Shockwaves went through the Apple rumors world today as Crazy Apple Rumors Site Editor In Chief John Moltz was caught up in a conflict of interest scandal revealed during his appearance on last night’s Karel Show.
When the show’s host indicated that he was required by FCC regulations to divest all of his Apple stock in order to cover the company regularly on the radio, Moltz admitted that he has held Apple stock for years.
According to records obtained by the Securities and Exchange Commission, Moltz received one share of Apple stock as a gift in December of 2001, when the company’s stock was hovering around $21.
The company’s stock has since split and risen to $53.61, netting Moltz a tidy profit of $86.22, all while he built a publishing empire around what most assumed was unbiased coverage of Apple.
The SEC has declined to look into the incident, claiming it does not meet its threshold for materiality. But several sources within Crazy Apple Rumors Site indicated that Moltz has Wall Street connections that may have intervened on his behalf.
Confronted outside his home, Moltz was defiant.
“I believe these accusations are baseless and are part of a smear campaign perpetrated by other rumor sites,” Moltz said “Those ThinkSecret people have always hated me. And, you know, I don’t even think ‘Nick de Plume’ is even his real name, so I guess we don’t even know how many shares of Apple he has.”
Moltz claimed it was laughable to think that his financial stake in the company could have swayed his coverage.
“I never once wrote a favorable story about Apple that was not backed up by fact,” he claimed.
“Except for that whole year I was trying to get them to send me a free Cinema Display and I wrote that series linking owning Apple products to the ability to maintain longer, more lustrous erections. That I made up. But that was totally about the Cinema Display, not the stock.
“And even that didn’t work so.. heh… yeah. See, I’m startlingly ineffective.”
While Moltz disparaged the notion that he could influence Apple’s stock price, Mac OS Rumors’ Ryan Meader once drove down Apple’s stock by as much as $3 per share when he incorrectly claimed the company would turn Infinite Loop into a water flume ride, which would have negatively impacted productivity.
Pressed on the impropriety of his actions and asked if he shouldn’t divest himself of his Apple shares and, as a sign of good faith, his original printing of the first twelve issues of the Sandman, Moltz abruptly ended the interview.
“Get that camera out of my face!” Moltz snapped at staff photographer, Howard. “Bad dog! Bad dog!”
Tensions also later boiled over at the CARS staff room, the cafeteria, and at the Entity’s afternoon hot tub session, which today featured guests Jessica Alba and cellist Yo-Yo Ma.