Commitments and Contingencies
|9 Months Ended
Sep. 30, 2023
|Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract]
|Commitments and Contingencies
|Commitments and Contingencies
In connection with the commencement of the Company's Bentonville, Arkansas and Michigan leases in 2022, the Company issued standby letters of credit of $9.5 million and $1.1 million, respectively which are included in restricted cash within the accompanying consolidated balance sheet as of September 30, 2023.
Refer to Note 10 for information regarding operating lease commitments.
From time to time, the Company may become subject to legal proceedings, claims and litigation arising in the ordinary course of business. Some of these claims, lawsuits and other proceedings may involve highly complex issues that are subject to substantial uncertainties, and could result in damages, fines, penalties, non-monetary sanctions or relief.
On April 2, 2021 and April 9, 2021, the Company was named as a defendant in putative class action complaints filed in California on behalf of individuals who purchased or acquired shares of the Company’s stock during a specified period. Through the complaint, plaintiffs are seeking, among other things, compensatory damages. The Company has filed a pending motion to dismiss the complaints. On February 28, 2023, the court granted the Company’s motion to dismiss with leave to amend. On March 10, 2023, the lead plaintiff filed a second amended consolidated complaint. On March 23, 2023, the court entered a stipulated order setting a briefing schedule on the Company’s anticipated motion to dismiss the
second amended consolidated complaint. On April 10, 2023, the court entered a stipulated order granting the lead plaintiff leave to file a third amended consolidated complaint and relieving defendants of any obligation to respond to the second amended consolidated complaint. Under the April 10, 2023 order, within 14 days of the release of any order regarding a settlement between the Company and the SEC, the parties shall confer and jointly submit a proposed schedule for the filing of any third amended consolidated complaint and for the filing of the defendant's response to the third amended consolidated complaint. The lead plaintiff filed a third amended consolidated complaint on September 8, 2023. The court entered a stipulated order setting the deadline to respond to the third amended consolidated complaint to December 7, 2023 and setting January 11, 2024 as the deadline for lead plaintiff's opposition to a motion to dismiss and February 8, 2024 as the deadline for a reply in support of a motion to dismiss the third amended consolidated complaint. The final determinations of liability arising from these litigation matters will only be made following comprehensive investigations and litigation processes.
On August 4, 2023, the SEC announced settled charges against the Company, its former Chief Executive Officer, Ulrich Kranz, and its former Chief Financial Officer, Paul Balciunas, for making inaccurate revenue projections. The SEC also charged Canoo and Kranz with misconduct related to nearly $1 million in undisclosed executive compensation.
Without admitting or denying the SEC's allegations, Kranz and Balciunas have each consented to the entry of judgments against them, which are subject to court approval. Kranz agreed to be permanently enjoined from violating the anti-fraud provision of Section 17(a)(3) of the Securities Act of 1933 and the proxy solicitation provisions of Section 14(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rules 14a-3 and 14a-9 thereunder, as well as from aiding and abetting violations of the reporting provisions of Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act and Rules 12b-20, 13a-1, and 13a-11 thereunder. Kranz also consented to a three-year officer and director bar and payment of a $125,000 civil penalty. Balciunas agreed to be permanently enjoined from violating Section 14(a) of the Exchange Act and Rule 14a-3 thereunder, as well as from aiding and abetting violations of Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act and Rule 13a-11 thereunder. Balciunas further consented to a two-year officer and director bar, payment of $7,500 in disgorgement and prejudgment interest, and a $50,000 civil penalty.
The SEC also instituted a related settled administrative proceeding against the Company. Without admitting or denying the findings, the Company agreed to the entry of a cease-and-desist order prohibiting further violations of Sections 17(a)(2) and (3) of the Securities Act, Sections 13(a) and 14(a) of the Exchange Act and Rules 12b-20, 13a-1, 13a-11, 14a-3 and 14a-9 thereunder. The Company also agreed to pay a civil penalty of $1.5 million.
In March 2022, the Company received demand letters on behalf of shareholders of the Company identifying purchases and sales of the Company’s securities within a period of less than six months by DD Global Holdings Ltd. (“DDG”) that resulted in profits in violation of Section 16(b) of the Exchange Act. On May 9, 2022, the Company brought an action against DDG in the Southern District of New York seeking the disgorgement of the Section 16(b) profits obtained by DDG from such purchases and sales. In the action, the Company seeks to recover an estimated $61.1 million of Section 16(b) profits. On September 6, 2022, the Company filed an amended complaint. On September 20, 2022, DDG filed a motion to dismiss the amended complaint. The Company’s opposition to DDG’s motion to dismiss was filed on October 4, 2022 and briefing on the motion was completed when DDG filed its reply brief on October 11, 2022. On September 21, 2023, the court issued a decision denying DDG’s motion to dismiss. DDG’s answer to the amended complaint was filed on October 19, 2023. An initial pretrial conference is scheduled for January 12, 2024. Discovery has not yet commenced.
At this time, the Company does not consider any such claims, lawsuits or proceedings that are currently pending, individually or in the aggregate, including the matters referenced above, to be material to the Company’s business or likely to result in a material adverse effect on its future operating results, financial condition or cash flows should such proceedings be resolved unfavorably.
In the ordinary course of business, the Company may provide indemnifications of varying scope and terms to vendors, lessors, investors, directors, officers, employees and other parties with respect to certain matters, including, but not limited to, losses arising out of the Company’s breach of such agreements, services to be provided by the Company, or from intellectual property infringement claims made by third-parties. These indemnifications may survive termination of the underlying agreement and the maximum potential amount of future payments the Company could be required to make under these indemnification provisions may not be subject to maximum loss clauses. The Company provided indemnifications to certain of its officers and employees with respect to claims filed by a former employee.