Washington, D.C.–(Newsfile Corp. – June 7, 2022) – The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged Bridgewater, NJ-based Synchronoss Technologies, Inc. and seven senior employees, including the former CFO, in connection with their roles related to long-running accounting improprieties that ran from 2013 to 2017. In addition, the company’s founder and former CEO, Stephen Waldis, while not charged with misconduct, agreed to reimburse the company for more than $1.3 million in stock sale profits and bonuses as well as to return previously granted shares of company stock pursuant to Section 304 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX).
The SEC filed a complaint in federal district court in Manhattan against former CFO Karen Rosenberger and former Controller Joanna Lanni. Among other things, the SEC’s complaint alleges that Rosenberger engaged in fraud through her role in improperly recognizing revenue on multiple transactions and that she also misled Synchronoss’s auditor about multiple transactions. The SEC alleges Lanni was involved in improper accounting for one transaction.
“Investors are entitled to rely on financial statements that are free of accounting improprieties, and when an issuer and its executives and employees engage in accounting gimmicks, we will use every available tool, including significant corporate penalties and individual accountability, to address such misconduct,” said Gurbir S. Grewal, Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement. “Today’s action should also put public company executives on notice that even when they are not charged with having a role in the misconduct at issue, we will still pursue clawbacks of compensation under SOX 304 to ensure they do not financially benefit from their company’s improper accounting.”
In a July 2018 SEC filing, Synchronoss, a technology company that primarily provides products, software, and services to telecommunications companies, announced a restatement of its audited financial statements for the fiscal years ended December 31, 2015 and 2016 and restated selected financial data for the fiscal years ended 2013 and 2014 totaling approximately $190 million in revenues. Synchronoss acknowledged that during this period it had accounted for numerous transactions improperly and thus filed with the Commission materially misleading financial statements along with having material weaknesses in its internal controls over financial reporting.
As alleged in the various charging documents filed today, Synchronoss’s improper accounting primarily concerned three categories of transactions: (1) transactions for which there was not persuasive evidence of an arrangement; (2) acquisitions/divestitures in which Synchronoss recognized revenue on license agreements rather than netting those purported amounts against the purchase prices; and (3) license/hosting transactions, in which it improperly recognized revenue upfront, instead of ratably over the term of the multi-year arrangement. In addition, the SEC alleged that certain Synchronoss employees entered into “side letter” arrangements, concealing facts indicating that the revenue that Synchronoss recognized upfront was in fact contingent on future events. The impact of the improper accounting was material and in many instances allowed the company to meet earnings targets.
Without admitting or denying the SEC’s findings, Synchronoss agreed to cease and desist from violating Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and other provisions of the securities laws, and to pay a civil penalty of $12.5 million. The following parties also agreed to settle:
- Ronald Prague, the company’s former general counsel, settled charges stemming from his involvement, along with others, in misleading the company’s auditors regarding two transactions and to pay a civil penalty of $25,000 and to be suspended from appearing and practicing before the SEC as an attorney for 18 months; and
- Clayton “Charlie” Thomas, Marc Bandini, Daniel Ives, former senior employees of the company, along with current employee, John Murdock, settled charges from their participation in at least one side letter agreement that concealed the revenue that Synchronoss recognized upfront was in fact contingent on future events and to pay civil penalties ranging from $15,000 to $90,000.
The SEC’s investigation was conducted by James Burt IV, Kenneth Gottlieb, Theresa Gue, Desiree Marmita, Lindsay S. Moilanen, and Richard Primoff, and supervised by Lara S. Mehraban and Sheldon Pollock. The investigative team appreciates the assistance of Eduardo Martinez of the Office of Market Intelligence. The litigation against Rosenberger and Lanni will be led by Ms. Gue, Ms. Moilanen, and Mr. Primoff under the supervision of Mr. Pollock. The SEC appreciates the assistance of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board.
Stockify goes fully Digital, offers Mutual Funds and Dematerialization of shares
In a strategic move to expand its offerings and provide a comprehensive suite of financial services, Stockify, a leading platform for Unlisted and pre-IPO shares in India, has announced plans to venture into the Mutual Fund space.
This development comes as part of Stockify’s mission to assist High-Net Individuals (HNIs) and Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) in accessing various investment opportunities in India via the pre-IPO route and maximizing their wealth. The company is also set to facilitate the Dematerialization of Shares. (Conversion of Physical Share to DEMAT account.)
Founded by Piyush Jhunjhunwala (CA, CPA) and Co-Founded by Rahul Khatuwala (CA) both seasoned finance professionals with decades of experience in global conglomerates.
Stockify has already carved a niche for itself in the Indian Financial landscape. The platform primarily focuses on providing access to Blue-Chip Stocks before their listing on the Indian Stock Market (via the Pre IPO Route) enabling early investors to potentially achieve significant returns. While expressing the company’s intent behind expanding its services, Jhunjhunwala said, “Mutual Funds are the backbone of the Indian Equity market, and we believe it is important that NRI and retail investors in India can greatly benefit from our new offering and this will help them in creating long-term wealth.”
The recent announcement of Stockify entering the Mutual Funds market follows the company’s successful acquisition of a Mutual Fund license in the first quarter of 2023. Alongside Mutual Funds, Stockify intends to offer an array of other financial products, like Start-up Funding, fixed investment products like Bonds and Non-Convertible Debentures (NCDs) and Insurance-Linked Investments, in the coming months. Notably, Stockify plans to make all its products and services 100% accessible online, aligning with the Digital India vision of our beloved Prime Minster Mr. Narendra Modi.
