SOURCE: John Thomas Financial

John Thomas Financial

March 21, 2011 14:00 ET

John Thomas Financial Issues Statement Regarding Barry Minkow's Guilty Plea to Federal Insider Trading Charges

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - March 21, 2011) - John Thomas Financial (JTF) CEO Thomas Belesis today issued a statement regarding reports that Barry Minkow has plead guilty to federal securities fraud for his trading in Lennar Corp. shares in 2009. Mr. Minkow was convicted in 1988 on 57 counts of racketeering, securities fraud, money laundering, embezzlement, mail fraud, tax evasion and bank fraud. In June 2010, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) launched an investigation into Mr. Minkow's shorting of InterOil Corp. and Lennar Corp, among other companies.

Mr. Minkow accused Wall Street broker dealer and investment banking firm, John Thomas Financial, of "pumping and dumping" IOC shares, citing little evidence to support his claims.

"Barry Minkow has a long history of stock manipulation which, most recently, includes shorting companies for whom he later reports unsubstantiated, damaging claims. His reports have led to a tremendous loss of value for shareholders, damaged the public trust and caused unnecessary legal and reputational damage to his targets. One such report targeted InterOil, a New York Stock Exchange-listed energy company, and John Thomas Financial. The latest revelations that Minkow is about to plead guilty for insider trading of the shares of Lennar Corp. come as no surprise. We view Mr. Minkow's federal insider trading charges as further evidence that his statements were merely fabrications aimed at defrauding the public," said John Thomas Financial CEO Thomas Belesis.

InterOil's shareholder base includes some of the smartest minds in the financial community such as Soros Fund Management, JP Morgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley & Co., Capital Research Global Investors, Fidelity Management and Wells Fargo & Company.

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