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Anthony Elgindy

From his Flickr page

Anthony Elgindy, 48, who was famous as a short-seller who claimed to be reforming the penny stock market, is dead. He died Thursday, July 23, although the county medical examiner and the sheriff's office have no record of his death, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which was deeply involved in his activities, says it would not know of such a death.

I got several emails telling me of his death. I called his cell number. A brother answered and refused to talk, and hung up after I asked him simply to confirm the death.

Elgindy's son, Adam Elgindy, says on his Facebook page, "My dad, Anthony Elgindy, passed away yesterday. He was under so much stress and panic and he took his own life." Several of Adam Elgindy's friends sent him condolences such as "I'm sorry man, "if you need anything at all hit me up man," and "I'm praying god watches over you."

Condolences on Twitter were also sent to Elgindy's brother.

Elgindy, whose questionable market activities were chronicled in the Union-Tribune, San Diego Reader, New York Times, and on local and national TV, began his career working for Melvin Lloyd Richards, a notorious penny stock tout who was in jail several times, but the last I heard was out.

The final time I talked with Elgindy was in January of last year. He admitted to being a "scumbag" while he worked for Richards (that is, selling worthless stocks to naive people), but then repeated what he claimed all along: that he went into the business of reforming the market by shorting stocks (betting they would drop) because they were overvalued, overhyped, or fraudulent, or all three.

Elgindy had an online newsletter, AnthonyPacific.com, which speculators paid a bundle to receive. In the newsletter, he would highlight the stocks he was shorting. Elgindy became rich, buying a luxurious Encinitas home and owning several vintage automobiles.

Elgindy gave testimony that helped the FBI get the goods on Richards, who went to jail in San Diego, Los Angeles, and New York, and perhaps other places. Elgindy claimed his life was in danger, and he was featured on a Barbara Walters TV show practicing at a gun range. The FBI lauded Elgindy's work on that case.

Then Elgindy really got into trouble. He was getting confidential information from an FBI agent, who would feed him the names and circumstances of companies that were under investigation. In January of 2005, Elgindy was found guilty in a Brooklyn court of racketeering and securities fraud. The FBI agent was convicted of similar crimes.

The federal government said Elgindy used the information to manipulate shares of companies, and to extort some of the firms to provide him shares if he wouldn't release what he knew.

In the trial, it came out that Elgindy was bipolar.

The government argued that Elgindy's reform claims were hooey; he was out for money.

At one point, the government suggested that Elgindy, who was born in Egypt, had advance knowledge of 9/11, and had attempted to dump stock as a result of that foreknowledge. The judge would not let that subject be used in court.

In 2005, Elgindy was sentenced to more than 11 years in prison, although he did not have to serve that much time, because he was already in custody. He had violated terms of his pretrial agreement when he lied to federal officials after trying to fly to San Diego under a phony name, with $25,000 in cash, $30,000 to $40,000 in jewelry, and prescription narcotics.

The final time I talked with him in January of last year, he seemed quite depressed and admitted his attempt to flee was a bad mistake. But he continued to insist that he was a reformer, not a manipulator.

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Comments

shirleyberan July 25, 2015 @ 1:18 p.m.

From his looks in the picture, Maybe he was bipolar because of the steroids or other drugs. Couldn't reconcile to himself he was scummy and didn't know how to be anything else? His pal Jordan Belfort didn't quit, just turned motivational speaker.

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danfogel July 25, 2015 @ 6:31 p.m.

As far as I'm aware, there has never been a correlation found between the use of drugs, steroidal or otherwise, and bopolar disorder.

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Don Bauder July 25, 2015 @ 7:11 p.m.

danfogel: I agree with you. I know of no study indicating drugs, steroids or anything of that nature is related to bipolarity. I lean toward the genetic explanation: bipolarity is inherited. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 25, 2015 @ 7:09 p.m.

shirleyberan: Yes, one angle of my January 2014 column on Belfort and Elgindy was that Belfort has become a motivational speaker. Disgusting. Putrid. Belfort should have gotten a much longer sentenced than Elgindy, should be forced to pay the government, as he has not done, and should be nobody's motivational speaker. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 25, 2015 @ 7:12 p.m.

shirleyberan: I guess that is one way to put it. Best, Don Bauder

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shirleyberan July 26, 2015 @ 1:56 p.m.

