Companies And CEO Charged For Misleading COVID-19 Claims

Companies Charged By SEC For Misleading COVID-19 Claims

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SEC Charges Applied BioSciences Corp. and Turbo Global Partners, Inc. Over Claims In Press Releases To Offer Products To Combat Coronavirus – COVID-19

Kehoe Law Firm, P.C. is making investors and consumers aware that on May 14, 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced charges in two cases involving companies that claimed in press releases to offer products to combat the COVID-19 virus – one against Applied BioSciences Corp. (“Applied BioSciences”) and one against Turbo Global Partners, Inc. (“Turbo Global”) and its CEO, Robert W. Singerman (“Singerman”). The SEC previously suspended trading temporarily in the securities of Applied BioSciences and Turbo Global.

According to the SEC’s complaint against Applied BioSciences, the company issued a press release on March 31 stating that it had begun offering and shipping supposed finger-prick COVID-19 tests to the general public that could be used for “Homes, Schools, Hospitals, Law Enforcement, Military, Public Servants or anyone wanting immediate and private results.”  The complaint alleges that contrary to these claims, the tests were not intended for home use by the general public and could be administered only in consultation with a medical professional.  The complaint further alleges that Applied BioSciences had not shipped any COVID-19 tests as of March 31, and its press release failed to disclose that the tests were not authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The SEC’s complaint against Turbo Global and Singerman alleges that the company issued false and misleading press releases on March 30 and April 3 regarding a purported “multi-national public-private-partnership” to sell thermal scanning equipment to detect individuals with fevers.  According to the complaint, the company claimed in its press releases that this technology could be instrumental in “breaking the chain of virus transmission through early identification of elevated fever, one of the key early signs of COVID-19.”  The press releases also, allegedly, included statements, attributed to the CEO of Turbo Global’s supposed corporate partner in the partnership, that the technology “is 99.99% accurate” and was “designed to be deployed IMMEDIATELY in each State.”  The complaint alleges that Turbo Global had no agreement to sell the product, there was no partnership involving any government entities, and the CEO of Turbo Global’s supposed corporate partner did not make or authorize the statements attributed to him.  According to the complaint, Singerman drafted the releases, which he knew to be false.  The SEC charged Singerman with fraud in 1999 based on his fraudulent sale of securities through a network of boiler rooms, and obtained a permanent injunction against him.

The SEC’s complaint against Applied BioSciences charges the company with violating antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws and seeks permanent injunctive relief and civil penalties.  The SEC’s complaint against Turbo Global and Singerman charges them with violating antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws and seeks permanent injunctive relief and civil penalties, and an officer and director bar against Singerman.

Source: U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission – SEC.gov

Kehoe Law Firm, P.C.