July 21, 2011: The regulators of the public markets in Canada require officers and majority shareholders to file Personal Information Forms (PIF) which must then receive approval. David Bleeden, President of HotCloud Mobile, Inc. (HOTM), is a good example when making a case for such policing in the US penny markets.
Prior to beginning a somewhat dubious career in the cellular telephone business, Mr. Bledden, a self-confessed former drug abuser, was the recipient of the hospitality of the State of California, after pleading guilty to three counts of burglary, one count of joy-riding and one count of child abuse. According to the deputy district attorney assigned to the case, Bleeden ran into Tower Records, Record Warehouse and Music Plus record stores, grabbed armfulls of CDs and then ran to a getaway car driven by his wife, sometimes with the couple's baby also in the car. After plea bargaining down from 10 counts of burglary, the couple was each sentenced to six years in prison. During the plea negotiations, Bleeden bailed himself out of jail while unchivalrously leaving his wife incarcerated.
Sometime after having served his time, Bleeden began his foray into retailing cellular telephones. Having purchased the predecessor to his own Wildcat Communications, Bleeden began to sell telephones and peripherals online and left a trail of unhappy customers in his wake. RipOffReport.com has 9 complaints from customers across the country who claim that they have never received product nor refunds. Having been sued as a co-defendant with Bleeden and his now defunct Strathmore Investments, Wildcat Communications no longer seems to exist. It's no wonder, as two banks were/are amongst the entities chasing Bleeden and his companies. In all we found ten civil lawsuits which name Bleeden as a defendant, in Los Angeles County alone, including a Wells Fargo complaint filed in January of this year and a landlord's complaint filed just this last February. It seems that David has not been paying the rent for his business.
We also found a 1995 West Virigina judgment against Bleeden in the amount of more than $655,000. We were going to look into this case but it would have taken a lot of research and we figured, "Why bother?" We already know what we are dealing with here.
All these court actions alleging so much wrongdoing seems a little strange for the claimed founder of Naked Juice. That company, first bought by Chiquita Brands and now owned by Pepsico, should have brought Bleeden a nice piece of change, so we wonder, why all the schemes?
As for HotCloud Mobile itself, it is difficult to analyze its current financial position as it has not filed anything with the SEC since Mr. Bleeden acquired the formerly Canadian shell. However as recently as April 30, the company claimed liabilities of $3.5 million and has not announced or filed anything that would make us believe that this situation has changed since.
We do note that the company has released a bunch of self-promoting press releases (something Mr. Bleeden is quite good at as you shall soon see), none of which really speaks as to confirmed sales or revenue generation, but more in generalities Accordingly, we find it hard to justify the current market cap of approximately $35 million. Considering the low margins in wireless retailing, we'd find it just as difficult to justify a market cap of $35 thousand.
We do rather enjoy Mr. Bleeden's almost narcissistic self-promotion. We found several articles, written by Bleeden himself, which expose his worth in the business community. We particularly enjoyed "Meet An Inspirational Soul, David J. Bleeden", in which he labels himself "an inspiring young entrepreneur" and "the person who has almost become the synonym of success." A press released issued by Bleeden himself is just as entertaining, as he declares, "David J. Bleeden is the name with whom everybody wants to show its name." We'd like to add a caveat to all this chest thumping. If you don't believe that David Bleeden is an honest and brilliant businessman, just ask him.