When CYNK Technology Corp (OTCMKTS:CYNK)’s stock price exploded earlier this month, the story of an asset-less product-less company valued in the billions went viral in the financial blogosphere. Most people assumed it was a pump-and-dump scheme that had somehow reached the stratosphere, but when the price kept going up in the face of steady ridicule, short sellers found themselves getting squeezed by what was obviously some sort of fraud. The problem was that no one could tell exactly what had happened.
Lots of people tried to call Cynk’s listed number, to no avail, so Bloomberg Businessweek reporters Zeke Faux and Dune Lawrence went down to Belize and have put together the most comprehensive back story we’ve seen.
CYNK Technology started out as a lame IT startup
Cynk Technology Corp’s (OTCMKTS:CYNK) was founded in 2008 by John Kueber under the name Introbuzz (it was changed in 2013). The plan was to create a social network where people could pay to make contact with celebrities, business contacts, or anyone else who’s too busy to be on LinkedIn but willing to sell their time through a website. It doesn’t seem like a great idea, but that’s not a rarity among IT start-ups.
Kueber sold the company to a man named Kenneth Carter for $600 in 2011 who was then replaced by Marlon Luis Sanchez in 2013, just a few months after the company went public. Sanchez was replaced by Javier Romero this past February, who was in turn replaced by Howard Berkowitz on June 18 one day after Cynk shares first started to rise.
Circumstantial evidence still ties founder to Cynk
Kueber says that he has no idea what’s going on with the company that he founded, and that he hasn’t been buying or selling shares, but he moved to San Pedro, Belize (where Romero is from) around the same time that CYNK Technology Corp (OTCMKTS:CYNK)’s relocated to Belize. Besides, it’s not that far-fetched to think that someone starting a pump-and-dump scheme would operate through a proxy.
Faux and Lawrence also found that while CYNK Technology Corp (OTCMKTS:CYNK)’s was never properly registered in Belize and its address at the Matalon building doesn’t actually exist, it is down the hall from Titan International Securities, a firm that specializes in penny stocks, got caught up in a pump-and-dump FBI sting (it hasn’t been accused of wrongdoing at this point), and it held millions of shares in Cynk earlier this year. There’s still a lot of open questions, hopefully the SEC will answer them in due course, but at least we have a cast of characters and a basic idea of how Cynk came to the market.