Many readers have asked how I became the President of Ishi Press, a well known name in the book publishing field. Ishi Press has published more than 100 books on go, chess and other games. Here is the answer:
Ishi Press was incorporated in Japan in 1969 by Richard Bozulich. In 1968, Richard Bozulich had taken out a certificate of doing business under the name of Ishi Press through a friend in Berkeley, California.
In 1986, Richard Bozulich was approached by James W. Connelley who offered to help set up an Ishi Press subsidiary in the San Francisco Bay Area. The plan was that Ishi Press Japan could ship much larger quantities of books as well as go equipment, puzzles and other products made in Japan to a distribution point in America. This idea made economic sense and was put into effect.
Originally, Connelley operated Ishi Press USA from a desk in the business where he was already working. Eventually, as the Ishi Press business grew, Connelley rented an office for Ishi Press in Mountain View, California. Finally, in 1991, Connelley rented a gigantic warehouse facility at 76 Bonaventura Drive in San Jose, California, across from the Hewlett Packard headquarters.
This obviously involved a high overhead.
The monstrous warehouse in San Jose had to be filled with products supplied by Ishi Press Japan. The arrangement was that the products were shipped on credit and Connelley was given an average of six months to pay. Because of the large amounts of money involved, all of which had to be financed entirely by Ishi Press Japan, Richard Bozulich needed a line of credit or a factoring arrangement.
It so happened that Connelley had another corporation called The Connelley Group of which Connelley was the sole stockholder. The Connelley Group had been an importer of printing machinery and equipment from Japan and therefore had a credit history with the Japan Export Bank and a good credit rating, even though it had gone out of the business of importing heavy machinery.
For this reason, because The Connelley Group was regarded as credit worthy whereas Ishi Press International of San Jose, California had no credit history, the arrangement was made that Ishi Press Japan would make all of its shipments to the Connelley Group which would act as the receiving agent for Ishi Press International. Usually, the goods were shipped on six months credit. When six months passed, Ishi Press International would pay The Connelley Group which would then pay Ishi Press Japan.
By April, 1992, The Connelley Group was seriously delinquent in its payments. In order to keep Ishi Press International afloat, Richard Bozulich agreed to a deferred schedule of payments. Eight payments were eventually made, but usually in connection with requests for even larger shipments of goods on credit.
There was a similar problem with Europe. In 1991, Connelley went to England and set up another Ishi Press as a UK corporation. This was set up as a subsidiary of Ishi Press International California which in turn was a subsidiary of Ishi Press Japan. Ishi Press Japan made shipments to Ishi Press UK also on credit. However, with the exception of just one small payment, none of the goods shipped to Ishi Press UK by Ishi Press Japan were ever paid for.
By late 1993, Richard Bozulich ran out of money to finance these shipments on credit. Connelley claimed that both Ishi Press International and Ishi Press UK were unable to pay. Therefore, Connelley proposed to go public with a stock offering. Connelley brought in a wealthy investor named Elwyn Berlekamp who had written a book on go which he wanted to have published. Berlekamp brought in his friend, Nate Berkowitz. Together, Berlekamp and Berkowitz, plus another friend of Berlekamp named John Torode, put about $500,000 into Ishi Press, or so they say because no records have been found showing that this money ever actually went into Ishi Press USA.
In spite of the infusion of $500,000 in new capital, Ishi Press Japan never got paid for more than $300,000 in go books and equipment, plus toys, games and puzzles which had been shipped to The Connelley Group and to Ishi Press UK, plus royalties. Simply stated, Connelley kept the money.
In December, 1993, The Connelley Group filed for bankruptcy in San Jose Federal Court. In its bankruptcy filing, The Connelley Group claimed to have no operations and no assets at all. Meanwhile, the Ishi Press International warehouse in San Jose was filled with the goods which had been shipped by Richard Bozulich from Japan, goods for which he had never been paid.
On December 30, 1994, Connelley was "fired" so that he could collect unemployment insurance. Hartland Snyder assumed effective control of the operation without board approval or any other legal authority, starting in January, 1995.
Hartland Snyder is a man without assets who has been evading service of process and avoiding enforcement of money judgments since at least 1988. He has no home address. Nobody knows where he lives or works. He is a front man for Elwyn Berlekamp. For the last two years, the Sheriff of Alameda County, California has been searching for Hartland Snyder trying to serve him with papers or possibly to have him arrested. Hartland Snyder also has a judgment against him for domestic violence for beating up a former girlfriend. Nevertheless, he appeared at the American Go Congress in Cleveland and shows up at places where he is not expected.
