The Securities and Exchange Commission charged two men from South Florida with defrauding senior citizens and other investors out of millions of dollars as part of a bizarre scam that involved the NFL, the Super Bowl, and some kind of green laser technology.
The SEC announced the charges in a press release this morning:
The SEC alleges that Peter Kirschner of Delray Beach, Fla. and his business partner Stuart Rubens of North Miami struck an agreement with Thought Development Inc. (TDI) to solicit investors and sell unregistered company stock to help the Miami Beach-based company raise capital. TDI states that its signature invention is a laser-line system that generates a green line on a football field that is visible as a first-down marker not only on television, but also within the stadium to players, fans, and officials. TDI claims its technology would decrease the time needed by officials to determine first downs and generate more time to be sold to television advertisers.
The SEC alleges that through sales agents paid by their company Premiere Consulting, Kirschner and Rubens schemed to misrepresent to investors that their money would be used to develop TDI's technology and fund a purported IPO of its stock. Instead, 75 percent of the offering proceeds were retained by Premiere Consulting or paid to sales agents through undisclosed commissions and fees. Investors also were falsely promised that TDI's laser-line technology would be used during NFL games, and one individual invested an additional $75,000 because a sales agent lied and said that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell purchased the technology for use in the 2013 Super Bowl. TDI did not have any agreements with the NFL or any team to feature its technology during football games, let alone at the Super Bowl.
"Kirschner and Rubens used boiler rooms and high-pressure sales tactics to swindle seniors into believing they could help revolutionize the way we watch football," said Eric I. Bustillo, Director of the SEC's Miami Regional Office. "But these fraudsters merely did an end run with investor money."
Get it? "End run"?
Alan Amron, the laser's inventor, was also charged by the SEC under a separate complaint:
The SEC separately filed a complaint in federal court against TDI and its chairman Alan Amron to charge them with securities registration violations. The federal securities laws require all issuances of common stock to be registered with the SEC or meet a legal exemption from registration, and the complaint alleges that they enabled the unregistered solicitation of investors in their original agreement with Kirschner and Rubens. TDI and Amron agreed to settle the charges without admitting or denying the allegations, and Amron agreed to pay a $10,000 penalty.
The "green laser" did make an appearance at the NCAA Championship Track and Field Championships in June. But as far as anyone can tell, its implementation with professional football beyond that only exists within the confines of this crude YouTube video (below) that TDI posted on their website in February as part of the sales pitch. (A similar, shorter video was just posted last week.)
The NFL has not yet responded to a request for comment.