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Phantom Entertainment
Type Public (Pink Sheets: PHEI)
Founded 2002
Headquarters Punta Gorda, Florida
Key people John Landino, CEO
Industry Video game consoles and peripherals
Products Phantom Lapboard
Phantom Gaming Service
Revenue None, development stage company
Employees 3, as of July 2007 [1]

Phantom Entertainment, Inc (Pink Sheets: PHEI), formerly known as Infinium Labs, is a company that was supposedly developing a new video game console called the Phantom, which went through several supposed revisions before being cancelled in February 2006. In September 2006, the company, which by then had changed its name from Infinium Labs,[2] promised to introduce its "Lapboard" product in November 2006, with a gaming service to follow in March 2007.[3] In June 2008, the company released their Lapboard product.[4]

Infinium was founded by Tim Roberts in 2002. Roberts left the company in the summer of 2005 with millions of shares of stock, but before any products had been delivered. He later rejoined as Chairman of the Board but resigned in July 2007 to pursue other opportunities. Subsequent CEOs include Kevin Bachus (who took the post in August 2005), Greg Koler (in January 2006[5]) and John Landino, who was appointed CEO and Interim Chief Financial Officer in July 2008.[6]

Although the Phantom product did not reach manufacture, computer company Alienware did order a shipment of Lapboards for inclusion with a line of media center PCs. Supposedly for release in February 2007, the company stated in December that Phantom could not meet their delivery needs and they would not be carrying the product.[7]

In August 2007, Phantom Entertainment signed a deal with ProGames network to provide Lapboards and "Game Service Content" in hotels worldwide.[8]

On June 15, 2009, Phantom Entertainment shipped its first large production order of their Phantom Lapboards from China with a US arrival date of July 9, 2009.

MAINGEAR Computers announces that they will be the first company to sell the Phantom Lapboard with the Axess HD Gamer. On June 18, 2009, MainGear Computers now sells the Lapboard on their website.

Contents

Legal controversies

HardOCP lawsuit

In September 2003, HardOCP, a computer hardware news website, published an investigative report by writer Steve Lynch that was critical of Infinium Labs and its founder.[9]

On February 19, 2004, Infinium Labs' lawyers sent a cease and desist letter to the editor of HardOCP demanding the news site take down the article, claiming it "painted a portrait of a company intent on swindling the public", and threatening to file a defamation suit. Rather than concede to the demands, HardOCP owner Kyle Bennett filed a lawsuit for a declaratory judgement stating that they had done nothing wrong.[10] Infinium Labs then filed suit in Florida and denied jurisdiction was proper in Texas, even though they had previously maintained a staffed office in Richardson, Texas (which had by then been closed).[11]

In September 2004, the judge on the case ruled that Infinium Labs must produce several financial documents (including Roberts' personal income tax returns) by the end of the month. Infinium failed to produce the required documents and subsequently faced a court order compelling them to do so. They were informed that sanctions would be awarded to KB Networks and Kyle Bennett in an amount to be determined by the court, later reported to have been $50,000.[12] In settlement, Infinium Labs dropped the co-pending Florida suit, admitted all of the allegations of the KB Networks complaint in Texas, and paid $50,000 to end the suit.

Other controversies

In October 2005, it emerged that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had given notice to Tim Roberts that charges were being planned against him for violating unspecified federal securities laws.[13] In its statement on the notice, Infinium stated that they were not notified of the specific charges but that it suspected they were related to an SEC investigation of unlawful promotion of penny stocks (which had included Infinium's).[14] Roberts hired a stock promoter to send out faxes; these faxes claimed that the Phantom console's release was imminent, and that the stock might surge in value as much as 3,000%. According to SEC allegations, the company never planned to release the console at the time the faxes claimed due to significant "technological and manufacturing hurdles" which had yet to be overcome and were part of a pump and dump scheme by Roberts. Roberts has since reached a settlement with the SEC; he is barred from serving as an officer or public director of any public company for five years, is barred from participating in penny stock offerings for five years, and paid a $30,000 fine.[15]

It was further revealed that while Tim Roberts was CEO of Infinium, the company failed to report a large amount of interest and penalties on unpaid payroll taxes.[16] From its inception Infinium had consistently reported very small amounts of cash on hand and large (and growing) debt.

In January 2006, Infinium Labs reached an agreement to borrow up to $5,000,000 from the Golden Gate Investors group to finance the manufacturing process of the Phantom Lapboard, which was scheduled for release later that year. If fully exercised, this would have been the largest amount of money Infinium Labs had ever borrowed at once. The loan would have been repaid over three years, with the option to repay with shares of common stock.[17]

In February 2006, Gamespot reported that the Phantom Entertainment was putting the Phantom Game Service on hold in favour of development of the Lapboard. An SEC filing also showed losses in excess of $62.7 million over three years, over half of which was spent on marketing the company and products which were never released. Over $24 million was spent on salaries and consultants, but only $2.5 million on development. Infinium claimed they still intended to release the Lapboard if their financial situation improved.[18] The "Lapboard" repeatedly missed release dates of the second quarter of 2006, October 2006 and November 2006.

On August 15, 2006, Phantom Entertainment removed all references to the Phantom Game Receiver from its website. They continued to claim that the content delivery system targeted for the Phantom would be made available for PCs running Microsoft Windows XP / Media Centre,[19] and later indicated this service would be available in March 2007, following the release of the Lapboard in November 2006.[20]

SEC allegations and subsequent settlement

On May 16, 2006, the SEC accused Timothy Roberts of running a pump and dump financial fraud scheme.

