Lookin’ For Love, Or Fraud. Match Group.

Graphic, cover, Match GroupGraphic, STOCKjAW banne, Quality View

“Love the house,” she coos.

“Or course–it’s just your style.  In fact, I just made the final payment–last month.  The stables are spectacular,” he charms.

“I can imagine.  How many horses?  It’s fabulous–you know, I’ve always sensed you were really responsible.  That’s your natural hair color,” she primes.

“I believe we have a future–a real one.  We could even rent some kids–you know, for the weekends,” he paints.

Really?” she feigns.

“I’ve been waiting to say this.  The first thing I want to do…is put this house, in your name,” he tempts.

“No….?  In my name?” she coaxes.

“Yes–but I’ve been thinking…well–concerned really.  So really Hillary, the only thing is, I’m sort of worried…about…blow-back, I mean from Chappaqua–Bill’s there right?  And Match Group’s doing pretty well right now.  Except there’s the pesky FTC–it’s not really a problem.  They’ve got a letter out–well a suit naturally.  That’s how they are–a suit about fake emails and deception, and disclosures, on Match.  They’re always lurking and skulking about.  My god–they’re in my bushes every night, and they crowd around and wave goodbye at me when I pull out for the office,” he disassembles.

“Talk to me.  Tell me everything” she probes.

“And the pills–the medication I mean, just isn’t working anymore–not like it used to.  And the flurry of lawsuits–Purdue, Teva, JNJ for god’s sake everyone’s being dragged in.  Now us.  I can’t end up like Epstein, candy bars from the prison commissary, and the bed sheet thing.  And they seem to know everything–” he implodes.

“Who knows, precisely?” she pumps.

“Everybody.  The FTC, the IRS.  All my houses, my stock options…and why does fraud have to always be like this–remember that Shkreli guy?  Damn–all he did was raise prices and that’s legal.  He got a little loud.  Online actually.  He did publish the judge’s address.  Why does a sprinkle of fraud invariably include tax implications?  Jesus, the IRS are real bastards.  Worse than the Taliban…and the stuff we’ve been pullin’ at work–Jesus,” he confesses.

“The Taliban?  They don’t know about the house, do they?  Listen.  One thing at a time.  I still have a private server at home.  Let’s just talk about the house.  Match doesn’t operate in Afghanistan.”

 

 

hOT
Yeah. We know what you’re thinkin’. Actually, this image was the first thing shown to STOCKjAW by Tumblr, as we launched on the site. Fact. Facebook did the same thing. Light up an account and an OTT profile of some limpid creature lands directly on the screen.  Perhaps you’ve noticed that we are not on Facebook. Upon our initial set up FB hit us with a page like this.  When we refused to expand a personal FB page–required to launch a business account–they yanked us for “suspected suspicious activity.”  That was after they refused to recognize our email, forcing us to give up a #.  Match.com uses the exact same OTT “She’s interested” game.

Investing

offers up plenty of material for cynics. Volkswagen can’t be honest about what’s issuing from its’ rear. AT&T’s turned billing into a shell game, and 4G into 5G just by saying so. Is GE an “Enron-sized fraud?” How ’bout online education? Jesus. Admittedly, it i’s entertaining.


Now it’s the interactive media company Match Group’s turn. The FTC has now rammed a probe into their emissions. The Dallas-based owner of dating websites now walks weird as a result of the FTC’s firmly inserted probe.

 

CEO Mandy Ginsberg is out of the Wharton MBA program and still smiling. But the probing’s still fresh, and still civil, sort of. Yet copulating with the fed is never a sign of over-arching wisdom. Ask Martin Shkreli.  And the actions Match Group has perhaps taken are indeed over-arching, blatant, and unwise. Enjoy the fun. “Lookin’ For Love or Fraud. Match Group.”

 

 

 

Graphic, cover, Equifax Man, RC
You gotta think work takes on a different tone when the feds know your name. Who needs that? Match Group, most recently. Too bad.  The “Reader’s Choice” badge actually belongs to “Equifax Man. Steal it. Sell it.” https://stockjaw.com/2019/01/26/equifax-man-steal-it-sell-it/

fraud

/frôd/
Learn to pronounce
noun
  1. wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain.
    “he was convicted of fraud”

    rort

    • a person or thing intended to deceive others, typically by unjustifiably claiming or being credited with accomplishments or qualities.
      “mediums exposed as tricksters and frauds” -Google search

Has

it been a month and a half?  On August 15th Harry Markopolos stalwartly placed the charge on the table.  “I believe GE’s a bankruptcy waiting to happen.”  Wow.  Markopolos was the only guy to call out the sprawling Madoff scheme.  The SEC chose not to take him seriously.  He let it set, then flagged them again–but  it was lunch time yo.  We do lunch at the SEC, no doubt–don’t be stupid.  This time he called out GE, on CNBC.

