Robertson and Kettler finally responded to the suit, and I got a copy of their response. From what I could see, what they produced did not provide any meaningful data on the missing cash. It appears that Robertson simply dumped on the plaintiff over 200 pages of misc. bank statements (not even covering the full periods from Aug. 1, 2007 to present). They failed to produce any meaningful financial statements, Income Statements, Balance Sheets, closing documents on the Xandros deal, etc. From the mishmash of evidence that was provided, it IS CLEAR there were in fact millions of dollars in cash when Robertson took over as sole Board member just over a year ago, BUT it is still very UNCLEAR where that cash ended up.
Michael Robertson - What is he hiding?
The lack of meaningful financial documents in Robertson's response didn't surprise me in the least. After having worked with Robertson for over six years, I witnessed first hand all of his legal maneuvers and tricks. One of his favorites was to overload opposing counsel with meaningless discovery documents, forcing them to sift through piles of papers to find the needle in the haystack, rather than just producing the documents which clearly show he is in the right. (This is a tactic people often use when they're NOT in the right.)
If Robertson and Kettler had nothing to hide, why wouldn't they provide HELPFUL documents that show EXACTLY what happened with the cash? If there is a good explanation, why wouldn't they simply provide that evidence? What is Robertson hiding?
According to one of the documents, the new Linspire Board was made up of Michael Robertson, his wife Leslie, and Larry Kettler (Robertson's consummate "Yes Man"). Not exactly what you'd call an "independent" board. Also, I'm not sure how Leslie and Larry could be on the board, considering the shareholders were never notified of these changes. The shareholders WERE properly notified when Michael fired all the other board members over a year ago, but have not been notified of any changes since. Again, why hide this?
So, my questions for Michael Robertson are:
1. If the only financial documents you plan on providing in the derivative lawsuit are bank statements, why not provide ALL the bank statements for the periods of August 1, 2007 through the present? (I would suggest to the plaintiff's lawyers that they subpoena the bank statements for the missing periods and START looking there. If Robertson is going to force you to look for the needle in the haystack, at least make sure all the haystack is there.)
2. Why haven't you held a shareholders meeting since taking over exclusive control of the Linspire Board over a year ago?
3. Why after months of you having sold Linspire to Xandros haven't you shared any details of that transaction with the 100-some-odd shareholders?
4. Why haven't you produced any meaningful financial statements, such as Income Statements or Balance Sheets to shareholders or to the plaintiff and lawyers in the derivative lawsuit?
5. Why are you trying to dissolve the corporation so quickly without explaining anything to the shareholders?
6. What happened to all the cash? Did you funnel it to yourself and/or your father-in-law? Did you squander it all in one short year through incompetent management of Linspire?
7. And lastly... When we had to let some very good, committed, long-term employees go at Linspire, you said you wanted to only give them two weeks of severance. I disagreed, and as CEO, I made the decision to give them more reasonable severance packages. You were so greedy and upset with the CEO's decision, that you filed a bogus police report and called them all embezzlers! Your argument for giving these good employees such piddly severance payments was that you wanted to keep as much money in the company as possible, claiming this would be better in the long run for those employees, the shareholders and the Linspire customers. So, my final question for you Michael: How'd your brilliant plan work out for everyone?