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This Short Seller Pressed ‘Tweet.’ Then the FBI Showed Up

Published: February 17, 2018
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Source: bloomberg

Short-sellers aren’t known for restraint and decorum, and that goes double on Twitter, where Marc Cohodes vowed to take down a CEO he accuses of fraud. “I will bury the little fella in a shoe box,” Cohodes tweeted in October.

Weeks later, a black Ford Expedition pulled up to the short-seller’s Sonoma County ranch. Two FBI agents emerged. They showed Cohodes a printout of his tweet and a second one that mentioned loaded guns. “Stop sending threatening tweets” about the CEO, one of the agents warned, or else.

The FBI’s San Francisco office told Cohodes’s lawyer that it takes threats seriously. The agents acted appropriately in light of the tweets and other postings by Cohodes, it said.

Cohodes says he is not part of any “cabal.” He pointed to his decades-long track record as a short-seller and says the FBI visit was a violation of his rights.

“They didn’t have a warrant,” he said in a phone interview. “I asked them if I was under investigation and they said no. I asked them to leave, and they wouldn’t. I had to call the local sheriff's office to get them to leave.”

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