Xethanol update

Xethanol Corp. has replaced Christopher d’Arnaud-Taylor as chief executive officer.

The new boss is Louis B. Bernstein, a member of Xethanol’s board and a retired assistant general counsel at Pfizer Inc. Xethanol said Bernstein would run the company on an interim basis while it searches for a permanent CEO, as well as a chief operating officer.

A spokesperson for Xethanol (XNL: AMEX) told Reuters that d’Arnaud-Taylor will remain an adviser to the company.

A standard background check shows that Bernstein has been a Xethanol director since June 2005, a few months after the company went public through a reverse merger with Zen Pottery Equipment Inc. of Denver. He recently retired from Pfizer after 30 years of service.

Bernstein also is a director at United Energy Corp., a New Jersey company that sells specialty chemicals used in oil and gas production, photo finishing and other fields. He joined its board in September 2003.

A check of United Energy’s SEC filings shows that five people connected to that company also have ties to Xethanol.

United Energy’s 10-K filing dated July 29, 2003 lists Jeffrey S. Langberg as the company’s director of marketing. The report said he held the position under a one-year contract. It described him as a self-employed consultant and investment banker. United Energy said Wednesday that Langberg no longer works there.

Langberg more recently has been a consultant to Xethanol, as well as a director and a major shareholder. The company’s SEC filings describe him as an independent investment banker who has advised d’Arnaud-Taylor since 1999. Langberg resigned his board seat at Xethanol in June. The annual report the company filed on March 31 said he and his spouse controlled nearly 1.14 million shares of its stock.

Xethanol’s earlier SEC filings show that United Energy’s chairman and chief executive, Ronald Wilen, also was a Xethanol shareholder. A registration statement last October listed him with 132,421 shares. The same document lists Martin Rappaport, a United Energy director, as holding 132,421 shares.

The registration statement lists Joseph J. Grano Jr. as holding 50,000 shares. Grano is the former chairman and chief executive of UBS PaineWebber Inc. and serves on Xethanol’s advisory board. United Energy’s most recent annual filing with the SEC lists Grano as holding 1.6 million of its shares, plus 1.33 million warrants. That stake, including the warrants, amounted to 9.1 percent of the shares outstanding.

{Disclosure: Mark Cuban, majority owner of Sharesleuth.com LLC, has no investment position in United Energy (UNRG: OTCBB) }.

United Energy is based in Secaucus. It had revenue of $492,235 in the 12 months that ended March 31, 2006, and reported a net loss of $10.8 million. That figure included $6.8 million in non-cash financing expenses. The company reported $225,067 in sales for the first quarter of its new year, and a loss of $568,100.

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