Officials Want Key Figure Paul Simmons in BioPlex Project Out

by Ted Wagnon  on Monday, Mar. 31, 2014 12:00 am  

Promoter Paul Simmons at Aug. 17 press conference. (Photo by Tom Honeycutt) | Originally published in Arkansas Business Oct 1., 1984.

One FDA officer says he recalls that one professional group publicly disassociated itself from some of Simmons’ practices, and he tells of FDA inspectors who won’t work with Simmons because “he’s run amok with a few folks.”

Local officials and industrialists who learned of this information prior to its publication say they are tempted to use the same phrase. They also worry that a backlash from the Simmons case will put an end to any hopes of speeding up Arkansas’ recruiting efforts with high-tech industries.

“The long term is really bleak,” says one state official. “There’s just no way of telling how far back this could set us.”

Copyright 1984, Journal Publishing Inc.

Since Then ...

2014: Editor Ted Wagnon’s expose of Paul Luther Simmons as a peddler of multimillion-dollar snake oil put 6-month-old Arkansas Business on the map and set the tone for future reporting.

Simmons is now 85 and living in the Tampa Bay area. Thwarted from his shadowy biotech plans in Arkansas, he went on to leave a trail of entrepreneurial strangeness in Florida.

In 1996, he invented Easy Guide, a device touted as making wheelchairs more maneuverable and hawked by CyberMedix Inc. of St. Petersburg.

In 1999, Simmons was the designer of newly patented umbilical surgical scissors for Veridien Corp. of St. Petersburg.

In 2003, he formed the International Association of Independent Inventors Inc. in Largo and was the research and development director of the International Center for Technology Transfer Inc. He claimed to have more than 40 patents on products in various industries.

In 2004, Simmons was named by the Securities & Exchange Commission as a participant in a pump-and-dump stock scheme for Nutraceutical Clinical Laboratories International Inc. of St. Petersburg, of which he was founder and CEO.

In 2006, Simmons was ordered by a federal judge to disgorge $1 million for his part in the 2000-01 scheme. He retired from the penny stock firm in 2002.

 

 

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