11. COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES
|9 Months Ended|
Sep. 30, 2018
|Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract]|
|COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES||
The Company entered an 8-year lease agreement (the “Lease”) consolidating its operations of approximately 24,000 square feet in San Diego, California that commenced on February 1, 2018. The Company is required to pay monthly base rent, utilities and common area maintenance expenses. The Company received a landlord rent incentive of $1,067,459 for tenant improvements. The Lease rent incentive is recorded as a deferred liability and is amortized over the Lease term to rent expense.
The Company entered a 3-year lease agreement for additional warehouse space of approximately 5,000 square feet in San Diego, California that commenced on April 1, 2018. In August 2018, the Company entered a lease agreement for additional office space of approximately 6,600 in San Diego, California that commenced on October 15, 2018.
The following table provides the Company’s future minimum payments under all Company lease commitments as of September 30, 2018:
The Company incurred rent expense of $164,397 and $110,938 for the three months ended September 30, 2018 and 2017, respectively, and incurred rent expense of $500,214 and $353,555 for the nine months ended September 30, 2018 and 2017, respectively.
On April 23, 2014, Tanya Sallustro filed a purported class action complaint (the “Complaint”) in the Southern District of New York (the “Court”) alleging securities fraud and related claims against the Company and certain of its officers and directors and seeking compensatory damages including litigation costs. Ms. Sallustro alleges that between March 18-31, 2014, she purchased 325 shares of the Company’s common stock for a total investment of $15,791. The Complaint refers to Current Reports on Form 8-K and Current Reports on Form 8-K/A filings made by the Company on April 3, 2014 and April 14, 2014, in which the Company amended previously disclosed sales (sales originally stated at $1,275,000 were restated to $1,082,375 - a reduction of $192,625) and restated goodwill as $1,855,512 (previously reported at net zero). On March 19, 2015, the Court issued a ruling appointing Steve Schuck as lead plaintiff. Counsel for Mr. Schuck filed a “consolidated complaint” on September 14, 2015, asserting two claims: (1) for violation of Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and SEC Rule 10B-5 promulgated thereunder against all defendants, and (2) for violation of Section 20(a) of the Exchange Act against the individual defendants. Plaintiffs sued the Company, Michael Mona, Jr., Bart Mackay, Theodore Sobieski, Edward Wilson, Stuart Titus, and Michael Llamas.
On December 11, 2015, the Company and the individuals (except for Messrs. Titus and Llamas) filed a motion to dismiss the consolidated complaint. On April 2, 2018, the Court issued an order granting in part and denying in part the motion to dismiss. With respect to the First Claim for violation of Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act, the court ruled that plaintiffs failed to allege misstatements or omissions attributable to Messrs. Mackay, Sobieski, or Titus, and so granted the motion on that claim as to those parties. The court found the allegations sufficient as to the Company and Messrs. Wilson, and Mona Jr., and so denied the motion as to those parties. Under plaintiffs’ separate theory of “market manipulation,” the Court granted the motion in favor of all defendants. The parties are currently awaiting entry of a case scheduling order by the Court. Management intends to vigorously defend the allegations and an estimate of possible loss cannot be made at this time.
On March 17, 2015, stockholder Michael Ruth filed a shareholder derivative suit in Nevada District Court alleging two causes of action: 1) Breach of Fiduciary Duty, and 2) “Gross Mismanagement.” The claims are premised on the same events as the already-pending securities class action case in New York discussed above – it is alleged that the Form 8-K filings misstated goodwill and sales of the Company, which when corrected, lead to a significant drop in stock price. The Company filed a motion to dismiss the suit on June 29, 2015. Instead of opposing the Company’s motion, Mr. Ruth filed an amended complaint on July 20, 2015. Thereafter, Mr. Ruth and the Company agreed to stay the action pending the outcome of the securities class action case in New York discussed above. Mr. Ruth and the Company filed a stipulation and proposed order on June 20, 2018 asking the Nevada District Court to continue the stay in the action pending a resolution on the securities class action case. Since no discovery has been conducted and the case has been stayed for nearly three years, an estimate of the possible loss or recovery cannot be made at this time.
