The jury commenced its deliberations after lunch yesterday in our case with Hemispherx Biopharma, Inc. (AMEX: HEB) (Price: $3.75) in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. Judge Albert W. Sheppard has ruled through motions in limine that certain documents could not be shown to the jury and that certain evidence could not be presented to the jury by any testimony. As a result, the jury does not know about the 1999 Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) fraud order, the recent confirmations by SEC Chairman Harvey Pitt that the SEC’s fraud investigation is on-going, the Food and Drug Administration’s (“FDA”) infraction letter charging Hemispherx with making illegal, and false and misleading statements about Ampligen, the six criminal indictments concerning Hemispherx’s public offering and payments to a former officer who sold Hemispherx’s stock to the public. The jury also does not know that William A. Carter, Hemispherx’s Chairman and CEO, was fired from Hemispherx for extorting $1 million from an AIDS patient or that Du Pont charged Carter and David R. Strayer, Hemispherx’s medical director, with scientific fraud. The jury does not know that Hemispherx’s misconduct has been the subject of a congressional investigation into government research grant fraud and that Hemispherx is currently the subject of a congressional investigation into the AMEX’s failure to protect investors from securities fraud.
The jury has heard testimony that the SEC “authenticated” Hemispherx’s public offering, that the FDA allows Hemispherx to claim Ampligen is safe and effective, and that Hemispherx has valuable goodwill and a good reputation. Repeatedly throughout the trial Judge Sheppard reconfirmed his Motions in Limine orders preventing this testimony from being challenged.
These are the conditions under which the jury will decide a verdict in the case titled Hemispherx Biopharma, Inc, v. Asensio & Company, Inc. and Manuel P. Asensio. It will be interesting to see if Hemispherx can sell its fraudulent stock scam to 10 of 12 people under circumstances that are more favorable to Hemispherx than in the stock market.
Asensio & Company, Inc. is actively engaged in short selling and advises its clients on securities it believes are overvalued. A complete documented history of Asensio’s published work with short-selling transactions, and the firm’s definition of gross overvaluation, is available on the Internet at www.asensio.com. Short selling involves a risk not associated with the purchase of stock including, but not limited to, unlimited loss and stock borrowing risks.