Kashner may have a terrible history of success in IPO's and they may have had some issues with the SEC (like all i-banks), but in today's day and age, with corporate governance at an all-time high, and with financial institutions under heavy scrutiny by the SEC, Dept. of Justice and Elliot Spitzer, a firm like Kashner would be risking 100 years of jail time for its employees if they were treating VAPH like a boiler room stock.
Let's face it. The biggest liability with VAPH is that the underwriter sucks, but this isn't 1996-2000, when firms got away with scams every day. 2003-2004 is perhaps the most highly regulated time in banking history. Do you think Kashner and VAPH think they're smart enough to pull the wool over the law given the intense anti-fraud environment? I think not. Otherwise, they'd be playing Monopoly and going directly to jail.
Perhaps they're is a simple explanation for using Kashner...maybe they were very inexpensive, maybe the management team knew the principles of the firm or had some type of prior relationship with management. I have no idea, but it's certainly a legitimate question for investors to ask. Regardless of the reason, you have to believe that if the SEC felt Kashner was as bad as all the shorts believe the firm to be, they'd have been shut down a few years ago.
Bottom line: I believe the shorts are fooling themselves about this whole Kashner issue.