2018 Regulation A+ Q&A

Since Regulation A+ was adopted in 2015, it has gained notable market acceptance. Regulation A+ provides an offering that can be used in combination with direct public offerings and initial public offerings as part of a Going Public Transaction allowing the issuer to avoid the risks of reverse merger transactions. Regulation A+ simplifies the process of obtaining the seed stockholders required by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) while allowing the issuer to raise initial capital. This blog post addresses the most common questions we receive about Regulation A+.Since Regulation A+ was adopted in 2015, it has gained notable market acceptance.  Regulation A+  provides an  offering that can be used in combination with direct public offerings and initial public offerings as part of a Going Public Transaction allowing the issuer to avoid the risks of reverse merger transactions. Regulation A+ simplifies the process of obtaining the seed stockholders required by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) while allowing the issuer to raise initial capital. This blog post addresses the most common questions we receive about Regulation A+.

How much can I raise with Regulation A+?

Tier 1 of Regulation A+ is available for offerings of securities of up to $20 million in a 12- month period, with no more than $6 million in offers by selling security- holders that are affiliates of the issuer. Tier 2 is available, for offerings of securities of up to $50 million in a 12-month period, with no more than $15 million in offers by selling security-holders that are affiliates of the issuer. Read More

Regulation A + and Secondary Trading

The Securities & Exchange Commission’s amendments to Regulation A went into effect on June 19, 2015 and are now over three years old. The amendments known as Regulation A+ continue to gain market acceptance not only by the OTC Markets but also by the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ Stock Market as an effective means of going public. A sometimes overlooked aspect of Regulation A+ is the impact of blue sky laws on secondary trading and liquidity.

The Securities & Exchange Commission’s amendments to Regulation A went into effect on June 19, 2015 and are now over three years old.  The amendments known as Regulation A+ have gained market acceptance not only by the OTC Markets but also by the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) and NASDAQ Stock Market as an effective means of going public.

A sometimes overlooked aspect of Regulation A+ is the impact of Blue Sky laws on secondary trading and liquidity. State Blue Sky laws are applicable to secondary trading and vary from state to state. From a practical perspective, it is important for a company looking to raise capital to offer liquidity to investors and facilitate secondary trading. Read More

Form S-1 Filing in 2018 – Securities Lawyers – Going Public

 

Form S-1 Filing - All companies qualify to register securities on a Form S-1 Registration Statement, while only certain issuers qualify to use Regulation A+. This blog post focuses on Forms S-1.

The Form S-1 filing remains widely used by companies seeking to raise capital and go public even after the enactment of Regulation A+.  The Form S-1 filing is the most commonly used registration statement form.  The flexibility of the Form S-1 filing allows for a variety of structures in securities offerings and going public transactions.  All companies qualify to register securities on a Form S-1 registration statement. Private companies going public should be aware of the expansive disclosure required in registration statements filed with the SEC prior to making the decision to go public. A Form S-1 registration statement on Form S-1 has two principal parts which require line item disclosures.  Part I of the registration statement is the prospectus, which requires that the company provide to Investors certain disclosures about its business operations, financial condition, and management. Part II contains information that doesn’t have to be delivered to investors.

This blog post provides a summary of the disclosures required in Form S-1 filings. Read More

SEC Files Subpoena Enforcement in Possible Market Manipulation Scheme

The SEC filed a subpoena enforcement action against NVC Fund LLC and its principal, Frank Ekejija, seeking an order directing them to comply with an investigative subpoena for documents and testimony.

The SEC filed a subpoena enforcement action against NVC Fund LLC and its principal, Frank Ekejija, seeking an order directing them to comply with an investigative subpoena for documents and testimony.

