July 14, 1995
Re: Sloan v. Ishi Press International
Case Number: CV748564
Dear Judge Flaherty,
I have just received a large package postmarked July 10, 1995 which contains 124 pages of documents regarding Ishi Press International, including a cover letter from Hartland Snyder to you dated July 7, 1995.
All of these documents are hearsay and are obviously not admissible at this stage of the proceeding. I have never seen any of these documents before in my entire life. More than that, almost all of the documents have no relevance to the case before this court, which concerns solely my claim for royalties from my book, "Chinese Chess for Beginners". Moreover, the one document which is relevant to this case is an attachment to a 17 page "Stock Purchase Agreement" signed by James W. Connelley, as President of Ishi Press International, and by Elwyn Berlekamp. This attachment states in pertinent part:
"5. We have royalty obligations as follows:
David Fotland: 25% of net sales of COSMOS (computer program)
Sam Sloan: 8% of U.S. retail (max of 16% of net sales) of
Chinese Chess for Beginners"
Thus, the documents submitted by Ishi Press International to you prove that they, in fact, owe me these royalties. I am annexing to this letter those pertinent pages. It can be readily verified that these pages come from the documents mailed in the package to you, with a copy of me.
At this point, I feel that both Hartland Snyder and Anton Dovydaitis should be criminally charged with perjury or, at a minimum, contempt. They have obviously lied under oath to this court in at least two respects.
(1) They testified that their actual place of business was 1702-H Meridian Drive, Suite #193, San Jose, CA 95125, when in fact that is nothing more than a Mail Boxes Etc. and no business is conducted there.
(2) They have claimed that Ishi Press International is not obliged to pay me my royalties when it clearly is so obliged.
I also note that this court gave Hartland Snyder one week to produce documents proving various assertions he made in open court. Mr. Snyder's contentions were so confused that I never really understood what it was that he said that he was going to prove. However, I am confident that, whatever it was that he was going to prove, he has not proven it. I do recall that he was alleging some vague sort of conspiracy theory. He now states in his letter to you that he is enclosing "some e-mail messages from Sam Sloan". However, I am unable to find any e-mail messages in the package of materials which he sent to me. I assume that he sent an identical package to you.
In any event, I have never sent e-mail massages to anyone concerning the transaction at issue before this court, namely the legal obligation of Ishi Press International to pay me royalties for my book, Chinese Chess for Beginners. As far as I am concerned, this matter is pending before a court of law and it would not be proper for me to exchange e-mail messages with third parties regarding it. I have, however, sent to various persons e-mail messages regarding other transactions, unrelated to the issues before this court.
Mr. Hartland Snyder told this court on June 30, 1995 that Richard Bozulich only owned about 20% of the stock in Ishi Press International. I countered that as far as I was aware, Mr. Bozulich was still the controlling stockholder, with about 50% of the total outstanding shares. Included in the documents now sent by Hartland Snyder to your court is a letter dated June 30, 1995 informing Mr. Elwyn Berlekamp that Ishi Press International has purchased the rights to two puzzles in exchange for a total of 550,000 shares of stock in Ishi Press International. Note that the date of June 30, 1995 is also the date of our trial. Also note that according to the stockholders list to be found on the second page of Hartland Snyder's letter to you dated July 7, 1995, Mr. Berlekamp now owns 586,564 shares. However, this 586,564 shares includes the 550,000 shares apparently issued by Hartland Snyder on that very day, June 30, 1995. Otherwise, Mr. Berlekamp would only own 36,564 shares and Mr. Richard Bozulich, with 197,000 shares, would be by far the largest stockholder. In short, Mr. Bozulich dropped from being by far the largest stockholder to being an only about 20% stockholder on the same date as the date of the trial before you. It is obvious that the issuance of 550,000 new shares on the same date as the date of my trial was nothing more that a nefarious (and in my opinion misguided) scheme to deny me my rightful royalties.
