CEO seeks penny stock bailout from dubious sources.
October 27, 2014
By now, most people realize that offshore hedge fund manager Glenn Dobbs never had any intention of building and operating the Montanore Mine in Lincoln County, Mont. Instead, he has been using the fabled world-class copper and silver deposit as a carrot to attract as much investment capital as possible over the past decade. Mines Management Inc., trading as AMEX MGN on the New York Stock Exchange, has slowly deteriorated to the point that, according to the company’s SEC filing, it barely has enough capital to cover its expenses for the current year.
Now the failed businessman has positioned MGN for a quick PIPE deal with a shady hedge fund based in Liechtenstein.
Since first appearing on the scene in 2002 after a mysterious transfer of assets from Noranda, Inc., Dobbs and AMEX MGN have made many promises to government regulators, major investors, speculators and out-of-work locals, none of which they managed to keep. Now the failed businessman has positioned MGN for a quick PIPE deal with a shady hedge fund based in Liechtenstein. The fund’s majority partner, Martin Schlaff, is an Austrian billionaire, a former member of the notorious East German secret police (Stasi) and a wanted criminal in Israel.
When a penny stock corporation like MGN is on the verge of bankruptcy, one quick and easy fix is obtaining a Private Investment in Public Equity, or PIPE deal. This type of transaction not only allows the participants to skirt a few SEC regulations but also saves them time and money. The failing company transfers discounted preferred stock to the buyer, and in exchange, receives enough capital to ensure the company’s officers don’t go away empty-handed.
Alpha Capital Anstalt has agreed to purchase more than 5 million shares of MGN for a total of $3.7 million, and the hedge fund also has the option of buying an additional 2.5 million shares at a discounted price. Upon exercising that option, Alpha would own a majority interest of approximately 25 percent of the corporation, in effect purchasing Mines Management Inc. and its Montanore property. Under SEC regulations, AMEX MGN shareholders must approve the deal, but since Dobbs owns enough shares to skew the vote, approval is a slam-dunk.
Alpha Capital Anstalt has assumed ownership of dozens of corporations over the years, including natural gas and alternative energy firms, biotechnology companies and computer-related manufacturers. Whether the foreign hedge fund operatives intend to take the Montanore Mine into production or simply siphon off investment dollars as Dobbs has done remains to be seen.
October 27, 2014
We’re going to do everything humanly possible to get the project going as soon as possible because we have a strong commitment to the people of Libby, Dobbs said. --Flathead Beacon, Sept. 2, 2014.
What is Alpha Capital Anstalt, and what does its acquisition of AMEX MGN mean to shareholders and/or residents of Lincoln County?
Martin Schlaff owns a majority interest in the Liechtenstein-based hedge fund. Schlaff is a controversial, ultrawealthy Austrian who has rubbed elbows with the likes of Muammar Gaddafi, former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and – simultaneously – former Palestinian rebel leader Yasser Arafat. First, however, Schlaff established his financial dynasty through his work with the secret communist Stasi police force of the former East German Democratic Republic.
Schlaff’s Stasi code name was “Landgraf” and his registration number was 3886-86, according to historian Kristie Macrakis. A 1998 report issued by a special Bundestag inquiry committee states that Schlaff had built his fortune through the covert transfer millions of East German public funds to his accounts in Liechtenstein. This had taken place in the time period between the abolishment of the Berlin Wall and the reorganization of Germany, when Schlaff also helped implement a Stasi plan to preserve its intelligence network. Once the reorganization was complete, Schlaff employed several high-ranking Stasi officials in his various companies. Schlaff’s Stasi connections have been the subject of police investigation on several occasions.
According to expert Simon Wiesenthal, Holocaust survivor and famed Nazi hunter, “The Stasi was much, much worse than the Gestapo, if you consider only the oppression of the people.” The secret police had officers in every major industrial plant, school, university and hospital.
In 1998, Schlaff partnered with Yasser Arafat in the Jericho-based Oasis casino. He also has funneled illegal funds to Israel’s former prime minister Ariel Sharon, his family members, and to Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. Israeli law enforcement has investigated Schlaff’s activities extensively.
Schlaff was a major player in the 2005 collapse of Refco, a New York financial services firm that was the largest brokerage on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. After Refco went public in 2005, its CEO announced he had hidden hundreds of millions in bad debts that he had been purchasing from the firm in order to conceal them. One of the companies financing this scam was Austria’s BAWAG bank, in which Martin Schlaff was directly involved. In fact, BAWAG was a primary investor in Arafat’s casino.