By fantastic coincidence, the primary person who has been pursuing Hartland Snyder for the past ten years is a woman was a member of my Berkeley student club back in 1966 and who is featured elsewhere on my web site.
Richard Bozulich filed a case in San Jose federal court against Connelley, Berkowitz, Berlekamp and Hartland Snyder. Berlekamp hired an unethical and unprincipled lawyer named Howard Neal. Their strategy was to evade service of process and to require Richard Bozulich to come to America again and again to pursue the case. Howard Neal repeatedly filed motions requiring more than 30 court appearances. Richard Bozulich came to America six times for these court appearances. Each time he showed up, Howard Neal or his clients refused to participate. Elwyn Berlekamp walked out of a deposition and refused to answer questions because I, Sam Sloan, was present and had written some of the questions on paper for the lawyer to ask. Finally, in April, 1997, Howard Neal obtained court orders requiring Richard Bozulich to appear personally in court every two weeks (even though he had counsel of record) for several months, which meant that Richard Bozulich would have to give up his business in Japan and move to America, to keep the case going.
During this litigation, it became manifestly apparent that the actual money which had gone into Ishi Press International had been stolen by James W. Connelley. For example, when The Connelley Group claimed that it did not have the money to pay Ishi Press Japan, actually, The Connelley Group had received the money from Ishi Press International on time. Since James W. Connelley owned outright The Connelley Group but was merely the President of Ishi Press International, he made sure that Ishi Press International made all of its payments to The Connelley Group. However, Connelley simply kept the money for himself. He did not pay Richard Bozulich or The Ishi Press Japan.
During this period. Connelley bought a beautiful home at 970 Plaza Drive in San Jose with the money he had stolen from Richard Bozulich and from Ishi Press Japan. Connelley also got the $500,000 which Professor Berlekamp says he invested with Connelley. Another investor named Martin Lowenstein invested $75,000 with Connelley and suffered a total loss.
Ishi Press International rarely paid its debts. Ishi Press International never paid royalties to the authors of numerous books and puzzles which it published. I obtained a $5,000 money judgment for the royalties owed on my book "Chinese Chess for Beginners." However, most of the other authors were in Japan or Korea and could not come to America to file a small claims case. In spite of having a final money judgment since July, 1995, I have never been paid.
In July, 1995, Hartland Snyder and Elwyn Berlekamp siphoned $75,000 out of Ishi Press International to pay off a loan to Summit Bank which Connelley and Berlekamp had personally guaranteed, giving the insiders a preference over the general creditors such as myself.
In order to finance the shipments by Ishi Press Japan to the Connelley Group, Richard Bozulich mortgaged his home in Chigasaki, Japan. During the real estate boom in Japan, the value of the house went up and up and Richard Bozulich was able to borrow more and more money. This is how Connelley was able to fill the San Jose warehouse with goods shipped by Richard Bozulich on credit from Japan. When The Connelley Group defaulted and failed to pay $300,000 owed to Richard Bozulich, the banks foreclosed and evicted Richard Bozulich from his house, a process which took several years. Meanwhile, his wife divorced him in order to protect her own family assets from the banks.
As a result, James W. Connelley now lives in a big beautiful house in San Jose which he purchased with the money he stole from Richard Bozulich. Richard Bozulich has been evicted from his house in Japan and lives in a small rented room. Even his four virgin daughters have left him. However, he still continues to publish books.
I have 18 years experience in Wall Street dealing primarily with trying to recover the assets of bankrupt companies. As an over the counter securities trader, I dealt primarily in bankrupt bonds and in stocks of low priced or non-operating companies. I have the experience of having been appointed by the United States Small Business Administration to be the Acting President of a defunct Small Business Investment Company. Because of this experience in financial matters, plus the fact that I wrote a book which was published by Ishi Press International, I was the obvious choice to become the President and to try to rescue the otherwise defunct company.
This is how I came to be the President of Ishi Press.
This is the reason that The Ishi Press no longer publishes books and will not be publishing any books until Hartland Snyder, who continues to dog us, can be gotten rid of in some way.
I operate the Ishi Press web site myself.