Anavex: Rebounding With The Help Of A Glorified Stock Promoter Who Just Fooled The Bulls Again

By Melissa Davis :

Don't be surprised if Anavex (NASDAQ: AVXL ) suddenly tries to distance itself from a so-called doctor who currently ranks as one of its most popular fans. Given the threat presented by the new regulatory investigation that it just disclosed , Anavex should feel a little worried about all of the favorable coverage that it has received from Dr. Kanak Kanti De - especially now that he has chosen to pull a daring stunt that could set off fresh alarms and lead to even more government scrutiny.

Talk about a reckless move. Confronted with damaging evidence about his professional background - including his leadership role at a glorified stock-promotion firm that described him as a retired educator who actually earned his doctorate in English - De responded with a desperate attempt to preserve his image as a medical expert by producing a diplomathat looks an awful lot like a blatant forgery .

In his rush to reassure the public, De must have somehow managed to overlook a critical detail that proved revealing enough to help expose the pesky truth.

Although De supposedly graduated from the University of Calcutta with a bachelor of medicine and surgery in the summer of 1976, the name of the vice chancellor who signed "his" diploma bears no resemblance to the name of the vice chancellor who actually filled the position at that time . Rather, that signature belongs to the man who served as vice chancellor some 20 years later, when he signed another diploma that - other than the name of the recipient and the date of graduation - looks downright identical to the medical degree that De has now tried to claim as his own.

Want proof? Go ahead and check out the striking similarities between those two documents right now. Even the blemishes that appear on the sides of the pages and just above the vice chancellor's signatures look exactly the same.

Kinda hard to blame a perfect match on sheer coincidence. A professional document examiner noticed so many similarities between the two degrees that he said that one of them HAS to be a copy of the other based upon (among other things) the following:

1. The marks on both the left hand side and the right-hand side of the margins are identical and perfectly aligned.

2. The mark on the top, right hand side of both degrees matches perfectly.

3. The University of Calcutta seal has smudging on it at the 2 o'clock position on both documents.

4. The "5" in 1975 and 1995 both match perfectly. (It seems unlikely that the same person would have entered those dates 20 years apart.)

5. The full stops after 1975 and 1995 are in exactly the same spot.

6. The full stops after 1975 and 1995 are in exactly the same spot at the end of both documents.

7. Both documents have the same day and month recorded for the date that the document was signed.

8. Both documents have the same day and month recorded for the day that the student was "admitted to the degree."

Another detail caught the eye of a local source in India: The University of Calcutta normally holds its graduation ceremonies on Saturdays. While the graduation date that appears on the newer diploma did fall on a Saturday , the graduation date recorded on the diploma that De produced fell on a Tuesday instead.

A university spokesperson has confirmed this much already: The University of Calcutta has no record that De graduated from the school during the year that appears on "his" medical degree. The diploma that De has presented cannot possibly belong to him - or anyone who graduated in the 1970s, for that matter - since the signature belongs to the wrong vice chancellor and the format of the degrees looked different back then. If De had simply misplaced his degree, he could have easily secured a replacement from the university for a nominal fee.

Ready for a little more incriminating evidence? As it turns out, The Medical Council of India maintains a helpful database that allows the public to search for any doctor who has ever registered with a state medical council anywhere in the country. Plug in "Mukhopadhyay, Mallinath" - the name of the doctor who earned the degree that looks just like the one that De supposedly holds - for example, and his record, including the details reflected on his diploma, automatically shows right up on the screen. Try "De, Kanak Kanti (or any variation of that name), however, and nothing turns up at all.

Only a message stating "no record found according to your search condition" appears on the screen instead. Here. See for yourself.

No wonder De tried so hard to change the subject when asked to keep his promise by producing an even fancier medical degree.

Oh well. So much for the M.D. that De promised to supply, "if necessary," too. While that medical degree sure would come in handy at the moment, De can probably forget about even trying to fool the public by pulling the same kind of trick all over again.

At this point, in fact, De should feel lucky if he manages to survive the likely fallout from this self-inflicted destruction with any followers left at all. After violating the trust of his loyal subscribers (not to mention the even larger crowd of investors who read his bullish articles on popular websites like Seeking Alpha and The Motley Fool), De can only blame himself for any future punishment that he happens to endure.

By lying about something as basic as his professional credentials, De practically invited the public to start doubting his every word. At this point, he owes the loyal followers who rushed to his defense a whole lot more than a simple apology.

* Author's Note: When the University of Calcutta reopens next week, I will ask the registrar to search for any record that De ever attended and/or graduated from the university at all. Once I obtain that information, I pledge to follow up by sharing what I have learned - regardless of the nature of those findings. Granted, based upon the evidence that I have managed to uncover on my own, I feel 99.9% certain that De never graduated from the University of Calcutta with any sort of medical degree.

On a final note, I want to make sure that De's followers know that I DID contact him more than a full week before I ever published my original Anavex report. As a matter of fact, I reached out to him using the very Seeking Alpha messaging system that he has since described as "foolproof." In the message that I sent to him, captured in the screen shot below, I asked De whether he had ever received any sort of compensation from ANYONE - not just Anavex itself - for his bullish coverage of the company. To this day, I'm still waiting for some kind of a response.

See also Beware When Bears Say 'This Time Is Different' on seekingalpha.com

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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