Wednesday, August 26, 2009

You Know We're Really in a Recession...

I was looking at the Securities and Exchange Commission website last week when I came across an item stating that the SEC had suspended trading in the securities of a company called Tasty Fries, Inc. for failure to file required reports. This is normally a sign that a company is in serious financial difficulty, if not out of business entirely. I thought we really must be in a recession if a company with a name like "Tasty Fries" can't make a go of it.

I thought I should dig deeper. It turns out that Tasty Fries hadn't made any filings for the previous four years. Four years! Cease trading delinquent filers is something Canadian securities commissions do much faster (i.e. the day after a filing deadline is missed), so scratch one up for our side. I did a Google search and came across an article stating that the Delaware Chancery Court determined it was little more than a "sham meant to defraud investors." In 2007, the SEC filed settled charges against the company, its CEO and two other officers "unlawfully issued Tasty Fries stock without proper authorization, issued and filed with the Commission false and misleading financial statements and made false and misleading statements in press releases and Commission filings." As is the practice for settlements in the United States, the defendants neither admitted nor denied the charges.

I was disillusioned. As Maxwell Smart, Agent 86, might say, "if only they had used their knowledge for goodness and deliciousness instead of greediness and rottenness." At least I had no personal experience with their product, unlike Chipwich, Inc., which was the subject of SEC administrative proceedings for accounting jiggery-pokery and went bankrupt in 1992. Cbipwiches were probably my favourite ice-cream snack. The company either came out of bankruptcy or sold the rights to make Chipwiches as I have seen them since, but rarely. If anyone knows where they are sold in the Toronto area, please e-mail me.

No comments: