11 June 2020 by Published in: Uncategorized 23 comments

16 years ago I moved to Mexico, changed my name for reasons that shall become clear shortly, and started a new life as a retiree, lazing in the sun, after which I decided to become an architect and builder, and then, a winemaker, and ultimately, an author, restaurateur, and entrepreneur.

But the past never stays in the past, at least if vengeful pecuniary interests are involved.

To understand what I’m talking about, a little history might be in order. Before I moved from the U.S., I sold my medical company and became somewhat of a Wall Street sensation, first as the creator of a website that countered the hatchet jobs of a Who’s Who of short sellers, and promptly thereafter, once I recognized that Wall Street had a systemic problem, as the creator of a group that exposed the criminal antics of the seedy underside of stock traders who destroyed companies for profit.

That website and organization drove very powerful people in NY berserk, because my opening salvo was a full page ad in the Washington Post highlighting a practice called Naked Short Selling, which is basically counterfeiting stock and selling it as though it was genuine, in order to destroy a targeted company’s price.

Given that was the livelihood for some unscrupulous players, they weren’t amused. My audacity of confronting them publicly was an affront to massive egos that ill-gotten gains had inflated to Hindenburg proportions. And their “investors,” which included Russian and Italian crime figures, tended to play rough, and didn’t appreciate the antiseptic of sunshine directed into their customary shadows.

But I’d watched retirees driven into the poor house so some rich, corrupt scum on Wall Street could buy a new place in the Hamptons, and because I had the time and resources, decided to take on an impossible fight even if it endangered me and paid squat. So I spoke truth to power in a very visible manner. Note to self: bad idea, as Assange has discovered.

The SEC and every major financial publication insisted I’d called the naked short selling conspiracy wrong, I was nuts, this was all nonsense – that naked shorting never happened, and if it did, it was tiny volume, and completely innocent. Which was pure bullshit, because when forced to detail exactly how many shares per day didn’t settle (i.e. didn’t exist), it turned out to be a massive number – something like 15% of all trading on the NYSE on many days.

So the benign explanation – that this was all innocent, likely grandma forgetting where she placed her stock certificate, turned out to be BS. As did the next parry, which was that, well, okay, maybe it did happen, but it was nothing to worry about. I was vilified, even on the front page of the WSJ business section (you can imagine why I was tickled that I made the front page of the WSJ above the fold years later in my new incarnation as a successful author), attacked constantly in major publications – me, a little nobody who used a pseudonym for self-protection, with a cheesy website calling out a problem with stock settlement.

One of the kindred spirits who joined this fight against Wall Street miscreants was the CEO of Overstock, Patrick Byrne, who was a pugilistic kindred, and pitted himself in a public manner against the big dogs of Wall Street, eventually suing them and emerging victorious, all the while being described as a loon, a nutter, a dope fiend, you name it, by the NY mainstream media – which is largely nothing more than a propaganda arm for Wall Street and their compromised politicians in Washington, as many have learned over the last four years.

Then the 2008 crash happened, and suddenly naked short selling, which we’d been assured never happened, was conspiracy theory lunacy, or if it did, was benign…had to be made illegal when directed at the big Wall Street firms – not for everyone else, of course, but for the banks responsible for most of it. The irony was not lost on me, but I was vindicated, because in a matter of days the thing that never happened had to have emergency legislation in order to be stopped, or it could collapse the entire economy in hours. They literally said that, out loud, in print. It was a magical moment, where the “you’re a conspiracy theorist and are wrong about everything” turned out to be that I was 100% accurate about it, in spite of all the denials, including from the highest levels of the SEC.

Those who know how to use the Wayback machine should look up NCANS.net – the National Coalition Against Naked Shortselling, as well as TheSanityCheck.com. You can see the entire labor of love, and judge for yourself whether it was a noble pursuit, or Satan’s plaything, as it was colored by Wall Street. Needless to say I was vilified as a combo of Hitler and Chuck Manson by the three or four captive “journalists” who essentially were the lapdogs of the big hedge funds and brokers who lost big due to my actions.

Naturally, given the powerful enemies I’d made and warnings from some powerful folks on my side of the battle, I decided to bow out of the limelight and move on – my point that Wall Street was a rigged game populated by snakes and connected con men had been made by Wall Street itself during the financial crisis, so there was nothing left to fight for, especially with Patrick continuing the battle with his website, DeepCapture.com, which chronicles the entire ugly crusade in detail and is a worthwhile read.

Given the level of danger involved in hitting Wall Street and organized crime snakes on the head with a stick, I got out of the country for good, changed my name, and began a new life, reinventing myself and leaving the cause celebres to brighter minds.

