of infoUSA accused of wasting funds & lawsuit filed by angry
Nebraska, May 27, 2007
According to New York Times report, InfoUSA, which compiles consumer
information and sells it to direct marketing companies, sold the
names of senior citizens, including millions with Alzheimer’s
disease and others it identified as gamblers, with labels that said
things such as, “These people are gullible.”
InfoUSA Inc. denied it enabled fraud after a story in the New York
Times accused the firm of selling personal information to criminal
firms that swindled senior citizens.
The companies that bought the information plied lonely people with
repeated phone calls, tricked them into revealing banking information,
and later raided their accounts, the Times reported
In January 2002, when Clintons took a family vacation
to Acapulco, Mexico, one of their longtime supporters, Gupta, provided
his company’s private jet to fly them there. Infousa, one
of the nation’s largest brokers of information on consumers,
paid USD 146,866 dollars to ferry the Clintons, Gupta and others
to Acapulco and back.
According to Washington Post on May 26, for the past
four years, the Clintons have jetted around on Vinod Gupta's corporate
plane, to Switzerland, Hawaii, Jamaica, Mexico -- $900,000 worth
of travel. The former president secured a $3.3 million consulting
deal with Gupta's technology firm. His presidential library got
a six-figure gift- $2,50,000 to his presidential library in Arkansas
and donated more than $2,00,000 to the Democratic Party during Hillary’s
2000 Senate campaign. That donation earned him a night at the Lincoln
bedroom at the White House the same year.
Those expenses are cited in a lawsuit filed
late last year in a Delaware court by angry shareholders
of infoUSA, who assert that Mr. Gupta wasted the company’s
money trying “to ingratiate himself” with his high-profile
guests, the report added.
In addition to the shareholder accusations, The New
York Times reported last Sunday that an investigation by the authorities
in IOWA found that Infousa sold consumer data several years ago
to telemarketing criminals who used it to steal money from elderly
Aides to Hillary Clinton, The Times said, were at
pains to distance her from Infousa, pointing out that she had sponsored
legislation that would strengthen privacy rights of consumers. As
for the flights on Infousa’s plane, Phil Singer, Hillary Clinton’s
spokesman, told the paper that the senator „complied with
all the relevant ethics rules” on accepting private air travel.
Jay Carson, a spokesman for Clinton, would not elaborate on what
the former President does for Infousa, but said that he shared the
public concern about misuse of personal information.
Dolphin Condemns Today's
Allegatons by Mr. Vinod Gupta, infoUSA's Chairman
and CEO, as 'Categorically False'
Shareholders Must: Reject The 2007 Omnibus Incentive Plan -- Withhold
Votes from Management's Nominees -- Support the Shareholder Bill
STAMFORD, Conn., May 17, 2007/
Dolphin Limited Partnership I, L.P. and Dolphin Financial Partners,
LLC, which have continued to own 2.0 million shares, or 3.6% of
infoUSA Inc. (Nasdaq: IUSA - News), condemned allegations made today
by Mr. Vinod Gupta, infoUSA's Chairman and CEO, as "categorically
A spokesperson for Dolphin said, "Unfortunately, Mr. Vinod
Gupta continues his pattern and practice of reckless and groundless
charges against shareholders when faced with a mountain of verifiable
facts about Mr. Vinod Gupta and the Board's activities that have
not served the interests of all shareholders.
"Any shareholder who has listened to an infoUSA earnings call,
has read infoUSA's proxy statements since 1998 or any of the Company's
documents contained on Dolphin's website, www.iusaccountability.com,
or the reports issued by the three leading independent proxy voting
advisory services in connection with last year's election knows
"Unlike Mr. Vinod Gupta, Dolphin always provides you with
objective, verifiable facts.
"These facts include:
* Last year over 90% of unaffiliated shareholders voted against
* infoUSA's share price is down 12.3%, year-over-year, and has
done nothing for ten years. (1)
* The Board has done nothing to eliminate the exclusive exemption
for Mr. Vinod Gupta from the Company's Stockholder Rights Plan.
Both the plan and Mr. Gupta's standstill letter expire on July 21,
2007-after that Mr. Gupta will be free to continue his creeping
takeover of the Company.
* The Board has failed to recover from Mr. Vinod Gupta and his
affiliates significant shareholder funds spent on personal benefits-use
of an 80 foot yacht, jet planes, personal residences, luxury cars
and use of other now Company owned assets-even after a 2005 report
by Dr. Vasant Raval, chair of the Company's own audit committee
that "will be borne by the CEO.
"We are confident that shareholders know the truth and will
continue to see through Mr. Vinod Gupta's deceptions. The Annual
Meeting is June 7th. We believe shareholders, to protect their interests,
must withhold their votes from the election of infoUSA's nominees
and vote against the proposed 2007 Omnibus Incentive Plan which
will only help to advance Mr. Vinod Gupta's creeping control."
(1) As of April 27, 2007, the trade date immediately preceding
the commencement of Dolphin's withhold campaign for the 2007 annual
meeting of shareholders, infoUSA's one-year shareholder return (inclusive
of dividends) was negative 12.3%. The 10-year compounded annual
return was an anemic 0.7%. See Dolphin's letter to shareholders,
dated April 30, 2007.
Source: Dolphin Limited Partnership I, L.P.