Firepower: Just a fricking misunderstanding

"You will see: we will eventually be vindicated and our investors will be well rewarded", claims Firepower boss Tim Johnston in an interview with The Australian. He also insists that he hasn't been hiding at all. (He just hasn't been anywhere the people who want him to pay what he owes have been looking. Oh, and not answering the phone, either.)

Johnston insists he's perfectly innocent, all of those never-shown-to-do-anything Firepower "products" work fine, Four Corners' report was a vile calumny, the investors will all get their money back, et cetera.

He also, at one point, is reported to have used the word "fricking".

And now, another link-dump of news stories about Firepower that've come out since my last update, in roughly chronological order, newest first:

Apparently Rose and Willie Porteous, or maybe only Rose, also bought into Firepower, and are as a result now one step closer to the penury which anybody which who cares to read up on them will, I think, agree they deserve.

The Australian High Commissioner in Pakistan is reported to have "acted unwisely" when she bought 200,000 shares in Firepower, but has been judged to have suffered enough, and so kept her job.

And there was a brief flap over a gaggle of Australian Defence Force chiefs who, apparently, invested in Firepower, and then became rather kindly disposed to the company. To the point where they let Firepower use the Navy frigate HMAS Sydney for a function in 2006, for free.

The function was to launch the basketball season for the Firepower-sponsored Sydney Kings, who followed Firepower down the plughole and no longer exist.

(The above Herald report is excellent, except for the part where it says "Firepower employees at the function literally swept from one person to the next generating confidence". One would think they used brooms for this purpose, but they were on a ship, so perhaps they swabbed the deck with mops.)

Firepower, by the way, gave people attending the above Frigate Function goodie bags including some of their magic pills, the unimpressiveness of which started the ball rolling at the Herald.

The previously-mentioned Warren Anderson said that people who'd lost money on Firepower were just "greedy". This statement was received with a certain amount of astonishment by the company's liquidator, who pointed out that expecting an investment to appreciate is kind of... the only reason why anybody invests.

Anderson's point was that many Firepower investors had "accountants and bloody lawyers and Christ knows what", and so should have been able to tell that the company wasn't on the level. And, one presumes, should then have sold on their foolishly-purchased shares for a handsome profit before Firepower folded. You know - like Warren Anderson himself did.

The above-linked article isn't primarily about the liquidator; it's about some un-named "Sydney man" who's alleged by a large group of small shareholders (presumably not including the ones who had "accountants and lawyers"...) to have embezzled five million bucks from Firepower. And therefore impeded Firepower's efforts to keep all of that money for itself.

The creditors are chasing this guy because, according to local litigation-funding company IMF, they've got bugger-all chance of squeezing any cash out of Firepower's entirely straightforward and above-board international operations. The liquidator previously said that unless the investors find someone to sue, they're not going to get a penny.

And then there's one Frank Timis, described in The Australian as "a colourful Romanian-Australian businessman", who says he's starting a new business that'll repay (plus ten per cent!) all of the ripped-off investors.

Timis and his new company, the entirely-unconfusingly-named "Greenpower" (or perhaps "Green Power"), scores a mention in the recent Johnston interview piece, too. Apparently Tim and Frank will be issuing free shares in the new company to shareholders in the old, so don't you worry about that.

(About 25 seconds after Timis said investors would be paid back, the IMF litigation-funders pointed out that this promise might just possibly not be worth an awful lot. IMF, like others, advises investors to consider their money to be gone, gone, gone.)

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