Now the same Wall Street press lapdogs are coming for me again, using their usual tactics of innuendo, misstatements, unverifiable or false claims, half truths, etc. Their purpose is to cause me problems. There is no other reason – it isn’t news, nobody in their audience cares, and there is no there there. But their masters have long memories.

I expect to see a slew of lurid innuendo and half or partial truths. But as any author knows, the irony is there is no such thing as bad publicity. Should be good for more than a few sales of my Wall Street novels, like Zero Sum (which is somewhat autobiographical, and available from Amazon for a song – wink) or Silver Justice.

The good news is that my little crusade was on the side of the white hats, and did nothing but threaten the ill gotten gains of some of the biggest predators on Wall Street. That comes at a cost, and the price is the threat of one of them trying to get even for the financial damage the exposure of their scam caused them. One large hedge fund actually went out of business due to Patrick’s lawsuit, and another, one of the biggest on the Street, wound up being prosecuted and found guilty of all sorts of impropriety – but was powerful enough to avoid anyone going to jail. That’s the clout of these people. There are two sets of laws, as should be clear by now: the ones you and I must follow, and those they get to ignore, which are one and the same.

If this sounds like something out of one of my novels, as I’ve said many times, the truth is far stranger than any fiction I can engineer. My job is really just toning down reality so it is believable.

I’ve spent my entire life creating – building companies from scratch, writing, generating content of all types. I’ve learned there are really only two types of people – creators, and destroyers. Creators are driven to build. Destroyers try to profit from destruction. One’s path in life is directed by which one chooses to be. Alas, destruction tends to pay better, but then again, money isn’t everything, and I sleep well at night.

I’m fond of saying everyone’s got a story. Some are just more interesting than others. And you have to admit, this one just got a lot more interesting…



  1. Zarayna Pradyer
    Thu 11th Jun 2020 at 3:55 pm

    What a fantastic life youโ€™ve led! And, either heroically noble or foolhardily self-destructive but, always on the side of truth. I am exceedingly proud to know you โ€“ albeit at a safe distance.
    As I may have mentioned, I try to support those who have been vilified for whistle-blowing and suffer the price for doing the right thing. Nevertheless, eventually (eventually) they tend to be vindicated because corruption destroys itself.
    Canโ€™t wait to view the drama because I have a feeling it will be easy to see through the constructs and enjoy the third rate acting whilst the hero stoically waits for the satisfying denouement
    Wishing you well.

  2. andy holloman
    Thu 11th Jun 2020 at 5:10 pm

    …very interesting….now i know mucho about your prior experience re: Wall St……. intriguing….. if you need anyone to show up with a flame-thrower to protect you, count me in, just gotta dig it out of the attic…..reading from your suggested items above… very cool stuff (i mean, not cool in the way it impacts you, but cool in the way in which you’ve made me much smarter, something that my wife said could never be done)

    • Russell Blake  –  Thu 11th Jun 2020 at 8:50 pm

      The neighborhood I call home is patrolled by guys with Uzis. They have four separate police forces, one of which is private. I live among politicos and narcos, so it’s the last place anyone in their right mind would come to misbehave. They have a zero tolerance policy for nonsense, and rumor has it more than one aspiring intruder wound up buried in the agave fields without so much as a rock for a headstone. The narcos don’t screw around when it comes to where their families live, nor do the politicians. There are more bodyguards per square mile here than anywhere on earth other than perhaps Moscow.

  3. Thu 11th Jun 2020 at 6:16 pm

    It all sounds a bit far-fetched… I mean, winemaker? Drinker, sure; but maker? I tried to think what would convince me. I suppose a few bottles of wine on my doorstep.

    • Russell Blake  –  Thu 11th Jun 2020 at 8:47 pm

      I drank all the wine I made in Mendoza. Imported to Mexico and sold the rest. Sorry. I owe you a sixer.

  4. Lynn
    Thu 11th Jun 2020 at 8:19 pm

    Absolutely fascinating. Thank you for sharing. I often wondered what made you leave the US and head to Mexico.
    As someone whose family was targeted by the government for exposing corruption and was dragged through the mud, threatened, and had family members who the government admittedly tried to frame for espionage when said family member refused to be quiet, I can relate.
    All the best in your adventures.

    • Russell Blake  –  Thu 11th Jun 2020 at 8:46 pm

      This hasn’t even slowed me. Sorry to hear about your family. When you’re dealing with guys who buy ink by the barrel, you have to expect the occasional run at you.

