To say I have made my share of mistakes would be an understatement. At the ripe old age of 46 years old, I can say that I am finally at a place of peace in my life. Although I am facing yet another self-imposed crisis, I feel like I am dealing with it to the best of by ability.
I am the son of a teenage mother who married my adult father, who when the reality of his having a child hit him, he left when I was three; I am a grandson to an amazing matriarch and although in today’s life I am a devoted Husband and loving Father. I currently only have an active relationship with three of my six children and I commiserate in the guilt of being a failed Father to my other three children and will always hurt to live with such regret.
My life has played out like a character in a Hollywood drama and I think that is because of the enormous insecurity I felt growing up as a young child. This same insecurity followed me through most of my adult life. This insecurity manifested itself by making me an overachiever and as my grandmother said “you will be a master of anything you’re motivated to do” Although I became great at almost everything I set my mind to learn, I often found comfort in believing in the illusion vs. living in reality. Ironically, it was not until I had a life changing event occur in my late thirty’s that I realized that the illusions I had created, were actually the real life experiences I was living and yet the insecurity I was cursed with was acting as a saboteur and became a support mechanism validating my failures.
In the 80’s, I played lead guitar in a Christian Rock band called “No Secret”. We aspired to get signed to a national label and came close with Starsong Records. We were an active touring band playing sold out venues across California, Oregon and Washington. As teenagers, we were a brotherhood. We lived as an extended family and we provided each other with an invaluable emotional support system. My role in the band was not just playing music but running all facets of the day to day business required to make a touring band a success. It is here that I honed my skills with computers and a lifelong love was formed. As our success grew and the reality finally hit that we were getting signed, my fear of success became more than I could handle. It was at this time my oldest daughter entered the world and the fear of failure I had learned from my father now became my reality. To protect my emotionally scarred self, I quit the band and used my family and the church as my scapegoat. It wasn’t until my early forty’s that I returned to the church and began healing this emotional scar.
Never to return to music, in the late 80’s and early 90’s, I began working for The Retirement Group. I worked for a man that Wall St. coined “The Cold Call Cowboy”. Because of my knowledge of computers, I began assisting in the development of the Retirement Financial Plan (RFP). This plan was cutting edge as it linked all data input into an output MS Office report, complete with custom tailored personal information, asset allocation based on specific input data criteria and a custom printed roadmap for retirees. I quickly advanced through the ranks at the Retirement Group and my skills became one that other firms realized they needed.
In the mid 90’s, I accepted a position with Ray “Rocky” Lucia and Acacia Advisors and began to build out their retirement division. This was a great fit because not only was I able to use my skills I had developed at the Retirement Group but I was able to incorporate my live performance skills that I learned with the band. We created a live retirement workshop that Ray Lucia performed throughout Southern California. Mr. Lucia was speaking in front of an average audience of 1,000 people every Thursday and Saturday. The average attendee had a retirement net worth of $3,000,000 and Mr. Lucia had a new client closing percentage of approximately 82%. This was great validation that the business skills I had developed where usable in practical applications. Unfortunately, while receiving validation, my insecurity began to sabotage my efforts and it is at this point in my life when I started drinking heavily and smoked at least a pack of cigarettes per day.
In the late 1990’s, I began working with a retired attorney by the name of Harold Gregg. Mr. Gregg had a background in buying and selling assisted living and nursing home facilities throughout the US. Trying to be on the cutting edge of technology, Harold had requested that I assist him in automating his medical payment reimbursements system from Medicaid and Medical. It was here that I began to form a bond with Harold. I viewed him as a father figure which ultimately helped me heal some of my deep rooted Father issues. At this time, I began to achieve my largest success in my professional career. We formed Ascot Investments, Inc. to focus on funding business development.
Over the course of the next decade, Harold and I were very successful in our business ventures. During this period, my second daughter and first son entered the world and yet again, the fear of failure I had learned from my father had now, even more, become my reality. At this point of my life I would be considered a functioning alcoholic. I drank every day but I justified it because it was mostly social drinking. Unrelated to me, in 2012, Harold Gregg was indicted and pled guilty to Federal wire fraud charges out of South Carolina. He received probation in the case.