U.S. prosecutors discovered in 2006 that Refco had placed more than $500 million worth of fake bonds in offshore accounts in hedge funds owned by BAWAG and a firm called Liquid Opportunity. According to Wikipedia, “The likelihood that the fake bonds represent some kind of ongoing criminal activity does not bode well for the principals of Refco, BAWAG, or Liquid Opportunity.”
Schlaff has business dealings throughout the world. He owns extensive real estate holdings in the U.S. and elsewhere. Soon, he will add the Montanore silver and copper deposit to those holdings. However, should Glenn Dobbs have anything underhanded in mind as he beats a hasty retreat from his lucrative years as CEO of a mining firm that has never mined a single ounce of ore, he would do well to think twice.
Alpha Capital Anstalt and Martin Schlaff have a long history of suing the double-dealing CEOs of its multitudinous acquisitions. For instance, in 2013 Alpha sued the former CEO of New Generation Biofuels for securities fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and breach of fiduciary duty after he dumped his own stock and absconding with the cash. In 2010, Alpha sued Ness International for selling 95 percent of Ness Israel, its wholly owned subsidiary that was part of Alpha’s original acquisition.
No, Glenn, you can’t keep Newhi or Montanore Minerals Corp. when you sell out to Alpha Capital Anstalt. As far as ensuring that the mine’s new owners will employ Lincoln County residents, we dare you to broach the subject with Martin Schlaff.
September 24, 2014
Just yesterday the Montana Supreme Court denied Mines Management's appeal to dismiss District Court Judge James Wheelis. The five judge panel ruled unanimously, and also clarified the "double-speak" spiel by Glenn Dobbs in his press release "Mines Management Corrects the Record Regarding Montanore Litigation." -- My how the worm turns. -- Expect more clarifications to MMI's assertions in the near future to the "timely" newswire release.
In fact, the latest ruling refutes the corporation's spin.
AMEX MGN issued the above press release on June 18, 2014, asserting that, by agreeing to hear the appeal,
"The Montana Supreme Court reversed a March 2013 state district court ruling on the validity of the unpatented mineral claims, now owned by Optima Inc., by vacating an injunctive order due, in part, to faulty reasoning and lack of evidence."
In fact, the latest ruling specifically refutes the corporation's spin. The opinion of the Montana Supreme Court states unequivocally that, "The January 7 Order had nothing to do with the summary judgment itself." It was simply an agreement to review a procedural point of law pertaining to Judge Wheelis' injunction:
"Our Order did not address the propriety or the merits of the injunction itself, but rather set it aside on these procedural grounds and instructed the District Court to consider the issue further." -- Montana Supreme Court Justice Jim Rice
Judge Wheelis' determination that Montanore Minerals Corp., Mines Management Inc., and Newhi Inc. are indeed claim jumpers stands.
Meanwhile, Frank Wall, legal representative for Libby Creek Ventures and self-made, successful pro se litigant in opposition to AMEX MGN's machinations, is preparing to depose Dobbs and several other key players next month. The depositions pertain to Wall's recently filed action in Lincoln County, MT, DV-14-140 pursuant to the company's ongoing water pumping and dumping into the environmentally fragile Libby Creek watershed. Wall has scheduled the depositions for early October and he has a list of hard questions to which many of us have wanted answers for quite some time.
May 18, 2014
Headlines like the Missoulian’s “Feds: Proposed Montanore Mine Won’t Harm Grizzly Bears” are exactly the kind that AMEX MGN’s propaganda machine was prompting with its press release in April. With the delivery of the Biological Opinions from the Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) agency regarding the welfare of threatened species should the Montanore ever be approved, the corporation saw another opportunity to pump its share prices by putting a positive spin on the news.
True, FWP did return a “non-jeopardy” determination regarding grizzlies and bull trout living in federal lands that would become a denuded mine complex should the trouble Montanore project ever reach fruition.
However, contrary to the corporation’s spin, the Biological Opinions do not state that the mine would not jeopardize threatened species. A cursory review of the documents immediately reveals the truth of the matter. FWP states that, if the corporation implemented numerous mitigation measures, then it would not pose a threat to the delicate ecological balance of the Cabinet-Yaak ecosystem that currently sustains only the barest numbers of iconic grizzly bears, bull trout and several other dwindling species.
