The Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) is investigating Ignite International Brands, the Canada-based cannabis company run by social media influencer Dan Bilzerian, the Globe and Mail reports. The company is also under regulatory investigation in Canada.
The company had previously traded on the Canadian Securities Exchange (“BILZ-CN”) but went private on Monday. At its peak in 2019, the company had a market capitalization of more than $750 million, but it was worth about $170 million when it stopped trading in both Canada and the U.S., the report says.
The company pulled out of Canada in October 2021 citing the “government’s excessive restrictions,” the report says.
The SEC on Monday filed a request with a California court to compel Ignite to comply with a subpoena it sent in May. In the court filing, the SEC said Ignite faces multiple investigations in the U.S. Ignite also revealed it is facing “numerous requests from the regulatory authorities” in Canada.
SEC staff attorney Patricia Pei said in the court filing outlined by the Globe and Mail that the agency is seeking information regarding “possible violations of the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws” by Ignite and that says SEC staff uncovered information “that indicates it may have filed public financial statements that include false or misleading representations” about its revenue in 2020.
“The SEC seeks an order from the court directing Ignite to show cause why the court should not compel it to produce documents as required by the subpoena. The SEC further seeks an order from the court, following its ruling on the order to show cause, directing Ignite to comply fully with the subpoena. The SEC is continuing its fact-finding investigation and, to date, has not concluded that any individual or entity has violated the federal securities laws.” — the SEC in an Aug. 30 statement
Ignite was first subpoenaed by U.S. authorities in May but the company sought a stay of that action, which was denied by the SEC. The agency said it gave the company “multiple accommodations” but Ignite “failed to produce the full set of requested documents.”
The case is listed as Securities and Exchange Commission v. Ignite International Brands, Ltd., No. 2:22-mc-00172
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