In the early 2000’s I founded and sat as Chairman of the Advisory Board of Victory Capital Holdings Corporation (Formally VTYC now Victory Energy Corporation OTCBB: VYEY). Victory was a company designed to leverage the assets of existing, proven technology and to infuse those assets with marketing, management and financial support.
Victory had two portfolio company's OnDemand Communications and Global Card Services. We focused on technology and financial services. The company was the target of a MBO in January 2005.
In 2004, at the suggestion of Christopher Benz, we hired George A. Sharp (also known as George A. Helischauer) to act as a consultant for Victory. His job functions were to assist us in building out our telecom infrastructure network. We hired George as a consultant because of his citizenship. Mr. Sharp was paid both cash and free trading stock in order to assist us. Within a quarter, it became evident that George was not a good fit for our company and shortly thereafter, we terminated him for cause. Based on his consulting agreement, his termination was within our contractual rights
George through his attorney threatened Victory, its CEO and myself with litigation unless we paid them $10,000.00. Although I complied with their request and paid the $10,000.00, on 12/17/2004, George Sharp filed a lawsuit against Victory Capital, Harold Gregg and myself for Fraud and Breach of Contract in San Diego Superior Court. As leverage, less than a month later, Jon Fullenkamp who at the time was CEO of Victory Capital and Mike Irolano, who was a stock promoter consulting for the company, offered us cash, stock and indemnification if we resigned from the company. They offered to include me in any and all discussions related to the Sharp matters, as well as indemnify us going forward, yet as you can imagine, they failed to do so. All parties understood that under Nevada Corporate law, corporations registered in Nevada must indemnify their officers and directors. To my surprise, they did not live up to any portion of their agreement and as I later learned, behind closed doors they negotiated a deal with George to settle and remove themselves from the lawsuit while leaving me and the others to hold the bag. As George has often alluded, I am the one that created him and made him what he is today.
Unfortunately, during this period of my life, I drank so much that I began to lose touch with reality. I was no longer a functioning alcoholic as It became easier to live in the illusion rather than focus on the matters right in front of me. George was able to play off my sickness, which fed into his narcissism. By my own doing, I allowed George to attack my family and myself and because of my insecurity, I did not defend us in a manner befitting a husband, father and friend. I allowed my ego to write checks my body couldn’t cash for the quick fix. Instead of dealing with the issues head on, George was able to capitalize on my illness. As much as I would like to blame George for all of my failures and issues, I now accept full responsibility for my actions and at times the lack thereof. During this period of my life I lose touch with two of my children and their mother. I use the excuse that they left me and I did nothing wrong when in fact they had to leave to protect themsleves from my alcoholic abuse.
During this period, I meet the love of my life and we begin to start a new life together. In January of 2008, I quit drinking and never looked back. As of today, I have no desire to drink. I have not had a relapse and I owe it all to the support of my friends and family.
In 2008, at the request of several control shareholders of Virtual Gaming Enterprises, I accepted the CEO position of the company and executed the corporate action to change the name of the company to Principal Capital Group (OTC: PCPG) and change the corporate direction as a company with holdings under the Investment Company Act of 1940; During this period, George began to aggressively collect on the default judgement. This is when George started using the internet as leverage in his collection process. If you look at every lawsuit that George has filed since 2008, you will notice he has followed the same model.
While at Principal Capital Group, I acted as lead agent in structuring two entities registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940. First, we formed Principal Mortgage Fund (PMF) which partnered with Fair Home Lending in San Diego. PMF was focused on brick and mortar loan origination as well as direct funding and underwriting in A-F loans. PMF also made acquisitions of competitors in this sector. During the same period, we also formed Principal Structure Fund (PSF) which partnered with one of the owners of Abelard Construction. PSF focused on catastrophe management company’s and services in the United States. Both entities were registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission as Business Development Company’s.
We also built out an eight-man proprietary trading floor which traded NYSES and NASDAQ equities ranging in prices of $2.00 to $15.00. PCPG’s Investment Banking division was comprised of attorneys and bankers that specialized in investment/private equity transactions.
