It could have been the best football innovation since instant replay: a laser-based, luminescent green line — visible to football fans at home and in the stadium — demarking a first down.
Promoters said it could reduce the need for time-consuming measurements by game officials, speed up the proceeding and increase the time available for beer ads and erectile dysfunction commercials, two staples of NFL coverage.
Alas, it was all a scam aimed at separating investors from their money, the Securities and Exchange Commission said Thursday, announcing it had busted the perpetrators, who operated out of a South Florida-based boiler room.
Scott Rubens of North Miami and Peter Kirschner of Delray Beach were charged with defrauding investors, many of them seniors.
“Kirschner and Rubens used boiler-room and high-pressure sales tactics to swindle seniors into believing they could help revolutionize the way we watch football,” said Eric I. Bustillo, director of the SEC’s Miami regional office. “But these fraudsters merely did an end run with investor money.”
The company run by Kirschner and Rubens, Premier Consulting, struck an agreement with Thought Development Inc. (TDI), developer of the technology, to solicit investors and sell unregistered company stock to provide the Miami-based company with capital.
Investors were told the laser-line technology was going to be used during NFL games, including the Super Bowl. In fact, the SEC says there was no such agreement.
TDI severed its relationship with Premier Consulting when the former found out about the lies being peddled to investors and learned of the outsized commissions being paid to sales personnel, the SEC alleged.
Undeterred, Kirschner and Rubens prolonged the scheme by creating a different company, Advanced Equity Partners. They continued to dupe investors.
The SEC said Premier Consulting and Advanced Equity raised more than $2.4 million from about 200 investors between July 2011 and November 2012.
The two men will be barred from participating in penny stock offerings. Monetary sanctions will be determined at a hearing in the future.
The SEC filed a separate complaint in federal court against TDI and its chairman, Alan Amron, alleging securities registration violations.