Medical device firm Nova Oculus CEO and former Edmonton Oilers NHL team owner Peter Pocklington has hired former Bill Cosby legal team member Becky James in defense of charges from the SEC, according to FierceBiotech.
The SEC claims that Pocklington and his attorney Lantson Eldred structured the ownership of Nova Oculus, formerly known as The Eye Machine, to hide Pocklington’s involvement with the company, using Eldred as the “visual front.” During funding rounds, the company and its heads failed to disclose Pocklington’s history and involvement with the company, as well as misrepresenting how funds would be spent.
The SEC alleges that Pocklington misappropriated more than $600,000 in investor funds for personal use including supporting gold mining companies and to pay for personal legal and credit card bills.
The complaint goes on to allege that The Eye Machine paid millions in undisclosed and excessive sales commissions to an additional three individuals who acted as unregistered brokers for the company, one of whom was barred from acting as a broker-dealer. Two of the unofficial brokers are accused of using “boiler room” operations in Florida to “cold call” investors.
The charges were filed in the federal court in California and charge Pocklington, Eldred and The Eye Machine with violating antifraud and securities registration provisions. Charges were also levied against The Eye Machine majority shareholder AMC Holdings, company in-house accountant Terrence Walton and the unregistered brokers, according to the SEC posting.
In a statement this week, Pocklington and Nova Oculus defended themselves by saying that the case was “specious, ill-founded and inaccurate,” according to FierceBiotech.
“We are confident our top-flight attorneys will launch an aggressive counter-attack that will reveal the SEC’s spurious allegations for the sham they are,” Pocklington said, according to the report.
Pocklington plead guilty to a federal felony perjury charge in 2010 and was ordered to pay more than $5 million to settle unrelated securities fraud and registration charges, the SEC said in its statement.