Commitments and Contingencies
|12 Months Ended|
Sep. 30, 2021
|Commitments And Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract]|
|Commitments and Contingencies||
Note 17: Commitments and Contingencies
On February 21, 2018, the Company received a subpoena from the SEC and a letter from the SEC stating that it is conducting an investigation. The subpoena requested documents and information concerning, among other things, the restatement of the Company’s financial statements for the quarterly periods ended December 31, 2016, March 31, 2017, and June 30, 2017, the acquisition of Marquis Industries, Inc., Vintage Stock, Inc., and ApplianceSmart, Inc., and the change in auditors. On August 12, 2020, three of the Company’s corporate executive officers (together, the “Executives”) each received a “Wells Notice” from the Staff of the SEC relating to the Company’s SEC investigation. On October 7, 2020, the Company received a “Wells Notice” from the Staff of the SEC relating to the Company’s previously-disclosed SEC investigation. The Wells Notices relate to, among other things, the Company’s reporting of
its financial performance for its fiscal year ended September 30, 2016, certain disclosures related to executive compensation, and its previous acquisition of ApplianceSmart. A Wells Notice is neither a formal charge of wrongdoing nor a final determination that the recipient has violated any law. The Wells Notices informed the Company and the Executives that the SEC Staff has made a preliminary determination to recommend that the SEC file an enforcement action against the Company and each of the Executives that would allege certain violations of the federal securities laws. The Company and the Executives maintain that their actions were appropriate, and intend to vigorously defend against any and all allegations brought forth.
On October 1, 2018, the Company received a letter from the SEC requesting information regarding a potential violation of Section 13(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, based upon the timing of the Company’s Form 8-K filed on February 14, 2018. The Company provided a response to the SEC on October 26, 2018. The Company is cooperating with the SEC in its inquiry.
On August 2, 2021, the SEC filed a civil complaint (the “SEC Complaint”) in the United States District Court for the District of Nevada naming the Company.
The SEC Complaint alleges financial, disclosure and reporting violations against the Company under Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”) and Rule 10b-5. The SEC Complaint also alleges various claims against the executive officer under Sections 13(a), 13(b)(2)(A), 13(b)(2)(B) and 13(b)(5) of the Exchange Act and Rules 12b-20, 13a-1, 13a-13, 13a-14, 13b2-1, and 13b2-2. The SEC seeks permanent injunctions and civil penalties against the Company. The foregoing is only a general summary of the SEC Complaint, which may be accessed on the SEC’s website at https://www.sec.gov/litigation/litreleases/2021/lr25155.htm.
The Company continues to assert that the SEC’s pursuit of this matter will not result in any benefit to investors and instead will only serve as a distraction from core business. On October 1, 2021, the Company, filed a motion with the court to dismiss the complaint. The SEC filed its response opposing the motions on November 1, 2021. The defendants filed their reply responses to the SEC’s opposition on November 15, 2021. The motions to dismiss are now under submission and the court has not yet scheduled a hearing date. Pursuant to the automatic stay of proceedings under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act, all discovery has been stayed pending the motions to dismiss.
The Company strongly disputes and denies the allegations and are vigorously defending itself against the claims.
Live Ventures and ApplianceSmart Related Litigation
On April 26, 2019, New Leaf Serv. Contracts, LLC (“New Leaf”) filed suit against ApplianceSmart and the Company in the District Court of Dallas County, Texas (the “Dallas Court”) alleging, among other things, breach of contract. Plaintiff seeks damages of approximately $215,000, plus interest and attorneys’ fees. This matter was subsequently abated to allow the parties to arbitrate this dispute. The Company has asserted certain counterclaims against New Leaf. This matter has been stayed as a result of the Chapter 11 Case (as defined below). On June 29, 2020, this matter was dismissed by New Leaf with prejudice.
ApplianceSmart Bankruptcy and Other ApplianceSmart Litigation Matters
On August 4, 2020, Valassis Communications, Inc. and Valassis Digital Corp. (collectively, “Valassis”) filed suit against ApplianceSmart Holdings LLC in the State of Michigan, Third Judicial Circuit, Wayne County, alleging, among other things, breach of contract and account stated and seeking damages of approximately $700,000. This matter has since been removed to United States District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division. The Company believes that ApplianceSmart, Inc., not ApplianceSmart Holdings LLC, is the responsible party. On December 9, 2019, ApplianceSmart filed a voluntary petition in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York seeking relief under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. The bankruptcy affects the Company's indirect subsidiary, ApplianceSmart, only, and does not affect any other subsidiary of Live Ventures, including, but not limited to ASH, or the Company itself.
ApplianceSmart expects to continue to operate its business in the ordinary course of business as debtor-in-possession under the jurisdiction of the Bankruptcy Court and in accordance with applicable provisions of the Bankruptcy Code and the orders of the Bankruptcy Court. In addition, the Company reserves its right to file a motion seeking authority
to use cash collateral of the lenders under ApplianceSmart’s reserve-based revolving credit facility. The case is being administrated under the caption In re: ApplianceSmart, Inc. (case number 19-13887). Court filings and other information related to the Chapter 11 Case are available at the PACER Case Locator website for those registered to do so or at the Courthouse located at One Bowling Green, Manhattan, New York 10004.
On October 13, 2021, a hearing was held to consider approval of the Disclosure Statement filed by ApplianceSmart in conjunction with its bankruptcy proceedings. On December 14, 2021, a hearing was held to confirm ApplianceSmart’s plan for reorganization (the “Plan”). A final decree is expected upon the full satisfaction of the Plan, at which time ApplianceSmart will emerge from Chapter 11.
ApplianceSmart’s balance sheets as of September 30, 2021 and 2020, respectively, are shown below. The debtor in possession assets and liabilities are primarily related to assets and liabilities incurred pre-petition and are subject to compromise.
ApplianceSmart’s statements of operations for the years ended September 30, 2021 and 2020, respectively, are shown below:
The Company is involved in various claims and lawsuits arising in the normal course of business. The ultimate results of claims and litigation cannot be predicted with certainty. The Company currently believes that the ultimate outcome of such lawsuits and proceedings will not, individually, or in the aggregate, have a material adverse effect on our consolidated financial position, results of operations or cash flows. Additionally, a number of claims have been filed against ApplianceSmart in connection with its bankruptcy, which have been stayed as a result of the Chapter 11 Case. As applicable, liabilities pertaining to these matters, that are probable and estimable, have been accrued.
Operating Leases and Service Contracts
The Company leases its office, retail and warehouse space under long-term operating leases expiring through fiscal year 2040.
During fiscal 2019, as a result of our decision to close certain ApplianceSmart retail locations, we recorded a liability for the estimated remaining lease payments and early termination charges, as applicable, of $724,000. The lease charges were recorded to general and administration expenses in the consolidated statements of income (loss) with a corresponding accrued liability in the consolidated balance sheet as of September 30, 2019.
During 2019, the Company became the principal for certain extended warranties, as a result, warranty reserves are included in accrued liabilities in our consolidated balance sheet. The following table summarizes the warranty reserve activity for the year ended September 30, 2021:
The entire disclosure for commitments and contingencies.
Reference 1: http://fasb.org/us-gaap/role/ref/legacyRef