|Bid||0.0000 x 1000|
|Ask||0.0000 x 800|
|Day's Range||3.7000 - 3.8100|
|52 Week Range||2.9500 - 7.9500|
|Beta (5Y Monthly)||1.14|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||N/A|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||N/A (N/A)|
|1y Target Est||N/A|
(Bloomberg) -- A penny stock company received federal relief money to weather the pandemic two weeks after its shares were suspended by regulators who said it made misleading statements about its ability to distribute coronavirus antibody tests.The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission suspended trading in the shares of Predictive Technology Group on April 21 after questioning whether the company could, as it claimed, “immediately distribute large quantities of serology tests to detect the presence of Covid-19 antibodies,” according to the order.On May 6, the Salt Lake City-based company received a $1.7 million loan as part of the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program, according to a regulatory filing.The company’s shares resumed trading that same day after a two-week suspension. It didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment.There’s nothing in the PPP relief law that prevents a company whose shares were suspended from receiving loans from the program.What’s more, Predictive Technology isn’t the only publicly traded company that’s had run-ins with the SEC and also received PPP funding that’s remained out of reach for many small businesses.Cool Holdings Inc., which sells electronics equipment, received a loan despite being under investigation for securities fraud. MiMedx Group Inc. was awarded a $10 million PPP loan after paying a $6.5 million penalty in April to end a Justice Department probe into claims it defrauded the federal government. MiMedx, which didn’t admit wrongdoing as part of the settlement, has since returned its loan for reasons unrelated to the Justice Department probe.Predictive Technology, whose board includes Republican former Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah, is a biotechnology company that’s run by Chief Executive Officer Bradley Robinson and has about 110 employees. In a previous venture, Robinson was accused in a 2013 lawsuit of making false claims tied to a cholesterol-lowering algae water product that he said would be pitched to the television personality Dr. Oz, the Gates Foundation and Walgreen executives. The suit was settled out of court, a lawyer for the complainants said.Hatch and Robinson didn’t respond to requests for comment.The SEC, in suspending Predictive Technology’s shares, cited three news releases published by the company in March and early April. In one, on March 25, the company stated it planned to distribute a finger-prick test that screens for coronavirus antibodies, delivering results within 15 minutes. In another news release on April 8, the company said it had a million initial orders.According to Hindenburg Research, which has shorted Predictive Technology shares, said the company falsely claimed that a Chinese manufacturing partner received Chinese government approval to distribute the antibody tests. The tests were still being marketed on Predictive Technology’s website on Tuesday.In response, Predictive Technology called the firm’s claims “misleading” and said that “the company will not dignify the opinion piece with a point-by-point response.”Federal securities law allows the SEC to suspend trading in the shares of public companies for as many as 10 days if it deems that doing so is in the public interest, according to the regulator. After the period lapses, shares can trade on the over-the-counter market but generally at lower prices.The agency warns investors to be “very skeptical” when investing after the period ends. Shares of Predictive Technology have fallen 57% since the trading halt was lifted, to 35 cents. They have declined 92% in the last year.Congress passed the PPP legislation in March to help companies meet expenses such as payroll after the coronavirus pandemic all but shut down businesses all across the U.S. The Trump administration’s rollout of the program has been criticized by Democratic lawmakers for allowing publicly traded companies, which can raise money from capital markets, to receive the loans at the expense of smaller mom and pop businesses.After the criticism, the Treasury Department and SBA have since issued new guidance, warning companies with large valuations and access to capital markets that it’s unlikely they could certify in good faith that a PPP loan is “necessary to support the ongoing operations of the applicant.”More than 60 out of the roughly 400 public companies that received the loans have returned them, according to data from FactSquared.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Republican members of a new watchdog panel on Wednesday push back against their Democratic colleagues’ demand that five public companies return emergency loans meant for small businesses hurt by the coronavirus crisis.
