Entrepreneur’s Story—From Riches to Rags and Back—Made Wall Street History

Lucky Edward Caputo, new NPC member, achieved every entrepreneur’s dream! After 13 years of backbreaking effort, he took his start-up Internet technology company public during the dot-com technology bubble on Wall Street at the grand finale of the 20th century, tempting fate on normally unlucky Friday the 13th, and at the end of the day, was worth hundreds of millions of dollars…on paper! Then, unfortunately in his case, proving the notorious superstition true, tragedy struck. For the first time in Securities and Exchange Commission history, his IPO legal team mistakenly did not register a form known as the “Green Shoe” option.

Unintentionally, the company sold unregistered shares of stock in his company, which was totally against SEC regulations. When this was disclosed to shareholders, investors panicked, the stock cratered, and Caputo and the investors lost millions of dollars.

He began writing as therapy. “It was cathartic and took me ten years to finish the book, which I called Strike Suit, describing what I experienced during the process of going public. It was on my ‘bucket list’ to write it and I did!

“The story is about the roller-coaster ride from rags to riches to rags again, and the class-action lawsuit that was brought against my newly publicly traded company and me.” Just like prior novels, such as Wall Street, Arbitrage, and most recently Wolf of Wall Street, Strike Suit is based upon dramatized real-life events. The central kernel of the story, the unregistered “Green Shoe” during an Internet technology IPO and the consequential ‘Strike Suit,’ are totally true.

“My company had a multimillion-dollar shareholder class-action Strike Suit that cost millions of dollars to settle because of an SEC registration error made by an overworked junior attorney at the busy height of the dot-com bubble.”

Eventually, there was a “happier ending,” although not as happy as the day of his IPO! The Strike Suit was settled, and the law firm that made the Green Shoe omission paid all of the settlement expenses with shareholders in return for not being sued for malpractice.

Caputo sold the company for 40 million dollars, bought a beach house in Naples, Florida, and a yacht in London, England. He lived in Monte Carlo for a year, cruising the Mediterranean! Never a dull moment for Caputo. He wrote another book titled, Cruisin’ Cuisine: Live, Love, Cruise and Eat!  He produced a television pilot for the Food Channel.

One would think Caputo would just ride off into the sunset and retire after all that, but Caputo calls himself a “serial entrepreneur.” “Over the past ten years, I have developed a wide variety of technology businesses. I am the cofounder of:Uptown Network, which is an iPad menu system for restaurants, including Shula’s here in Naples; iView Securities Systems,which is designed to work with security companies and first responders to provide visual images of emergency situations; and a non-technology company called, IL e’te’ Group, which manufacturers ‘destination’ jewelry for tourists, including a beautiful Naples Charm; all are based here in Naples, Florida. Also, I am cofounder of Aligned Trust, a developer of authentication software to prevent computer identity theft, headquartered in California.

“In addition, I am cofounder of several Connecticut-based companies, including: Peel, a distiller and distributer of fine spirits, such as Limoncello, Bananacello & Cremoncello liqueurs; McGladden’s Irish Publick House, a chain of 4, growing to 30 Irish Pubs, providing craft beer and other fine beverages and food; Spaceovation Incorporated, inventor of PocketDrawer™ and products designed for the Healthcare Industry, and utilized by hospitals, including Naples Community Hospital; Chawla Heart Technologies, Heart Valve Repair Medical Developers; StoneCap Developers, Real Estate Developers of Sweetheart Mountain, a 35-home complex in Canton, Connecticut; Capella Enterprises, Private Equity Investments in China and Naples; an Apple iPhone App soon to be available; and more!”

Caputo also recently sponsored Academy Award Nominee Jeremy Scahill at an Edison State College forum here in Naples. Scahill, author of the critically acclaimed documentary and New York Times bestselling non-fiction expose, Dirty Wars – The World Is A Battlefield; and Black Water, was featured speaker at the college’s Cornerstone Critical Thinking Series “Critical Thinking In Journalism.” Panelists included Phil Lewis, former Editor, Naples Daily News, and Gina Edwards, former investigative reporter, Naples Daily News. Both are NPC members.

Caputo also teaches entrepreneurism part-time at Edison State College, where they are utilizing his novel Strike Suit as a “reader” in support of the course curriculums.

Turning lemons into lemonade is Caputo’s specialty. Strike Suithas received numerous 5-star reviews and accolades from readers and talk of a possible movie in the future. “I am completely surprised and entirely gratified, that the romance-mystery-thriller manuscript I wrote to vent my frustrations over many years has turned into a novel that readers have liked.”

He divides his time between Florida and Connecticut, and in his spare time he enjoys scuba diving, boating and writing.

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