 

 “My team has spent the past 7 months analyzing GE’s accounting and we believe the $38 Billion in fraud we’ve come across is merely the tip of the iceberg,”  said Markopolos–quote from the 175 page report turned over to the SEC.

 

CNBC had an advantage over the Securities and Exchange Commission.  CNBC knows Markopolos, and his accurate call on Madoff.  Yet being the only one aware of the  most humongous fraud in U.S. history meant absolutely nothing to afternoon hosts on the financial channel.  Rather, the on air TV heads visibly fumed, and openly scoffed, made faces and affected their tone as though it were high school again.  It was.

 

Harry was summarily surrounded, stoned, scorned, jeered, and finally asked something relevant, derisively.  “Why is it that you were able to see this?  GE’s books are open and routinely scrutinized.”  Morgan Brennan led an attempt to dismember.  Three additional hosts loomed–who’s the guy with the English accent?  But a bare semblance of professionalism remained.  Markopolos repeated.  “Because that’s what I do, forensic accounting, and I and my team spent seven months doing nothing but going over their books.”  Deal with it.

 

 

Being Right

Doesn’t Matter.

Markopolos
Markopolos meets the CNBC hacks. The man who flagged the Madoff fraud four times to the SEC makes his GE call on CNBC. It proved a four-against-one affair, with only one professional left standing. Markopolos. How hard is it to listen? Too hard obviously.  Roiling skepticism prior to the facts is known as arrogance.

 Act

like a professional or quack like a fraud.  The afternoon hosts of CNBC, and perhaps GE, are not alone in their sub-par performance.  Ask AT&T.  Their fraudulent antics span decades, including this years misleading  “5G” campaign, the one the feds forced them to halt.  Now Match Group(MTCH) has joined in the ka ka-kicking fun.  A half a million people fell directly into their dark hole.

 

The Federal Trade Commission(FTC) is suing the owners of Match.com, Tinder, PlentyOfFish, Pairs, Ourtime, and OKCupid with deceptive practices and outright bare-knuckle fraud.  Date that.  Well, it makes sense really, if anyone you know has ever spent any time on these sites.  Ever try to find Match.com’s subscription cancellation screen, or the auto-renew turn-off page?  We have.

 

 

FTC

CASE STATUS: Pending

Federal Trade Commission v. Match Group Inc.

FEDERAL COURT: 

Northern District of Texas

 

Can Being From Wharton Save You?

Match Group, Mandy Ginsberg, MTCH
Smile when the FTC knocks. That’s not the “fresh probed” look.  Where’s the messed-up hair? Mandy Ginsberg acts as the current CEO of Match Group. Mandy came out of the Wharton business school and then worked for the Princeton Review. Now the company she heads is being legally challenged by the federal government, on multiple charges involving a half-a-million Match subscriptions cited as “fraudulent” by the FTC. Keep smilin’ Mandy.

What

did Match do?  “We believe that Match.com conned people into paying for subscriptions via messages the company knew were from scammers,” said Andrew Smith, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “Online dating services obviously shouldn’t be using romance scammers as a way to fatten their bottom line.”

 

 

“Romance scams” are false communications of interest with the actual goal being money in the form of gifts or loans or other.  Such attempts also morph into extortion.  

 

What else?  “Match has unfairly exposed consumers to the risk of fraud and engaged in other allegedly deceptive and unfair practices…Match offered false promises of “guarantees,” failed to provide services to consumers who unsuccessfully disputed charges, and made it difficult for users to cancel their subscriptions.”-FTC

 

 

 

Turing Pharmceuticalsa, Martin Shkreli
Remember Turing Pharma’s Martin Shkreli?  He’s in prison now.  Following his indictment on various financial crimes Shkreli complained publicly, and called the court idiots, again publicly.  Who does that?  They sent him to prison for seven years.  Now he’s meeting new people and picking up new skills. Shkreli and legal counsel(right), outside of court, New York City.

