U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 22755 / July 22, 2013
Accounting and Auditing Enforcement Release No. 3484 / July 22, 2013
Securities and Exchange Commission v. China Intelligent Lighting and Electronics, Inc. et al., Civil Action No. 13 CIV 5079
SEC Files Fraud Charges Against China Intelligent Lighting and Electronics, Inc.; NIVS Intellimedia Technology Group, Inc.; and Their Sibling CEOs
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that the Commission filed fraud and other related charges against China Intelligent Lighting and Electronics, Inc. (CIL); NIVS IntelliMedia Technology Group, Inc. (NIV); and their respective CEOs, Xuemei Li and, her brother, Tianfu Li. CIL reports that it is a lighting company, and NIV reports that it is a consumer electronic company. Both are located in China.
The Commission alleges that CIL, NIV, and their CEOs engaged in fraudulent schemes to raise and divert offering proceeds, and then attempted to hide the diversions by lying to auditors and making false and materially misleading filings with the Commission. CIL and NIV are U.S. issuers that raised approximately $7.7 million and $21.5 million, respectively, in public registered offerings in the U.S. capital markets in 2010. Thereafter, Xuemei Li, and Tianfu Li diverted those offering proceeds from CIL and NIV contrary to the stated uses of proceeds set forth in the offering documents. Specifically, on June 24, 2010, $7.7 million in offering proceeds was deposited into CIL’s Hong Kong bank account. The next day, Xuemei Li transferred approximately $6.8 million, or almost 90%, to a company that has no disclosed relation to CIL, but continued to tell CIL’s auditor that the funds remained in the account. Similarly, on April 26, 2010, $21.5 million in offering proceeds was deposited in NIV’s Hong Kong bank account. Even though almost all of the money was transferred out of the Hong Kong bank account by May 5, 2010, NIV and Tianfu Li told the company’s auditor that the funds continued to be held in the account.
In addition to lying to auditors to mask the diversions, CIL, NIV, and their respective CEOs also falsified bank and accounting records to reflect inflated cash balances, and filed false and misleading quarterly reports on Forms 10-Q with the SEC that contained inflated cash balances. In addition, the defendants filed registration statements signed by the Lis that misled investors about how the offering proceeds would be used.
In its complaint, the Commission alleges that the Defendants violated the antifraud provisions of the securities laws, Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act of 1934 (Exchange Act) and Rule 10b-5. The Commission further alleges that Xuemei Li and Tianfu Li lied to the auditors and aided and abetted the companies’ violations of the reporting, recordkeeping, and internal controls provisions of the securities laws, including Sections 13(a), 13(b)(2)(A), 13(b)(2) (B), and 13(b)(5) of the Exchange Act and Exchange Act Rules 12b-20, 13a-1, 13a-13, 13a-14, 13b2-1, and 13b2-2. The Commission seeks permanent injunctive relief to prevent future violations of the federal securities laws, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains with prejudgment interest, civil penalties, officer and director bars, and any other appropriate relief.
The Commission also announced today the entry of an order instituting administrative proceedings to determine whether the registration of each class of securities of CIL and NIV should be revoked for failure to make required periodic filings with the Commission. See Order Instituting Proceedings and Notice of Hearing Pursuant to Section 12(j) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, In the Matter of China Intelligent Lighting and Electronics, Inc. et al., Administrative Proceeding File No. 3-15383, Exchange Act Release No. 34-70017 (July 22, 2013).
The SEC’s investigation was conducted by Ansu N. Banerjee, L. Delane Olson, Kam Lee and Melissa R. Hodgman.