According to the SEC, Tennessee-based Provectus lacked sufficient controls surrounding the reporting and disclosure of travel and entertainment expenses submitted by its executives. The order further finds that Provectus’ former CEO, Dr. H. Craig Dees, obtained millions of dollars from the company using limited, fabricated, or non-existent expense documentation, and that these unauthorized perks and benefits were not disclosed to investors. Provectus’ former CFO, Peter R. Culpepper, also allegedly obtained $199,194 in unauthorized and undisclosed perks and benefits.
The SEC separately charged Dees in federal district court in Knoxville, Tennessee, alleging that, while Dees was Provectus’ CEO, he treated the company “as his personal piggy bank.” According to the complaint, Dees submitted hundreds of falsified records to Provectus to obtain $3.2 million in cash advances and reimbursements for business travel he never took. Instead, he concealed the perks and used cash advances to pay for personal expenses such as cosmetic surgery for female friends, restaurant tips, and personal travel.