A few months in federal detention can do wonders to patch up the rough spots in an Internet friendship between short-sellers.
As proof, two of the more popular -- and notorious -- financial message board posters on
Silicon Investor made up this week. The person who goes by the alias
apologized for the scandalous things he'd said during the summer about another message board regular,
Elgindy, 32, a former Nasdaq market maker and broker, accepted the apology. He even touchingly added, "I also apologize for saying you suck."
The two hadn't been talking much since June, when Elgindy checked into a federal lockup to do time after
pleading guilty in Texas to felony mail fraud. The charges related to checks Elgindy allegedly received from Bear Stearns and Barron Chase Securities while he was simultaneously receiving disability benefits from MassMutual. Elgindy, who goes by the alias
when he offers his thoughts to the SI world, said he hadn't checked to see if federal authorities make the Internet available to their wards and so was absent from the message boards while under their care.
That was until Oct. 6, when the short-seller and self-appointed stock watchdog suddenly reappeared online, to a chorus of
welcome backs from the others who live in that Internet world.
Elgindy, who last posted on the message board just before he went to prison on June 11, thanked his loyal supporters, saying he had received more letters (via U.S. mail) while under the supervision of federal overseers than anyone ever had at that temporary home. Then he quickly ripped into Pluvia, with whom it would be fair to say he had parted for the lockup on
Before incarceration, Elgindy had been incensed that Pluvia questioned the sincerity of his prior charity work in Kosovo. Elgindy made it clear he hadn't forgotten the dispute while in federal detention. "You are a joke, you not only have no talent but you are a regurgitator of everyone else's ideas," Elgindy
wrote to Pluvia early Tuesday.
Then, he picked up the phone, called Pluvia and the two verbally slapped each other on the back and agreed to shake the whole thing off, according to a posting by Pluvia and comments from Elgindy.
Pluvia refused to comment further on the tiff. Elgindy, in an interview, said he called after Pluvia had emailed him.
Pluvia then publicly apologized to Elgindy in a
posting of his own. He said he'd been angry with Elgindy because he thought Elgindy had set lawyers on his trail. The real person who posts messages as Pluvia has refused to reveal his identity publicly and has been
on the run from the law himself.
"While our bickering may be entertaining to some, I think we have more fun working together picking on scams," Pluvia wrote Tuesday. "Let's get on with business."
Elgindy, who wouldn't identify the federal lockup where he did his time, other than to say, "I did a lot of reading, writing and running" there, said he has noticed a significant drop-off in message board postings about stocks since he left in June. But that won't stop him.
"The fact that the market's come down so much has put a damper on everyone's mood," he said. "I'm just trying to make a living like everybody else."