In this connection, according to my information, the Sneaky Squares puzzle, which, nine months ago, was ballyhooed as the item which would be the financial salvation of Ishi Press International, has been a financial failure and the rights to that puzzle are worth little. I have never even heard of the other puzzle. Why would Ishi Press International issue such a large block of stock so as to almost double the total outstanding shares of the corporation in exchange for the rights to a puzzle which the corporation has been attempting to market for the past two years without significant success? Why, when the corporation no longer has an actual office and has no financial capability of manufacturing or marketing this puzzle, would it suddenly issue a block of newly issued stock almost doubling the total number of outstanding shares on the same date as the trial against me? It is obvious that this was not an arms-length transaction for a legitimate business purpose, but rather was an instance of corporate self-dealing, especially since it is known or believed that Mr. Snyder actually works for Mr. Berlekamp and, to a lesser extent, for Mr. Berkowitz. (Mr. Berkowitz is or was the Chairman of InFerGene Corporation, a corporation which has been in bankruptcy since 1991. See Bankruptcy of InFerGene Corporation, Case No. 91-30448. In 1991, Mr. Berkowitz was criminally indicted by the Solano County District Attorney for failure properly to dispose of toxic waste and for releasing radioactive substances into the atmosphere. See Felony Complaint Case No. 96922 (May 30, 1991))
Another strange statement found in the documents provided by Mr. Snyder, is that Nathaniel Berkowitz acquired 158,000 shares of Ishi Press International as a result of purchasing for $500 a note from John Torode. However, John Torode never owned 158,000 shares of Ishi Press International stock, nor is there any mention in the corporate minutes which I handed to you in court of him having any right to purchase 158,000 shares. Without the 158,000 shares issued to Nathaniel Berkowitz and without the 550,000 shares now newly issued to Elwyn Berlekamp, Richard Bozulich would still control a majority or a near majority of the total outstanding shares of Ishi Press International, especially when the shares of his wife and close business associates in Japan are added to his own personal shares. Moreover, Martin Lowenstein, who is listed as the owner of 88,462 shares, told me in November, 1994 that he had never received any shares of Ishi Press International.
Furthermore, the package which was sent to me contains a mailing label for "Ishi International, 1394-A Willow Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025-1598". This is not a typo. Ishi International is a separate corporation from Ishi Press International. Ishi International is the UK. corporation which, according to the cover letter to you by Hartland Snyder, is now owned by Nathaniel Berkowitz. Also, the address of 1394-A Willow Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025-1598 is an address which has previously been identified at the new warehouse of Ishi Press International. This has led me to conclude or at least to suspect that all of the assets of Ishi Press International, including the books by numerous authors, have now been transferred to Ishi International, in order to make Ishi Press International judgment proof so that I and the other authors will not be able to collect our royalties.
Hartland Snyder states in his cover letter that there are other stockholders but, "While there are a few additional small shareholders they are inconsequential except that their relative equity needs to be reasonably protected." In fact, almost all of these "inconsequential" stockholders which Hartland Snyder fails to include in his list are persons closely connected with Mr. Bozulich, including his wife and his close business associates in Japan. It so happens that I have a partial list of stockholders as of October, 1994. My list does not include certain stockholders in Japan who are close associates of Mr. Bozulich. Here is a list of some of those stockholders so conveniently omitted by Mr. Snyder.
The Connelley Group c/o Mohamed Poonja, Trustee 4,000 shares
Ira Schnall 10,000 pfd. shares
Roger White 4,000 pfd. shares
John Rambo 4,000 pfd. shares
Towako Doi 30,000 shares
David Matson 4,000 pfd. shares
Robert Lerche 1,000 shares
James Haedt 1,000 shares
Betty Wahl 1,000 shares
Arthur Snyder 1,000 shares
David D. E. Evans 1,000 shares
William Leveritt 1,000 shares
All of these stockholders, with the exception of Arthur Snyder, who is the brother of Hartland Snyder, would be expected to side with Mr. Bozulich in any dispute.
One document which Hartland Snyder promised to provide which he has not provided is a document showing that he really is the Acting President of Ishi Press International and that he has been appointed by the board of directors or by the stockholders to act in that capacity. There is nothing in either the 124 pages of documents which he has now sent to you or in the corporate minutes or by-laws which I offered into evidence at the time of the trial which shows that Mr. Snyder has the legal capacity to act on behalf of the corporation or to issue new shares of stock, for example.
There are so many other documents in this 124 pages of new material that it is impossible for me to make any meaningful comments concerning all of them. Suffice it to say that all of this is totally irrelevant to the case before this court and the court should affirm the award of my rightful royalties in the amount of $5,000, as was entered by the Small Claims Court.
Very Truly Yours,
Samuel H. Sloan
Copy to: Ishi Press International
1702-H Meridian Drive, Suite #193
San Jose, CA 95125