It is unusual for an investigative reporter to reveal his sources, but to set the record straight I am acknowledging that Fraser Perring was a source in some of my previous Wirecard AG reporting. Earlier this year, Perring provided me with a set of documents I used in an article and he connected me to several other individuals that aided additional Wirecard reporting. Perring was not a key source whose information my reporting hinged on. By the time I was introduced to him in late 2017, I had been investigating Wirecard for months and I did not use any of the information he sought to provide in my first article on the company in January 2018. But he did talk with me frequently and did introduce me to someone whose research proved quite valuable.
As a reporter who over the years has drawn abundant legal threats and who in 2018 came within 24 hours of having to stand in contempt of a U.S. attorney’s subpoena (for refusing to provide testimony and notes for a trial), I am all too familiar with having to protect the origins of information I have obtained.
To be clear, I never told Perring the Southern Investigative Reporting Foundation would protect his identity, and he never asked for this.
For a reporter, ordinarily if a source becomes suspect, simply ignoring this source is the wisest course. When I began to suspect that I was regularly being given incomplete or misleading information, then I felt my options had dwindled.
(Indeed in 2013 I wrote about someone who, earlier in my career, had served as a source for me: Bryan Caisse, a mortgage-backed-securities portfolio manager. I wrote about him after I learned he had been running a Ponzi scheme and, to do so, was using my 2008 article about him.)
Moreover, a journalism nonprofit designed to bring a measure of illumination to the capital markets should not ignore stories that make short sellers and other financial skeptics feel uncomfortable even though they form a significant part of its readership and donor base.
In other words, accountability journalism has true meaning only to the extent that everyone is kept accountable.
Clarification: The first paragraph of this disclosure was updated on Nov. 15 to better describe when Perring provided Roddy Boyd information that was used in his Wirecard AG reporting.
2 thoughts on “Editor’s Note About Fraser Perring”
You are right about Fraser Perring. He is no different from the criminals he targets. Your work on Perring stands on its own feet. But Roddy please explain this:
“Proof that Roddy Boyd lies: A 3/26/18 text message saying Fraser Perring was not a source for the SIRF 1/23/18 Wirecard story. And the 11/4/19 article admitting Perring was a source for his Wirecard stories in 2018 and 2019. Was Roddy lying in 2018 or is he lying now?”
Is the source of this claim accurate? In context or out of context?
I thought these critics of yours were either unfair or excessive – but they seem on point here. They also seem on point about Marc Cohodes. You cannot be faulted for your opinions about Cohodes at the time he made his donation. On that, your critics may be unfair or excessive. But since then, Cohodes has issued legal threats against journalists, heavily promoted the liar and criminal Fraser Perring (he oddly continued promoting Perring today, within weeks after your piece!), his heavy promotion of Overstock (and threats against any critics of OSTK) and punched another short seller for speaking poorly about Perring. And there is more. Are these behaviors consistent with your or SIRF’s beliefs? I don’t think so. Marc Cohodes and Fraser Perring are like two peas in a pod, and you were unfortunate to get tied up.
But you can come clean. You started by extricating yourself from Perring. You need to straighten out whatever lies, deceptions, or misunderstandings that appear credible. You also should extricate yourself from Cohodes. How do you trust a man like that?
It is out of context and inaccurate. Fraser started speaking with me months after I began reporting on Wirecard, around November 2017, per my notes. I did not use any information he sought to provide. In 2019, he provided me with documents used in a later article. Thank you for bringing this to my attention and I will correct that detail in “Editor’s Note about Fraser Perring.”