According to the SEC’s application, filed on November 30, 2018 in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, the SEC is investigating whether certain individuals or entities engaged in a potential pump-and-dump scheme in the stock of three penny-stock companies, Cherubim Interests, Inc., PDX Partners, Inc., and Victura Construction Group, Inc. Because the SEC was concerned about the accuracy of the companies’ disclosures, the SEC suspended trading in their securities on February 15, 2018 for ten business days. Based on its ongoing investigation, the SEC has reason to believe that each company issued false public statements in January 2018 to “pump” their stock price, claiming that NVC Fund owns “trillions” of dollars in “AAA-rated” assets, and that each company acquired hundreds of millions of dollars of these assets from NVC Fund. After the stock price and trading volume for each company increased as a result of the news, an entity associated with the companies may have “dumped” their overvalued shares for significant profits. Read More

The SEC Declared A Cease and Desist Proceedings with CoinAlpha Advisors LLC.

CoinAlpha Advisors LLC has submitted an Offer of Settlement, which the SEC has determined to accept. CoinAlpha Advisors LLC consented to the Cease-and-Desist Proceedings Pursuant to Section 8A of the Securities Act of 1933, Making Findings, and Imposing a Cease-and-Desist Order.On December 7, 2018, CoinAlpha Advisors LLC  submitted an Offer of Settlement, which the SEC has determined to accept. CoinAlpha Advisors LLC consented to the Cease-and-Desist Proceedings Pursuant to Section 8A of the Securities Act of 1933, Making Findings, and Imposing a Cease-and-Desist Order.

CoinAlpha Advisors LLC is a Delaware limited liability company with its principal place of business in Sunnyvale, California. CoinAlpha Advisors LLC was formed in July 2017 to act as the managing member of and manager to CoinAlpha Falcon LP. They has never been registered with the SEC in any capacity.

CoinAlpha Falcon LP is a Delaware limited partnership with its principal place of business in Sunnyvale, California.They has never been registered with the SEC in any capacity. A total of 22 investors invested a total of $608,491 in CoinAlpha Falcon. In October 2018, after being contacted by the SEC, CoinAlpha Advisors LLC unwound the CoinAlpha Falcon, pursuant to the authority granted in CoinAlpha Falcon’s Limited Partnership Agreement. Read More

SEC Voluntary Dismisses All Claims Against Jesse Litvak

On December 6, 2018, the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut entered an order dismissing, with prejudice, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's complaint against Jesse Litvak. The court's order was based on the SEC's motion to dismiss its claims against Jesse Litvak.On December 6, 2018, the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut entered an order dismissing, with prejudice, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s complaint against Jesse Litvak. The court’s order was based on the SEC’s motion to dismiss its claims against Jesse Litvak.

Jesse Litvak was also criminally charged by the U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut based on the same facts underlying the SEC’s action.  Jesse Litvak was twice convicted, in jury trials in March 2014 and January 2017, but those convictions were both overturned by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, most recently in May 2018.  In July 2018 the U.S. Attorney moved to dismiss its criminal case against Jesse Litvak and the court granted the motion to dismiss on August 1, 2018. Read More

SEC Charges Technology Fund Adviser, Founder in Fraudulent Scheme

The SEC charged Michael Rothenberg, the founder of San Francisco-based venture capital funds and his investment advisory firm with overcharging investors to fund personal projects, including sending millions of dollars to his own virtual reality production company.The SEC charged Michael Rothenberg, the founder of San Francisco-based venture capital funds and his investment advisory firm with overcharging investors to fund personal projects, including sending millions of dollars to his own virtual reality production company.

The SEC’s complaint alleges that Michael Rothenberg, 34, marketed his advisory firm, Rothenberg Ventures LLC, as uniquely positioned to identify millennial entrepreneurs and invest in “frontier technology” companies. According to SEC filings, Rothenberg’s funds had nearly 200 investors and more than $64 million in assets. The SEC’s complaint alleges that over a three-year period, Rothenberg and his firm misappropriated millions of dollars from the funds, including an estimated $7 million of excess fees, which Michael Rothenberg used to support personal business ventures he claimed were self-funded and to pay for private parties and events at high-end resorts and Bay Area sporting arenas. Read More

Court Enters Final Judgments in Eb-5 Scheme, Ordering Return of $25.8 Million to Defrauded Chinese Investors

Richard Cody - FraudOn November 19, 2018, a U.S. District Court for the Central District of California entered final judgments on consent against defendants Edward and Jean Chen, husband and wife, and five entity defendants who had been charged with defrauding Chinese investors in connection with the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program.

