Our History

In 1996, asensio.com began releasing short-focused research on the internet, becoming the first organization of its kind. In the nearly two decades since then,asensio.com’s research has intersected with many major market events and significant regulatory upheavals. Below are some of these key events from asensio.com’s history, along with links to material that provides context for the work of asensio.com and its founder, Manuel P. Asensio.
No.Event NameDateDescription
1Incorporation2/10/1993Asensio & Company, Inc. is founded by Manuel P. Asensio and becomes an SEC-registered, FINRA-member broker-dealer.
2Diana6/4/1996asensio.com is launched and becomes one of the first broker-operated websites, one of the first to issue research reports via the internet, and the first to issue strong sell recommendations with the asensio.com report on Diana Corp., a meat packaging company turned internet tech darling, whose stock had gone from $5 to $125, only to later fall to zero.
3Solv-Ex10/7/1996asensio.com initiates coverage on Solv-Ex -- it's the first in a series of companies covered by asensio.com that revolve around scientific misrepresentations and investment in a plant based on pilot experimentation.
4Fidelity1/7/1998asensio.com reports on Fidelity's involvement with a company under criminal investigation -- just before the company's executives were convicted of securities fraud and trade secret theft.
5Chromatics Color Sciences6/8/1998Chromatics Color Sciences, a stock promotion based on supposedly revolutionary technology to test for disease in newborns, became the subject of strong sell recommendation by asensio.com. Asensio.com discovered that Chromatics lacked any significant techological know-how in the surpisingly advanced field of color identification equipment.
6Dreyfus6/22/1998Reports by asensio.com form the basis for civil charges against Dreyfus, a major mutual fund operator, after asensio.com discovered a Dreyfus manager's improper trading in stocks covered by asensio.com.
7Russell Index11/2/2000asensio.com published a letter to the SEC about market manipulation using Russell Index mutual funds; of the 8 companies detailed in the letter, 7 went bankrupt and fell into penny stock status.
8Citigroup / Grubman5/14/2001asensio.com went head-to-head against one of Wall Street's most powerful and renowned analysts and correctly predicted the bankruptcy of an over-hyped telecom stock -- the fallout spurred new regulations for research analysts' conflicts of interest.
9Sold Short5/18/2001John Wiley & Sons published a hard-back book titled "Sold Short: Uncovering Deception in the Markets," co-written by Manuel P. Asensio and Jack Barth, detailing the early history Asensio & Company, Inc.
10AMEX11/27/2001An unprecedented Congressional investigation, spurred by asensio.com research, into stock fraud at the American Stock Exchange concludes, while a related SEC investigation later ended with charges against the CEO of the AMEX and a leader of FINRA.
11Harvey Pitt SEC scandal11/06/2002asensio.com served as a source to the New York Times about the involvement of William Webster, SEC Chairman Harvey Pitt's appointee to head the new accounting oversight board, in US Technologies, a penny stock company that had been accused of fraud. Pitt was forced to resign. It was later argued, however, that the Times manipulatively presented the information on Pitt and Webster in order to pursue a political agenda.
12PolyMedica2/18/2003USA Today runs a front-page story about the asensio.com investigation of a company that would be subject to criminal investigation for Medicare fraud and later pay a $35 million settlement to the U.S. Department of Justice.
13NVEC / Nano8/5/2004The New York Times publishes criticism of
Wall Street promotion of "nanotech" companies
and a supposed nanotechnology index based on asensio.com reporting.
14Alaska AG / Palin2/6/2005The Alaska Attorney General resigns after
front-page newspaper articles
report information from asensio.com -- that the Attorney General was personally trading a stock covered by asensio.com while negotiating a trade deal that would have allegedly benefited that company.
15Pegasus / NASDAQ7/20/2006NASDAQ allowed a company covered by asensio.com to ring the
NASDAQ opening bell
, and a month later the company put on
a promotional event with Eric Clapton
-- but the company turned out to be a complete fraud that unraveled in months; the CEO received a 21-year prison sentence.
16KFx / Evergreen9/18/2006asensio.com releases
surveillance video evidence, compiled into a music video
, as part of its short-selling research, based on the work of two separate camera crews that monitored shipments of KFx, a coal technology company, which later went bankrupt.
17ParkerVision12/3/2007
Barron's publishes criticism informed by asensio.com's reports
