By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News
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“The company itself is not under investigation,” Nelson Ludlow said.
“There were some questions about trades, and we asked the SEC to step in.
“We are cooperating with them and giving them whatever they need.”
Mobilisa co-founder Ludlow took over as CEO from Steve Williams following the company’s Nov. 8 financial report in which it disclosed that it lost $381,296 on revenue of $2.1 million for the quarter ended Sept. 30.
Williams succeeded Ludlow as president and CEO of Intellicheck Mobilisa, based at 191 Otto St., in April 2011.
Ludlow said Tuesday that he has been advised by attorneys not to discuss specifics of the case, including any possible relationship between the SEC probe and Williams’ departure.
During a Nov. 8 conference call when the losses were announced, several stockholders expressed disappointment with the company, specifically its stock transactions, which come under the purview of the SEC.
Stockholder Sandra Haines questioned Williams specifically about the sale of nearly 200,000 shares for more than $350,000 and that he exercised the options at about $100,000.
“That means you took a profit of about a quarter of a million dollars,” she said.
“My real complaint is you did this only six days before the end of the quarter, and you tell us today that this is a terrible quarter. ”
“I’m wondering if this maybe is a little bit of insider information, and why did you dump your stock like this?”
Williams in the recorded conference call answered that he sold shares to cover his stock options.
“My selling the stock wasn’t a taking of profit; it actually was the acquisition of additional shares,” Williams said.
“I had expiring options, so I in fact paid the company for my shares.
“My share position is actually higher now than what I had previously.”
Investor David Rich criticized the company’s performance as it relates to the selling of stock.
“I’ve been in this stock for eight years. You have underperformed every single quarter,” he said.
“All of you are just selling stock, and we shareholders are stuck. And this report tells us that this stock is going to zero unless you guys get on the stick.”
Ludlow would not comment as to whether Williams’ trades were related to the SEC inquiry.
He said he could not speculate about the length of the SEC investigation but said he expected a positive outcome for the company.
In a written statement, the company stated that it “takes all securities laws and SEC regulations very seriously and is cooperating with the SEC’s inquiry.”
Jefferson County Reporter Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.