A congressional committee tasked with overseeing coronavirus stimulus funds sent letters Friday afternoon to five public companies that took out Paycheck Protection Program loans demanding they repay the funds
(Bloomberg) -- A penny-stock company under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission for market manipulation in connection with a 300% jump in its shares two years ago got a $3.1 million loan from the government’s coronavirus relief fund for small businesses.Cool Holdings Inc., which sells electronics equipment, is one of at least three companies whose run-ins with the SEC didn’t prevent them from tapping the $349 billion first round of the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program.Two other recipients of PPP funds, MiMedx Group Inc. and CV Sciences Inc., have paid fines to settle SEC investigations. In early April, MiMedx, a Marietta, Georgia-based maker of skin grafts and other biomaterials, also agreed to pay $6.5 million to end a Justice Department probe into claims it defrauded the federal government. The companies neither admitted nor denied wrongdoing.The ability of these publicly traded companies to secure loans while many other small businesses couldn’t demonstrates the haphazard nature of the relief program. Loan applications ask only whether a business or owner is bankrupt, engaged in illegal activity, or if a principal or senior executive has been indicted or convicted in the past seven years, or is on parole. There are no questions about a company’s history with law enforcement or other regulatory bodies.“The Trump Administration should have a plan in place to prioritize scarce PPP funds so that real small businesses get priority, not large publicly traded firms and companies that are under active investigation for fraud,” Democratic Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island said in an email. “I have reached out to Treasury and SBA urging them to fix glaring weaknesses in these programs and will continue pressing Republican lawmakers to allow needed reforms.”MiMedx InvestigationsSeveral large, public companies generated public criticism for securing PPP loans. Some, such as Shake Shack Inc. and the operator of the Ruth’s Chris steakhouse chain, returned the money. The Treasury Department and SBA issued new guidance last week, warning companies with large valuations and access to capital markets that it’s unlikely they could certify in good faith the loan is “necessary to support the ongoing operations of the applicant.” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has also said the SBA will audit all loans of more than $2 million for any criminal liability.MiMedx, which won approval for a $10 million PPP loan, spent the past three years dealing with federal investigations into accounting fraud and allegations that it bilked U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Once a promising small-cap company with a market value of $1.2 billion, MiMedx was delisted from Nasdaq in 2018 after its board uncovered accounting irregularities, announced the need for a multiyear earnings restatement and ousted the company’s top executives.MiMedx’s fortunes hit bottom in November, when former Chief Executive Officer Parker Petit and Chief Operating Officer William Taylor were indicted in New York on charges of accounting fraud. The SEC extracted a $1.5 million settlement from the company to resolve a parallel investigation. The two former executives have entered not guilty pleas and are fighting the charges.Blue TorchUnder a new CEO hired last year, MiMedx secured $75 million in financing from Blue Torch Finance LLC. And in March, the company published restated earnings through 2018, reflecting an overstatement of at least $70 million in revenue over several years. Its report for 2019 has been delayed.MiMedx entered into an agreement with the Justice Department on April 6 to settle a civil investigation into claims that it defrauded the government by overcharging for skin-graft products. Combined with its $1.5 million SEC settlement five months earlier, the company has agreed to pay $8 million to resolve claims of bad behavior.On April 21, the same day MiMedx disclosed it had received the loan, it announced it renegotiated several covenants from its Blue Torch credit facility, allowing the company to reduce the amount of liquidity it needed on hand to $20 million from $40 million. The amended agreement cost MiMedx $725,000 in fees, which were added to the principal, and the interest rate of the loan increased.MiMedx said in an emailed statement that the PPP funds would be used for their intended purpose, to keep its 710 employees on the payroll, and that the money isn’t counted in its liquidity calculations for Blue Torch. The change in the covenant prevented the company from going into technical default, MiMedx said.“We need operating funds on hand at a time when we cannot access the public markets, owing to our financial restatement process,” the company said. “These funds are being used as designed –- to fund payroll. We are in compliance with the PPP program as it stands.”Penny StocksCool Holdings is under investigation for fraud by the SEC, which has asked for documents tied to its shares rallying 300% in September 2018. Two early investors in the Miami-based company, Barry Honig and John O’Rourke, were sued by the regulator that same month for their roles in orchestrating market manipulation in the shares of other penny stocks.The SEC alleged that the two participated in pump-and-dump schemes, where insiders buy shares of cheap stocks, push them higher through promotions and then sell. Both men settled with the SEC without admitting or denying the allegations and were banned from penny stock companies. O’Rourke agreed in March to pay a $1.2 million penalty.Vern LoForti, senior vice president of Cool Holdings, said the company is cooperating with the SEC and that Honig and O’Rourke haven’t been investors since September 2018. He said Cool Holdings met all the SBA requirements for a loan and that the money would be used for payroll costs, rent and utilities at its 44 U.S. stores.