Currently, Stockify boasts 70 Unlisted/pre-IPO companies on its platform, with in-depth research conducted on all of them as stated by Jhunjhunwala. It offers a simple online process where transactions can be completed online, and shares get transferred to the clients DEMAT account on the same day.
Stockify’s global presence was recently showcased at the Dubai Fintech Summit (DFS). The two-day event brought together over 5,000 C-suite leaders, 1,000-plus investors, and 150 speakers from around the world. Stockify was selected as one of the proud exhibitors at the summit, solidifying its position as one of the world’s largest providers of pre-IPO and Unlisted Stocks in India.
With its ambitious expansion plans and commitment to innovation, Stockify is set to continue revolutionizing the way investors access and engage with financial opportunities in India and beyond.
VerifyVASP Wins Hong Kong’s IFTA Fintech and Innovation Awards 2022/23: Regulatory Technology Award
VerifyVASP was awarded the Institute of Financial Technologists of Asia (IFTA) Fintech and Innovation Awards 2022/23 for Regulatory Technology. The awards exhibit the extraordinary achievements made by companies and individuals in the finance and technology industries.
The IFTA Awards, themed “Game Changers: The Rise of Next Gen Fintech”, celebrates ground-breaking ideas and technologies that are shaping the future of finance. The distinguished Guest of Honour presenting the IFTA awards was the Under Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury for Financial Services in the Hong Kong SAR, Mr. Joseph Ho-Lim Chan.
VerifyVASP has established itself as a comprehensive Travel Rule solution provider catering to Virtual Assets Service Providers (VASPs) worldwide. Its commitment to facilitating full compliance with Travel Rule regulations across multiple jurisdictions has earned it this prestigious recognition.
This accolade comes at an opportune time, as VerifyVASP supports the Hong Kong Virtual Asset Trading Platforms (VATPs) in adhering to the regulatory framework set forth by the Hong Kong Securities & Futures Commission, which came into effect on 1 June 2023. VATPs are granted a grace period till 1 January 2024 to ensure compliance with Travel Rule requirements.
The IFTA Fintech and Innovation Award underscores VerifyVASP’s capabilities, including:
- Facilitation of counterparty due diligence: VerifyVASP assists VASPs in counterparty due diligence before the first transaction, to stringent standards akin to that observed in correspondent banking. This is achieved through VerifyVASP’s own rigorous due diligence process, encompassing over 100 VASPs.
- Immediate and secure transmission: Leveraging a scalable architecture, VerifyVASP ensures immediate and secure transmission of required information, alongside verification of such information. To date, the platform has processed over 5 million transfers.
- Adherence to international data protection laws: VerifyVASP complies with international data protection law thanks to its decentralised, end to end encrypted architecture. This dedication to data security and privacy sets it apart in the industry.
- Asset agnostic: VerifyVASP’s capabilities extend to accommodating any type of virtual asset, having processed over 400 cryptocurrency variants on its platform.
- Integration of third-party screening solutions: VerifyVASP seamlessly integrates third-party solutions, allowing for efficient screening of originators or beneficiaries before blockchain transactions.
SOURCE VerifyVASP Pte Ltd
Nagad’s Digital Bank on cards, Sadaf to lead the side
Nagad, Bangladesh’s leading Mobile Financial Service (MFS) provider, is gearing up to establish the much-anticipated digital bank, as it is going to secure a licence from the Bangladesh Bank within a couple of months.
Sadaf Roksana, a co-founder and executive director of Nagad Ltd., has been entrusted with the responsibility of leading her company’s transformative venture that will bring greater convenience to the lives of millions of Bangladeshis, reducing their reliance on traditional brick-and-mortar banks.
The MFS provider earlier applied to secure a digital bank licence following the central bank’s call for applications through its website. The Bangladesh Bank also formulated necessary guidelines to widen and accelerate financial inclusion, which will also create jobs for young IT workers.
The world’s fastest mobile money carrier is going to venture into the digital banking era at a time when the financial landscape across the globe is fast evolving towards digitalisation, driven by technological advancements and changing consumer preferences.
Taking on the new assignment, Sadaf, a seasoned financial executive with a remarkable track record in the fintech industry, is poised to steer Nagad’s digital bank towards success. Once Nagad gets the digital bank licence, it will provide its consumers with innovative and convenient banking solutions.
“We are very excited that we are going to introduce digital banking services to the people of Bangladesh within a couple of months,” Sadaf said, adding, “This endeavour aligns perfectly with our vision of enhancing financial inclusion and ensuring easy access to all financial services also at affordable prices.”
Nagad is already well-equipped to launch a digital bank. It will start serving customers soon after getting the licence, Sadaf assured.
Under its digital banking platform, Nagad will introduce many new services, such as single-digit and collateral-free loans for small informal businesses and farmers who now are to take loans from moneylenders even at 40% interest rate per day, she pointed out.
“Thus, we will encourage them to come under financial inclusion, thus putting their money into the formal channel,” she expressed her optimism.
To assess one’s creditworthiness, Nagad has created an AI-based credit rating system that will analyse all transactions-related data available on public domains using one’s NID and mobile number, Sadaf Roksana added.
As Nagad goes ahead with its plans, all eyes will be on Sadaf Roksana and her team as they will embark on this exciting journey towards a more digitised and inclusive financial future for the country.
SOURCE Nagad Limited
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