Although I was now sober, I still had the learned behavior attributable to the character traits of an active alcoholic. I lived the life of “it’s easier to lie even though the truth fits better” type of lifestyle. In July of 2009, I was accused in Orange County on several charges which in July 2010, ultimately led to several felony convictions. I served thirteen months in state prison and was released early for good behavior and being a model prisoner. During this period of my life, I learned “why lie when the truth fits so much better”. While in prison, I quit smoking and as of this date I have yet to pick up another cigarette.
Upon my release, I helped develop a small charity in formation implement their new and exciting business strategy. I became an investigator for this charity and started working on helping their cause with my very loud voice. George sued the charity and also named myself and an unrelated party. In 2013, my family and I moved to NYC to begin a fresh start. The lawsuit, was filed out of Orange County, California and a hearing was set during the time that Super Storm Sandy hit NYC forcing me to miss a hearing. As a result, George and I entered into a settlement agreement and he took over the Abuse of Law URL which he de-published. Given what was posted on the Abuse of Law website, it is evident that he has mastered the art of providing versions of the truth that fit his desired outcome.
In 2012, my family and I moved to NYC as a fresh start and new beginning. At this time, I partnered with several financial professionals to form a new and exciting website called ThePUMPTracker.com. ThePUMPTracker.com was created to track stock promoters, the companies they tout and the performance of these campaigns. ThePUMPTracker was not a stock promotion site and they did not accept a fee from promoters nor the companies they investigated. The site tracked public companies that are being promoted and the performance of the specific promoter providing these services. Further, they tracked the fees paid to the promoter (if any) and who paid this fee. Finally, they tracked if the promoter has fully disclosed these required facts, and if they were compliant with Rule 17(b) and Reg. FD.
In 2013, a few of the founding members of ThePUMPTracker.com teamed up with a New York physician and founder of Docturs.com, to form Data Capital Corp. This new technological platform combined the marketing and branding expertise possessed by the founders of ThePUMPTracker.com and the proprietary Digital Network Access (DNA) data-capture process the team at Docturs.com spent a decade developing.
This DNA data-capture process has compiled over 300 million opt-in records in the US alone and much more in emerging markets globally. There records are continually monitored in as near real-time as possible and updated for accuracy and adhere to the DMA Safe Record policy. Each record includes name, address, telephone, email, DOB, gender, ethnicity, IP Address, referral source, (Ebay, Amazon, pay-day advance, WSJ Online, CBS Market Watch and more) investment style, hobbies, social networks, education, own/rent and annual income.
To date George has been paid over $760,000 in cash and over $3,000,000 in stock towards the default judgment. George loves to say that this never happened or the stock was worthless. To be clear, the cash payments are easy to verify and I didn't offer him the stock, he demanded it!
In 2015, I was Federally indicted in Colorado on 14 counts of wire fraud and money laundering from a matter that occurred in 2010, during the same period of my previous state conviction. George likes to take credit for this charge when in fact, he had nothing to do with it. The indictment was all on me and I have nobody to blame but myself. In February 2016, in a formal plea agreement, I agreed to plead guilty to 2 counts (1 count of wire fraud and 1 count of money laundering). I am awaiting sentencing in the case and have been working to ensure the restitution owed is paid to the court.
Finally, since stepping away from the limelight of the finance industry, I have focused my energy on building out the unified communications and peer-to-peer technology we previously developed at Victory Capital. This coupled with the Data Capital database infrastructure, we began Commify Technology. Commify was launched to assist small and medium sized companies with building out their technology infrastructure and market their products and services to the public. In 2015 and 2016, we have assisted over 50 companies will building out their web, social media, mobile applications and product marketing and placement and public relations campaigns.
I look forward to continuing to learn from my past mistakes and humbly take responsibility for the bad decisions I made, I know these decisions dramatically affected the victims and reshaped the lives of my loving and supportive family. Each day we learn something new and for me, I want to ensure that unlike the past, I thoroughly think through the decisions in the present and in the future. The past is the past, the present is now and the future is another gift from God to embrace and appreciate. Thank you to those who have given me a second chance and believed in me when others wouldn't. Your love, friendship and loyalty will always be in my heart.
Michael T. Osborn