Don - I feel bad for the man, being so far down that he felt taking his own life was an answer. According to Wiki, Belfort (the Wolf) was roommates with Tommy Chong (comedian/marijuana advocate) who he credits for helping decide to write and motivate for money.

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Don Bauder July 26, 2015 @ 5:01 p.m.

shirleyberan: I read Belfort's books. The man has no scruples. He is frighteningly greedy. I wouldn't blame anybody else for his turning to books and motivational speaking for money. Belfort would do anything for money. Best, Don Bauder

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shirleyberan July 26, 2015 @ 3:20 p.m.

Not roommates, cell mates at Taft Correctional Center in California. Oops, did it again.

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Don Bauder July 26, 2015 @ 5:04 p.m.

shirleyberan: Belfort should still be in custody. Best, Don Bauder

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AlexClarke July 27, 2015 @ 9:15 a.m.

Tired of everyone using mental illness as an excuse. He knew what he was doing. He was nothing more that a con artist. He hurt a lot of people. No loss and no one should care.

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Don Bauder July 27, 2015 @ 1:28 p.m.

AlexClarke: I am not sure whether you are talking about Belfort or Elgindy, but your characterization applies to both. Belfort was far worse than Elgindy in terms of number of people he fleeced and the number who were fleeced by the people he trained.

Elgindy readily admitted to being a con artist when working for Richards, but claimed that he had reformed. The evidence produced at trial pretty conclusively showed that he was not above conning people in the days that he posed as a reformer.

In his Brooklyn trial, his lawyer pointed out that most of the stocks Elgindy said were dogs were, in fact, dogs. That didn't make a difference to the prosecution. Elgindy was instrumental in bringing down Belfort; that saved naifs some money. Best, Don Bauder

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Jeff Mitchell July 27, 2015 @ 9:48 a.m.

I'm starting to see messages from people quoting this story yet still referring to Elgindy as a "9/11 insider". Apparently the line "The judge would not let that subject be used in court" is too vague for these people. To be a bit clearer: this was a tactic by the prosecutor, whose job it was to investigate financial crimes related to 9/11, to have an excuse to force Elgindy, a Muslim, to be tried in NYC (Ground Zero) rather than in San Diego. It worked. The reason the NY judge disallowed it was because he knew it was total BS. The 9/11 Commission later concluded the same. As a result of this, and with the government threatening RICO charges on anyone who helped Elgindy, do you think anyone in their right mind wanted to testify on his behalf? Elgindy for sure had his flaws, but he at least deserved a fair trial... and he for sure was not even remotely a terrorist.

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Don Bauder July 27, 2015 @ 1:34 p.m.

Jeff Mitchell: I have not seen the stories you are alluding to -- the ones referring to my piece and calling Elgindy a "9/11 insider." I do not think anybody has shown that Elgindy knew about 9/11 in advance. It was a cheap shot for the prosecution to try to use it.

I would appreciate your sending me links to these stories saying Elgindy was a "9/11 insider." My email address is [email protected] Best, Don Bauder

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Twister July 28, 2015 @ 6:19 p.m.

It is always a tragic waste when an intelligent human being catches affluenza and dies from it. Worse, this disease not only kills and maims those who "catch" it, it kills and maims those resistant to it.

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Don Bauder July 30, 2015 @ 5:08 p.m.

Twister: I think you can sum up your intelligent observation this way: Greed Kills. Best, Don Bauder

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Twister July 30, 2015 @ 6:43 p.m.

You might copyright that for a bumper sticker. I'd buy one. Especially if a portion of the proceeds went to mink research . . .

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Don Bauder July 31, 2015 @ 6:50 a.m.

Twister: Except I am quite sure "Greed Kills" did not originate with me. Best, Don Bauder

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frankie6969 Sept. 26, 2015 @ 12:31 a.m.

So I really was cell/bunk mates with Elgindy & on the inside of TI he was known as a little punk. He had little backup and really was just a whiny little punk. I was going to beat him up on a couple of occasions but was in a program at the end of my sentence that would have increased my sentence by a year. Not surprised he hung himself or stepped in front of a train ... he always has been a coward. I am certain he came out & couldnt find a scam fast enough to make some money to make himself look like a big shot so he stepped in front of the choooo choooooo

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MaryCummins April 8, 2016 @ 12:34 p.m.

You were not his bunk mate. This is a childish joke.

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