Partner Reluctantly Decided That Something Was Wrong

It took Bernard Mass' final partner at Whiteworth a long time to conclude that something was amiss.

Chhagan "Jack" Vasoya, an Indian-born pharmacist who linked up with Mass through a classified ad, shook off warnings from Mass' employees--not to mention his own attorney and accountant--in taking on the task of bringing the drug company back to life after its move to San Bernardino.

But while Vasoya struggled for months to regain the drug manufacturing license lost when the company left Gardena, his partner seemed strangely detached. Mass would disappear on paydays, Vasoya recalled. The $500,000 he promised to invest in the company--by then renamed Trans-World Pharmaceuticals--never materialized.

"I realized at one point that Trans-World was a show to show people he is doing a business," said Vasoya, a small, black-haired man with dark eyes and a rich accent. "Several people asked me, 'Is this really a business? Is Bernie really involved in it?' "

For his $25,000 investment, Vasoya finally had a new license in hand by March, 1990. The state regulators who issued it knew none of the details of Whiteworth's tumultuous past; by law, the Department of Health Services is prohibited from inquiring into the finances of its licensees.

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