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Self-appointed ambassador for ‘wronged men’ of #MeToo, Alki David, settles with SEC in fraud suit

Alki David
Controversial Hollywood executive Alki David, at his home in Malibu in September, is best known for operating a hologram company that projected images of dead celebrities.
(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission obtained a pair of judgments against British-Greek media entrepreneur Alki David and his company Hologram USA Networks Inc. for their roles in an alleged fraud scheme.

Under the terms of the settlement, announced Friday, David and Hologram must pay a civil penalty of $122,419 to the SEC and are barred from violating federal securities laws. David is also prohibited from holding officer-and-director positions for a five-year period.

David launched his Hologram USA Theater in Hollywood three years ago, resurrecting a pantheon of dead stars from Billie Holiday to Bernie Mac on stage, calling it the “future of live entertainment.”

Almost from the start, however, the venture was embroiled in litigation with a rival hologram owner, Pulse Evolution Corp., over who owned the rights to the technology. The pair settled out of court.

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In the SEC’s complaint, first filed in September, David and his hologram company were charged with fraud, registration violations and misleading investors ahead of a planned IPO. According to the suit, between November 2017 and March 2018, the company falsely claimed the exclusive rights to stage shows featuring Whitney Houston, Roy Orbison and Tupac Shakur. At the time, David denied the allegations and said he would “vigorously” fight them.

The complaint, amended in December, further alleged that David and Hologram USA “obtained more than $100,000 from investors, many of whom were not accredited, from the sale of securities of Hologram USA and its subsidiary in offerings that were not registered with the SEC.”

Once David and Hologram became aware of the SEC’s investigation, the complaint claims, “they notified investors that they would be refunded, but not all investors received refunds.”

David agreed to settle with the SEC without admitting to or denying the allegations.

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“I’m very happy with the settlement,” David said in a statement.

David’s settlement with the SEC follows a raft of sexual assault and harassment lawsuits that he faced in 2019. Last year, juries rendered three verdicts against David, who has been accused of numerous acts of inappropriate behavior by former employees who worked at his various media and internet streaming companies, including FilmOn.

In December a jury ordered David to pay $74 million in punitive and compensatory damages after finding him liable for battery, sexual battery and sexual harassment against a former employee, Mahim Khan.

The award was among the highest ever for an employment case.

A California jury in April ordered David to pay another employee, Chasity Jones, $11.1 million. She said he fired her after she refused to have sex with him. Jones later agreed to a reduction in compensatory damages by $437,120. Punitive damages remained at $8 million. A judge also ordered David to pay her lawyer, Lisa Bloom, attorney fees totaling $1.34 million.

In October, a jury found in favor of Lauren Reeves, a former comedy writer at Hologram USA, awarding her $650,000 in compensatory damages and $4.35 million in punitive damages. In 2016, Reeves alleged David put his hands on her throat and pushed her chair into a wall, banging her head, among other claims. According to her suit, David told Reeves that he needed to buy supplies for his “rape room.”

In September, a jury deadlocked in former FilmOn account executive Elizabeth Taylor’s case and the judge declared a mistrial. A suit filed in 2016 was settled out of court.

David has disputed the allegations of sexual misconduct, saying, “I never touched any of these women.”


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