from years earlier about a tech company engaged in an apparent pump-and-dump manipulation.
18LDK12/17/2007asensio.com's work is featured in a specialized alternative energy publication concerning a U.S.-listed Chinese solar company, which attempted to overcome fraud accusations, but
refused to address asensio.com's concerns as part of its "independent" review
.
19New Mexico State Investment Fund1/18/2008asensio.com discovers the State Investment Fund of New Mexico (NMSIC) involvment in troubling investment activities. Robin Manners West, a senior portfolio manager with the NMSIC, actively participated in a stock promotion designed to inflate the price of a virtually valueless company previously Research Frontiers, Inc. (“REFR”), a 43 year old stock promotion. As a part of its active short selling asensio.com reported to NMISIC's leaders and compliance executive Ms. West role including details of her having provided baseless inaccurate comments to Gene Marical for his publication.
20Timminco3/31/2008asensio.com first publishes research on
Timminco, a penny stock turned hot solar company
that later imploded, showing the most dramatic evaporation of market value of any research target in asensio.com's history.
21Chinese Fraud4/17/2009asensio.com became one of the first sources to report on financial irregularities and potential fraud at Chinese companies that listed in the U.S. through reverse mergers -- dozens of Chinese reverse merger companies were delisted and their shares became worthless.
22For Profit Taxpayer Fraud5/25/2010asensio.com discovers that Bridgepoint Education, a for profit school funded by U.S. taxpayer had approximately 1,300 employees dedicated to making sales calls. These salespersons were paid with funds obtained from tax-payers. These sales people are allowed to market an online university with a 60-year-old accreditation that Bridgepoint purchased. At the time of the acquisition the college it acquired had just 332 students. Bridgepoint bought the college for its accreditation with funds obtained from a private equity firm five years ago, and since then, grew enrollment to 65,788 students. asensio.com's research into Bridgepoint Education's sales practices spurred an investigation by DOE. asensio.com audited the DOE's investigation and discovered that DOE's program did not address the core issue, its sales practices and the amount of commissions paid.
23Organic Light Emitting Diodes11/21/2013Universal Display Corporation's (NASDAQ: OLED) OLED stock drops from its previous day's high of $39.74 to a low of $31.03 on news that the European Union’s Highest Patent Appeal Court's final decision revoking OLED's most fundamental claims. The decision was not appealable. asensio.com published 32 reports on OLED demostrating that its dramatic technology claims were entirely false. At trial UDC’s patent attorneys argued that the patent represented UDC’s “revolutionary” OLED invention. OLED claimed that this patent was a “dramatic” breakthrough that enabled OLED’s commercialization. The Board rejected all of their arguments and claims. The EPO’s ruling is a historic and momentous victory Dr.Sean Passino whose knowledge informed asensio.com's investment opinion. On September 12, 2013, asensio.com had pubished a report titled "EPO Filing is Devasting for Universal Display based on the work of Dr. Passino an attorney with Lowe Hauptman & Ham LLP who responsed to the Board’s Summons. In August, asensio.com had provided investors with the full 57-page Lowe Hauptman filing can be found here and a nine-page summary, which can be read here .

Manuel Asensio doesn’t bet often. But when he does, it’s wise to pay attention.

Paul Kaihla
eCompany Now
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About Our Founder
Learn more about asensio.com's founder, Manuel P. Asensio, and the website's origins. Click here to be directed to Mr. Asensio’s professional biography.
Investment Record
Click here to view a list of the companies that have been subjects of asensio.com reporting and click here to see the complete investment record.
Media Record
Click here to see selected articles that discuss asensio.com's work and its unique legacy. asensio.com also strives to maintain a complete record of articles dealing with the companies that are the subject of asensio.com research.
Asensio and FINRA
Asensio & Company, Inc. and Manuel P. Asensio are the only dedicated short sellers ever to have been members of FINRA. This unique-minority membership created complications in the regulatory relationship. Being the first activist short investors and among the first FINRA member firms with a website added to the complexity. A statement by Mr. Asensio is available here. Information necessary to obtain a meaningful understanding of the dispute is available in complete form HERE.