On September 20, 2017, the SEC filed a complaint against Edward and Jean Chen, Home Paradise Investment Center LLC, GH Investment LP, GH Design Group LLC, Golden Galaxy LP, and Mega Home LLC, alleging that the Chens, through the entities they controlled, raised more than $22.5 million from 45 investors in China for the development of an interior design center and an 80-unit condominium building. The complaint alleged that the Chens misappropriated and misused more than $12 million of investors’ funds by purchasing residential real estate unrelated to the two EB-5 projects. The SEC’s complaint further alleged that the Chens and their companies provided investors a fake lease for the interior design center that replaced the name of the true lessor with a Chen-controlled entity and overstated the true size of the leased space five-fold.  Read More

Owner of Options Trading Website, Mark Suleymanoy Charged for Defrauding Retail Investors

On December 3,2018 the SEC charged Mark Suleymanov of Glen Cove, New York with engaging in an online binary options scheme that defrauded retail investors out of approximately $4 million. The SEC's complaint alleges that from at least 2012 to 2016, Mark Suleymanov engaged in the unregistered offer and sale of binary options, which are securities that pay out depending on the outcome of a "yes/no" proposition, such as whether a specific equity security will close at or above a specified price on a given trading day. Mark Suleymanov promoted and sold the options on the SpotFN website and other related websites he controlled, and misrepresented the profitability of investing in the binary options, as well as investors' ability to access their funds. Mark Suleymanov allegedly used software to manipulate investors' trading results to increase investor losses, and prevented many investors from withdrawing their funds. As alleged in the complaint, the SpotFN website also falsely stated that an investor's funds would be held in a separate account and used only for trading options, not for SpotFN's business expenses. In fact, Mark Suleymanov commingled investor funds in his bank accounts and misused certain of the funds for business and personal expenses.On December 3,2018 the SEC charged Mark Suleymanov of Glen Cove, New York with engaging in an online binary options scheme that defrauded retail investors out of approximately $4 million.

The SEC’s complaint alleges that from at least 2012 to 2016, Mark Suleymanov engaged in the unregistered offer and sale of binary options, which are securities that pay out depending on the outcome of a “yes/no” proposition, such as whether a specific equity security will close at or above a specified price on a given trading day. Mark Suleymanov promoted and sold the options on the SpotFN website and other related websites he controlled, and misrepresented the profitability of investing in the binary options, as well as investors’ ability to access their funds. Mark Suleymanov allegedly used software to manipulate investors’ trading results to increase investor losses, and prevented many investors from withdrawing their funds. As alleged in the complaint, the SpotFN website also falsely stated that an investor’s funds would be held in a separate account and used only for trading options, not for SpotFN’s business expenses. In fact, Mark Suleymanov commingled investor funds in his bank accounts and misused certain of the funds for business and personal expenses. Read More

Three Florida Residents charged with Orchestrating a Fraudulent Public Shell Company Scheme

The SEC announced on December 3,2018 fraud charges against a Florida-based CPA, a former broker, and his spouse, for their roles in a fraudulent scheme involving the creation and sale of a public shell company and false regulatory filings to facilitate the sale.The SEC announced on December 3,2018 fraud charges against a Florida-based CPA, a former broker, and his spouse, for their roles in a fraudulent scheme involving the creation and sale of a public shell company and false regulatory filings to facilitate the sale.

According to the SEC, David Dreslin and Michael Toups created a shell company, Anglesea Enterprises, Inc., by filing false and misleading registration statements and periodic reports with the SEC, creating a phony business plan, and appointing nominal officers and directors to conceal their control over the company. The goal of the alleged scheme was to sell Anglesea in a reverse merger for profit. The SEC also alleges that Leslie Toups served as Anglesea’s majority shareholder and director and signed filings and other documents that contained materially false and misleading statements and omissions over a multiyear period. Read More