By Terrence McCoy
By Scott Fishman
By Deirdra Funcheon
By Allie Conti
By New Times Staff
By Ryan Pfeffer
By Deirdra Funcheon
By Kyle Swenson
In University Lab's Saskatchewan case, its salesmen are alleged to have contacted 250 to 2,000 residents of the province, touting shares that can be had for 50 cents apiece now and that will sell for up to $10 apiece within a year. In the April 14, 2007, news release, investigator Ed Rodonets says of University Lab solicitors: "They're asking $25,000 minimum. There are some $25,000 investments, we know that for sure."
Since his investigation of University Lab is active, Rodonets could not elaborate on the complaints he's received, and the documents are not public.
The Saskatchewan investigation started a domino effect. On June 8, the Alberta Securities Commission entered a cease-trade order against University Lab, based on its finding that the company had been illegally selling shares since February, raising $250,000 total from 15 Alberta residents.
Then, on June 21, the British Columbia Securities Commission issued its own cease-trade order, based on similar allegations made by residents of that province. The province of New Brunswick has placed University Lab on its "Caution List" for companies that are not registered to trade securities but that have made solicitations to New Brunswick residents.
And now, Florida regulators are getting in on the act. A representative of the state's Office of Financial Regulation confirmed that there is an active investigation against University Lab Technologies.
Theodore says he's not sweating it; the Saskatchewan case was a misunderstanding. "We had a prospectus that a lawyer up there prepared for us. That attorney failed to register the prospectus in that province." The cease-trade order, he says, "isn't a big deal. It basically means: 'Don't sell this stock here till you're properly registered.' "
But when a lawyer fails to file a prospectus, it's easily fixed. In Canada, a cease-trade order remains temporary for two weeks, during which time a company can rectify the matter. University Lab declined to do so.
Asked whether he'll show me the University Lab prospectus, Theodore says, flatly, "No."
In July, Theodore told me that University Lab will go public in August. By August, he says those plans are on hold.
A few weeks after my surprise visit to University Lab headquarters, Theodore is no longer feeling so fraternal. During an interview when uncomfortable questions are asked, he tells me flatly, "I'm very litigious."
A moment later, he answers a question with a threat: "I just hope that whatever you're doing, you have all your facts, because if there are any inaccuracies, I'm coming for you."
Theodore is frustrated, he says, by the idea that anyone would put credence in the accusations of "a murderer," his preferred way of referring to Correia, rather than in him.
But for those who have put money into businesses associated with Theodore, it's not as clear-cut a choice as he would hope.