SEC Inquiry Into Fisker Fundraisers

Ronnie Schreiber
by Ronnie Schreiber

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating the principals of a private equity firm that has raised a significant amount of the private financing for Fisker Automotive, says Crain’s Chicago Business. Though nothing on the public record has tied the investigation with Fisker, the National Legal and Policy Center, a politically right of center think tank, points out that the commission has recommended administrative proceedings “in connection with a private offering in 2009”. Advanced Equities has been raising private investment funds for Fisker since at least 2009. They established Clean Tech LLC in 2010, which is 40% invested in Fisker, and in Feb. 2011, they invested an additional $150 million in the automaker.

Advanced Equities Inc.’s founders Keith Daubenspeck and Dwight Badger were served by the SEC with so-called Wells Notices in January. A Wells Notice indicates that the recipient is under investigation by the SEC, it informs them of the preliminary results of the investigation, and indicates that a full hearing before the commission is likely. It also gives the subjects of the investigation an opportunity to respond to the preliminary report before a formal hearing takes place. In nearly identical disclosures, Badger and Daubenspeck each said, “I am addressing the (SEC) staff’s concerns, and I am prepared to aggressively defend myself should it become necessary”.

It’s not known if there’s a connection to the SEC investigation, but in February, Fisker and Advanced Equities were sued by an investor, Daniel Wray, for fraud and failure to act as a fiduciary should. Wray says that he bought $210,000 worth of preferred Fisker stock between 2009 and 2001, through Advanced Equities. His lawsuit claims that in January of 2012, around the time that Fisker’s fiscal situation started to deteriorate due to loans that the Dept. of Energy froze, the EV maker and Advanced Equities demanded from him an additional $83,000 “due to Fisker’s urgent need for equity capital”. Wray alleges that he was threatened with dilution of his stock value and the loss of other privileges due to early investors if he didn’t pony up the additional investment.

Ronnie Schreiber
Ronnie Schreiber

Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, the original 3D car site.

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  • Ras815 Their naming scheme is almost as idiotic as having a totally separate Polestar brand for EVs that look exactly Volvos. But you can tell it came from the same idiocy.
  • Dukeisduke "The EX naming convention is used for the automaker’s new and upcoming EVs, the EX30 and EX90."Only upcoming when they can figure out the software.
  • SCE to AUX I've always said that consumer/business pressures will reign in government decrees, as they have in the past in places like California. That state has moved the goalposts many times for "ZEV" mandates.But the problem is the depth of politicization of the EPA. Mfrs need continuity and long-term commitment to requirements, not living on a 4-year political cycle of who's in the White House and Congress. Your President - whomever that is - isn't going to be around forever.Ironically, backing off the gas means handing a greater lead to Tesla, Rivian, and Lucid, (and possibly H/K/G). The whiners have begun heavy investments whose ROI will be extended by years, and their EV sales will reduce even further.It's like the coach granting his players less practice time because they're tired, while the other team stays fit - that's how you lose the game.
  • Dukeisduke The administration is slowly dribbling out details of the change - it's like they don't want to piss off environmentalists, the auto manufacturers, or the UAW. John McElroy covered this very well in today's installment of Autoline Daily: AD #3751 - 2024 U.S. EV Sales Could Grow 43%; China Price War Spreads To ICE; U.S Vehicles Biggest Ever, Also Lowest CO2 - AutolineAlso, even though vehicles in the US have gotten larger, heavier, and more powerful (thanks to the shift away from sedans to trucks and SUVs), according to a year-end report by the EPA, in 2023, average fuel economy was at its highest ever, and CO2 emissions of new vehicles were at their lowest ever ( The 2023 EPA Automotive Trends Report: Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Fuel Economy, and Technology since 1975, Executive Summary (EPA-420-S-23-002, December 2023 ).
  • Golden2husky How about real names instead of alphabet/numeric soup?