Publisher SouthPeak issued a statement this week in response to a Cease and Desist letter it received last week from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. In that statement, the publisher admitted that it had not filed its financial reports properly – related to a loan made by Chairman Terry Philips – but claimed that it was an error it later tried to correct prior to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s action against the company.
"The SEC staff’s inquiry was fully disclosed in our public filings and was based on the manner in which we recorded a loan during this quarter which was made by our chairman to help support our business but was not properly reported in our financial statements.
"During the investigation, we fully explained to the SEC staff that when we discovered the error in our statements, we acted promptly on our own accord with the support of our auditor and outside counsel to fully rectify the issue. The recommendation of the SEC staff resulting from this investigation is that cease and desist orders issue in which we agree to comply with our SEC filing obligations in the future.
"We are currently negotiating the exact provisions of the orders," it continued. "The SEC is not proposing that our company be prohibited from doing business as some are saying , but rather, as is the case with proceedings of like nature, the SEC is trying to assure our company’s compliance in the future with our reporting obligations."
The publisher also denied that its outgoing CFO is planning to take future legal action against the company, describing her exodus as voluntary and amicable. The company made no comment on the previous CFO, Andrea Jones, who was asked to leave in August. She is suing the company for "retaliation against a whistle blower and wrongful termination" and is seeking lost wages, benefits and punitive damages. SouthPeak disputes her claims.
On a related note, SouthPeak has sold the UK rights to action-RPG Two Worlds II back to series creator TopWare Interactive, who plans to self-publish in January. The company opened up a new office in the UK this week. SouthPeak will remain the game’s US and Australian publisher.