“Multiple federal investigations are facing Dan Bilzerian’s cannabis company.”

“Multiple federal investigations are facing Dan Bilzerian’s cannabis company.”

Summary:

Poker player Dan Bilzerian’s cannabis-based lifestyle company is under investigation by the US Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission. On the same day that the SEC asked for an order compelling Ignite to comply with subpoenas it received, the company went private.

High-stakes poker player Dan Bilzerian may have mastered the art of capturing clicks in the social media universe, but he has now drawn the kind of attention that no one wants.

The US Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission are investigating Bilzerian’s cannabis-based lifestyle company. The company is based in Canada and the Ontario Securities Commission launched an inquiry into it.

In the United States and Mexico, the company has promoted itself as a “global lifestyle brand unlike any other”, with products such as nicotine, alcohol, and clothing. On the same day that the SEC asked for an order compelling Ignite to comply with subpoenas it received, the company went private. The company was subpoenaed to provide financial records related to securities fraud claims.

Prior to Monday, Ignite had received three extensions from the SEC and only 173 documents had been provided to them. Regulators told the court that they received documentation of third-party agreements, board minutes, and internal organization charts, but that they didn’t get accounting documentation to address the SEC’s inquiry. That investigation, according to the SEC, centers on the fiscal years 2020 and 2021 and contains claims about whether Ignite broke the law by making false or deceptive representations while disclosing its 2020 financial performance.

Several categories of documents called for in the May 20, 2022, subpoena appear to be missing from the June 30 production, including, for the fiscal years 2020 and 2021: Respondent’s accounting records, purchase orders, invoices, and other documentation related to sales.

There are claims that overlap with pre-existing DOJ investigations

According to the SEC, the company’s most recent general counsel, Paul Hughes, joined the company in June and asked for a third extension before asking for the SEC to stop its investigation entirely due to the DOJ inquiry.

Mr. Hughes alleged that Respondent had already given tens of thousands of documents to the U.S. Department of Justice in response to a grand jury subpoena issued the previous year, according to Pei. He argued that it was unreasonable to require the corporation to address civil issues while also responding to the grand jury subpoenas since the topics covered by that subpoena were likely to overlap with those covered by the SEC’s subpoena.

When the SEC asked the courts to intervene, the SEC and Ignite remained at an impasse.

The legacies of the Bilzerian people

According to the Toronto Globe and Mail, the initial Canadian securities investigation highlighted a connection between Ignite and another Bilzerian-owned company. There is a contract between the company and a venture owned by Mr. Bilzerian, as well as more information about measures of profit that aren’t calculated according to generally accepted accounting principles, as reported by the paper.

Paul Bilzerian served 13 months in the U.S. federal prison for a conviction related to his attempts to take over several large corporations. The elder Bilzerian was accused of hiding a large amount of money. He maintained his innocence during a three-decade battle with regulators. Paul Bilzerian moved to the Caribbean to live after he gave up his American citizenship.

Three days after the SEC court filing, there is no mention on the corporate website of the multiple investigations into the company that used to trade on the Canadian Securities Exchange.

According to reports, Ignite lost $68 million in 2019. Shortly after it went public, its stock lost most of its value.

Bilzerian has a long, hot summer

In a tumultuous Bilzerian summer, the hot water bath with federal investigators is one of the rumbles.

GGPoker signed Bilzerian to an endorsement deal in December of 2020 which was supposed to expose GG to the 33 million followers on the social media platform.

GGPoker earned a lot of public embarrassments related to what critics viewed as the playboy’s toxic and misogynistic behavior.

When Vanessa Kade, one of GG’s former associates, objected to the endorsement arrangement, Bilzerian said, “Quiet hoe, nobody knows who you are.” The next year, Bilzerian skipped a tournament where he was supposed to compete against British author and poker player Alex O’Brien, the female winner of a freeroll hosted by GGPoker.

GG removed references to Bilzerian from its website in March of 2022. Bilzerian wanted $170,000 in private jet and travel expenses to play a GGPoker event, but his friend Adam “Adam 22” Grandmaison explained that GGPoker wouldn’t pay for it.

In June, Bilzerian revealed that he and GGPoker had parted ways, and that he had called poker players “f****** nerds.”