By Jeff Balke
By Aaron Reiss
By Angelica Leicht
By Dianna Wray
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Dallas Better Business Bureau:In his application to the BBB, Thompson identified himself as the president and owner of All Tech Investment Group. He did not include an address, length of operation or business description.
Federal Trade Commission:Thompson began selling Wizetrade in 1999 under the name "Wave on Wall Street" through an affiliate of a Dallas-based company called 2xtreme Performance International, which ostensibly sold nutritional products. However, the Federal Trade Commission accused the company's founder, John Polk, of running a pyramid scheme, and the company folded in 2000. By that time, Polk was already in jail for an unrelated charge of fraud connected to his real-estate infomercials.
Thompson was not a defendant in that case and, according to the FTC's file, appears to have helped the commission's case against 2xtreme. In a declaration filed with the FTC, Thompson said the company's founder had begun pre-selling the Wave on Wall Street to "distributors within the company." Thompson said he warned Polk that the product was not ready to be sold.
But Thompson appeared in an infomercial for the product, a partial transcript of which is in the FTC's files. Thompson is identified in the infomercial as "the co-founder of one of the largest day-trading firms in the U.S." Also appearing in the infomercial is Peter Hirsch, a co-defendant in the FTC's suit against 2xtreme.
Sometime later, Thompson sold the Wave on Wall Street through a company called ROI Analytics. The company's Web site, available on the Internet archive www.archive.org, describes Thompson as a "widely known lecturer and five-year veteran of daytrading as well as position trading."
Thompson, the company's vice president, is the only employee identified. However, the Web site boasts that "the combined experience of the principals span some 46 years in the securities industry."
Two Dallas computer programmers claim to be the co-inventors of Wave on Wall Street.
"It was actually my test program," Lovelace said from Dallas. "It's not something I ever would've thought going out to market with."
Madison stated that Lovelace and Benton only marketed the software.
All Tech Investment Group was a day-trading empire created by New Jersey investor Harvey Houtkin. In the 1990s, All Tech became the country's largest trading firm, touting itself as "a good place to start a full- or part-time career." According to the San Diego Union-Tribune,the NASD in 2001 ordered Houtkin to repay customers $456,000 for downplaying the risks of day-trading. Court records showed that Houtkin lost $392,000 in day-trading activities in 1998, but made millions off All Tech's customers.
In 1999, Atlanta day trader Mark Barton, who lost $500,000 in deals at All Tech and a neighboring firm, killed his wife and two children before slaying nine and wounding 12 of the firms' employees. Survivors and family members sued All Tech and the other firm for negligence, accusing the companies of leading Barton to financial ruin and causing the rampage. The suit was dismissed.
Thompson was not involved in the Houtkin suit or the Atlanta tragedy.