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The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 38, September 18, 2006, Article 13

ESCALA'S SPANISH INQUISITION CONTINUES

On September 15 MSNBC published an article from The Motley Fool
investment newsletter about the latest news on Escala, the parent
of several numismatic firms in the U.S.

"It was hardly surprising the other day when Escala, the U.S.-based
stamp supplier of Spanish auction house Afinsa Bienes Tangibles,
announced it was delaying the filing of its annual financial report.

With the Spanish authorities raiding Afinsa's offices in May and
shutting down the investment scheme -- in which the company guaranteed
rates of return of 6% to 10% on supposedly rare stamps supplied to
it by Escala -- the latter's books must be a mess. While Escala
conducts its own ongoing internal investigation, the SEC's investigation
is also up and running. Investors are still wondering how far the
alleged scam reaches; if it did touch Escala, could Spanish
authorities reach across the Atlantic and seize assets to make
victims whole?"

"Spanish tax authorities believe that certain stock trading
transactions by both Escala founder Greg Manning ... and director
Gregory Roberts are worthy of further investigation.

Roberts is also president of Spectrum Numismatics and A-Mark Precious
Metals, a company Escala acquired last year. Spectrum has been at the
center of a coin trading scandal with Ohio's Bureau of Worker's
Compensation."

"Before Afinsa took ownership of the company, Greg Manning Auctions
never traded for more than $4 a share; it was the seeming potential
of worldwide auctions that propelled the stock to as high as $35.
Since Spanish authorities raided Afinsa, the stock has once again
traded at its historical levels, but should it be found to have
participated in the fraud of Spanish investors, there's really
only one price this stock could be valued at: zero."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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