“While we do have public shareholders,” LoForti said, “we are a ‘small employer’ and the kind of small business specifically targeted by Congress for assistance.”CV Sciences, which sells oils extracted from cannabis plants, received a $2.9 million PPP loan. In a case filed by the SEC in 2017, the San Diego-based company agreed to pay a $150,000 penalty to resolve claims it overstated its assets. CEO Michael Mona resigned, agreed to pay a $50,000 fine and was suspended from serving as an officer or director of a publicly traded company for five years.The company and its former CEO didn’t respond to requests for comment.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- While some mom-and-pop businesses waited in vain for their share of a federal bailout, a 700-person biotech firm that recently paid a multimillion-dollar settlement to the Justice Department was approved for one.A steel fabricator with 795 employees was too. So was a telecommunications company that has 1,270 workers, 700 of them based in the U.S.The Paycheck Protection Program, touted as a Covid-19 lifeline for businesses with fewer than 500 workers, provided tens of millions of dollars in loans to firms with far larger payrolls than that, according to disclosures filed by publicly traded firms that received the aid. Companies with as many as 1,500 workers could access the program -- thanks to obscure federal rules that in 2016 redefined what constitutes a “small” business.“We are frustrated that this is happening because we do feel like our members are getting boxed out,” said Karen Harned, executive director of the National Federation of Independent Business Small Business Legal Center. “They feel like once again they’re getting shortchanged. The bailout’s for everybody but them.”Under a menu of Small Business Administration rules that set size limits by industry, bituminous coal companies with as many as 1,500 employees qualify for PPP loans of as much as $10 million, as do steel manufacturers with 1,000 workers. Music publishers, newspaper publishers and companies that provide sea cruises can all have as many as twice the 500-employee limit that made headlines when Congress enacted the program last month.Tortilla-makers, cheesemakers and breweries, along with companies that make toiletries can have as many as 1,250 employees and still be small. In all, companies in more than 300 industries are considered small by federal officials even when they have more than 500 workers. (There are also some industries for which the limit is set lower than 500 workers.)Settlement, Then LoanMiMedx Group Inc., an Atlanta-based company that has 700 employees, was approved for a PPP loan for $10 million last week, according to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing. The firm is in the “surgical appliance and supplies manufacturing” industry, in which companies are considered “small” with as many as 750 employees.Earlier this month, MiMedx entered into a civil settlement with the Justice Department to resolve allegations that it knowingly submitted false commercial pricing disclosures to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs; the company agreed to pay $6.5 million. A MiMedx spokeswoman said the firm is in compliance with the small-business loan program’s rules.The SBA, which oversees the bailout program, set the current size standards in 2016 to govern how businesses in different industries could access its existing programs and for government contracting purposes.The standards are aimed at strengthening the competitive positions of smaller operators in various industries, according to an April 2019 report. In setting them, the SBA considers such factors as the degree of competition, average firm size and barriers to entry for new companies in each industry.When Congress created the PPP last month -- with initial funding of $349 billion -- the adjusted definitions were already in place. Main Street shops were left competing with far larger companies, and the pandemic-relief program was tapped dry in just 13 days. Congress appropriated $320 billion more last week, and the SBA said it would resume accepting loan applications on Monday.The program’s design may have contributed to the problem for truly small businesses. Its forgivable loans were capped at 2 ½ times a firm’s average monthly payroll or $10 million, whichever is lower. Larger firms take larger shares, crowding others out.‘Finite Dollars’But larger businesses are also more likely to have established relationships with lenders, more reserves and better access to equity markets than smaller ones, said John Arensmeyer, chief executive officer of the Small Business Majority, an advocacy group.