This letter is written in order to provide a record of what I consider a very disturbing incident that took place during a SEC requested interview of myself, Paul S. Moller conducted by Mr. X, an attorney from the Fort Worth, TX office of the SEC. The interview took place on November 19, 2001 at the Federal attorney’s office in the Federal Building in Sacramento, California. Present at this interview were Mr. Craig Christensen, attorney representing Moller International, Ms. Rosemary Kelley, attorney representing myself, and a recorder.
At one point very early in the interview which was taken under oath, I was asked a question that I was uncertain as to its meaning and requested a clearer definition. When Mr. X repeated the question in essentially the same form I started to answer it as best as I understood it. At that point both my corporate and personal attorneys objected. Mr. X immediately became upset. He then told the recorder to discontinue recording the interview. He commented that when he had asked the question, my lips were moving to provide the answer and that I should have been allowed to do so. He then pointed out that this was an interview that could have been taken at SEC headquarters with all the associated expense, and all of us attending it under subpoena. Furthermore if my attorneys were going to have objections that would further impede the interview, he may want to discontinue the interview. He then stated that the SEC is now attempting to be accommodating to those who cooperate with it, however, he had the option to leave immediately and inform his superiors that we were not willing to cooperate. The message was clear: We hold off on objections that might impede his interview or he was leaving. My attorneys then attempted to point out that I was under oath and the consequences of my responding incorrectly due to not understanding the question could create a problem for me and certainly would not benefit Mr. X if his question was incorrectly answered.
Personally I was appalled by his threats, particularly since it was not being recorded and I asked that our conversation be recorded to which Mr. X responded that he was not required to do so, nor would he. My attorneys restated their desire to cooperate in every way possible, knowing that being cited, even unfairly, for claiming to have done otherwise would be perilous for both my company and me.
I believe the record will show that after this dire warning by Mr. X there was only one further objection over the next six hours. In that case I asked my attorneys to let me answer the question as it was asked, which I did. While Mr. X’s approach may have sped up the interview, it certainly diminished the effectiveness of my attorneys to aggressively intercede on my behalf if they felt it was appropriate. On the other hand, Mr. X’s use of an off-the-record conversation to intimidate participants in a SEC requested interview in which I as the interviewee was under oath, must surely be outside the SEC’s guidelines.
This summary has been reviewed for accuracy by both Ms. Rosemary Kelley and Mr. Craig Christensen.