[Rizzn’s Note: If you remember, Simon Hodson and Essam Khashoggi were big investors in the whole FlyDLUX debacle.]

In news that’s only semi-related to FlyDLUX in that respect, I found this on the wires today:

July 7 — Essam Khashoggi, the co-founder and chairman of EarthShell Corp., is stepping down from the company´s board of directors.

Khashoggi said June 7 that he would not seek re-election to the board as part of his scheduled plan to retire. He will provide assistance and guidance to the company on an as-needed basis. Khashoggi, EarthShell´s largest shareholder, plans to maintain his holdings in the company, he said.

EarthShell, based in Santa Barbara, Calif., is involved in licensing and commercializing disposable food-service utensils and wraps that are biodegradable and can be composted. The products are made primarily from limestone and starch from potatoes, corn and wheat.

In a different press release, I found the following public statements made by Hodson and Khashoggi:

 Mr. Khashoggi stated, “We have strong executive leadership in place that has effectively dealt with many challenges to bring the Company to its current level of accomplishment. EarthShell will be implementing changes that will enable top management to perform to even higher standards and increase shareholder value. I will always feel that I am a part of EarthShell. It is a dynamic and important part of my business life, and I want to stay as close as possible to the Company as product commercialization begins. I believe that EarthShell has a bright future.”

“Mr. Khashoggi helped establish EarthShell’s environmental vision and mission,” commented Simon Hodson, EarthShell co-founder and chief executive officer. “He has seen the Company through many transitions and the achievement of milestones, including development of its comprehensive patent portfolio and the establishment of important business relationships in both the public and private sectors. We all genuinely appreciate Mr. Khashoggi’s contributions to the creation and development of EarthShell. EarthShell’s success, through its new plans for the future, will always reflect the legacy of his passion and commitment.”

Essam Khashoggi (probably - his address matches up with the source of this picture)Simon Hodson and Essam Khashoggi played a very interesting part in the whole FlyDLUX debacle.  Almost half of the money lost by FlyDLUX was Simon Hodson’s and Essam Khashoggi’s, and it was in the millions.  About halfway into their adventures with FlyDLUX, they began sending money directly to either Lida Benham or James “Tony” Wimmer.

If I understand their original stated intent in buying massive quantities of underpriced ticket vouchers through FlyDLUX, it was to force the airlines to go into bankruptcy, and then subsequently purchase the airline itself at a devalued rate.  Apparently, many years ago, I’m told, when Delta Airlines was in bankruptcy, they were the second or third highest bidder on it’s purchase, and unfortunately for them, did not end up pocketing the airline.

A lot of our financial problems stemmed from the Hodson deal.  If it were not for Hodson/Khashoggi continuously stringing us along for the last few months we attempted to remain operating, we would have closed up shop.  It’s hard to do that when you constantly have millions of dollars dangled in front of your face.

The last I heard, Hodson/Khashoggi were buying tickets directly from Wimmer as recently as a year ago.  I have no validation on this, only rumor and innuendo (which is what the majority of the post-FlyDLUX crowd lives on, apparently.  I mean, you are reading this, right?)

As for my own personal opinions of Hodson/Khashoggi – I don’t like them.  I don’t suppose I can say too much bad about Khashoggi as a person, as Hodson et. al. kept us pretty insulated from him.  I think we were on one phone call with Essam, and a conference call at that.  Hodson, however, is an imbecile of the highest order, or a shark of the most devious variety.  I’m not sure which, and given his family member’s opinion of him, I’m more likely to say shark.  All of his money was made, so the grapevine tells me, by either defrauding or cheating his sisters out of their inheritance.  As for my personal experience with the man, he kept us on and past the edge of bankruptcy for so long that we’d have to offer him majority ownership in the company.

In retrospect, we should have signed that deal instead of folding shop.  I’d love to have the legal team Simon’s money could buy pursuing the likes of Tony Wimmer.  But then again, I’m just as happy that I have been able to put all of this behind me.

/rizzn