Ignite Brands Archives - Green Market Report

Debra BorchardtMarch 20, 2023


Instagram celebrity Dan Bilzerian and his cannabis-focused company Ignite International Brands are in hot water with the courts for not turning over documents in a contract dispute case. According to Law360, the company was told on February 28, 2023, that it had 10 days in order to produce 65 documents. Apparently, the company didn’t do so and now the courts are threatening once again that Ignite will face more severe sanctions like daily fines. The company was given another five days to produce the documents.

Law360 reported that on Thursday, “U.S. Magistrate Judge Elayna J. Youchah ordered Ignite International Brands Ltd. to turn over the 65 documents in question within five days of the court’s order and to pay the attorney fees and costs incurred by defendant Consulting By AR LLC in filing its motion to compel.”

For its part, Ignite says the documents are privileged. The company was asked back in August to turn over the documents, but the company objected. The judge, however, said the objection didn’t change the due date and the motion to stay the order had not been ruled upon.

Thursday’s order stated, ”

Ignite has refused to do an act the Court has twice ordered. While Ignite moved to stay the August 12, 2022 Order, as explained on February 28, 2023, no stay was granted and, thus, to this date, Ignite also failed to comply with that Order as well. Ignite has neither moved to stay the February 28, 2023 Order, nor has it objected to that Order. The Court
finds an order to coerce compliance is appropriate at this time.

Law360 did note that Kimberly P. Stein of Flangas Law Group, representing Ignite Spirits Inc., a subsidiary of Ignite International said on Friday that they believe the order is a mistake and the company has complied with the court’s prior order. It reported, “Ignite International filed an objection and appeal to the order on Friday, arguing that it had updated its privilege log as directed by the court, and that the court therefore does not have authority to find it in contempt and levy sanctions.”

Original Case

The trouble started when Ignite Spirits Inc. sued Consulting by AR in Clark County Court in August 2021 over an agreement with Resorts World Las Vegas. Ignite says that Consulting by AR had agreed to secure a contract with Resorts World which would purchase Ignite’s products. The products would be available at kiosks and at the bar. In addition to that, Resorts would host a launch party. However, Ignite claims that by July 1, 2021, no agreement had been reached and Ignite did not pay Consulting by AR. However, Consulting by AR claims the opposite happened. It says it had been the one to approach Ignite Spirits and managed to secure terms even more favorable than what Ignite Spirits had asked for.

SEC Case

The fight with Consulting by AR is only one problem facing Ignite, which seems to have trouble providing documents. Last year, the SEC announced it was investigating potential accounting fraud at the company. On May 20, 2022, the SEC staff issued and served a document subpoena against Ignite International. The company was asked multiple times to provide the requested documents, but like the above-mentioned case – failed to provide them. Ignite argued that the SEC’s investigative subpoena should be “stayed” because criminal authorities were conducting a separate investigation into the company.

The SEC complaint stated, ” Several categories of documents called for by the May 20, 2022 subpoena have never been produced, including, for the fiscal years 2020 and 2021: Respondent’s accounting records; any purchase orders, invoices, and other documentation related to sales of Respondent’s products; and Respondent’s communications with its auditor. ”

Ignite History

Ignite had been a publicly traded company using the symbols BILZ for the Canadian Securities Exchange and BILZF for the OTC Markets Group. The symbol took its lead from the company’s controversial leader Dan Bilzerian. However, the company went private in August 2022 as the company’s legal problems began. Bilzerian, a one-time professional poker player started Ignite as a company that sold CBD products and vapes. He has over 30 million followers on Instagram and he became famous for his Instagram photos featuring lots of guns and scantily clad models. He most recently posted a photo in December 2022 where he was in South America.

The company continues to sell its products and still features its muscled leader and bikini models on the website.

Debra BorchardtSeptember 1, 2022


Cannabis bad boy Dan Bilzerian and his company Ignite Brands (CSE: BILZ) have asked the Securities & Exchange Commission for a break while it faces criminal charges. The SEC has just said no and is now suing the company.

In a case filed earlier this week, the SEC is suing Ignite Brands Ltd. for failing to produce documents as it attempts to pursue an accounting fraud investigation. Ignite wants the investigative subpoena “stayed” as the criminal authorities conduct a criminal investigation. The SEC argues that just because the company is facing multiple investigations, it can’t ask the SEC to stand down. The SEC’s case exposed that Ignite confessed it it under a criminal investigation. 

According to the SEC case, “SEC staff have uncovered information indicating that Respondent may have filed public financial statements that include false or misleading representations regarding revenues earned and recognized in the company’s fiscal year ending December 31, 2020.” 

In May of 2022, the SEC told Ignite’s counsel that the company needed to provide certain documents. The company said it would comply by June 15, but then asked for an extension to July 15. On June 30, some documents were sent to the SEC, but it wasn’t everything they had asked for while the company described it as a meaningful start. 

According to the complaint, the SEC asked for documents relating to Ignite’s accounting policies on revenue recognition and other accounting issues; Ignite’s internal financial reporting; Ignite’s internal audit work papers; communications between Ignite and its external auditor on revenue recognition; Ignite’s sales forecasts and budgeting; Ignite’s general ledgers and journal entries for certain sales transactions; and the underlying sales documentation for Ignite’s revenue-generating businesses. Instead Ignite sent copies of third-party agreements for various services related to Respondent’s products, Board meeting minutes, and internal organizational charts.

Then Ignite asked for another extension to August 1 and ultimately, the SEC agreed to an extension to August 23. Instead of complying, Ignite asked for a pause in the investigation. The SEC’s response was to ask a court th force the company to deliver the requested documents. 

Troubled Background

Ignite was founded in 2017 by Dan Bilzerian who made a splash with his social media posts of beautiful sexy women, guns, and his own muscular frame. Bilzerian initially became known for being a winning poker player, but some claimed his winnings were embellished. According to Bloomberg, in July 2020, former Ignite president Curtis Heffernan sued Bilzerian for wrongful termination. Heffernan claimed that he was fired for criticizing Bilzerian’s misappropriation of company funds for his lavish lifestyle. Bilzerian spent a million dollars to appear in the film Lone Survivor and then sued the filmmakers because his screen time was cut from the agreed-upon eight minutes to one minute.

The company reversed course from being a publicly traded stock and went private as of August 29. The company said in a press release, “Ignite’s shares are thinly traded and offer little opportunity for liquidity for shareholders; b) the expenses of being a public company outweigh the benefits; and c) the proposed Consolidation provides shareholders, other than shareholders who will remain following the Consolidation, with a meaningful liquidity event that provides an opportunity to realize the value for their shares at a significant premium to current market prices.”

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