The founder and former CEO of Jumio Inc. has agreed to pay more than $17 million to settle SEC charges that he defrauded investors in the mobile payments firm.
According to the SEC's complaint, Daniel Mattes "grossly" overstated Jumio's 2013 and 2014 revenues and then sold shares that he personally held to investors in the private, secondary market.
Mattes made around $14 million by selling the shares and hid the fact that he had made them from the Jumio board, says the SEC.
Mattes also falsely told an investor that he didn’t want to sell any of his shares because there was “lots of great stuff coming up,” and that “he’d be stupid to sell at this point," says the complaint.
However, the incorporated firm in fact had to restate its financial results in 2015, wiping out most of its revenues and its shares became worthless after it filed for bankruptcy in 2016, before re-emerging as Jumio Corp.
Mattes is an Austrian citizen who now heads a privately-held AI firm called 42.cx in his home country, where he is also a TV personality having been a judge on the local version of Shark Tank.
Without admitting or denying the SEC allegations, he has enjoined from future similar violations and barred from being an officer or director of a publicly traded company in the US, and will pay more than $16 million in disgorgement and prejudgment interest plus a $640,000 penalty.
Meanwhile, former Jumio CFO Chad Starkey has settled with the SEC for signing stock transfer agreements that falsely implied that the board of directors had approved Mattes’ sales. Having entered into a cooperation agreement, he will pay $420,000.