Fight Frivolous Lawsuit by AVT, Inc.

I have been sued by publicly-traded AVT, Inc., a pink-sheet company trading under the symbol AVTC, for $100mm.  The suit, which was filed in a California State Court, claims that I damaged the company with libel.  This is a frivoulous claim, and it's not the first time this company has resorted to such tactics to stifle criticism, as they filed a similar $100mm lawsuit in 2010 against Randall Lane, who is now the Editor of Forbes, which was dismissed. I have written about the details of my suit, and Vending Times Magazine also shared a perspective.  The bottom-line is that I shared some very serious concerns about this company that are based on publicly-available information provided by the company itself.  

My speech is protected by the 1st Amendment, and my only motivation has been to warn the public of the unethical practices of this company.  I have never traded in the stock, nor have I ever been compensated by anyone to share my views, which are based on publicly-available information.   My choices are to try to settle with them, which would be convenient but just wrong, or to fight the suit, which means I have to hire a lawyer in California with a retainer just to start of $10,000.  I am told that to file a counter-suit could cost $25,000 or more.

I am reaching out to the public for several reasons besides defraying my own legal costs.  First, I want to raise awareness for the larger issue of publicly-traded companies trying to stifle the criticism of independent analysts like myself.  If companies like AVTC succeed in silencing those who want to highlight red flags, the public loses.  There is no one looking out for investors in penny stocks. Second, I want to send a specific message to companies that seek to stifle my work on behalf of individual investors.  I have had to deal with threats of litigation from other companies.  If I were to settle with AVTC, then it would open the door to other companies trying to stop me from telling the truth.  At 420 Investor, I spend a great deal of time investigating the practices of many shady companies trying to take advantage of the public, and it would be impossible for me to do my job if I can't warn my subscribers.  Third, I am hoping to attract a California-based lawyer who wants to take my case on contingency, as I would like to file a counter-suit under California's anti-SLAAP law enacted in 1992 to stop frivolous suits like this.

Thank you for supporting this cause.

All proceeds beyond my actual legal costs incurred will be donated to the ACLU so that it can protect 1st Amendment Rights.

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Organizer

Alan Brochstein 
Organizer
Houston, TX
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