If you listen to the SEC’s complaint against him, Dickson V. Lee, chief executive officer and chairman of the board of directors of L & L Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ:LLEN), is a control freak.
“Misrepresented” that he hired CFO
However, just days after being charged by the SEC that he had “fraudulently misrepresented” that he had hired top talent to manage the firm he founded, he resigned.
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On March 27, 2014 the SEC filed a complaint against Lee, whose company is headquartered in Seattle but operates a coal operation in China. Then in an SEC document filed on April 1, Lee announced his retirement.
The SEC claimed that their action against Lee “arises out of a fraudulent scheme by L & L Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ:LLEN) and Dickson Lee to create the appearance that L&L was run by a professional management team and conceal Lee’s single-handed control of the company,” the complaint says. “From approximately August 2008 to June 2009, L&L and Lee repeatedly and fraudulently misrepresented to the public that it had certain persons serving in critical executive management roles at the company when, in reality, those persons served in no such roles.”
CFO claims not to have signed documents
The SEC document states that Lee boasted to shareholders that he had hired a top chief financial officer at a time when the CFO had e-mailed him declining the job. When filing official documents with the SEC, the documents were digitally signed by the CFO, but no such signature occurred, the SEC alleges. When the then-CFO confronted Lee, he admitted his transgression. The acting CFO then declined to take the position of full time CFO but Lee continued his scheme regardless. The goal Lee was pursuing was a strategy that would help the firm raise additional assets from investors.
Lee is required to answer the charges near the end of April.