  5. Marilyn Slagel
    Thu 11th Jun 2020 at 8:37 pm

    Geez, Louise, Russell! You’re scaring me. Stay safe.

    • Russell Blake  –  Thu 11th Jun 2020 at 8:44 pm

      Not to worry. This is really just a bunch of gullible reporters being led down the primrose path by Michael in an effort for them to do his dirty work for him. I doubt any of them won’t figure it out pretty quickly, but you never know. They probably don’t know about his criminal past or real name. If they did they would have hung up the phone a week ago. Then again, felons don’t share the truth with those they’re attempting to dupe. Shrug. They’re big boys, and if they fall for the BS, well, there’s a new one born every minute. I’m surprised none of them have simply asked me. Not like I’m hard to reach…

  6. Janet
    Thu 11th Jun 2020 at 11:13 pm

    Crazy. I hope you are working on an autobiography, I’ll pre-buy. Should I get the Costco size popcorn then?

  7. Russell Blake
    Thu 11th Jun 2020 at 11:16 pm

    Honestly, nobody would believe it. One of my attorneys wants to write it, but so far I’ve talked him out of it.

    Let’s just say it’s been an interesting ride so far, and I won’t be lying on my death bed saying I got rooked out of opportunities to walk a different path.

    • Janet  –  Fri 12th Jun 2020 at 12:47 pm

      The bits and pieces you have shared over the years, everyone has a story but you have many stories …. I for one would read an autobiography with relish. Apparently one of your attorney agrees…. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • Russell Blake  –  Fri 12th Jun 2020 at 12:52 pm

        Don’t even get me started on the years as a professional ballet dancer in Europe, or the feature film I was a supporting actor in, or a musician and producer/engineer, or running the board division of a Fortune 500 semiconductor manufacturer for a couple years, or starting a CT remanufacturing facility for GE’s gold seal program, or inventing a derivative instrument that revolutionized the secondary market for large medical capital equipment, or founding a SW company whose investors included Broadcom and Brooktree…

        Yeah, I guess it would be difficult to say on my deathbed that I led a dull life…

  8. Fri 12th Jun 2020 at 10:51 am

    I just checked and there’s no dirt on you out there so far. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • andy holloman  –  Fri 12th Jun 2020 at 10:54 am

      .. CB – be sure (and you may have already read this) and get a copy of the doc referenced in RB’s post above…..1/2 thru and it is F*CKING AMAZING

      • Russell Blake  –  Wed 08th Jul 2020 at 12:33 pm

        Isn’t it? Hard to believe I walked away from that one with all my fingers.

  9. Kirk Alex
    Sat 13th Jun 2020 at 12:27 am

    Mind-blowing. Gotta tell ya, Russell, these posts
    pack more thrills than most thrillers. You’re
    definitely a writer, RB!


    What haven’t you done? ;=)
    For some reason your style reminds me of the
    great Frederick Forsyth (Day of the Jackal).
    Suspense reigns every step of the way.

    • Russell Blake  –  Sat 13th Jun 2020 at 1:20 pm

      Thanks for the warm words. I can imagine no higher praise than to be mentioned in the same breath with Forsyth – one of my all time faves.

      What I haven’t done yet is figure out what I want to be when I grow up. I figure by 80 I might. Shrug. At least I don’t get bored…

  10. Frank
    Tue 16th Jun 2020 at 1:23 pm

    Iโ€™ve had a couple of tough months with illness. Reading your Jet books allowed me to escape for a while. Thanks for writing them and I hope you continue to do so.

  11. Alan R. Smith
    Thu 25th Jun 2020 at 4:02 am

    OMG! What a fabulous life!!! Did someone say, “Time to take a breather!” At least you’ll be safe in the neighborhood. If you want to really ‘get away’ for awhile, Australia is a wonderful place – as you know! No body guards required! Just have to wait now until the international borders open again. Sigh!!! The Shiraz is still as fabulous as ever!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Ed
    Wed 01st Jul 2020 at 1:44 pm

    I’ve read most of your books, and enjoyed them all. After reading the Delphi triology I thought…. How is this guy still alive?

    Now my question is answered…. Kudos to you for having the balls to tell the truth!!

    • Kirk Alex  –  Wed 22nd Jul 2020 at 2:32 pm

      How’s the book coming along? ;=)
      You haven’t posted anything in a while.
      Just wondered, etc.

      • Russell Blake  –  Wed 22nd Jul 2020 at 4:21 pm

        Tapping away at it. Been distracted by virus stuff, restaurant stuff, and two big new projects I’m involved in that are occupying considerable time. Too few hours in the day. The usual problem.


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