Even this dubious conclusion is subject to considerable doubt. The entire document is bought and paid for by the mining corporation. Rather than face further delays while FWP personnel relied on limited staff to address the topic, Montanore Minerals Inc. opted to fund a contractor to “assist” the agency in completing the Biological Opinions. The resulting tome is clearly based on the erroneous notion that the Montanore Mine must be built no matter how severely the resulting damage promises to compromise endangered species, the Kootenai National Forest and the federal Cabinet Mountains Wilderness lands.
Highlights of mitigation directives contained within the “Final Biological Opinion on the Effects to Grizzly Bears From the Implementation of Proposed Actions Associated with Plan of Operations for the Montanore Minerals Corporation Copper/Silver Mine” include:
These and dozens of other directives are expensive, and given that the corporation expects to have a grand total of $500 thousand in operating capital by the end of 2014, currently cost-prohibitive. However, in its latest press release, the firm voices unsubstantiated confidence in its ability to borrow more money. In addition, the document provides scant substantiation that any of these measures would save precious bears. Just purchasing mitigation property does not directly relate to the unceremonious displacement of grizzlies from their current habitat, nor does funding Bear Specialists directly reduce the serious threats to grizzlies posed by exponential increases in traffic, noise, air and water pollution. Locking up garbage in bear-proof containers does not minimize the hunger of bears in areas suddenly denuded of natural food sources.
Fortunately for this iconic species, litigation in federal court is challenging the “threatened” designations of the Cabinet-Yaak bear population. The Alliance for the Wild Rockies, a powerful legal tour de force that has previously won injunctions preventing USFS from selling logging contracts in grizzly bear recovery zones, has gone to court to compel FWP to uplist the bears to endangered status. Apparently, only administrative delays have prevented this action. Once grizzlies are designated as endangered, current mitigation directives are open to numerous additional legal challenges and court-ordered revisions.
So it seems that the much-heralded Biological Opinions on the Montanore Mine proposal in fact raise many more obstacles than they remove for the intractable plan. So much for the accuracy and trustworthiness of media information sources. Stay tuned for the scoop on the BO for aquatic species. It’s a barnburner.
January 18, 2014
Vince Devlin, a Missoula-based reporter, recently checked into calls by many concerned citizens and Alternative One for further scrutiny into the shooting of a Montanore Mine opponent on his own property adjacent to the proposed mine. Devlin spoke by phone with victim John Cleveland, who remains hospitalized as of January 18, 2014.
This new information by no means lays the incident to rest.
Devlin brings to light the new fact that Cleveland was not hunting when Wagner took aim and shot him. The landowner was simply out for a walk near his cabin, looking for animal tracks. Unfortunately, a bullet to his femur shattered his quiet enjoyment of his remote land, putting him in a hospital bed for more than two months and subjecting him to several grueling surgeries.
In earlier reports on the so-called “hunting accident,” writers mention that although the property owner was not wearing hunter orange, he would not be brought up on charges. In one of Devlin’s earlier articles, he says, “Cleveland, who owns a cabin off Libby Creek Road, allegedly told authorities he had gone hunting that morning, a Saturday, but had forgotten his orange vest.” Cleveland’s interview proves that statement to be a complete fabrication. In fact, it is just one of many false statements and misinformation released by Lincoln County Sheriff personnel.
While Devlin shows his mettle as a reporter in following up on this strange tale, he is not privy to additional evidence that Alternative One has uncovered regarding all of the individuals involved. This new information by no means lays the incident to rest.
Read the original Alternative One story about Glenn Dobbs' claim jumping activities in his attempt to seize the claims of local grandmothers.
Dobbs needs to explain to each of us, and the financial news media, why the directors are accelerating a troubled company’s demise.
Glenn Dobbs...is soaking the company and his shareholders over a million dollars a year, and his son Douglas, now president, has been getting half that...
April 21, 2014
A boogey man lives in the Montanore Mine, and he goes by the various names of dbtuner, avegasdude777, bobuandu, i_am_gunderson and others that come and go on a daily basis. When not acting as a night watchman among the abandoned pole buildings of the rundown compound, he spends his days somewhere within the adit, spittle flying and tiny eyes glinting in the dark, furiously posting vicious, inflammatory comments on the Yahoo finance forums.