“There are needs everywhere in the economy, but you’ve got finite dollars,” Arensmeyer said. “So we think that policy makers should be looking toward where the biggest need is.”The law that created the PPP also included a special provision allowing restaurant and hotel chains with thousands of employees to apply for its loans as long as each of its physical locations had no more than 500 workers. That provision allowed some national chains to use the program extensively.Over the past several days, public outrage swelled as a growing roster of public companies disclosed that they’d successfully accessed the program. In response, firms including Shake Shack Inc., which got a $10 million loan, and the operator of Ruth’s Chris steakhouses, which got $20 million, announced plans to return the funds they’d tapped.One recipient, IDT Corp., a telecommunications company based in Newark, will be returning its $10 million loan “to make those funds available to other borrowers that may be in greater need,” according to a filing it posted on Monday.IDT, which employs 700 people in the U.S., had been planning to use the loan “to continue paying salaries and benefits at a time when the retail stores that our telecom sales force and distribution arms cover are either closed or serving far fewer customers,” spokesman Bill Ulrey said on Friday. The company had $1.4 billion in revenue last year, filings show.Universal Stainless, a steel manufacturer in Bridgeville, Pennsylvania, received a $10 million loan last week, an SEC filing shows. The company, which didn’t respond to requests for comment, had 795 employees as of December 2019, according to its annual disclosure for the year. It had profit of $4.3 million on sales of $243 million last year.Lindblad Expeditions Holdings, Inc., a New York-based ecotourism company, employs 650 people, with 461 based in the U.S. It received a $6.6 million PPP loan on April 10.A company spokesperson pointed out that the SBA standard for the cruise-line industry -- or the “deep sea passenger transportation” industry, as it’s called in regulations -- is 1,500 employees. She said Lindblad hasn’t generated any revenue since voluntarily suspending all new expeditions on March 12. Despite that, the company has maintained its staffing levels.New GuidanceTreasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has sought to defend the program’s reach, citing more than 1 million companies with fewer than 10 workers that have been approved for loans so far. An SBA report says more than 1.2 million loans were for $150,000 or less.Even so, those small loans accounted for only 17% of the $342.3 billion processed. And while fewer than 2% of the approved applications sought loans for more than $2 million, they accounted for 28% of the total funding, SBA data show.Last week, the Trump administration announced new guidance for the program, essentially telling large companies with access to capital markets that they should stay out. Companies applying for the PPP loans must certify that they need the aid because of the Covid-19 pandemic and that they lack other funding sources, according to the guidance. Whether the SBA, which will take charge of auditing the program’s effectiveness, can enforce that guidance remains to be seen.On Friday, the SBA and the Treasury Department issued a new rule: Hedge funds and private equity firms won’t be eligible for the program’s loans because they’re “primarily engaged in investment or speculation.”Also, in appropriating $320 billion more for the program last week, Congress required that $60 billion must be set aside for small banks -- those with $50 billion or less in assets -- to disburse. That sort of change should give smaller businesses more access than they got in the first round, advocates say.(Updates with telecommunications firm’s plan to return its loan, beginning in 17th paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Two former executives of biotech company MiMedx Group Inc were criminally charged on Tuesday with fraudulently inflating the company's revenue. Former MiMedx Chief Executive Parker Petit and former Chief Operating Officer William Taylor were charged with securities fraud and conspiracy in an indictment in Manhattan federal court. "Pete Petit adamantly denies the charges leveled against him today, and he will vigorously defend himself in court," Petit' s lawyer, Eric Bruce, said in a statement.
Two former executives of biotech company MiMedx Group Inc <MDXG.PK> were criminally charged on Tuesday with fraudulently inflating the company's revenue. Former MiMedx Chief Executive Parker Petit and former Chief Operating Officer William Taylor were charged with securities fraud and conspiracy in an indictment in Manhattan federal court. "Pete Petit adamantly denies the charges leveled against him today, and he will vigorously defend himself in court," Petit' s lawyer, Eric Bruce, said in a statement.
MiMedx Group, Inc. (OTC PINK: MDXG) ("MiMedx" or the "Company"), an industry leader in advanced wound care and an emerging therapeutic biologics company, today announced that it has finalized a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"), resolving a previously disclosed investigation into the Company's financial accounting practices.
MiMedx Group, Inc. (OTC PINK: MDXG) ("MiMedx" or "the Company"), an industry leader in advanced wound care and an emerging therapeutic biologics company, today announced the addition of William "Butch" Hulse as its new General Counsel and Secretary, effective December 2, 2019. With more than twenty years' experience in large law firms and life sciences organizations, Mr. Hulse brings to MiMedx legal, risk management, compliance and operational expertise and a track record of success.