Since mid-June, a mysterious penny stock called CYNK Technology has surged an astonishing 25,000%. On Friday, in response to the meteoric rise in CYNK’s share price, the SEC halted trading in the company until July 24.
The SEC’s statement announcing the halt attributed it to “concerns regarding the accuracy and adequacy of information in the marketplace and potentially manipulative transactions in CYNK’s common stock.”
At the height of this trading frenzy, CYNK was technically worth over $US5 billion on paper. However, filings show the company had no revenue or assets. It’s also a mystery who is really behind the company.
Business Insider has had several conversations with a Belizean man named Javier Romero whose name and career history match descriptions of one of CYNK’s CEOs. Though Romero eventually admitted there was a “proposed transaction” where he was allegedly supposed to purchase CYNK shares, his conversations with us were highly unusual. They were peppered with contradictory information and denials he knew anything about the company.
CYNK, initially founded as “Introbuzz” in 2008, appears to be dedicated to a website called IntroBiz.com that purports to allow users to connect with various celebrities and business leaders for a fee. But filings indicate the company has no assets or revenue and has never had more than one staffer.
CYNK has had a handful of CEOs since it was founded in 2008. One of those executives is a man named “Javier Romero.” A filing with OTC Markets, the platform where CYNK is traded, described Romero as “the President, CEO, Secretary, Treasurer, and Director of CYNK Technologies, Inc.” and said “since 2009 Mr. Romero has been a Fisheries Officer for the Government of Belize.”
On Friday, Business Insider had a telephone conversation with a man named Javier Romero who appeared to match the description of the CYNK CEO. Romero is from Belize where he has operated a recording studio and appeared on reggaeton records. In addition to his musical career, Romero was a fisheries officer in the small Central American nation, a detail he listed on a Facebook profile and subsequently confirmed in multiple conversations.
In his initial phone call with Business Insider, which occurred after we messaged him on Facebook, Romero attempted to claim he was another person named “Jason” who worked for Javier Romero. During that discussion, while speaking as “Jason,” Romero said he was aware of Romero’s work for CYNK, but he declined to discuss the matter.
“I actually knew there was basically something like that going on,” Romero said when asked about CYNK, adding, “I’m not Javier. I work for him … He’s actually out right now. I don’t really want to disclose his business.”
Romero called Business Insider back on Saturday and the conversation was equally odd. However, he admitted he falsely pretended to be “Jason” in the initial conversation.
Romero, who said he consulted with a lawyer prior to the second call, also noted it appeared “one Javier Romero was CEO of CYNK Technology from May 9, 2014 to June 18, 2014” and said he had no knowledge of the company. However, in spite of denying he had even heard of CYNK prior to the firestorm after its stock price surged, Romero indicated there was a “proposed transaction” that would have involved him purchasing shares from the company’s prior CEO, Marlon Luis Sanchez.
“With the advice of my attorney, I’ll say. According to the research on this now delicate situation, one Javier Romero was CEO of CYNK Technology from May 9, 2014 to June 18, 2014, served as an interim President, Secretary and Director of CYNK Technologies,” said Romero. “During this time, I received no compensation in neither cash nor shares of this company. The proposed transaction whereupon it was contemplated that I purchased restricted shares from one Mr. Sanchez was never completed. Further, I have never owned or purchased a single share of CYNK Technology.”
Romero also said records showed “one Javier Romero” was no longer involved in the company.
“According to records, one Javier Romero on June 18, 2014 resigned as President and Secretary and Director of CYNK Technologies whereupon on Mr. Howard Berkowitz filled these vacancies. At this time, the stock was around $US2 per share,” Romero said. “Now, I am Javier Romero from Belize. I have never heard about such company. I have no idea what this company does, who owns it, who created it or making money if there’s any being made. Like I said, I have never even heard about this company before in my life.”
In his second conversation with Business Insider, Romero described himself as a “student pilot” currently living in Massachusetts. He claimed he and his family were being harassed about CYNK based on “false reportings” about the company that appeared in the American and Belizean press.
“The problem is a bunch of people are reaching out to my family asking me about it. Everybody comes up with their own stories and it’s getting worse. They are even saying that I am wanted by federal authorities and stuff,” he said.
Romero said he recently decided to come to flight school and was living with an uncle. He described his former position as a fisheries officer in Belize as a “very respectful job” with the government. Romero was also a reggaeton music producer on his home island of San Pedro.
“I’ve never done anything with stock before. I have no idea what it is or how it operates. I barely made it out of high school like I said to you earlier. I’ve always just wanted to fly,” said Romero. “I’m also interested in music. I was since a kid. I’ve always been into music. I’m a musician. I’ve been doing shows in my hometown. Other than that, I’ve always just wanted to fly. So I have no idea about this whole stock marketing and financial stuff. I have no knowledge of it whatsoever.”
Romero claimed he heard of CYNK prior to his initial conversation with Business Insider because “some other reporter” called him and “was questioning him” about it. He said he “was very certain that they were confusing me with someone else, but I didn’t know how serious the situation was.” Romero added he pretended to be “Jason” in our initial phone call because he was being “silly.”
“Even up to our conversation, I was just being silly and not taking this situation to the seriousness that it has come to now,” Romero said.
Though he admitted there was a “proposed transaction” for him to purchase shares from Sanchez, the former CYNK CEO, Romero claimed he did not know anyone affiliated with the company.
“I have no idea who these people are. I’ve never met these people before in my entire life,” said Romero. “Like I said to you earlier, I certainly have no connections with them or this company. I don’t know anything about them. I don’t know what the company does.”
After about fifteen minutes, which included a second reading of his prepared statement, Romero ended the conversation. He did not explain the “proposed transaction” between him and Sanchez or answer questions about how a man with his name and former job title, fisheries officer for the government of Belize, could have ended up being listed as CYNK’s chief executive.
“If you don’t mind, I’d really like to end this conversation,” Romero said, adding. “I’ve basically said what I needed to say.”
Romero and Sanchez are two of at least four people who have been listed as CYNK’s chief executive and sole employee since the company was incorporated in Las Vegas, Nevada in 2008. In a June 11 letter to OTC Markets Group, the platform where CYNK was being traded, a lawyer named Harold P. Gewerter said Romero purchased 210,000,000 shares of CYNK from Sanchez on Feb. 20. Gewerter told the Wall Street Journal he no longer represents the company. He has not responded to multiple requests for comment from Business Insider.
It is unclear why the man named Javier Romero who spoke to Business Insider and matched much of the description of the person identified as CYNK’s CEO said he was entirely unaware of the company while also saying there was a “proposed transaction” between him and Sanchez. The other person named by Romero, Howard Berkowitz, is identified as the company’s president on the OTC Markets Group website.
Berkowitz, who could not be reached for comment, was also identified as CYNK’s president, secretary, treasurer, and director in CYNK’s registration with the state of Nevada. That registration lists Romero as Cynk’s former president, secretary, treasurer, and director and identifies his address as a suite in a Vegas office building. Business Insider could not locate contact information for a “Javier Romero” at that building.
Filings indicate CYNK is headquartered at a suite within the Matalon, a business center in Belize City, Belize. According to CNBC, the “listed office suite” does not exist. Filings indicate a phone number with a Miami area code is the CYNK’s office number. Business Insider called that number Sunday and left a message on a voicemail identified as belonging to CYNK. As of this writing, we have not received a response.
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