 Martin’s

locked down for Ponzi-style fraud, and openly being a thug-wanna-be, and an arrogant greed-ridden dumbass online, in court, and in person.  Shkreli became the “most hated man in America” by raising the price of Daraprim from $13 to $750, in one step.  Who uses the drug?  Pregnant women, new borns, and AIDs patients.  Shkreli gave what amounted to a press interview over one shoulder while seated at the defense table awaiting the judge. People completely blinded by arrogance.

 

 

Since August 7th MTCH has dropped from a high of $95.32 to it’s After hours level of $71.50.  Their current technical picture is questionable and being sued by the FTC for fraud is not good news through the mail.

 

Social media does it.  Why not chum the dating site water?  How many stories are there about dating sites and fake interest from profiles suddenly “unavailable” once the recipient buys a sub?  Anyone seen striking profiles just pop-up on Facebook?  Same thing.

 

MTCH is eardrum rupturing expensive.  43 trailing P/E and a 42 forward.  Meanwhile the best bank on Earth, JPM, is 12 and 11.6 forward.  MTCH goes for 97x  book value.  JPM’s 1.6.  MTCH’s 1y EPS performance -19.6%.  JPM up 22.2%.  MTCH EPS estimate 16.5 vs. JPM’s 13.  MTCH’s very important return on equity(ROE) 127%.  JPM 13%.  But is MTCH really 60.8x better?(97 devided by 1.6.)  MTCH’s 69%ytd return is impressive, but misleading.  It’s volatile.  JPM’s grown 20.6%, in a hated sector.

 

“Consumers who considered purchasing a Match.com subscription generally were unaware that as many as 25 to 30 percent of Match.com members who register each day are using Match.com to attempt to perpetrate scams, including romance scams, phishing schemes, fraudulent advertising, and extortion scams. In some months between 2013 and 2016, more than half of the instant messages and favorites that consumers received came from accounts that Match identified as fraudulent, according to the complaint.”-FTC

 

FTC bUILDING
The Apex Building. 600 Pennsylvania Avenue and Constitution Avenue NW. Washington D.C. The Federal Trade Commission provides a number of fun and informative emails about their actions, and information concerning product recalls, and much more. Enjoy. We do.

Match

was far busier than just priming the subscription pump.  What else?  “Match Deceived Consumers with Inconspicuous, Hard to Understand Disclosures.”  And Match used “Unfair Billing Dispute and Failure to Provide Simple Subscription Cancellation Practices.”  And “…Match violated the Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act (ROSCA) by failing to provide a simple method for a consumer to stop recurring charges…”

 

Match Group(NASDAQ: MTCH) 9-28-19

Charts, MTCH, 9-28-19
Check the wicks on Wednesday the 25th–three days ago. That’s volatility. High $74.54, low $66.57. Over the past 6 months MTCH is up 29.4% but down 8.5% over the last 5 days. Not only is the company being sued by the trade commission, it’s shares are being vented off as another high-multiple portfolio bomb(SJChart.)

 The

FTC’s complaint also says that “Match’s own employees described the cancellation process as “hard to find, tedious, and confusing” and noted that “members often think they’ve cancelled when they have not-FTC.  All quotes from–FTC Sues Owner of Online Dating Service Match.com for Using Fake Love Interest Ads To Trick Consumers into Paying for a Match.com Subscription

Federal Trade Commission subscribe@subscribe.ftc.gov Unsubscribe

 

SUMMARY

In our opinion the likelihood of dishonesty is never a sign we enjoy in an investment candidate.  MTCH may be innocent, but then if you’ve ever searched for their auto-renew button it seems more likely they’re not.  That doesn’t even cover their obvious chumming activities.  Do any durable questions of manipulation remain following scads of reports which cite interest notices which appear from striking profiles, that upon investigation turn out to be “unavailable?”

We neither respect customer abuse or fraud, nor do we wish to be exposed to any backlashes which are so often the result.  Besides, we wish to support outstanding companies.  If management is willing to deceive those who pay them, they will also attempt same with investors.  That’s the lesson lurking inside the current GE scandal.  That’s why we led with it.  Good luck and good investing.

 

Federal Trade Commission

Enforcement>>Cases and Proceedings>>Match Group Inc.

https://www.ftc.gov/enforcement/cases-proceedings/172-3013/match-group-inc?utm_source=govdelivery

 

 

 

Jam of the Day

“Time out of mind.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYIv_dyhezs

 

Steely Dan
True musical genius. Steely Dan.  Sadly, Everything Must Go.

 

 

 

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