The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s complaint was unsealed on April 6, 2018. The SEC charges Longfin and its (CEO Venkata Meenavalli) with participating in violations of the federal securities laws related to the September 2017 issuance of restricted shares to- and subsequent public sales by- certain individuals (including two alleged Meenavalli affiliates).
Then, in December 2017 Longfin announced it acquired “Ziddu.com” a purported cryptocurrency business. This news drove the price of Longfin shares to a high of $142.82 on December 18, 2017. According to the SEC’s complaint this business had no ascertainable value.
On March 23, 2018 a contributor to SeekingAlpha published his conclusion that Longfin shares rose because it was probably mistakenly added to the Russell indices on March 22, 2018.
Then, on March 26, 2018, Bloomberg reported an analyst stated Longfin’s SEC filings and press releases are riddled with fraud. That same day, Russell announced it removed Longfin from its indices.
By April 2, 2018, the Company reported serious weaknesses in internal controls over financial reporting. These include (a) lacking qualified personnel who fully understand accounting rules, (b) no formal or documented accounting policies and procedures, and (c) no formal review process around accounting journal entries recorded.
Between March 23, 2018 and April 2, 2018 the price of Longfin shares dropped $56.79 to close at $14.31 on April 2, 2018 – a loss of about 80%.
“We’re focused on investors’ losses, Longfin’s SEC filings, its purported cryptocurrency business, and whether Defendants engaged in accounting fraud,” said Hagens Berman partner Reed Kathrein.
Whistleblowers: Persons with non-public information regarding Longfin should consider their options to help in the investigation or take advantage of the SEC Whistleblower program. Under the new program, whistleblowers who provide original information may receive rewards totaling up to 30 percent of any successful recovery made by the SEC. For more information, call Reed Kathrein at 510-725-3000 or email LFIN@hbsslaw.com.