The SEC announced last week that on December 19, 2008, Judge Jeffrey Miller of the US District Court for the Southern District of California issued final judgments against defendants Francois M. Draper and Robert D. Perry. Draper served as Executive VP, Chief Operating Officer, and Chief Technical Officer of Platforms Wireless International from June 2000 through July 2001. Perry formerly served as a President of Platforms.
The announcement marks the conclusion of a case filed by the SEC back in October 2004 against numerous defendants associated with Platforms that contained some pretty remarkable allegations. The SEC alleged in its 2004 complaint that the defendants issued a series of fraudulent press releases claiming to have “an aerial system, the ARC System, for transmitting cellular telephone calls and other types of electronic data, using either fixed-wing aircraft or a blimp to carry transmission equipment.” Platforms even conducted a supposed demonstration of that equipment for investors and invited guests.
This was not quite true, however, according to the SEC. The SEC charged that in reality:
- Platforms “never owned a blimp, nor has it ever had the money to manufacture or purchase one.”
- “nothing resembling the ARC System as described in Platforms’ press releases was demonstrated. No actual telephone call was transmitted by the system, and the antenna portion of the ARC System hung indoors from a crane rather than being suspended from an airborne blimp.
- Platforms never had any real prospect of manufacturing or selling an ARC System.
Crane, blimp–same thing, right?