Penny-Stock Pataki

After Mr. Pataki’s appointment to Mesa Energy Holdings this month, two stock promoters wrote gushingly about the natural-gas company and its new adviser. “I don’t own this stock,” one of them, Harris Roen, said this week. “I didn’t want to be accused of pump-and-dump.”

The other report was from Jarret B. Wollstein, whose Web site says he’s an investment newsletter publisher, a Mensa member and a geopolitical writer who has predicted major terrorist attacks. “Mesa Energy (MSEH) is on track for potentially huge profits-becoming my next 809% stock winner,” he wrote. “Invest now and you could turn $10,000 into $90,900 in just 8 months.”

At the bottom of the Web page is a link to a disclaimer that says he received $5,000 for the report from a group named Northbound Marketing, which in turn was paid by one or more Mesa shareholders “who may or will sell shares of the feature Company at or about the time of this report.”

Yesterday, Mesa CEO Randy Griffin said he doesn’t know which shareholders hired the marketer, but that he was not overly worried about it. “There are a significant number of shareholders out there,” he said.

This month, his company’s stock price has gone up to around $3, the same mark that Perf Go Green hit after Mr. Pataki joined. It was below a dollar earlier this year. “As far as his involvement in our company goes, I would have to say I was a little surprised and certainly pleased that something we’re trying to do is something he recognized and wanted to get involved in,” Mr. Griffin said. He would not discuss the governor’s compensation, but said it would be disclosed shortly.

Mr. Pataki did not respond to questions sent through a spokesperson about why he has gotten involved in penny stocks, and why he went so quickly from one to the other.

“I always tell people when they get on a board to make sure that D&O policies are paid up, because you can spend everything you made on your lawyers,” said the law professor and former S.E.C. senior attorney Peter Henning, referring to directors and officers liability insurance. “You get dragged into an S.E.C. investigation, oh God, the dollar figures are just going to go through the roof.”

Meanwhile, the plastic company’s 36-foot dome is sitting in storage in Hollywood, Calif. “We created this Earth Dome for them and they did not pay their bills,” said a representative for Luxe-Media, which produced it. “Our experience with Perf Go Green was very bad.”