On June 15, 2017, the SEC filed an enforcement action against the Company and its then-Chief Executive Officer, Michael Mona, Jr. In the complaint, filed in the United States District Court of Nevada (Case No. 2:17-cv-01681), the SEC alleged that the Company and Mr. Mona violated federal securities laws, including Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and SEC Rule 10b-5(b), through alleged misrepresentations made in certain SEC reports regarding the value of the Company’s assets acquired by the Company from PhytoSphere Systems, LLC. On May 31, 2018, the Company and Mr. Mona settled all claims. Pursuant to the terms of the settlement, without admitting or denying the allegations made by the SEC, the Company agreed to a consent judgment pursuant to which (a) the Company agreed to pay a penalty in the amount of $150,000, and (b) the Company is permanently enjoined from violations of federal securities laws. The Company has made this payment in full. Mr. Mona, without admitting or denying any allegations, agreed to an order (a) prohibiting him from serving as an officer or director of a publicly held company for five (5) years, (b) providing for payment in the aggregate amount of $50,000, payable in 12 installments commencing 30 days after entry of final judgment, and (c) permanently enjoining him from violations of federal securities laws. Effective concurrent with the settlement, Mr. Mona resigned as the Company’s President and Chief Executive Officer, and resigned his position on the Company’s Board of Directors.
On October 21, 2016, Dun Agro B.V. (“Dun Agro”) filed a complaint against the Company in the District Court of the North Netherlands, location Groningen, The Netherlands, alleging non-performance under a contract, seeking compensatory damages of approximately 2,050,000 euros, excluding interest and costs. The plaintiff alleges that the Company was obligated to perform under that certain Supply Agreement between the Company and Dun Agro dated December 19, 2013, and to purchase 1,000,000 kilograms of harvested raw material related to the 2016 crop. The Company settled this matter on August 31, 2018 with no compensatory damages.
The Company is a plaintiff in a litigation matter involving a former credit card processor of the Company and recently settled another matter involving a former credit card processor of the Company. On September 10, 2017, the Company filed a complaint against one such credit card processor, PayToo Merchant Services, Corporation (“Pay Too”), a Florida corporation, in the Circuit Court in Broward County, Florida, asserting breach of contract claims for PayToo’s failure to remit approximately $250,000 to the Company for credit card sales processed by PayToo from January 2017 to February 2017. On December 11, 2017, the Company filed a complaint against the other credit card processor, T1 Payments, LLC (“T1”), a Nevada corporation, in District Court, Clark County, Nevada, asserting breach of contract claims for T1’s failure to remit approximately $500,000 to the Company for credit card sales processed by T1 from February 2017 to October 2017. The T1 matter was resolved on October 22, 2018 with $450,000 of previously restricted cash being released to the Company by T1 in full settlement of the Company’s complaint.
The Company has been made aware of a series of complaints and one derivative suit filed by various plaintiffs alleging violations of securities law related to the Company’s disclosures regarding patent prosecution of its various drug development assets. On August 24, 2018, David Smith filed a purported class action complaint against the Company in the United States District Court District of Nevada. This complaint and the other complaints that the Company has been made aware of were filed directly after Citron Research published on Twitter on August 20, 2018 its belief that the Company misled investors by failing to disclose that the Company’s efforts to secure patent protection had been “finally rejected” by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The Company believes these claims are without merit, and intends to vigorously defend any claims in the event it is served with a complaint.
In the normal course of business, the Company is a party to a variety of agreements pursuant to which we may be obligated to indemnify the other party. It is not possible to predict the maximum potential amount of future payments under these types of agreements due to the conditional nature of our obligations and the unique facts and circumstances involved in each particular agreement. Historically, payments made by us under these types of agreements have not had a material effect on our business, consolidated results of operations or financial condition.
The entire disclosure for commitments and contingencies.
Reference 1: http://fasb.org/us-gaap/role/ref/legacyRef