Litigation Release No. 25630 / February 2, 2023
Securities and Exchange Commission v. John C. Wilson II, et al., No. 4:22-cv-00741-O (N.D. Tex. filed Aug. 23, 2022)
On January 12, 2023, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas entered a final judgment against defendants Aether Innovative Technology, Inc. (“Aether”), a Texas-based technology company, and its CEO John C. Wilson II (“Wilson”).
The SEC’s complaint alleged that from August 2019 to September 2020, Aether and Wilson raised approximately $1.9 million from investors using materially false and misleading statements in offering materials and other written communications, regarding, among other things, the existence and amount of prior investments, the use of investor assets, the deployment of the hardware to be used in Aether’s primary business, and the existence of a significant customer relationship. The complaint further alleged that Wilson also misappropriated investor assets for himself and his family.
The judgment, entered on the basis of default, enjoins Aether and Wilson from violating the antifraud provisions of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. Aether was ordered to pay a civil penalty of $207,183 and disgorgement of $254,000 with prejudgment interest of $15,418.48. Wilson was ordered to pay a civil penalty of $207,183 and disgorgement of $122,850 with prejudgment interest of $7,457.33. The judgment also prohibits Wilson from serving as an officer or director of a public company and prohibits Wilson and Aether from participating in the issuance, purchase, offer, or sale of any security.
The litigation was led by Gregory Miller and supervised by James Connor. The SEC’s investigation that led to this action was conducted by Timothy Work, Elizabeth Doisy, and Brian Palechek, and supervised by George Bagnall and Stacy Bogert.