Unschooled in the etiquette that prevents humans from crossing the line between acceptable behavior and complete disregard for decency, the Montanore Mine troll knows no bounds.
He sends out words like the bullets, aiming at targets that he conjures in his mind, often merging them into one large target such as environmental “eco-terrorists.” From time to time, his voice is modulated and filled with false sagacity, but more often it rises to a fever pitch, ranting and wailing like the legendary banshee, prophesizing death.
The founder of Alternative One has drawn the beast’s attention and has become, within the confused, volatile whirlwinds of his mind, the source of all evils. He has been using words as a bludgeon against her. The problem? She has the temerity to voice a dissenting opinion when it comes to the environmentally disastrous Montanore Mine proposal.
Unschooled in the etiquette that prevents humans from crossing the line between acceptable behavior and complete disregard for decency, the Montanore Mine troll knows no bounds. Fixated on the notion that several individuals posting comments on the AMEX MGN (Montanore’s U.S. stock exchange designation) forum referenced above are all the words of Alternative One’s founder, the beast in the belly of Montanore has launched an all-out effort to defame, denigrate and threaten her, posting her name multiple times each day, her address and phone number, and personal information about her.
The vast majority of the monster’s venomous diatribe is completely fabricated. The problem is that the uniformed tend to take anything online at face value, and the monster’s constant barrage of blather is damaging her reputation and good name.
Due to the nature of his comments and the history of this defamation, which dates to the time that Alternative One first went public in 2010, members of the organization know the identity of this individual and are taking appropriate action to put an end to his libelous abuse. However, everything takes time, and meanwhile, the ogre has begun making death threats against the Alternative One founder, as shown in the screen shots below.
More Recent Content
Montanore Mine Boogeyman Threatens Alternative One (scroll down to bottom of this page)
Alternative One believes that several incidents related to Montanore Mine opponents in Lincoln County merit federal investigation. Click here to see the letter we recently sent to federal lawmakers.
The Montanore Fallacy
January 1, 2014
In a dark corner of the Corporate Critical Care Unit, the lines on its life support monitor are nearly flat. As its father and son leadership team bleed the company’s dwindling cash reserves, its share price has fallen by more than 90% in three years. Outside of tired in-house PR efforts, the only signs of investor interest are occasional blurbs in penny stock newsletters. Although its name, Mines Management, Inc., would lead one to believe that it is a mining company, the corporation that owns the Montanore Mine oversees not a single operating mine.
Dobbs' rabid anti-environmental bent...is kept under tight wraps.
For ten years the company’s principal huckster, Hedge Fund Manager CEO Glenn Dobbs, has been peddling Montanore as a state of the art, environmentally sound silver and copper mine with no significant opposition, poised to begin operating in a matter weeks or months. Potential investors are subjected to dubious claims that the mine’s minerals are essential for our national security. Each quarterly report contains new proclamations about permitting progress and forward movement. Questions regarding insider trading accusations and ongoing litigation are not addressed. Dobbs’ rabid anti-environmental bent, including his Sierra Club documented zero environmental voting score as a Washington State legislator, is kept under tight wraps. A tiny, low profile, and relatively insignificant company, Mines Management has, until recently, escaped appropriate scrutiny.
Montanore has promised hundreds of jobs, but after ten years of Glenn Dobbs’s leadership, the company’s local payroll consists of a couple of part time low skilled security guards.
As Alternative One and others have begun to tell the real Montanore story, the cracks in Dobbs’s company have become prominent, and its image tarnished significantly. In the last four years, company spokespeople have put forth no fewer than 32 mine permitting timetables, none of which has been met. In April, 2013, MMI lost a major claim jumping case and may no longer have legal access to the mine adit. The EPA graded Montanore as Environmentally Unsatisfactory. An impressive list of environmental organizations and private landowners are opposed to the mine, poised to tie up the project for at least a decade if it were to obtain agency approval. Almost 50,000 private citizens are on record in opposition to Montanore, while fewer than 30 weighed in on the company’s side. Not a single individual citizen or representative of government or academia claimed a national security need for the minerals Montanore would produce.
