Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

Commitments and Contingencies

Commitments and Contingencies
9 Months Ended
Jun. 30, 2023
Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract]  
Commitments and Contingencies Commitments and Contingencies
SEC Investigation
On February 21, 2018, the Company received a subpoena from the Securities and Exchange Commission (“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 related 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, Inc. 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 to allege certain violations of the federal securities laws. 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 cooperated fully with the SEC inquiry and provided a response to the SEC on October 26, 2018.
On August 2, 2021, the SEC filed a civil complaint in the United States District Court for the District of Nevada naming the Company and two of its executive officers - Jon Isaac, the Company’s current President and Chief Executive Officer, and Virland Johnson, the Company’s former Chief Financial Officer, as defendants (collectively, the “Company Defendants”) as well as certain other related third parties (the “SEC Complaint”). The SEC Complaint alleges various financial, disclosure, and reporting violations related to income and earnings per share data, purported undisclosed stock promotion and trading, purported inaccurate disclosure regarding beneficial ownership of common stock, and undisclosed executive compensation from 2016 through 2018. The violations are brought under Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5; Sections 13(a), 13(b)(2)(B) and 13(b)(5) of the Exchange Act and Rules 12b-20, 13a-1, 13a-14, 13a-13, 13b2-1, 13b2-2; Section 14(a) of the Exchange Act and Rule 14a-3; and Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933. The SEC seeks permanent injunctions against the Company Defendants, permanent officer-and-director bars, disgorgement of profits, and civil penalties. 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.
On October 1, 2021, the Company Defendants and third-party defendants moved to dismiss the SEC complaint. On September 7, 2022, the court denied the Company Defendants’ motion to dismiss, but granted one of the third-party defendant’s motions to dismiss, granting the SEC leave to file an amended complaint. On September 21, 2022, the SEC filed an amended complaint to which the Company Defendants filed an answer on October 11, 2022, denying liability. The court subsequently entered a discovery scheduling order and the parties exchanged initial disclosures. The parties participated in a mediation in June 2023. The mediation was not successful and the case will now proceed through discovery.
The Company Defendants strongly dispute and deny the allegations and intend to continue to defend themselves vigorously against the claims.
Sieggreen Class Action
On August 13, 2021, Daniel E. Sieggreen, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated claimants ("Plaintiff"), filed a class action complaint for violation of federal securities laws in the United States District Court for the District of
Nevada, naming the Company, Jon Isaac, the Company's current President and Chief Executive Officer, and Virland Johnson, the Company's former Chief Financial Officer, as defendants (collectively, the "Company Defendants"). The allegations asserted are similar to those in the SEC Complaint. Among other sought relief, the complaint seeks damages in connection with the purchases and sales of the Company’s securities between December 28, 2016 and August 3, 2021. As of December 17, 2021, the judge granted a stipulation to stay proceedings pending the resolutions of the motions to dismiss in the SEC Complaint. On February 1, 2023, the final motion to dismiss relating to the SEC Complaint was denied, which was subsequently noticed in the Sieggreen action on February 2, 2023. Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint on March 6, 2023. On May 5, 2023, the Company Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss the Amended Complaint, and the briefing on that motion is now complete. Discovery is automatically stayed in this case until after the disposition of the Motion to Dismiss. If the Motion to Dismiss is not successful, the case will proceed to discovery. The Company Defendants strongly dispute and deny the allegations at issue in this case and intend to continue to defend themselves vigorously against these claims.
Holdback Matter
On October 10, 2022, a representative for the former shareholders of Precision Marshall filed a civil complaint in the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware. The complaint alleges that the Company violated the terms of the Agreement and Plan of Merger dated July 14, 2020, by failing to pay the shareholders a certain indemnity holdback of $2,500,000. Plaintiff alleged that he effectuated service of the complaint on the Company, but the Company did not receive notification of the action until it received an Application for Default Judgment filed with the court on December 26, 2022. On December 28, 2022, the Court issued a letter order questioning its jurisdiction over the matter and directed plaintiff’s counsel to submit briefing as to why it believes jurisdiction is proper. Plaintiff filed its brief on January 13, 2023. On April 13, 2023, the Court dismissed the action in its entirety for lack of jurisdiction, rendering the Application for Default Judgment moot.
On January 12, 2023, and after jurisdiction over the case was questioned by the Court of Chancery, State of Delaware, plaintiff filed a substantially identical complaint in the Western District of Pennsylvania. After the Delaware action was dismissed, plaintiff requested that counsel waive service of the Pennsylvania complaint. On April 19, 2023, the Company agreed to waive service. The Company’s response to the Complaint was filed on August 7, 2023. The Company intends to defend itself vigorously against these claims.
Wage and Hour Matter
On July 27, 2022, Irma Sanchez, a former employee of Elite Builder Services, Inc. (“Elite Builders”), filed a class action complaint against Elite Builders in the Superior Court of California, County of Alameda. The complaint alleges that Elite Builders failed to pay all minimum and overtime wages, failed to provide lawful meal periods and rest breaks, failed to provide accurate itemized wage statements, and failed to pay all wages due upon separation as required by California law. The complaint was later amended as a matter of right on October 4, 2022. Further, Ms. Sanchez has put the Labor & Workforce Development Agency on notice to exhaust administrative remedies and enable her to bring an additional claim under the California Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act, which permits an employee to assert a claim for violations of certain California Labor Code provisions on behalf of all aggrieved employees to recover statutory penalties. A Motion for Change of Venue to Stanislaus County was filed by Elite Builders on December 7, 2022. The hearing on the motion was heard on February 8, 2023 and the motion was granted. The Company believes that Ms. Sanchez’s claims lack merit and intends to defend this action vigorously. The Company is currently unable to estimate the range of possible losses associated with this proceeding since no discovery has commenced and the scope of class is not yet known.
Consumer Protection Act
On December 4, 2022, Sheila Thompson and Dennis Thompson filed a Complaint in the 21st Judicial Circuit Court of St. Louis County, Missouri asserting putative class claims arising under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, 47 U.S.C. 227, and related Missouri state law claims pertaining to purportedly unsolicited text message advertisements. Vintage Stock, Inc. (“Vintage”) was served on December 13, 2022. On January 11, 2023, Vintage timely removed the case from the state court into federal court. On February 8, 2023, Vintage filed a Motion to Dismiss and Motion to Strike Class Allegations. On March 1, 2023, plaintiffs filed their First Amended Complaint that mooted the pending motion. On March 15, 2023, Vintage moved to dismiss and/or strike the First Amended Complaint.
The motion is fully briefed and stands submitted to the Court for decision. Vintage disputes the allegations and intends to defend itself vigorously against the claims in the First Amended Complaint. As the case is still in the pleading stage, it is premature to estimate potential liability.
Salomon Whitney Settlement
Effective March 31, 2023, the Company entered into a settlement agreement in which the principals of Salomon Whitney, LLC agreed to pay the Company $1.0 million within 10 days of the effective date, and agreed to pay an additional $1.0 million within 45 days of the effective date if certain conditions of the settlement agreement were not met. The Company recorded a receivable for the initial payment of $1.0 million on March 31, 2023, which it has recorded as other income in its condensed consolidated statements of income, and payment was received on April 17, 2023. The Company received and recorded payment for the additional $1.0 million on May 16, 2023.
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 condensed consolidated financial position, results of operations or cash flows. As applicable, liabilities pertaining to these matters, that are probable and estimable, have been accrued.