SEC Seeks Order Requiring Auditor to Comply with Subpoenas

Litigation Release No. 24758 / March 5, 2020

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Ira S. Viener, No. 2:20-cv-00654 (C.D. Cal. filed January 22, 2020)

The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a subpoena enforcement action against Ira S. Viener seeking an order directing him to comply with investigative subpoenas for documents and testimony.

Viener is a certified public accountant and the principal of Ira S. Viener, Inc., an entity through which he provides accounting and financial services. Viener provided audit services to Punch TV Studios Inc. and to its affiliate, PunchFlix, Inc.

According to the SEC's application, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, the SEC is investigating whether Viener, Punch TV Studios, Inc., PunchFlix, Inc., or other affiliates violated the antifraud and registration provisions of the federal securities laws.

In October 2019, the SEC issued two subpoenas to Viener for the production of documents and testimony. The subpoenas called for the production of working papers relating to Viener's audits of each of Punch TV's and PunchFlix's financial statements, including documents concerning the value of certain assets transferred from Punch TV to PunchFlix. According to the SEC's application, the SEC made multiple attempts to contact Viener, extended its deadline for responding to the document subpoena, and personally served Viener with copies of the subpoenas. Viener did not produce any documents responsive to the subpoena nor did he appear for testimony.

On February 6, 2020, the court issued an order to show cause why an order compelling compliance with investigative subpoenas should not be issued, and set a hearing on the matter for March 23, 2020. The SEC is continuing its fact-finding investigation in this matter and has not concluded that anyone has violated the securities laws.