Among the major allegations was that, in late 2004, Roberts paid a promoter to send thousands of junk faxes falsely claiming that Infinium Labs planned to launch the 'Phantom' system in January 2005. The resulting buzz drove Infinium Labs' stock up. Roberts paid the promoter in $200,000 of company money and 4 million shares of restricted stock, without registering the transfer with the SEC. Roberts also sold more than 1.3 million shares of his own stock, often without reporting the transactions with the SEC, making a profit of $422,500. Both activities violate federal securities laws.

The SEC asked the U.S. District Court in Orlando, Florida "to force Roberts to surrender those proceeds, pay a civil penalty and be prohibited from ever again serving as an officer or director of a public company or participating in any offering of penny stock."[21]

On September 19, 2008, the SEC settled the charges with Tim Roberts. As part of the settlement, Roberts agreed to be barred from serving as an officer or director of any public company for five years, to be barred from participating in any offering of penny stock for five years, and to pay a $30,000 civil penalty.[22]

References

  1. ^ Anderson, Nate (2007-06-03). "True Infinium stories: the $73 million (and counting) Phantom disaster". http://arstechnica.com/articles/culture/true-infinium-stories-the-73-million-phantom.ars. Retrieved 2008-10-01.  
  2. ^ Murph, Darren (2006-07-19). "Infinium changes name to Phantom Entertainment". http://www.engadget.com/2006/07/19/infinium-changes-name-to-phantom-entertainment/. Retrieved 2008-10-01.  
  3. ^ "Surprise! Phantom Delays Game Service Again". 2006-09-12. http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,1558,2015342,00.asp?kc=ETRSS02129TX1K0000532. Retrieved 2008-10-01.  
  4. ^ http://gadgets.boingboing.net/2008/06/24/infinium-labs-finall.html
  5. ^ Svensson, Christian (2005-11-21). "Bachus Quits Infinium". http://www.next-gen.biz/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1696&Itemid=2. Retrieved 2006-07-23.  
  6. ^ "SEC - Form 8k - Resignation of Greg Koler". 2008-07-29. http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1145019/000114420408042568/v121234_8k.htm. Retrieved 2008-09-05.  
  7. ^ Biggs, John (2007-12-27). "Alienware no longer carrying Phantom Lapboard". CrunchGear. http://www.crunchgear.com/2007/12/27/alienware-no-longer-carrying-phantom-lapboard/. Retrieved 2008-10-01.  
  8. ^ "Phantom Entertainment Signs with ProGames Network to Place Phantom Lapboard and Game Service Content in Hotels Worldwide". BusinessWire. 2007-08-22. http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20070822005741/en. Retrieved 2007-08-23.  
  9. ^ Lynch, Steve (2003-09-17). "Behind the Infinium Phantom Console". HardOCP. http://www.hardocp.com/article.html?art=NTEy. Retrieved 2006-07-23.  
  10. ^ Fahey, Rob (2004-03-04). "HardOCP takes legal action against Infinium". http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/hardocp-takes-legal-action-against-infinium. Retrieved 2008-10-01.  
  11. ^ "Infinium’s Kevin Bachus Accused of Lying to US Courts". 2004-06-15. http://news.spong.com/article/6936/Infiniums_Kevin_Bachus_Accused_of_Lying_to_US_Courts?cb=446. Retrieved 2008-10-01.  
  12. ^ "Infinium Labs, Inc. Form 10-QSB". http://google.brand.edgar-online.com/EFX_dll/EDGARpro.dll?FetchFilingHTML1?ID=3697861&SessionID=47aiWHH8YxwBeA7. Retrieved 2008-10-01.  
  13. ^ Sinclair, Brendan (2005-10-31). "Phantom maker in hot water with SEC". GameSpot. http://www.gamespot.com/news/6136934.html. Retrieved 2006-07-23.  
  14. ^ "Infinium Labs Inc • 8-K • For 10/20/05". Form 8-K. Infinium Labs. 2005-10-20. http://www.secinfo.com/d12TC3.z1Z9x.htm. Retrieved 2008-10-01.  
  15. ^ "SEC settles charges with video game executive". SEC. 2008-09-19. http://www.404.gov/litigation/litreleases/2008/lr20730.htm. Retrieved 2008-03-25.  
  16. ^ Sinclair, Brendan (2005-11-01). "Phantom maker in hot water with SEC". Gamespot. http://uk.gamespot.com/news/6136934.html. Retrieved 2008-10-01.  
  17. ^ Klepek, Patrick (2006-01-25). "Infinium Bags $5 Million". http://www.1up.com/do/newsStory?cId=3147455. Retrieved 2006-07-23.  
  18. ^ Sinclair, Brendan (2006-02-21). "Infinium opens the books". GameSpot. http://www.gamespot.com/news/6144631.html. Retrieved 2006-07-23.  
  19. ^ "Phantom console disappears". The Inquirer. 2006-08-16. http://www.theinquirer.net/default.aspx?article=33737.  
  20. ^ ""Surprise! Phantom Delays Game Service Again"". 2006-09-12. http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,2845,2015342,00.asp. Retrieved 2008-10-01.  
  21. ^ Morris, Christ (2006-05-16). "'Phantom' video game CEO charged with pump and dump scheme". http://money.cnn.com/2006/05/16/technology/infinium/index.htm. Retrieved 2008-10-01.  
  22. ^ "ENFORCEMENT PROCEEDINGS - SEC Settles Charges With Video Game Executive". The Connors Group, Inc. 2008-09-22. http://www.tradingmarkets.com/.site/news/Stock%20News/1896709/. Retrieved 2008-10-01.  







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