Hologram USA hits back amid fraud allegations
Hologram USA and its CEO Alki David have announced that they intend to “vigorously fight” allegations of fraud and registration violations made by the US Security and Exchange Commission (SEC).
The SEC complaint alleges that Hologram USA presented “false and misleading” information to investors on its website, in relation to its “exclusive” rights to present holographic performances of artists including Tupac Shakur, Whitney Houston and Roy Orbison.
The complaint also claims the company misled investors regarding the existence of a Hologram USA theatre network, which was said to include the Landmark Theater in Indianapolis, the Civic Theater in New Orleans, the Saratoga Casino in New York and the Twin River Casino in Rhode Island.
Additionally, the SEC states that Hologram USA drew investors to its website through a TV commercial advertising the sale of unregistered stock.
“Through a nationwide television commercial and internet campaign that hyped Hologram’s purportedly imminent public offering, defendants knowingly or recklessly disseminated materially false and misleading statements to promote these unregistered offerings to prospective investors,” writes the SEC.
“I’m glad they sued and I’m going to countersue”
According to the SEC, David sold US$100,000 worth of unregistered shares between December 2017 and March 2018 ahead of an aborted initial public offering (IPO). The company had sought approval from the SEC to sell the stock but started soliciting buyers and selling unregistered securities to investors – “many of whom were not accredited” – before receiving the go ahead.
In March 2018, the SEC began enquiring about the unregistered offerings and Hologram USA started to refund investors. By April, all but $26,000 had been returned, according to the complaint.
“I’m glad they sued and I’m going to countersue,” says David in response to the complaint, which he terms as “bullshit”.
“I spent $80 million of my own money to build my company and take it public,” continues David. “I hired the best people and did everything by the book, working closely with NASDAQ. Twice, the SEC has targeted me and blocked my efforts to create hundreds of jobs as I advance the hologram industry. And now this. They’ve picked the wrong guy to fish for some settlement with. I’m not going to take it.”
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