex-employee, Kathleen Williams. I shall focus on the blatant untruths and leave the minor distortions unanswered. It is untrue that I fired all but five of the employees of Business Investigations. What is true is that in total I fired five employees within a few days of the deal closing, leaving another 50 employees on the payroll. Ms. Williams resigned her position with the company following my expression of dissatisfaction with her performance.
Ms. Williams expressed her frustrations by filing a frivolous lawsuit against Camelot which was ultimately settled to eliminate the cost of continuing litigation. Her allegations were pure nonsense, and not a shred of evidence exists to justify her claims. Business Investigations was closed in mid-1992, and in March 1994 the RTC advised us that the MWOB [Minority Women Owned Business] status of Business Investigations was revoked as the RTC had interpreted the rules in such a way that Business Investigations was not deemed to be a MWOB. The board of Camelot made the decision that it was a waste of its resources to attempt to refute the RTC's interpretation of the MWOB rules. Camelot believes it fully complied with all the required regulations.