Besides the company’s officers and a handful of employees, Montanore’s only base of support is made up of Montana residents who live within a few miles of the proposed mine. Although the town of Libby is best known as an asbestos contaminated EPA Superfund site, a situation created by years of irresponsible mining practices by W.R. Grace Corporation, many in the town embrace the environmentally destructive Montanore Mine as the next in a long line of failed corporate saviors. Some look back fondly to the days of unregulated, irresponsible logging practices and mine-related environmental contamination. Montanore has promised hundreds of jobs, but after ten years of Glenn Dobbs’s leadership, the company’s local payroll consists of a couple of part time low skilled security guards.
MMI has misled the public and its investors into believing that Montanore will miraculously avoid lawsuits.
The stunning dichotomy between the overwhelming opposition to MMI’s project and the myth that the mine is both needed and publicly supported could generate in-depth sociological and behavioral studies. MMI’s textbook use of propaganda techniques, the ineffectiveness of regulatory agencies and the company’s ability to infiltrate them, and the isolation of the communities in Northwest Montana are a few ingredients in MMI’s toxic witches brew that has kept Montanore on life support.
Clearly, Mines Management is a company with much to hide.
Lincoln County has proven to be the perfect setting for MMI’s 1930s style propaganda campaign. Many locals rarely travel beyond its borders. Large segments of the population are poorly educated. The area is fertile ground for radical right wing fringe groups and Fundamentalist Christians who ridicule sound science, embrace superstition, and readily buy into corporate-sponsored anti –government, anti -environmental messages and conspiracies. When Glenn Dobbs refers to Montanore as “benign” and “clean”, the descriptions are repeated without question. Not one of the Lincoln County politicians or local news editors who support the project has shown the slightest indication that he or she read even a single page of the Environmental Impact Statement.
The promise of mining and construction jobs and favorable financial windfalls helped MMI gain control of local elected officials, business leaders, and media outlets. The company seized control of the Chamber of Commerce. Fearful of the inevitable repercussions for not joining in, even mine opponents displayed pro Montanore window signs in their homes and businesses. The public school superintendent and the CEO of the local hospital, both of whom have had front row seats to the sad Grace saga, shamelessly jumped on board.
For years major environmental organizations have opposed Montanore. Although these groups provide lengthy and detailed documents to the permitting agencies, the lion’s share of their work involves litigation that takes place only after a project receives a positive Record of Decision. Because most of the organized environmental opposition has been in the background, MMI has misled the public and its investors into believing that Montanore will miraculously avoid lawsuits.
January 1, 2014
For more than two years, Alternative One has led the fight against the proposed Montanore silver and copper mine in Northwest Montana. Our research, outreach, public education, and active participation in the permitting process have been key factors in generating overwhelming public opposition to this environmentally destructive project.
MMI’s stock price has fallen by more than 67 percent.
During the most recent public comment period, 47,000 people representing all 50 states and more than 40 foreign countries told the permitting agencies-- the U.S. Forest Service and the Montana Department of Environmental Quality-- that they are opposed to the Montanore Project. A total of 26 private citizens went on record in support of the mine.
MMI has taken extreme measures to hide the facts about the mine and the massive public opposition to it.
Points of contention common to many of the anti-mine comments include water consumption and pollution, destruction of wildlife and fish habitats, and the size and safety of the tailings impoundment. The Montanore plan would place a permanent tailings dump measuring 2 miles long and towering 37 stories high in the midst of the Kootenai National Forest.
By raising Montanore’s profile, Alternative One shined a bright light on the Forest Service, DEQ, Army Corp of Engineers, and other agencies involved in the permitting process. These agencies are accountable to all American citizens, not just the tiny and barely relevant handful of Lincoln County, Montana, residents and Mines Management executives and directors who support the mine.
The company may no longer have legal access to the adit.
Through our website and media work, Alternative One exposed Mines Management, Inc., Montanore’s parent company, its Hedge Fund Manager CEO Glenn Dobbs, and other company principals with shadowy pasts, to a level of scrutiny they had successfully avoided for years. We reviewed hundreds of court and other public documents that relate to MMI claim jumping, violations of Forest Service regulations, and allegations of financial misconduct by Dobbs’ web of offshore corporations. We uncovered MMI links to documented human rights abuses in Indonesia.
Since Alternative One’s founding, the Dow Jones industrial average has jumped by more than 65 percent. During that same time period, as potential investors have learned the truth about the Montanore Mine and the company that owns it, MMI’s stock price has fallen by more than 67 percent.